The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 5 Episode 5 “Fairytale” Recap & Review

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Episode 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 starts with June receiving an urgent call in the middle of the night. It’s Lily. A guardian is coming across with crucial information. So Moira and Luke join her and they head out together. It turns out the border patrols have tightened up and the friendly is stuck in No Man’s Land.

With no other choice, Luke decides to go himself to find out about Hannah. June decides to go with him. Moira is definitely not, given they still need someone to look after Nichole. There’s no name for the person they’re meeting, given that’s dangerous, but with a code-word and instructions they head back off again into Gilead. Of course, this brings back painful memories of the time Hannah was ripped out their arms all those years ago. Still, June presses on all the same.

Meanwhile, Serena continues to awkwardly enjoy the hospitality from the Wheeler’s. They have another lovely breakfast all served up for her. Serena has plans to open up another center as she’s not going to let “rules get in the way of God.”

Warren and Joseph both call Serena, with the former unhappy with her bad press following the center being shut down. Serena has ideas about it and believes focusing on Gilead is wrong. They should focus on fertility and the babies instead. Warren is not happy and eventually hangs up on her. Warren does not want Gilead open to the world but Lawrence is quick to point out that if they don’t open their doors – at least a peek – their nation will die.

June and Luke eventually find their contact but he urges them to follow him. June and Luke are understandably guarded but follow all the same. He brings the pair to an abandoned bowling alley and hands over a USB with the details they need. They’ve uncovered footage of Hannah on there, although details are patchy. The guy encourages them to wait until sunset before heading back to the border as it’s not safe right now. Luke concedes and the pair decide to stick around for a bit and bowl.

Aunt Lydia shows up a the Wheeler residence, where the gates are firmly shut and Serena is not to leave. Anyway, she has a whole batch of Handmaids for her to sort through. It seems the realization of how little power she actually has, and how Canada has changed her outlook, is starting to dawn on her. The Commanders have agreed to go ahead with the fertility center… but Serena is basically on house arrest (in a roundabout way) and told to stay inside the house. Oh, and she’s got no cell phone either.

Meanwhile, Luke and June start to head back through the woods but unfortunately their Gilead contact steps on a landmine and his leg is blown clean off. The pair decide to try and tourniquet the wound and help him out, but as he starts screaming and calling out in the woods, torchlights dance on the horizon. He pleads with the pair to run, which they do. Unfortunately, they’re stopped on the open road and captured.

The Episode Review

This episode really could have been 20 minutes long. There’s very little substance to this beyond June and Luke heading to meet their contact and inevitably getting captured, and Serena learning she’s stuck in Gilead and has no power. Even though the episode is 15 minutes shorter, the drama here has been absolutely dragged out.

That’s, of course, been a mainstay in this series as a whole with far too many chapters for the story being told. In fact, it would be amusing if someone has uploaded a montage video of all the extreme close-up footage for June’s face over the course of five seasons! Hopefully this is just a blip and the rest of the season gets back on track.


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