Friday, June 18, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Handmaid’s Tale (Season Finale)

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 4, Episode 10 “The Wilderness” (B+)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this finale, but I will say that it didn’t go where I expected. I had this idea, and sort of still hope, that June would lead an organized resistance and go behind enemy lines to blow up Gilead targets and rescue children from their captivity. That might still happen, but at the moment June is more about biblical revenge, responding to what was done to her in kind. She could have gone to Geneva and tried to appeal to the ICC in person, but instead she took a more subversive approach, meeting the eternally sardonic Joseph in an abandoned diner and getting him to propose a trade to Mark of twenty-two women for Fred. That would have been punishment enough, sending him back into the lion’s den where he wouldn’t receive a hero’s welcome, but, thanks to the apparently open lines of communication, June had Nick there to do her a favor, bringing Fred into the woods so that she could properly terrify him before beating him to death with the help of a number of other women and former handmaids led by Emily. That was a brutal moment but one that was also sort of cathartic, not that Fred represents the extent of the evil that exists in Gilead but that he must pay for what he did. We didn’t get to see how Serena reacts to the news that he isn’t coming back and what becomes of her, but I’m very intrigued to see where season five goes after this. I think it will be a fresh start of sorts, and I’m all for a new approach that involves June coordinating whatever it is she’s going to be planning from Canada while Gilead struggles to remain afloat. Overall, I found this season to be poignant and powerful, and I’m glad that it will be back for another iteration.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Elisabeth Moss

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