The Best Moments From ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season Finale

The Handmaid's Tale season finale cast
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ cast | (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The third season of The Handmaid’s Tale got off to a slow start, but the season finale proves why it’s still one of the best dramas on TV. From start to finish, the third season’s finale was compelling and had viewers on the edge of their seats. While some story lines were still left fractured, the episode answered a majority of fans’ questions. It did what a season finale is supposed to do, almost guaranteeing fans will tune in for the fourth season. Looking back, these are the best moments from The Handmaid’s Tale season finale.

June embraces her role as a leader in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

June is the main protagonist of the show, and the third season showed her truly accepting that role. Countless episodes foreshadowed how those around her look up to her, and in the season finale Aunt Lydia even tells June the other handmaids follow June’s lead. In this episode, June takes control of the situation when Commander Lawrence falters and rolls with the punches when plans change. 

In the climax of the season finale, June sacrifices herself twice so the children can make it to the plane. She leaves the group with tears in her eyes, ready to distract the guardians on her own. When she turns behind her, several marthas and handmaids follow her. It’s a heartwarming moment of women working together, but it also shows the respect the other women have for June. To save the women that followed her, June leads a guard away from them, accepting her role as a leader and hero.

Commander Lawrence accepts his mistakes

Commander Lawrence is a complicated character, and for a majority of the season viewers could not tell what side he was truly on. The season finale seems to answer that question. Before the group makes a break for it, Lawrence reads to the children huddled inside his house in the candle light. Instead of fleeing on the plane, Lawrence decides to stay behind and fix his mistakes. Will he fight Gilead from the inside as part of the resistance?

Serena is arrested for her crimes

In perhaps the second biggest payoff of the episode, Serena finally gets what she deserves. Just a week before she was set to be released from her detainment, Mark Tuello arrested Serena. Fred alerted Tuello that Serena forced Nick and June to procreate when she suspected Fred was sterile. Although Nick and June developed a consensual and loving relationship later on, Serena was still guilty of rape. It looks like the fourth season will show both Serena and Fred facing trial.

Rita and the children make it to Canada in the season finale

Although only a supporting character, Rita is a fan favorite. Like June, she survived years in the Waterford household and was a loyal friend. When the plane lands in Canada, Rita cries tears of relief. After years of being held captive, she is finally free. She also reunites with Emily and meets June’s husband, Luke. Rita making it to Canada sets up the plot for the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale. She will be able to testify against Serena and Fred Waterford and help fill in Luke and Moira on June.

In the biggest emotional payoff of the season finale, the children make it to Gilead safely. Children are reunited with their parents from before and Canadian officials are there to welcome them. June succeeded in her mission of getting over 50 children out of Gilead. They are safe, ending the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale on a hopeful note.