'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 Episode 2: Will Serena frame Fred as an abusive husband while she is pregnant?

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 Episode 2 sees Serena have only one chance at freedom and visitation rights with her daughter Nicole, but will she take it?


                            'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 Episode 2: Will Serena frame Fred as an abusive husband while she is pregnant?
Joseph Fiennes as Fred Waterford and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena in 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)

Spoilers for 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 Episode 2 'Nighshade'

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 Episode 2 sees Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) escape from being suspected of the crimes that Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) accused her of, but can she really stoop that low and let her husband take all the blame, ones that she believes he does not deserve too. In the first episode, when the two of them came face to face, Fred made it clear that he will not let her, by any means get the happiness that she has been hoping for so much.

Not when he had to pay the price for her to live her life. While all the charges that Serena levied against Fred are true, so are the ones that were levied by Fred against her. As a couple in Gilead, the two of them did commit most of the crimes holding hands and or in the case of June's rape, she held her handmaid down for her husband all because she wanted to satisfy a disturbing need to be the mother of a child. 

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Now, however, things have changed and Fred separated her from the very daughter that she had obsessed over. The reason why Serena was secure in her choice to become a witness against the crime that Fred had committed was that she had the help of one of the Canadian agents. However, even he is unable to stop her arrest. He does however help her get a lawyer, one who advises Serena to manipulate and frame Fred as an abusive husband. 

A still of Serena and Fred from 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3. (Hulu)

Of course, from the outside, the chopping of the finger, the slashes that she had received on her back is torture and abuse, but within Gilead, these are rules that people in Gilead live by. This is what Serena claims initially when the medical personnel investigating her digs in other characteristics of Fred that can be considered abusive. Serena still remembers that man that she had fallen in love with before Gilead and to him, she doesn't want to be unfair. 

In fact, it is just this that holds her back from giving the testimony as suggested by her lawyer. However, when she comes across Fred in a chapel again, he refuses to back down and let her live with Nicole. At this point, Serena is ready to do anything including appearing as a witness against him as initially planned, but there is just this one hitch in the plan. 

A still of Elizabeth Moss who plays June Osborne in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 4. (Hulu)

After having stayed in Canada for a period of time, Serena learns that she is pregnant. So everything changes now for Serena, who would only think of the child inside her and the chances of her backing out of the deal that she had agreed to with the Canadian government is not something that she might abide by. Instead, she might choose to return to Gilead where she is still the wife of a commander who holds considerable power. As this is something that will allow her time to spend with her own child in the luxury of home, we might very well see Serena and Fred Waterford, both walk free from all charges. 

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 will stream on Hulu on Wednesdays.

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