The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Border

Image Credit: Sophie Giraud/Hulu

The third episode of Hulu’s dystopian series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 5, titled ‘Border,’ follows the aftermath of Commander Fred Waterford’s funeral. Serena Joy Waterford meets with Commander MacKenzie and his wife and discusses the threat June Osborne poses against them. June and Moira Strand meet a resistance group at the Canadian-Gilead border to communicate with Commander Nick Blaine regarding the safety of June’s daughter, Hannah Bankole. Serena makes a significant decision concerning her fate, but the council of commanders forces their decision to be over her. The engrossing episode ends with developments that rewrite Serena’s fate, and here’s everything you need to know about it! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3 Recap

‘Border’ begins with June expressing her concerns regarding Hannah’s safety to her partner, Lucas “Luke” Bankole. She says to him that she needs to contact Nick and enquire about Hannah. Moira lets her know that she knows a secret group located on the border who has the means to contact Nick without alerting the Gilead surveillance. They meet a member from the group, who thanks June for rescuing over twenty women, including her, from Gilead by handing over Fred. In Gilead, Serena dines with Commander Joseph Lawrence, the MacKenzies, Nick, and his wife Rose. Commander MacKenzie tells Serena that they should eliminate June before she dares to threaten their lives.

Image Credit: Sophie Giraud/Hulu

During the dinner, MacKenzie reminds Lawrence that an unmarried man cannot remain in the leadership of Gilead. After dinner, Serena spends time with Lawrence and talks about the latter’s remarriage, giving signals that she is interested in a marriage for the sake of his power. She also informs Mark Tuello that she intends to stay in Gilead, her home, rather than return to Toronto with him. June manages to contact Nick and asks about Hannah, who reveals that she has grown enough to prepare to become a commander’s wife. Janine Lindo, upon getting poisoned by Esther Keyes, regains consciousness.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Episode 3 Ending: Why Do the Commanders Send Serena Back to Toronto?

After the funeral of Fred, Serena decides to stay back in Gilead. She must have realized the importance of power and recognition to exact her vengeance on her enemies, specifically June and her allies. For the same, she needs to be in a place where she will be respected. In Toronto, as far as Serena is concerned, she is just another woman, protected by people who have failed to protect her husband. However, the commanders’ council decides against offering shelter for Serena. First of all, for the commanders of the totalitarian regime, Gilead is not a place for powerful and influential women like Serena.

The commanders must have feared that Serena’s courage, strength, and influence will affect the other women in Gilead, who are expected to live as mere servants of their husbands. As Lawrence indicates, such a patriarchal system cannot dare to accommodate a woman like Serena, who doesn’t mind fighting her enemies as a man does in the country. In addition, Serena and her husband turn their backs on Gilead when they were in Canada. The commanders do not have reason to blindly trust her and the same must have influenced them to send her back to Toronto.

The commanders inform Serena that they are expecting her to be the global ambassador of Gilead, whose roles prominently include enhancing the image of the nation in front of other countries. But the unofficial post can be just an excuse they formulate to keep Serena away. After June’s successful assassination of Fred, the commanders know that her next target possibly will be Serena. If they offer shelter for Serena, June may get tempted to fight against Gilead and Serena in particular. The commanders may want June and Serena’s conflicts out of their territory so that the same will not threaten their lives.

Will June Kill Serena?

When Serena goes to Gilead for Fred’s funeral, June thinks that she will never return to Toronto, only to find out about her return. June then meets Serena and asks her to stay away from Hannah. Considering that June doesn’t think twice about threatening Serena, the latter may need to be fearful about what the former can do, especially after the murder of Fred. However, June may not be in a haste to kill Serena. If June kills Serena, the commanders in Gilead will see the same as a warning sign and starts to fear whether June will come after them.

Such a turn of events will force the commanders to close down Gilead once and for all, making it hard for June to rescue Hannah from the totalitarian regime. If Gilead gets closed down, Hannah will be trapped in the same, killing any hope that remains in June concerning her reunion with her daughter. Nick’s revelation that he cannot help her as he had done before further adds pressure on June, who may need to keep a door open to Gilead to save her daughter. June, rather than killing Serena, may even use or force her to save Hannah.

Read More: Why Does Emily Go Back to Gilead? Did Alexis Bledel Leave The Handmaid’s Tale?