The Handmaid’s Tale – S04E08 – Testimony [Transcript]

June confronts Fred and Serena in court and challenges Emily to face a painful reminder of her Gilead past. Lawrence presents Aunt Lydia with a newly captured, familiar Handmaid.
The Handmaid's Tale - S04E08 - Testimony

Original release date: June 2, 2021

* * *

[soft song playing]

[Tyler] I felt helpless.

I guess it was… a way to feel in control.

[Danielle] Didn’t your Commander notice?

[Tyler] I cut high on my arms, where he couldn’t see.

[Vicky] Must have hurt.

[Tyler] Felt good, actually.


It’s like a relief.

Well, cutting was your way to cope.

[exhales] But you’re here now.

You’re healing.

You’re free.

[Tyler] Yeah.

My Commander’s free, too.

At least you get to face yours in court tomorrow.

[Vicky] I’d be so nervous, June.

I can barely stand to watch the news about the trial.

It’s a “confirmation of charges” hearing.

And she doesn’t have to go.

There’s nothing wrong with a written statement.

She wants to tell her story in person.

[Vicky] Still, you must be so scared.

[Danielle] And worried.

You know, the defense gets to ask questions.

I’m not nervous or worried.

Or scared.

I can’t fucking wait.

[Emily] How are you getting home?



Ready to go, Miss Osborn?

Um, will you just give me a moment.

Thank you.


So, you kicking me out of the group?

No. [chuckles]

Just give it some time. You’ll find your groove.

Or maybe you won’t. [laughs]

I just, I thought that I’d have more in common with them.

Well, they don’t all come with their own security detail, so…


You know what I mean.


Feelings… forgiveness.


Why aren’t they more angry?

How do you know they’re not?

Leave me alone!

Emily, I’m so, please, stop.

I just wanna, I just wanna talk to you for a moment.

Uh, why don’t we go sit?

I just wanna talk to you for five minutes.

I don’t want to talk to you.

You look well. Are you well?

Emily, it’s so good‐‐

Hey, hey, hey! Who are you? What do you want?

[officer] Is there a problem here?

No, there’s no problem.

Um, I just, I just wanna talk.

But it, it doesn’t have to be now.

Um, yeah.

Here’s, here’s my information‐‐

Stop it!

Go away!




Are you okay?

Who was that?

I’m fine.

[Moira] You sure?

Yes. Yeah, thank you.

I’ll see you there.


I’ll, I’ll see you at home.

It’s supposed to be a refresher, but coding bootcamp is kicking my ass.


I’ve been out of the game a long time.

Have you gotten to go back into teaching?

I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

Syl’s been encouraging me, but…

Who’s Iris Baker?

[rain pattering]

The woman at the library.

What woman?

[thunder rumbling in distance]

Um, I knew her as Irene.

[sighs] Aunt Irene.

She was assigned to the district where I had my first posting before I met you.

And what did she want?

Ah, doesn’t matter ’cause Emily doesn’t want to talk to her.

I don’t know.

She hurt you, didn’t she?

[Luke] Why would you say that?

Because she’s an Aunt.

You should face her.

Emily, you need to…

June. June.

You have to get out everything you have been holding in.

I promise you, you will feel better.

Well, we’re not all like you.

[rain pattering]

[thunder rumbling]

That Aunt Irene must have been brutal.

How bad could she be?

Aunt Lydia set a high fucking bar.

Yeah, well, if Emily wanted you to know, I’m sure she would’ve just told you, right?


So, you sure you wouldn’t feel better if I was there tomorrow?

It would just hurt you to hear those things… about me, so… I, I don’t want that.

So, Mark Tuello was really interested in the, um, the lake house where you saw Hannah.

And he said he could find some photos that you could look at.

Why did you tell him about that?

Because this is the first new information that we’ve had on Hannah in, like, forever.

It means that we can restart the search.

Yeah, but I didn’t want…

But don’t you want that?

…to tell him about that. Yet.

All right. All right.

I don’t know why you would’ve told him.

[exhales deeply]

That kid is like a motion detector.

I had to sneak out like a ninja.

Luke, can you finish these?

Uh, yeah, I got it.

I want to go look at my testimony.

She, uh, says she doesn’t want me there tomorrow.

Well, if she wanted a cheering section, she would’ve asked us to come.


I just don’t know. I don’t… I don’t know what she wants.

She is like a stranger half the time.

I mean, it’s like… when we talk about Hannah.

And… in bed.

[sighs] Getting over trauma is a bumpy fucking road.


You need to be patient till June gets where she’s going.

You don’t know what she’s been through.

Maybe that’s the problem.

[door beeps, unlocks]

[Serena reading] “Mr. Waterford’s sexual tastes were very pedestrian.

On occasion, he couldn’t even perform.

When that happened, he’d make me have sex with another Jezebel while he watched and masturbated.”

