June on The Handmaid's Tale has found a sort of uncomfortable solace from the horrors of Gilead in her fling with Nick, Commander Waterford's driver. This has, of course, all gone on while her husband, Luke, waits as a refugee in Canada, unable to do much more than wonder what happened to his wife and their daughter. To make matters even more awkward, in Wednesday's new episode, Luke and Nick met on The Handmaid's Tale, throwing yet another bizarre wrench into this dystopian love triangle.
While Nick accompanies the Waterfords to Canada for a series of meetings, Luke approaches them during a protest, holding a photo of June with him and Hannah. Luke knows that they're responsible for holding June, thanks to a tip from Moira, and he's outraged as he yells that the Commander raped his wife. Later, Nick bumps into Luke at a bar, and their interaction seems to prove that Nick is ready to be a real ally to June even outside of their home.
Nick lets Luke know that June is still alive, but he also has to deliver the devastating news that June's pregnant. One thing Nick does fail to note, though, is that he's likely the father of June's child — instead, he lets Luke believe the baby is Waterford's. It's a choice that could be deciphered a few ways — Nick could be avoiding admitting to Luke that he slept with June to keep himself from looking like a villain, but he could also simply be covering for June so he doesn't stir up any conflict between her and Luke. By helping Luke and notifying him of June's status, Nick appears to acknowledge that he and June don't have a realistic future together. He may just not want to add the issue of the baby's paternity to the conversation in an already stressful moment, though there's no guarantee the question won't come up again.
The meeting is significant for another reason. Nick came armed with the stash of letters that were smuggled to June by the Mayday movement, and he gives them to Luke. The letters contain the gruesome firsthand accounts of what is actually happening to the Handmaids, Marthas, and other oppressed women in Gilead — they're held against their will, they're raped, and, contrary to the narrative the Commander is trying to sell the Canadian government, they don't actually want to be "serving their country" in this way. Essentially, the letters have the power to help the rest of the world's governments understand what viewers have seen from the beginning — and they could spell serious trouble for Waterford and the rest of Gilead's higher-ups.
And, praise be, that's exactly what happens when Luke makes the letters public. Waterford's meetings are cut short, and he's told that representatives of Gilead are no longer welcome in Canada. This has the potential to be a win for Handmaids in the long run. Now, another country's government has proof that the women in Gilead are not being treated like Gilead says they are. And because of that, Gilead's standing with the rest of the world has plummeted.
But with all the good that this bundle of letters might bring, the development also has the potential to make things worse for June — and others in her position — in the immediate future. If Gilead's government is able to learn the names of the women who wrote those letters, it's a safe bet that there will be punishment. And now there's no denying that at least some of the Handmaids are actively working in secret to let the rest of the world know what's really happening in their society. The scrutiny already placed upon them is likely to intensify.
The shock waves of Nick's meeting with Luke will be felt throughout their governments, even if no one finds out that they're the ones responsible for the leak. June will have to deal with those ripple effects too, and not just as they relate to Gilead's wrath. Nick returns home after the trip and tells her that he met Luke, assuring June that Luke said he'd never stop loving her. Talk about worlds colliding for June — though she has found comfort in her relationship with Nick, it's obvious she still loves Luke and wants to piece together the family she once shared with him.
Luke hopefully wouldn't condemn June for the affair, were he ever to find out — the circumstances are certainly extreme. June is being held hostage under unimaginable stress, and she needs a reprieve from the horrors of her daily life wherever she can find one. Finding out that June found comfort with someone else would be heartbreaking for Luke, but being a Handmaid is not a situation anyone should be expected to handle a certain way.
For now, the biggest takeaway from Nick and Luke's encounter is that Nick seems like he won't let his feelings for June get in the way of helping her return to her family. He appeared resigned to (if disappointed about) the fact that he and June probably won't ever be able to be together, and he didn't try to keep any information from either her or Luke. Nick has always been a part of the flawed fabric of Gilead, but now, he may be taking steps to make amends.