‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 4 review: Hulu’s Emmy-winning drama shifts gears, changing more than just its clothes

The outcome is a 4th season that seems like a really various program, one that partly gets away the suffocating environment of Gilead however can’t prevent the feeling that this intriguing series is now running on obtained time.
The Hulu program especially ended up being the very first streaming drama to win the Emmy in its classification method back in 2017, when author Margaret Atwood’s cautions of a ruthless patriarchal totalitarian state felt searingly of the minute. Those aspects have not eased off, however the series has actually covered a lot ground, and jumbled numerous essential relationships, regarding encounter “The Walking Dead” syndrome, just earlier — with each checking out variations on what occurs when societies break down, while lumbering onward without the exact same momentum as their early seasons.

The main possession stays Elisabeth Moss, who has actually grabbed the franchise beyond simply her work on screen, directing 3 of this season’s 10 episodes. (8 of those were provided for sneak peek, providing an excellent concept of the narrative arc, while staying hazy about its endgame.)

Possibly primary, “The Handmaid’s Tale” obtains its enjoyments at this phase mainly from private minutes including its magnificent cast, whether that’s the ghastly Auntie Lydia (Ann Dowd) purring, “You wicked, wicked girl” or Moss’ June directing among her withering looks at somebody genuinely deserving of it.

Still, June’s steely personality and tries to run away Gilead has basically mixed the deck, separating her from the scaries she experienced under Leader Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his partner Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), whose own bonds have actually been checked.

June closed the 3rd season (which concluded, it deserves keeping in mind, 20 months ago) by smuggling an aircraft loaded with Gilead’s kids securely to the sanctuary of Canada, an act laden with repercussions on both sides of the border.

“Gilead doesn’t care about children,” states the dissident Leader Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), in among those lines plainly planned to echo beyond the series. “Gilead cares about power.”

Tv, by contrast, appreciates supporting and sustaining success, and in regards to a series that raised the profile of the service bring it and entered into the cultural zeitgeist — to ladies’s and reproductive rights supporters making political declarations by appearing to places in red-cloaked clothes — “The Handmaid’s Tale” has actually definitely fulfilled those requirements and after that some. Spreading essential characters throughout various areas has actually even brought a modification in closet, down to seeing less of the crimson clothing that were such a crucial part of the program’s marketing project.

Yet in spite of the complete satisfaction associated with indulging in Moss’ sparkle — viewing the character assert herself in this transformed landscape, while bearing scars, psychological and otherwise, from her experience — the series feels as if it’s extracting a story all set for its conclusion more due to industrial imperatives than imaginative ones.

The Majority Of those who praised the series, truly, throughout its very first 2 seasons will likely be inclined to stay till the bitter end. Nevertheless, it’s possible to continue to appreciate the program’s premium pieces and still believe that end must come earlier instead of later on.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” starts its 4th season April 28 on Hulu.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.