Is Nick An Eye In 'The Handmaid's Tale'? The Commander's Driver Is Suspicious
In the very first episode of Hulu's series The Handmaid's Tale, Ofglen warns Offred that there's an Eye in her house. The Eyes are the secret police of the Republic of Gilead, and considering the series has only highlighted a few characters who live in the Waterford house, it's fair to wonder if Nick is an eye on The Handmaid's Tale. Based on the first three episodes, the commander's driver is certainly suspicious. He told Offred she needed to be careful around Ofglen, who is part of a resistance network and definitely not working with the government. So will Nick end up being revealed to be an Eye?
SPOILERS For The Handmaid's Tale Book Below
The spies of the government being named "Eyes" is incredibly manipulative, since people in the Republic of Gilead use the phrase "Under his eye" as a farewell. This statement indicates that God is always watching them, so these Eyes are named to make it seem as if they are doing God's work — even if that is far from the case. Plus, it's kind of a pun on "private eye." (Hall & Oates would be proud.) Max Minghella's character being an Eye on The Handmaid's Tale would be very bad news for Offred, as he knows that she was friendly with Ofglen and has met in secret with Commander Waterford. But if the Hulu series follows the events of Margaret Atwood's book, then Nick is most likely going end up trying to help Offred, not hurt her.
The motives of this low-ranking man are just as mysterious in the novel as they are in the TV series so far. Offred and Nick have enjoyed a slight flirtation in the series, but in the book, it eventually leads to a full-blown affair. This is actually encouraged by the Commander's wife, Serena Joy, to help increase Offred's chances of becoming pregnant. Offred has feelings for Nick and reveals information about her past to him during their rendezvous, which means him being an Eye could be extremely dangerous for her.
At the end of the story, Offred is taken away in a van that belongs to the Eyes — an event that is orchestrated by Nick. He tells her it's actually the resistance group Mayday taking her to the Underground Femaleroad, which will attempt to safely remove her from Gilead. So is Nick a double agent, pretending to serve Gilead, but really resisting its tyranny? Offred doesn't know, but has no choice to be carted away, and readers only have the epilogue — titled "Historical Notes on The Handmaid's Tale" — to guess at what happened.
The implication in the epilogue, which takes place far in the future, after the downfall of Gilead, is that Nick was indeed probably a member of Mayday, since Offred's story was found recorded on tapes in a way station of the Underground Femaleroad in Bangor, Maine. If she had been taken away by the Eyes, then she would have been severely punished, like Ofglen is in Episode 3 of the show, with no way to document her time as a Handmaid. So although it's not 100 percent spelled out for readers, it's safe to assume that Nick really was an operative for the resistance network.
That means, if the series stays true to the book, his warnings to Offred about Ofglen may have been just for Offred's safety, since he knew exactly the type of risks Ofglen was making. Plus, as Commander Waterford is high-ranking in Gilead, Nick needs to be as covert as possible in his own actions at the home. While fans of the show won't know for sure if Nick is good or bad until more episodes are released on Hulu weekly, you may be able to take some slight comfort while watching this terrifying story knowing that you don't need to be too suspicious of Nick.