And a good evening to you too.

Moira Strand, she paints quite the picture.

[Commander Fred] A deviant and a liar.

Judges didn’t seem to think so, I watched the footage.

And it didn’t help that you were rolling your eyes the entire time.

Why did you want to see me, Serena?

Tomorrow’s a big day.

Exactly. I’m concerned.

Dawn’s prepared. She knows what Offred’s gonna say.

I’m not worried about Dawn.

You need to get it together, Fred.

Everything that you do reflects on the both of us.

All of us, actually. So calling her June would help.

You know what would really help?

If you came to court. If you stood by your husband.

You know I haven’t felt up to it.

You’ve never felt better.

The world already knows I’m pregnant.

They need to know we’re a family.

Appearances matter, Mrs. Waterford.

Besides, do you want June to think you’re afraid to face her?

I’ll see you in the morning.

[door beeps, unlocks]

Oh, maybe wear the teal.

[door beeps, locks]

You’re not finished yet?


Move on!

[others talking indistinctly]

Have you never washed a floor?

Give me it!

Put something into it!

It’s deplorable.

[whispering indistinctly, chuckling]

Gossip is a tool of the Devil, ladies.

We were just saying what a blessing it is to have you back, Aunt Lydia.

A blessing.

Aren’t you kind?

But we must set a good example, mustn’t we?

[Aunt] Of course, Aunt Lydia.

Kylie! You missed a spot.

I’m sorry, Aunt Lydia.

It’s still there!

I think it’s a stain, Aunt Lydia.

You’re impertinent, girl!


Aunt Lydia! Stop!


[groaning in pain]

[both groaning]

[breathing heavily]

[indistinct chatter]

[footsteps approaching]

It’s time.

[heels clicking]

[door unlatching]

[Judge] Next we will hear the victim statement of June Osborn.

Please raise your right hand.

Is there a Bible?

No, Ma’am. Not in this court.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

I do.

[door opens]

[door closes]

Ms. Osborn, please take the stand.

In your own time.

My name is June Osborn.

Fred Waterford and Serena Joy Waterford imprisoned me, beat me, and raped me.

I came to the Waterfords’ house in 2017.

It was my second posting.

A few days after my arrival, I was summoned to the drawing room, where I was asked to kneel in front of the Waterfords, as witnessed by their housekeeper Rita Blue and their… driver Nick Blaine.

Mr. Waterford read a story from the Bible about Rachel and Bilhah.

After that, I was taken upstairs to her bedroom.

There, Mr. Waterford raped me while his wife held me down.

This happened for three successive nights every month when I was ovulating.

These were the legally sanctioned rapes.

There were others.

Mrs. Waterford was desperate for me to get pregnant and questioned her husband’s fertility.

She ordered me to have sex with their driver.

Another violation of Gilead law that I could not refuse.

Mr. Blaine and I had intercourse, while Mrs. Waterford was in the room, watching us the entire time.

I did become pregnant with my daughter Nichole.

My daughter.

During a visit to a doctor’s office, the underground resistance movement in Gilead provided the means for me to escape, and I stayed in hiding for two months.

Eventually, I found my way to an ally’s small plane leaving for Canada, but just before takeoff, I was captured, and I was brought back to the Waterfords’, where the mistreatment and abuse continued.

At nine months pregnant, I went into false labor.

For this, Mrs. Waterford was very angry with me and felt embarrassed in front of her friends who had gathered to witness the birth.

As punishment, Mr. Waterford raped me again… while she held me down.

I struggled and pleaded for them to stop.

They did not.

After I gave birth, the Waterfords forbid any contact with my daughter Nichole, although I was still expected to provide breast milk for her.

Eventually, I managed to convince them to let me to spend some time with her.

Mrs. Waterford did make one attempt to improve conditions for the women and young girls of Gilead.

She appeared in front of the Commanders’ Council and read out loud from the Bible.

For this crime of reading, they cut off her finger.

Mr. Waterford, her husband, did not object.

When I confronted Mr. Waterford about his brutality, he struck me and threatened to cut out my tongue.

I hit him back, even though it could mean execution for me.

I suppose I was past caring by then.

Later, with the help of Rita Blue and other housekeepers in the neighborhood, I had a second opportunity to escape Gilead, this time with my daughter Nichole. But I couldn’t leave my other daughter Hannah behind. So I stayed, to try to save her. To bring her back to her father, my husband. I failed. This time, when I was captured, I was sent to a new household, where Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lawrence did not subject me to any rapes, at great risk to their own lives. But Mr. Waterford later arranged for me to be raped by Mr. Lawrence as a test of loyalty. The Waterfords drank coffee while upstairs I had sex with Mr. Lawrence against both of our wishes in front of his wife. Mrs. Lawrence… Eleanor… was a kind and fragile woman, and this experience devastated her. That was the last time I saw Mr. Waterford… until now.

