The Handmaid’s Tale is a show primarily about women. June is the star of the series, trapped in Gilead, attempting to escape with her baby and perhaps also with her older daughter as well. Her main foils are women, from the Wife of the household where she’s assigned, Serena Joy Waterford, to Aunt Lydia, the head of her order, whose job it is to keep June docile and breeding for the Commander she serves. But that doesn’t mean there are no men is June’s life, she has a lover, Nick. What happened to Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2? His life is just as screwed by Gilead as the women around him.
In Season 1 Nick is introduced as the Waterford’s body man. He’s referred to as "The Chauffeur," but his job is closer to a valet, doing whatever delivery jobs Commander Waterford needs, and also, perhaps acting as an Eye in the household to keep a lookout for rebellion.
That all changes when Serena Joy has June sleep with Nick in a desperate move to get the Handmaid pregnant. It works, but June and Nick bond as lovers, and by the end of Season 1, Nick is actively working on getting a now-pregnant June out of Gilead with their child.
1. Nick Almost Got June Out
In the first three episodes of Season 2, Nick does everything to smuggle June out of Gilead. In the end, June’s fight to Canada was violently canceled, but up until that final moment, his plan to get her and their baby out of the country almost worked.
2. Nick Committed Treason Against Gilead
After spending Season 1 never actually breaking laws that someone above him clearly wanted to be broken, Nick took the package of Handmaid letters from June and smuggled them across the border into Canada, passing them to Luke. The result was a complete breakdown of negotiations between Gilead and Canada, and the Waterfords forced to leave the country while protesters followed them.
3. Nick Is Now A Widower
Nick’s act of treason against his country wasn’t the only shocking development. To keep Nick and June apart, Serena arranged for Nick to marry Eden, a teenager. But Nick, horrified by being told to sleep with a child, refuses to touch her. Lonely and confused, Eden then falls for a young guard at the Waterford house and runs away with him, believing God will give her grace. She goes to her death as an adulterer, thinking that the whole way.
4. Nick Is Both A Guardian & Part Of The Resistance
The result of both these events is that Nick is now a walking contradiction. He’s a Guardian, a servant of the state, ready to be promoted to Commander level, an equal to those like Waterford, and to have a handmaid of his own. At the same time, Nick’s now part of the resistance, horrified by what the state does to women, both to June and to Eden. His last act in Season 2 is to help June escape with her baby to go to Canada, while he keeps Waterford trapped in the house.
What will happen when June returns in Season 3 with no baby? Will Nick’s treason finally outweigh his position in the state? Fans will find out when The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 premieres with the first three episodes on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.
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