When Hulu renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for season 5, fans of the show were overjoyed to see the aftermath of the jaw-dropping fourth season. However, the first half of Season 5 has been disappointing and slow, not living up to the tense trailer for the season. There is little progression for the characters in their stories, and Gilead no longer seems like a threat by the time most of the main characters have arrived in Canada.
Hulu has also announced The Handmaid’s Tale will return for a sixth and final season, and while it’s definitely the right move to end the show, it should wrap up with Season 5. The lack of tension is quite noticeable and a jam-packed remainder of the fifth season would be preferable. to spread the show just to get to season 6. As good as The Handmaid’s Tale has been, it doesn’t need a sixth season at all.
Progression of the short story between characters
There is not much tension between the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. June turns herself in to the police in Canada in Season 5, Episode 1, “Tomorrow”, but since many abroad wanted Fred Waterford dead and his death was not a government matter, she doesn’t. face any consequences. Serena learns of Fred’s death and discovers his body in sequences that take too long and don’t add much suspense to the narrative. She returns to Gilead in Season 5, Episode 2 “Ballet” only to be sent back to Toronto and have June learn that she has access to Hannah in another messy parenting story. While the action picks up in later episodes, the slow start has brought the entire season to a halt.
Gilead doesn’t seem so threatening
Since June escaped in the middle of Season 4, there isn’t the same sense of gut-wrenching tension that fueled The Handmaid’s Tale prior to. June gets mad because she saw Hannah on the big screen with Serena in “Ballet”, but what can she do? She finds out in season 5, episode 3, “Border” that Hannah is enrolled in a school for wives at age 12. But no attention is paid to Hannah to show how devious and inhuman the school really is. Janine and Esther are the only female heroes of Gilead, and the only suffering they endure is Esther’s suicide attempt. Despite the familiar faces of Aunt Lydia and the commanders, Gilead is no longer as scary as he used to be.
Lack of cliffhangers most of the season
With the exception of Season 5, Episode 5, “Fairytale,” there have been no cliffhangers that keep the audience coming back. Most episodes end on a happy note, and while it’s nice for the main characters not to have to go through as much trauma as before, viewers need those nail-biting cliffhangers to keep their interest in the show. “Fairytale” had June and Luke captured at the border, but that only served to highlight the overall lack of surprises in Season 5. The Handmaid’s Tale has lost some of the excitement now found in other Hulu series.
Instead of wandering through the middle of the season, The Handmaid’s Tale could have had a good ending in its fifth season. However, the creators decided to renew the show for a sixth and final season. While the show still has the potential to end strong, it’s hard to imagine that possibility with the start of Season 5 being so stalled. With more focus on Hannah in Gilead, the audience could have been more receptive to June and Luke’s pain, along with proper story progression and development with the other characters.
However, the show chose to stretch itself to the max as it attempted to make an impactful season. While some of the action picks up a bit during the middle of the season, that doesn’t excuse the painfully slow start early on. Audiences deserve more than an Emmy Award-winning show. It’s in the air yeah The Handmaid’s Tale will end its final season in the right way, season 5 is proving to be the weakest.
The Handmaid’s Tale airs Wednesdays on Hulu.