The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 5), Episode 4 Recap and Ending, explained: Once the targets have been marked, it’s time to make alliances to take them down. Serena Waterford settles in Toronto and, counting on a growing base of supporters, begins the influence strategy established by Gilead’s leaders. June Osborne struggles with a violent instinct resulting from the traumatized experience as a Handmaid, so Luke Bankole decides to make a risky attempt to help her fight for their family. From then on, he will not only choose which weapons his wife should use, but he will also guide her hands to aim toward the retaliation she so desperately seeks.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 5), Episode 4 Recap

Despite the cold weather, June Osborne pushes baby Nichole on a public swing when a Gilead enthusiasm approachers her. She talks about how lucky the former Handmaid is to have given birth to a female girl while living there. In response, Osborne gets angry at the woman and injures her body against an iron bar before walking away. The following scene shows the protagonist and her partner discussing the event with a therapist. She relates June’s aggressive behavior to Serena Waterford’s return to Toronto, not ruling out the possibility of this happening again.

Mark Tuello asks Mrs. Waterford to accept Canada’s offer of asylum, but she refuses by emphasizing her commitment to God. Although the widow is free, she is informed to stick to her country’s affiliated properties due to her lack of diplomatic status. They say goodbye, then Tuello leaves her with the new guardian Ezra Shaw and heads to Osborne’s place to tell them the news. The couple and their friend Moira Strand get upset with his lack of action regarding Hannah, so when the Canadian updates them on Gilead’s growing international influence, the situation worsens, resulting in his expulsion from the house.

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The Handmaid's Tale (Season 5) Episode 4

Osbourne digs up the weapon she had placed in the yard and drives to Serena’s building. After unsuccessfully trying to cock the gun, she gets out of the car, standing where Mrs. Waterford’s supporters gather on the street to face her through the window glass. The pregnant woman reports the occurrence to Mr. Shaw, who assures her that security has already been beefed up. Back home, June recounts to Luke Bankole what happened, and he convinces her to attempt a more strategic counterattack since impulsiveness can ruin the chance of getting their daughter back.


At the hospital, Aunt Lydia helps Janine Lindo with her recovery. The Handmaid asks the middle-aged woman about Esther Keys, but she answers with hate, saying God’s retribution was suited to the girl’s wickedness. Lindo decides challenges her superior for the first time. To her, Key’s attitude represents an escape from the abuse she suffered in the past. As Lydia stands by her point, Janine mentions the Colonies, radioactive camps where women are sent to be punished, and the Aunt’s offensive conduct during the training. Looking astonished, the woman gives up arguing and exits the room without a word.


The following sequence begins with Mrs. Waterford putting her knowledge into practice at Gilead’s Information Center. She has Joseph Lawrence on the phone to discuss some consulate invitations he declined on her behalf. Still, the Commander justifies by explaining it was a way of keeping her from overexerting. In impatience, Serena proposes a tea to discuss the country’s birth rate and female education programs with other ambassadors, to which he agrees, before advising her to focus on work and avoid Osborne’s interventions. 

June receives a letter addressed to “Offred,” her Handmaid’s name, announcing the opening of the Gilead Information Center in Toronto. Luke tries to calm her down, but she gets so angry that she throws a plate on the floor, triggering Nichole’s crying. Strand goes after her friend in the bedroom to carefully remind her to play by the rules and not to risk her family’s lives in vain. Osborne acknowledges this guidance, though she fears violence has already become a point of no return in her life.

As the duo has a conversation at home, Bankole goes to meet Mrs. Waterford. First, he threatens to shut down the place by denouncing the building code violations, but realizing the woman does not seem concerned, Luke demands that she gets Hannah back; otherwise, he would let June kill her. Serena, who remains unshakable, ends the conversation with emotional blackmail, mentioning June’s risks for their teenage daughter in Gilead during the years he was safe and sound in Canada.


Aunt Lydia and Lawrence talk about the poisoning incident. She suggests a new protocol to prevent such harmful events from happening in the future: The Handmaids would live at the Red Center under her care, whereas their respective Commanders would visit them each month to perform the Ceremony. Joseph, on the other hand, refuses the proposal claiming that women should be available to men in their posts at any time. Finally, he reasserts his authority, instructing Lydia to get a grip on the girls.


Back in Toronto, Osborne returns to Mrs. Waterford’s facility. She takes a photo shoot inside, whereas a riot between her supporters and opponents takes place on the street. Her husband arrives to take her from there, and the couple bumps into Serena on their way out. Moira, who clashes with a man, is punched in the face, so June acts on instinct, pointing the gun at him and then shooting at the sky once. Osborne feels tempted to shoot her antagonist on the sidewalk but backs up after considering her upcoming child. 

The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 5), Episode 4 Ending Explained

Janine is discharged from the hospital, so Lydia escorts her to the van that will take them back to the Red Center. She asks for the Handmaid’s help to watch over the others and tells her if anyone is struggling. The next moment, Bankole and Osborne park the car in their garage. He gets a call informing him the Information Center will be closed, yet June does not seem very excited to hear that. When Luke asks to see the weapon, his wife takes the opportunity to warn him that she may carry out the revenge at another chance. However, instead of cast doubt or scolding her, they start making out.


At this point, intercourse scenes between the couple are interspersed with takes of Serena driving towards a new refugee. The hostess of the house, dressed in green robes, greets Mrs. Waterford with a smile and caresses her pregnant belly while reciting two verses from the Bible. James 17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” and 18, “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

This sequence is covered by “The Chain,” a song credited to the band, Fleetwood Mac. The lyrics talk about the bond that maintains a loving relationship regardless of anything, as is the case with Luke and June. Aware of his partner’s violent tendencies since she returned, he tried to lead her down the path of reconciliation but failed. Still, in the end, Bankole concludes that the only way to provide support to Osborne is to succumb to her thirst for blood. Not by coincidence, the two verses that precede those mentioned in the episode explore this exact theme.


Verse 14 begins with, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their evil desire and enticed.” Finally, the 15 says, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” In the last shot, Osborne burns Serena’s letter and breaks the fourth wall with a suggestive look at the camera. So now that Adam and Eve have become worse than blasphemy itself, what will become of the snake that poisoned them in the first place?


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