Every episode of The Handmaid’s Tale S2 ranked

22 November 2018

Every episode of The Handmaid’s Tale S2 ranked

Update: Stream The Handmaid’s Tale S1-4 first on Showmax
Warning: spoilers ahead! The latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most watched shows on Showmax and it will take you 12 hours and 47 minutes to binge the entire season. Not that we would recommend it. Here’s our ranking of every episode you can watch right now on Showmax.

13. Unwomen: episode 2

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 2 on Showmax

Image: MGM

Episode 2 is a respite from the horrors of a brutal season-opener, alternating between landscapes of dusty wastelands and the barren cubicles of June’s hidey hole at the Boston Globe.

12. Smart Power: episode 9

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 9 on Showmax

Image: MGM

Fred and Serena Joy travel to Canada on a diplomatic mission, accompanied by Nick. The Commander comes face to face with Luke, who is holding a picture of himself, Offred/June and their daughter Hannah. Gasp!

11. Baggage: episode 3

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 3 on Showmax

Image: MGM

This episode’s big interest point is that we get our first real introduction to the Econowives. June is taken in by her would-be rescuer Omar, who brings her home to his horrified wife and sweet young son. When the family don’t return to their Econo-house after church, June escapes in the drab beige and grey clothing of Omar’s wife, blending in with the other Econowives and taking a train to GTFO of Gilead. Which is foiled at the very last moment, of course.

10. Other Women: episode 4

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 4 on Showmax

Image: MGM

And, we’re back inside the safe confines of the Waterford brownstone, with the “kidnapped” June back in “Offred the human incubator” mode. Serena’s green-frocked gal pals throw the expectant Mrs Waterford a baby shower. The tension between Offred and Serena this entire episode could slice, well… an orange.

9. Seeds: episode 5

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 5 on Showmax

Image: MGM

You get a child bride! And YOU get a child bride! Commander Waterford arranges for Nick to be issued a wife as a reward for his work – and finally, something interesting is happening in episode 5 after a few sedate episodes. Meanwhile Offred is bleeding in the bathtub and, convinced she’s about to miscarry, leaps out of her window.

8. June: episode 1

Handmaids Tale S2 Episode 1 on Showmax

Image: MGM

The brutality of the season premiere left us wondering if we had the guts to stick out another 12 episodes in Gilead. When last we’d seen Offred, she’d been locked in a van and transported to certain doom. From the frightening scene in Fenway Park where the bound and muzzled Handmaids are made to believe they’ll be hanged en masse to the rain-soaked tableau in the courtyard (all those scarlet-dressed women in circle formation!), episode 1 was electrifying, all the way through.

7. First Blood: episode 6

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 6 on Showmax

Image: MGM

So much plot is packed into episode 6. Eden, Nick’s young bride, tells Offred she thinks Nick might be a “gender traitor” because he won’t have sex with her. We see Serena get shot by a protester in BG (Before Gilead) while promoting her book called A Women’s Place. And the new Rachel and Leah Center goes “boom” after Ofglen detonates a bomb.

6. After: episode 7

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 7 on Showmax

Image: MGM

Episode 7 is beautiful, terrible and defiant – we can’t help but admire the symmetry of the headstones and caskets, and the red dresses stark against the snow as Offred buries her fellow Handmaids killed in the bomb blast. Later the Handmaids whisper their real names to each other.

5. The Last Ceremony: episode 10

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 10 on Showmax

Image: MGM

June has contractions and endures a birthing ceremony, but it’s a false alarm. Later, Fred rapes June with Serena holding her down “to induce labour”. And just like that we’re knee-deep in horror again.

4. The Word: episode 13

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 13 on Showmax

Image: MGM

The finale is not quite the showstopper that episode 12 was before it (oh sweet, innocent Eden!) but when Fred orders that Serena’s finger be cut off for reading from the Bible, you’re left gasping for breath.

3. Women’s Work: episode 8

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 8 on Showmax

Image: MGM

Sure, episode 8 has its dark moments but it ends on such a high note – and boy, did we need some sunshine – as Janine is allowed to see her sick baby, and cradles her back to health, singing “I Only Want to Be with You” to her child.

2. Postpartum: episode 12

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 12 on Showmax

Image: MGM

Eden and her lover Isaac are brought to a diving board above a swimming pool with chains and weights attached. They are sentenced to death before the crowd, unless they ask forgiveness. It’s almost too much to bear when they refuse and in the most profoundly sweet and hopeful moment in a heavy season, they sink to the depths of the olympic swimming pool and drown.

1. Holly: episode 11

Handmaids Tale S2 episode 11 on Showmax

Image: MGM

The stage is yours, Elisabeth Moss. In what must be one of the most white-knuckled 46 minutes of streaming television this year, a defeated Offred gives birth to her baby all alone in an abandoned house in the snow. She can’t but help feel her loneliness as she has flashbacks to the birth of her first child with Luke by her side, and relief that she has a precious few moments alone with the baby.

Start watching now »

Original African stories by local talent

Original Sin: My Son The Killer on Showmax

Original Sin: My Son The Killer

Original Sin: My Son The Killer follows the murder of Andrea Venter by Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, who then went on the run from South Africa to Brazil.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Tracking Thabo Bester on Showmax

Tracking Thabo Bester

From the makers of Devilsdorp and the director of Convict Conman comes the true-crime documentary South Africa has been waiting for. Two episodes now streaming, and the remaining two episodes land on 22 March 2024 on Showmax.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
The Illuminated S1 on Showmax

The Illuminated

The Showmax Original docuseries The Illuminated explores different religious movements in South Africa. Stream now, with new episodes every Wednesday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Koek S1 on Showmax

Koek S1

The crime comedy Koek, starring Cindy Swanepoel, now streaming on Showmax, with new episodes every Thursday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Ekhaya Backpackers is on Showmax

Ekhaya Backpackers S1

Stream the Showmax Original comedy series Ekhaya Backpackers, with new episodes every Thursday.

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Cheta M on Showmax

Cheta M

Cheta M explores the love story between Adanna and Nnanna, young lovers who battle the spiritual and political forces in their way. Stream now, with new episodes Wednesday to Friday.

/images/ng.svgMade in Nigeria
Youngins on Showmax

Youngins S1

Stream Tshedza Pictures’s first teen drama, Showmax Original Youngins, with three new episodes every week. 

/images/za.svgMade in South Africa
Sadau Sisters is on Showmax

Sadau Sisters S1

Rahma, Zainab, Aisha, and Fatima Sadau pull back the curtain on their family, fame, and lifestyle. Stream now on Showmax.

/images/ng.svgMade in Nigeria
The Winning Ticket, a Showmax Original
Youngins S1 episodes 1-20 recap