In the third season of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series, The Handmaid’s Tale, we have gone well beyond the course mapped out in the brilliantly eerie book by author Margaret Atwood. We are now into new and just as scary territory.
And by scary I don’t mean in a horror film kind of way, though this is more frightening than most of the films of that genre. Because it is very plausible.
We left off season two with June (played by Elizabeth Moss) making the decision to send her baby to Canada to get her away from Gilead. Emily (played by Alexis Bledel) brings the infant with her as she is rejoining her wife (played by Clea DuVall). June also plots a way to get her first daughter to Canada as well.
All this takes plenty of planning, sneaking and even help from an unlikely source but June is determined. Her plot is made more difficult than ever when she is sent to a new Commander’s (played by Bradley Whitford) house to live and service him.
Commander Waterford (played by Joseph Fiennes) is feeling quite stressed about the way things are going in Gilead. He feels even more anger towards women. This leaves his wife Serena (played by Yvonne Strahovski) having to keep her wits about her. The constant question of whether Serena is a good person or evil continues in season three.
The kernel of what Atwood’s novel was about is widened in season three. Women are being used and oppressed by men. But here they finally are doing something about it. They are working together to get out from under the horror they are existing in in Gilead.
Everything about the series is meant to jar the viewer. The horrible treatment of women. The oppressive nature of Gilead. The crazy close ups of the character’s faces. The alt-rock soundtrack.
While it is still excellent television, there is a touch of staleness creeping into the series. It seems like the same things or issues over and over again. There is only so much misery anyone of us can take. A sliver of light every so often would do fine. Plus I wavered back and forth over whether I wanted some resolution or not.
-Power Play: Gilead’s Women Fight Back