The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 delivered some of the most memorable episodes of the series — The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale, in particular. The second half of the season has been given a lot of attention since the finale, “The Wilderness,” aired. But the early episodes of season 4 are also captivating. Let’s dive back in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 2, “Nightshade,” and the shocking death fans are still talking about.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4.]
What happens in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 Episode 2?
June, Janine, and their fellow runaway Handmaids are hiding as Marthas at Mrs. Esther Keyes’ farm in episode 2, “Nightshade.” It’s the aftermath of the season premiere, which revealed Esther’s horrifying circumstances. Mckenna Grace’s character is only 14 years old, yet she’s married to an elderly man, Commander Keyes. Her husband allows Gilead Guardians and Eyes to sexually assault Esther. One of her abusers shows up at the farm at the end of episode 1, and June tells Esther to “make her proud” by killing him.
June and Esther get to know each other better in “Nightshade.” Esther tells June of her habit of serving Commander Keyes micro-doses of poisonous nightshade in his drinks. It’s not enough to kill him, but enough to frequently incapacitate him so he can’t touch her. June hatches a plan to use this nightshade to kill a group of military Commanders at a nearby Jezebels mansion. She was aided in this plot by a Jezebel named Daisy and David, a guardian working for the Keyes.
After the Jezebels attack, David and June return to the Keyes’ farm to find it suspiciously empty. David is then killed by a shot to the head, and June is captured by the Eyes, who were under none other than Nick’s orders.
Who is David in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?
David’s role was small and short-lived, but fans of The Handmaid’s Tale enjoyed his presence. A brighter moment in the season showed everyone taking refuge at the Keyes’ farm having fun in the barn. A clip from that scene showed David slow dancing with a man, revealing a small, happy glimpse of queerness we don’t frequently see among men in the show. It seems he was forced to become a Guardian and kept his sexuality secret to protect himself.
When June and David suspected trouble was waiting at the farm, June told him to leave and save himself.
“I’m not leaving you,” he responded. They approached the danger together, and it proved fatal for David. His death was shocking and gory. And made only more terrifying by June’s immediate arrest. Fans took to Reddit to discuss how kind and good David seemed in season 4 episode 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale.
“Bro rip to the hot guy who was protecting June and drove that weird Amazon truck,” one wrote. “He had basically no dialogue but I could tell he was down af.”
“He was gay, good looking and helped the women,” another said. “So by the show rules he must die.”
Another user said, “Noooooo!!! What a good man. He didn’t even get to fight before he died!”
Clearly, David’s small moments made a big impact on viewers.
Why did Nick arrest June?
Unfortunately, it meant another innocent person died because of June’s plans. Although she was successful in killing a substantial group of Commanders, David became collateral damage. Janine, Esther, and the other people in hiding were all apprehended as well. June experienced serious consequences herself (she was brought to Aunt Lydia at a Gilead high-security prison to be tortured), but the guilt of causing harm to these peoples’ lives weighed on her conscience more than anything. This guilt was intensified when June escaped Gilead and made it to Canada.
But why did Nick arrest June in the first place? Him being the one to bring her in from the Keyes’ farm shocked fans. But Max Minghella’s character explained his motivations right after he asked June where the other Handmaids were hiding (the women got away before finally being arrested) in episode 3, “The Crossing.”
“I’m trying to keep you alive,” he whispered.
This scene made fans fearful Nick was now more loyal to Gilead, but the rest of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 proved that wasn’t true. He moved up in the ranks of Commanders and was fighting from the inside. Although, he definitely could be doing more to help take down the regime. Let’s hope for more rebel Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5.
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