Since the first season, The Handmaid's Tale has been a story about June's quest to get out of Gilead. It's not been an easy journey by any stretch, and June has turned back more than once, insisting she wouldn’t leave without her daughter, Hannah, who’d been sent to live with another family. But finally, the tides have shifted, and June has let go of the dream of escaping with Hannah in tow. In the end, there were only so many times she could refuse to leave (at least, before viewers fully gave up on her forever). Now, The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 7 promo shows fans the promise of a new day for June and her new life in Canada.
Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 6 follow. Episode 6 ended with June taking her first step on Canadian soil after literal years of either failing to escape or turning back for Hannah. It wasn't an easy choice. But the scene in Episode 3, when Hannah no longer recognized June and reacted to her in fear, seemed to have shaken June’s determination to rescue her daughter along with herself. June finally understood what she failed to recognize when "saving" those 86 kids in Season 3. Three years is a long time, and for many young kids, Gilead is the only home they remember, and its ways are their ways. So, June finally realized it was time to let go and fight for her daughter from the outside.
But freedom isn't as easy as stepping off a boat.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, Episode 7 is titled “Home.” The synopsis is pretty generic: “June contends with joy, pain, and rage as she acclimates herself to vastly changed circumstances.”
“Vastly changed circumstances” is a bit of an understatement. But here’s the thing: June is physically in Canada now, living in a world where she can cut her hair, wear regular clothes, hold her baby, live free. But mentally? June is still a soldier. She may be “home,” but in her mind, she’s still fighting a war.
It’s a crucial moment in the series. After three and a half seasons of endless torture, pain, and Aunt Lydia’s cattle prod, the immediate horror has finally passed. But the trauma of what June lived through can’t just get left behind at the border. It’s still going to be with her, a thousand-pound weight weighing her down. And until she works through all of that, she’s not free.
June’s latest fight on The Handmaid’s Tale continues Wednesdays on Hulu.