'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3's exhilarating finale sees June pull out all the stops to deliver 52 children to freedom as 'Mayday' brings new hope

June goes to the extent of pulling a gun on a Martha while she tries to escape. She goes as far as pointing the gun at a little girl to stop her from making a noise that would result in them being found out but what keeps June moving forward is the hope of seeing 52 girls freed from Gilead.

'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3's exhilarating finale sees June pull out all the stops to deliver 52 children to freedom as 'Mayday' brings new hope
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This article contains spoilers for 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 finale: 'Mayday'

'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 finale was messy, emotional, draining and exhilarating all at once — everything it was expected to be. The current shape and form of the resistance was not something that was expected, but it was still satisfying to watch June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) plot the entire getaway to every tiny last detail.

Gut-wrenching is so overused an adjective in recent times, it has almost lost its weight, but it is a term that would fit this finale episode titled 'Mayday' to a T. It is definitely not because a messy season redeemed itself in a satisfying manner with its finale. It is neither about the resistance finally becoming a substantial plot point.

Instead, it is about all those women coming together, standing up together, internalizing the fight to make it about themselves and not trapping themselves in the name of the greater good. The episode, over 60-minutes long, begins with June remembering the beginning — how she became a part of Gilead. 

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June after she pulls a gun at a little girl in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 finale. (Source: Hulu)

She remembers how brutal the guards were when they grouped women and sent them off like they were pieces of furniture being moved around. In the present, she wonders how all these men became so ruthless and wonders if it is something they developed over time considering she has also become ruthless.

Then, we see the handmaids and the Marthas plan an elaborate escape, an escape that sees many obstacles in the form of a cowardly Martha who leaves a little girl behind, abandons her compatriots in fear and poses a threat when she is captured by Janine's (Madeline Brewer) commander.

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The little girl's Gilead family mother was drugged by the Martha and she traveled by foot all the way from Lexington to make it to the flight. With her Martha gone, all she can do is depend on June and the others to take her to a place where she will be allowed to wear what she wants, read, fall in love freely and in essence be free.

June, who even goes to the extent of pulling a gun on the Martha while she tries to escape, is unstable. She goes as far as pointing the gun at the little girl to stop her from making a noise that would result in them being found out but what keeps June moving forward is the hope of seeing 52 girls freed from Gilead. 

In the dark of the night, Commander Lawrence reads to the kids who have made it to his residence before they leave for the flight in 'The Handmaid's Tale'. (Source: Hulu)

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In the previous episodes, what seemed to drive June was a vengeance to teach Gilead a lesson by freeing the regime's most valued children. In the finale, however, the one thing that drives her to give her everything and even put her life on the line, is the hope that the children who have made their way to Commander Lawrence's (Bradley Whitford) residence under the cloak of night will see the light of day in a place where they are not imprisoned in the name of faith.

So, when Commander Lawrence arrives early from a council meeting and says he has to pull the plug on the entire operation because the missing girl from Lexington has probably blown the cover of the entire plan, June doesn't agree. She tells Commander Lawrence he has no right to make that decision because it is hers and the other women's right to take the call.

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It is not about taking control of the operation, but about taking the control the men in Gilead have over women. It is about making a point — Gilead can no longer take control of its women's agency. 

A still of the little girl from Lexington in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 finale. (Source: Hulu)

When the 52 children along with a number of Marthas make it to the airport at night through the woods, there is anxiety. They do not know if they will make it out, or if they will be martyred for trying to choose freedom over life.

When a guard appears and stops them from crossing over to the airport, June steps forward to be the distraction necessary to make sure Rita (Amanda Brugel) can get the kids on the flight. This is not a completely selfless act, but something June has to do if she hopes to continue fighting the good fight against Gilead any longer. June needs hope to help her through the atrocities of Gilead.

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Similarly, when Janine and a group of women follow her, it is a stand they are taking. With hundreds of other kids in Gilead, the hope of their freedom will help the showrunners propel plot movements against Gilead in upcoming seasons.

A still of 52 children and Marthas in flight that lands in Canada in 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3. (Source: Hulu)

Of course, all of this disappears when Moira enters the just landed flight in Canada and sees the kids. All of them safe, secure and ready for a future where they will decide how to lead their lives. That moment is exhilarating.

The unexpected reunion of the Lexington girl with her real father is just the hope the resistors in Gilead need to move forth. It was not June's episode, it was about the lost children of Gilead being found.

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