(CTN News) – ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ returns at an auspicious time, as Roe v. Wade has thrust Margaret Atwood’s dystopian vision into the spotlight. This season’s arc, however, is ill-suited to the moment, focusing primarily on the bond of hatred between June and Serena at the expense of nearly everything else.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season Five
The brutal, cathartic fate of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) was orchestrated by June (Elisabeth Moss) at the end of the fourth season.
Although Serena lives in a patriarchal society, she is not without the political skills of a survivor. Although June escaped Gilead, she remains unable to let go of her simmering anger (nobody does stares of intense rage like Moss), pulling her back year after year.
The Handmaid’s Tale, the practical move would be to shed old grievances, but that’s not in her, much to the chagrin of her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle).
Even with the characters separated, the season becomes a battle of titans, showcasing Moss and Strahovski and reflecting on the sacrifices associated with motherhood.
Featuring Moss as star, producer, and occasional director, “Handmaid’s Tale” rarely fails to deliver stark or shocking moments. Furthermore, watching eight of the 10 episodes of the latest season gives the impression that it indulges in chapters that act as filler and do little to advance the plot.
The sixth season will be the series’ last, so it should be able to build toward a satisfying endgame, one that almost nobody could think was premature.
Gilead’s relationship to the larger world is explored in the macro story, along with uncomfortable questions about what its neighbors will tolerate when seeking political accommodation.
In addition, there are some less developed subplots, including Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), and what it might be like to be a conscience; Nick (Max Minghella), still pining for June as he charts his own path; and Bradford’s Commander Lawrence, whose belief that Gilead can be quietly reformed from within has become a central tension in that larger storyline.
Despite its Emmy-winning first season, “The Handmaid’s Tale
” has struggled to match the searing urgency and striking imagery (all those crimson cloaks, which even appeared at a Supreme Court protest) that made it memorable.
There is no doubt that The Handmaid’s Tale series remains relevant, and in fact, some of its themes are more poignant than ever. Even as this season continues June’s tale, it reinforces the feeling that the show’s best days are behind it, despite the promise of a conclusion that lies ahead.