The Handmaid’s Tale – S04E05 – Chicago [Transcript]

June seeks out more active rebels in the Chicago war zone, while Janine tries to help her fit in with their new group of survivors. Moira goes on her first field aid mission.
The Handmaid's Tale - S04E05 - Chicago

Original release date: May 12, 2021

Stephen and Janine grow close and spend more time with one another. June becomes irritated because she feels the American resistance is too cautious in their approach while she wishes to fight. June asks Stephen if she can accompany a group to trade with another camp and though he initially refuses, he agrees after Janine praises her. She is reprimanded by Stephen to be careful after she speaks as Gileadan soldiers pass them in a Chicago shop, where they temporarily hide on their way. Nick is eager to find June and upon Lawrence’s suggestion meets with two Marthas, one of whom reveals that June is in Chicago. Lydia is reinstated as an active Aunt by Lawrence, after she blackmails him. Lawrence suggests to the other Commanders that a ceasefire be invoked on Gilead’s borders in order to halt Gilead’s economical crisis, to which they initially refuse, but later agree after Lawrence is reinstated on the panel. The panel tells Nick that he must withdraw troops from the borders for an aerial attack on those regions, prior to the ceasefire. June leaves the Chicago camp lead by Stephen, and Janine, who initially stayed, follows her. Gilead bombs Chicago shortly before the ceasefire, in an attempt to quash the rebel factions. Moira, one of the relief workers, finds June amidst the rubble. Janine’s fate is unknown.

* * *


[June laughs] Thanks.

[Janine moans softly]

[Janine and Steven breathing heavily]

[dog barking in distance]

[explosion in distance]

[Janine] Oh!

[gunfire in distance]

[loud explosion]

[glass breaking]

[car alarm blaring]

[man 1] Wake up!

[guns firing]

[man 2] Oh, fuck… From the west side this time.

[Janine] June?

[Steven] Hey! It’s not safe. Get back in bed.


[gun fire and explosions continue]

[explosions continue]

[“Tainted Love” playing on radio]

[water splashing]

[players cheering]

[players groaning]

How long’s all that gonna last?

Depends on the size of the camp.

We’re not keeping it, we’re trading it.

For weapons?

Batteries. Fuel.

At least I hope we score some.

It sucks ass, hauling this shit across town for nothing.

Let me help. Come on. I can come.

That’s Steven’s call.




Yeah. A little higher. Good.

Okay, now watch the thumb.

[Janine] Okay.

[Steven] Watch the hand.

Mmm. This?

[Steven] Yeah. Good, good.

That’s right. There you go.

Yeah. Ready? Now, find your target.

[Janine] Mmm‐hmm.

Got it? And squeeze.

[gun clicks]

[Janine giggling]

Hold on. Try again. [laughs]


[Janine] Like that? Okay.

That part. Perfect.

[Janine] Okay.




There you go. You’re a natural.

Did I get it?

Thanks. Well, you’re a great teacher.

Thank you.

Yeah? Yeah?




I hear you’re trading with another camp.

I wanna come.

No. Fresh meat stays here.

You really should let June go.

She got a whole plane full of kids out of Gilead.

I mean, I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for her.


You do what I say.


Thank you.

[soft music playing]

[music continues playing]

[Aunt 1] Do you want that?

[Aunt 2] Mmm, no.

[Aunt 3] Facing forward!

Move. Move.

[Aunt Cordelia] Gin.

[Aunt 3] Straight lines!

[Aunt Cordelia] Lydia.

[Aunt 3] Eyes forward!

Shall we deal you in?

Ah, no, thank you, Aunt Cordelia.

Perhaps… perhaps later.

[Aunt 3] You there! Stay with your partner!

Let’s go! Move!

Blessed day, sisters.


[automated voice] Workout paused. Blessed day.

Blessed morning, Aunt Ruth.

Have you seen the new girls?

Oh, by His hand, we’ll replace the lost children in no time with that crop.


Yes, a very special class.


Well, I am eager to be of service again.

Fully recovered, by His grace.

Back in fighting shape, as they say. [chuckles]

There’s no need to rush.

God has given you this respite to heal.

Ah, too much to be done.


the girls are not your concern anymore.

The girls have always been my concern.

I have served Gilead with everything I have.

Praise be.

Aunt Ruth, perhaps you could speak to the Commanders about my reinstatement.

Intercede on my behalf.

Lydia… I admired your devotion… when you were still active.

