The 9 things you may have missed in The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 11, Liars.

Warning: This article contains MANY spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season three, episode 11, Liars. If you’re not caught up yet, bookmark us and come back once you’re ready to properly debrief. Ready? Let’s go!


That was… everything.


Did you yell at your TV? Did you jump up and down? Did you fist pump? Hell yeah you did.

Um, did you know a lot of The Handmaid's Tale's customs were inspired by real life? Yeah, it's disturbing. Post continues below video.

Video by Mamamia

After a slow slog for most of season three, The Handmaid's Tale rewarded us with Liars, an episode so satisfying even Aunt Lydia would crack a smile (Not a verified claim).

Listen to Mamamia recap The Handmaid's Tale season three, episode 11, Liars. Post continues after audio. 

We first sat through the drama of the Lawrence household. Eleanor almost shot her husband, the Marthas worried June was going to ruin their cargo plane plans, everyone was 110% sick of muffins for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Commander Joseph crawled back home after running away like a teenager who had a fight with their mum and then realised they weren't quite ready to adult.

Then we witnessed the end of Commander Winslow and KARMA HIT GOD DAMN FRED WATERFORD IN THE FACE SO HARD.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
Just because, damn, this is satisfying to look at.

Serena's reactions throughout the episode led us to believe she was maybe setting him up, but we never fully trust Serena, so we weren't sure.

But the moment we realised she had was glorious and we haven't stopped reciting Mr Tuello a.k.a Coconuts and Treason's lines since:

"Commander Waterford, you have now crossed into Canada. We are arresting you for war crimes and crimes of aggression in violation of international human rights treaties and international law.

While you will be held in custody in Canada, you will ultimately be transferred to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. You have been charged with war crimes and human rights violations based on documented evidence and testimony regarding your essential role in acting on behalf of the Republic of Gilead. The charges identify the use of your authority and access to the apparatus of the state to coordinate the persecution and torture of civilians, cruel and inhuman treatment, kidnapping, slavery, and rape."

Play that on a loop at my funeral pls.

Beyond the huge, series-shifting moments was some very, very clever symbolism which honestly makes this episode even better. Because nothing in The Handmaid's Tale is by accident, here's what you may have missed:


The sets: That gated door, the light, the statue...

The set designers must have so much fun with this show. Everything means something.

When Serena and Fred spend their last night together (ick), the light in the room looks very, um, ovarian.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
It's ovar(y), Fred.

Now, this could mean a whole bunch of things.

Fred had just earlier acknowledged that he knows he's the one with fertility issues in the relationship (Gilead always places the blame on the woman, go figure, even though producer Bruce Miller confirmed Serena is not infertile way back in 2017).


It could be a simple nod to that. It could also signify that Serena is the one in control, or maybe a pregnancy could come from their last... yuck.

More symbolism can be found in the Jezabels set. The weird gate-like door inside the suite Winslow takes June to looks like this:

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11

And finally, the statue that June uses to kill Winslow is definitely of a woman.

That in itself is symbolic, but if you look really closely at the pose (arms in front, head down) and the pointy head (that looks like 'wings')... It looks very much like a handmaid.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
Is that... a handmaid?

It seems weird that Gilead would have statues of handmaids, considering they're seen as nothing but incubators, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.


That pen.

June, a former editor who is now forbidden from writing, took down one of Gilead's top dogs with a pen.

Oh, the schadenfreude.

(Side note: Did anyone else think the scene of the Martha cleaning Winslow's blood off the carpet was weirdly therapeutic?)


Aquarius traits Oprah
Was that...

Those few seconds of radio we heard in the Waterford's car meant the return of that weird Oprah cameo from season two.


"This is Radio Free America, broadcasting from somewhere in the great white..." she says, before Fred turns her off. Rude.

Disguising the bridge.

Nope, this wasn't just a creepy, toothy vagina looking bridge.

Cast your mind back to the first episode of the season, when Emily had to cross a river with baby Nichole to reach Canada. In this part of Gilead, the river is the border between Canada.

Then, take a look at this:

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11

It's a gravel bridge built over five big pipes, so the water can pass through. Now, Fred's pretty stupid, but if he knew was driving over the river he'd definitely realise he was entering Canada.

We're seeing an aerial perspective, but it looks like the Canadians have used enough gravel and rock to enclose it and make it seem like a continuation of a quarry road or the forest.

Basically, the Canadians have disguised the bridge to look like... not a bridge.


The Waterford vs Tuello cars.

First of all, what the hell was up with Fred's stupid driving outfit and glasses? Dude, seriously, what are you doing?

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
But... Why are you wearing those glasses...

Anyway! The Waterfords drove a Mercedes-Benz, which seems to be the car of choice in Gilead. Season one featured many, and it was also what Emily was driving when she ran over the commander.

There's a lot of parallels between Nazi Germany and Gilead (in this episode alone, we had the swastika symbolism and talk of Commander Lawrence plundering art), and the cars are another.

Throughout the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz produced the 770 model, a car that was popular during Germany's Nazi period. Adolf Hitler was known to have driven these cars during his time in power, with bulletproof windshields.

The car fits with Gilead in even the smallest details, including the analog clock (because Gilead doesn't do digital).

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
Tick, tock.

In contrast, Mr Coconuts and Treason was driving a Dodge, a.k.a the quintessential American muscle car.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11

During WWII, Dodge built over 400,000 vehicles for the Allied forces.

June stabbed Commander Winslow 23 times.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11

Yes, we did watch this scene... a lot, and we did count each blow from June's pen.

Do you know who else was stabbed 23 times? Julius freaking Caesar, a.k.a the Roman emperor who declared himself a dictator for life and everybody knows "We should totally just stab Caesar!"

That new American flag.

The American flag contains 50 stars to represent the 50 states. As we see the Americans present at Fred's arrest, the flag on their arms looks very different.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11

Though it was only for a flash, the flag looks like its blocked out or removed 48 stars leaving just two, to represent the only remaining states: Alaska and Hawaii.

The power block is gone.

At the end of the episode, Lawrence handed June a gun and told her to be prepared because "they'll be coming for us".

But... will they? The only ones suspicious of Lawrence were Winslow and Fred. Both are now gone - Winslow's body has been brilliantly disposed of by the Marthas, so it will look like he simply disappeared and even if Canada and the Americans keep their capture of Fred secret from Gilead, the regime will think the Waterfords are missing too.

Maybe the eyes (and Aunt Lydia) will talk. Or maybe, without the two big powers on his back, Lawrence will be elevated to a higher position among the commanders and be able to pull even more strings for June and the Marthas resistance.

Were Luke and Moira there...

Okay, so technically you didn't miss this because it wasn't a thing... But it looks like it was supposed to be.

The thumbnail for HBO Nordic uses this photo of Luke and Moira at what looks to be the scene where the Waterfords were captured.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 11
What are you doing here pls.

This was obviously removed from the episode's final cut, but the fact that they may have been present for a military operation is weird. Did Serena negotiate a visit with Nichole as part of her deal to hand over Fred?

We are still positively shook after that episode. With two more to go until the end of the season (FYI season four was confirmed this week), things are getting WILD.

What will happen to Fred? Surely Serena will face consequences too, right? Oh and JUNE HAS A GUN.

Oh man, we need to lie down.


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