The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 5 Episode 5 “Fairytale” Recap & Review


Episode 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 starts with June receiving an urgent call in the middle of the night. It’s Lily. A guardian is coming across with crucial information. So Moira and Luke join her and they head out together. It turns out the border patrols have tightened up and the friendly is stuck in No Man’s Land.

With no other choice, Luke decides to go himself to find out about Hannah. June decides to go with him. Moira is definitely not, given they still need someone to look after Nichole. There’s no name for the person they’re meeting, given that’s dangerous, but with a code-word and instructions they head back off again into Gilead. Of course, this brings back painful memories of the time Hannah was ripped out their arms all those years ago. Still, June presses on all the same.

Meanwhile, Serena continues to awkwardly enjoy the hospitality from the Wheeler’s. They have another lovely breakfast all served up for her. Serena has plans to open up another center as she’s not going to let “rules get in the way of God.”

Warren and Joseph both call Serena, with the former unhappy with her bad press following the center being shut down. Serena has ideas about it and believes focusing on Gilead is wrong. They should focus on fertility and the babies instead. Warren is not happy and eventually hangs up on her. Warren does not want Gilead open to the world but Lawrence is quick to point out that if they don’t open their doors – at least a peek – their nation will die.

June and Luke eventually find their contact but he urges them to follow him. June and Luke are understandably guarded but follow all the same. He brings the pair to an abandoned bowling alley and hands over a USB with the details they need. They’ve uncovered footage of Hannah on there, although details are patchy. The guy encourages them to wait until sunset before heading back to the border as it’s not safe right now. Luke concedes and the pair decide to stick around for a bit and bowl.

It seems the realization of how little power Serena actually has, and how Canada has changed her outlook, is starting to dawn on her. The Commanders have agreed to go ahead with the fertility center… but Serena is basically on house arrest (in a roundabout way) and told to stay inside the house. Oh, and she’s got no cell phone either.

Meanwhile, Luke and June start to head back through the woods but unfortunately their Gilead contact steps on a landmine and his leg is blown clean off. The pair decide to try and tourniquet the wound and help him out, but as he starts screaming and calling out in the woods, torchlights dance on the horizon. He pleads with the pair to run, which they do. Unfortunately, they’re stopped on the open road and captured.

The Episode Review

This episode really could have been 20 minutes long. There’s very little substance to this beyond June and Luke heading to meet their contact and inevitably getting captured, and Serena learning she’s stuck and has no power. Even though the episode is 15 minutes shorter, the drama here has been absolutely dragged out.

That’s, of course, been a mainstay in this series as a whole with far too many chapters for the story being told. In fact, it would be amusing if someone has uploaded a montage video of all the extreme close-up footage for June’s face over the course of five seasons! Hopefully this is just a blip and the rest of the season gets back on track.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You Can Read Our Full Season Review For The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Here!


  • Episode Rating

5 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 5 Episode 5 “Fairytale” Recap & Review”

  1. Why didn’t they just run? It’s not like Buddy was planning on leaving Gilead. There were people coming for him. He said just run. But they wait until they see the guardians? Now they are just being stupid and deserve whatever they get at this point. Like, did they think they were just playing tag? These people don’t play.

  2. Hey guys, apologies that’s my bad. Aunt Lydia definitely didn’t show up there so I’ve taken that out, not quite sure how that happened on my part. I’ve gone in and corrected that so it should read more accurately. Really appreciate the feedback and the comments!

    -Greg W

  3. I actually completely disagree about both this season, and this episode. I thought this episode did a really good job giving some back story of Serena when she initially went through the process of choosing a handmade, and they’re doing a fantastic job of setting things up in a way that make it at least appear that Serena may in fact be on the verge of having her worst night more realized and her child taken from her. In a way, she’s already living very similarly to a handmade, and I think the realization is beginning to dawn on her.
    As for June and Luke, it was refreshing to see such a touching scene between them in the bowling alley, although I did have a continued sense of dread the entire time.

    Side note, Aunt Lydia did not show up at the Wheeler residence and Serena isn’t in Gilead. She’s in a safe house in Canada with Gildead sympathizers, and it was just a random woman who showed up at the gates. I’m not sure where the confusion is coming from in regards to this last part.

    All in all I thought the episode was very well done.

  4. I’m pretty sure that the scene where Aunt Lydia is showing Serena pictures of Handmaids is a flash back to the beginning of Gilead. Like the flash back earlier I’m the episode where she is talking to what’s her name while looking through the windows at all the kids taken from their parents who need to placed in homes. Anyway, just wanted to clarify that. Especially being that Serena is pregnant now and she has no power so she wouldn’t need a handmaid nor would she be granted one.

  5. Aunt Lydia did not show up at the Wheeler’s. That was clearly a flashback to when Serena chose June.

Leave a comment