Episode 6 of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 begins with June face to face with Moira. She’s in shock and keeps calling out for Janine. Janine is nowhere to be found, but Moira encourages her friend to head for aid.
While in the car together, June snaps out of her entranced state but there’s a problem. They make it to the aid station but the group are packing their things up and leaving. Unfortunately that plan does not include taking June with them.
Given Gilead are still providing aid for them, Moira is encouraged not to break June out as it’ll mess up all their plans. Moira refuses that though, confronting June. She tells June if she continues down this path she’s going to be killed. Moira tells June exactly what should have been said back in season 2 – June needs to fight from Canada.
June is bundled aboard a boat heading back to Canada. Refugees flood the area, pleading to be brought up with them but they take off alone. On the boat, Moira learns that they’re going to have the vessel searched. This eventually sees her admit the truth that she’s smuggled June aboard.
The Team Leader and the group contemplate what to do with June. They’re both torn around whether to turn her in or keep her there. As the argument swells, June eventually makes the decision for them. In fact, June is going to tell them she smuggled herself on.
The boats approach and the group are searched. One by one they step forward, with June lying and telling them all her name is Rachel Smith. Given the bruise on her face, June is questioned over what happened. Just before speaking, Moira talks for her and claims she hit her head.
The search ends, the group are free to go, and June makes it into Canada. Unfortunately this also means any humanitarian aid and resources given by Gilead will be lost. June realizes this too and decides to take a lifeboat back to Gilead. She wants to find Hannah.
Realizing Hannah was scared and didn’t recognize her, June feels like she’s failed. She doesn’t want to go back to Luke emptyhanded. She believes she’s failed him and that he won’t forgive her. This is Gilead talking of course, and another reminder that this messed up society can break even the most mentally tough individuals.
Luke is brought aboard the ship and finally sees his wife. She apologizes for not bringing Hannah; an impassioned, heartfelt cry that sees him hug her tightly and tell her it’s okay. The ship docks and June eventually takes her first step into Canada.
The Episode Review
A lot of this 4-season run in The Handmaid’s Tale has brought up questions surrounding June’s fate and her choices. A lot of the issues many people had with the end of season 2 came from her decision to stay behind and let Emily go ahead. Why? Why do that?
Well, season 3 didn’t really address it but here we do finally get some answers. In fact, June’s whole journey has been about bringing Hannah back and trying to find a way to free her from Gilead’s tyrannical grip.
Moira essentially plays the role of every person watching this show, encouraging June to take the fight to Gilead from across the border. While her initial idea of starting a rebellion from inside the walls of Gilead was a good one, it’s clear now that June’s plan is just not going to happen.
Instead, the ending to this episode signifies big changes in the air, as the focus turns toward Canada instead. Quite how Gilead and the Canadian authorities will react to June now being free is another matter. However, next week’s episode looks set to be quite the dramatic one.