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Mamamia recaps The Handmaid's Tale season 4, episode 10: THE GREATEST FINALE OF THEM ALL.

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Welp, we've made it to finale time and I'M NOT READY FOR THIS SEASON TO END BUT I HAVE TO BE FOR THE SAKE OF MY JOB.

We open with a flashback to Jezabels. 

Fred and June are dancing, yuck, and June's narration is back. I've missed it this season. 

HE LICKS HER EAR AND I HAVE TO HIT PAUSE MOMENTARILY TO STOP MYSELF THROWING UP.

She talks about her self-preservation tactic: it's important to fake enjoyment in Fred's company. Pretend you like it. Pretend you need him. F**k, and I cannot express this enough, him.

In Toronto, June has been invited to make a statement to the court who will decide if Fred(rick???)'s plea deal - inside info on Gilead, in exchange for his freedom - can proceed.

June tells Tuello to f**k off, politely, but he says sentencing agreements like this are "usually agreed to by the court". So they're in the business of letting rapists out without punishment? Damn, not even the rise of Gilead could fix the justice system.

Ok but WHERE IS THE REST OF THE FURNITURE. Image: SBS.

Tuello says Fred is proving to be a very helpful intelligence asset, to which June says weak men make the world go round.

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Amen.

It's statement time. So nice of absolutely no one to turn up to hear what she has to say. This time, we also don't hear her speech. We do get a characteristically angry stare into the camera though.

She returns home, where Luke, Moira and Rita are waiting for her/taking phone calls/frantically cleaning.

Luke, bless his heart, tries to console June by saying it is a goddamn miracle that she and Nichole are in Canada. It's true; June realistically should've died way back in season two, if I'm being generous. 

Rita, who is stress cleaning and offering tea, is working on eliminating her Martha habits with a therapist. Bless her. 

Also, bless Moira. Turns out her phone call was pretty important. She says Fred will be flown to Geneva for his immunity hearing at the end of the week, and will then be free to set up a new life wherever he wants "with his viking-ass wife". 

June says they know exactly what Fred did to her and made a deal anyway. So maybe what he's giving them is more important than what he took from her. 

"Everything I am saying right now is bullsh*t." Image: SBS.

She's… lying. Her face says she doesn't believe that. There is no way in hell June freaking Osborne is going to let Fred get away that easily.

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Across town, the former slave master himself is being grilled about the whereabouts of various missing Americans in Gilead. He says he did not frequent Jezabels, and can lying get his plea deal struck down?

Tuello ushers a very pregnant Serena out of the room and she has the AUDACITY to tell him the woman interviewing Fred must call him Commander. He's shocked that she intends to live with Fred once he's let out and she pretends like that's a totally normal decision to make. 

She's feeling powerful again and I simply won't have it. Also, can these two NOT have sexual tension, please? HE IS AN OPERATIVE FOR THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND SHE IS A WAR CRIMINAL.

I forbid this from being a thing. Image: SBS.

I do enjoy how June, Rita and Emily have started to joke around with Gilead sayings. Emily comes over to the house, and June tells her they've been sent great weather.

"Pious little s**t," she replies. 

They discuss how Gilead's beliefs are obvious by its focus on the Old Testament over the New. Cruelty, pain, an eye for an eye. Now if I know anything about foreshadowing...

WE ARE GONNA GET SOME REVENGE. Image: SBS.

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In a rare showing of an emotion besides anger, June says she really wants to let go of Fred. She doesn't want to focus on him. "A good mother would be able to let go". But she can't.

June walks down the dimly lit hallway to Fred's prison/day spa cell, and it's cut with vision of her walking through the Waterford house before the ceremony/monthly state sanctioned rape.

Fred is shocked to see her.

If June was ever not going to rip him a new one, she changes her mind after Fred says he holds no ill-will towards her for the things she said about him in court. 

THE WATERFORDS AND THEIR GOD DAMN AUDACITY.

June tells the guard they can leave, and holy heck. This is going to be good. She's going to employ that ol' self-preservation tactic again. It kept her safe, but it also proved how easy Fred is to manipulate. 

Fred does his creepy whisper thing. He says he is truly, deeply sorry for the "discomforts" June faced in his home. Like those monthly state-sanctioned rapes, perhaps, and also for having Hannah ripped away from her.

June says she never thought he would apologise to her. She cries, smiles, and asks for a drink. Oh June, this is SPECTACULAR.

Reel him in, then destroy him. 😇 Image: SBS.

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Fred says they had a very strong relationship, "not love", but something else and June agrees. Fred says he misses Offred. June says she misses some parts of her too.

Flatter the weak man, June. Then stab him or something.

"To Offred," she says. "To our Offred," Fred replies. They cheer and drink.

On the car ride home, Luke says they will have extra security watching their house for a while because the Waterfords have crazy fans. This is depressing, because it's so realistic. Of course people would be on the side of an abusive man like Fred. Ick.

They reminisce about going home to Boston as it once was. Then June really kills the mood by saying she's going to put Fred on the wall. 

Luke says they're going to let him go, so she needs to let it go. Luke has been a gem, but... no. She will not let it go and at this point it's clearer than ever that they will never bridge the gap between them.

The next day June waits for Tuello outside his house and he blasts her for inappropriate behaviour. Dude, that's rich. You have a crush on Serena Joy. 

June agrees and says Gilead turned her into "a bit of a c**t". I love sweary June. She persuades him to give her a ride to… somewhere?

They and the entirety of whatever's left of the American army arrive at what appears to be an old diner. Even Tuello seems unaware of what is happening. 

