In the Gilmore Girls theme song, Carol King croons, “Where you lead, I will follow.” What is true for Rory and Lorelei of Stars Hollow, CT is also true for Hannah (Jordana Blake) and June (Elisabeth Moss) of Gilead. Where Hannah leads, June will follow — even if that takes her deeper into the heart of Gilead.
At the end of season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, June successfully flies 52 children out of Gileadand into Canada, preventing further damage from Gilead’s oppressive gender roles.
As with the season 2 finale, June stays in Gilead after witnessing others escape. This time, she’s even worse off. June has been shot by a guard. She’s carried out of the woods by other handmaids. If she survives the gunshot wound– which isn’t guaranteed — June’s troubles are just beginning.
Obviously, June’s future in this punitive society is very precarious. What, is she supposed to be casually reincorporated into Gilead after adding Resistance Leader to her resume? Gilead, the kind of place where Commanders plan mass Salvagings on whims? No, it’s far too risky. We suspect that June will go fully underground, skating by on the flawed but effective Martha Underground Railroad we caught a glimpse of earlier this season.
Over the past five years, the Marthas have developed an intricate transportation network to aid with the resistance. They move people and supplies from house to house. June already tapped into the network’s resources to pull off her ambitious plan — thank you, Billy (Daniel Jun) the pilot. Come season 4, she’ll likely use the network to reach her next target. Not out of Gilead, but in.
As June has stated over and over (and over), she’s isn’t leaving Gilead without her eldest daughter, who is now around 10 years old. In the finale, Luke (O-T Fagbenle) yearns for Hannah to walk off that plane and stage an airport reunion scene to rival all of Love Actually’s.
What Luke doesn’t know, though, is that Hannah never had a chance of making it on that plane. June’s walking partner, OfMatthew (Asheigh LaThrop), made sure of that.
Earlier this season, June breaches protocol by visiting Hannah in her adoptive home, and milking information from the Mackenzies’ Martha. The extremely pious OfMatthew thinks she’s doing her renegade walking partner a favor by ratting out June’s illegal activities. Instead, OfMatthews causes the Mackenzies’ Martha to be hanged, and the Mackenzie family to be sent away, deeper into the country’s interior.
But where? Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the geography of Gilead. What areas are fully subsumed in Gilead, like Washington, D.C.? What areas are “problematic,” like Cambridge? And what areas are on the brink of war, like Chicago? June’s worse off than we are — in fact, the season 3 finale is the first time June is able to study a map.
With the finale’s escape scheme, June proves that she’s capable of doing the impossible. But the notion of rescuing Hannah now that she’s been branded Gilead’s Most Wanted Handmaid? That might actually be impossible. Clearly, though, June the Unstoppable does not accept reason as a deterrent. So far, that’s worked for her.
Earlier this season, June told Nick (Max Minghella) that she’s made peace with dying in Gilead. If she does, indeed, survive this gunshot wound, then we know where she’s going next: Hannah or bust. Into Gilead we go.