The Handmaid’s Tale has now reached a point in it’s third season where there have been many emotional moments to process, but none have been greater than what transpired in the 5th episode (which released this morning). Before we get into the episode, you have to tip your cap to the stellar writing this show continuously exhibits week after week.
While I realize some might have viewed certain instances in the previous four episodes as being “boring” or “dull,” but good writers understand the need to build towards a moment, and in season three it’s the march towards revolution. Was this moment where the fight towards freedom bega? It does seem matters have escalated, and that moment is coming real soon.
A protest video allows officials in Gilead to track down Luke and Nichole (much to the delight of the Waterford family) except for the fact that they are in Canada. Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) has come to grips with this but does want the opportunity to say goodbye to their “daughter.”
This, of course, leads to officials springing into action and forcing June to call Luke on the phone for the first time since everything changed. He, of course, is taking back by the phone call and tries to see if she’s okay but they only have so many seconds. June then instructs her to meet with Mrs. Waterford at the Toronto Airport so that she can see “her” baby for the last time. It crushed him, but he agreed to do it.
Serena travels to Toronto to meet with Luke and Nichole (under the watchful eye of the Canadian authorities). She tries to be cordial with Luke, but he ends up treating the way you’d expect. Why would anyone be kind to someone who has had an active hand in holding your wife captive?
I do think that this a critical moment because she truly gets to experience what her actions (or inactions) have done to impact other lives. Do I believe this is a big deal? Yes, I do! However, it does seem that she has some delusions about bringing apart of her “daughter’s” life, (even in memory) which luke lets her know will never be the case.
She, of course, leaves Toronto devastated, which leads her vulnerable to the persuasion of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). This then leads to a moment which brought clarity to June as to who she can trust.
Instead of letting this go as they promised, they betray June (and why wouldn’t they) and broadcasts to the world how their “daughter” has been kidnapped which then turns Luke into a fugitive. This leads into my favorite moment of the season where the cinematographer focused the shot right on Elisabeth Moss as she’s furious with the song “Sunday Bloody Sunday” playing by U2.
While there’s more to process about this episode (we haven’t even got into the tape Luke received), this episode was by far the best of the season, and it’s all leading to what will likely be a pivotal sixth episode next week. What did you guys think?