The second season of 'The Handmaid's Tale' came to a nail-biting end this week and while there has been some backlash over June's decision in those final moments, you know deep down that's the way it had to be.
There's a lot to cover before we get to that gut-wrenching moment however. The episode began with the discovery of Eden's bible and it proved to be a catalyst for all of the finale's drama. As we know by now, this innocent bible with Eden's handwriting scrawled all over it meant that she was breaking the law of Gilead long before she ever made doe eyes at that security dude. (Sidebar, we apologise now for our assumption that Eden was going to turn on them all somehow, she actually wasn't so bad in the end, bless her).
The bible led to June's tense confrontation with Serena as she questioned just how exactly baby Nicole was supposed to learn the word of God if she couldn't read it. It was quickly followed by an even more volatile clash between June and Fred, although it was pretty good to see Fred finally get a good smack in the face. More of that in season three, please.
We were then given an unexpectedly sweet moment as Nick got to hold his daughter for the first time, and even, would you believe, smiled! There were teeth and all. This episode also showed us a much softer side to Rita. It was brimming under the surface for a while and we can't help think we may get more of her back story down the line.
This entire season we have started to see cracks in Serena's resolve over Gilead's regime, so her decision to approach the government with an amendment didn't exactly come from nowhere, but nonetheless it was incredibly bold and brave move from a character we wish sometimes we didn't hate so much. Fred, being the utter shit that he is however, soon made sure she paid the price.
Things were also taking a dark turn over in Josh Lyman's gaff too as Emily was once again left baffled by Joseph Lawrence's behaviour towards her, and while it looked like something awful may go down between them, turns out, like Eden, he wasn't so bad either. Emily's brutal attack on Aunt Lydia may have seemed unexpected but don't forget, these two have history and it was only a matter of time before Emily unleashed the anger you could see brewing inside her. Somehow it ended up being just what she needed to do to get the hell out of dodge too.
One person who decided to not take her one-way ticket out of Gilead however was June. Yep, after multiple escape attempts this season, when an actual real opportunity to leave came up, June didn't take it. We too were shouting at the telly, but her decision made sense. A major theme of this entire season has been motherhood, with most of June's flashbacks about her time with Hannah but also about her relationship with her own mother. June's main motivation was to get Holly/Nicole out of Gilead when she was carrying her but now that she could leave her in safe hands, she knew she could never live with herself if she left Hannah behind.
Our only question is, eh, what she was planning to do if Emily hadn't coincidentally been there to take the baby? Popped the little one in the van and said see you later?
Also, how sure were you that Serena was just going to run off with the baby when she was saying goodbye? We were cursing June's stupidity but it actually resulted in being quite a tender moment between this capricious pair which we would have felt more powerfully if it hadn't been for the horror that woman had inflicted on June all too recently.
So what next for our trusty Gilead hero? She certainly didn't look like a defeated woman as she walked off into the moonlight before the credits rolled, and with all that assistance she was given to get out, there are clearly plenty more involved in the resistance. Whatever season three has in store, all we hope is that they don't show us any more futile escapes and get on with the business of taking Gilead down. There shouldn't be a fourth season. Diluting this story any more than it already has from the main text will no doubt frustrate fans and hopefully Hulu will realise quality far outweighs quantity.
If they do, then 'The Handmaid's Tale' may just go down as one of the most relevant, masterful TV shows ever made. If not, like Emily and Nicole, we'll be hitching a ride out of there.