‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Episode Three Review: ‘Late’

In just three episodes, The Handmaid’s Tale has solidified itself as one of the best new TV series of 2017. While episodes one and two are jaw-dropping, episode three of The Handmaid’s Tale entitled “Late” will leave you speechless. There are several key performances in this latest installment that make it the best episode of the series so far. The Handmaid’s Tale continues to climb as it becomes Hulu’s greatest asset.

Episode three of The Handmaid’s Tale takes us inside the government of Gilead and the extreme measures taken against the citizens of this horrific, dystopian society. When Offred’s period is late, Serena Joy hopes that this means she could finally have a baby of her own. Meanwhile, Ofglen has been taken and faces a difficult challenge. This episode isn’t for the faint of heart. Between Ofglen’s storyline and Offred remembering the early days of the revolution, “Late” is a tough pill to swallow.

The Handmaid’s Tale is so timely it’s scary. While Atwood wrote the original novel in 1985, there seems to be no better time for people to watch the Republic of Gilead on their TV screens. Looking at our current political climate, it’s hard not to see some scary similarities to what we’re experiencing today. Episode three provides us with one of the most chilling comparisons so far. This is one of the reasons “Late” is the most horrific episode.

The flashbacks paint a realistic picture of the early days of the revolution. First, women are stripped of their money. Then, they lose their jobs. Until finally they’re forced to strike and march for their rights. Sound a little too familiar? Watching the characters march is a chilling comparison to the Women’s Marches that took place across the United States earlier this year. While The Handmaid’s Tale filmed this episode months before the Women’s Marches took place, it’s so similar it’s scary. The Handmaid’s Tale, while a beautifully shot and structured series, is elevated by the comparisons to what we’re experiencing across the world. We’re fractured as a society and this could be our future. The Handmaid’s Tale knows just how to show us our deepest fears.

Is it okay to dub this the year of Alexis Bledel’s comeback? Because right here, right now, I’m doing just that. 2017 is the year Alexis Bledel swooped back into our lives and continues to prove she’s no longer Rory Gilmore. While Rory will always define Bledel’s career, Ofglen may define her career going forward. She’s a force to be reckoned with in every episode, however “Late” is her shining moment. After being taken by “The Eyes,” Ofglen is standing on trial for her gender identity. It’s a storyline that sends chills down your spine and with Bledel at the helm it’s even more gruesome.

Without uttering a single word, Bledel gives a chilling and Emmy Award worthy performance. Using only her eyes, she’s able to convey everything running through Ofglen’s mind. Muzzled and forced to stand trial for being a lesbian, Bledel conveys the bleakness Ofglen is experiencing. Her wordless performance and the silence in the scenes speaks volumes. It’s better than any monologue she could’ve had. Bledel uses her body language throughout the episode. From the chilling expression in her eyes to Ofglen clasping the hands of her lover before she dies, it’s incredible what Bledel does. It’s incredible to watch her and she makes this episode one of The Handmaid’s Tale’s best.

Her best moment might be the ending scene. Ofglen wakes up in a very sterile hospital room to find she’s been the victim of an intimate violation. It’s terrifying, horrific and as an audience we experience it all through Bledel’s eyes. The only noise she finally utters is a yell filled with pure hatred and pain that launches Ofglen into the next episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. In just one episode, Bledel has shed her Rory Gilmore persona and given us a gripping performance everyone needs to watch.

Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski also give us some of their best performances. With Offred fearing she could be pregnant, Serena Joy begins to celebrate. Their relationship takes an odd turn. A turn where Serena Joy will do anything to protect Offred, thus showing how desperate having a baby is for these women. Strahovski and Moss work perfectly together and it’s one of the many great pairing on The Handmaid’s Tale. While the calmer moments are a welcomed change, it’s actually their final moment together in “Late” that give us their best performances.

When Offred finds out she’s not pregnant, Serena Joy drags her back to her room and locks her inside. This is Strahovski’s shining moment. In a single moment, Strahovski is able to take Serena Joy from a joyous moment to a moment of pure anger. It’s exceptional to watch this scene unfold and Moss makes the perfect scene partner. The duo work very well together in “Late” and if this is any indication how the rest of The Handmaid’s Tale will go, we’re excited to see them progress.

Moss also stands tall alone. “Late” gives us another gripping performance from Moss alone, but this time it’s an outer monologue that seals her fate as one of the greatest actresses of our generation. When the government comes asking Offred about Ofglen, Moss shines the brightest. Defending her friend, Offred is willing to take any punishment. It’s a chilling scene where we can see Offred push the limits of defying this world she’s part of. Moss continuously shines and outdoes herself episode after episode.

“And blessed are those who suffer for the cause of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. I remember.”

Hinging on Bledel’s exceptional performance as Ofglen, The Handmaid’s Tale continues to be one of the best new TV shows of 2017. With an exceptional cast going above and beyond expectations, this show is a must see. “Late” continues our descent into a world that is horrific. It hinges on the loud moments of revolution, but also the silent moments of horror. The Handmaid’s Tale continues to climb to the top of our must watch lists.

The Handmaid’s Tale is currently streaming on Hulu

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.