On September 15, the first two episodes of the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale aired. The series, which began as a story about the fate of women in the patriarchy, moves further and further from the original intentions and becomes a political thriller.
The fifth season focuses on the confrontation between June (Elizabeth Moss) and Serenity (Yvonne Strahovski). At the same time, their conflict goes beyond the personal – it is expanded to a struggle for power.
For those who managed to forget (or get confused) how The Handmaid’s Tale developed, we recall. In the first season, the series focused on the state of Gilead, which is ruled by a Christian extremist group. Due to environmental problems, on average, only one woman in 100 can have children, the country has established the most severe patriarchy. Every woman who has the opportunity to give birth is valued, but as an object – they live as servants with high-ranking men. They are raped, beaten, punished for every deviation from the rules (which are indecently many). The main character, June, is an ordinary servant. As the story progresses, she changed several owners, undermined the system in certain areas of Gilead and became the main enemy of the state.
Victim’s story is gone
By the fourth season, the main character has finally ceased to be an ordinary servant. She is involved in political struggles that affect several countries. The search for his daughter and saving his own life faded into the background.
The fifth season returns June to herself and her demons, but only in part – she is driven by a thirst for revenge on her offenders. At the same time, personal problems coincide with global issues – in order to defeat the human enemy, it is necessary to destroy the enemy state.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 brings politics to the fore
In the fifth season, a lot of time is devoted to relations between countries. The neighbors of Gilead have already learned enough about this state to hate it. At the same time, they are not going to finally break ties, they are looking for a compromise. Naturally, the victims of Gilead are unhappy with this.
In general, the problem of political intrigues, during which the victims of state terror go unnoticed, deserves discussion. However, The Handmaid’s Tale touches on this topic in passing. It turns out a superficial statement about the vileness of the nomenklatura and the hypocrisy of the rulers, which is repeated in a different way.
It is amazing that this is the same series that began with rapes and nightly tears of maids – it was hardly possible to assume that the story would lead the heroine to the Canadian authorities. The fourth season was a turning point, the fifth continues the international line.
The totalitarian state has ceased to frighten
Each season contradicted the information given at the beginning of the series. Women were forbidden to read (for this they cut off their finger), but the commander could make a speech about the need to allow this. The role of their wives was also constantly changing – it seems that they should not occupy a high status in society, but the new series say that they can. Just about every rule that keeps the patriarchy in power has been attacked in previous seasons. In the fifth, the destruction of Gilead from within continues.
Also, the first season was built on the steadfastness of the laws, June’s behavior was opposed to the system. Now it is as if none of the heroes knows what principles Gilead is based on. Because of this, the whole concept of a totalitarian state falls apart – it is too fragile, and this makes it seem less scary.
So, episodes with crossing the border are indicative. Despite the fact that June is wanted, and every policeman knows her face, she moves wherever she wants – her enemies have become even more stupid.
In the 5th season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” the main character became stronger
In the fifth season, June continues to transform into a superhero. Initially, she was a victim who tried to survive and not go crazy. The girl evoked sympathy and empathy without much effort, her example showed the disgusting regime that prevails in Gilead. Then, over and over again, she turned complex actions and destroyed the state piece by piece, and still she managed not to die.
June used to take dangerous steps in order to survive. Now she deliberately takes risks, often ignoring her own interests. And more and more like a comic book character saving the whole world.
One of the most striking series of the decade, slowly but surely retreated from the principles for which he fell in love. Flirting with big politics and the rejection of private stories depersonalized the characters by the fourth season. The new episodes show that attempts to bring back the old June are doomed to failure. She has turned into a cyborg who is at war with the whole state – not totalitarian and terrible, but senseless and stupid.
The series has already been renewed for a sixth season, which should be the final one. True, it is not a fact that the story will end so quickly. Margaret Atwood released The Testaments, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, in 2019. In it, the action takes place in the future, so it is quite possible that the project will get, if not a direct continuation, then a spin-off – a disregard for details, which has grown from season to season, allows you to extend the story indefinitely.
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