The Women of Gilead Fight Back in the Season Three Trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale
"Blessed be the fight."
SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses the season two finale of the series, which came out last year. So catch up already!
Blessed be the (streaming) fruit: season three of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is coming. The dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood’s iconic novel is a flagship show for the streaming network, and one of the most compelling dramas on television right now. Season two drew mixed reactions, however, for its brutal depictions of violence and assault that verged on gratuitous exploitation.
With the entirety of season one depending on the novel as a template, season two left the series to expand the world of Gilead on its own, to varying degrees of success. Two of the best episodes of the season are set outside of Gilead, one in the Colonies, where banished women work in radioactive labor camps, and the second in Canada, where the Waterfords make a diplomatic visit.
But perhaps nothing angered fans more the season two finale, which saw June (Elisabeth Moss) and Emily (Alexis Bledel) about to escape to Canada. June relents at the last moment, giving her baby to Emily and resolving to stay in Gilead to fight back. It was a frustrating development, as the first half of the season saw June fighting tooth and nail to cross the border.
But from the looks of the season three trailer, June’s sacrifice won’t be for nothing. We see a newly empowered June taking the reins of the revolution, recruiting fellow handmaids and Marthas to her cause. We even see her recruit her unlikeliest ally, Serena Joy, who is finally waking up to the horrors of the regime she helped install (losing a pinky will do that). June says to Serena, “As Mrs. Waterford, you have influence,” to which Serena replies, “up to a point.” June responds, “So move the point.”
Another promising development from the trailer is that June has been reassigned from the Waterfords to Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), Emily’s previous post. Lawrence, who was once of the architects of Gilead, has since become an ally: he arranged Emily’s escape after she attacked Aunt Lydia (who is, unfortunately, still kicking). Lawrence tells June, “you seem like you would be good at influencing people,” which makes for a promising team-up.
The trailer ends with Serena and June smoking cigarettes by the pool, and June saying in a voice-over, “Now Mom’s got work.” After two years of brutal abuse and punishment, audiences are more than ready for June’s rise as a resistance hero. Season three promises a cathartic new chapter to the series as the women of Gilead rise up.
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