Review: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2 finale sets up a compelling new direction for the series

“The Word” is just as suspenseful, but it offers a possibility for Offred (a.k.a. June in her past life) beyond the expected outcomes of punishment and bondage. Offred escapes from Commander Fred Waterford’s (Joseph Fiennes) household again, this time with her baby daughter, Holly, whom she promised to protect from Gilead. She’s intercepted by a defeated, haggard Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), a.k.a. Mrs. Waterford, who’s also a victim of Gilead’s militarized patriarchy. Her own husband was part of a government ruling in favor of cutting off her pinky finger when she challenged Gilead law by suggesting women be allowed to read the Bible for themselves.

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