The Handmaid’s Tale: 9 Key Moments from the First Three Episodes

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “Offred” – Episode 101 – Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. Offered (Elisabeth Moss), shown. (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale premiered today by making the first three episodes available. Let’s analyze what these major moments mean.

Warning: the following contains spoilers for the first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale: “Offred,” “Birth Day,” and “Late.” This represents your only warning.

Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t go for a perfect adaptation of the novel it takes as its source material. Why should it? After all, there are 10 episodes in the series. Granted, it isn’t as though there isn’t plenty in the original novel.

However, the expansion of the story certainly fills in more of the world that Elisabeth Moss’ Offred finds herself in. There’s also more room for expanding upon the type of commentary that the story makes on both the Republic of Gilead and the ideologies that led to its creation.

Rather than merely recap the first three episodes, we’ve put together three key moments from each of them, where we’ll break down the symbolism and commentary being made as well as shedding some light on some of the more subtle moments of the show. (If you think we missed something, feel free to let us know in the comments. There’s a lot in each and every episode, and what we think is important may not be what you think important.)