The Handmaid’s Tale – S04E09 – Progress [Transcript]

June and Luke work together to save Hannah. Serena and Fred greet unexpected visitors from Gilead. Janine tries to assist Aunt Lydia when a Handmaid-in-training goes on hunger strike.
The Handmaid's Tale - S04E09 - Progress

Original release date: June 9, 2021

Luke convinces June to continue the search for Hannah, and convinces her to telephone Commander Lawrence for help but he refuses. In Gilead, Esther refuses to eat and Jeanine encourages her to have some food at Aunt Lydia’s prompting to avoid torture. Esther relents and begins to comply with Gileadan norms, for which Aunt Lydia praises the two young women. Under pressure from Luke, June agrees to a meeting with Nick to obtain information. Tuello arranges the meeting at a Roman Catholic school, in the neutral zone. June takes Nichole with her which pleases Nick who gives their daughter a doll. They emotionally embrace and Nick provides June with a file on Hannah, including some recent photographs and her current location in Colarado. Fred and Serena are visited by Commander Warren Putnam and his wife Naomi who offers to take care of the Waterford baby. Warren informs Fred that Gilead will not negotiate their release for political reasons. Fred then strikes a deal with Tuello to drop the ICC charges against him in return for information on Gilead’s inner workings. When June learns this, she angrily threatens to kill Tuello for what she sees as a betrayal of his principles.

* * *

[church bells ringing]

I’m sorry. Luke, I’m… I’m so sorry.

No. They put Hannah in that situation. Those fucking animals. Whatever happened there, that is on them, that is not on you.

She’s safe now. Nick told me she’s back home.

She’s home? Home is here. Home is here with us.

I know.

We have to find her and bring her to Canada.

How? How do we do that from here?

We can do it. We can do it together. Hey, June. June… I promise you. We can do it together. Let me show you what I’ve tried so far.

Yeah, I leaned on everyone in the Embassy. They run when they see me now. This is our lawsuits that went nowhere. This is info from activists in the underground. These are interviews with people who escaped.

You did all this?

There’s not a day that went by that I shouldn’t have done more.

[footsteps approaching]

[Moira] Hey.

[Luke] Oh, hey.

What’s goin’ on? Why’s all this out?

[June] I told Luke about the last time I saw her. He knows everything now. About Hannah.

[Luke] Yeah, I got a VIP on my side now.

[Moira] Well, you got 86 kids outta Gilead. You have power. Use it.


Okay, so we bang on every door again, and we call up anyone that could be of use in Toronto.

[June] Okay, who has the best resources?

[scoffs] I mean, nobody so far. Not in Canada.

What about someone new? In Gilead.

[line ringing]


[Lawrence over phone] Hello, June Osborn. And hello, Canada.

Thank you for taking the call. How are you?

Oh, I’m peachy. The weather’s fine, too. You must want something.

I need your help. It’s about getting Hannah.

[sighs] Again with this?

She’s my daughter.

Yeah, and you’re Mother of the Year. What a nightmare you’ve been for her. Just leave the poor kid alone.

She needs to be with me and her father.

Does she? Honestly. Does she, June? She has a lovely home‐‐

[June] That is not her home!

It’s all she knows. You wanna rip her out of there?

No one will love her like we do.

Your love fucks people up. You’re a fountain of heartache and trouble. But you’ll be happy to know that, uh, your friend is okay.

[June] What friend?

The one with the eye patch.


[Lawrence] She is safe and sound at The Red Center.

No, she’s… Fuck. No.

[Lawrence] Indeed she is. Um… She’s got a roof over her head, three meals a day, and Aunt Lydia to tuck her in at night.


Okay, look, the Americans will push to revise Section 22B in Canada’s Trade Agreement with Gilead if you help me.

[laughs] The Americans don’t have a pot to piss in. They still think they can boss around the Canadians. No, you have to do better. Tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll get you Hannah if you get me ten of the kids you flew out of here. I hear a lot of them are struggling. They miss their parents in Gilead.

You know we’re never giving those children back.

Come on. That’s how you negotiate? The June I know would bargain, at least, to save her daughter. Say, five of those kids for Hannah?

I can’t. No.

[Lawrence] Wow. You’ve gone soft in Toronto. Must be all that maple syrup.

We love her. We are her family. Joseph, I know you are a good man.

I’ve heard they’re hard to find. Now is not the time for me to stir up any trouble.

I promise you that we will do everything that we can to protect you…

June, you’re free. You’re free. Try to be grateful for that and move on. If you can.

[indistinct radio chatter]

[door opens]

[door closes]

[Aunt Lydia] Such childish nonsense. Wasting everyone’s time. You have been given a precious gift, dear. A second chance to serve God. To atone for all the trouble you’ve caused.


