So far, the new season of The Handmaid's Tale has taken a relatively improved turn for June. Other than Episode 3's trip to prison and regularly scheduled torture sessions with Aunt Lydia, the series has avoided retreading old ground. Instead, it's kept June on the run, giving her reasons to explore new corners of Gilead the series hadn't visited. The first two episodes put June out in the countryside; now, Episode 4 ends with her entering the urban warfare hellscape of Chicago. The new The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 5 promo promises it won't be a pretty sight.
Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 4 follow. After escaping Aunt Lydia yet again, June and Janine found themselves on the run once more. June had a semi-plan that they should head for Chicago, where it seemed likely they would find other rebels to join up with, as well as rest and shelter. But upon being picked up by the American insurgents on their way in, both she and Janine discovered Chicago was nothing like they'd imagined. The rebels were starving, paranoid, and unwelcoming. Meanwhile, their leader, Steven, saw June and Janine as sex slaves he could exploit.
From the looks of the Episode 5 trailer, June won't be pleased by their tactics in the city either.
Episode 5 is titled "Chicago." The synopsis suggests June isn't going to stay long with Steven and his crew:
June seeks out more active rebels, while Janine tries to help her fit in with their new group of survivors.
The promo's image of Nick, who also looks to be in Chicago, suggests June might try and find him on the battlefield and perhaps cross enemy lines. But the fascinating part is the juxtaposition of Lydia pairing Handmaids together, two by two, while the synopsis suggests Janine and June are reaching a parting of ways.
Are the Lydia scenes another flashback to the Magdalene Center? Will Janine decide to stick with the protection of men like Steven in exchange for sex while June heads out to find Nick? (Considering she's still digesting that June betrayed her fellow Handmaids, this might be seem like the right choice to Janine.) Or will the two of them stick together and, as Lydia commanded, never walk alone?
The Handmaid's Tale continues Wednesdays on Hulu.