The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, Episode 5 “Unknown Caller” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

June looking directly at the camera.
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We’ve come to the point where things might be beyond June’s control, and she may be forced to realize she’s no different than Commander Lawrence’s Marthas.

Director(s) Colin Watkinson
Writer(s) Marissa Jo Cerar
Air Date 6/19/19

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Reminiscing About The Past: Eleanor, June

With Nichole safe in Canada, and June missing her husband, it pushes a bit of nostalgia. However, while she may miss her husband who is far away, Eleanor misses the husband who she met in college. Someone who was into making mixtapes for her, was more charming and fun. Not this man who walks around now who is basically a stranger. One she can live with but isn’t necessarily in love with.

Attempts At Moving On: Luke, June, Serena, Mr. Tuello, Fred

Serena would love to just move on from the Nichole situation and live life, but she can’t. For one, that was the closest thing to a child she had and may have for a long time. On top of that, Fred and the Gilead government will not let that go. So, using June, they arrange a meeting with Luke so Serena could talk to him and Serena’s old friend Mr. Tuello is her Canadian escort. Someone who, once again, offers her asylum and the ability to trade sides – but that is rejected.

As for the meeting with Luke? While contentious in the beginning, Luke mellows out. Maybe not enough to prevent what happens next, however.

Nichole and Serena together in Canada.

Know Your Place: Aunt Lydia, June, Serena, Fred

Being that Gilead is a rebel nation, but one of immense power, it is careful with the international community. Especially since it’ll need trade to survive. However, when it comes to Nichole, it demands her return, and the demand is put on a TV stage. One that has Aunt Lydia coercing June onto the platform, Serena sitting silently, and Fred, naturally, doing the talking.


Will Something Finally Happen Worth Note?

With June noting how Gilead doesn’t like to admit people can and do escape, I wonder how hurt are the egos of the commanders to allow this broadcast? Granted, it is an attempt for sympathy, but there also comes the issue I’m sure many are wondering: What station in Canada is playing this? Like, I’m sure there are Canadians who believe in the Gilead way, but would Canada allow them wide broadcasting rights? Much less, imagine who would advertise for a Gilead supporting network.

But, perhaps the big thing here is the need to question what will Canada’s response be? It’s unlikely Canada will go to war over a child, and Gilead can’t afford a war on multiple fronts. Yet, imagine how unpopular the idea could be to send a child to Gilead, one you know was born of rape, to live a life as a sub-human domestic. Would those from America, Canadians, the international community, support that?

Granted, let’s not pretend there weren’t some nations interested in Handmaids to deal with their own fertility issues. So, it isn’t just everyday resources Gilead has that other countries may want. However, with this season, thus far, not focusing on international politics much, it’s hard to say whether any sense of loyalty to the United States remains and whether Gilead is now accepted. Probably in a similar manner to other resource-rich countries which have disagreeable ideologies.

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