‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Season 3 Episodes You Need to Watch Before Season 4

Are you ready to see what fate has in store for June Osborne? The Handmaid’s Tale returns with three episodes on Wednesday, April 28. And The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 is sure to be a doozy. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused a two-year delay between seasons 3 and 4. Given that, here are four episodes from season 3 you should watch to refresh your memory before the new season.

June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) in 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 Episode 13, 'Mayday'
June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 3 Episode 13, ‘Mayday’ | Jasper Savage/Hulu

What happens in season 3 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?

Season 3 changed everything. After two seasons of June trying to survive Gilead, Elisabeth Moss’ character reached her breaking point. At the beginning of season 3, June was hellbent on finding and saving her daughter, Hannah, just as she did with baby Nichole at the end of season 2. She was able to visit Hannah at her adoptive parents’ home, giving June hope for the future.

She tried to see Hannah again at her school, but the plan failed. June soon learned Ofmatthew told Aunt Lydia about her attempt to see her daughter. And the betrayal made June snap. In her anger and despair, she convinced the other handmaids to ice out the pregnant Ofmatthew. In another retaliatory move, June exposed Ofmatthew for saying she was indifferent about her current pregnancy—a huge offense in Gilead.

This drove Ofmatthew to her own breaking point. A fight in a grocery store led to Ofmatthew being shot by the Eyes and put into a coma. Still pregnant, she was rushed to a hospital to be cared for until the baby could be safely delivered. June was forced to remain praying by her side in the hospital without reprieve until the baby was born.

What happened to June in season 3?

This experience was June’s last straw. After this point, she wanted to make Gilead hurt like they made handmaids hurt. To that end, she worked with a network of Marthas and handmaids to help 86 children flee the country for Canada.

Commander Lawrence and his wife, Eleanor Lawrence, take June in as their handmaid and don’t subject her to the monthly ceremonies. (They were the same couple who took Emily in in season 2. She ended up trying to kill Aunt Lydia in their home.) It’s in this house that June devises the escape plan with the Lawrences and the network of rebellious Marthas called Mayday.

They encounter a lot of conflicts while devising this plan, however. The Commanders force Commander Lawrence and June to have sex against both of their wills to test Lawrence’s loyalty. June is also forced to kill Commander Winslow before he could sexually assault her. Eleanor, a fragile woman who can no longer handle the weight of Gilead’s actions, almost reveals their escape plot to the widowed Mrs. Winslow. When June discovers her overdosing on prescription medication, she does nothing to help her, becoming complicit in her death.

In the season 3 finale, the Marthas and handmaids successfully get all 86 children out of Gilead. Unfortunately, Hannah wasn’t one of them. June stayed behind with other handmaids to create a diversion so the plane could take off, and she’s shot in the process.

Serena Joy Waterford in 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 experiencing major events at the Canadian border ahead of 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4
Serena Joy Waterford in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Jasper Savage/Hulu

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The most important ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 3 episodes

The trailers for the new season show she survives the gunshot wound and is on the run. Now that you’re refreshed on season 3’s biggest conflicts, here are the four episodes you need to watch to get a good recap on what happened to the other characters.

Season 3 episode 1, “Night”

June gets her new handmaid assignment and tries to figure out how to see Hannah. Serena Joy Waterford also burns her house down. She’s fine! Everything’s fine.

Season 3 episode 5, “Unknown Caller”

Serena Joy goes back on her decision to help get baby Nichole to Canada in season 2. She and Fred start making bold and public moves to try and get the baby back in Gilead.

Season 3 episode 6, “Household”

This is the last episode in which Nick Blaine is seen for the season. And June learns a shocking truth about his past.

Season 3 episode 8, “Unfit”

At long last, Aunt Lydia’s origin story.

Season 3 episode 11, “Liars”

The Waterfords finally face consequences for their actions. Well, Fred does.

Season 3 episode 13, “Mayday”

The season finale that changes the show’s course forever.

The first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 premiere on Hulu on April 28.