The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 episode 11, titled “Liars,” airs tonight at 12:00 a.m. ET, 11:00 p.m. CT. The official Hulu description for the episode reads: “A return to Jezebels puts everything in jeopardy. Serena Joy and Commander Waterford take a clandestine trip.” Read on for a live recap of the newest episode of the show. (WARNING! Spoilers ahead, so turn back now if you’re not caught up!)
Tonight’s episode will see the aftermath of Fred Waterford, Commander Winslow, Serena and Aunt Lydia forcing the Lawrences to perform the Ceremony with June during last week’s episode. Eleanor Lawrence had a mental breakdown after realizing they had no choice but to perform the Ceremony or they would all be executed, and Joseph and June couldn’t do anything to console her. Episode 11 will see Eleanor finally snap and hold a gun to her husband’s head after he “brutalized” June, while Serena and Fred work on a way of getting Nicole back. Check out the promo below:
This article will explore tonight’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale in detail as we do a live recap while it airs. If you aren’t completely caught up and don’t want anything spoiled for you, this is your OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING! Turn back now or proceed at your own risk. Otherwise continue reading for details regarding tonight’s episode with LIVE UPDATES throughout the episode’s premiere. Don’t forget to refresh the page every few minutes to keep up with the live spoilers.
We will update this story as soon as the episode airs, so stayed tuned and thanks for reading! The episode airs at 12 p.m. ET on Hulu. In the meantime, catch up on spoilers for tonight’s episode here, and check back soon for live updates on “Liars.” Keep in mind that this article will be written in real time, so please excuse the casual tone and any minor mistakes that might be made initially. I will go back through and update as soon as the episode ends. Enjoy the episode and thanks for reading!
The episode kicks off with June walking in on Eleanor holding a gun to Joseph’s head, so there’s no time wasted and viewers are able to jump right into the action. She tells June that she was raped and “brutalized” because of Joseph, and that everything that’s happened is his fault. June calmly tells her that it is Joseph’s fault, but it’s also Eleanor’s fault, and that she could have done something to help stop Gilead from rising to power. June admits that there were things that she could have done to stop Gilead as well, but the only way they’ll be able to make things right is through Joseph. She tells Eleanor that she needs him alive to help put her plan into action and asks her to put the gun down. Eleanor obliges and breaks down crying, and June holds her she weeps.
After June gets Eleanor settled down and into bed, she sits down with Joseph, who offers her a drink. He thanks her for convincing his wife not to kill him, and she tells him that, to make it up to her, he is going to help save “52 children from this shitty place.” He tells her that he needs to get his wife out, and June assures him that she will help, but that he gave her his word that he would assist her with the children. She then asks him if it would be funny if he actually “turned out to be a hero” after he tells her he can try to get more trucks.
The scene cuts over to a nervous Serena, who is waiting for Fred to pull up with the car. She says a tearful goodbye Rita before getting in the car with Fred, who asks the Lord to “bless their endeavor.” The episode seems to be moving pretty fast, and suddenly cuts back to June who is being confronted by a group of angry Marthas who tell June that she can’t put her plan into motion without their permission. There is a bit of a back-and-forth between June and the ladies; June tries to assure them that Joseph can help provide the trucks, and that the children deserve to be spared from growing up in Gilead. After Beth jumps in to vouch for June, the Marthas give in and promise that they will not interfere with her plans or stand in her way.
The cameras cut back to Fred and Serena, who are taking a mysterious trip out of town. Remembering last week’s episode, it’s likely that they are on their way to meet with Mark Tuello, the man who offered to help Serena both times she visited Canada. It’s a bit shocking that Fred just up and decided he would turn his back on Gilead after he was just offered a position in D.C. and he’s been cheating on his wife for years, but either way, it looks like they are desperate to get Nicole back and are willing to do anything to do so.
Fred offers to let Serena take a turn at driving since there is nobody out on the road, and Serena happily takes the wheel. They look genuinely happy to be together as they fly down the empty road with the top down. The Waterfords wind up at a large white house in the middle of nowhere, where they sit and chat with a group of people who don’t appear to be part of Gilead. A safe house maybe?
Next we see June questioning why Eleanor isn’t eating, asks the Marthas if they’d seen Joseph, and makes a painful realization. She runs back to check on the Lawrences and finds the sitting room filled with shredded paper and torn books. June finds a note that with the word “sorry” written on it in black, bold lettering. It appears Joseph took Eleanor and left town, without holding up his end of the bargain to June. She and the Marthas start to panic when they realize Joseph and Eleanor are gone, and both ponder what will happen to the shipment of children, the Marthas involved in Mayday, and themselves, once the Gilead officials realize they are gone.
