The 9 things you may have missed in The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 13, Mayday.

Warning: This article contains MANY spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season 3, episode 13, Mayday (and the rest of the season!) If you’re not caught up yet, bookmark us and come back once you’re ready to properly debrief. Ready? Let’s go!

I… am… not okay.

My eyes are red and puffy and… wet. Very wet.

Elisabeth Moss goes behind the episode. Post continues below video.

Video by Hulu

Was it possible to watch the scene of the children getting off the plane in Canada – of young Kiki/Rebecca reuniting with her father, of Luke desperately hoping to see Hannah, and of Rita’s tight hug and admission that June did this – without crying? I really don’t think so.

(I still have absolutely no clue why Moira, Luke and Emily would all be present for the arrival of a plane from Gilead, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13
the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13

June didn't make it out, because of course she didn't, but her decision to sacrifice her own freedom to ensure the freedom of so many children was pretty on-brand. Then when the Marthas and Handmaids (sweet Janine!) came to help her... ah, sh*t, I'm crying again.

Commander Lawrence stayed behind to "clean up his mess" which seems... impossible because DUDE THEY'LL JUST PUT YOU ON THE WALL, but okay.

And the Waterfords. It's still so satisfying to see them locked up, isn't it? Even if Serena got a small taste of freedom early in the episode, Fred played his trump card and got her arrested for sexually assaulting Nick and June.

Mamamia recaps The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 13. Post continues below audio.

Sweet, sweet karma.

We have so many questions and having to wait for answers is very inconvenient, but you don't have to stop talking about Handmaid's yet.

Here's a bunch of details you may have missed from the season finale (and yes, this is permission to watch it all over again).


Treasure Island.

Commander Lawrence's book collection is vast, but the one he took off the shelf to read to the many children gathered silently in his house was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13
Lawrence: I don't like children. Also Lawrence:

It's a book that, at its heart, is about a young boy who embarks on a dangerous adventure to find something life changing.

A fitting story for the Gilead kids, me thinks.


Serena's reaction to the takeaway coffee cup.

After looking at the coffee cup Tuello gives her, Serena sort of... winces.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13
Is this compostable?

Maybe she hates Starbucks (fair), or maybe she's thinking about the waste. Literally Gilead's only decent quality is its priority for environment regeneration.

The irony of this is that straight after, Tuello mentions Serena's written testimony. Gilead may think single-use plastic is bad, but it thinks women being able to write is worse.


Gilead's sustainability also got a shout out when Beth, Sienna and June organised the kids lunches and water: With glass bottles and food wrapped in cloth.

The power of a name.

When Fred and Mr Coconuts and Treason discuss Serena, Tuello refers to her as "Serena", and Fred forcefully 'corrects' him by calling her "Mrs Waterford".

After Tuello approaches Serena during a visitation with Nichole and says (let's say it together because it's so satisfying): "Mrs Waterford, under warrant from the ICC and the government of the United States of America, I am placing you under arrest...", notice that he switches back to Serena's Gilead identifier 'Mrs Waterford'.

Then, when Tuello says "June Osborne", Serena shoots back "Nick and Offred were in a relationship."

Her face, after she refers to June by her slave name is one of... Oh. I have made a mistake.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13

It shows that after everything, Serena still sees June as property (just as Fred sees them both). She's out of her teal dress, sure, but she's still a garbage human. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But Nichole was ripped from her arms, after she was instrumental to so many other women having their babies ripped from theirs, and we felt vindicated.


The first scene of the episode was one of the most horrible we've seen. The flashback to the beginning of Gilead, when the women were being sorted, had so many parallels with the Holocaust.

The horrors of watching the women with disabilities be rounded up and (presumably, judging from June's reaction) killed, the examinations of naked women, the cages. It was powerful, terrifying and hard to watch.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13

But in these moments we also saw our first glimpses of characters that would become important allies for June: Janine, of course, as well as Brianna.

The date rape drug.

As Janine explains that she heard the Martha from Lexington was arrested, Beth says the "mistress woke up and reported her missing".

"I must've been a bad Rohypnol."

Rohypnol, also known as flunitrazepam, is used as a date rape drug.

Does anyone else see the irony in a Martha using a date rape drug in an attempt to escape Gilead, a regime that uses rape every. damn. day as not only a weapon but a resource?

Janine's happy place.

Janine was so happy when June lied and told her that her son Caleb was alive and living near the beach in California.

Then, in the opening scene when she's pushed into the truck, Janine screams that she's "going to sue all you motherf*ckers for so many f*cking money, I'm going to buy a big f*cking beach house in f*cking Stone Harbor".

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13

That's basically a very fancy, very expensive seaside community in New Jersey. We hope Janine gets her beach house one day, she deserves it.

The Milkmaid.

Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer's painting The Milkmaid has been in the Lawrence's kitchen for many episodes now, but its as the Marthas, Handmaids and children rush out of the house that it seems extra significant.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13
Poor Billy is going to be annoyed when he comes to smuggle all the art and finds Lawrence is still there.

At the time, Vermeer's painting was pretty revolutionary because it came at a time (the 1600s...) where art was pretty much exclusively for the upper class and portrayed the upper class. Instead, Vermeer painted a pretty average, not-at-all upper class milkmaid.

The woman in the painting is heavily focused on her work, just at the Marthas – who work in the kitchen – have been heavily focused on this plan. Light shines through the window in the painting onto the maid, which could be interpreted as a sign that the plan was going to be a success.

The death of the handmaid.

the handmaid's tale season 3 episode 13
Now you're just a handmaid that I used to know.

As the handmaids – Brianna, Alma, Janine and others – carried June out of the forest it looked very much like she was in a coffin and they were pallbearers at a funeral.

June's not dead, which suggests she was just grazed by a bullet and not shot through the torso, but 'June the Handmaid' might be. She can't go back to being a handmaid, so she'll need to go into hiding somewhere... somehow. Hopefully the Martha Mafia are onto something.


The final Bible verse.

As she's being carried away, June's voice over recites Exodus 3:8.

In the Bible, Moses is looking after sheep when God speaks to him through a burning bush. God appoints Moses leader of Israel, and says he intends to set the Israelites free from Egyptian slavery and into a 'promised land'.

In this parallel, June is Moses intent of freeing her people from Gilead. The Handmaid's Tale loves foreshadowing, so this could mean June will make smuggling people out a full-time job.

The kicker? The Israelites were lead out of Egypt and to the promised land, but Moses himself never made it.


So... that's season 3 done. At the time filming ended, a fourth season had not been announced and wasn't guaranteed. To think that the show could've ended like that...

There's now at least a year to wait until we see what happens next. There's surely no way June, who was shot, can go back to Lawrence, or even go back to being a handmaid at all after that. Would the arrested Martha spill everything she knows?

How will Gilead react to so many of their stolen children being smuggled to Canada? How will the world react? This is basically the start of a giant war, right?

We need to know all the things.

Go in grace, friends. UNTIL (probably) NEXT YEAR.

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