The Handmaid’s Tale is undoubtedly one of the most important TV series of the last ten years, thanks to it Hulu in 2017 won an Emmy Award.
The best drama series and this has definitely paved the way for the era of streaming platforms. Right from the start The Handmaid’s Tale has become a phenomenon of costume, as evidenced by the flash-mobs starring women dressed as handmaids or the (ever increasing) use of the expression: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” . The national and international news continues to underline the importance of the show, in the hope of never making the dystopian world shown by it become reality.
The story of The Handmaid’s Tale is taken from the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood , therefore it is not surprising that Hulu puts into production a spin-off based on the book The Testaments . Atwood (certainly driven by the enormous success of the series) has in fact decided to publish in 2019 a natural sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale , set 15 years after its conclusion. The author also supervises the writing of the series and is in close contact with the creator Bruce Miller , probably this is why from the third season some clues are being launched, on the events protagonists of The Testaments.
From its announcement it was easy to understand how the fifth vintage could be preparatory, almost transitional, in view of the sixth and last. With an extremely open ending, the season ended yesterday also in Italy, where it is distributed (simultaneously with the United States) on the TIMVISION platform . The last cycle of episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale will most likely arrive in the fall of 2024.
Between desires for revenge and inner conflicts: June’s beautiful journey
After the shocking finale of the fourth season, in which in no man’s land (on the border between Gilead and Canada) Fred Waterford ( Joseph Fiennes ) is brutally murdered by June ( Elisabeth Moss ) and other maids, a fifth vintage focused on the final confrontation between the protagonist and Serena Waterford ( Yvonne Strahovski ), also a faithful advocate of the principles of Gilead; actually the new episodes immediately prepare the ground for this battle, but before talking about it we need to reflect on June .
The latter begins the season pleased with her gesture and does not seem to feel any kind of remorse, shortly after her humanity weakens making her realize that she has put an end to a human life, even though Fred deserved to pay for the horrors with his death. The character of Elisabeth Moss has immediately embodied the role of heroine, the violence suffered in Gilead however has definitely changed her and the June of the new episodes is totally different from the one seen previously, now in fact she covers the double role of heroine- anti-heroine. June is therefore not a Buffy Summers , the beautiful (and coherent) path taken this season fully demonstrates it. She doesn’t regret killingAt the same time, Fred realizes that he cannot be totally absorbed by the desire for revenge, because otherwise he would end up losing sight of his main task: to free his daughter Hannah from the clutches of Gilead.
Serena and June: the most complex relationship of the entire series
Serena ‘s journey , albeit driven by different motivations, is almost complementary to June ‘s . She too begins the season with a desire to avenge Fred ‘s death , but she soon realizes she has more important matters to resolve. During the first few episodes the writers show a not so beautiful portrait of Serena , making her look like a deeply naive person. The woman refuses to stay in Canada and tries in every way to return to Gilead, convinced that she can again have the same power she previously held. However, she will soon understand that she no longer has any relevance in the totalitarian regime that she helped to found, on the contrary she is almost assigned a humiliating role (compared to that of a queen she had in the past): to spend the last weeks of pregnancy at the home of the Mr and Mrs Wheeler . Serena will almost be treated like a handmaid and the parallels with the June of the first season are many, this will help to make her understand how terrible the Gilead regime really is . Although she has had more than one chance to kill June , she decides not to and seek help from her former handmaid.
The two have always had a very complex relationship, they hate each other but at the same time they attract each other. It is no coincidence that the best episode of the season is the seventh in which the women, both on the run, decide to join forces. Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski give life to acting performances of the highest level, this season it is above all Strahovski who shines like never before. Their characters in the last few episodes seem to divide again and despite the pleas of Serena , Juneshe remains firmly convinced not to give her another chance, on the contrary, she almost takes pleasure in seeing her suffer. Fate, however, is mocking and in the final moments of the last episode the two, once again on the run, find themselves on board a train. Could it finally be the beginning of a holy covenant? June and Serena teamed up to undermine Gilead’s totalitarian regime is certainly a great reason to see The Handmaid’s Tale final season .
Secondary characters (too much) in the background
What didn’t work in the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale is the management of some characters. If many have had their best narrative evolution, including Luke ( OT Fagbenle ), others have almost seemed like simple extras. Last May, the production of the series surprisingly announced the non-return of actress Alexis Bledel . The latter, probably also due to her divorce with the actor Vincent Kartheiser , spontaneously decided to leave the role thanks to which she managed to win an Emmy Award in 2017. The actress commented with these words on her premature exit: “After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale right now… I will be forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support” .
His departure from the scene was justified a little forcibly by the writers, despite this, with his absence it was expected a greater involvement of two other secondary characters, but central in the events from the beginning of the show: Moira ( Samira Wiley ) and Rita ( Amanda Brugel ). The two, however, have never been actively included in the narrative, appearing almost in the background of June ‘s events . A transitional season (like this fifth one) was perfect for developing their stories further, especially Rita ‘s . Bruce Miller himselfyesterday revealed his displeasure for not being able to involve the two actresses very much in the plot, however praising their performances: their characters deserve it ” .
The Handmaid’s Tale this season, albeit with a little more narrative slowness, is confirmed as a television jewel. The new episodes prepare the ground for a particularly strong final season, probably arriving in the autumn of 2024. In Italy the entire series is available on TIMVISION , the first four seasons are also present on the Prime Video platform .