Is Canada Really Turning Into A New Gilead In The Handmaid’s Tale?!
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for The Handmaid’s Tale season 5.
Canada has traditionally provided a safe haven for refugees from Gilead, but The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 proves the country is rapidly taking a turn for the worse. The Handmaid’s Tale season 5’s finale ends with June, Serena, and the other Gileadean refugees forced to flee Canada when their adopted home ceases being a refuge, and the situation looks likely to get even worse in The Handmaid’s Tale season 6. Canada appears to be becoming a new Gilead, and with only one season left, a second theocratic state in North America points toward The Handmaid’s Tale ending in tragedy.
After June’s escape from Gilead in season 4, much of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 takes place in Canada, focusing on the changing conditions and the country’s fragile diplomatic relationship with Gilead. After June and the other Handmaids killed Fred Waterford, Serena Waterford began garnering support from Canadian citizens, exploiting June’s violence to demonize the refugees and promote Gilead as a legitimate state. In effect, June’s triumphant escape in season 4 coaxed Canada’s populace into softening its opinion on Gilead across The Handmaid’s Tale season 5.
Why Canada Is Becoming More Like Gilead
Although Gilead is a horrendous country led by theocratic fascists, Canada is veering ever closer to the sinister state. The biggest reason behind this transformation is Gilead’s successful propaganda campaign. The highly publicized Waterford trial and Serena’s sympathetic story have earned huge support among Canadians, shifting some and radicalizing others. The Gilead Information Center that was built in Canada has also allowed Canadians to become more amenable to Gileaden ideals. The New Bethlehem plan from Commander Lawrence looks to be pushing this PR campaign further, with even greater numbers of Canadians taking Gilead’s side in the ongoing conflict.
Gilead’s influence upon Canada extends further than public perception alone. Little America and the Gileadean refugees are perceived to be draining Canada’s resources, causing many Gilead-aligned Canadians to advocate against those taking refuge in their country, and some even committing acts of terrorism. Furthermore, the Canadian and American militaries have proven no match for Gilead’s awesome military power, with both countries launching multiple unsuccessful military operations. Canada gradually started to become a more hostile place for refugees and minorities throughout The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, and Gilead’s growing presence has been key to Canada’s fall towards fascism.
What Canada Becoming Another Gilead Would Mean
The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 finale has already offered a taste of what Canada’s transformation means, with refugees from Gilead now fleeing toward Hawaii. Alas, audiences can reasonably expect Canada’s plight to get worse. If Canada starts implementing practices imported from Gilead, that means millions more women could be subjected to the oppressive Handmaid system. Canada’s fall would also give refugees fewer places to go, as the country has been the only realistic destination for escapees until now. Without Canada, refugees like June would have to reach Hawaii, Mexico, or other continents altogether, all of which are vastly more difficult to travel to than Canada.
Canada becoming another Gilead would increase Gilead’s own power, making the allied countries a threat to the entire world. If enough Canadians support Gilead and its military actions, Canada could possibly assist Gilead in war. Both countries are incredibly powerful independently, but their combined forces would create a superpower strong enough to overthrow almost any country that opposes them. Gilead has had to tread carefully so far, not wanting to prompt harsh reactions from other countries, but with the power of Canada at its side, The Handmaid’s Tale’s villains would be able to do whatever they please.
Can The United States Defeat Gilead & Canada In The Handmaid’s Tale?
Hopes that the United States could triumph over a united Gilead and Canada are desperately slim. Gilead just shot down three American planes in The Handmaid’s Tale, proving its readiness to counter any American military action. America currently controls only Hawaii and Alaska, leaving nowhere to run if Gilead and Canada launch a strike. The powerful Gilead army could have overrun Little America already in The Handmaid’s Tale, but the dictatorship has previously been wary about taking military action against their predecessors due to America’s backing from Canada. Without Canada as a deterrent, nothing is stopping Gilead taking down the weakened American government.
The only way the United States might bring Gilead down is from inside, and Little America has already been working with traitors like Nick Blaine, who leaked vital information out of Gilead. Morally-muddled characters like Nick and Commander Lawrence are already working to defeat Gilead from inside, and cooperating with these shady figures could be America’s only path to success. The Handmaid’s Tale season 6 seems to be gearing up for all-out war, and Canada becoming a brand-new Gilead promises a darker future ahead for the United States.