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The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2 Recap “Ballet”

Don’t miss Celebrity Myxer’s recap of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2 “Ballet.” June struggles to move on with her life in Toronto. Serena plans an elaborate memorial. Aunt Lydia and Janine prepare Esther for her first posting as a Handmaid. Here’s what you missed!

Air Date: September 14, 2022.

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Watch The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2 “Ballet”

Previously on The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 1 Premiere, June confronts the consequences of killing Fred. A scared Serena makes an unexpected decision.

Warning… Spoilers below!

On The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2, June tries to get used to normal life with her family, but the memories of the past continue to haunt her. Meanwhile, Serena comes up with a plan to broadcast Fred’s funeral to the world, giving other nations a glimpse into Gilead.

Moving On… Or Planning Ahead

June thinks of her history with Serena as she tries to sleep, and ends up going out to her car to grab the gun that Danielle gave her. She digs a hole in the snow and buries the gun.

The Return

Serena and Mark arrive in Gilead with Fred’s remains. Serena meets with Nick and Commander Lawrence, and they offer their condolences. Serena reminds Nick that Fred saw so much potential in him, and that he’s on a better path now. They take Serena to the church where they plan to hold Fred’s funeral, but it’s much smaller than she would’ve liked. Commander Lawrence says he thought it best that it was kept simple and quick, and that they figured Serena would want to get back to Canada as soon as possible to move on with her life. Serena confronts them, saying how brutal Fred’s death was, and that only one woman could hold that much rage, but that she knows June needed help. Serena threatens Commander Lawrence to give Fred a proper funeral, because she wonders what would happen if the fellow Commanders learned that Lawrence assisted in the plan to have Fred killed.

Aunt Lydia speaks to a group of Handmaids as Janine helps prepare them for the wake. Esther tells Janine that she wishes she was coming with them, but Janine assures her that she’ll be safe. The Handmaids leave, and Aunt Lydia praises Janine for her help with Esther. Janine has done such a good that Aunt Lydia allows her to accompany Esther to the wake. Aunt Lydia then tells Janine that the Putnams are interested in a new Handmaid, and that Esther is the perfect contender, she just needs to impress them. Janine asks if the Putnams choose Esther if Janine can visit her, but Aunt Lydia brushes her off.

Commanders and their Wives gather for Fred’s wake at the Putnam’s house. The Putnams greet Serena, and Naomi steals Serena away. Warren grabs Mark and leads him to a chair, saying Mark won’t go any further, and gives him food and tells him to sit back and relax. The Wives admire Serena’s baby belly, until Serena pulls Lawrence aside to ask about Fred’s funeral arrangements, but Lawrence says that Fred is seen by most as a traitor now, so he doesn’t think there’s anything they can do.

Trying to Move On

Rita, Moira, Luke, and June gather for a game night. June sees the Scrabble game, and is immediately reminded of her nights of playing Scrabble with Fred. June meets Rita in the kitchen to discuss Serena’s plan in going between Canada and Gilead. Moira walks in as June is contemplating Serena being on the Wall, or them taking away her baby and making her a Handmaid. June brings up when Serena slapped Rita when she was pregnant, but Rita and Moira try to get June to stop talking about it. Rita assures June that even though she wasn’t a Handmaid, she struggled, and still does.

June cares for her plants, and Luke comes in to check on her. June tells Luke that Serena knows what she did to Fred because she sent her his finger. June reveals that she wanted Serena to know that she did it, and Luke doesn’t understand, because she could come after their family now. Luke calls June out for obsessing over Serena and whatever plan she has for June. He tells her that obsession won’t help them get Hannah back. June is aware of that, and Luke tells her that him and Nichole need June there with them, not stuck in Gilead or the past. He warns June that if she isn’t, he doesn’t know what that will mean for them. Luke reminds June that Serena is gone, and terrified of June, and that June just needs to forget about her.

A New Posting

Aunt Lydia walks the Handmaids into Fred’s wake, and gives her condolences to Serena. Janine and Esther are off talking, and Esther says she wants to do something, but Janine tells her they can’t do anything or they’ll end up dead. Aunt Lydia brings Naomi to meet Esther, but Naomi notes that she’s young and used to be a Wife. Naomi agrees to let Esther be their new Handmaid, leaving Naomi and Janine alone. It’s awkward for a moment, until Angela runs into the room, and Janine gives her a hug and talks to her, but it’s not long before Angela has to go. Janine compliments Angela, and Naomi says she thanks God, and those that brought Angela to her, every day, making Janine smile.

Aunt Lydia leads Esther into a room full of Commanders, and Warren sends the others out so he’s alone with Esther. Esther begins to panic, especially when he sends out Aunt Lydia, too. Warren assures Esther she doesn’t need to be scared, and just wants to get to know Esther. Warren offers her some chocolate, and feeds it to her, all while tears glimmer in Esther’s eyes.

