Serena's Arrest In 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 Finale Forces Her To Confront Her Evil Deeds
Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 ahead. If you called the ending of The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 in advance, proudly pat yourself on the back. The twists just kept on coming as June pulled off her greatest act of rebellion yet. Now everything is bananas: June is close to dead, pretty much all of the main characters are in Canada now, and Serena Joy was arrested for crimes against humanity, sexual slavery, and rape. It's about time.
The rape in question is not the "ceremony" that June was forced to perform as a handmaid by the authorities in Gilead. Serena refers to that as a "religious ritual ordered by the state under penalty of execution," which gives her immunity and could legally exonerate her.
Serena's specific charge is that she forced her driver Nick and June to conceive baby Nichole. Even though Nick and June were in a relationship, as Serena spats, June was her slave and is therefore unable to give consent. "It's still a rape, Mrs. Waterford," says Mark Tuello, ever the woke king of The Handmaid's Tale.
There goes Serena's dreams of a free future writing a tell-all and exploring Toronto with the baby. Her plan to betray Fred in pursuit of her own agenda totally backfired. You didn't really think that the governments of the United States in exile and Canada were going to hand over Nichole, did you?
It was Fred who got her arrested, after assuring Tuello that his wife was not innocent or under duress. First, Serena betrayed him, and now he's repaying her. He isn't the only one who will face crimes when The Handmaid's Tale returns for Season 4. His wife will have her day in court as well. This sets up an exciting precedent for the future of the Hulu series and the downfall of Gilead, actually. Serena's trial could involve former handmaids such as Moira and Emily. Rita, who just arrived in Canada as a refugee, can speak to her experience in the Waterford household. Nick could also be called in from the front to testify.
Luke has a key piece of evidence, were he to submit it to the authorities. June smuggled her husband a cassette tape in which she assured him that Nichole, also known as Holly, was not Fred Waterford's child and was conceived out of love.
It may not change anything in the rape trial, due to the power dynamic between Serena and June, but it is a testimony. The only witness missing is June herself, who was last seen being carried out of the woods in Gilead barely alive.
After a meandering season for Serena morally where it wasn't clear whether or not she wanted to burn Gilead to the ground or stand stoically by her husband's side, it's encouraging to see The Handmaid's Tale take a strong stance on her personal guilt. Maybe she'll find a way to make up for the things she has done and repay her massive debt to society. For now, her arrest will force to face the fact that she is responsible, and that is enough.