Natalie is a recurring character in season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale. She is a Handmaid assigned to Commander Matthew Calhoun and becomes June's (Ofjoseph's) shopping partner. Her patronymic is Ofmatthew.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Natalie is a Black woman with medium-dark skin, medium height, big eyes, and dark hair.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Natalie, or Ofmatthew, is a very "by the books" girl. In almost all occasions, she has fully accepted Gilead's rules and customs. She acts like she is a complete supporter of Gilead and all it has to offer, although there are moments when the viewer can see that she herself has doubts.
In general, she doesn't come off as a very kind or compassionate person. She seems very strict.
Story[edit | edit source]
Bells toll as everyone gathers in a Prayvaganza to celebrate all the babies recently born in the district. As the Handmaids approach the church, Aunt Lydia rides by on a scooter, reminding her girls to be on their best behavior.
Inside, the handmaids who have given birth get prime seating. The district’s new "parents" bring up their babies to the altar, among them is Natalie's third son. June tells Natalie that her son is cute.
In this episode, it is revealed that Natalie's period is late and she is pregnant again with her commander's child. She isn't overjoyed by this news since she has already given birth to three other children in Gilead. In this episode, we see the first glimpse of Natalie as a sympathetic person. She tells June she is actually happy her daughter, Nichole, is safe out of Gilead and she is relieved that her husband is also safe.
In this episode, Natalie accompanies June to the grocery store where she eyes June talking to the Martha in Hannah's household. Natalie then reports this to Aunt Lydia, and in the last scene of the episode, the Martha is hanged with several others for "endangering a child". June attacks Natalie and attempts to strangle her out of anger, knowing that she had a role in the Martha's death. Natalie has also ruined June's chances of seeing Hannah again anytime soon.
Unfit[edit | edit source]
In this episode, Natalie faces backlash for her role in Frances' execution. While the handmaids bully and tease Natalie, tension grows between her and June. While June is being punished by Aunt Lydia for her "responsibility" in Frances' execution, she calls out Natalie for her doubts in her pregnancy. When Aunt Lydia puts Natalie on the stand, she cracks, crying while the other Handmaids point at her for being a "crybaby". In the final scene of the episode, Natalie greets June for a routine trip to the market. When they arrive, Aunt Lydia informs June that she is to be reassigned to another household. In the background, we see Natalie beginning to go mentally insane, holding a can of lobster meat. She then begins to bludgeon Janine with the can, drawing the attention of Aunt Lydia and the nearby guards. When one approaches, Natalie strikes him with a glass jar, slicing his neck with a shard. She draws his gun, pointing it around the market before landing on June and then Aunt Lydia. June gives her a glance, signalling Natalie to fire. Just then Natalie is struck through the shoulder, the bullet protruding out her chest. Two guards then drag her body out the market while June stares motionless.
Natalie's excessive blood loss means that she is brain dead and kept on life support throughout her pregnancy. An increasingly deranged June is kept in her hospital room; a means of punishment by Aunt Lydia for June orchestrating the humiliation of Natalie. Throughout her pregnancy, she is visited by the other Handmaids in her district. Mrs. Calhoun also brings Wives along with her, to pray for Natalie's unborn child. Natalie has frequent seizures, but doctors manage to treat them. As June's sanity slips, she is compelled to kill Natalie twice, but is stopped by Janine, who convinces her that as a Handmaid, she is "one of [them]." Natalie hemorrhages excessively while she is pre-term, and a premature son is delivered via cesarean-section, who is quickly taken to the NICU. Doctors note that Natalie will not survive much longer. Initially, June is allowed to return to the Lawrences, but chooses to stay by Natalie's side before she dies.
Natalie has passed away by the beginning of this episode.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Season 3[edit | edit source]
- Mary and Martha (first appearance)
- God Bless the Child
- Unknown Caller
- Under His Eye
- Heroic (final appearance)
- Witness (mentioned)