Welcome back to another TV show review. I finally finished binging the latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale. Some of the past seasons left me with rather mixed feelings, but I was nevertheless excited about #4. Let’s see if it is a success!
The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):
June (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.
What to do with this one?
I have very similar issues I already mentioned for past seasons. There are some amazing and intense episodes. Especially the beginning of the season gave me chills. There were tears.
But (there always has to be a but, right?) even in those episodes some moments were a little too much and over the top. The show has so many amazing things to offer, they could easily ton eit down a notch and still create the same effect. Especially when you have actors this brilliant, it would give them a chance to shine even more.
Elizabeth Moss is outstanding is usual. Yvonne Strahovski has come such a long way. I remember at the beginning I didn’t like her at all, simply because she couldn’t act, couldn’t convey emotion. Now she knows how to hold her ground and delivered great performances.
I’ll be talking about some things that happen later in this season below the *read more* button, so beware of spoilers!
June made it out. Finally. To be honest, there are only so many things they could have done in Gilead, I’m glad for the change of scenery as it allows for many new opportunites.
However, somewhere they went wrong. I can’t say where exactly but from the moment on we were in Canada something wasn’t quite working. They had moments there that gave me hope and promised for a great plot. For example when June goes to a supermarket and has a PTSD episode. That never really gets addressed again.
The commander and Serena are now Canadian prisoners and I was just a tad annoyed with that entire storyline. I think there would have been potential for showing more reactions to their imprisonment, in and outside of Canada. The interaction between Fred and Serena became somewhat repetitive soon and I just wasn’t feeling it. I simply had the impression that they could have done more.
June on the other hand does a bit too much. I understand that she is angry but (and I already mentioned this in a previous review) she seems to be nothing but rage and often feels more like a vessel to further the plot than an actual person. While the grand finale of this season was intense, it was also weird and I almost wish they had done something different. There were many other options and I think some of those would not only have made for amazing finales but also for a good setup for the next season.
As for what is going on in Gilead – I feel like we’re going in circles. I guess that is kind of the point, highlighting that even though June made it out, nothing actually changed for those still trapped there. But I’m just getting weary of Aunt Lydia. The acting is great, but the scenes across the seasons just have been too similar. They can only do so much within the narrow frame of Gilead, and we already hade three complete seasons set within that frame, so we might just need to move away from it.
While this season had some great moments, they simply need to come up with something new, with fresh focus points. Overall we’re still stuck with the same topics even though there now is the possibility for a lot more. Despite great performances by the cast, with this season the show failed to live up to it’s full potential. Unless they substantially change some things for the next seasons, they’ll lose the audience’s interest. According to RT this season has the lowest rating so far, so I guess I’m not the only one to feel like this. 😅
Did you watch the season? Let me know in the comments what you think!