'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 premiere episodes set the perfect run-up to the revolt that Offred has planned for Gilead
'The Handmaid's Tale' episodes 1, 2 and 3 were aired on Hulu on June 5 and it all began 10 minutes after the finale of season 2
Spoiler alert for 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 episodes 1, 2 and 3
There is a lot of pain and regret in the beginning, but there are also moments that bring tears of joy to Offred's eyes in the premiere of 'The Handmaid's Tale'. Between Emily's successful escape from Gilead to Serena Joy's rebellion against her husband, the premiere of one of the most awaited show's season three offered answers to questions we have had for a year now.
The Handmaid's Tale season three picks up right where it left off in season two, as Offred handed her baby to Emily and refused to get into the truck to escape. She is seen running away from the truck, but not before Commander Lawrence stops her, even tries to convince her to chase the truck before it reaches the border.
Offred, however, cannot leave Gilead without Hannah, but she is Agnes now and the daughter of Commander MacKenzie. Hannah is the reason why Offred turned away from a rare escape route and the possibility of a reunion with Luke and Moira. Hannah is also the reason why Offred will start a rebellion against the regime of Gilead, the world that took her daughter away from her.
After having helped Offred, on the other hand, Serena did what was best for her child and isn't afraid to say so to Fred Waterford who is now kept locked behind doors as Nick stands guard with a gun. Fred, in an attempt to protect the house and his position, helps Serena and Offred by concocting a story about Nichole getting kidnapped. This scene is particularly interesting because of the way Fred perceives Serena's decision, as an extension of his fault. Not her decision solely, but according to him, she was driven to desperation. Which, of course, she was.
One of the beautiful things that the premiere episodes managed to do is deconstruct Serena's character. From standing with her husband through all the horrors of Gilead initially to burning down that which stood as a sign of everything she hated about Gilead, her character has developed. What is between her and Offred is not friendship, it is misery seeking company.
The premiere episodes also show that while penance and punishment are not the central themes this season, there will still be repercussions for rebellion. It is not as revolting as what was portrayed in the previous season, but punishment is central to how Gilead's regime ensures discipline... In a moving moment when Offred learns of Emily's safety, we see how the punishment is worth it if it ensures the safety of her child.
The other important development is how Offred's new assignment helps her make friends with not just a daring couple of Marthas, but also Commander Lawrence. This is the beginning of a big plan that has so far stayed only in Offred, now OfJoseph's head. Throughout it all, June Osborne remains hopeful, as she learns of ways that can be of some help to her in the future. So far, OfJoseph had only seen people trying to get away from Canada, but not ones to get deeper into the resistance. The ways in which Commander Lawrence's guilt works in the new OfJoseph's favor is the beginning of an interesting relationship that will swing between regret and interest.
Even as OfJoseph is grappling with the changes around, Emily is displaced in her new surroundings. Emily continues to look behind her back every now and then, scared of what awaits her now that she has escaped Gilead. She is also hesitant about getting in touch with her family because she is worried about how things would have changed for her wife and her child in the time that she was away. She is also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the looks of it. Yet, she takes the risk of getting in touch with her wife and their reunion, though momentary, is beautiful.
This season is definitely about June Osborne's rebellion taking form, big enough to be a revolution. While that is something great to look forward to, it is the small steps that she takes towards that revolution which keep us hooked. Now that OfJoseph has realized the power of allies, and has decided to manipulate and influence Commander Lawrence to switch sides, the story has just gotten better.
The next episode of the show will air on Wednesday, June 12 on Hulu.
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