The Handmaid's Tale (2017–…): Season 3, Episode 3 - Useful - full transcript

Serena Joy attempts to recuperate at her mother's home; Lawrence teaches June a hard lesson about the difficult decisions he makes as a Commander.

Fred, stop!

on The Handmaid's Tale...

You let them do that to Serena.

We all have our roles to play.

Serena needed
to be reminded of hers.

Did you try to find me?

I tried so hard.

Why didn't you try harder?

What did you do?

I did what was
best for my child.

You're getting out of Gilead.

Have a nice life!

Don't get caught!

You gave her to a murderer!

I sent her away, Fred.

It was my choice.

I drove you to desperation.

It’s the Handmaid.

You’re sweet on her, aren’t you?

It's dangerous, my friend.

You're helping her escape?


She just needs
a safe place to wait.

It's your funeral.

Come on!

Women like you
are like children.

Asking for too much,
taking whatever you want.

Damn the consequences.

Who's in the basement?

Just Beth.

We saw a rat.

She screamed.

That's a lie.

I knew it was mistake
taking you in.

Clean it up.


That's what they're hanging for.

Not for being part
of the Resistance

because officially,
there is no resistance.

Not for helping people
escape because officially,

there is no such thing
as escape.

They hang for being
heretics, not martyrs.

Martyrs inspire.

Heretics are just stupid.

Was I being stupid?

I don’t think Cora’s up there.

I don’t think
Lawrence would do that.

Do you recognize anybody?

It's impossible to tell.

They're starting to smell.

Looks like the same
batch from yesterday.

And the day before.

Maybe they're done.

With Marthas.

Who's next?

No talking!

And, you, go join
your walking partner.


If I'm going to survive
this, I'll need allies.

Allies with power.

To be a man watched by women,

it must be entirely strange.

To have them watching
him all the time.

To have them flinch
when he moves.

To have them wondering,

"What is he going to do next?

Does he like me?

Will he keep me?

Am I safe here?"

Cora wasn’t.

Blessed be the fruit.

May the Lord open.

Got the groceries.
Anything else I can do?

I got it.

Could you plate
the pastries, please?

No problem.

Why are they coming here?

I don't know.

My old Commander said

Lawrence won't go to meetings.

They want to talk to him,
they have to come here.

That's how powerful he is.


Thanks for the insight.





I went to the square.

I don't think Cora's up there.

So, she's on a bus
to The Colonies?

Have you been getting
any messages at all?

Anyone who knows anything

is probably up on those gallows.

Beth, refill.


He's testing us.

We're all disposable.

Are Marthas
supposed to be clean?

Would you consider that

a basic criteria for the job?

Can I...
get the door for you, sir?

I don't know.
Are you...

capable of solving problems?

Of making decisions?

Do you know what the penalty is?

For Handmaids
who open front doors?

I'm actually asking.

I don't know.

What do you think
the penalty should be?

What would be fair?

Forget it, forget it.

I guess you're not... capable.

The shipment
of females from Chicago

arrived yesterday.

Well, we have needs in
the agricultural Colonies.

They’re not worthy
of The Colonies.

I’m looking at a...

Utility maximization framework

with a deteriorating
labor supply.

I need workers.

Blessed be the fruit.

May the Lord open.

I hope you and
Mrs. Waterford are well.

Do you?

Is Serena okay?

Well, after what
you put us through,

I'm not sure.

She's tough.

She'll be okay.


How is your...
new house treating you?

I pray that...

God will make me worthy
of my new Commander.

Oh, I'm sure you'll...
prove yourself.

What do you know about him?

He's... an interesting man.

Instrumental in
Gilead's creation.

Our visionary.


What else?

We've always found him
a bit hard to read.

Well, if you can't read him,

I don't know who can.

Lawrence is a survivor.

Aren't we all, sir?

He is
particularly well suited to it.

He's not sentimental,
not like me.

I never found you...
overly sentimental, sir.

You were merciful.

You know, after everything...

I'm still alive.

I will always be
grateful to you for that.

But I am not
in your house anymore.

I need you to tell me
anything about Lawrence

that you think could help me.

He does not like to be bored.

But I guess you...
knew that already.

Blessed day, Commander Lawrence.

It's a privilege
to be in your home again.

Yeah, I always hated commuting.

You two know each other.

