Hulu announced somewhat recently that the sixth season of this show would be its last.
I am largely fine with that. As good as The Handmaid’s Tale can be at projecting the absolute misery of its characters, it does have a major structural issue that I have complained about before.
That would be June’s overall plot armor. She is just seemingly untouchable no matter what she does or where she goes at this point. If anything, this episode seems to suggest her real issue isn’t that she’s unstoppable (even though she is), but instead is that she is too narrowly focused. I would have thought June wouldn’t have rested until she had somehow brought all of Gilead down.
Instead, here she seems more inclined to just bring down the people that hurt her personally. Yes, she wants her daughter back. But aside from that, who does she want to hurt? Well, the Waterfords, and Dumbass Fred died in the previous season finale. Here, when she meets up with the other former Handmaids who helped her out, she doesn’t seem inclined to help them get revenge on the people who hurt them, and it’s only when she learns Emily already returned to Gilead to keep the fight going that she seems to almost reconsider.
Yeah, I had heard Alexis Bledel wasn’t returning this season, but I didn’t expect her departure to be so…blatantly obvious. This show has long had a habit of keeping around characters who were beyond their shelf life when the series didn’t know what to do with them, a scenario that aptly describes a lot of the stuff in Canada involving Luke and Moira, but that’s hardly been a weakness to just this show or even the worst of this show’s general problems. If it weren’t for the top-to-bottom great performances from pretty much every actor involved, I might have quit this series a long time ago. Besides, season four did end in a way that reeled in some of the plot armor problems that were June.
And there’s something rather deliciously ironic about Serena Joy demanding to see Fred’s body and to take him back to Gilead for the funeral considering that she somehow thinks the hellhole that is Gilead is a civilized country. She did get the message June was involved. Who else could it have been?
Of course, even though I am sure that a certain breed of Christian extremist isn’t limited to the real world United States, I have a hard time understanding why there are Gilead supporters in Canada. They do know what’s going on down there, right?
Regardless, June’s plot armor returns when she confesses to her crime to the Canadian authorities, saying she acted alone to protect the others…but because the crime took place in No Man’s Land, she’ll just be hit with a small fine for a lesser crime and sent on her way. She can pay it online.
Still, maybe now June can find a way to channel her rage, get some help for the PTSD she almost certainly has, and maybe figure out her next step. Or she can just do stuff to make Serena Joy miserable. I don’t have much patience for that character no matter how much Gilead hurt her too since she helped build her own prison.
I figure I am only really going to get that last one.