Naysayers about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 3 are concerned June's story may get overly dragged out

Naysayers about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 3 are concerned June's story may get overly dragged out

'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 which premiered with the first three episodes on June 5 was applauded by many for finally leaving the suffering behind to tread the path of revolution. However, not all were happy with the new season. The second season's finale was one of the main reasons why quite a few were left unhappy. Why did Offred (Elisabeth Moss) choose to stay behind?

The fact is she returned to save her elder daughter Hannah, now Agnes, who lives at Commander McKenzie's residence. The trailers and teasers of the show did hint at a definite revolution but after having seen the suffering Offred went through in the Waterford residence, a section of the audience is convinced that by having Offred returning, Hulu is cashing in on the popularity of the show. Some fans have even pointed out plot holes they can no longer ignore. 

For instance, how is it that Serena Joy's (Yvonne Strahovski) finger got chopped off for reading a bible, but all that happens to Offred for forcefully entering a commander's residence is some foot caning and being reassigned to Commander Lawrence's (Bradley Whitford) residence? It was him who helped Emily escape Gilead with Nichole.

For instance, user IntergalacticFig on Reddit said, "With all the trouble June has gotten into, how does she still have all her body parts!? Really all she gets for breaking into a Commander's house to see her daughter is foot-caning and floor scrubbing? It doesn't feel consistent with the other stuff we've seen about the universe."

Also, the contradiction within the premiere episodes; while at one point she had to camouflage herself in clothes of Marthas, at another point she could accompany Commander Lawrence to prison in her handmaid's uniform with not much trouble. On recalling the difficulties June faced in season 1 when she had to go to the Jezebel and how that was carried out, it is inconsistent. 

A still of Serena and Offred from 'The Handmaid's Tale'. (Source: Hulu)


This is, however, not a popular opinion. We then have observations by popular writers noting how 'The Handmaid's Tale' has weaponized white feminism. Writer Melanie McFarland of Salon recently wrote, "The handmaids in Washington D.C. all wear muzzles, and in one moment, June (Elisabeth Moss) stares up at what we recognize to be the Lincoln Memorial. We are supposed to take in the quiet irony of a woman, enslaved, at the feet of a once-proud icon of American history. It may not be lost on some of us that Abraham Lincoln’s story also was prettied up by history, his own racism largely washed away."

"But I’d wager most viewers simply see the heroine of 'The Handmaid’s Tale,' Moss’ June, muzzled and subjugated at the feet of the great liberator. They may think of the protesters in red robes and wings at our nation’s capital and state seats of government, women quietly co-opting an image popularized by a show that itself co-opts its horrors and struggles from those of slavery and the civil rights eras and sidelines minorities in doing so," she added.


In an article titled 'The Growing Paradox of The Handmaid’s Tale', writer Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic pointed out, "But it’s also a series that scooped up so many awards during its debut season, and so much critical praise, that Hulu seems unlikely to let it start wrapping up any time soon. Hence the catch: Empowerment is crackling through the zeitgeist, and The Handmaid’s Tale wants to deliver it, but its continuation also depends on June being a prisoner of Gilead for a good while longer." 

A still from 'The Handmaid's Tale season 3 teaser. (Hulu)

A few fans have also speculated about how the series will lose its luster if it was really picked for 10 seasons. User Tasher882 of Reddit commented on the post-premiere discussion thread and wrote, "Pretty sure I read somewhere Hulu signed on for 10 seasons total for this show. Killing June off in season 3 of 10 would be done. Even though I’m so interested in other stories and how others live." The same user, in reply to another comment also said, "I know they’ll run the show to the grounds unless the seasons are spent on a different storyline (like prequel to Gilead, Martha’s experience, commander, etc and the future) but if it’s just mainly about June it’ll be dragged out so bad."


The fourth episode of 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 3 will air on Hulu June 12 and will help viewers decide if the criticism about the show was deserving. 

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