Oh... Yes.

You used to be Of... Fred.

Do you miss it?

Well... She's Ofjoseph now.

I should let you go.

Under His eye.


You working hard?


At what?

You don't have to answer that.

I'm not cold, Mom.

Oh, yes, you are.

Our prayer circle's
coming to the house today.

I'll try and stay
out of your way.

No. No, they all
want to see you.

What an honor for them.

I don't want to hang out
with your friends, Mom.

You’re an
excellent conversationalist.

It wouldn’t be a real visit

if I didn’t get to show you off.

I don't have any clothes.

Mrs. Manning
gave us a dress

that she’s outgrown.

I think it will fit.

This won't be too bad.

I'm gonna take it up a bit.

Fix that neckline.

There you are.

Praise be.

You look beautiful.

Lawrence wants you
pouring the Commanders' drinks

instead of me.


He said I wasn't
pouring fast enough.

Pages ten through 16 detail

the expansion of
our training facility

in Fort Stevens.

To support
the troop surge in Chicago.

Phase one of the surge.

We need to prepare ourselves

for more troop deployments
down the line.

One last measured push,

and Chicago should roll up

the last of the insurgent
strongholds, no?

The insurgency’s contagious.

We need to look
at starting a steady,

sustained bombing campaign.

No, there is value
to be mined there.

Children, fertile women.

Move on to the next.

On page 17,
you'll see a timeline

depicting a series
of district-wide Salvagings

beginning next week.

I thought we discussed

sending them to The Colonies?

The Colonies
are a slap on the wrist.

They are merely women.

Women under
the sway of terrorists.

We don't want our own women

becoming restless, do we?

Salvagings are an effective
tool of instruction.

It's been too long
since the last one.

We know women can inflate
their abilities and...

think they belong in places...
they don't.

But they can also be put to use.

And they can be fun.


puzzling out how to assess

an individual's value
in the world

as it pertains to gender.

Weren't you a book
editor, once upon a time?

Yes, sir.

Are there any books
on the topic?

Yes, sir.


Sex Differences
in Cognitive Abilities.

The Descent of Man.

An oldie but a goodie.

That's... That's what
you were thinking of, right?

I think I have it
here somewhere.

Uh, would you get it for me?

It’s on top of the bookcase

to the right of the door.

Oh, the... stack on the left.

Third book down.

Yellow lettering.

Good job.

Is there anything else
I can help you with, sir?

No, I'm good.

You're done.

See? Women
can be useful.

Your mother
has a lot of friends.

an excellent conversationalist.

I made something for you.


You will get
through this, ma'am.

By His hand.

What's left of it.

Though the Earth give way,

though the mountains
fall into the sea...

God is our refuge and strength.

Dear Lord, please heal my wife.

For my beloved is
mine and I am hers.

God is our refuge and strength.

And the Lord shall
guide thee continually

and satisfy thy soul in drought.

Make fat thy bones.

Show us Thy mercy, O Lord.

Thank you for your prayers.

Is anyone else
in need of comfort?


Dear Lord, Serena Joy has
suffered a great loss.

Please give her relief
from her distress.

Be merciful to her
and hear her prayers.

The Lord is close
to the brokenhearted.

He rescues those whose
spirits are crushed.

Psalm 6:2, please.

Be merciful, O Lord,
for I am faint.

Heal me, O Lord,
for my soul is in anguish.

Dear Lord,
we pray for the safe return

of Serena's child.

And we pray for her
marriage to heal.

For love is strong as death.

Wives, submit yourselves
unto your own husbands,

as unto the Lord.

For the husband is
the head of the wife.

Even as Christ is the head

of the church,
so let the Wives be

to their own husbands
in everything.

Let every wife see that
she revere her husband.

This is the word of the Lord.

When we first were
married, I'd come home

and open the door
but just a crack.

I'd wait.

I'd listen for your footsteps.

I'd push open the
door a little more.

I'd get a glimpse of your hair,

long and loose.

I'd... dole out to myself
little helpings of you,

like a kid with dessert.

The kind of man I had become.

Married to a woman like you.

Coming home to you.

Other men, I...

felt sorry for.

They had nothing to work for,

nothing to fight for.

They didn’t get to have you.

A Commander is...
the head of the household.

The house is... what he holds.

To have and to hold,
till death do us part.

