'The Handmaid's Tale 3' finale: With Eleanor gone, a suspicious Commander Lawrence has little motive to go along with June’s escape plan
In the penultimate episode of 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3, we saw June Osborne sacrifice Eleanor Lawrence's life for the greater good. Will this affect her plan?
'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 penultimate episode showed to what extent June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) was ready to go to achieve her goal. As she sat down beside Mrs. Eleanor Lawrence (Julie Dretzin), who had just ingested a bunch of pills and was in the process of overdosing, June did nothing to help her.
She wanted Eleanor out of the way not because she hated Commander Lawrence's (Bradley Whitford) wife, but because she was not sound mentally and could cause their plan to collapse. The fact that her death would make the commander unreachable for any political decisions to be made, especially the kind that could put a real wrench in her plans, could be one of the reasons why she stood back while Eleanor was on her last breath.
For instance, the high commanders are all for closing down the borders after Commander Fred Waterford's arrest in Canada as a war criminal. Consider, even if Eleanor did keep it together, the border being closed would throw a major hitch in June's plan.
If she wanted to succeed in freeing the 52 lost children of Gilead and exact her revenge for relocating her daughter Hannah and the Mackenzie family, she had to let Eleanor die. She had to let go of her life and not utter a word about it to Commander Lawrence.
However, does he really not know what June did to his wife? When Lawrence is blaming himself for the death of his wife and says he should have checked on her at least once, June says she could have checked on Eleanor as well and tells him that the blame doesn't lie with him alone. When she says she this, Lawrence's expression changes.
Initially, it felt like June comforted him by telling him he was not alone in grieving his wife. Towards the end of the episode, however, we see Lawrence give June side-eye and it is clear there is some kind of rage building there.
Is that the result of losing his wife or was he clued into what June did to ensure her plan was carried out successfully? The fate of the 52 children, who June plans on freeing also depends on Commander Lawrence, who could give everything away now that his wife is not even with him.
If you recall, the only reason why Commander Lawrence even agreed to June's crazy plan was to get his wife out of Gilead and give her the necessary mental treatment. Without her, where do Commander Lawrence's loyalties lie? Without her, will he agree to even board the plane?
June had initially planned to use a truck, but with 52 children needing an escape she concocts a plan and speaks to Martha Beth's contact, a bartender, at the Jezebels to get access to a flight. The bartender responds in kind and lets June know that the plane will be available on the runaway overnight during which time she would have to get the kids and the Commander onboard. If the border is closed as per the wishes of the high commanders, the flight will not take off and this will leave June with a lost opportunity.
After all, with Commander George Winslow being removed by June herself and Commander Waterford's arrest, there is a vacuum among the high commanders, which leaves Commander Lawrence with a lot of power. Power with which he can change things inside Gilead for other women like his wife instead of escaping.
These are the scenarios if Commander Lawrence is unaware of June's actions. But if he is, then we are talking about a whole new ball game. This will add drama to the finale of 'The Handmaid's Tale'. This question of will he or will he not may take us through not just the next episode, but an all-new season as well.
'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 episode 13 will air on Wednesday, August 14 on Hulu.