What is Nick Blaine (Max Minghella) really up to in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 is a mystery that episode 6 begins to uncover slowly. The man who used to be Commander Fred Waterford's (Joseph Fiennes) driver, June's (Elisabeth Moss) lover and is Nichole's father is meeting June of all places in Washington DC. This, in the presence of the Waterfords, other handmaids and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) while they shoot pictures to pressurize the Canadian government into handing Nichole over to Gilead.
What is interesting is the way Fred addresses his former driver in the episode. He calls him "Commander" and even asks him why he was not on his way to the Front as he was supposed to be.
Nick responds that he is awaiting orders which would arrive any day now. So what is Nick up to really in this episode? June is hoping to use his position as the Commander, the Eye, to secure Nichole's safety in Canada. After Switzerland comes onboard as the neutral party to keep peace and make an objective decision about where Nichole should be, June tries to broker a deal by trying to get Nick onboard and have him reveal his thoughts about Nichole's situation to the Swiss people.
According to June, this is Nick's one chance to be a father to their daughter. However, Nick is hesitant because he is wary of politicians and realizes that all of them have their own agenda. While June is confident that her plan will work as long as Nick stays on her side, he knows that dealing with a government is not as simple as she deems it to be. Despite Nick finally agreeing to June's plans, everything doesn't go accordingly, and the Swiss suggest that discussion between Gilead and Canada regarding Nichole's future continue. That's when June comes face to face with Nick's past. Lena, one of the moderators of the discussion, tells June that she doesn't know who "Mr Blaine is, or who he was" and adds that they cannot continue doing business with him.
She also says that their research indicates that he is not to be trusted and this becomes the seed of suspicion that has the potential to come between June and Nick. She then realizes that she doesn't really know what Nick did in the past for Gilead to become the Eye at the Waterfords' residence. She doesn't know what he is up to now either in DC. Above and beyond all this, she is not able to ask Nick about all of this directly because he leaves for Chicago. The only person June can think of to ask about Nick's past is Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), who tells June that Nick used to serve Gilead and that he was a soldier in the crusade.
While it is clear that Nick loves June deeply, what he has done in the past and how his service for Gilead is possibly one of the reasons why June lost everything dear to her comes to haunt her. How will she deal with Nick's past as she continues to fight for her daughters' future?
This development also proves how June has to depend on herself more than anyone else.