But now it is your time to rest.

[Aunt 1] Another round?

[Aunt 2] No.

[Aunt Ruth] Oh, good.

An empty seat at the table.

Godspeed, Aunt Lydia.

Godspeed, Aunt Ruth.

Godspeed, Aunt Ruth.

[treadmill beeps]

[automated voice] Resume workout.

[treadmill beeping]

[breathing deeply]

[Lawrence] Commanders, thank you for squeezing me in before lunch.

Council appreciates your assistance in pursuing the fugitive Handmaids.

Happy to be of service.

[Calhoun] I don’t recall, have they been recaptured?

Or re‐recaptured, I should say?

Not yet, no.

Not yet.

May God bless our endeavors.

I’m afraid we only have a few minutes.

I’ll get right to it, then. Um… [clears throat]

The world fears our military.

We can destroy our enemies, and they know it.

But the sanctions they’ve imposed  have put our economy in a chokehold.

Guns alone will not win a war.

We need money as well.

I propose that we declare a temporary ceasefire along our contested borders in Chicago, California and Texas.

A ceasefire?

A few hours for international aid to come in, for food and health care.

[Calhoun] Those areas are infested with terrorists, and you want to send in aid?

I… I want to take the moral high ground in order to hasten the end of trade restrictions.

A temporary show of mercy in exchange for permanent revenue.

[Calhoun] By aiding and abetting terrorists?

We could just hit them, hit them harder in Nevada for a few months, couldn’t we?

Is there a difference?

I think we can keep up the military pressure on all insurgents in any case.

Thank you, Commander. Gentlemen… I am not proposing weakness in any fashion.

[Calhoun] Commander, wasn’t it your Handmaid who kidnapped our children in the first place?

It was.

It was. I was… I was deceived by a faithless woman.

But now we are facing elemental economic truths.

And, gentlemen, unlike women, numbers don’t lie.

If we can end these sanctions, we can prosper.

If we can prosper, we can crush this insurgency.

An intriguing proposal.

All in favor?

All opposed?

Motion denied.

Council adjourned.

[gavel strikes desk]

Thank you, Commander Lawrence.

You bet.

Enjoy your lunch.

You couldn’t give me a mercy vote?

I can’t support a ceasefire in a battle I’m leading.

[softly] A ceasefire might help June.

I’m trying to do the right thing here.

If she was near the border, I’d know about it.

Oh, that’s sweet.

Would your heart glow or something?


That’s funny.

It’s a big country, Commander.

The Eyes can’t see everything.

Not even the Eyes of Gilead.

[explosion in distance]

Hey. When do I get a gun?

When you earn it.

Can you try to make things work here with Steven?

Don’t worry about it.

It’s… You’re kinda pushy.

Now, I’m used to it, but he’s been in charge for a long time, and you come in and you expect‐‐

Okay, okay, okay.

[Steven] Hold up.

[flies buzzing]

[Steven exhales]


Who did this?

Nighthawks. They don’t care if they live or die.

They just wanna kill soldiers.

You’d love ’em.

You ever trade with them?

They move around a lot.

Used to be at the Art Institute.

Last I heard, Mercy Hospital. Now, who knows?

[guns firing in distance]

This place is gonna be crawling with soldiers soon.

We gotta move.

[helicopter blades whirring]

‐[helicopter approaching]

[explosion in distance]

[soldier] Spread out! Full sweep!

Fuck! Come on.

Shit! Come on!

[helicopter hovering]

[soldier] Watch for IEDs.

[vehicle passing]

Check all of ’em!

Check all these doors!

All doors. All the way to the end.

[indistinct chatter over radio]

[breathing unsteadily]


[indistinct chatter over radio]

[soldier] This street is clear.

Move out!

[helicopter passing over]

Hey, you have a clean shot.

[whispering] Quiet.

[vehicle engine revs]

They’re getting away!

I said, “Shut the fuck up!”

[gun firing in distance]

[distant explosion]

Don’t do that again!

We could’ve taken them! What’s wrong with you?

What happens when they don’t report back?

Hmm? More patrols. More soldiers.

Makes it harder for us to move around. It’s not worth it.

What kind of resistance are you?

The kind that survives.

[breath trembling]

[man 1] Good.

[man 2] No.

[man 3] Come on, man.

[indistinct chatter]

[male trader] What do you want for that one?

[female trader] Yeah, I’ll throw in a couple cans of beans, too.

