The Handmaid's Tale: The Crossing
May 2, 2021 1:08 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Nick and Lawrence collaborate to protect June. In Toronto, Luke struggles with how to help June and Hannah.
posted by roolya_boolya (12 comments total)
I'm impressed with the season so far this. It started off with June seemingly head of underground cult, to her getting captured, and now she's emotionally broken, willing to accept death. Not where I thought the seasons was gonna go, based on the first episode, but that's good.

This is the final season, right? I hope June does escape and its examined how she returns to that life. Could she adjust to that? Would she want to?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:44 AM on May 2, 2021

There will be a fifth season.

I would also very much like to see June escape and adjust to normal life. It would also be satisfying to see Gilead brought down.
posted by roolya_boolya at 9:29 AM on May 2, 2021

I gasped at the ending. And to Radiohead?!
posted by Maarika at 3:31 PM on May 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yes, it was a brave ending to wipe out a couple of characters who've been instrumental in the underground revolution. But it didn't sit right with me that June didn't take the chance to finish off her nemesis once and for all, given how easily she's despatched others without a second thought.
posted by essexjan at 4:38 AM on May 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was really frustrated by the handmaids staying at the second safe house after June had been captured. Yes, they may have not known she was captured, but after a day or so of her not showing up, they (and the owners of the house) should have known it was no longer safe. It just felt like a very contrived way to get them back together in the van.
posted by dysh at 6:50 AM on May 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

No! Not Alma! I wanted to get to know her more! I liked the cut of her jib.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:39 AM on May 3, 2021 [6 favorites]

Cool so we're back to square one. Wonder what this season's agenda of cruelty and barbarity has in store. As long as we get some overhead shots and June looking fiercely to camera though, I guess it's comfort food as much as any other. I just wish they'd throttle things up a bit more.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:00 PM on May 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

So far I am disappointed in this season -- it looks like more of the same going around in circles.

I understand the problem that the writers are trying to solve here. 1) They can't have a small group of people defeat the regime in a weekend, because that would cheapen and undermine the premise. 2) But the protagonists have to make progress, otherwise it's all just grim and pointless torture porn. But they can't make too much progress, because GOTO 1.

The solution they seem to have come up with is to have June keep doing stuff, and then get captured and have (most of) the stuff she just did undone, and then escape by the skin of her teeth. Repeatedly. It's completely absurd how much plot armour she has. At first it seemed plausible that Gilead would preserve the life of a handmaid at all costs because that's their entire schtick, but the writers have just painted themselves into a corner with Lawrence's revelation that actually this is all bullshit and Gilead only cares about power at all costs.

Also, as we were quite horribly shown in earlier seasons, Gilead considers a lot of body parts superfluous on a handmaid. So why is June still alive and in one piece, free to escape and spread sedition for the seventeenth time? This has reached an almost cartoonish level of absurdity.

The writers have certainly killed off a lot of characters, but it's clear that there are a few fan favourites that they're just not willing to part with, ever. Which is why Lawrence has also implausibly been saved, and we're still following the Waterfords' story, and Nick is still alive and ascendant in his career despite being extremely careless while consorting with a known revolutionary.

(He has an emotional farewell with her in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses, and nobody notices this or reports him? In this cutthroat repressive regime which has eyes everywhere? Seriously? And this was not the only example.)

This further undermines the story by constantly making everything all about this small group of people.

I'm also perplexed at the narrative's continued treatment of Nick and Lawrence as sympathetic characters. Sure, they were instrumental in threatening June's daughter to get her to talk, undermining everything that was important to her, but... they were doing it ironically? For her own good, because Nick loves her and doesn't want her to die? I mean... how many more horrible things do they need to do her for her own good before their motivations become completely irrelevant to the end result?

I'm still watching this, and I'm really hoping that it's going somewhere, but I'm increasingly frustrated by the inconsistencies in the worldbuilding, and the way that they're being used to fix an increasingly creaky plot.
posted by confluency at 7:10 AM on May 4, 2021 [5 favorites]

So why is June still alive and in one piece, free to escape and spread sedition for the seventeenth time?

Gilead keeping her alive is valuable for the Waterford sitch in Canada.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:57 AM on May 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

For a few split seconds there I thought Lydia was going to turn somehow - they kept showing her in brief moments of conflict, but then doubling back down on the evil. When she called June by name at the very end I half-thought "what is she in on the escape somehow."

It's feeling like a treadmill, but I'm also very curious to see where it goes. Too invested at this point.
posted by jquinby at 6:14 AM on May 18, 2021

Useless Nick, we called him. Ol' useless Nick. Nice guy, fuckin' useless as he is.

There was a brief moment where I was rooting for June to fling herself to her death and escape everything there on the rooftop. The rooftop where instead two anonymous other women were thrown to their death, to try to convince June to talk, to reveal the location of June's friends lest they hurt June's daughter. June being dead would have solved all those problems. And we learn in the next scene she's ready to die. So why not die there, when she could have jumped off the building? It would have prevented a lot of heartache.

Instead she saves herself because.. why? Does she believe she's the anointed one? Does she sense her plot armor and realize what power it gives her? The power to start out in the back of a group of women running away from a man with a pistol, in back because she prevaricated over whether she should hit the woman who had imprisoned and tortured her, at least knocked her out so she couldn't alert the guard? The guard with the pistol? And so she takes off running. At the back of the pack. But once those pistol shots start going off she's at the front? In front of the two women who stopped the bullets for June and died? In in front of Alma and Brianna who are just two steps too slow and get hit by the train?

June though, June survives.
posted by Nelson at 9:44 PM on June 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I hated that kiss on the bridge, but it is good to have Aunt Lydia back.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:21 PM on July 4, 2021

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