The Handmaid’s Tale, season 3 episode 11, titled “Liars,” will premiere early Wednesday morning, July 31, at 12 a.m. Eastern/Pacific on Hulu. The show will be available at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night (July 30) on the West Coast, and 11 p.m. Tuesday night Central/Standard time.
The official Hulu description for episode 11 reads “A return to Jezebels puts everything in jeopardy. Serena Joy and Commander Waterford take a clandestine trip.” (Spoilers ahead, so turn back if you’re not caught up!)
Viewers will recall last week’s episode, titled “Bear Witness,” ending on a surprisingly hopeful note for Handmaid’s Tale standards. Not only did June get an overwhelmingly positive response to her plea to help children escape Gilead (so many muffins!), Serena appeared to finally be ready to utilize the secret cell phone that Mark Tuello, her Canadian contact (who actually hails from pre-Gilead America) gave her when she met with Luke earlier this season. Unfortunately, Serena is dragging Fred into her plan to get out of Gilead, which will likely end very badly for everybody involved (I mean, the man allowed the government to amputate his wife’s finger for asking a few questions).
For those who need a recap of last week’s episode, Serena confronted Fred on the fact that he was getting “distracted” with his new position in Washington D.C. She told him he was starting to lose sight of their actual goal – to get Nicole back – and showed him the phone from Tuello while telling him she has contacts that can help them reunite with “their” daughter. As mentioned above, we don’t believe having Fred involved in the treason Serena is planning will have a happy ending, but fans will just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
The rest of the episode was pretty sickening, and felt more like the Handmaid’s Tale that we’re all familiar with. Fred recommended that Commander Winslow drop in on Joseph and Eleanor Lawrence to make sure they were completing the ceremony with June. Since Commander Lawrence has yet to produce a baby from four different handmaids, Fred suggested they might not be taking part in the ceremony as often as they are required, so Fred, Commander Winslow, Serena, Aunt Lydia and a doctor all came by the Lawrence household so they could be in attendance for the ceremony.
While viewers sat in horror wondering if the entire group was planning to watch the ceremony, June, Commander Lawrence and Eleanor congregated in the bedroom upstairs. Although Commander Lawrence was originally going to have them all wait in silence for a few minutes before heading back downstairs, June explained that the doctor was waiting to give her a vaginal exam afterward, causing Eleanor Lawrence to break down in inconsolable hysterics after realizing that the ceremony had to happen, lest they all be executed.
The rest of the scene was heartbreaking; June and Commander Lawrence tried to calm Eleanor down while June told the Commander to close his eyes and pretend like it was just another job. It wasn’t as disturbing and infuriating as the episode where Fred and Serena held June down and raped her, but it was definitely cringe-worthy in its own way, and absolutely heartbreaking to watch Eleanor weeping in the corner and to see how detached June has become to the ceremonial monthly rape.
Tonight’s episode promises some extreme fallout from the forced ceremony. The promo below shows Eleanor finally snapping and pulling a gun on her husband for what he did to June. Viewers will also get a chance to see June’s mission to rescue the children kick off as she meets with a handful of Marthas who are questioning her plan. It looks like Fred might also be considering Serena’s offer to get out of Gilead, because the promo also sees the two taking a secret trip out of town. Possibly to meet with Tuello?
If you’re not caught up to episode 11 just yet, you still have plenty of time to binge the first ten episodes of the season. Tune in Wednesday at 12 a.m. ET (Tuesday at 11 p.m. CT, 9 p.m. PT) to catch the newest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.