The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 has waffled back and forth on the subject of Serena Joy. Is she an ally to June? Is she an enemy? Will she disappoint June and bring Baby Nichole back to Gilead? Or would she betray Gilead and save her child from Gilead's terrible world? Finally, after 11 episodes, the show let this precarious balance act fall, and it turns out Serena Joy chose to hand over her husband, Fred, to the Canadian government to get her baby. These tweets about Fred getting arrested on The Handmaid's Tale are a sign of just how long audiences have been waiting for this moment. Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 follow.
The entire trip was filled with tension the whole way to the border. Fred seemed to know the plan to get Nichole back, or at least pretended he knew the idea enough to trust his wife. Serena Joy, on the other hand, seemed nervous. And yet, her nerves were easily explained away. She was using an illegal cell phone given to her by American traitors to contact back channels in Canada. She and her husband had rented a car and were driving to the border without telling anyone. Gilead would frown on this, if not punish them for it, if they were caught.
And yet, in the end, it turned out she was nervous because she was handing Fred over to the Canadian government. One husband for one baby.
Though he would never have admitted it out loud, even Fred knew she was upgrading. The conversation the two of them had on the ride up was telling. In discussing what their lives might have been like had Gilead never happened, Fred admitted she was the driver in their relationship. He would, at best, work in marketing.
In reality, he probably would have quit his job to manage her career as a TV personality and pundit. She would tire of him eventually, divorce because he was the lesser in the relationship. As Fred admitted, Serena Joy would leave him "for a man who could give you a baby." He knows he's not the infertile one here. Gilead was the only world in which he could keep her.
The saddest part is that Fred never saw any of it coming. He believed Serena Joy the whole way that somehow she was going to manipulate the Americans into giving them the child and then they would run back to Gilead. The irony is, if Fred had just used his car's navigation system or been just a little less trusting, he might have realized that "just up the road" would take them right across the border into Canada. Instead, he walked right into the trap.
Worse, not realizing it was Serena who set him up, he begged the soldiers not to touch her, to leave her alone, to let her go.
Though, fans did have a few questions about how it all went down.
Will Rita tell June about the goodbye, and raise the red flag over Serena's plan? How will June respond to learn Commander Waterford is now under arrest in Canada? The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Episode 12 will be interesting indeed.