The authoritarian state of Gilead has existed for five years. And for just as long, there's been a resistance brewing.
The Marthas have one one way of resisting — slow and methodical. Then, there’s June’s (Elisabeth Moss) way.
In the span of an afternoon, June (Elisabeth Moss) comes up with an outrageous scheme to smuggle out 10 of Gilead's children. After finding overwhelming support from Marthas willing to transport kids, she ups the number to 52. Now, here’s the question: If Gilead’s border security is as intense as Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) says, how does June plan to smuggle those 52 kids out? In "Sacrifice," we get further clarity about the details of June's plan — but not much.
June finds an unlikely ally in Commander Lawrence, one of the main architects of Gilead. Lawrence's wife, Eleanor (Julie Dretzin), suffers from bipolar disorder and a lack of medication. While Eleanor would likely be welcomed in Canada, her husband would be treated as a war criminal. Unless, that is, he brought kids with him. According to June, that heroic action would cancel the others out.
In the plan's first iteration, Lawrence was to drive over the border with a van holding the kids. But when he and Eleanor are turned around at the border during a rogue escape attempt, Lawrence learns all his Commander clearances have been revoked. Driving won't do.
With that, June must revise her plan. According to "Liars," here's how it'll go down.
Step One: In a week, all of Cambridge's willing Marthas will bring a total of 52 kids to the Lawrence house in the middle of the night.
Step Two: The Lawrences will drive the kids to Billy's (Daniel Jun) plane. Billy is the Jezebels bartender who dabbles in black market dealings. He agrees to transport the kids in exchange for all the Picassos in the Lawrences' stash. Apparently, the world order hasn't collapsed enough for Picasso to lose their value.
Step Three: June will wave from the ground until she can get Hannah.
A week is short, but long enough for things to go wrong — and they do. An overeager Eleanor starts blabbering about the plan to other Wives, and attempts to rescue children herself. Eleanor is June's plan's biggest liability. So, when Eleanor overdoses, June lets her die. It's murder by inaction.
June's decision is shocking — but not surprising. Earlier this season, Lawrence forces June to learn the questionable ethical math of choosing one life over another. June can spare only five "misbehaving" women from the sure death of the Colonies; she chooses the women she considers most useful to the resistance. Here, June prioritizes the lives of 52 kids over Eleanor's. Will Lawrence make the same calculation?
The thing is, June's plan still completely hinges on Lawrence's involvement. He has to drive the kids to the takeoff location (no matter how many trips it takes). Originally, he agreed to work with June because he'd be getting Eleanor out. Now, there is no Eleanor.
So, Lawrence's next move depends on what he really thinks of his creation. If he agrees it was a mistake and is irreparably damaging children, he'll help June. If he doesn't, then those kids aren't going anywhere — and June's probably going to an even more hostile household.