The Handmaid’s Tale explained: Why did Lawrence approve Putnam’s death11/07/2022
This Morning: Janine Lindo discusses Handmaid's Tale future
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Hulu’s dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale saw Commander Warren Putnam (played by Stephen Kunken) meet his death as the result of apostasy. Although Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) was stuck in a conundrum following Aunt Lydia’s (Ann Dowd) request for punishment, Express.co.uk has all you need to know on why he approved Putnam’s death.
After waking up from poisoning herself, Esther Keyes (McKenna Grace) revealed she was sexually assaulted by Commander Putnam.
As this resulted in pregnancy, Aunt Lydia approached Commander Lawrence to demand justice for Esther.
Although he initially scoffed at the brutal disciplinarian, Lawrence later changed his mind and decided Putnam should be executed for his crime.
After confronting the Commander, Putnam brushed off Lawrence’s warning because Esther was due to be placed in his home as a handmaid.
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In fact, Putnam found delight in Esther’s pregnancy as it was her job to bear children for him and his wife Naomi Putnam (Ever Carradine), who was infertile.
It was clear Lawrence had changed his mind about the punishment after Putnam was arrested by the Eyes while he had breakfast with his wife.
Naomi watched in shock as Putnam was escorted out of the restaurant and forced to kneel in front of Lawrence and Commander Nick Blaine (Max Minghella).
Blaine revealed: “The High Criminal Court of Gilead, in a special overnight session, found you, Commander Putnam, guilty of apostasy — sins of the flesh, “ and shot him dead.
Although Lawrence had originally defended Putnam’s actions to Lydia, the real reason he changed his mind was for selfish reasons.
By punishing Putnam, Lawrence looked like a pious and honourable commander, which would serve him well in the long run.
Even though Gilead was a horrific society, Aunt Lydia was also delighted with Putnam’s death as she took the other handmaids to visit his corpse on the wall.
She said: “Take a long look girls, in Gilead there are consequences for disappointing God, no matter who you are.
“You are holy vessels and by his word, you will be protected, honour God and in return you shall be honoured.
“Commander Putnam was an evil man, he took advantage of his position, this was justice,” Lydia concluded.
Getting rid of the commander also helped to further Lawrence’s plans for Gilead’s recent expansion, New Bethlehem.
Throughout the season, Lawrence expressed regret and anguish about being the influential architect for Gilead, which he only did to save humanity from the falling birth rate.
His plans for New Bethlehem were to move away from Gilead’s religious extremism and create a new settlement free of hanging and handmaids.
Lawrence also wanted to make it a place where refugees and those who escaped Gilead could return.
However, as Putnam had laughed at this idea, Lawrence was able to go ahead with the plans, free of questioning, after his death.
Lawrence had also tried to persuade ex-handmaid June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) to return and said she would be able to visit her daughter Hannah Bankole (Jordana Blake) who was still captured in Gilead.
The Handmaid’s Tale continues Wednesdays on Hulu in the US and on All 4 in the UK on Sundays.
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