This post contains spoilers for the Handmaid’s Tale season three finale.
HANDMAID’S TALE SHOWRUNNER BREAKS DOWN A DARKLY HEROIC SEASON THREE FINALE
Blessed Be The Fruit. How the series will interact with Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel, how the writers room discusses race, and whether June’s plot armor has gotten too thick.
In its third season, The Handmaid’s Tale turned its protagonist, June, into a ruthless rebel—an at-times morally ambiguous hero forged by unthinkable circumstances. In some ways the series has broadened its perspective in this latest chapter, offering viewers a look at international relations between Gilead and various countries, especially Canada. In others, however, it’s felt somewhat trapped by its own premise—bound to Gilead when the most poignant story is what’s happening to refugees outside of that dystopian hellscape, and confined to June’s perspective, blind spots and all.
That said, the show’s most recent finale is undeniably impactful, as June realizes the toll this world has taken on her, and joins with several other women in an act of potential self-sacrifice to save nearly 100 children from meeting the same fate. In the end she and her fellow rebels are victorious, loading dozens of children on a plane to Canada.
But showrunner Bruce Miller knows better than anyone that heroism like this comes at a cost—both for June and those she leaves in her wake. Speaking with V.F. ahead of the season finale’s debut, he said that this season was shaped, in part, by that force: the cost of becoming a conquerer.
Vanity Fair: When we spoke at the end of season two, we talked about June becoming a rebel. We definitely got that this season, but the show also zoomed out to show bigger issues surrounding Gilead and the refugee situation it’s creating in Canada. What were your storytelling goals coming into this season?
Bruce Miller: I think the storytelling goals were just to follow June and her natural progression towards rebelling, and to show how hard it was. I think that we’re kind of sold a bill of goods on TV that one person who really feels strongly about something and tries very, very hard can change the world. READ MORE
THE HANDMAID’S TALE CLOSES A MESSY SEASON WITH A SURPRISINGLY SATISFYING FINALE
June embarks on a dangerous mission, as the show attempts to justify its recent creative choices.
Every week, a few members of the Vox Culture team gather to talk out the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. This week, critic at large Emily VanDerWerff and staff writer Constance Grady discuss “Mayday,” the third season finale.
Emily VanDerWerff: Watching a largely satisfying finale to a season of TV that never quite came together can feel like watching the ending of a different story than the one previously being told. It’s as if, for a brief moment, the show has provided a glimpse into an alternate universe where the season was everything it could have been. READ MORE
11 PHOTOS OF THE HANDMAID’S TALE CAST BREAKING CHARACTER
The Handmaid’s Tale will wrap up its third season this Sunday, August 18 in Canada. (Don’t Google it – it aired earlier this week in the U.S. and spoilers abound.) As we wait for the sure-to-be heart stopping season finale, here’s a look at all the behind-the-scenes moments documented on Instagram, with a lot more smiles and laughter than you’ve probably come to expect from the show.
Rita (Amanda Brugel), Alma (Nina Kiri) and June (Elisabeth Moss) casually enjoying a read at Indigo in Mississauga’s Erin Mills Town Centre, no less.
Alma and Janine (Madeline Brewer) take a selfie. READ MORE