The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4 recap – “Dear Offred”

By Adam Lock
Published: September 28, 2022 (Last updated: 5 weeks ago)
View all


Tensions rise in another stellar episode. “Dear Offred” continues to pit Serena and June against one another in what is leading towards a historic showdown. This is gripping television, displaying a cast and crew at the top of their game.

This recap of the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4, “Dear Offred,” contains spoilers.

Serena Waterford and June Osborne’s long-distance battle quickly transforms into a much closer affair in “Dear Offred,” as the Gilead ambassador makes a new home for herself on Canadian soil. While June scopes out Serena’s new digs, Lydia tries to help rehabilitate Janine, and Luke attempts to get Serena kicked out of her new home before she’s even had a chance to unpack.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4 recap

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4 opens with June innocently pushing her daughter Nicole on a swing in a non-descript park. June’s mind is elsewhere as she stares off into space, but she rapidly wakes from this daze when a creepy stranger begins an unwarranted conversation with her. This stranger name checks both June and her daughter, slowly making her way over to the duo. The stranger says that June doesn’t deserve her child and then starts to hurl abuse at the mother, calling her a s**t and a w***e. Good old violent June fights back, physically pinning the woman back. It is clear that June has her enemies, but she knows how to handle herself.

Serena is offered safe asylum by Mark Tuello for the final time. She declines this invitation and Tuello officially releases her from the government’s custody. The ambassador is handed a new driver, who whisks her off to her new home. Gilead has commandeered a building, which they have renamed the Gilead Information Center. This building is technically Gilead home turf and as Serena walks around the place, the builders put the finishing touches to the center.

Tuello informs June of this unfortunate development and is met by aggression from the Osborne household. Luke is livid that the government has allowed such a betrayal to take place. Serena is welcomed in Canada and openly permitted to push her Gilead agenda. Luke screams at Tuello, demanding that he leaves his house immediately. On his way out, Tuello attempts to defuse the situation, pleading that Serena has no status and no power in Canada. But June warns him, she is a dangerous woman, she always gets her way. This implies that no matter what setbacks Serena is faced with, she’ll still find a way to push forwards. Tuello naively underestimates her abilities.

That very night, June drives to the Information Center to perform a little reconnaissance of her own. A small gathering of followers march outside the grounds with candles. June spies Serena in a distant window looking down at her adoring fans. The women stare at one another and Serena is clearly unnerved by June’s sudden appearance. She asks her security about their defenses. Serena’s escort remarks that they cannot attack June unless she steps foot on their territory. Serena is visibly afraid of June and fears for her life. June’s threatening behavior is having an exceptional effect on the rival.

June worries that she will not be able to hold back from killing Serena for much longer, but Luke tries to calm his wife and offers up a different approach. Luke wants to push Serena out with red tape and lawsuits. He believes that he can stop her with building code violations, without having to resort to any violence. June can’t seem to hold back her anger, even if that means ruining her family’s future in the process. To make matters worse, Serena sends June a letter, addressed to Offred, inviting her to the grand opening of the Information Center, which only angers June further.

Luke goes to visit Serena to defuse this rivalry, but is more than a little rattled by Serena’s defense. Firstly, Luke is aggressively frisked by Serena’s driver and then Serena herself provokes her enemy. She talks of spreading the word of God and having many loyal followers. Luke brings up the building codes and warns Serena that June wants her dead. He states that she will either be shut down or killed, but he offers up a third option, she helps them get Hannah back. Serena says that Agnes is happy, with loving parents looking after her. She asks why Luke never tried to rescue her himself and mentions Nick’s name. Truly riled up by Serena’s words, Luke demands that she stays away from his family and threatens to kill her himself.

The ending

Whilst Serena tries to promote her controversial nation, change is strongly rejected over in Gilead. Serena wants to build new relations with global officials, but Commander Lawrence continues to pull the strings from afar. He postpones Serena’s meetings, controlling her from a distance. Serena asks why and Lawrence explains that things need to move forwards slowly. Back in Gilead, Lydia tries to alter the Handmaid’s system too, but again Lawrence refuses to make any serious changes.

The episode concludes with Luke managing to get the Center closed down thanks to building code violations and June burns Serena’s invitation in the back garden. This couple won’t stop there though, they must have darker plans to destroy Serena and the Gilead regime in the pipeline.

What did you think of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4? Comment below.

What To Read Next For Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale season 5

READ – the review of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5.

READ – the recap for The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 3.

Hulu, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
View all