The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 5 Episode 8 “Motherland” Recap & Review


Episode 8 in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 begins with Luke’s cell phone rings. This is Serena who works at The Immigration Detention Center, and she needs June’s assistance. June mentions that she doesn’t want her son to die in the woods so she stepped in to help. But there are more issues in the works as protests start to take place over immigration.

In the story of Gilead, Lawrence goes ahead with his New Bethlehem plan. He would like to see the refugees returned and is planning to relocate them to the island. He compares it with Hong Kong, believing it will ward off the threat to democracy from the US in the same way that Lawrence claims that Gilead will eventually spread to the whole US.

In the detention center, Serena is visited by Noah’s foster mother, who takes the dairy Serena extracted and is planning to go home. Serena isn’t exactly thrilled because Serena took a shot of Ezra. This means that Serena isn’t able to be returned to her child and is able to see the terrible events of Gilead from a different perspective as Mrs. Wheeler is unable to bring their child to them and let her child cry.

Lawrence is in contact with June and suggests that she move to New Bethlehem and stay with Hannah. It’s the sole way for her to visit her and, with her planning to begin her own household, Lawrence suggests they live in New Bethlehem. Lawrence suggests she contemplate the idea, while Luke is completely against the idea. The two of them inevitably clash heads.

Mark arrives at June’s home and explains Lawrence’s aim is to eliminate America. If June is willing to move back to a Gilead settlement and then begins living there once more this sends a signal to the opposition that it’s secure and they’ll be following. Mark says that she’s compromising the resistance, however, June isn’t bothered she would like to see Hannah back.

Mark continues, saying that he has classified information that he cannot communicate with them. The only thing he’s able to declare is that they’re preparing for military action and that there’s a chance of a major attack. The girl isn’t able to wait and decides it’s worth taking to see Hannah once more.

Joseph Lawrence next heads off to visit Serena who allows her to return to stay at the Wheeler’s home. The sole reason is to feed the child and prevent his crying. As if that weren’t enough June appears and confesses she and Serena do not have a relationship.

June also insults her, saying that she’s a more devoted Christian than Serena ever was. June is also telling her to return to her home at the Wheeler residence and dress as a handmaid. All the time, she has to plot against them and get her revenge. This, naturally, is exactly the things that she has done all the years.

June comes back to visit Lawrence and frankly states that Gilead is decayed to its bottom. Since he is unable to stop Hannah from being forced into an unplanned wedding, the only option is to create New Bethlehem. Joseph is determined to make amends for the mistakes of Gilead and believes that reforms over the next 5-10 years would be spread across the remainder of Gilead to establish a “better” autocracy that will allow people to leave at any time they’d like. “Come help me fix it.” Joseph pleads.

June is contemplating her decision and heads home, where she is presented with a gift. Inside is an audio tape that shows video footage taken by Hannah. June decides to find Hannah back, but Luke is stunned and laughs in shock as Luke explains that what June does isn’t satisfactory enough. June is angry with herself for leaving Hannah at home having promised to rescue Hannah.

The duo gives the footage to Mark who begs them to wait a while so that they can determine exactly where the footage could be taken.

While waiting, Serena heads back to the Wheeler household to get an opportunity to taste her own medicine since she’s forbidden from visiting her son until she’s ready to nurse. When she is able to hear Noah cry, Serena rushes upstairs to hug her baby and then nurse him.

June receives a phone call from Mark who claims to have discovered Hannah and knows where she’s. They have a plan to locate her, but it appears that this doesn’t involve diving head-first into New Bethlehem. The weight seems to be lifted from June when she rushes out of the shop and sprints across the street. She makes her way home, telling Luke and Moira they’ve found Hannah and that they’ll be bringing Hannah back.

the Episode Review

This suggests that Hannah might be heading back to June. However, given that this show has been renewed for a second season and plans are in place to take this show towards The Testaments, it would seem that it’s not going to be an easy road.

June finally opens up in front of Serena and appears to be getting her revenge following the odd tonal shift in the last week, with June aiding Serena but not showing any kind of animosity towards her.

In any case, the show is set well for the remainder of the year and is expected to be quite an exciting experience.


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