The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 9 Review: A Reunion That Felt Like a Goodbye

This The Handmaid’s Story assessment incorporates spoilers.

Was that the tip of June and Nick? It felt like goodbye. When Nick advised June to attempt to be joyful, after which took his marriage ceremony ring out of his pocket and put it again on his finger, there was a way of finality. These two dwell in numerous worlds now and their across-the-barricades love faces not possible odds. Simply have a look at the symbolic distance between them in that broad shot outdoors the varsity.

If that was the tip, then The Handmaid’s Tale handled the couple to an idyllic farewell. The smooth daylight on snow, light piano rating and June’s beaming face made for an uncharacteristically romantic interlude on this Elisabeth Moss-directed episode. Taken alongside their embrace on that bridge in episode three – the one filmed with that sweepingly passionate aerial shot and swelling orchestral theme – it’s clear how gooey the present feels about these two: they’re its huge love story.

Ever since Nick grew to become a Commander and navy bigwig, the romantic lead has been an uncomfortable function for him to play. Whereas he’s the pinnacle of a Gilead family and its military, it’s taken a superb quantity of wilful ignorance to maintain him framed as this present’s heart-throb. Maybe that’s why we solely ever see him at work, and by no means his home set-up. As that marriage ceremony ring hinted, he should go residence to youngster bride #2 and even perhaps his very personal Handmaid. Possibly he refuses intercourse along with his spouse, as he did with Eden. Possibly he neglects to carry out ‘The Ceremony’, as Joseph Lawrence did. However how lengthy would Gilead let him get away with that? As we noticed last season, the regime has methods to make sure that its Commanders fulfil their sickening duties. All of these discomfiting ideas need to be swept underneath the carpet for The Handmaid’s Tale to current Nick and June the way in which it did this episode – as a pure romance, this present’s star-crossed lovers. 

‘Progress’ was aptly named for June, who, having unburdened herself of the Hannah/jail story to Luke, and reunited with Nick, was really joyful for the primary time in a very long time. Her softness and internal glow this episode made the sadistic rage monster of ‘Testimony’ really feel like a distant reminiscence… till it re-emerged with twice the ferocity after Mark Tuello’s betrayal.

June’s strategic significance as an intelligence asset to Tuello has been highlighted ever since she set foot in Canada. As Moira identified, not each refugee has a particular service element or will get put up in a luxurious lodge. Being the engineer of Angel’s Flight gave June energy, which she was capable of leverage this episode within the seek for Hannah. An intelligence asset although, is simply as priceless as the knowledge they maintain, and June had already given hers up. To Tuello, she’d served her function. When Fred Waterford provided to show witness in trade for immunity from prosecution, Tuello noticed his subsequent rung up the ladder. June, clearly, noticed completely different. 

June wasn’t the one one feeling betrayed in ‘Progress’. Deliciously, Fred Waterford was outraged when he realized that Gilead hadn’t lifted a finger to assist him, as was Serena when she realised the true function of Naomi Putnam’s go to was to get first dibs on her unborn youngster. “Gilead may come for our son,” an incensed Serena advised Fred with no trace of self-awareness. You possibly can dish it out however you’ll be able to’t take it eh, Waterfords? Stealing kids is simply okay if you’re those doing it. It was a neat reminder from this present that, as historical past teaches, those that construct and assist barbaric regimes usually find yourself fashioning the noose for their very own neck.

Enter: Aunt Lydia, whose cherished ‘daughter’ Janine was threatened this week by the very system Lydia enforces. To the opposite Aunts, Janine is a fruitful womb wasted scrubbing flooring and serving tea. (Lydia’s enemies additionally see her as a sly path to hurting their boss, whose affection for Janine clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed.) To Lydia, Janine is a treasured soul whose salvation is her accountability. The push-pull rigidity of these scenes was fascinating, each phrase a step taken in a minefield. When Janine argued Esther’s case, she stopped in need of ending the road “I simply suppose she deserves an opportunity earlier than you…” mutilate her such as you mutilated me, however Lydia immediately yielding to Janine’s suggestion says that she heard all of it the identical. 

It’s stated {that a} option to survive a hostage state of affairs is to choose one other hostage to take care of, remodeling concern into protecting power. Possibly that’s what June did with Janine. Possibly that’s what Janine was doing with Esther (McKenna Grace giving one other wonderful efficiency) this episode. Take heed to the pep discuss Janine gave the previous Mrs Keyes although, and you may hear it as Janine speaking to herself. “Overlook June, she’s not right here, it’s a must to deal with your self now. […] It is advisable to keep alive so that you could be right here when issues get higher.” Bless Janine for her optimism. For Esther’s sake, let’s hope she’s proper. 

Loads will depend on Commander Lawrence, whose aim continues to be intentionally obscure. Is he working to make Gilead nice once more, or taking steps to deliver it down from the within? Maybe that’s why the digicam at all times movies him from such obscured, excessive angles fairly than the front-and-centre pictures we see of June and Luke, as a result of he and his motives are not possible to know. He advised June that now wasn’t a superb time for him to make waves – was that as a result of his reinstated place continues to be latest, or as a result of he must cross underneath the radar? Maybe next week’s finale will inform.

The Handmaid’s Story season 4 airs weekly on Hulu within the US and can air on Channel 4 within the UK in June. 

The put up The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 9 Review: A Reunion That Felt Like a Goodbye appeared first on Den of Geek.

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