[male trader] No. Try the hallway.

There’s a new guy there.

[female trader] What have you got?

[female trader 2] Come on, don’t be an asshole.

[female trader 3] Be safe out there.

[female trader 4] Nah, not this time, man.

[male trader 2] Caps, vests here. Mint condition.

Oh, here, let me help you with that.

It’s okay, I got it. Thank you.

I’m Brad, by the way.

And you are?


Not interested.

I appreciate it.

Well, uh, you know where to find me if you need anything, so…

[male trader 2] Caps. Vests.

It’s nice to see you’re making friends.

[male trader 2] Caps. Vests.

I don’t need that kind of friend.

All right.

[male trader 2] Mint condition.

No way.

Is that…


Wow. June.

Steven is a baseball fanatic.

He lost everything in the war.

[gasps] I have to get this for him.

That’s sweet of you.


I just don’t want him to take advantage of you.

That’s all.

[Janine] I’m not.

It’s totally consensual.

I really like him.

Just don’t get too attached.

Life is short here.

Life is short everywhere.



Hey. How about this cloak for the Cubs hat?


But it’s… It’s really warm, and it doesn’t have any holes in it or anything.

You can… You can use as a pillow or a blanket.

[man] You got anything else?



[man] Sorry.

[man] Hey, you see about those mattresses?

Hey, how about two cloaks?



[Janine] Here you go.

[man] Thanks.

Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

You know what, I’ll tell Steven.

Maybe, he’ll be nicer to you.

I don’t… I don’t need you to do that.

[Janine] I know.

But I want to.


Just help me with this stuff.

[Janine] Okay.

[guitar music playing]

[melancholy music playing]

[clears throat]

Something’s different about you.

Did you change your hair?

I know it’s late.

Thank you for seeing me.

It’s the good stuff.

[sniffs, clears throat]

Have a seat.

No, thank you. I’ll… I’ll stand.

[grunts] Suit yourself.



To what do I owe the pleasure?

I believe I can be of service to you.

Lucky me.

[Aunt Lydia] I have sources.

Witnesses to your involvement in Commander Winslow’s disappearance.

Is that right?

In addition, I have testaments to your many abuses of power.

Black market activity.

Not to mention your collaboration with your handmaid Ofjoseph.


Unless you arrange for my immediate reinstatement.

There it is.

For a second, I thought you didn’t have it in you.

is it that you didn’t hear me, Commander?

No. No, I heard you.

Loud and clear.


So, uh…

What else you got?

I beg your pardon?

I get it. You can bury me.

I can only imagine the goods you have on my illustrious colleagues.

Commander Calhoun.

What’s the dirt on him?

I’m not one to traffic in gossip.

You just tried to blackmail me.

Hardly gossip.

You want me to restore your position, I need my seat back at the table.

And your information can help me get it.

Let’s fix this country.

Let’s make things right again.


I might consider a collaboration if I have your word that Ofjoseph would be put in my care.

To be disciplined.

Handled my way.

I can live with that.


[indistinct chatter]


[whispering] Okay.

I think we should go tomorrow and find the Nighthawks.

Come on. We came here to fight.

June, you came here to fight.

I didn’t even want to come here. I wanted to go back to Boston.

There’s nothing for us in Boston.

Well, there’s… There’s something here.

I can get pregnant again here. I could keep my baby.

I’d be like a real mom.

Janine, you can’t have a baby here.

Why not?

I mean, come on. We can be moms together.

It’d be like a normal life.

I mean, the world needs more baby Americans, right?

You sound like Aunt Lydia.

No, June, you do.

You’re so bossy and judgmental.

I mean, I know what’s right for me.

He’s taking advantage of you.

I don’t understand why you can’t see that.

I… I see fine.


It was my choice to start having sex.

You need to stop trying to save me to make yourself feel better.

I’m the one who doesn’t wanna see you get hurt.


Maybe you should’ve thought about that with Alma and Brianna.



Well, I’m leaving tomorrow.

Come with me or stay here and be Ofsteven.

It’s your choice.

[breathing heavily]

[vehicle beeping]

[engine stops]

[helicopter hovering]

That star on your shoulder doesn’t mean you can round us up like Unwomen.

If you want to arrange a shipment, go through the normal channels.

No, this isn’t about business.

I’m looking for June Osborn.

Fuck June Osborn.

Lori, shut up.

A lot of brave women died trying to protect her.

