The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: The Wilderness

The Handmaid’s Tale -- “Home” - Episode 407 -- June struggles with her newfound freedom, reuniting with loved ones and confronting her nemesis, Serena. Rita (Amanda Brugel), Emily (Alexis Bledel), June (Elisabeth Moss), and Moira (Samira Wiley), shown. (Photo by: Sophie Giraud/Hulu)
The Handmaid’s Tale -- “Home” - Episode 407 -- June struggles with her newfound freedom, reuniting with loved ones and confronting her nemesis, Serena. Rita (Amanda Brugel), Emily (Alexis Bledel), June (Elisabeth Moss), and Moira (Samira Wiley), shown. (Photo by: Sophie Giraud/Hulu) /

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 ends on a wild note as June (Elisabeth Moss) obtains the vindication she has so desperately needed. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to the finale because it was just…crazy.

After three seasons of going back and forth to Gilead, I am happy to report that we finally made it to the merry land of Canada. And it’s about freaking time! Gone are the days that June is under the brutal thumb of Gilead’s vile laws, and arrived have the days of seeking revenge.

The events of the season 4 finale have pushed this series into a completely new chapter. It’s tough to even fathom where the story goes from here, but suffice to say, I feel like the end is nigh. There has been no such announcement but given how things ended, I’d say we’re in for maybe 1-2 seasons more. All good shows know when to end, right?

I have so many thoughts about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale, particularly about June’s journey leading up to this point. It’s been a wild ride, and I can’t wait to see what comes next! But until then, let’s recap the major moments of the season 4 finale!

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: Is it time to let go?

We’re taken back in time to Fred (Joseph Fiennes) and June dancing at Jezebel’s as the episode begins. June’s voiceover commands the scene as she says that making your commander believe that he is your world is of the utmost importance. It’s literally a life or death matter, as we’ve seen time and time again.

Going back to the present day, June meets with Tuello (Sam Jaeger) after chewing him apart in last week’s episode. And we can’t blame her–they’re willing to let Fred go! June is at the court so she can give a statement against Fred’s release, but it’s not even in person. Instead, she’ll be recorded and it will be shown at his hearing in Geneva. Yes, Geneva.

One would think that Tuello would be less eager to remind June that Fred is going to get out regardless because he’s cooperating. She basically has to accept the fact that the man that raped her repeatedly is going to be a free man simply because he is giving out information. Ridiculous.

Back at home, Luke (O-T Fagbenle) tries to appeal to June by reminding her that their being together is a miracle. It sort of feels like he’s ignoring the plight and trauma she faced back in Gilead. It’s hard to move on if the people who hurt you are running around free as a bird.

Moira (Samira Wiley) is livid about Fred’s hearing being in Geneva and tells June to go out there to testify. June reminds her that she’s already done the testimony thing, and it didn’t make a difference. Perhaps Fred holds way more value than she does. I’d beg to differ, but I see where she’s coming from.

There’s a moment of vulnerability from June later on when she and Emily (Alexis Bledel) sit down and have a conversation about Gilead. She cries and confesses that she wants to let go of everything, but she hasn’t been able to. June fears it’s made her a bad mother, and that a good mother would be able to move past this. Emily has no response to that–and I totally get why.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: June and Fred

It’s rather frightening to see Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) boss Tuello around, almost as if she was back in Gilead. When Fred begins to falter during questioning, she commands that Tuello put an end to it. And oh, also get them a house, security, and a quicker ruling. Sure, yeah, okay, Serena.

It came as a shock to me when later on in the episode June pays Fred a visit. I imagined it playing out, in the same way, her visit with Serena did. But instead, she asks the security guard to leave and begins doing the conniving June thing she always does. I was almost convinced that she’d find something to kill with him with, but instead, she just kept talking.

Fred, on the other hand, just kept saying stupid, nonsensical things pertaining to their time in Gilead. He almost made it seem like it wasn’t that bad, or implied that they both had discomforts during their time there. Sure, Fred, whatever you want to tell yourself.

I loved watching June’s transition from an emotional mess to the trickster we know her to be. Moss does such an incredible job bringing out that emotion, it’s all in her eyes, and it’s frankly quite haunting. She sits down next to Fred as he apologizes and asks for him to bring her a drink. The conversation continues in a manner that takes us back to what June said at the start of the episode.

