Spoilers ahead for Season 2, Episode 3 of The Handmaid's Tale. June's come close to escape before, but never closer than she was in the third episode of this season of The Handmaid's Tale. She was on an airplane as it zoomed down a runway, damn it, and it was still all foiled at the last second. Before the plane was able to take off, guardians swarmed the runway, killing the pilot and capturing June. So where is June being taken next on The Handmaid's Tale?
Viewers can't be sure until the next episode drops, but it seems like she'll definitely be taken back to the Waterfords in some capacity. There'll likely be punishments for her running away, but really, how badly can they punish a pregnant woman when all the leaders of Gilead want is healthy children? If anything, the bulk of the punishment will come after June gives birth, if she's still in Gilead when that happens.
Aunt Lydia will be wreaking some kind of havoc on her, as she tends to do. June is also still carrying what's considered to be Fred and Serena's child, so they're not going to do something too extreme like send her to the colonies or torture her in a way that'd hurt the baby. But something is coming — it's not as if they're going to let June get away with the entire thing and sweep it under the rug, especially when her pregnancy is over. The Handmaid's Tale has featured some pretty gruesome punishments in the past, so there's really no telling what could be coming June's way.
Her capture is especially heart-wrenching given her proximity to freedom, and perhaps even reuniting with Luke. She spends the episode hiding out and accepting help from mysterious strangers who apparently work to get handmaids out of Gilead, and for a little while, it really seems like it's going to work.
June boards a plane, along with another refugee hoping to escape, and the pilot says they're heading to Canada. Canada! That's where Luke is! That's where Moira is! That's where humanity hasn't completely turned over on itself — where June could theoretically raise this child in a semi-normal society all while working with Luke to extract Hannah from Gilead. So many thoughts run through your mind as you watch June sit anxiously in the cargo storage of the aircraft — most of them hopeful, but also, it's a pretty skeptical situation. It does seem too good to be true. It's only Episode 3, and June's just going to up and leave Gilead after an escape arc that lasts just over an hour?
Well, it does prove to be a pipe dream. Bullets pierce the metal siding of the plane, striking the other refugee June's sharing the space with and stopping the plane from leaving the ground at all. The pilot is shot, ruthlessly and immediately, and it's clear that June is the most important package the armed guards need to secure.
As the episode closes, perhaps the biggest question is whether or not this mysterious group of people is going to continue to try and save June, after they've just lost an aircraft and one of their pilots. It's surely not the first casualty they've suffered, but it's been apparent for a while now just how careful and secretive they are. If the risk starts to become too much to handle in June's current situation, they might not be in as close contact as they have been up until now. They're really her only feasible hope for getting back to her husband, and now June will just have to wait and see if they'll still be reaching out to help.