THE HANDMAID'S TALE - SEASON 3
The Handmaid's Tale (THT) enters season 3, slowly, literally. The number of slow motion scenes is almost equal to the number of shots showing a close up of Elizabeth Moss' face wearing a scowl or an expression that mimics what a person looks like after smelling something really, really stinky.
The slow motion scenes are there for a simple reason: what is being shown on the screen is not dramatic and lacks even a modicum of tension so, slow it down to make it look like it is important and dramatic. Everything looks more meaningful in slow motion. Often directors use slow motion in battle or fight scenes to make them appear more balletic. But, THT adds another sure-fire sign of dead-on-arrival scenes - the meaningful song that is supposed to add depth to the shallow slow motion episodes.
Why all this trickery in Season 3?
Remember, at the end of Season 2, we left Offred/June (Moss) tossing her newborn baby to a fellow Handmaid who is escaping to Canada. June won't escape because she wants to return and save her older daughter who has been given to a new family. Many people died so she could have this chance to escape and she, herself, for two seasons has been doing everything she could to get out of Gilead, the new truncated, theocratic, male-dominated USA. The cynical among you may suggest that Offred had to stay in Gilead for the best of reasons - the series is over if she doesn't.
So what is this third season about? Funny you ask because it is not about much. When she goes to the home where her daughter is being raised, she has a 'mom' moment with the surrogate mother of her daughter in which they talk about what a wonderful little girl she is. This scene is repeated when she has a similar moment with Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) about the baby she bore and helped escape.
Serena has a fiery moment of rebellion herself, but it leads nowhere.
THT has to move forward in the only way possible - active rebellion in Gilead by its female population. Margaret Atwood, the author of the book on which the series is based, knew better than to take the story that far since, if she did, the book would be more like one written by Fredrick Forsythe than her. But, that is this series' challenge - to transform itself from a drama about women caught in a country ruled by conservative evangelicals to an action story about the new civil war for freedom.
And that will offer the opportunity for a lot more slow motion scenes, let alone catchy, upbeat tunes telling all women to - what else? - Let It Go!