Handmaid’s Tale

Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Premiere Review

Gilead’s a cesspool of discomfort that only gets worse, isn’t it?

This last weekend, The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 premiered on Hulu. Instead of gracing fans with just a single episode, though, Hulu gave fans three. Thank you, Hulu gods, for such a gift. Since they premiere Handmaid’s Tale weekly, it’s nice to be able to binge ourselves a little to get back into the show before wait each week to continue the journey. 

As the NerdBastards resident Handmaid’s Tale reviewer, I thought it might be good for me to cover such a momentous debut.

And boy, did the show really go for it.

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People fear losing independence. They fear losing their bodies, their minds. While they fear dangerous entities or secret governments or oppressive systems, more than anything they fear losing power over themselves. Those organizations just tend to lie adjunct to those fears.

This is the root of all dystopian novels. The system may have shifted into something horrible, but the true horror is becoming something you’re not. And people will go to terrible lengths to preserve their souls.

In Fahrenheit 451, this meant hiding the bible under your bed and reading stories you don’t quite understand just to learn something different and purposeful about the world.

In Lathe of Heaven, this meant drugging yourself until your uncontrollable mind stopped ripping the world, your world, to shreds.

In Skyrim, this meant building secret shrines of Talos and being willing to die by Thalmor hands while praying at the altar.

Wednesday May 15th, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed an anti-abortion law that would ban abortion in almost all cases, save when a mother’s life was in jeopardy. While Roe v. Wade has been in effect around the nation since 1973, allowing first-trimester abortions for any woman, this law changes that for Alabama women. Now they or even the doctors performing the procedure could go to jail.

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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.

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