Everyone that helps her ends up on the fucking wall.

I know.

I’m sorry.

I care about her.

What can you tell me?

You’re better off without her.

Two Handmaids were spotted heading into Chicago a week ago.

Maybe June was one of them.

Thank you.

[vehicle doors close]

So once you get across this checkpoint, just keep the lake on your left and it’s a straight shot all the way.

Thank you, Brad.

I’m June, by the way.

Well, if you, uh, ever find your way back here, look me up.




[Janine clears throat]

Um, well, this is, uh, kinda hard to say.

We’ve been through so much together. [chuckles softly]

Yup, sure have.

I’m staying.

Yeah, I had a feeling.

I guess this is it.


Well, that baby’s gonna be really lucky to have you.

And those rebels are so lucky to have you.


I need you to take care of yourself, okay?


[shakily] Cross my heart.




Just something to remember me by.

[chuckles softly]

How could I forget you? [chuckles softly]

Who could forget the girl with one eye?


I think you’re beautiful.

You, too.

[whispers] Bye.


You are the sacred vessels of the Lord.

His chosen ones.

Your charge will be hard.

You will be tested by wicked men, and they will try to lead you astray.

And when they do, I will be here to listen.

Your bond with each other will be strong.

From this day forward, none of you will ever walk alone again.

[sighs and sniffles]

[indistinct chiming]

[metal rattling]

[papers rustling]

[objects rumbling indistinctly]

[breathing heavily]

[footsteps approaching]


What are you doing here?

I feel safer when we’re together.

Handmaids always walk in twos, remember?

Yeah. Come on.

Commander Lawrence.

Commander Blaine, blessed day.

You were right.

I think she’s in Chicago.


Well, whatever you need, I’ll back you.

It’s good to have you on board, Commander.

[Commander Putnam] Okay, gentlemen.

Let’s move on to the next order‐‐

[Nick] Excuse me, commander.

Before we continue, I’d like to return to Commander Lawrence’s proposal for a ceasefire.

Commander Blaine, you have read my mind.

Council has had time to reflect.

And we agree.


Gilead’s forces in disputed areas will stand down for 24 hours starting this afternoon.

You were so adamant in your opposition.

I’ve changed my mind.

God loves a Commander willing to reconsider his position.

The NGOs are standing by, ready to deploy aid.

Tell them that they are free to move in as of 1600 hours.

Commander Blaine, you will coordinate the bombing.

Excuse me, sir?

Commander Blaine was not fully briefed on the details of our agreement.


Commander Blaine, you will coordinate an aerial bombardment on all insurgent fronts just prior to the ceasefire deadline.

Give the insurgents a little spanking.

With respect, any civilians moving to receive aid will be vulnerable.

You can’t hunt the roaches when they’re in the walls, son.

Unfortunately true, Commander.

It’s the cost of doing business, as they say.

Well, I don’t believe there’s enough time to pull out our own troops, so…

Then you should get going.

By His hand.

By His hand.

I think we should follow the highway, see?

Hmm, yeah.

[metal clanking]

Do you think the Nighthawks will accept us?

Fucking better.

Where are all the soldiers?

I don’t know.

Holy shit! All this food!

They must have left in a hurry.

Do you think the Nighthawks attacked them?

They wouldn’t have left the food here.

At least someone up there still likes us.



Something’s not right.

[airplanes approaching]





[man cries out in pain]

[woman cries out in pain]


[woman] Help!

Help, please!

[man 1] Help!

[breathing heavily]


[man 1] Hey!

[woman] No!


[indistinct shouting]


[man 3] Help!


[breathing unsteadily]

[indistinct shouting]

[woman] Help me!

[man 3] Help!

[man 2] We’re here to help!

Call out if you can. We’ll find you!

[indistinct shouting]


[man 1] Help me!

[indistinct groaning and grunting]

[June] Janine?

[man 3] Help!


[man 3] Help! Help!

[woman sobbing] Come on! We gotta go! We gotta go!

[man 2] It’s not safe!

[man 2] Is somebody there?

[man 4] Is anybody there?


[indistinct shouting]

[sirens approaching]

[air horn blows]

[man 5] Pair up.

[woman 1] Help is here.

[man 5] Spread out. All right, pair up.

[man 6] You okay?

[man 5] Yeah, over there.

[woman 2 screams] I’m in here!

[man 5] Two of you, over there!

[indistinct shouting]



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