The Handmaid's Tale: Aunt Lydia has a tender moment with June, but that doesn’t really make her an ally
'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 has given us many deceptive plot reveals before in the form of Serena's (Yvonne Strahovski) short-lived alliance with June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss). In the end, Serena turned out to be someone who shouldn't be trusted as she had only her best interests at heart. Then we saw how June was heartbroken about Nick Blaine's (Max Minghella) past - the possibility of things he did to support and help Gilead is not something that can be missed. Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) and June's tender moment also falls under this category. The scene unfolds before June wears the mouth mask that symbolizes silence in DC.
June asks Aunt Lydia, "Do you want us all to be silenced?" To which she replies, "No... No I don't. This trip has been tiring, hasn't it? It'll be good to be home. When I get tired, I still try to think of the good I can do in God's world. If I can help just one person... One soul. That's enough. I think of you dear."
Followed by this, the two hug each other as they shed tears as a result of how tiring everything has been recently. This scene is important not because it marks Aunt Lydia as June's ally, but because of how uncertain June's future plans to bring down Gilead really is. For Aunt Lydia, this is just a moment of weakness and she seeks support from June. Contrary to this, June is grasping at straws to find a way to keep Nichole safe and as far away from Gilead as possible.
How Aunt Lydia fastens the cloth muzzle for June, followed by them getting ready for the prayer meet organized by Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) - it is all a show of their hopeless future in Gilead than anything else.
Despite being an ardent follower of Gilead's principles, even Aunt Lydia doesn't agree with the practice of handmaids being silenced, especially the way Ofgeorge, the handmaid at Commander Winslow's residence, has been. Her lips have been sewed together with rings, something that Serena wishes she had done to June when she was initially assigned as the Waterfords' handmaid.
While for a moment, the proceedings of season 3 episode 6 may have us consider the possibility of Aunt Lydia aligning herself with June, but the deceptive plot reveals in the past makes us wary of making that assumption.
If the first few episodes of the show's most recent season have taught us anything, it is that there are many possibilities and things can change at any given moment. For instance, the development of June and Serena's camaraderie, or lack thereof; the possibility of Commander Lawrence playing a role in June's plans - all of it now seems like a metaphoric death trap than anything else.
In the same vein, what we thought would be an army of handmaids led by June against Gilead as they gathered in huge numbers, especially after all the teasers and posters that hinted at it is a prayer meet for Nichole's return to Gilead. So what we got instead was Fred using handmaids in a political rally to seek the support and sympathy of people which will help him secure his position at DC, pave a way for him to get Nichole back and make his wife happy.