June's New Mission On 'The Handmaid's Tale' Is Raising A Lot Of Logistical Questions

by Ani Bundel

The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 has jumped about throughout the first two-thirds of the season. The first three episodes set up the story of "June Osborn: Gilead's Worst Nightmare." Then it became "Mother June vs. Mother Serena" fighting over Baby Nichole's future. Recently, it's been "Mother June: Hannah Obsessed." Now there's a new twist, as the show marries these ideas together into "Mother June: Gilead's Worst Nightmare." But how will June get children out of Gilead? Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 follow.

Thirteen episodes a season is a lot to fill, and June has found herself tossed hither and yon as The Handmaid's Tale struggles to find a single thread to focus on. Part of the problem is that the show has so many stories it wants to tell. It wants to explore the international incident that was Nichole crossing into Canada. It wants to show what happens to children ripped away from their mothers. It wants to dig into the fascism and bigotry of Gilead's government.

But this week finally seemed to cohere everything into one vision. After spending a crazed few months trapped in the hospital watching a dead woman forced to bring her baby to term, June knows what it is she had to do. She has to take back the children Gilead has stolen.


When Ofmatthew (whose name is Natalie) betrayed June's plans to see Hannah, June retaliated by using her doubts about her pregnancy to have her punished by Aunt Lydia. But even so, June never expected Natalie would be shot to death. After all, being pregnant in Gilead has so far practically been a form of immunity.

But just because Natalie was braindead, didn't mean she wasn't giving birth. Her baby was far too important. June is forced to spend all day, every day, kneeling at the foot of her bed waiting for Natalie's body to give birth so it could die.

Aunt Lydia had been looking for a way to break June's spirit. Forced into this bizarre torture, this seemed to be it for June: the point where her body and soul were sick. When she tried to attack Serena Joy during one visit, Serena's horror wasn't that June wanted to kill her. It was seeing a woman she always believed was so strong losing it this hard.


But seeing Natalie give birth, and the baby was taken from her body set off something new in June's mind, especially when she then met another child on her way out of the hospital, who dreams of nothing more than growing up to be a baby machine for Gilead's factory. And that's when June knew what she had to do.

Gilead has spent years stealing away the children, declaring their mothers unfit, sinful, or unwell as an excuse for the kidnapping. It was time June returned the favor. As Natalie lay dying, she promised her that whatever happened, she, June, would see Natalie's son to the safety of Canada. Her child and every child Gilead ever stole.

She doesn't know how yet, but Gilead's god has shown her her purpose. He will provide.