At long last, The Handmaid’s Tale may have finally introduced a clever way to get messages in and out of Gilead. In Season 3, Episode 5, “Unknown Caller,” Mrs. Lawrence and June had a nice exchange in which it was revealed Commander Lawrence used to make mixed tapes for his wife back in college. It’s later revealed that June used one of the cassette tapes to record a message for Luke and asked Serena to deliver it. While June used the cassette to send a personal message, the discovery of the tape collection may prove far more useful to the Resistance.
As an acting representative of the U.S. government in exile, Mark Tuello was introduced back in Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale. The exact nature of his job isn’t clear but he presumably works as both an American diplomat to Canada, as well as an investigative journalist of some sort (it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s really a special agent though).
Despite the unclear aspects of his job, Tuello is dedicated to freeing the people of Gilead and restoring the United States as a nation. In Season 2, he tried to appeal to Serena Waterford to offer up information that could help destroy them on a national level. Obviously, she refused to betray Gilead. However, in “Unknown Caller,” Tuello discreetly left his contact information and a satellite phone inside Serena’s bag, meaning we haven’t seen the last of him in Season 3.
There are two ways the plot could play out from here. Serena could cave and call him, which is unlikely considering that at the end of Episode 5, she demand the return of her daughter from Canada rather than betray Gilead like Tuello had hoped she would.
It seems more likely that June will somehow find his contact information and smuggle him intel by way of the cassette tapes. Similar to the letters she harbored in Season 1, which Luke and Moira eventually uploaded to the internet, June and the other members of Mayday could record messages via cassette tapes and send them directly to Tuello. With his influence and recorded evidence from the oppressed in Gilead, there could finally be some progress made toward dismantling it.
After all, why would The Handmaid’s Tale introduce something so valuable if it wasn’t going to be put it to good use? June has already used one tape to send a message to Luke. If she lets the rest of the Marthas in on the secret, the rebellion could pick up much faster.
Information is the bread and butter of any rebellion. It’s also a gateway for the outside world to learn the truth about the inner workings of Gilead. Canada, being closest to the truth behind the nation’s atrocities and oppression, has already proven they’re not interested in allying with the oppressive nation or its leaders. June simply needs to get a hold of the diplomat’s address and use the network of Marthas to transfer the cassettes to him. This could prove vital to the way the rest of the world sees Gilead, and Tuello’s acquisition of any potential cassette tape recordings might also be key in furthering Mayday’s plans from the inside as well.
The Handmaid’s Tale airs Wednesdays on Hulu.