Handmaid’s Tale – Season 3
After the snooze fest that was episodes 2-4, episode 5 came through. It was the first episode since episode 1 where it had my full attention.
I saw someone say this on reddit– “Imagine not seeing your husband for about 5 years due to sexual servitude & then being asked to make a phone call to benefit your slavers. This scene is wild.”
-ThatChelseaGirl (stellar handle, btw)
Seriously. So effed up.
Ugh. That call was gut wrenching. I cried. Luke telling June how much he loved her over and over again because he’s, rightfully so, overcome with emotion while June fights to remain stoic.
Holy roller coaster of emotions.
My favorite part of the convo:
“God bless you.” -Serena
“F you.” -Luke
I may or may not have laughed and let out a “Daaaamn!”
I appreciated how Luke put Serena in her place and said all the things June wishes she could/could’ve said to Serena. He was ruthless, and I loved it.
But then I also felt bad for Serena because so far this season, she’s been helping June. When Serena was melting down, I started crying and feeling bad for her. And I even thought, “OMG you’ve come so far.”
I appreciated Serena getting the package (cassette tape) to Luke. And I love how Tuello slipped a satellite phone into Serena’s bag.
Commander Lawrence appears to be a conflicted man. I don’t think he thought his book would lead to the creation of Gilead. So I don’t think he’s necessarily thrilled about Gilead, but I think he likes the power he holds.
I think Commander Lawrence’s wife, Eleanor, a former art professor, is completely against Gilead. I believe it was in episode 2 when Aunt Lydia is at the Lawrence’s and Eleanor asks if they were done and if she can go to her room. Commander Lawrence ushers her out of the room. I assume it’s because Eleanor detested being in Aunt Lydia’s presence. And notice how the Lawrences seem to live outside the city? I think that’s their way of distancing themselves as much as possible from everyone else in Gilead, or rather it was probably Eleanor’s request/demand.
We got a better look at the Lawrence’s relationship this episode. Commander Lawrence complimented Eleanor on her hair and said something like it’s how she used to wear it. Later on, when talking with June, Eleanor said, “I miss the man who made me those tapes,” when she was telling June about the mixed tapes he used to make her in college. Then, at the end of the episode, we see the Commander and Eleanor sitting on the couch listening to music together.
I’d also like to add that I loved how Commander Lawrence low-key offered June a tissue after her call with Luke. I want to believe that was a genuine gesture.
I hope these sweet moments are meant to trick us into liking him and he turns out to be Serena 2.0.
I DON’T KNOW. I don’t know what’s going on. Does she really want Nichole back? Or is she playing some long game? I don’t know. And I don’t know if we’ll ever figure her out. All I know is the show does an amazing job with her character. Because so far this season I’ve been feeling bad for a woman who previously held down another (pregnant) woman while her husband raped her. Talk about a mind eff.
After the episode, I did say to Brad, “Is this baby going to start a war between Canada and Gilead?”
June’s Taped Message to Luke
Well, this was another moment where I cried. I hope Luke understands that June had to form some sort of companionship for her survival. She worded it more eloquently than I ever could when she said Nichole/Holly was “born out of love”. But at least now he knows the baby isn’t Fred’s.
However, I am worried that in some sick plot twist Fred will be the father.
It was nice to get out of Boston and see another city, granted seeing the Washington Monument turned into a giant cross was unsettling. The Lincoln Memorial was tough too. I did find it interesting that they left Lincoln’s clenched fist but blew away his relaxed hand. They are clearly tougher in D.C. what with the handmaids and some Marthas having their mouths surgically sealed with three large rings, indefinitely silencing them. Super effed up.
Mrs. and Commander Winslow
Everyone saw Commander Winslow hitting on Fred, right? How he popped his booty in Fred’s business while playing pool. And then, to seal the seal, he rubbed Fred’s shoulder. I can’t tell if this is going to lead to a trist or Winslow is testing Fred to see how power hungry he is. And everyone noticed that his wife’s name is Olivia, right? I love a good Law & Order SVU reference. It was very unsettling how many stolen children they have. When Serena asked Olivia if all the kids were hers, and Olivia says, “Who else’s would they be?” a death glare washed over my face. It makes me think about the humanitarian crisis on the border and all those kids separated from their parents.
I really, really, really want to believe Nick is an informant working with the Swiss and/or Canada. They had to have intel on Nick before meeting with June because they knew who he was. It just doesn’t make sense that, seemingly overnight, the Swiss were told that he’s not to be trusted. And Nick is being sent to the front lines in Chicago. And where better to gain intel and fight from the inside? I’d obviously love to know more about his backstory. I’ve read theories that he was part of the Boston Globe massacre and/or he was one of the guys who captured June and Hannah. The biggest missing piece is how he went from war hero to driver to commander because that’s an odd path.
