If you thought June's (Elisabeth Moss) sleepy Massachusetts town was a horrible place to live on The Handmaid's Tale, just wait until you see what Gilead's regime has done to Washington, D.C.
"We go, in Season 3, to Washington, D.C. and so what we see in Washington is it's kind of Gilead on steroids," executive producer Warren Littlefield told TV Guide. "We reveal what the Washington Monument looks like, and that's a cross. We also shot for an entire day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and let's just say that Abe doesn't look quite the way he used to look."
It's hard to imagine Gilead being any worse than what we've already seen in June's town and in the Colonies, but to call D.C. Gilead on steroids does not even come close to describing the surreal and horrifying nightmare that the once proud seat of democracy in America has become.
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Ultimately, the hellscape that The Handmaid's Tale turns our nation's capital into is something you'll have to experience yourself. But there will be one recognizable face amongst the crowd there. In Washington, D.C., we'll meet Christopher Meloni's new character, Commander Winslow.Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-credit="" data-image-alt-text="čJoseph Fiennes, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-credit-url="" data-image-target-url="" data-image-title="čJoseph Fiennes, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-filename="190613-joseph-fiennes-the-handmaids-tale.jpg" data-image-date-created="2019/06/13" data-image-crop="" data-image-crop-gravity="" data-image-aspect-ratio="" data-image-height="1380" data-image-width="2070" data-image-do-not-crop="" data-image-do-not-resize="" data-image-watermark="" data-lightbox="">
"[Meloni] plays a commander in Washington, D.C., so someone who is much more powerful than Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), but also he's married and he has six children, which is an expression of his power," said executive producer Bruce Miller. "He's someone who doesn't feel like in his role he deserves to have a child. You know, they've been collecting, gathering a child from what they think of as unfit homes, even homes of other commanders that break rules. So he is very much a person who shows you how someone in Gilead expresses their power, and one of those is to be the Von Trapps."
Littlefield and Miller also promise that Season 3 will reveal more about Gilead's origins and how its totalitarian regime came into being. As always, the use of flashbacks to illuminate these stories is how The Handmaid's Tale will go about filling in the blanks.
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"Sometimes the flashbacks are the most fun part for us to do, because we get to kind of look at the seam between our world and Gilead and how that happened and what were the warning signs," Miller said. "It's fascinating to me how a fist like that closes. How do you turn a free society into a not free society? You just make an announcement that everybody's not free? How [do] those things practically, on a day-to-day basis work?"
"I think what allows me to think about that stuff," he continued, "is to do research on other totalitarian regimes rising: Nazism, Mussolini, but also the theocracy in Iran, and those kind of things. Iran was a very modern society and then it got flipped into this very traditional society, and that turn is very much what Gilead said. So, yes, we will both see and hear a ton about the origins of Gilead, and we hear a lot about that from Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), and also you hear ... a bit of it from Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) about what she expected."
It sounds like June's time with Commander Lawrence will turn out to be just as informative as it is suspenseful. Though considering how disturbing Gilead's "peace times" are, we may regret ever asking to see what that regime looks like in full conqueror mode.
New episodes of The Handmaid's Tale release Wednesdays on Hulu.
Additional reporting by Keisha HatchettYvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-credit="Elly Dassas, Hulu" data-image-alt-text="Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-credit-url="" data-image-target-url="" data-image-title="Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale" data-image-filename="190605-yvonne-strahovski-the-handmaids-tale.jpg" data-image-date-created="2019/06/05" data-image-crop="" data-image-crop-gravity="" data-image-aspect-ratio="" data-image-height="1380" data-image-width="2070" data-image-do-not-crop="" data-image-do-not-resize="" data-image-watermark="" data-lightbox="">
Other Links From TVGuide.com The Handmaid's TaleChristopher MeloniJoseph FiennesElisabeth MossBruce MillerWarren Littlefield