The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, Episode 10 Recap – Where Will June and Her family Escape To?

By Adam Lock
Published: November 9, 2022 (Last updated: last month)
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The Handmaid's Tale Season 5, Episode 10 Recap - "Safe"
The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 10 (Credit - Hulu)




A powerful and emotional finale that sets the scene for one hell of a final season of The Handmaid’s Tale. This is the kind of installment that will go some way to solidifying the show’s place in TV’s history books.

Before the premiere of season 5, The Handmaid’s Tale was renewed for a sixth and final season. This means that the season finale isn’t really an ending, but it can be interpreted as more like the beginning of the end. Episode 10, ironically titled “Safe,” massively escalates all the main subplots of the show and teases so much more that is still to come. Commander Lawrence prepares to wed the newly widowed Naomi Putnam, Commander Blaine stresses about June’s safety, Janine weighs up her options, and June’s family faces new targets. It’s an emotional and enticing finale that solidifies the show’s place in TV’s history.

June, The Wanted Woman

“Safe” opens with June receiving a package in the post, which of course contains a bulletproof jacket. June is a wanted woman in Canada, with Gilead and protestors lining up to take a shot at her.

On top of this dangerous predicament, June is booked to make an appearance at another memorial service and doesn’t fancy her chances. Tuello visits to update them on the gunman’s situation. He has been apprehended and they are looking into his credentials to see if he has any ties to Gilead. Tuello is just as shaken as June, having attended nineteen funerals in just five days. They both feel responsible for this catastrophe but try and soldier on.

June is Nearly Killed

June says goodbye to Tuello, who swiftly drives off. Standing on the corner of her street, June surveys the surroundings, feeling an intense wave of paranoia sweep over her. A car starts to follow her and then abruptly drives into her. June falls to the floor and then the vehicle drives at her again, running over her outstretched arm.

Crippled by the blow, June struggles to escape the driver’s follow-up attack, although Luke is on hand to stop the man from murdering his wife. He attacks the driver, who is carrying a gun. Luke beats the man until he’s unconscious and then runs to his wife’s assistance. At the hospital, June is rushed in on a stretcher, but Luke is taken by the police for further questioning.

Back in sunny Gilead, Nick questions Commander Lawrence about the attacks in Toronto. Nick is worried about June’s safety and believes she has become a target. Lawrence doesn’t really confirm or deny Nick’s concerns but leaves enough ambiguity to raise Nick’s suspicions.

He later meets with Tuello to pay June a visit at the hospital. The Commander is clearly still in love with June and cares deeply about her safety. In return for the visitation, Nick signs a contract with Tuello, now in full partnership with their Government in secret. He urges Tuello to keep June safe and admits that she deserves better than him. Nick doesn’t see himself as a good man, although Tuello stresses that June thinks otherwise.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 5, Episode 10 Recap - "Safe"

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 10 (Credit – Hulu)

Janine Has Second Thoughts

Janine and the other handmaids prepare for Commander Lawrence and Naomi Putnam’s wedding, thoroughly cleaning every inch of the venue. Janine starts a sing-along with the other handmaids. Lydia, who has recently gone quite soft on Janine, doesn’t punish her for this misdeed but advised they sing hymns in the future. Lydia proposes to Naomi that Janine is posted at her new home. Naomi is appalled by the notion, but Lydia talks her around.

Lydia wants the best for Janine and believes that she would appreciate living in the same house as her biological daughter, Angela. Janine is opposed to the idea at first but is also persuaded into reconsidering.

It’s the day of the wedding and Naomi makes her own demands with Janine. She can spend the summer at their house on a trial basis, while Angela is away with her grandparents. If she is impressed she can stay, but she must address Angela as Naomi’s daughter. Janine plays the submissive handmaid, although news of June’s attack completely alters Janine’s mindset. She remembers her fighting spirit and lays into Naomi at a photo shoot, stating that they are not friends, and she hates Naomi.

Escape Plan

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 10 (Credit – Hulu)

June is discharged from the hospital and is told to rest. She overhears Luke talking with Rita and Moira downstairs. The man who ran over June has died due to Luke’s attack. Rita warns that the police will now be after Luke for killing a Canadian man on Canadian soil. They need to run. June worries that they waited too long last time, they must act fast on this occasion.

The family quickly packs and book flights out of the country. Tuello arrives in the nick of time though to stop them traveling to the airport. He has been alerted of Luke’s imminent arrest, they must take a train to Vancouver instead. From there they can take a boat to Hawaii.

At the train station, swarms of armed personnel stand guard at every corner. It’s a nail-biting sequence as Luke and June join the large queues headed for the last train out of Canada. Luke urges June to board the train first with Nichole, to avoid suspicion, he will follow afterward.

June makes it to the train but overhears the police asking passengers about Luke’s whereabouts. She phones her husband to warn him, but Luke already knows. He’s accepted his fate, even if June hasn’t.

In an emotional final conversation, June pleads with Luke to try and get onto the train, but Luke won’t even consider it. He says his heartfelt goodbyes and then gains the police’s attention. They arrest Luke immediately, as the train finally sets off. June watches from the window.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 Ending Explained

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 10 (Credit – Hulu)

The night of the wedding, Nick storms into the party and punches Lawrence in the face, adamant the Commander was involved in the attack on June. Lawrence states that it wasn’t his decision, but Nick has blown his cover now. He is arrested for this faux pas.

Back at the handmaid’s quarters, Lydia is a wreck. She can’t understand why Janine would ruin her big opportunity. Lydia hopes Janine will fix the situation and beg for Naomi’s forgiveness, but she refuses. The Eyes then enter and arrest Janine. Lydia demands to know who authorized this arrest and they reply that Commander Lawrence gave the order.

Nick is visited in prison by his wife Rose. She can’t believe that Nick strung her along for all this time. He apologizes but admits he’s still in love with June. He tried to let her go, but he just couldn’t. Rose states that he’s ruined everything and she doesn’t want to be with him anymore, even though they are married, with a child on the way. It would seem both the people that love June have ended up imprisoned whilst trying to protect her.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 10 ends with June walking the aisles of the train looking for a seat. Nichole is upset, but June manages to soothe her by talking about going on an adventure to Hawaii. She hears another baby crying and heads toward the sound. Here, she is met by Serena and her baby Noah.

They exchange pleasantries and Serena asks for a diaper. June smirks at Serena as the train leaves the station. This makes for a fitting end to Serena and June’s season arc. The two have been at war with one another for so long now, but have somehow ended up admiring one another in the end. They seem to appreciate their shared determination and motherly instincts.

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