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Praise be! The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is now streaming on Showmax, and it’s as gripping as you’d expect. After all, June Osbourne/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) didn’t sacrifice her freedom for nothing. In case you need a quick refresher, we watched in disbelief in the season 2 finale as June gave up her chance to escape to Canada by handing her newborn daughter, Nichole, to Emily and turning back to continue the fight and rescue her other daughter, Hannah.

We can be mad all we want but if the war against Gilead is going to be won, then June’s brand of stubbornness and silent rage is exactly what we need to kick off the revolution.

Without going into spoiler territory, The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 picks up where we left off and throws us right into the action and repercussions of the escape to Canada, punctuated by June’s powerful voiceovers and a revolutionary theme we can’t help but applaud.

As usual, the cinematography is impeccable and serene, with overhead shots that heighten that claustrophobic terror of Gilead.

Here are five reasons why we must all join the fight and stream season 3 now.

The resistance is here

While several attempts at defiance have been violently suppressed in the past, there is a new wave of resistance in season 3. Like June, other women in Gilead have had enough and are now more than ready to strip their patriarchal slave masters of their power. After turning her back on freedom, June learns there is an organised underground resistance led by Marthas (domestic servants), which she joins. We also learn of other uprisings elsewhere in places like Chicago.

Unlike in the past, this long overdue revolution is no longer about chaotic rage; rather, it’s tactical. They are assembling their allies, and planning to use obedience and duty to please the enemy and keep them closer.

And it’s not only the handmaids or the Marthas; Serena Joy’s woes in season 2 have proven that she can be persuaded to actively join the resistance. Will we see more wives of Commanders finally come to their senses?

Better yet, the most important question: Is this the season that Gilead falls?

With episode 1 and 2 currently streaming on Showmax, only time will tell.

It offers a sense of hope

When we kick off season 3, the sins committed by June and her allies are far greater than the small defiance that earned the handmaids that horrific mock execution in the season 2 premiere. But instead of threatening punishment, the season 3 opener gives us a kind of optimism we are not used to. Of course, actions still have consequences in Gilead – and June gets hers in the form some floor scrubbing and foot whipping (a punishment that is served off camera).

In the vast world of TV, no show is without reproach, no matter how revolutionary, and The Handmaid’s Tale has received its fair share of criticism for its unflinching depiction of trauma and violence against women. It’s a reputation that season 3 is trying to correct by offering a glimmer of hope. With elements of terror still present, this new hope might not be much at this point, but we’ll take it.

The mystery of Bradley Whitford’s Commander Lawrence

Bradley Whitford is too good an actor to be confined to minimal screen time like he was in season 2. It’s a great to see his character Commander Lawrence getting the attention he deserves in season 3. But who is Commander Lawrence really?

We already know that he is the founder of the Colonies and that he was instrumental in the creation of Gilead. And that he so high up the power hierarchy that other commanders have to come to him just to have a meeting. We also know that he’s the one who facilitated Emily’s escape, but why? What is his end game? These are some of the questions that June, and all of us, would like answers to this season.

Multiple award winner

With an 8.5/10 score on IMDb and a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes, The Handmaid’s Tale has earned its critical acclaim for its unsettling depiction of a future that, with the rise of right-wing politics, is starting to feel more and more possible.

The dystopian thriller, which premiered in May 2017, also made history by becoming the first streaming service series to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series – one of the eight gongs it earned at the Emmy Awards 2017. In 2018, it also bagged two silvers at the Golden Globes for Best TV Series and Best Actress for lead Elisabeth Moss and three Critics’ Choice Awards, plus many more.

The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t short of impressive performances from brilliant actors.

An extraordinary cast

Other than Moss, who has received immense praise for her multiple award-winning portrayal of the defiant handmaid Offred/June, The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t short of impressive performances from brilliant actors.

Alexis Bledel shed all the sweetness of Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls) to portray the devastating emotions of Ofglen. Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia reigns terror on the handmaids wielding no more than a taser and her sharp tongue.

Also turning in brilliant performances are Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black), who plays June’s best friend, escapee Moira; Joseph Fiennes as Commander Waterford and Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) as Serena Joy, his wife.

Binge The Handmaid’s Tale S1-2 on Showmax, then watch the new episode every Monday at the same time as DStv. Showmax subscribers have an even greater advantage. Episodes 1 and 2 of Season 3 are currently available to stream, as of 10 June 2019. New episodes, starting at episode 3, will land on Showmax every Monday from 17 June at 22:30.

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