I’m probably not the only one who has found it hard to watch the popular series, Hulu is restricted to mostly the US and although a distribution deal was agreed with Channel 4 in the UK to broadcast the show, I know many of us fans still find it quite difficult.
I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of places to watch handmaids online; the majority are free sources.
A group of men with guns chase a woman and capture her, separating her from her young daughter and seeming to kill her husband. The woman is introduced as Offred, Commander Fred Waterford’s handmaid. Offglen accompanies Offred grocery shopping and on their way back they pass a wall with men who have been hanged for committing crimes which include being gay, working in an abortion clinic and being Catholic. Flashbacks show groups of women being indoctrinated into their handmaid roles by Aunt Lydia, who tells them they are ‘Special’ and fulfilling their biblical purpose in light of the nations declining birth rates. Offred finds her college friend Moira amongst this group. Aunt Lydia uses a cattle prod to shock one of the women in the class called Janine, and we later discover her punishment was having her eye removed. Commander Waterford attempts to impregnate Offred in the present day, while she lays in the lap of Serena Joy, his wife. The next day, Aunt Lydia gathers the handmaids in a field around a man who has raped a pregnant handmaid. The handmaids are told to beat him to death as punishment for his crime which is seen as the most heinous in the current times. Janine tells Offred that Moira is dead. Ofglen tells Offred that she had a wife and a son whilst they make their way home; she warns her there is a spy (an Eye) in her house. Offred, June, reveals her true name through voice-over and that she intends to survive in order to find her daughter.
Offred and Ofglen reveal more personal information about themselves while shopping. They see St.Pauls’s Catholic church being destroyed by the new regime. Ofglen reveals she is part of a resistance against the government and asks Offred to join, but she declines. Nick tells Offred that the Commander wants to see her alone in the night which is forbidden; he also tells her not to trust Ofglen. Offred and the other Handmaids go to witness Ofwarren in labor. Offred remembers her own daughters birth. A woman tried to kidnap her daughter but was arrested. Offred goes to the Commander’s office that night, not knowing what will happen; the two end up playing Scrabble. She laughs in relief after. The next day, Offred prepares to tell Ofglen what happened the night before, but a different woman introduces herself as Ofglen.
The rise of Gilead is shown through flashbacks in which June and other women are fired because of a new law. June and Moira also discover all women’s bank accounts have been frozen by the government and they can no longer own property. Serena Joy takes Offred to see Ofwarren and her baby. Ofwarren tells Offred that her Commander loves her and that she has given the child the name “Charlotte”. Offred is scared Offwarren is delusional and tells Serena Joy so. When Nick drives Offred home there is a black van waiting on her arrival. She is interrogated by Aunt Lydia and an Eye about what she knows of Ofglen. Offred reveals she knew Ofglen was gay and quotes a beatitude from the Bible; this causes aunt Lydia to shock her with the cattle prod as punishment. Serena Joy intervenes once this escalates and yells at them to stop as she believes Offred is pregnant. After this, Nick goes to see Offred in her room to ensure she’s o.k and the two share an intimate moment. Later Offred reveals to Serena Joy that she’s not pregnant which leads to her being dragged roughly into her room and loudly ordered not to come out. June and Moira attend a protest against the new laws in a flashback but they are dispersed with gunfire and explosives. Ofglen and her partner are charged with ‘gender treachery’, Ofglen receiving the lesser sentence because she can still bear children. Ofglens partner is hung while she watches, horrified. Ofglen wakes up in a clinic having undergone FGM surgery.
Offred is still locked in her room, she goes into the closet where she finds a Latin phrase carved into the wall “Nolite Te Bastardes Caborundorum”. The Commander’s housekeeper, Rita, finds Offred lying in the closet. Offred claims she fainted and she is sent to the hospital for a check up by Serena Joy. The Doctor says the commander is sterile as most of the men are, he offers to impregnate her, but she declines. Aunt Lydia teaches handmaids about the ‘Ceremony’ after this June lures an Aunt into the bathrooms allowing Moira to threaten her with a shiv. June and Moira take her to the basement where Moira takes the Aunt’s outfit and they tie her up. The pair escapes, heading to the train to Boston which they believe has safe houses. Only Moira is able to catch the train, leaving June behind as the pair smile at each other to show it’s o.k. June is later punished by having her feet whipped. Commander Waterford has another unsuccessful Ceremony night with Offred, and later on the same, the Commander and Offred play another game of scrabble. She asks him about the Latin Phrase and he tells her it means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” She also asks what happened to the last Offred; he tells her that she committed suicide because life was unbearable and he tells her he doesn’t want that to happen against he releases her from her confinement in her room.
Serena Joy suggests that Offred and Nick should have sex in case the Commander is sterile. At the store, Offred talks to the original Ofglen who is now called Ofsteven, but she is quite. Offred and Nick have sex while Serena Joy stands by the door of the room. Another Ceremony night occurs in which the Commander touches Offred’s thigh which she tells him never to do again. Nick Admits he is an Eye. Offred interrogates Ofsteven more about “Mayday”. Ofsteven steals a guards car and drives away, deliberately running over a guard and killing him. She is caught and put into a van. Offred goes to see Nick later where they have sex and she flashes back to her and Lukes courtship.
