The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 finale left fans in a state of shock with a jaw-dropping and deadly ending. After a four-season run that kept most of the main cast intact, the fourth season of the Hulu original series ended its final minutes with the death of a main character, a moment that immediately had fan reacting online. Warning: This story contains major spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 10, "The Wilderness."
In "The Wilderness," The Handmaid's Tale sent off actor Joseph Fieness' Commander Fred Waterford in a fitting way. After being taken into custody by the American government in Canada, and it being revealed in “Progress” that he was set to walk free via a plea deal, Fred met a grisly end at the hands of several Handmaids he and other men in Gilead brutalized. After June struck a deal with Commander Waterford to exchange Fred for 22 women of the resistance, Fred was not put on trial in Gilead, but rather taken to the woods by Nick, where June told him to run. Fred was beaten to death by June, Emily, and other Handmaids before his body was hanged from a wall, one of his fingers and his wedding band being sent to his wife, Serena Joy Waterford.
The moment left a lasting impact on viewers, especially considering that The Handmaid's Tale has mostly strayed away from killing any of its core characters. As the end credits rolled on Season 4, many were left speechless, some taking to social media to express their shock at the finale death. Keep scrolling to see what fans had to say.
"They could have ended the season with that scene of him being beaten to death and I would've felt totally satisfied," one viewer wrote on Reddit. "I don't think I've ever watched a show that made me say 'thank you writers' so f–ing much!"prevnext
"I loved the poetic comparison of the way handmaid's were expected to deal out punishment in Gilead and how they killed Fred," another fan shared. "Beautiful mirroring."prevnext
"I got goosebumps so fast when June said 'run' to Fred," tweeted one person. "Finally got some justice."prevnext
"He literally formed his own executioners. He helped make the laws. He is partly responsible for having handmaids carry out salvagings, allowing them to get that comfortable with violence," wrote another. "It was a sight to see."prevnext
"I laughed like a crazy person during the entire thing and my mother was like dude wtf and I was like mom, you don't even wanna get me started on what this scum of a human deserves," a redditor said, with another writing, "I was doing the 'girl clap'. The one where you do the short sharp claps just below your chin and giggle. You know you're at peak levels of unapologetic TV induced bloodlust when you do the girl clap. That's just facts."prevnext
"The ending was perfect," praised another viewer. "June's deep breath, the song choice, Emily's smirk before joining in, the look of fear on his face, the bite, ALL OF IT!"prevnext
Fans can catch up on The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, where all four seasons are available for streaming. With the streamer having already handed its flagship series a Season 5 renewal, you may want to consider signing up for a Hulu subscription here.