The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Episode 11 ‘Liars’ Recap and Review
I am on Keto and this opening scene of ALL THAT BREAD is just mean spirited. June wants to get 52 kids out but only has 10 seats. She can’t square the circle and is having difficulty keeping her shit together. Oh man Eleanor has a gun to Joseph’s head. June talks her down. Tells her that she doesn’t want to be a murderer. They have a brief discussion about keeping their collective shit together. She needs Joseph’s help. June promises it will make things better (which is a biggggggg stretch). They have to make it mean something, which is what I think the writers thought to themselves half-way through this season.
Later, June tells Joseph that Eleanor is settled now, and he offers her a drink. He then calls her the ice queen. They are drinking whiskey straight though without ice, and he recognizes how useful she is and thanks her. She then tells him he has 52 kids who he will help. He calls her crazy (I mean….glass houses). She tells him he owes her. He agrees because he needs to get his wife out. He will try to get more trucks. She points out the irony that he might actually be a hero if they pull it off.
Serena waits inside of a building as she talks to her Martha. She is headed out to check on Nichole. Serena says this is the last negotiation, and then they will get her back. They have a personal moment (I have a very bad feeling about that moment). Fred picks Serena up in a fancy car. He is still a douche.
A Martha leads June to a meeting of other Martha’s. The Martha’s want her to shut down the rescue operation. They feel like operation kinderexpress will threaten them all. The Martha’s feel threatened by her. The Lawrence Martha vouches for June. Its really a discussion of the underground. The Marthas will not stand in her way but they will also not help. The Martha’s are expecting an underground delivery and were concerned about the new plan. June seems to have cleared a major hurdle.
Back in the douche canoe that is the Waterford’s car. They seem to be operating below board They comment on how weak Americans are right now. They seem to be planning to double-cross the American CIA agent. They were also listening to Radio Free America (pretty cool broadcast from somewhere in the great white). Fred pulls over and tells Serena she needs to drive. She is really starved for power if this is what does it for her. She smiles, and they put down the top, and she starts driving fast. This would be a quaint scene if they WEREN’T AWFUL PEOPLE. They arrive at a house and meet folks who seem to be friends of Gilead.
Martha is talking to June about the shipment that the resistance is expecting. Mrs. Lawrence didn’t eat her breakfast and Joseph is gone. June thinks something is up and goes to investigate. The Lawrences bailed and shredded all the important Gilead documents. He leaves her a note that just says “sorry”. June is scrambling. She wants to hijack the Martha’s resistance shipment and get the kids out that way. I mean come on. The Martha’s are not down for this new plan.
The Waterford’s are spending the night at this strange house and the host family seems to be singing Christmas Carol’s or hymns or something. It feels very Charles Dickens, which seems really out of place. Serena wanders off. Fred finds her and can sense she is uneasy about bringing Nichole back. Apparently they have not left Gilead which would explain the strange family and their choice of music. It’s the crappiest Spotify station ever. The Waterford’s reminisce about the good ole times. Serena is pissed that Fred took away all of her power. They then engage in a what could have been discussion. I am not AT ALL interested in trying to humanize this couple. They are AWFUL people. Fred offers to retire and move out to the country (where they are at). He says he doesn’t want to miss his daughter growing up. They sleep in separate beds (of course they do). He holds her hand and I just get angrier. Apparently they are going to do it now which feels ickier than any sex I have seen on camera this year. Apparently it just takes a little driving to get back in her good graces. Fuck that noise.
June is still trying to figure out how to follow through with the plan when she hears some voices in the other room. The Lawrences seem to be back. It’s time to pay the piper and June has been playing a long time. Joseph says his wife is more important than June is. He then tells her that the state has removed his clearance and that he cannot give her the approval to pull off the rescue. He says he cannot get anything out. He is losing it a bit and June tells him to keep his shit together. He is going to try to move June to a kinder Commander instead of the colonies or Jezebels which is where she could be headed. June tells him that he is taking her to the city. He smiles.
She is riding in a car, and she has real clothes and makeup on. She is going to the Jezebel club it looks like. Joseph lets her out and tells her he will wait for her. She is walking in heels down a long hallway and eventually finds the main room. She sits at the bar and takes everything in. She asks if the bartender is named Billy. She engages in some light blackmail. June wants a car to get everyone out. He calls her crazy (seems to be a theme this episode). She offers to pay him in the fine art that adorns the house. I am sure there is a thriving Cubist market in Gilead. Nothing screams Surrealism like Gilead. Wait that kind of actually makes sense). Billy says maybe he will think about it. Apparently he is an art buff. June seems to be happy with the maybe. As she is leaving Commander Winslow calls her by her name and tells her to come over (ohhhhh shit best laid plans). They go to a private room where Winslow pours her a drink. He asks her if Lawrence brought her, and she says yes. She spins a tale about how he likes to hear about her experiences in the brothel but doesn’t like to go himself. Winslow is down for creating some stories to tell him. Man it just keeps getting grosser. He tells her to get on the bed. Now we are getting the internal voice over as she mentally prepares herself for what’s to come. He is standing behind the bed and giving her commands. He tells her to roll over (FFS). She fights back (get it girl) and she is either going to kill him or she will die. She stabs him repeatedly with a pen and clubs him over the head with a sculpture. The last thing he says are “my kids” before she kills him. Always hiding behind the kids. He seems to be really dead. Things got a lot more complicated.
Housekeeping comes in and finds June covered in blood. One of the Marthas comes in and tells her she was one of the Martha’s that June saved way back at the beginning of the season. She tells her where the service elevator is and how to get out and tells her to go. June is now walking down the hallway covered in blood and gets her shit back together and gets out. Joseph is waiting, and she gets back in his car. To his credit he does not ask any questions despite the fact she is covered in blood.
Serena is waiting at a gas station. They are meeting the CIA agent. He tells them to meet up the road where they can talk. The Waterford’s are slightly reluctant but Serena vouches for the American, and they follow him. He is driving them all over and Fred is getting nervous. Still driving now across some water and through some trees. Definitely not to grandmothers house though. Finally the cars stop and Fred is pissed they drove so far. He gets out and starts to yell at The American. Who in turn informs Fred he is in Canada now and is under arrest. A bunch of soldiers pop out of the woods formally arrest the Waterfords (BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD PEOPLE). Serena tells Fred just to do what they say. They are going to charge him with war crimes. The Swedes are there. Apparently they believed June.
June wakes up, still covered in blood and makeup. The cleaning lady Martha is covering up June’s crime. Things changed in Gilead in just one night. June puts back on her handmaid uniform and the maid carpet cleans the blood. Cool juxtaposition of the color red here. June gets cleaned up. She has a little bruise but other than that she is in okay shape. Same can be said for the room that the commander was in. The Martha’s burn Winslow’s body. Joseph hands June a gun and tells her that they will be coming for them (who is they??? also is that part of the plan?). I loved the fight that this episode had but I don’t know if its enough to redeem a really bleak season. Finding out the Swedes aren’t assholes was pretty cool though. June kept her shit together for another episode.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.