Alexis Bledel's Emily steals the show in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 as she frees herself of Gilead's horrors

Alexis Bledel plays the role of Emily in 'The Handmaid's Tale' and has been one of the most promising characters in the show since the beginning.


                            Alexis Bledel's Emily steals the show in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 as she frees herself of Gilead's horrors

Ofglen, Ofsteven and finally, Ofjoseph. That is every commander that Emily (Alexis Bledel) served and was tortured by before she could break away from the shackles of Gilead. In the finale of season 2, Emily managed to escape Gilead with the help of Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford). Since the beginning of season 3, which premiered on June 5 Emily's escape followed by acceptance in Canada have been one of the focal points of the series. In the premiere episodes, her run through the forest and under the bridge avoiding helicopter searchlights broke hearts, especially, the moment that she is found by officials from Canada on the other side. The breath of relief, and the moment that Emily realized the weight of what she had managed to do was brilliantly portrayed through mere expressions sans any dialogue.

Bledel's spectacular performance has continued to keep the audiences hooked in the following episodes. As a refugee in Canada and a survivor who was once a Handmaid, Emily tries to acclimatize herself to her new surroundings. Life in Gilead and the one in Canada are so different, yet the courage that Emily shows is impressive and reminiscent of the initial days when she became a part of the 'Mayday' movement. There is trauma that Emily needs to come to terms with before she can contact her family. The process of contemplation after she meets Luke Banhole (O-T Fagbenle) and Moira (Samira Wiley), acceptance of Luke's rude and insensitive behavior towards what she has gone through, and finally, when it dawns on her that she is finally free - all of this is potent. We can't help but connect emotionally with Emily when she goes through the steps of understanding her new found freedom.  

A still of Emily escaping in season 2 of 'The Handmaid's Tale'. (Source: Hulu)

She then decided to make the call, make contact with her wife, Sylvia (Clea DuVall) and that scene will probably be one of the best scenes in the series and this season as well. Even as her wife picks up and says hello, we realize that this is an important moment. This reunion of a wife who hears the voice of a loved one after ages only to break down in the middle of a road inside her car was realistic, and that is what makes it remarkable. The fact that the makers decided to zoom in on Emily or her wife, but to show the weight of that moment by zooming out was on point. It's like a punch in the gut that will leave a lump in your throat but in the best possible way. 

A still of Emily with her family in 'The Handmaid's Tale'. (Source: Hulu)

Following this up with how Emily's reunited with Sylvia and her son in the last episode aired on June 12 titled, 'God Bless the Child', it showed how capable Bledel is.  For instance, when Sylvia and Emily finally meet, it is not the dramatic, theoretically happy reunion that one would expect. It is pragmatic. Especially when Sylvia acknowledges that it is awkward. Even when Emily meets her son, we do not see them running at each other, but instead, the kid says, "I am not supposed to hug you until you are ready." Not only is this a nod to how to deal with survivors of assault and rape, but it also shows the expertise of writers who managed to portray all this adeptly. Then Emily replies, "How about we hug when both of us ready," and it is just so convincing that it melts your hearts.

With nine episodes left to air this season, we cannot wait to see how Emily's role will shape up in the face of the rebellion that June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) is planning in Gilead. The next episode will air on Hulu on June 19. 

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