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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson

I Was Told There’d Be Cake

How Watching Season 4 of Handmaids Tale Left a Bitter Taste in My Mouth.


Spoilers For: The whole 13 courses and the lackluster ending.

My three-year-old can be a picky eater. Some days she acts like anything green on her plate is a personal affront and a clear indicator that I don’t lover her enough. But all moms know there are tricks to getting your kiddo to eat what’s good for them, even when it tastes “yucky.” The best method, of course, is the promise of dessert, that if they force down the bitterness of broccoli they would be rewarded with the delight of something sweet and delicious.

The same method works for adults, btw.

Recently season 4 of Handmaid’s Tale came out on Hulu and I was eager to pick up June’s journey in the tortuous dystopia of Gilead. But real talk, the first two episodes was tasting pretty yucky to me. I won’t go into all the things that I found unsavory but an Amuse-Bouche of my disappointment includes:

  • Chewy and impossibly slow movement in the story.

  • Low-carb scripts that lack in meaningful dialogue and try to make up for it in dumb staring in the camera as if Elisabeth Moss is forced to smell the stinkiest cheese.

  • Flavorless world building.

  • A murderous child who feels inauthentic and forced

  • Unbelievable plot lines. Bullet to the stomach? Don’t worry she’s better now.

The most disgusting ingredient was the obvious push to make June “break bad.” Sure, she is riddled with some sticky PTSD and trauma but directing a child to commit murder has made June the absolute ickiest part of the meal.

I was done. I couldn’t eat another bite. That is until I saw an article after the finale aired with a headline that read: “Crazy Finale of Handmaid’s Tale Shocks Viewers”

Twist ending? Shocking unforeseeable television moments? That’s my fucking cake right there. The stupid fluff headline worked as well to get me to finish my plate as me telling my daughter she can have ice cream when her belly is full.

I binged the rest of the season in a couple of days. I slogged through countless moments of angry stares and cringey dialogue. I watched June not just “break bad” but become a literal rapist. I chewed and swallowed until the final moment. My dessert…….

Fred gets murdered by some Handmaids.

Okay for some this might be a six tiered tort with dark chocolate Grenache frosting and cherries on top, but to me it was fucking fruit cake.

Oh, I hated the bastard and prayed for his death on multiple occasions but just because viewers want something doesn’t mean they should get it in the most unbelievable way imaginable. Make them eat their veggies.

June just gets to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, for all time?

She can just show up in a jail cell in the middle of the night, walk in unannounced, and speak to high profile prisoners? Does she have her own phone to Gilead that no one knows about?!? Don’t even get me started on how stupid everyone in Gilead must be for not killing her by now. It was so infuriating that I wanted to Blues-ska-do into the TV and take her out myself.

The cake should been a rich and decadent treat but it tasted just as watered-down and bland as the rest of it. Fred deserved to die but having green martians land in his cell and zap him with a laser beam would have had less plot holes.

Next time cake is promised I won’t be fooled. I’d rather go to bed hungry, thank you.

Was the Finale Your Kind of Dessert or Another Yucky Bite?


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