Now, be a good girl and eat. It is so hard to be good when you’ve had such a bad example. Esther, you must cleanse yourself of those corrupting influences. You must be strong.


[Aunt Lydia] Janine.

[door closes]

Esther has had a little accident. Clean it up?

[Janine] Yes, Aunt Lydia.

[Aunt Lydia] Thank you, dear. God loves us for our labors.

[rain pattering]

It’s another jersey.

The home team. See how the people embrace us now. [chuckles] Look at this. “For the future Commander.” [chuckles] His father’s son. Ah, isn’t that clever?

I’m sorry. It’s just not the baby shower that I had imagined.

I know, but take comfort in their support. These people understand our mission was pure. Our baby inspires them. Look.We’re “beacons of hope.” Read this.

Am I allowed now? Now that nobody’s watching?

I’ve made mistakes. If only we could start over.

Well, we can’t, Fred. Here we are.

Yeah. Well, God has a plan for us. You must carry on, raise our boy. Spread the Lord’s word. Yeah, they’re ready to listen. You know, the world should hear your voice again. Write a book. You’ve done it before.

We must be patient. We can’t let her starve herself. It could impact her ability to conceive.

That girl needs another correction to encourage her.

Perhaps you’re right. She’s been so defiant.

I say restraints and a feeding tube, so she gets the proper nutrition.

I don’t see why she needs her tongue. She won’t use it.


It’s all right, dear. Why don’t you go into the kitchen and see if they need your help.

Yes, Aunt Lydia. Sorry. Thank you.

[door opens]

She means well.

[door closes]

She’s trying.

She’s been very helpful.


Yes. Such a lovely, fruitful girl.

We can’t keep her here forever.

Yes, I agree.

We will find an appropriate posting for her. Soon.

Except, what Commander would want a girl with her history?

Any family would be blessed to have Janine! She has given two beautiful children to Gilead!

Exactly why she should be sent to the Breeding Colonies as was the original plan.

[Aunt Lydia scoffs]

We mustn’t forget how valuable she has been in this district. If it hadn’t been for Janine’s intervention, that poor Putnam child would never have survived.

Perhaps. But any special treatment, consider the precedent.

Thank you for your suggestions. I will give them careful consideration… then make my decision. This chicken is dry.



Ah! Thank you for the tea.


You’ll be all right, dear. I’ll take care of you.

Um, actually, I wanted to say something. About Mrs. Keyes. Esther. Sorry. She’s not as tough as you think. She’s just acting that way because she’s scared. She had a really hard life on the farm. She was abused, not just by her husband, but by a lot of men. I just think you should know that.

I see. Well, we have tried to be understanding with her. She is a difficult girl.

Maybe she needs to feel safe here. Like, if she’s refusing to eat, maybe if someone told her what would happen if you don’t obey? I just think she deserves a chance before you…

[clears throat]

I will put Esther’s correction on hold. For now.

Thank you, Aunt Lydia. Thank you so much.

Perhaps she would benefit from your unique perspective. Why don’t you bring her breakfast tomorrow? You two can have a little chat.


[footsteps receding]




Oh, hey.

[Luke] I was thinking about what happened with Lawrence.

Yeah, I’m sorry. I really tried‐‐

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I get it.

He’s a fuckin’ asshole.

Uh, but there’s, um…

There’s someone else who I think could help.


‘Cause he knew that Hannah had gone back to the Mackenzies, and, uh, so he might know where she lives, or he could find out.


Yeah. I mean, maybe. I… I don’t know.

He’s a Commander now, right? Big man. He’s got access.

So, we should probably ask him before that changes.

[inhales deeply] You know.


Okay, yeah.

Maybe Tuello could set up a call.

So you think Nick would help?

I think he would do anything for me and for Nichole.


I don’t think you should call, with people listening and stuff. You should…

It’d probably be better just to meet him in person.

You know, just make it safe. Someplace protected.


You want me to meet up with Nick?


No. No, I don’t want you to meet with Nick.

But you said he’d do anything for you.

So, this is our best chance to get Hannah. And so…

I think you should take Nichole with you.

How’s he gonna say no to you if you bring him his daughter?

So, what do you think?

I think we have to try everything.


For Hannah.

[softly] For Hannah.


Good. Good, good, good.

All right, then.

I’m gonna go wash up.

[knock on door]

[door beeps, unlocks]

[footsteps approaching]



Naomi. Oh. It’s wonderful to see you.

Oh, I pled my case for months, trying to visit.

But your due date approaching, they finally gave us permission.