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June says the embassy arranged the meeting and guaranteed safe passage. FOR WHOM?????

Oh. 

Hello. Image: SBS.

It's Joseph. He's gone from almost-hung to diplomatic Commander in record time, but I don't have time to worry about the reality of this meeting because THEY'RE ARRANGING AN OFFER. FOR FRED.

YES. Send his dumb ass back to Gilead where his 'fellow countryman' are not as generous as what-is-left-of-the-American government.

Joseph implores Tuello to send Fred back. Gilead are so worried about him, they want to assure he returns safe and sound. Haha.

We know this is crap. Putnam made it very clear last week that Gilead do not care what happens to the Waterfords (except maybe, their baby).

June's dig about weak men earlier was correct. She was talking about Fred, but also Tuello. And both are about to get played.

Joseph says Gilead would be open to making monetary policy changes for Fred's return, to which June tells him not to be a d**k.

I KNOW I SHOULD HATE JOSEPH BECAUSE HE IS AS MUCH TO BLAME FOR THIS GOD DAMN TOTALITARIAN PATRIARCHAL THEOCRACY AS FRED IS BUT IN THIS MOMENT HE IS EVERYTHING.

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Lol jk, he says, what about if they exchange people? 22 resistance women for one idiot Commander. Fred is not worth 22 lives and Tuello is all but boxed in.

I don't think the other Commanders would approve of the trade, so is Joseph acting alone? I guess he has one ally - a man with very close ties to the Eyes and beautiful eyebrows - who could help him do it secretly?

As they leave, Joseph points out that whatever Gilead does to Fred won't be enough for June. He's right, and clearly one of the few people who understand how deep her desire for vengeance goes.

Over dinner that night, Luke is talking about how if they make the trade Fred will be tried and sentenced to jail. Sweet, innocent Luke.

June tells Emily she wants Fred to be more afraid than she was when she and Hannah were caught in the woods. Scared to death.

Emily understands.

At the day spa, Fred and Serena say their goodbyes. He's off to Geneva to become a free man and she says they can Zoom. There's no pandemic in this version of the world, but Zoom still gets a shout-out. Skype really can't catch a break.

Fred, absolutely joyous, leaves the prison/day spa with a swing in his step. Freedom awaits!

Except it doesn't. And his face when Tuello says so is… just... glorious.

"????????" Image: SBS.

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He's been found unfit for leniency and is being taken into American custody.

HOLY SHIT. IT WORKED.

Fred is taken to somewhere with a very big bridge. My American-Canadian border knowledge is limited, but this looks promising.

YASSSSSSS. Image: SBS.

Fred is fuming and asks if they have smuggled him to some dark spot to be executed. Tuello tells him no, and that he's going home. 

Same thing.

HE. LOOKS. TERRIFED.

This. Is. So. Satisfying. Image: SBS.

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He's greeted by Joseph, and Joseph is freaking loving it.

Praise be.

It gets even better: Nick and his eyebrows are here.

He arrests Fred, who begs. He calls Nick "son" over and over and over and SHUT UP HE IS NOT YOUR SON AND YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT ANYMORE.

They arrive in the… woods? It's no-man's-land, not governed by either Canadian or Gilead law. And Fred, ever the idiot, will not shut up. So Nick hits him.

F**K. YES.

I AM SO SORRY I EVER DOUBTED YOU. Image: SBS.

NICK IS RECITING A BIBLE PASSAGE ABOUT REAPING WHAT YOU SOW AND OH MY GOD JUNE APPEARS.

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I AM GASPING SO HARD MY CHEST HURTS.

Fred begs Nick to help him. Instead, June approaches and passionately kisses the greatest eyebrows on television. 

Fred is so confused and IT REALLY IS A BLESSED DAY.

June whispers "thank you", Nick walks away, and Fred tells June she is good and kind. Flattery may work on him, but June is much, much smarter than that. Maybe she was good and kind once upon a time. That June doesn't exist anymore, and that's on him.

She has a gun and a whistle, and she tells him to choose.

He doesn't believe she can shoot him. I truly cannot express how much of a dumbass he is. 

Whistle it is. Feels like a mistake.

Out of the darkness comes Emily, and dozens of other (presumably) former Handmaids. The army June recruited out of their trauma meetings has appeared for battle.

Grab a stone. June's season-long Aunt Lydia transformation has just hit its peak.

"Run."

The wings. Image: SBS.

They chase him through the woods and June's narration repeats the self-preservation line: "Pretend you like it. Pretend you love it. Pretend you want it. He is your Commander. He is your whole world. Don't run, don't kick, don't scream."

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Fred runs. He kicks. He screams. And June isn't pretending anymore. I'm watching through my hands as she bites him.

'You Don't Own Me' plays loudly, and the former Handmaids deal to Fred Waterford.

Image: SBS.

The next morning, she exits the woods, bloodied and bruised and a just a tiny bit more free.

In the Canadian prison/day spa, Serena is waiting in front of a Zoom screen. A guard is going through her mail, which includes a package. Out pops Fred's wedding ring… and his finger. It's probably a bit late for Serena to replace the one she lost, but it's a nice touch.

June arrives home - well, Luke's house - to Nichole.

When Luke finds her the bruises and blood on her face definitely give away what's just happened.

Image: SBS.

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"I'm sorry," she says. I don't think she is, truly, but this means she has to go. Where? Will she turn herself in? What happens when a crime takes place in no-man's-land? Was revenge worth having to pull herself away from a daughter - again?

We end with Fred's body on the wall like she promised.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum indeed.

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Feature image: SBS.

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