I may not be a
perfect man but I...

will try to be better.

If I lose you,
I lose everything.

That sounds good.

Would you like to
run through it again?

I compose myself.

My self is a thing
I must now compose

as one composes a speech.

I'm not proud
of myself for this.

Or for any of it.


You think an accountant
could make a good cook?

Yes, sir.

Binders full of women.

I thought you might
like some tea.


Long day?

My work is just beginning.

At least the people are gone.

It's tiring
having people around.

Does it seem like that would be

particularly difficult
for someone like me?

Oh, I don't really know
what you're like, sir.

Do you consider yourself
good at managing people?

Not particularly, no.

You seem like you'd be
good at making friends.

Good at influencing people.

Good at intimacy.

Thank you.

Did this really work on Fred?

Not exactly
an intellectual giant.

But, then again,
neither are you.

Perhaps you don't
know me well enough yet...


Here's what I don't get.

If women don't want

to be defined by their bodies,

why are they always using them

to get what they want?

Maybe they aren't.

Maybe men are just
too easily distracted.

Speaking of the Waterfords,

you really mucked up that
house, didn't you?

Had Fred demoted,
Serena defingered,

baby baby-napped.

You left the place
literally in ashes.

Do you think they got
what they deserved?

No one in Gilead gets
what they deserve, sir.

How could they
not realize how...

transactional you are?

I did what I had to do.

You think if you
get me to like you,

I'll help you?

I think that you might try.

I think you might try
to do the right thing.

What do you know
about the right thing?

I know you helped Emily
escape with that baby.

And I know you
let the Marthas run

a resistance network
out of your house.

You have to let
the rabble-rousers

blow off a little steam

or they'll smash
everything to bits.

Do you want to know
why I helped Emily?

I think you felt guilty.

I think you felt sorry for her.

You want me to feel
guilty and sorry for you?

Do you?

I helped Emily...

because she is unnaturally smart

and could be useful
to the world one day.

If you were smart,
you would have

gotten on that truck.

You know why I couldn't.

I think I care more about

your daughter than you do.

I'm saving the planet for her.

I'm replenishing the
human race for her.

What are you doing?

I am trying to be her mother!

She has a mother.

You met
Mrs. Mackenzie.

She's a lovely woman.

She never stole
anybody's husband.

Do you know that she organized

a thousand food
baskets for orphans

in Africa back when
there were orphans?

What did you ever do
to help anyone?

Except edit esoteric,
useless books that no one

was ever gonna read instead of

picking up your sick
daughter from school.


You wrote esoteric books.

You did that.


It must be scary.


Seeing the numbers
on those spreadsheets

turn into real people?

Real people being executed?

Knowing that if no one
had read your books,

we would all be better off.

It must be hell being
a man like that.

Far worse than useless.

I get it.

I get why you would do this.

I suppose you would
hole yourself up

in a house like this,

playing games
with people's heads,

doing a good deed or two
every once in a while,

so that you can
fucking sleep at night.

How tempting it is to...
invent a humanity...

for anyone at all.

Come on.

Let's take a drive.

There will be no Salvagings.

They're bound for
The Colonies tomorrow.

So they'll die anyways?

All save five.

I was able to...

requisition five
to serve as Marthas.

Good for you.

Five is better than none.

Make them all Marthas.

We only have five openings.

You get to choose...
who is worthy

of becoming a Martha.

You'll have all the
information you need.

Names, ages, occupations,
academic attainments,

moral stains.

That's dumb.

Who gets to define morality?

Just choose the best
people for the job.


I thought you might enjoy being
useful, for once.

None of them deserves to die.

What if I told you,

if you don't choose,
they all die?

I am not responsible
for their deaths.

You are.

Gilead is.

A technical distinction

that won't mean anything
to these women.

But I can see
it's important to you.

And that's more important
than anything else, isn't it?

I'm not doing it.

I won't.

Close it.


Oh, you're all wet.

You've gotten too used to

the mild climate in the city.

She's forgotten how
we must battle

the elements out here.

Why don't you go upstairs,
dear, and change?

I'm fine.

You need to get out of
those wet things.

No, I'm fine.

Let Clara fix you some
warm pumpkin soup.

Clara, can you please excuse us?

I really wish that
you hadn't invited

those people over.

I'm sorry, dear.

