‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns with a ruthless third season

Right, so before we dive in and unpackage all of the nightmares in season three of “The Handmaid’s Tale” please note that this review will include spoilers from the first two seasons, consider yourself warned.

The latest season picks up after in the wake of season 2 after June sends her daughter away with Emily. The season begins with the audience learning that Emily and baby Nicole safely escaped Gilead and reunited with June’s loved ones in Canada.

Serena is bereft after she helps June get Nicole out of the country and unravels, while June finds herself placed with Commander Lawrence, trying to find her footing in this new household. The efforts to find baby Nicole are ramped up in Gilead after the Commanders discover footage of Luke with the missing baby at a protest in Canada.

In her new household, June tries to plot a way to get Hannah and herself out of Gilead while a shattered Serena does everything she can to get the Canadians to return the baby to her. In Canada, audiences watch as Emily tries to readjust to life after Gilead and how delicate the political ties are between Gilead and the international community.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” certainly amped up the tragedy porn aspect of the series, episode after episode beats down the viewer, leaving them gutted and disheartened. Both June and Serena experience absolutely rock-bottom lows in the wake of Nicole’s escape but eventually are able to reignite the fires in two drastically different ways.

However, this season the writers behind “The Handmaid’s Tale” give viewers something unexpected in the finale; they give us an unexpected nugget of hope. A hope that June breathed into being.

Elisabeth Moss’ acting in the latest season is impeccable, she goes beyond the courageous and calculating June she has played before. In the third season, Moss provides a breathtakingly ruthless performance as the audience witnesses the toll the hells of Gilead take upon her. While her acting is absolutely spectacular, Yvonne Strahovksi (Serena), Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia), Madeline Brewer (Janine), Bradley Whitford (Commander Lawrence) and Julie Dretzin (Eleanor Lawrence) shine in their roles and adding shades and shadows to the darkness of the series.

Keep in mind this series is absolutely gut-wrenching and should perhaps be viewed slowly over time as binge watching this much horror is certainly difficult.

Three seasons of “The Handmaid’s Tale” are available on Hulu. Viewers looking to watch something less distressing might be interested in watching “Mr. Iglesias” on Netflix, a sitcom about a teacher working in an underserved school.