Friday, November 11, 2022

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

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 5, Episode 10 “Safe” (B+)

This was a strong finale, one that upsets all the balances of power that we were seeing formed before this. Joseph came out ahead, deciding that protecting June and appeasing Nick weren’t top priorities, and instead seemingly catering to his new wife’s needs by having Janine arrested following her understandable outburst when Naomi expressed her happiness that her friend Janine was back in the house with her. That’s major growth on Janine’s part which came as a part of the distress she felt after hearing that June had been hurt, and Lydia is realizing that, like Serena, she has no power in a society for whose creation she long clamored. June being targeted so directly and having her arm run over in a violent way was startling because it happened outside of Gilead, and the bigger consequence was that Luke ended up killing the driver. The train loading scene reminded me of back in season one with Emily being unable to fly to Canada but still felt somewhat gentler, and Luke staying behind to face the consequences for what he did so that June could be free felt like an important swap that will motivate her to get back to him. All the action helped the final moment come as a surprise, with June so delighted to hear another baby crying only to then see that it was Serena, and that casual diaper question was an unexpectedly lighthearted note on which to end the season. This show continues to be very good, and I’m eagerly anticipating a very intense final season.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Yvonne Strahovski as Serena

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