The 7 things you may have missed in The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 5, Unknown Caller.


Warning: This post contains a LOT of spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season 3, episode 5. If you’re not caught up on the latest episode, bookmark us and come back once you’re ready to properly debrief. Ready? Let’s go!

This season of The Handmaid’s Tale had so far been… lighter. With the Marthas resistance network, Emily and Nichole’s successful escape and June’s (very dangerous) ‘friendship’ with Serena, we were seeing less of the real atrocities of Gilead and more of the hope that one day it could end.

Then came the end of episode five, where June’s powerlessness as a handmaid came crashing back down on us. If you were too busy crying over Luke’s reaction to the tape June left him, or couldn’t stop wondering what the heck is up with Commander Lawrence’s wife, here’s some things you may have missed in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3, episode 5 ‘Unknown caller’.

Mamamia recaps The Handmaid’s Tale season 3, episode 5, Unknown Caller. Post continues below audio:

That won’t be the last we see of the American diplomat in Canada.

We’d all but forgotten the first major look we got at Canada, when the Waterford’s made a “short trip for work” during Season 2. The entire purpose of bringing Serena along was to show the Canadians women in Gilead were not oppressed… Which Serena knew was bullsh*t, but she also knew she had no choice.

When she was sitting at the hotel bar alone, she met an American diplomat who offered her the chance to flee: She could be on a plane to Hawaii in an hour. She said no, of course, but we bet she was imagining drinking cocktails on the beach.


Fast forward to Season 3 and Serena touched down in Canada again, this time to visit Nichole, and she was greeted off the plane by that same diplomat.

As she prepared to leave, he told her his offer still stands: “Treason and coconuts.” She turned him down again but did take a phone with a direct line to him… Oh. Expect that to ring this season.

Where are Gilead’s passenger planes?

The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 5

Serena was bundled into an empty cargo plane to Canada and it was... confusing. Why does Gilead not have a plane with a proper seat available?

Luke swore he'd tell Nichole her 'real' life story, before he even knew it.

Serena is not her mother, and Luke said he would make sure she knew that.

Then he learned the full extent who she really was: Holly, a baby born out of love between his wife and Nick, a driver in Gilead.

The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 5
Yes... we are crying... what of it?

Besides the fact that the scene of him listening to June's tape was heart wrenching, we wonder how June's admission will challenge his vow to protect the baby.

June's tape may save Nichole, but condemn herself.

The Waterford's quest for Nichole to be returned to Gilead could be seriously damaged if Luke uses June's tape to show that Fred is not her biological father.

But then... that puts June and Nick in serious danger from the powers at be. Not only have they broken Gilead's rules by sleeping together, but the revelation would seriously embarrass the Waterfords - who would no doubt set out for revenge.

Commander Lawrence's music was... telling.

In a TV show full of complicated, we're-not-sure-whether-to-love-or-hate-them-type characters, Commander Lawrence stands out as the most confusing of them all.

On one hand, he helped Emily and Nichole escape and allows the Marthas the run their resistance out of his house. On the other hand, he god-damn created the society they're rebelling against.

As June watched Lawrence and his wife bond of their love of music, "Cruel To Be Kind" played. That is exactly what Commander Lawrence thinks he's doing.

Um, Serena had a nose piercing.

The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 5
We hope they write edgy young Serena into her backstory.

Okay, so this has no bearing at all on the story line... But actress Yvonne Strahovski had her nose pierced for five years and the hole was clearly visible in the close-up of Serena watching Nichole and Luke in Toronto Airport.

This is only included because the thought of Serena with a nose ring in her previous life sparks so much joy.

June needs new allies.

Nick is gone. Emily is gone. Her idea that Serena and Fred could in some way help her was destroyed as soon as those TV studio lights switched on.

The Handmaid's Tale season 3, episode 5
After four episodes of seeing June try and wrangle power in Gilead, this scene brought her (and us) crashing back to reality.

The admission by Ofmathew that she is pregnant with her fourth child - and her major change from preachy and pious to... scared - seemed important.

Screw the wives and the commanders - the handmaids and Marthas may need to do this on their own.

Next week can't come soon enough.