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When The Handmaid's Tale first introduced Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), we knew he'd be a dynamic new addition to the world of Gilead, we just didn't know how hard it would be to suss out whose side he was on and whether or not we could still like him after we found out. Neither did we anticipate how utterly electrifying he'd be on screen opposite this new, more rebellious June (Elisabeth Moss).
Now, three episodes into Season 3, the questions about his loyalty and questionable decency are even more impossible to answer. Here's a man who allows his Handmaid and a stolen baby girl to escape Gilead for a better life in Canada but then cruelly turns June into a bit of misogynistic amusement in front of a room full of commanders. He's the guy who looks the other way when his staff uses his house as a resistance base and then forces June to pick which female prisoners of Gilead are "useful" enough to save and which to send to the colonies to die.
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If you're confused about Commander Lawrence's motives, you are absolutely not the only one. That mystery is part of his allure, says Whitford, and it would be a mistake to try to figure out whose side he's on other than his own.
Commander - Lawrence - Creators - Gilead - Regime
Commander Lawrence is really hard to nail down. As one of the creators of Gilead, how much does he actually believe in this regime and its tenets?
Bradley Whitford: My basic way I approach this was [...] that he reminded me of Robert McNamara, who prosecuted the war in Vietnam for President Kennedy. He was a brilliant guy whose big brain obliterated his humanity, and so he took his brilliant economic ideas, which revolutionized the auto industry, and applied them...
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