'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3: Fred Waterford will die, the only question is whether he will go out a hero or a villain
Joseph Fiennes' character seemed to have taken a backseat compared to everything that's happening to Serena and June, but there is more to it than just that.
Joseph Fiennes, who plays Fred Waterford in 'The Handmaid's Tale,' has said this of his character on the Hulu show, "He's dark, creepy and complicated, but in his world and in his mind, it's all about the betterment of mankind. Also, he's landed in a position and place that's impossible to back out of."
This description is even truer for season 3. While it initially looked like he was giving way to Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) and June (Elisabeth Moss), after the recent episode it looks like Fred has landed in a position that's not going to be easy to back out of.
The only possible way he can get out is death, or that is what is alluded to repeatedly in the season. Does that mean Fred will not make it out of this season alive?
Take for instance the fact that Fred is currently in Washington DC trying to get his baby back to Gilead, and in the process, bringing Serena back in the spotlight, something she has yearned for a long time.
While this does take him a step further into becoming a more powerful man in Gilead, it also puts him in a tight spot when it comes to making his wife Serena happy. What she seeks is freedom, something that will be hard to come by if the resistance in Gilead fails. This is definitely something that Fred doesn't understand clearly enough. While he is racked with guilt over the things he did to Serena, including chopping her finger off, he doesn't have a deep enough understanding of Serena's reasons of why she did what she did.
He started off as a surefooted commander who was convinced of what he was doing, but now he is confused about the things that are conspiring in Gilead. He has no control over June anymore, and without the support of Serena, he is flailing around with no idea about how to proceed. Despite trying to make Serena happy and setting up a meeting with Nichole, he has no idea about the depth of feeling Serena has for the baby that is not even theirs. In fact, we have come to understand that she is desperate enough to bring Nichole back to Gilead despite knowing how women in the regime are treated, even the ones belonging to elite households.
One thing that is certain right now is the fact that Fred is on the wall about his opinion of June, but is sure that Nichole is a political opportunity more than anything else. The fact that Serena is becoming the central antagonist of the show -- one who understands the failings of Gilead much better than Fred ever could -- leads to the conclusion that he would either have to live in Serena's shadow or support June's resistance.
So will his death be his redemption or will he meet his end as the villain? That is something to watch out for in the upcoming episodes of the show.
The next episode of 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 will air on Hulu on Wednesday.