When June asked Aunt Lydia if she wants all of the handmaids to be silenced and Aunt Lydia says no, I felt she was being genuine. Because for how effed up and crazy Aunt Lydia is, I think she really cares for the girls. And I can’t not mention that Ann Dowd is amazing.
Has anyone else noticed the lack of flashbacks this season? They used to annoy me at times during seasons 1 and 2, but now I miss them.
The cinematography was amazing in this episode.
Episode 7 Preview
The next episode preview goes live with the previous episode, in case you didn’t know that. If you missed it, you can watch it below.
It appears June is going to try to get closer to Mrs. Lawrence. I think June needs to tread lightly because I don’t think Commander Lawrence will be very pleased if he catches on. It looks like June and Mrs. Lawrence are going to attempt to see Hannah at her school. Should be interesting.
To be honest, this season is really annoying me. There seems to be no direction. It’s like June’s storyline is stumbling around like an overly tired toddler, making circles around and around, going nowhere. And I get it, I think they’re trying to show that June is unraveling but wasn’t the line at the very end of Season 2 “Mama’s got work to do”? Apparently that work involves attempting to execute really dumb “plans”, like visiting Hannah at her school and ask her if she wants to leave Gilead with June.
And I guess we’re just stopping the whole Nichole thing. Fred something about leaving her in Canada as a bargaining chip to get goods from Canada. But… that’s it? Call me crazy but it felt like that storyline was building and building with the propaganda videos and such, and now it’s all “Meh. Let’s leave the baby in Canada so Gilead can get some decent fruit cocktail.”
So I was sort of off in regards to my interpretation of Mrs. Lawrence. Turns out she has bipolar disorder, which explains some of her behaviors. But I also think she hates Gilead and doesn’t want to be there. It’s sad that her illness has kept her from having children. But now we know why Commander Lawrence doesn’t participate in “The Ceremony”. He doesn’t want kids. And I’d assume he also doesn’t want children because of Mrs. Lawrence’s bipolar disorder.
I thought Commander Lawrence was going to lose his ish when June got Mrs. Lawrence back to the house after their trip to Hannah’s school. And you’d think June would be punished somehow. I feel like June is being let off the hook way too easily this season than in the previous two seasons. Granted I know she’s not with Fred and Serena anymore. But still, June seems to be getting away with everything, and it’s not the most believable.
I have to mention that by far, my favorite quote from this episode was when Mrs. Lawrence was admiring Angela, and said, “Hi button! We thought you were gonna die, but you didn’t die!” Hilarious.
Serena and Olivia
The scene of the two of them walking through that house was super messed up. That’s all I really have to say about that.
Frankly, I would’ve cut a bish. Not only did OfMatthew get Hannah’s Martha killed, who June seemingly trusted to help care for Hannah, but now June has no idea where Hannah is because the McKenzies left. I did love how the other handmaids shielded June and OfMatthew so others couldn’t see what June was doing.
Moira and Emily
I don’t necessarily think it’s a good look for Emily to be partaking in aggressive protests given her situation but she’s her own person so… I know some people are wondering if Moira and Emily are romantically going to get involved. It appears that won’t be happening. I read somewhere that the show runner said they’ll be good friends because there’s not many platonic lesbian friendships portrayed in TV or movies. To which I say, well done.
Episode 11 – Liars
Apologies for my lapse in writing about Episodes 8-10. I got bored. And then there were a lot of thoughts of “why is this important?” But WOOOO episode 11 was good!
Just thinking about June’s plan makes me anxious. Did she forget what happened when she stowed away on a plane? That’s right, it was shot up and she was re-captured. Now imagine trying to move 52 kids (who definitely aren’t guaranteed to cooperate) to a cargo plane, stuffing them into said cargo plane and getting them out of Gilead. I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I want them out of there too, but this whole thing is giving me bad vibes.
I appreciated how June, who was essentially raped by Commander Lawrence (although I also consider him a victim because he didn’t want to rape her, he was being forced to rape her), was the one who de-escalated Eleanor when she was about to blow Joseph’s head off. Joseph clearly took that situation as his cue to attempt to get her TFO of Gilead, leaving behind a “Sorry” note. It didn’t work though so they returned because the other commanders are onto Joseph and haven’t given him the proper clearance to work his way through checkpoints.
I have a bad feeling about how things will work out for the Lawrences.
While it was no surprise a guy like Commander Winslow would frequent Jezebel’s, when he appeared on the screen, my stomach dropped. I knew this wasn’t going to end well for June. But she surprised me and murdered his ass. And of all things, she repeatedly stabbed the dude with a pen– something she used a lot in her former career as a book editor, and something she’s not allowed to touch in Gilead. And when he was lying there like injured prey, he said “My children!”. Eye roll. Not your kids, asshole. I blurted out, “Finish him!” And then she offed him with some heavy decorative object.
