THE HANDMAID'S TALE (2022)
Aired On: Hulu
Release Date: 09/14/22
"June faces consequences for killing Commander Waterford while struggling to redefine her identity and purpose. The widowed Serena attempts to raise her profile in Toronto as Gilead’s influence creeps into Canada. Commander Lawrence works with Nick and Aunt Lydia as he tries to reform Gilead and rise in power. June, Luke and Moira fight Gilead from a distance as they continue their mission to save and reunite with Hannah."
Can you ever really go home again? If you’re June Osborne, finally free from the cold grip of Gilead, maybe not.
The two-episode season 5 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale reveals our heroin June (Elisabeth Moss) suffering to strike a balance between unbridled anger at her tortured past and the serenity of finding freedom with her husband and baby. It’s something she fought so hard for, and for so many years. Faithful fans know, however, that her whole heart can’t truly escape Gilead while her daughter Hannah is still there. And therein lies her intentions for season 5.
As you’ll recall, the finale of season 4 was positively gruesome; with June and her faithful flock of handmaids brutally beating Commander Waterford to death in a way that, without context, would make them appear monstrous. The viewers know better, though – and the downfall of the man who made June’s life a living hell for so long was possibly just as cathartic for us as it was for the characters.
Unfortunately for June, the death of the Commander did not bring her the peace she longs for, and the new season kicks off with her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and best friend Moira (Samira Wiley) growing increasingly concerned about her mental state. For June, being caught between two worlds – the one she shares with her husband and baby, and the one she escaped but which still has her 12-year-old daughter – is the main source of friction between her and everyone in her life.
That duality is a theme that is present throughout the premiere episodes of the latest season: Canada and Gilead; freedom and sovereignty; and, most compellingly, June and Serena.
The hot-and-cold relationship between June Osborne and Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) has long-been one of the show’s most intriguing aspects, and season 5 brings tensions between the two to a boiling point. While the end of last season may have hinted at June having the upper hand, it’s the final scene of season 5, episode 2 in which Serena reveals she still has some tricks up her sleeve.
It’s thrilling, edge-of-your-seat entertainment. Season 5 is shaping up to be the best season of The Handmaid’s Tale yet.