The Handmaid’s Tale (shortened to THT for the rest of this article) has recently concluded season 3. This review will contain spoilers for this season so don’t read this if you don’t want spoilers (I do not know how to avoid them considering the fact how many big events happen in this season). Last warning.
Season 3 of THT has been an overall slow burn. Things did not really pick up until the final few episodes. Many long term viewers complained about this. What they forget is that this type of dystopian society doesn’t have a rebellion spark overnight. It takes time to gather and organize rebellions. The French Revolution did not happen overnight.
Here’s a brief sum-up of what happened during this season (this by no means covers everything that happened, this list is also by no means in sequential order of this season): During this season we saw more of what happened in Eleanor and Joseph’s household, June’s commander for this season. Eleanor unfortunately dies during this season in a rather tragic way. We witnessed Serena’s obsession with Nichole and Fred attempting to orchestrate a plan to get Nichole back. Fred ends up being taken into custody for crimes against humanity and Serena later also gets arrested (despite originally having a deal to give her immunity). We see Ofglen (aka Emily) be reunited with her wife and child, as well as suffering from PTSD from the events that transpired in Gilead. Nick makes an appearence, albeit briefly in this season. Luke and Moira are doing their best to raise Nichole. Luke even has a face to face meeting with Serena during this season. June goes undercover as a Jezbel and ends up killing a commander. Children are rescued from Gilead and flown into Canada (one little girl immediatly has a very heartwarming reunion with her father just about the moment she steps off the plane). We see a bit of Aunt Lydia’s past as well. Serena’s character also saw a lot more depth and complexity to her character.
The soundstrack for this season was done well. The music did not feel out of place for this season. The cinematography was done beautifully as well. You can tell that most if not all details (at least from a cinematography standpoint) were done with careful attention to detail.
The actors did a fantastic job this season. We saw good, bad, and ugly sides to many characters. Serena in particular was done very well and got polarizing reviews in general from fans (full blown hatred to sympathy for the character themselves). Many complained about the lack of Nick this season but many fans feel that “his ship has sailed” for lack of a better phrasing. It’s very possible that his character was virtually written out of this season due to the actor having other project obligations.
The season ended on a slightly ominous tone with June. The children were able to make it to Canada safely. However, we do not know of the fate that will come of June (the final shot is the other handmaids lifting up June on a blanket and taking her somewhere, the destination, we do not know). We do not know of the fate that will come to the Marthas or Handmaids that aided June. We do not know if June will even be “caught” as the “kidnapper” of the children. We do not know what will happen to Joseph either who aided June in getting the children to Canada.
Overall I am very satisfied with this season of THT. The “slow burn” rhythm it has is a stark difference compared to the last two seasons. It will not make everyone happy. There are plenty of sob-inducing moments in this season as well pure joy and anger. The characters were handled very well and clearly showed that we do not have anyone in this show that is “pure evil” or “pure good” like so many people attempt to categorize characters for the sake of simplicity.