Mexican delegates visit the Commanders home to create a trade agreement, they wish to see the state of Gilead first. The head of the delegation questions Offred about her experience in Gilead. Offred tells them she found happiness. After the meeting, Offred visits the Commander’s office for their usual discussions. He asks her to kiss him, which she does, and she leaves, brushing her teeth aggressively afterward. The handmaidens are taken to a party in honor of Gilead in which they present the children of Gilead. Offred’s friend says the delegates are interested in fertile women, and that is the only commodity Gilead has to trade. The delegates leave the next day, Offred tells the head delegate of her brutal reality, she pleads for help, but the ambassador claims she cannot help as her country is in a dire situation. When Offred is left alone with the head delegated assistant, he tells her he knows her husband and he’s alive, she sends a message to him. Flashbacks show Serena Joy and Fred before Gilead, at the start of the movement. Serena is shown to have been a social conservative activist in the past who wrote a book on her beliefs called “A Woman’s Place”, which contained the famous line “do not mistake a woman’s meekness for weakness”. After the takeover, she gets shut out of the new government planning. Ironically as she accepts her new limited role in the society she dreamed of, a copy of her old book is being thrown out.
In the past, Luke is shot by the guard who was chasing them in the opening scene of Episode 1. He’s taken to an ambulance which gets into an accident, allowing him to escape with some supplies. After passing out from his wounds, Luke is woken up by some survivors known as “undesirable” by Gilead. They’re traveling to Canada and though they are reluctant to help Luke, they do. As they board a boat, they are shot by Gileadan guards, killing some members of the group, however, Luke and one other member are able to escape. In the past Mr. Whitford, a man who knew June’s mother helps them, he drives them safely out of town and drops them off an isolated cabin in the woods while he leaves to get them documentation to escape to Canada. They are told by a hunter that Mr Whitford has been caught and hanged but he instead can help them get over the border. Three years later, Luke and his fellow escapee from the Undesirable’s are living safely in “Little America”, in Toronto. Missing people flyers are everywhere in the admin office in which Luke receives the letter from Offred that says simply “I love you so much. Save Hannah.”.
Commander Waterford provides Offred with some makeup and a dress as he wishes to take her out for the night. Nick drives them to Boston to an underground brothel where prostitutes work. Offred spots Moira working in the club and they briefly reunite. Nick trades drugs and pregnancy tests for alcohol with on of the Martha’s in the brothel. Offred goes to see Moira again where she explains that Quakers tried to help her escape but they were caught, she had the option of being sent to the colonies or the brothels. Moira tells Offred to forget about escaping. In the past, Nick became an eye after reporting a Commander for breaking protocol with his handmaids. In the present, Nick ends things with Offred which upsets her. Offred receives a gift from Sereba Joy, a music box.
Ofwarrens daughter, Charlotte is baptised and shegives the child to commander Putnam and his wife who name her “Angela”. Offred is worried about Ofwarren’s mental state. Ofwarren, now called Ofdaniel, is moved to a new home, during her first Ceremony with her Commander, Ofdaniel stops it and sobs. At the market, Alma pulls Offred aside and lets her know about the resistance and tells her to retrieve a package from the prostitutes. Offred convinces the Commander to take her to the brothel again the same night. After Offred and Waterford have sex in a room in the brothel, he presents Moira, believing she was the reason Offred wanted to come back. Serena Joy wakes up Offred and takes her to a bridge where Ofdaniel is standing on the edge with Charlotte, some guards, and the Putnam’s and Aunt Lydia. Offred is able to convince Ofdaniel to give her the child, but Ofdaniel ends up jumping into the water in order to commit suicide. She is immediately retrieved by the guards. Commander Putnam is later seen being led into a black van by guards when Mrs. Putnam reminds Serena Joy of the first Offred and says that “men don’t change”. Serena Joy barges into Fred’s empty office. At the market Offred receives a package from the butcher, it’s the one from the brothel and is sent by Moira. In the brothel, Moira kills one of her clients, takes his clothes and drives off in her car.
Serena Joy learns about the trips to the brothel and hits Offred in anger, then offers her a pregnancy test, which shows she is pregnant, most likely by Nick. Serena then shows her anger y telling the Commander about the pregnancy and telling him the child is not his. Nick shares a moment with Offred when he finds out before Serena Joy takes her to the house where her daughter now lives. Serena does not Offred to reunite with Hannah but tells her she’s doing fine, she threatens that nothing bad will happen to the child as long as nothing happens to hers. The Commander takes part in Putnam’s trial, where an example is made of him, his hands are amputated. In the evening the commander asks Offred about the paternity of her child. The package from the brothel is shown to contain letters from women who have lost family members in the Gilead take over. Aunt Lydia gathers the handmaids to stone Janine after she endangers a child, they refuse and apologise. Two men come to get Offred, and Nick tells her to trust him and go with them. Moira makes it to Canada and is reunited with Luke.
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