The Handmaid’s Tale needs to end with season 5

The Handmaid's Tale -- Courtesy of Hulu
The Handmaid's Tale -- Courtesy of Hulu /

Dark drama The Handmaid’s Tale premiered in 2017, garnering instant buzz and critical acclaim for streaming network Hulu. Based on the classic novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, the story follows June Osborne, a Handmaid in a horrifying dystopian future.

In a world where it is far more difficult to conceive a child, parts of America have been transformed into Gilead. In this country,  a woman’s body is not her own, her future is not hers to choose, and Handmaids are raped by Commanders to achieve conception of a child.

However, where The Handmaid’s Tale made great strides at the beginning of its run in showing the horrors of Gilead and what it means to live in such a menacing society, the most recent seasons have not had the same effect.

Things have changed from when June’s stare portraying her anger, anguish, and deep desire to do something was as a way to represent what was too far for June to accept. Recently, June’s stare has been used almost constantly, and by using it so often, it has become a recurring concept that gets overused and, as such, loses its effect.

The Handmaid’s Tale has also been stuck in a cycle of reusing old storylines. First, June tries to change the situation or attempt to escape; she then gets captured and tortured, only to escape once more, and then the process starts all over again.

Initially, June began the series as an underdog. Her situation, along with everyone else’s, was terrible. She was beaten, abused, raped, and more. But, as the series continued and June began taking more risks, it became exciting to see what she would do next and how far she was willing to go against the ruling class of Gilead or try and save others who were similarly oppressed. Finally, in the season 3 finale, June successfully gets the children out of Gilead and to the safety of Canada, which brings up one of the biggest problems of the series’ fourth season thus far.

June is no longer the same underdog she once was. At this point, she has been successful in freeing the children and has made a name and reputation for herself within Gilead and even in Canada. She has achieved more than she ever likely thought possible when the series’ began. Yet, The Handmaid’s Tale insists on treating June like she is still the same character she was in the beginning.

While she was certainly still oppressed in Gilead, things have changed for her as she is looked at as a leader. But, The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t give the supporting characters the same treatment or sense of substance.

Only when June reaches Canada are the other Handmaids who have been there for months already treated with any true sense of urgency. Their storylines, trauma, and emotional aftermath all seemed to have been put on pause until June arrived.

Serena and Fred’s storyline throughout season 4 has been about their unborn child and the upcoming trial against them and their actions.

Which begs the question: How long is the audience willing to wait for Gilead to fall? Do viewers still want to watch Handmaids get tortured week after week?

If The Handmaid’s Tale were to end in the fifth season, it could take all the build-up toward a rebellion and use it for a more action-oriented final installment. So while there may be more stories left to tell, it may be best if the series ends soon.

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What do you think of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4? Sound off in the comments.