Gilead is a place one conjures in dark dreams, but in the fraught political times in which we live, where the rights of women to have agency over their own bodies is a topic of discussion, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale seems prescient.

And the Season 2 finale did not disappoint, answering some questions while leaving us with others.

Firstly, Eden and Isaac meet a sad fate at the bottom of a swimming pool while attempting to run off together. It is a shocking end, spurred on by the desperation to break free of the shackles of Gilead. It turns out that Eden’s own father turned on her, tipping off the authorities. A pious Commander Waterford infuriates Offred who sees the injustice of what has happened and challenges the Commander. The veneer of blind obedience continues to chip away.

HANDMAIDS TALE George Kraychyk Hulu

Serena is also slowly seeing the light, confronting the council with a group of women to demand that children be taught to read the Bible in order to understand and live by the good book. And then Serena steps right over the line, reading from the scripture, which is forbidden. And she loses a finger for her efforts – Commander’s wife notwithstanding. Many will likely feel little sympathy for Serena as she has been instrumental in crafting and implementing a lot of the atrocities that have taken place in Gilead. However, seeing her disfigured hand, it is difficult not to feel a little of her pain.

Aunt Lydia’s fate hangs in the balance, something we will have to wait until next season to figure out. When Aunt Lydia comes to praise Emily for her performance at the ceremony (handmaid’s rape), which never happened as Emily is spared by Commander Lawrence, Emily gets hold of a knife and stabs Aunt Lydia with all her strength. You would think certain death awaits her, but inexplicably, Commander Lawrence helps Emily flee Gilead. What is his story? There is much more to mine here.

The season begins and ends with Offred.

Rita offers her a chance to finally escape with baby Nicole – a chance for the nightmare that has been her life to end and a chance for Nicole to have a future. Convincing Serena that this is what’s best for the baby, Offred makes the dangerous journey to meet an awaiting van, with Commander Lawrence and Emily already there. Freedom is within her grasp. But thoughts of her older daughter Hannah consume her. She is still in Gilead. She can’t bear the thought of losing the possibility of seeing her again. In a heart-wrenching scene, Offred gives the baby to Emily and tells her to take her. The van door shuts and a hooded Offred walks off.

But what is next for her? What lies ahead?

Elisabeth Moss continues to mesmerize as Offred, wringing every ounce of emotion out herself and pouring it onto the screen. She remains the heart and soul of a show that continues to deliver the goods.


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