Winds Of Change
Last week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale was one of the worst the show has seen since it came on air back in 2017. The use of colour was jarring, the one-scene standalone segments with June losing her sanity and the poor pacing really felt out of sorts with what we’ve seen before from this show. With the 10 season arc now showing how prolonged and bloated Hulu’s flagship show may wind up becoming, The Handmaid’s Tale injects a little life back into its plot line this week, with hints of a rebellion finally on the horizon.
After her ordeal in the hospital, June begins the episode by returning home where she learns that every residence has been upgraded to DC status. A message from the network sees the situation grow bleaker as June asks the Marthas whether there’s anyone who can help get the children out. Right now though, the situation looks dire.
Commander Lawrence is scared. June pleads with him to get his wife out and get her the help she needs before heading to the local supermarket where the other handmaids look at her as if she’s been cursed. Security is tighter now too and the girls are subject to another inspection. Smiling, Commander Waterford approaches June who smiles back bitterly. He addresses them all as the familiar Commander Winslow challenges Aunt Lydia over the eye-patch she gave to Janine last week. The meeting holds no real surprises though and June returns home.
She discusses plans with Mrs Lawrence and together they head down to the basement and begin searching through files. June tells her Lawrence loves her but she tells the handmaid that if her husband tries to cross the border he will be killed, given he’s a war criminal.
As the Commanders discuss Lawrence’s loyalty to the cause, June is called into the sitting room and forced to engage in the ceremony. A rift grows between Lawrence and his wife as the pressure of this looms over them and we see firsthand just how much Lawrence has looked past the emotional turmoil this causes when creating Gilead. After some deliberation, June convinces him to engage in the act and pretend it’s a job.
Satisfied that the Commander has done his duty, the others leave as Lawrence tells her he’ll get June a truck. A truck used to get his wife out safely. As June heads to the supermarket to tell the other handmaids her plan, Janine chirps in and decides to help too. They agree to ask around while June tells Janine more about her son, Kaleb.
With Serena and Waterford no closer to getting Nichole back, Serena tells her husband about the informant inside Canada and explains that he can help them get her out if Waterford agrees to play ball. Meanwhile, June returns home and receives word from the Marthas regarding her plan to save the children. Given the number of baskets they receive full of food, it’s an overwhelming yes to getting the children out.
The Handmaid’s Tale finally feels like it’s getting back on track but as the episodes tick by, the methodically slow plotting is ultimately feeling like this season’s worst enemy. Although we’ve seen more of DC and a bit more world-building which is nice, beyond that the promise of a revolution has never really felt like taking off. Going back and watching the trailer to this season actually feels really deceptive given what we’ve seen over the past 10 episodes and as others have commented before, June’s decision not to get on the truck to Canada is turning into one of the worst decisions the show has made.
Still, with 3 episodes to go and the cogs finally beginning to turn, The Handmaid’s Tale looks set to spin the wheels into motion after an episode where, admittedly, not a whole lot really happens. Compared to the first 2 seasons, The Handmaid’s Tale feels like a shadow of the show it once was, losing that urgency and seemingly unwilling to pull the trigger and see the revolution really come to fruition. Whether we’ll see anything like that this season remains to be seen but I think it’s safe to assume this one will probably end on another cliffhanger ready for the inevitable fourth season.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!