You told them
everything about me

and about my marriage.

You're right.

I shouldn't have done that.

Why did you do it?

Now that I know, I...
won't do it again.

What can I make
you to eat, dear?

Stop it!

You want me to go back to Fred.

I only want you to be happy.

I need you to know what
it was like between us...


And the things that we did.

That's because you
don't want to know.

Because none of it matters.

Look at you,
all the gifts you've been given.

But you need everything to be

exactly how you want.

A spoiled little girl.

I'm sorry.

You know there's no place

in this world for you
without Fred.

You need to take a deep
breath and see things.

You're a beautiful woman.

And Fred, you and Fred
together, the Waterfords?

What a fine couple.

That doesn't mean anything.

It can.

It can mean everything,
if you let it.

Oh, God.

Stop, Serena.

Enough drama!

It's the worst thing
in the world

to watch your child in pain.

The worst pain
any mother could bear.

No, it isn't.


It's not the worst.

It might help you to stop

indulging those feelings.

The self-pity.

You gave that baby away.

And it wasn't even yours.

I'm going to draw you
a hot bath.

A hot bath will help.



You're not here for me.

How did this happen?

It was my due.

So you're a Commander now and

you can go get Hannah.

You can get me out.

I'm sorry.


Why can't you?

Is there something wrong
with Lawrence?

Lawrence is a psychopath.

What do you know about him?

I don't know anything.

- Can you find out?
- Not really.

He's too high up.

What can you do?

Can you do anything?

What are you good for?

I'm getting deployed.

To the front.


You'll get killed.

I wanted to say goodbye.


You have
a visitor in the parlor.

Blessed be the fruit.


How are you?


Do you think about her?

Every minute.

How do you stop?

How do you remember her?

How do you see her?

In the bath.

She loved the water.

She's gonna be a swimmer.

Remember how
she used to raise her hand?

It's like she had
a point to make.

That's the politician in her.

I think she gets that from you.

She isn't mine.


only a mother could do
what you did.

If you can just think...

If you can just think
about all the other mothers

who have...

Who have had their children
taken away from them.

Like you.

There has to be
something we can do.

That isn't why I came here.

We can help each other.

We cannot count on them.

They hate us, Serena.

They are not on our side.

I tried.

You have to try harder.

I'm not that person anymore.

You're scared.

Use it.

Maybe we're stronger
than we think we are.

["How Does It Feel?"
by Roy Harper]

♪ How does it feel
to be completely unreal ♪

♪ How does it feel
to be a voter ♪

♪ How does it feel
to be a voluntary heel ♪

♪ I wonder
who's it is ♪

I made my choices.

♪ I see you
queuing up outside ♪

There was a time when
women were able to choose.

♪ Saint Peter's gate ♪

"We were a society dying,".

Aunt Lydia would say,
"of too much choice."

"We know the sacrifices

you are expected to make,"

she'd say.

"It is hard when
men revile you."

♪ How does it feel
to be out on your own ♪

♪ How does it feel
to be thinking ♪

♪ And how does it feel
to be out on the run ♪

♪ With the mindless world
at your heels ♪

We have five new Marthas
for the Resistance:

an engineer, an IT tech,
a journalist, a lawyer,

and a thief.

How do you know?

I chose them.

♪ Cos they got me
so high tied I feel ♪

♪ Like most of me
has died ♪

Upstairs now.

Eleanor's sheets need changing.

♪ And it's real ♪

Hey, Sienna.

We survived another day.

♪ And outside
on the dragon ♪

♪ And inside
in the cold ♪

Mother, I think,
wherever you may be,

can you hear me?

♪ Daddy's just getting old ♪

You wanted a women's culture.

Well, now there is one.

It isn't what you
meant, but it exists.

♪ Please let me in
I have no sin ♪

♪ but you know
I'm not real ♪

♪ And how does it feel
with a white flag in your fist ♪

♪ How does it feel
to have two faces ♪

♪ How does it feel
with your god ♪

♪ strapped to your wrist ♪

♪ And him leading you
such a chase ♪

And here's what we do.

We watch them.

The men.

We study them.

We feed them.

We please them.

We can make them
feel strong or weak.

We know them that well.

We know their worst nightmares.

And, with a bit of practice,

that's what we'll become.


One day, when we're ready,
we're coming for you.

Just wait.