It was interesting that the Martha who came into the room was the one June just so happened to save from the cages. A little to coincidental but I’ll look past it because the scenes of the Marthas cleaning up the room and disposing of Winslow’s body, paired with the music choice, was top notch.
Did anyone else notice how the commander and woman walking in the hallway didn’t even look twice at June’s bloodied face and shoeless feet? My guess is it’s not unusual to see that in Jezebel’s. The commanders probably often take out their rage on the women there.
Episode 10 ended with Serena whipping out the satellite phone Tuello snuck into her bag. I knew Serena would sit on that phone until she really needed it.
I could sense something was up when Serena teared up and touched heads with Rita during their goodbye. Especially when this was only supposed to be an overnight trip. Then Fred rolls up in a Mercedes convertible for them to drive up toward Canada and rendezvous with Tuello in attempt to get Nichole back.
While it was never said, I feel it was implied that Serena set Fred up. She was acting rather nervous and anxious throughout the trip. The only time she seemed to let loose was when she was driving the convertible and in control.
During the trip, it’s like Fred and Serena were showing each other little examples of trust. He let her drive the car. He told her he’d be happy to leave Commander life behind and move with her to a small town. I think he was doing all that just in case she was trying something. She welcomed him into her twin-size bed (for one last romp), which I’m guessing was the first time they’d been intimate since he chopped off her finger.
After episode 5 I was all I DON’T KNOW what’s going on and whether or not Serena had a long game. Well, now we know. She gave Fred months and multiple chances to get Nichole back. Since Serena returned from Canada, Fred has been all talk and no action. Yeah, he gave Serena a little more power by letting her show up to meetings and what not, but I think that was his attempt to placate her. In the end, it was all a test and Fred scored an F. So Serena played him and got him arrested and charged with war crimes. Because notice they put Fred and Serena in separate vehicles and none of the officers said Serena was being charged with war crimes.
I will say I loved how Fred kept driving and following Tuello like a dum-dum down country roads, through forests, and over a small waterway. I guess that’s what happens when you do away with GPS, Freddy.
Episode 13 – Mayday (Finale)
The season finale was a good one. It mostly redeemed many of the painfully slow and boring moments throughout the season.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think June would be able to pull it off. She’s been so erratic this season, but in the finale, she pulled herself together and did the work she said she’d do.
Prepping for the Plane
Using the soap to grease the gate hinges and cover the windows was a great idea. Packing the food kits and water was also smart. But not knowing where the airport was located was kind of perplexing. Like, when making this plan, June didn’t think to have a back up to get to the airport should the transportation fall through? I’m glad they figured out that issue.
Getting to the Plane
Quietest children ever. If Owen was amongst those children he’d be machine gunning questions at his Martha. I liked how June took it upon herself to be the one to distract the Guardians, but then a handful of handmaids and Marthas joined in to help her. Yeah, they could’ve gotten on the plane, but if the Guardians weren’t taken care of, the whole thing would’ve been a bust.
Kiki/Rebecca and Maggie
Well, we can all look for Maggie on the wall in episode 1 of season 4. Because, no ma’am, your mistress is not going to be very understanding when you show up back at home without her not-daughter.
The moment when Kiki/Rebecca spots her dad was sweet but felt a little forced. I think the writers wanted us, Luke, and Moira to see a little girl reunited with her dad– something Luke is longing for. Nonetheless, good for Rebecca and her dad. I’m happy for them, and I hope she gets to go clothes shopping very soon.
Poor Luke. He so badly wanted to see June and Hannah step off that plane. But let’s face it, that couldn’t happen because if June gets out of Gilead the show is basically over. I know a lot of people want her out and get amped up about it, but hello, the show is called “The Handmaid’s Tale”. It just sucks because if June hadn’t taken Mrs. Lawrence to Hannah’s school, Hannah’s Martha would still be alive and she would’ve most certainly taken Hannah to the plane. And Hannah and June would probably have been on the plane. Or at least Hannah would’ve been on the plane. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
Serena and Fred
I loved how all the people questioning Fred were women. Ahahaha. And Serena thought she’d get away with everything. Ahahaha. Did you notice she called June “Offred” and not “June” when she had been calling her June for a long time. Wrong slip of the tongue, Serena.
I love how Fred ratted her out. Typical Fred. Also, Tuello looked quite disturbed when he told Serena she was being arrested. It’s like he actually fell for Serena’s BS.