‐[door locks, beeps]

Warren is here, too, to see Fred.

Oh, well, isn’t this our lucky day?

Such a miracle.

You look well. How are you feeling?

Fine. Very… Very good, considering.

Well, this is nicer than I expected. It’s…

It’s light and airy.

How are you? How’s Angela?

Sit, please. Oh, she’s my joy.

She’s running around. Learning so many words.

There’s a bit of an issue with biting, but maybe that’s genetic.


I’m afraid that they won’t give us much time.

Uh, the…

Security opened these when I arrived, but from Leah.

Oh, thank you. It’s beautiful.

And this is from Grace.

Thank you.

And then this is from Caroline. There’s something from everyone.

We’re so thrilled for you, Serena.

I wasn’t sure, after my actions concerning Fred.

Oh, no. You did what you had to do as a mother, to be with Nichole.

And if the good Lord has blessed you with this child, then who am I to judge?

Well, thank you, Naomi.

You’ve always been a great friend.

I want you to know that, if this ordeal isn’t over by the time the baby comes, it would be our honor to raise him in our home.

Oh. That’s, um…

That’s very kind of you.

I mean, you don’t want strangers in Canada to do it.

He would still be yours, of course, if you’re released.

Although Fred’s prospects are less optimistic, I expect to be free once proceedings are over with.

It will be a fresh start with our son.

Well, that’s wonderful. You can…

You can come home.

That baby belongs in Gilead. You both do.

I don’t think the Commanders feel the same way.

Oh, nonsense.

You’ll return with your own child.

Like a hero.

[Commander Fred] Oh!

You shouldn’t have.

[Warren] Feel it.

It’s firm, right?

Smooth draw.

Full body flavor.

How I’ve craved a good cigar.

Light it up.

I’ll save it for later.

Something to look forward to.

Many thanks to my brothers back home.

Well, we so respect and admire how you’ve weathered this crisis.

You stayed loyal to Gilead, true to God’s word.

From God, I draw strength. I feel Him with me every moment.

I hoped to say the same for my fellow Commanders.

My apologies.

We should have reached out to you sooner.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Not at all.

It pains me, Fred, knowing your situation.

But, priorities.

The damage done when all those children were stolen?

It’s been difficult for us to repair.

I can imagine.

Well, I pressed to retaliate, but old war horses like us, we’re being put out to pasture.

As you can see, my pasture’s rather small and fenced in.

Has there been any negotiation on my behalf?

Such as?


A prisoner exchange?

Perhaps a promise to advance more humanitarian efforts?

What if we negotiate?

Yes. What if?

We’d embolden more kidnappings.

More Commanders being held hostage.

Think of the precedent.

I’m thinking of my years of service to the Republic.

I’m thinking of my wife and my son!

We will continue to send you our thoughts and prayers.

[door creaks]

[electricity buzzing]

I knew you’d come!

How did you get past them?

You should eat before we catch up.

It sucks to be hungry.

I know, I almost starved in Chicago.



You made it all the way there?


How’d you even sneak this out of the kitchen?

What happened? Was June with you?

How did you all get there?

Oh, uh, we took a train and then, um, some people took us in.

Then we got bombed.

It’s really scary.

I was actually kind of relieved when they picked me up, even though they brought me back here.

Nothing is worse than here.



So, is June still in Chicago?

Forget June.

She’s not here.

We’re here.

And you have to take care of yourself now.

If you keep misbehaving, there will be consequences, okay?

So you’re gonna have to eat for them, too, not just for me.


You didn’t sneak in!

They sent you.

Go on and call your Aunt friends.

I don’t care what they do to me.

Yes, you do.

They’re not going to let you die.

They will keep hurting you, again and again, until you do what they say! That is their job!

It’s no big deal.

You just have to eat.

You need to stay alive so you can be here when things get better.

I’ll come back.

And I’ll keep coming back until you eat.

And when you do, I’ll tell Aunt Lydia, and then she’ll let you go outside.

It’s a really nice day.

[door opens]

[door closes]

Hi, boo‐boo. All buckled in.

I, uh… I got some extra diapers and I put some snacks in there as well.

I just… I sliced up some peaches and…

Oh, thank you.

Yeah, I…

Okay, the officers’ll follow you.

They’ll give you some privacy, but stay close by.

When you get there, keep it brief.

All right. Thanks.

Hey, I need you not to worry, okay?

[sputters] I’m not gonna be able to do that.

All right.

I’m gonna be here when you get home. Okay?


[Nichole babbles]

[wind howling]

[Nick] June.

Freedom agrees with you.


So, how… How’s it all going down there in Gilead?

Hanging in there.

Poor choice of words.

