No Man’s Land
Episode 7 of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 starts with June and Serena off on the road. Serena goes into labour, which actually started a while ago, and her water has also broken. June finds an abandoned barn nearby and decides to take her in there. Despite the pair absolutely despising each other, June tries to do the right thing. At this point though, it’ll be really interesting to see if she takes the babe and leaves.
Unfortunately, leaving isn’t actually an option given the car is stuck and not moving. So instead, June heads back inside the barn and helps Serena deliver her child. The pair are all smiles and laughs, reflecting back on those early moments together.
The flashbacks interspersed around this episode sees an innocent June taken in as a handmaid for the Waterford family. Little does she know at this time that she’d be stepping into hell.
Back in the present, Serena decides to call her child Noah. She also breastfeeds him while the pair talk. June admits she didn’t want to kill Serena, apparently. Of course, we’re forgetting the whole subplot earlier this season with June literally taking a gun to try and kill Serena, stopping at the last second. Anyway, I digress.
Serena realizes she has nothing left, unable to go back to Canada as she waived her rights not wanting to go to Gilead either. So instead, Serena decides to hand over her child for June to raise, and to make him a better man than Fred.
Serena believes that this is God’s will and that June is an angel that’s been sent to her. June takes the offering but before leaving, she reflects back on how June was just a vessel to her. She decides to save Serena’s life for the sake of her child.
Through all of this, not once has June said anything about Hannah or Luke, asking where they are, which was the whole point of this endeavour was it not?
Anyway, June takes Serena into the hospital in Canada, and rings Moira to let her know she’s safe. Serena thanks her for helping and holds her hand, seemingly putting water under the bridge for their rivalry. Luke is also in the waiting room too, pointing out that he’s managed to take the USB back and they’re getting answers on Hannah.
As for Luke, he’s shocked that June is absolutely fine with Serena and brings officers in to take Serena. June follows and watches as she’s detained. Luke phoned the immigration team and she’s on-course to being sent to a detention center. Serena’s not allowed to go with her son Noah either, and Luke watches from afar, gleefully, as he whispers “justice” at the fact Serena now knows what it’s like to be ripped away from your child.
The Episode Review
So correct me if I’m wrong here and I’m trying not to sound heartless as I know Gilead turns everyone into a monster, but wasn’t June’s whole mission to find out about Hannah? Why did she not even ask Serena about it? And what drove her to be all chummy and claim she didn’t want to kill Serena, despite spending an entire season trying to kill her and make her pay?
The show tries to take the moral high-ground with June but honestly, I don’t think it works. June has always been consumed by rage and her one desire has been to get Hannah back. But yet, through this entire episode she doesn’t ask Serena once where she is.
While I appreciate the idea here is to show the bonds of motherhood are strong and girls stick together, there’s far too much bad blood between these two to actually see this happen. I certainly can’t see Serena and June becoming besties.
It’s hard to feel sorry for Serena either, given she willingly threw herself back into Gilead’s system, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how June takes this news going forward. As it stands though, it does feel like June’s character motivations are a little skewed.