The Handmaid’s Tale 5×08, Motherland, the REVIEW

The title Motherland couldn’t be more fitting for this eighth episode of The Handmaid’s Tale 5 which shows motherhood in all its forms and turns the tables once again leading to the fall of Serena and the true rebirth of June. An emotional, thoughtful episode, an episode made up of words, of looks, certainly more static than the previous one (which, up to now, we consider the best of the whole season) which started the real turning point in the plot of this series. Serena is in prison, without her son and seeing her desperate and impotent is a real shock since we are used to seeing her in completely different guises. Now, however, Noah’s new mother has turned into a real handmaid from whom her baby is taken away and she is forced to live in total captivity.

It is unsettling to see the extent to which someone’s life can be revolutionized and how one can go, in an instant, to the other side of history, from villain to heroine, from perpetrator to victim. Seeing her lean on her enemy June of hers, the only person she has left in her life, is truly beautiful and it is equally beautiful and shocking to see a June that she does not forgive but who gives advice on how to live from prisoner to her own executioner. “We’re not friends,” June reminds Serena, even though in the last episode of the series we all believed in a rapprochement between the two. Now, however, June brings us back down to earth and does the same with her husband, Luke who weighs the fact that he abandoned her for seven years and did not do enough to save her, neither her nor her daughter Hannah.

The relationship between June and Luke is totally undermined in this episode and all the conflicting points emerge between the two who, by now, go on on different tracks. It’s very nice when he says to her: “Nicole and I will never be enough for you”, nothing more true given that the character played by Elisabeth Moss is now unable to reintegrate into her old life, after Gilead became a other person and going back is impossible.

And then there’s Lawrence and his beautiful repentance speech on the creation of Gilead that makes him, once again, one of the most interesting and mysterious characters in this series.

And the ending of the episode? Wonderful. June receives a call from Tuello that he has found her daughter Hannah and is ready to get her out of Gilead. Thus, the woman, in the throes of infinite joy, starts running wearing a light that she hadn’t worn for many years. And seeing it from this perspective was really nice. The continuous? See you next week where we hope to see a little more of Aunt Lydia, Janine and Nick.

The Handmaid’s Tale 5 review, episode by episode

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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