The scene flash back over to Fred and Serena, who are still at the strange farmhouse filled with polite, anonymous people. Fred asks Serena if she is worried about Nicole, and Serena reminisces about writing her first book when she and Fred were living in a small apartment above a bakery. He apologizes and says he didn’t realize how much Gilead would “cost” Serena. The two talk about what life might be like if Gilead hadn’t risen to power. The conversation quickly turns to children, and how they believe the other would have left because neither of them could give the other a baby.
Fred and Serena also discuss how willing they both suddenly are to leave D.C. behind so that they can reunite with Nicole and watch “their” daughter grow up. The cameras cut over to them holding hands in separate beds, before Fred crawls into bed with his wife for the first time in years. The two share an intimate moment together, with Fred kissing her neck and Serena looking blissfully up at the ceiling.
Back at the Lawrence household, June is sitting in the pile of shredded books when she hears Joseph and Eleanor pull back up to the house. She asks him why he came back, and he says that his wife is more important to him than his promises to June, but that he couldn’t get her out of Gilead. Joseph explains that he tried to get Eleanor out but couldn’t get through the checkpoints, and that it’s just a “matter of time” before they [Gilead] come for him. He tells her he will try to find her a “kind Commander” when he is arrested, somebody who will go easy on her. June scoffs at the idea and demands Joseph take her to Jezebel, where she plans to confront a man named Billy who has access to transportation.
June dresses up in a beautiful black dress, slaps on some makeup and a pair of heels, and has Joseph drop her off at Jezebels. He waits outside while she sneaks in to seek out Billy. When she finds him at the bar, she asks if he can find her transport for the Lawrences, their Marthas (including Beth) and 52 children. She offers to exchange artwork if he considers keeping the plane on the ground long enough to get them all out. He tells her “maybe” and walks away.
And just when June is thinking that she’s made a deal with Billy and all is well, she runs into Commander Winslow, who recognizes her immediately and pulls her away to talk. He asks her if Joseph brought her to Jezebels and why he isn’t with her. She lies and says that Joseph likes to “know what she’s doing” with other men, but doesn’t take part. Winslow doesn’t look like he believes her, and tells June to follow him to the bed.
Winslow orders her to take off her panties, and June tries to tell herself that she’s done this before, and that she needs to treat it like a job and “pretend not to be present.” She continues telling herself to detach from the situation, thinking to herself “not me, not my flesh.” [This scene was really hard to write about without wanting to put a fist through the computer screen]. Winslow forces her to lay on her stomach, face down, before June turns around and kicks him in the chest with her heel. He yanks her down the bed and the two start fighting, before she kicks him hard in the face. Winslow grabs her and slams her head in the floor, and just as it looks like he’s about to knock June out, she grabs a pen and begins to stab him repeatedly, over and over and over again, until he gets off her and is struggling to breathe. [Another rough but satisfying scene to watch].
She stands over Winslow with a statue in her hand and looks down at him. He tries to plead with her desperately while clutching the 37 pen holes she stabbed into him and whispers “my children,” before she cracks him over the head. He definitely looks dead.
A Martha comes in the room and helps June escape through a service elevator. She leaves Jezebels and finds Joseph, who is waiting nearby in a car.
Cutting back over to the Waterfords, it’s still unclear just what Serena and Fred are doing, but they are still out in the middle of nowhere and appear to be waiting for a car that just pulled up. It’s Tuello! He tells them to follow him to a safe place where they can talk, and Fred begins driving after asking Serena if she trusts him.
Tuello leads them far, far away from the little gas station that they met. Both cars drive for miles before Tuello finally pulls into a vacant, forested area. When they get out of the car, Fred confronts Tuello about the long drive, and Tuello mentions that they just entered into Canada before a dozen officers swarm them and arrest both the Waterfords. Tuello reads the charges while they are being arrested, which includes war crimes, rape, kidnapping, and a slew of other charges. Serena is arrested too.
The scene cuts back to the Martha at Jezebels, who continues to clean up June’s mess after she attacked Winslow. June wakes up back at home and dons her red handmaids dress once again and the scene flashes back and forth between the two – June dressing for the day back at the Lawrences’ and a group Marthas putting the hotel room back in order at Jezebels and covering up the murder. It appears the Marthas have done this before as they clean the room, move the body and dispose of the evidence with a swift, disturbing ease.
The final scene of the episode shows June sitting in a windowsill, apparently lost in thought, when Joseph walks in, hands her a gun and tells her that “they’ll be coming for us,” just as the episode ends.