At the end of S02E10 (The last ceremony), Guardians arrive at the house. Nick tells Offred to hide. Then Nick goes outside and tries to tell some lies to the guardians to explain his presence. A shooting starts and some unidentified guardians forcefully take Nick into their car and leave.

I don't understand this scene, specifically for the following reason:

It seems that the house belongs to the new family of Hannah (because of the pictures in it that Offred is later looking at). It is my understanding that Fred planned the meeting with someone in charge in Hannah's new family (the father?).

My guess is also that the guardians that are arriving are working for the owner of the house, or for the security of the neighbourhood. In both cases the owner could have quickly confirmed that Nick was allowed in it.

So, why is it a problem for Nick and Offred to be in that house?

  • 1
    those are lots of questions, better to edit to make it a single question or to split them up in separate questions. Check How to Ask to understand how the site works.
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 14:48
  • 2
    @Luciano Normally I think you would be right, but I do think by answering the bigger Q about the nature of the scene, the smaller Q's will fall away with the answer. It's just the other Q's are there to establish what Legisey doesn't understand about the scene, as opposed to really being separate Qs. Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 15:11
  • @DarthLocke but then "what happens in this scene" - do we explain the whole scene bit by bit? Seems a bit broad like that. If it was "what happened to Nick" for example it gives some sort of focus on what to answer.
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 15:45
  • @Luciano that is probably true and you're right that what happened to Nick is a better formulated question. Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 17:15
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    @DarthLocke I also realised later that it can work as it is bu ti already got 5 close votes now, done with my reopen vote, let's see
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


So first off, we know for certain from the dialogue that the Guardians did NOT know about this arrangement...

1.10 The Last Ceremony Transcript:

GUARDIAN 1: What are you doing here?

NICK: I was just, uh Just checking the Commander's house. Making sure it's clear. Everything looks good. Just gonna lock up the house right now.

GUARDIAN 1: You're lying. No one's supposed to be here. Shit! Come on! Get him in the car! Get his keys!

GUARDIAN 2: You got him?

GUARDIAN !: Follow me.

It's true we know Fred somehow arranged for this meeting to take place, but in truth we do not know how he arranged it. If Hannah's adoptive father was directly involved or not?

But let's presume so. Just because these two men have an arrangement, doesn't mean that they don't have to be careful...

1.08 Jezebells Transcript:

JUNE: But just one thing. What is this all for? FRED WATERFORD: Tonight, I'm taking you out.- Shall we? - (FOOTSTEPS RECEDING) You have her pass, too? Yes, sir. Mrs.Waterford went to visit her mother. She won't be back until tomorrow.

JUNE: Where are we going?

FRED WATERFORD: You don't want me to spoil the surprise, do you? (DOOR SHUTS) All along there, you can see the improvements we've made. We took down the tenements, put up a park. The whole grid's solar now. It's amazing.

In previous episodes, Fred has used his power of Commander to sneak June out for a night on the town at private or secret gentlemens' club for Commanders. Even though some of their wives know, it still is a conceit to some of Gilead's lower classes, but more so to the rest of the world, as this practice goes strictly against their religious beliefs, which currently co-insides with Gilead's laws. These things can not become "public"! If they are, there will be consequences even towards Commanders and their families, as Fred's rank was contested in the episode he was in the hospital and June and Serena had to do Fred's work in his absence, which is also against Gilead's laws. We know that despite the white male patriarchy of the this authoritarian society, men still have to watch out for other men.

2.10 The Last Ceremony Transcript:

JUNE: I need you to go now, okay? I need you to be brave, okay, baby? So, what you're gonna do, is you're gonna take your Martha's hand. You're gonna get in the car. And you're gonna go home.

It's possible then that Hannah's mother did or did not know either, but she would be subject to consequence, should something go wrong. Neither one of them are with Hannah as she accompanied by their "Martha" and a driver. "Marthas" and drivers probably make for easy scapegoats, but again this shows a precaution towards public scrutiny. Of course it's also possible that neither one of Hanna's new parents knew either. Oddly the house is their house, but clearly not their only place of residence, as some furnishings are covered and June tells Hanna that she needs to go home, because time is of the essence, as the driver interrupted June earlier to tel them they need to leave...

We also know this is a really big risk on Fred's part, because June already tried to runaway once, which is exactly what his wife shouts at him about in the following episode, when June doesn't come home and they presume she ran away again. Serena & Fred argue about the dire need to find her, because of what could happen to them should someone find out!

2.11 Holly Transcript:

SERENA: I'm not leaving here without my baby.

FRED:We shouldn't be here. Someone might've seen our car. I'll make some calls.

(and a bit later...)

FRED: How could you be so stupid? They hate you! She's always hated you! She keeps running away from you!


FRED: If you'd shown that girl one ounce of kindness, she would never have left!

SERENA: Kindness? You raped her yesterday!

FRED: That was your idea! I did this to fix your mess!

SERENA: You sent her out here with the father of her baby to see her daughter? What did you think was going to happen? That she was going to go home and thank you? You are such a fucking idiot!

FRED: Fuck! When did you become such a bitch?

SERENA: What are we going to do? We can't explain this away. We can't even report it. To have a pregnant Handmaid run away once is bad enough! But twice! They'll say we're part of the Resistance! FRED: I'll handle it. SERENA: You'll handle it.Just like you handled this? They'll put us on the Wall! FRED: Yeah? Maybe they'll hang us side by side.

At the end of the day it becomes clear that both Fred and Serena, despite their position have to worry about following the rules too and only have so much power. As mentioned in 1.11 Holly, they could be seen as "resistance" simply because June kept running away and because Fred made some kind of arrangement that may have enabled her to do so.

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