The Handmaid's Tale

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Episode 11 Review: Finally The Pay Off

The Handmaid’s Tale has certainly faced its share of criticism this season (most of which was a little off base) because people were yearning for this payoff. When will June finally get some justice? Where’s the action? Well, episode 11 of this third season is exactly what the fans have been calling for. The slow burn that has drawn the ire of some fans finally exploded into a violent powder keg the likes of which will catch many by surprise. Before we get into the episode, let me be clear if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, then please stop reading and watch it (trust me). You can always come back to this later on and see if you agree with these five takeaways. Last chance! Okay, here we go.

5. Serena is attempting to atone for her sins by giving the Canadian government, Fred. 

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale — “Unknown Caller” – Episode 305 — June and Serena grapple with the revelation that Luke is caring for Nichole in Canada, leading to an incident that will have far-reaching ramifications. Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), shown. (Photo by Sophie Giraud/Hulu)

In a moment that likely lead fans of the series fist-pumping with such vigor, the Waterford’s were arrested when they crossed the border in what was to be an attempt to negotiate the return of their daughter. What isn’t clear is whether or not Serena was the one who set this whole thing up. I think that the entire scene was a bit too clean if you ask me and that screams to me that she’s in on the whole thing. I have to imagine that they cut a deal, which allows Serena to see her “daughter.” What’s going to be interesting is the reception she receives when she ultimately assimilates with the rest of the displaced Americans in what will likely be the 4th season.

4. June strikes down upon thee.

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale — “Household” – Episode 306 — June accompanies the Waterfords to Washington D.C., where a powerful family offers a glimpse of the future of Gilead. June makes an important connection as she attempts to protect Nichole. June (Elisabeth Moss), shown. (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Hulu)

Commander Waterford attempted to assault June, and the simmering levels of frustration brought her to levels of rage we haven’t seen. One can’t help but feel that this is the only the beginning.

3. Serena has an endgame in mind, but I don’t think she understands what’s ahead. 

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale — “Under His Eye” – Episode 307 — June escalates her risky efforts to find Hannah. Emily must face her past crimes as the ongoing international diplomatic crisis becomes more complicated. Serena and Fred contemplate their future in Washington. Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), shown. (Photo by: Jasper Savage/Hulu)

Serena realizes that the onset of Gilead has stripped of who she is. She even confronts Fred about this on their journey to meet with the representative about their daughter. She’s willing to do whatever is necessary to be reunited with her daughter. I, however, don’t think she fully grasps what her actions have done and how the rest of the world will perceive her.

2. Now that June can’t find her daughter, she truly has nothing to lose, and that makes her dangerous (and the show exciting). 

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale — “Household” – Episode 306 — June accompanies the Waterfords to Washington D.C., where a powerful family offers a glimpse of the future of Gilead. June makes an important connection as she attempts to protect Nichole. Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), June (Elisabeth Moss), Fred (Joseph Fiennes), shown. (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Hulu)

June has been through hell in the interest of trying to save her daughter and make it out of Gilead. She’s lost that chance to be with her daughter and now has nothing to lose. She doesn’t care if she ends up at the end of the noose as long as it leads to the freedom of another child or individual who has endured the brutality of this new world. She had to go through all of these horrific events to get to this moment.

1. If Fred is in Canada, I wonder if June’s Husband gets to meet with him face to face.

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale — “Unknown Caller” – Episode 305 — June and Serena grapple with the revelation that Luke is caring for Nichole in Canada, leading to an incident that will have far-reaching ramifications. Luke (O.T. Fagbenle), shown. (Photo by: Sophie Giraud/Hulu)

If Serena did betray her husband and make a deal with the Canadians, Luke probably is in on the deal. If that is the case, please let there be a confrontation between the two.

 

'The Handmaid's Tale' Episode 11 Review
  • Overall
4.5

About the author

My name is Dewey Singleton, and I've been a film critic for going on seven years. My reviews have been found on insessionfilm.com, cc2konline.com, monkeysfightingrobots.co, and now eatbreathewatch.com. I am a member of the BFCA, OFCS, and SEFCA. I'm married and have two beautiful children.

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