Thank you for meeting me.

[Nichole cooing]

Thanks for inviting me.

[chuckles softly]

She’s a little bigger, isn’t she?

Oh. She’s a whole different person.

Hi there, sweetheart.

Hi, Nichole. Hi.

Um, I have a Secret Service with me, so I can’t stay long.

Okay. Let’s go talk inside.

[June] Okay.

[Nichole gurgling]

[Nichole continues cooing]

Hi, sweetie.

I’m sure you’re curious what this is about.

I don’t wanna put you in any danger.

But if there’s anything you can find out about Hannah‐‐

When you made it to Canada, I knew you’d keep looking for her, so I started putting some stuff together.

Never thought I’d give it to you in person.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

She lives in the Westward Territory?

Colorado. Colorado Springs.

This is her home. Her… Is this her school?

Yeah. Domestic Arts. She’s a good student.



What are these? Are these… What are these names?

They’re friendlies who live in the area.

They took those pictures for me.

What pictures?


Getting her out’s impossible.

There’s Guardians everywhere.

At least you know where she is now.

And I’m here… to do what I can.

You did all this for me.

I should’ve run away with you when I had the chance.


We probably should’ve gone to that beach in Hawaii.

[Nichole fussing]

Oh, my God.


Here she is.

Hi. Hi. Hi.

Who’s that? Hi.

Wanna come say hi?

She’s stubborn.

I’m not surprised.


How dare you.

Oh, I got something. One sec.

Shopping options were limited in Gilead, but…

[June chuckles]

I thought maybe she could keep this with her.

[June] Look at that.

Look at that. Thank you.

My beautiful girl.

[June laughs]

[Nichole cooing]

Who’s this? Um…

What is that?

What is that? What is that?

[both laugh]

Mm. What is that?

Keep yourself safe.

Hey, June.

Try and be happy.



You, too.

‐[Nichole babbling]

You okay, sweetie?

[Commander Fred] The ingratitude and disrespect.

[Serena] It’s unconscionable.

[Commander Fred] It’s like they’ve erased me.

Left me here to rot.

[Serena] God knows what you’ve sacrificed.

May He show you His favor and grant you peace.

Our son’s freedom will be what sustains me.

They could take him away.

Gilead could come for our son.

A mother alone?

They think the baby belongs to the State.

Naomi said that?

Naomi said, “Come back to Gilead.”

As if I wouldn’t face retribution.


They’d send me to The Colonies.

They could make me a Handmaid.

That’s not gonna happen, I promise.

I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you and our son are protected.

What power?

What could you possibly do from in here?

Have faith.

Prepare the new girls for another inspection.

Their behavior last time was deplorable.


[door opens]

[door closes]

Blessed be the fruit.

May the Lord open.

I hope you enjoyed your meal?

Yes, I am grateful to the Lord for His bounty, Aunt Lydia.

Praise be.

And praise be to you, my dear, for your very valuable assistance.

Thank you, Aunt Lydia.

How lucky we are to have you with us.

Run along. Get some fresh air.


[door opens]

[door closes]

To dawdle is an affront to God.

Yes, Aunt Lydia.

Yes, Aunt Lydia.


[car engine stops]


[both chuckle]

[Luke] Oh, wow.

So, a success.

I’m happy for you.

Thank you for making it happen.

So… So, what happens next?

How do we get her back?

Yeah, you’ve got a good man in Gilead who can help you now.

That’s true.

Um, we have a new asset in Toronto now, too.

He knows how the system operates.

He could advise us.

Okay. Who is it?

Fred Waterford.


[Mark] He has agreed to, uh, share his wealth of knowledge.

Inside information about Gilead.

All its top players, future plans.

Why would he do that?

In exchange for his freedom.

The prosecution has dropped its charges.

[Luke] What?

[Moira] You made a deal with him?

That fucking piece of crap?

I understand why you’re upset.

Upset? This is fucking bullshit!

So, my testimony spooked him.

And you knew that.

And then you used that to flip him?

[Mark] You testified so the world could hear the truth.

[Moira] So, you get your asset, and he gets to walk.

What kind of fucked‐up justice is that?

Sometimes, you have to let one fish go to catch a lot of other bigger fish.

Why don’t you bring that intel by my office tomorrow, we’ll go through it together?

See you then.

You fucking believe that?

[door opens]

[door closes]




That man is a fucking rapist!

That man is a fucking rapist, and you know what he did to me!

You know what he did to me!

Hey, hey, get off of her!

You know!

You know he’s a fucking rapist!

You know what he did to those women!

I’m gonna fucking kill you!

You know what he did to all of us!

I will kill you!

I will kill you!


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