The Handmaid’s Tale, season 3 episode 12, titled “Sacrifice,” will premiere early Wednesday morning, August 7, at 12 a.m. Eastern/Pacific on Hulu. The show will be available at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night (August 6) on the West Coast, and 11 p.m. Tuesday night Central/Standard time.
The official Hulu description for the episode reads: “Gilead leadership is rocked by losses of their own; Luke and Moira adjust to new arrivals in Canada; A tragedy strikes the Lawrence household.” Read on for a short recap of last week’s episode. (Beware! SPOILERS ahead, so turn back if you’re not caught up!)
Episode 11, titled “Liars,” finally saw season 3 pick up some steam after a pretty slow-moving season so far. The episode wasted no time jumping into the drama, as June walked in on Eleanor Lawrence holding a gun to her husband’s head. Eleanor had finally snapped after episode 10’s events, when Commander Winslow and the Waterfords forced the Lawrences to perform the ceremony with June while they waited downstairs.
Eleanor had a mental breakdown when she realized they couldn’t avoid raping June or risk being executed, leading her to last week’s incident when she pulled a gun on Joseph. As June was trying to calm her down, Eleanor screamed “you were brutalized all because of HIM!” and as she was about to pull the trigger, June convinced her that she needed Joseph to set things right in Gilead.
The entire scene with Eleanor and Lawrence happened in the first ten minutes of the episode, kicking off a pretty intense hour packed with a lot of action and some genuinely cringe-worthy scenes, which felt much more like the old Handmaid’s Tale that fans were used to in season 1. The episode followed June as she met with a group of Marthas and made plans to smuggle children out of Gilead, while Serena and Fred took their own little secret trip out of the city.
It first appeared that Serena and Fred had (kind of suddenly) decided to escape Gilead to be with Nicole. The Waterfords stopped at a sort of “safe house” in the middle of nowhere, and eventually met with Mark Tuello, Serena’s contact from Canada. Tuello met the couple at an abandoned gas station and led them further up north and out of town, and when Fred and Serena got out of the vehicle to speak with Tuello, they were swarmed by Canadian police, who arrested Fred for crimes against humanity, rape, kidnapping, and a slew of other serious charges.
On top of Serena’s betrayal and Fred’s arrest, June found herself back at Jezebels to meet with a potential mule who had access to an airplane. She met with a bartender named Billy who said he would consider her proposal to help smuggle children out of Gilead, but just as she was turning around to leave, she ran into Commander Winslow. Winslow brought June back to his hotel room where a violent struggle ensued.
As June fought bravely against Winslow’s attempted rape, she grabbed a pen from nearby and brutally stabbed Winslow about 40 times in the neck, back and chest. While he sat there bleeding out and gasping for air, she grabbed a statue from the shelf and crushed his skull in. It was one of the toughest, most cringe-worthy scenes of season 3, but it was also fairly liberating to watch June murder one of the highest ranking officials in the Gilead theocracy.
If you’re not caught up to episode 12 just yet, you still have plenty of time to binge the first 11 episodes of the season. You can also read a more detailed recap of episode 11, titled “Liars,” below, and don’t forget to click here for spoilers on episode 12, “Sacrifice,” which airs tonight/early tomorrow morning.
Tune in Wednesday at 12 a.m. ET (Tuesday at 11 p.m. CT, 9 p.m. PT) to catch the newest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.