The Handmaid's Tale began Season 3 with a bang. Upon learning Nichole had been sent away to Canada without June to look after her, Serena Joy reacted badly. Within the first episode, she'd burned the house down. It was a necessary reset to get June out of the Waterford mansion and change up the landscape. But the Waterfords keep turning up like bad pennies, and Rita, their Martha, is still around. Meanwhile, Nick, their driver and June's lover, has disappeared completely. So where is Nick in The Handmaid's Tale Season 3? Fans are theorizing he might turn up for the season finale.
Nick played a significant role in the first two seasons of The Handmaid's Tale. Though June couldn't be sure if he was who he seemed or an Eye for the Gilead government, she was thrown together with him. This is right out of the original novel. Mrs. Waterford, desperate to get June pregnant and out of the house, all but commands them to sleep with each other, because she (rightly) suspects Commander Waterford is shooting blanks.
When the show went off-book for Season 2, Serena Joy once again decided to meddle in June and Nick's lives. This time, she married Nick off to teenager Eden. Supposedly this was akin to a promotion, but it was really to keep him and June from continuing their affair. It also didn't last. Eden, sensing she wasn't wanted, ran off with one of the Waterford guards and was sentenced to death for infidelity.
Season 3 split up the household, but the Waterfords didn't go far and Rita, as the maid, stayed by Mrs. Waterford's side. Only Nick was sent far away, to Chicago, to lead the troops against the ongoing rebellion. Nick seemed to believe he wouldn't survive the attack. But it wasn't long before June learned there were things she didn't know about him. Before the fall of America, Nick worked as an assassin and may have even been instrumental in the fall of the U.S. government and the rise of Gilead.
Since then, fans have been speculating wildly what would happen when and if Nick returns from Chicago, and why it's taking so long. Everything from Nick betraying June to the idea he's somehow become a Canadian double agent has been floated. Some even think he'll go to Canada and turn state's evidence on Waterford.
But the best theory so far comes from his last name: Blaine.
In the book, Nick doesn't have a last name. Nor does he have one in the 1990s film. That means showrunner and writer Bruce Miller gave that last name to Nick for a reason. One fan believes she's figured out why.
Redditor u/laurenonfire suggests the name is an homage to Rick Blaine, aka Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca.
Miller gave him 'Blaine.' I think the writing is on the wall. Rick Blaine is iconic - and, well, Nazis.
At the end of Casablanca, Rick gets Ilsa out, telling her to go with her husband and escape because that's where she'll be happiest. Will that be what happens when Nick finally returns? Sound like an ending fans could get behind when it comes to The Handmaid's Tale, too.