I am grateful to be speaking to you today. But mine is just one voice. Countless others will remain unheard, imprisoned by men like Fred Waterford. Women… my friends… who lost their lives and can never be heard. It is for those women that I ask the International Criminal Court to confirm the charges against this man and put him on trial. I ask for the maximum possible sentence. I ask for justice. Thank you.

[Judge] Thank you, Ms. Osborn. The defense now has the opportunity to ask a few questions.

Thank you, Your Honor.

[Judge] I remind you that this is not a trial.

Keep your questioning brief.

Of course, Your Honor.

You had an affair with a married man, is that correct?

For months?

[Judge] Ms. Mathis.

I just want the record to show that Ms. Osborn has a history of deceitfulness around sex and infidelity.

And your adultery, your sin, that’s why you’re here today.

Isn’t it true, Ms. Osborn, that you chose to become a Handmaid?

It wasn’t much of a choice. It was either that or get sent to the Colonies.

That is a yes, then?

You knew what you were signing up for. You knowingly agreed to the Ceremony.

I didn’t sign up to get raped when I was nine months pregnant, no.

It was another holy Ceremony.

Mr. Waterford‐‐

[Commander Fred] To bring God’s gift into the world safely.

It was for the health of the child.

Ms. Mathis, please control your client.

That’s enough, Mr. Waterford.

[Commander Fred] God tests us. He tests us with a heavy hand.

The sacrifices we all made in Gilead were difficult.

But where else on Earth is the birth rate rising?

Nowhere. Only in Gilead because it works.

It works.

We chose God’s path and have been rewarded for our suffering.

Tell me, how was I rewarded for my suffering?

Your beautiful baby daughter and your other daughter.

I let you see her.

I arranged for the two of them to meet, a kindness, she left that out.

I am done!

I am done.

Anything more can wait for your trial.

[thunder rumbling]

[door opens]

[clears throat]

[footsteps approaching]

[sighs] Come.

[clears throat]

Commander, it was an accident.

Aunt Ruth got in my way, she is often clumsy‐‐

Oh, bullshit.

Aunt Ruth has a different story.

Not that I care about that one either. [groans]

But the Handmaid!

By, by all accounts she was obedient and, uh, compliant.

They all are, these days.

They’ve known Gilead most of their lives.

Unlike some.

Boy, it must be killing you that June won.

Out of your reach, free as a bird.

And singing like one, too.

Well, she will… answer to God.

We’ll see.

Maybe she’ll just wrap that old goat around her little finger too.

June won because she knows how to make people like her.

People do not like you.

They don’t.

I, I can sympathize.

People don’t like me either.


[sighs softly]

These reports will stop.

Are you going to terminate me?


I don’t want to.

I don’t.

I want you back in form.


The work that I’m doing, that we, that we are doing is the future of Gilead.

And that means the world to me.

Everything to me.

Yes. Yes.

So, no.


I’m not terminating you.

But, uh, today, we have a situation.

A fugitive Handmaid captured in Chicago.

[gasps] Ah!

[Lawrence] The trouble that she’s caused and the defiance.

It’s such a poor reflection on your training. On Gilead.

Yes. Ah…

Commander, I, I assure you, this girl was led astray.

This girl was your responsibility, am I right?

Yes. Yes, she is.


It’s, uh… fortuitous, I think, to have her in our custody right now.

I know you, you enjoy inflicting pain.

Why… that isn’t true.

I’m not judging.

Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.

Oh, [stuttering]

That’s not true. I, I object to this…

But it is counterproductive for you to inflict that pain on your students at the Red Center, let alone on your colleagues.

Do you understand?

I do, yes.

You need a better outlet.

So… do with her what you will.

[breathing heavily] Oh, God.

[breathes deeply]

[Moira] It’s just like Waterford… to try to spin Gilead.


Lipstick on a pig.

The Internet’s having a field day.

Such a loser.

[Vicky] Yeah.

Here she is. Woman of the hour.

[all applauding]



She was waiting for you outside.

Yeah, well, you had no business trying to bring her in here.

Why? Who is she?

This woman was an Aunt.

Aunt Irene.

[Vicky] Why is she here?

[Tyler] We should call the cops.

This is not the time or place, June.

[June] Why not?

Why? This is our group, isn’t it?

Who wants her to stay?

I’m trying to help you.

But it’s up to you.



You wanted to talk. Go ahead. It’s okay.

[clears throat]

I’ve done some terrible things.

Every Aunt has.

We were trained to deliver the corrections‐‐

[June] Corrections?

You mean the beatings.

The torture.

The physical punishment was meant to help keep all of you alive.


But what I did to you was worse.

And I never even touched you.

What did you do?

I learned she had a lover at her first posting, a Martha.

They continued the affair after Emily was reassigned to Commander Scott and became Ofglen.

