The 5 biggest moments of The Handmaid’s Tale

We relive the scenes that shook us to our core.
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The stunning adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s all too prescient 1985 novel which shows a future society where the religious far right are in power in the former United States, now known as Gilead, has become a phenomenon.

From tragedy to heartbreak TV WEEK Close Up relives the biggest moments of The Handmaids Tale.

The Ceremony (S1, Episode 1)

Cold, brutal and harrowing, the inevitability of The Ceremony makes it no less palatable. Without consent, a handmaid is impregnated by her Commander while the Commander’s wife, the baby’s eventual mother, holds her down.

When June goes through this highly ritualised form of rape in the “hope” of falling pregnant, it is almost unwatchable, every gut-wrenching second of pain visible in her eyes.

The Birth (S1, Episode 2)

With a wife dressed in blue and going through the motions of a faux delivery, it’s the handmaid who actually gives birth.

When handmaid Janine (Madeline Brewer) delivers, she’s elated to see her child, but the joy is shockingly cut short when her baby is snatched from her.

A Woman’s Place (S1, Episode 6)

June is forced to describe Gilead in a positive light. Breaking from script, she tells a Mexican official about the brutality of her existence as a sex slave and the rapes and beatings.

She empties her soul for all to hear while the very people who are doing her wrong look on in shock. The female official’s response? She turns a blind eye.

This Woman’s Work (S2, Episode 1)

Lined up in the opening scene of season two, June and several other handmaids realise they are about to be executed.

As the camera focuses on their terrified faces, the sound of Kate Bush’s delicate voice breaks the deafening silence, her song “This Woman’s Work” filling the air with defiant hope. Breathtaking.

June Sees Her Child (S2, Episode 10)

Separated when the new regime took control, Hannah was sent to live with another family while June was groomed to be a handmaid. The daughter-mother reunion is short-lived, and their separation heartbreaking.

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