‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season Finale Review: ‘Night’

After a season of praying on our every fear, The Handmaid’s Tale comes to a close in a harrowing hour that shows off its cast and leads us into season two. In just ten episodes, this show has solidified itself amongst the best new drama series. The Handmaid’s Tale uses our greatest fears against us. It shows us a world that we could live in. What makes the show unique is every person finds something different to be horrified by.

The Handmaid’s Tale thrives on fear and that’s what makes this season so extraordinary. Episode after episode the series uses its greatest assets to tell stories that make you think. With your jaw firmly on the floor, The Handmaid’s Tale knows just what to put you on the edge of your seat.

 

Elisabeth Moss is a force to be reckoned with. While we thought Peggy Olson from Mad Men would define her career, we hadn’t met June yet. This entire season Moss has proven just how talented she truly is. With every scene, Moss dives deeper into June and it’s a sight to behold. In “Night,” Moss’ talent is on full display. From moments of pure heartbreak to one of the most empowering scene to date, Moss is the MVP of this season finale.

Throughout the entire first season June/Offred and Serena Joy have been on a collision course and their anger towards each other finally comes to a head. Once Serena Joy finds out that June/Offred has been sneaking around with The Commander, it’s time to take cover for the storm that’s coming. In one of the most gruesome and heartbreaking scenes this season, Serena Joy drives June/Offred to the house where June’s daughter is being held. Serena locks June/Offred in the car as she chats with her daughter. She then threatens her daughter if she continues to act out.

Moss gives one of the best performances of The Handmaid’s Tale season one in this moment. Watching her thrashing around in the back of the car, screaming at the top of her lungs, is one of the most heartbreaking moments ever. Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski make an incredible clashing duo on and “Night” plays to their strengths. They utilize all the tension and anger building between their characters to create this scene.

Of course June/Offred and Serena Joy’s conflict doesn’t stop here. When Serena finds out Offred is pregnant, all bets are off. This is the moment we’ve been dreading all season and it finally happens. It’s a simple moment, but it’s one that leaves the greatest impression. Serena Joy is thrilled for the pregnancy, while Offred breaks it to her that she didn’t pray for this. It’s one of the first times Offred stands up to Serena Joy and it’s amazing. It feels good and is a great scene for the finale.




June/Offred’s rebellion doesn’t stop here. After Janine threw herself off a bridge, we all thought that would be the end. But of course, The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t let our favorite characters off that easy. All The Handmaids assemble and are tasked with stoning Janine. June/Offred stands up to Aunt Lydia in another harrowing scene. It was the rock-drop heard around the world. Offred drops her rock in front of Aunt Lydia cause all the other Handmaids to follow. They won’t kill one of their own. It’s the moment that makes you stand up and cheer.

Once again, Moss drives the scene and makes it an impeccable moment. The Handmaids are ready to fight and this is the first step for it. What drives this scene is something that happens before it. June/Offred opens up the package she got at the Jezebels. It’s letters from all different Handmaids pleading with people on the outside to save them. They’re being tortured and need help. It’s a beautiful moment that will drive season two. Especially when Offred tells Ruth where to find the stack of letters.

“It’s their fault. They should never have given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.”

While June/Offred is the main focus of The Handmaid’s Tale season finale, Moira and Luke get their moment in the sun. Moira finally escapes Gilead and makes it to Canada. Once there she gets all the resources she’ll need to start a new life (we should really take note of Canada’s refugee plan). In a heartbreaking moment, Moira and Luke reunite. Luke had Moira on his family list and is informed when she enters the country. It’s a touching moment in a sea of heartache during “Night.”

O.T Fagbenle and Samira Wiley are sure to make a greater impact in season two of The Handmaid’s Tale. These two characters fates are left unknown in Margaret Atwood’s original novel, so where they are headed is totally up in the air. We’re interested to see where things go for them and how they’ll get back into Gilead to save June. We’re already on the edge of our seats.

The Handmaid’s Tale finale offers something Atwood’s original novel didn’t: a cliffhanger. As the episode draws to a close, June is handcuffed and taken away. She’s pregnant. She’s standing up to authority. She’s shared a tender moment with Nick. And, now she’s ready to fight back. In the novel, we have the peace that the book is ending, you never know what becomes of Offred or Moira or Ofglen, but the show offers us more. We get a cliffhanger and the hope that this nightmare will end.

The entire first season of The Handmaid’s Tale is triumphant. Elisabeth Moss is a force of nature as she commands an entire cast that gives you a drama to be afraid of. From the cinematography to the acting, The Handmaid’s Tale is firing on all cylinders and we can’t wait to see what season two has in store!

The entire first season of The Handmaid’s Tale is now streaming on Hulu




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