So… I informed the Eyes.

So you’re the reason why they hung that poor woman.

And you are the reason why they mutilated Emily.

[Moira] June.

What do you want?

Since I found out you were here, I, I haven’t had a moment’s peace.

I want you to forgive me.


You crossed the border and pretended to just be any other refugee.

You lied.

You gave yourself a new life, a new name and you thought that you could just leave all of the shit you did behind.

Why the fuck do you think you deserve forgiveness?

We are all God’s children.


You people hide behind God every time it serves you.

Please. Please, please, please, Emily.

Tell me what I can do to make things better.

[chuckles softly]


There’s nothing you can do.

[breath trembling]


How was group?

It was fine.


This is really good.


Oh, thank you. Thanks.

Look, I’m, uh, I’m really sorry about today.

About coming to court and…

[breath trembling]

But at least now I know everything.

And maybe we can just move on.

I mean, if you want to talk to me about anything to do with Hannah or…

I don’t.

We’re good.

Okay. Okay.

All right. Well, I’m here.



I, I don’t know what to do.

[June] Hey, hey.

I’m trying.

Just tell me.

It’s okay.

No, no, June.

June, stop. Just stop it!

Talk to me! Talk to me!

Talk to me.

[breathing heavily]


[door beeps, unlocks]

[thunder rumbling]

[clears throat]

Goodness. You look like the wreck of the Hesperus.

It was Gilead that saved you, you know.

Our boys cleaning out Chicago.

They saved you from starvation.

And worse.

Where’s June?

Is she dead?

Your friend is in Canada.

She is?

That godforsaken place.


She made it.


I always knew she would make it.


I don’t know why you’re so happy.

June left you.

No, she didn’t.


Don’t tell me she couldn’t have taken you with her.

She’s done it before.

Maybe this time, you were just too much trouble.

It’s difficult to know with that one.

So unpredictable.


I know what happens here.

I know it will keep happening until I die.


Just don’t make me a Handmaid again, please.

Look what she’s done to you.

She corrupts.

She destroys.



You poor thing.

You’ve spent your entire life losing the people you love.


Aunt Lydia, please.

Just don’t send me back into service.

I’d rather die here.

[sighs] Okay.

Well, up you go.

Now… there is no use in being theatrical.




Whatever are we going to do with you?

[indistinct chatter]

I think it was shitty.

June ambushing you like that.

Oh. I, she… you know, she thought it would help.

Did it?

I don’t know.

It wasn’t enough.

You want to see that woman again?

[exhales] Uh…

I’ve said all I have to say.


All of us are just searching for ways to move forward.

Take all that shit from Gilead and just… turn it into something… useful.

I don’t know if that’s possible.

I mean, the Waterfords can’t be the only one the I. C. C.’s going after.

I mean, an Aunt in the Gilead power structure… she’d be one hell of a witness.

Maybe you can talk to her again, in private this time.

Get her to testify.

Yeah. Move forward.


[indistinct chatter]

[mystical music playing]

[indistinct chatter]


Sounds like more than usual.

I suppose that was inevitable.

Coming to court again today?

Did you believe what you said yesterday?

Of course I did.


Well, shall we?

[indistinct shouting]

[applauding, cheering]

[indistinct shouting]

They heard us, Mrs. Waterford.

[indistinct shouting continues]



[camera shutter clicking]

[woman] We love you, Serena! We love you!

I know we’re all pretty shocked about Irene.

Does anyone maybe wanna say anything?

It’s… so sad.

A trial would’ve been better.


Bitch took the coward’s way out.

What do you think?

Well, I think we’re all better than the worst thing we’ve done.

You shouldn’t feel guilty, Emily.

[Danielle] Yeah, what that woman did was her choice.

[Vicky] It must’ve been so traumatic.

Another hanging, like your Martha.

You know, you didn’t have anything to do with it.

Why don’t we let Emily tell us how she feels.

If she wants to.

[breath shuddering]

I feel… amazing.


I’m glad she’s dead.

And I hope I had something to do with it.

[Danielle] If my Aunt Lisa was here or my fucking Commander…

[Tyler] If my Commander were here, I’d cut his dick off… make him eat it.

There you go.

[Vicky] The wife… I’d use a broom handle‐‐

Okay, everyone.

Um… we’ve talked about this.

Anger is a valid emotion, it’s, uh, necessary, important even, to heal.

But we can’t live there.

Why not?


Why does healing have to be the only goal?

Why can’t we be as furious as we feel?

Don’t we have that right?

And I think that’s the hour, ladies.

Pick this back up next week.

Thank you.

I’ll stay longer if anyone else wants to.

I’ll stick around too.

[Vicky] Me too.

Thank you.

[Tyler] Yeah. Sure.

Luke, I need to tell you something.

I need to tell you about the last time I saw Hannah.


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