She wasn’t trying to have a nice conversation with the guy, she just wanted him to feel like he was very important to her. Even if that meant letting him get away with saying whatever he wanted, including but not limited to pretending like Gilead was just a simple chapter in their lives.

On their way home, Luke tries to talk to June about random things, but her mind is still on her conversation with Fred. She interrupts Luke to bluntly say, “I’m gonna put Fred on the wall”. It’s not unexpected for us to hear June say that, but Luke hasn’t been around her like this in a long time. He’s hopeful she’ll let Fred go, but all she can think about is putting Fred on the wall–no matter what.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: Shall we make a deal?

June comes up with a master plan which involves Tuello meeting with Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) in Gilead. Lawrence offers a deal in exchange for bringing Fred back to Gilead–he’ll give back the 22 women that were captured from the Resistance.

At first, Tuello seems reluctant to take the offer or even consider it but June reminds him that surely these women aren’t less valuable to him than Fred Waterford. With that in mind, he says he’ll take the offer to his boss.

Back at home, June talks to Moira, Luke, and Rita (Amanda Brugel) about what could potentially happen to Fred if he is sent back. Moira wants him gone, no matter where it is, but Emily has something else in mind. She leans into June, making strong eye contact, and asks her how afraid she wants to make Fred feel. Her response? Just as scared as she was the day they were caught and Hannah was taken from her. Perhaps even more.

Luke doesn’t seem too pleased with this conversation, but June’s evil smile tells us everything we need to know.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: Bye, Fred

Fred prepares to leave for Geneva, with a less than enthusiastic Serena bidding him farewell. She literally couldn’t care less, and as much as it shouldn’t, it makes me feel giddy inside. This once strong power couple has been rendered useless, and there’s nothing better than that!

As Fred walks out, he soon realizes that there has been a change of plans. Tuello states he is not going to Geneva, is back in custody, and no longer has a lawyer. Also, the court will not be accepting his plea for leniency. Sorry, not sorry Fred.

The truck finally stops in the night where Fred is taken and informed that he is going back to Gilead. They will try him under their government, and given Fred helped write most of those laws, he knows exactly what he is in for. This moment gets the cherry on top when Commander Lawrence awaits to take him back with a passive-aggressive comment about his return. Praise be!

But hold on just a darn minute, Nick (Max Minghella) is there too! The Eyes have control over the border, and Fred is theirs to handle. Of course, Lawrence doesn’t fight back and let’s Nick take Fred away.

And then, Fred is taken out of the car once again and marched into the woods, into No Man’s Land, where June is waiting for him in the darkness. Game on!

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale recap: For reals this time, Bye Fred!

Nick hands over Fred to June, and from that moment on we know that things aren’t going to end well for the commander. With a gun in one hand and a whistle in the other, she asks him to choose. He doesn’t believe June will shoot him, so she happily blows the whistle which prompts a huge squad of former Handmaids to come out of the darkness. June tells Fred just one thing–“run”.

The women chase after him until he falls and becomes the receiving end to June and everyone else’s punches. He gets bit and beat to a pulp, receiving all the rage he deserves for all that he’s done to these women.

As morning arrives, the women simply get into their cars and go home, June included. She has blood all over her, but there is a sense of calm about her. As soon as she gets home, she goes to Nichole’s nursery and picks her up with her bloody hands.

Luke shows up and knows exactly what has gone down, and understands that June has to go. A tearful goodbye takes place which sent chills down my spine. I have no idea where June is going, but I’m freaking out thinking about it. It can’t be Gilead, right?

At the detention center, Serena waits for Fred to call, unaware that he never will again. She gets a package in the mail and upon opening it finds a human finger and wedding ring. It’s like that, folks, it’s like that.

The very last thing we see is Fred’s distorted, messed-up corpse hanging from a brick wall with the words, “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” written underneath it. This takes us back to a season 1 episode by the same name which roughly translates to, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. Of course, it’s a series of made-up words that author Margeret Atwood brought to the book.

Either way, it totally works for this final haunting scene, a scene that is going to haunt us for a very long time.

dark. Next. 5 of the best shows on Hulu

That was one heck of a finale, right?!

What did you think of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale? Tell us in the comments below!