Recap: “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 3, Episode 5? Worth it or not?

Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, and it remains one of the greatest and most-widely read masterpieces of feminist fiction. Set in a dystopian post-war society, we see women being objectified and maltreated in the most brutal and disturbing ways. The novel has been adapted into a television series created by Bruce Miller with Elizabeth Moss in the lead role as June Osborne (Offred).

Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale

Season 3, Episode 5

This episode is called “Unknown Caller.” It premiered on 19 June. In this episode, we see bold moves being made on June’s and Serena’s parts. Serena, who is desperate to be a mother, is pining to see Nichole who happens to be with Luke, the father of June’s daughter, Hannah. Serena has June ask Luke to meet her. When they do meet, Luke informs Serena that he agreed to the meeting only out of respect for June.

The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

There was an interesting development in the episode when Rita, one of the Waterfords’ Marthas, hands her mistress a parcel labeled “For Luke.” After having met and held Nichole, Serene gives Luke his parcel. It turns out to be a voice-recording from June who tearfully confesses that Nichole (whose actual name is Holly) is her daughter by a driver named Nick. She lets him know that the child was born out of love and that she is not the same person he knew. This leaves Luke, confused and devastated.

Reasons to Watch The Handmaid’s Tale

The show offers a powerful insight into the lives of women oppressed by patriarchal norms. They are not treated as autonomous beings; instead, they must be addressed as the property of their breeding partners.  

The issue of class exploitation and privilege is also addressed. Aristocratic women are not subject to the indignant humiliation of lower-class women.

You can watch all episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.