'The Handmaid's Tale': What Happens During U.S. Raid on Gilead?

After nearly five complete seasons, June Osbourne was closer than ever to finally reuniting with her daughter Hannah. After last week's episode ended with the discovery of the exact location of Hannah's school and a promise from Mark Tuello that they were going to bring her to safety, Wednesday's newest episode of The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 saw what remains of the U.S. government carrying out their raid on Gilead. Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 5, Episode 9, "Allegiance."

Opening with June and Luke in the command center for the operation, it is revealed that the planned raid will not only rescue Hannah, but a total of 30 other children that were stolen from their parents by Gilead. Currently being housed at a wives' school in the US Air Force Academy building in Colorado Springs, the rescue of the children would prove a major shift in the ongoing rebellion against Gilead and the world's view of the totalitarian society. But as is typically the case in The Handmaid's Tale, happy endings are few and far between.

As June and Luke gather in the command center along with other government officials, including Mark Tuello, it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong. Watching the raid take place via a live feed of the wives' school, communications with the soldiers aboard the planes heading to the school are abruptly cut off, and Tuello orders, "orders "get them out. Get them out. Get them out of here right now." It is later revealed that while all of the children are safe, the rescue operation failed. According to Tuello, the intel they received was wrong, and Gilead anticipated the raid. The planes carrying U.S. forces were struck down as they crossed the border, and there were no survivors.

With Hannah still in Gilead, marking just the latest failed attempt to rescue her, June spirals, and Commander Lawrence calls to tell her that the offer for her to voluntarily return to Gilead to live in the newly-formed New Bethlehem, where she could reunite with Hannah, still stands. According to Lawrence, due to the failed raid, Hannah is now a symbol, just like June, and her returning to Gilead to be close to her daughter would be an even strong symbol. June, however, wants her daughter "here. I want my baby here. Safe and free." It turns out that seemingly the only chance June has of getting Hannah back is intel through Nick, who ultimately refuses to work with the U.S. government, fearing the repercussions it could have for his pregnant wife.


"Allegiance" ends with a devastating scene of refugees who fled from Gilead to Canada joining together for a vigil to honor the fallen soldiers who died in the attempted raid. As a little girl, the daughter of one of the late soldiers, begins to say The Pledge of Allegiance, shots are fired, but the end credits rolled before fans could find out if anyone was injured. The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 finale drops on Hulu on Friday, Nov. 9.