First, Amanda Brugel, who plays Rita, did an outstanding job in this episode. Like award-winning job. When she fell to her knees after getting off the plane. Tears.
Now with Rita in Canada, she can testify against Fred and Serena. They set that up nicely, didn’t they? Rita will hopefully also detail what happened with the handmaid the Waterfords had prior to June who hanged herself. Also, yay for Rita getting out. And for the touching moment when she told Luke that she’s heard so much about him and that June orchestrated the whole thing.
The other handmaids running back to find June and then carrying her out of the woods was beautiful and showed their obvious dedication to her. All they needed were the Jezebel Marthas to get rid of that Guardian’s body.
Commander Lawrence reading to the kids was heartwarming. Also, when he called June “June Osborne” when they were saying goodbye.
Let’s look ahead to season 4, shall we?
I think we’re going to see a lot of Marthas on the wall in Episode 1. Because not all of them made it onto the plane so they’re going to show up back at home, sans kid(s), and be greeted with hot baths and muffins? I think not. And did you catch it when Rita, I believe, said one of the Marthas killed her commander and mistress because they wouldn’t let her leave? Yeah, so at least one commander is also dead now. Needless to say, I’m not expecting Episode 1 to give the warm and fuzzies.
I don’t think June is dead. Again, “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Will Luke and everyone in Canada think June died because of all of the gunfire before the plane took off?
Will June be found out? Will she stay with Commander Lawrence or get transferred to another Commander?
We don’t know who got shot when the handmaids and Marthas were throwing rocks at the Guardians. Beth and/or Sienna could be dead.
Will the 52+ kids cause a war between Canada and Gilead?
Fred and Serena will go on trial.
Aunt Lydia is going to lose it.
I want to see Nick in season 4. Period. The end. I get that they needed to remove him from this season so June could focus and “work”, but I miss seeing him.
My main thought during the entire episode was how do they eat with their mouths shut?? Surely this will be addressed right??
It’d have to be a feeding tube of some sort (nasogastric, PEG, etc.). Unless they can remove them to eat.
Nick was a driver for the Waterfords because he was an eye spying on Fred. After gathering whatever intel they needed, he went back to his role as commander.
But he started as a driver for Commander Pryce before Gilead became Gilead.
You might like an Australian podcast Eyes on Gilead…some great interview with cast and crew
Thanks for the rec!
I absolutely love your commentary/thoughts on this show! I was definitely laughing out loud while reading your comments on episode 11. 🤣. 100% agree with you – I cannot wait until next week to see where this is going!
Hah! Thank you!
I think the disappearance/death of Commander Winslow and the arrest of Commander Waterford will bring Nick back!? I can’t wait for the interaction between him and June. I had the same thoughts on the 52 kids and keeping them quiet! Yikes.
I had to watch it again and I was still like
dammmn girl! Winslow gave me the creepy vibes so I’m not sad that he’s gone.
I knew Serena was up to something. Can’t wait to see how season 3 ends!
I so badly wanted to watch it again! Gah. It was a good one.
I hope June doesn’t just show back up to the Lawrence household because if she does and gets off yet again not being on the wall, it will be too much. I think she and the others should stay in hiding and attack from within.
Also, I think they are letting Lawrence off too lightly. He created Gilead, he should have to answer for it.
Having Luke and Moira and Emily at the plane landing was forced AF. Why would they be there and in charge?
Serena. SERENA! If I have to see her cuddling that baby-and calling her “hers” again I’m going to scream. I thought it was a one time visit. Not many. Moira needs to put her foot down.
The show better not forget Canada again. Too many stars are there now-they deserve storyline!
I like the stay in hiding idea.
I think they’ve punished Lawrence in that the world he helped create led to the death of his wife, who he appeared to deeply love. Now he has no one.
Having Luke and Moira there was believable because they are volunteers with the refugee aid organization. And they, well mostly Moira, can relate to escaping and truly empathize with the survivors. I’m assuming Moira and Luke were the first to go onto the plane because they can relate to the survivors, and I think they were going on to see if June and Hannah were there.
Now that Serena is under arrest, I highly doubt she’ll be able to see Nichole.
No way June can stay with Commander Lawrence now that he is a widow. The whole point of the handmaid is to make a baby. Aunt Lydia mentioned something about her “new commander” when she stopped her on the walk home from the market.
Also, did we know Fred knew the baby wasn’t his??
Yes, Serena threw it in his face one time that he couldn’t make a baby and she had to get Nick to do it.
Commander Lawrence will most likely be forced to remarry a la Nick and Eden. Yeah, I heard Aunt Lydia say that but I’m wondering if she’ll return to Lawrence to heal for a little bit and then transfer.
Yeah, Serena told Fred when they were in that abandoned house searching for June in season 2.