‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 3, Episode 12: Serena Is a “Gender Traitor”

The latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale was explosive and showed a unique side to multiple characters. We see people make difficult choices all around, with some having far reaching implications. June (Elisabeth Moss) is as always fighting for freedom and seems to see the light at the end of the tunnel. She makes choices this week that she can’t pull back from.

How to get away with murder

Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss | Harmony Gerber/FilmMagic

Somehow, June has found a way to completely get away with killing Commander Winslow (Christopher Meloni). The people in charge of Gilead simply believe he is missing, probably because of what has happened to the Waterfords. Joseph (Bradley Whitford) tells June once they are gone, “Cheer up. Fred and Serena are toast and you just got away with murder. All in all, not a bad morning.” But not before giving her a gun last episode to hang on to just in case they suspected her of the suspicious death.

June chooses the cause over life

June also finds out that Billy, who works at Jezebel’s, has agreed to let them use the plane. June has just a week to go before the kids will be safely out of Gilead and on a plane far away. This, of course, is the first good news she has really had, apart from what has happened to the Waterfords. In this episode, we see June choose the cause as much more important than a life. She allows Eleanor Lawrence (Julie Dretzin), who has taken way too many sleeping pills, to die in her sleep instead of alerting someone for help.

We see her struggle with this choice, but she knows what she has to do. Just a day before we see Eleanor almost reveal the plan to other people. She tries to leave the house to go get more kids for the trip they are planning. She wants to get them all out, that much is clear, but she is unwell and June isn’t willing to take anymore risks. This will hopefully be what Commander Lawrence needs to kickstart into helping the cause even more.

Serena turns in her husband

Yvonne Strahovski
Yvonne Strahovski | Harmony Gerber/FilmMagic

As the episode begins, we see Fred (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) in swanky holding cells. It becomes apparent that Serena planned the entire thing. “You have to save yourself. I’ll be fine,” Serena tells Fred. His eyes flash and he realizes that she planned this and knew he would be captured. She took her chance to be with her daughter, and turned Fred in. “It’s always been about you,” he replies. “What you want. What you need. I pity the child that has you as their mother.” Fred is clearly livid and feels violently betrayed.

Serena is a “gender traitor”

Serena is now enjoying her newfound life away from Fred and Gilead. She’s sporting new clothes and looks like an entirely different person. She gets to see Nichole for an hour-long visit, but why is anyone’s guess. Moira (Samira Wiley) brings Nichole and violently lashes out at Serena, and rightfully so. She tells Serena that Fred even raped her as well. Moira tells her that she held down her friend while her husband raped her. Moira doesn’t mince words, and also lets her know that Nicole isn’t her daughter and she is a “gender traitor.”

With only one episode left in season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, things are heating up for an explosive finale. Fans can’t wait to see if June get the children of Gilead to freedom or if Serena will finally get what’s been coming to her.