This Song in 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 3, Episode 9 Teases June's Final Plan

What is she planning for Gilead?

Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” played a significant role in Season 3, Episode 9 of The Handmaid’s Tale. From the opening scene, June is heard humming the song, singing the lyrics over again until she’s convinced the audience will start to hear it too. June finally makes it back from the brink in Episode 9, titled “Heroic,” and with only a few more episodes left in Season 3, the iconic song may be the biggest hint at June’s final plan.

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For a while it seemed as though The Handmaid’s Tale was going to turn June into the villain of her own story, but the show backtracked in Episode 9. Presumed dead at the end of Episode 8, Ofmatthew’s shooting didn’t kill her, but did put her in a coma. As a punishment of sorts, Aunt Lydia forced June to watch over her every day until Ofmatthew’s baby was born. After a couple of months of kneeling and praying, her constant vigilance wore her down enough to send her to the edge of her sanity. However, it was Janine’s level-headed accusations of June’s apparent selfishness that brought her back from the brink.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Episode 9
June finally made a breakthrough and a plan to go along with it.

With all of the children in Gilead now on her mind instead of just Hannah, June promised Ofmatthew (whose real name was revealed to be Natalie) that she would help get as many children as possible to safety. So June finally has a plan, now what? For one, she can utilize all of the resources that have been laid out throughout Season 3, such as the network of Marthas and her connection to Commander Lawrence (the new Marthas June chose could also come back into play). She could even manipulate the relationship she has with the Waterfords. She’s done it in the past and she has plenty of information on them from previous seasons to potentially hold against them. Additionally, June holds a lot of power with the other Handmaids, as has been made clear when she had them all turn against Ofmatthew in Episode 8.

But how does the song “Heaven is a Place on Earth” tease June’s personal rebellion? Well, the lyrics to the song are essentially about hope and that anyone can carve out their own slice of happiness, even in the darkest of places like Gilead. And what’s more hopeful than the possibility of June rescuing Gilead’s children so they can finally live in freedom?

How she’ll do it is still a mystery, but June has her heart in the right place and her head is clear for the first time in a long time. With a plan in the works and Handmaids on her side, June is setting things in motion and Gilead won’t know what hit them.


The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 airs Wednesdays on Hulu.

Media via Sophie Giraud/Hulu, Hulu/TV Promos