This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Handmaid’s Tale, and with the impressive trailer for season 3, it will hardly be the last.
At the end of season 2, June sent Emily and Nicole to Canada while she stayed behind in Gilead to find her other daughter, Hannah. Though she could have escaped with them, she didn’t. Instead, she went back to the precarious, dangerous Waterford home with the tyrannical Fred and the conflicted Serena Joy.
In my season 2 review, I was frustrated and unsure how the next season would play out. Thinking that leaving was an obvious choice and the writers just kept her in Gilead for drama, I worried they would go back to the old tricks. That season, there had been a bit too much forced Serena Joy/June conflict and I was afraid they’d just re-hash that old conflict.
While I still think the ending wasn’t a logical one, the season 3 trailer shows a writer’s team that’s pulled together an interesting season all over again.
This time, instead of panicking and pregnant in the shadows, it seems June (and friends) are taking matters into their own hands. Nick, June, and Serena Joy seem to be teaming up to dismantle Gilead. Now, that’s some progress I could get behind.
Let’s get to the experience itself.
The trailer starts off with June standing at a table, leaning onto it like a leader of a meeting. She’s narrating the truths of resistance in Gilead: that, officially, it doesn’t exist. However, that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be collecting allies and people to make a difference. Nick, Serena Joy, Aunt Lydia, Alma, and Commander Lawrence all flash across the screen. It seems she’s going to bring them together into Mayday to influence change in Gilead.
This leads to a two-pronged question: Why would any of them help and how would they help?
The easiest one is Nick, a member of The Eye. With important insider information and resources, he can incorporate an already powerful spy system into their resistance. He already was doing this before June, but now with her, he’s not turning back. Between the woman he loves and his baby, he’s going to do everything he can to change Gilead.
Alma is another handmaid. However, her Commander Robert lets a lot of information slip to her and she seems to have an easier time contacting Mayday than June does. Together, they can connect a lot of people by being the treasured stock of Gilead. They are more protected, and they can learn a lot from their Commander’s beds. Alma would join because she hates being a handmaid just as much as June.
Serena Joy is the wife of Commander Fred Waterford, an angry, tyrannical man. He acts like the best person to run Gilead, however he creeps around breaking many of it’s rules just for a spicy affair. Serena Joy was fed up with his bullshit last season, but with the loss of Nicole, it seems she’s decided to take a new path. She hated the attention he gave June, but now all that matters is her daughter. When she couldn’t reform learning for little girls, she agreed with June that Nicole’s best shot was out of Gilead. To be with the daughter she’s always wanted, Serena Joy will do anything. Even dismantle the horrible culture she helped create.
Aunt Lydia is an older woman who fully believes in the system, but after quite a few terrible situations with Handmaids, has been slowly losing her resolve. Whether she joins Mayday or simply becomes too weak to fight back is unknown. But torturing and hurting Janine really helped break her. She finally might be accepting that the cost of Gilead may be too great and regretting all the horrible things she’s done. Guilt can make a person do very risky things, even help a resistance movement in a deadly state.
And the lynch pin to it all seems to be Commander Lawrence, a high-up member of Mayday. After all, he’s a Commander in this world but doesn’t want his life to be this way. He said his resistance work was getting too much end of last season, but with June on his side it seems that he’s leaning towards revolution.
This season, Mayday may be working towards doing something bigger than they’ve ever done before.
Meanwhile, Emily is on the run, escaping to Canada. While the end of season 2 made it seem like getting in the truck meant sure freedom, clearly it did not. Now Emily has to hope she can get herself and a baby she didn’t ask for to the frigid north.
Between the growing resistance and rise of runners, it seems that Gilead is about to face serious anarchy. Especially considering the way June looked at the camera throughout the trailer. Season 1, she was figuring out how to survive. Season 2, she was protecting her baby. And now? She’s ready to fight back.
Even though it never will be easy in Gilead, I like the sound of that.