A Bold Proposition

Serena goes to see the Commanders, wanting to talk to them about Fred. She gives a speech about Fred’s dedication to Gilead, and wants her son to be able to be proud of Fred. She suggests that they broadcast Fred’s funeral internationally, showing Gilead to the the world. Warren condescends her, but Lawrence backs her up. Warren reminds Lawrence that he has nothing, so they don’t need to listen to him. Commander Calhoun lets Lawrence speak, and Nick chimes in, thinking that broadcasting the funeral will make Gilead look merciful. Lawrence thinks this could be the start of acceptance from other nations. The Commanders excuse Serena so they can discuss it.

Needing Support

On the ride back to the compound, Esther tells Janine that she doesn’t want to get posted. Janine advises her to be liked by her Commander, because then she can get pregnant faster, and therefore out of the house faster. Esther doesn’t think that pregnancy will protect her at all, but Janine says that’s the only protection that she can have. Esther isn’t happy with this response, pulling her hand from Janine’s.

One Plan, One Offer

Lawrence informs Serena that he convinced the Commanders to agree to the international broadcast of the funeral. Lawrence and Serena get to work on starting the guest list.

Later that night, Nick meets up with Mark in the woods, and Nick asks how June and Nichole are doing. Mark admires Nick’s ability to be at his rank and to fly under the radar. Mark asks Nick if he wants to see Nichole in person, and says that America can forgive Nick if he makes amends and continues to play his part in Gilead for a while. Mark wants to help them both, and Nick promises to consider it before leaving.

Esther Makes Her Decision

Esther brings Janine some snacks that she stole from the Putnam house. Janine opens up about how wonderful it was to have a baby, and how nice they treat the pregnant Handmaids. Esther brings up how she didn’t like Janine when they first met, and she was right in at assumption. Janine is shocked by her sudden change, but Esther says that Janine doesn’t care about her, she just wanted to see Angela. She accuses Janine of being no better than Aunt Lydia for using her to get what she wants. Esther calls Janine a disgrace and says that she hates her. Esther begins coughing on the chocolate that she was eating, and tells Janine they’ll make June proud as she continues to cough. Janine calls for help, but then she starts coughing up blood along with Esther. Aunt Lydia comes in, but just holds Janine and cries for help as they both continue coughing until they go unconscious.

The World Will Know

Serena cries over Fred’s coffin, and Lawrence comes to fetch Serena. Men come in to take Fred’s coffin, and Serena follows them.

June and Luke watch a ballet recital while simultaneously Serena follows the parade of Fred’s funeral down the streets of Gilead.

Serena pauses at the end of the parade to face the Commanders, then watches as some of the children come out. Among the children is Hannah.

June and Luke grab coffee after the recital, and they share a tender moment as they kiss in the middle of downtown. But the moment is quickly gone when June looks up and sees the broadcasts of Fred’s funeral all around her. Luke turns and sees the video of the children walking out, and they both watch helplessly as Hannah steps forward to deliver flowers to Serena. June turns around and Hannah’s face is on every screen around her as she stands next to Serena and holds her hand. Serena gives the camera a small smile as June watches her, her face full of hatred.

What did you think of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 2? Let’s talk about The Handmaid’s Tale in the comments below! Missed any of the episodes? Catch up with our recaps!

The Handmaid’s Tale Cast

  • Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne / Offred
  • Max Minghella as Nick Blaine
  • Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford
  • O-T Fagbenle as Luke Bankole
  • Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia
  • Alexis Bledel as Emily / Ofglen / Ofsteven
  • Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford
  • Samira Wiley as Moira
  • Madeline Brewer as Janine / Ofwarren / Ofdaniel

Catch a new episode each week on Hulu, check out listings dates below. Stay right here, stay mixed in because The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3, stay tuned! Drop your email to get insights into your inbox…

The Handmade's Tale Season 5 Episode Guide

Season Episode Title Air Date
5 10 “Safe” The Handmade's Tale Season 5 Finale November 9, 2022
5 9 “Allegiance” November 2, 2022
5 8 “Motherland” October 26, 2022
5 7 “No Man’s Land” October 19, 2022
5 6 “Together” October 12, 2022
5 5 “Fairytale” October 5, 2022
5 4 “Dear Offred” September 28, 2022
5 3 Maypole September 21, 2022
5 2 Ballet September 14, 2022
5 1 Morning” The Handmade's Tale Season 5 Premiere September 14, 2022

Photo credit: Hulu

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Jordan is a Content Writer at Celebrity Myxer! She's passionate about writing, movies, and TV, and loves combining them all in her work! Jordan is also an author and has both a novel and a poem published.
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