Wednesday's new episode of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale finally fulfilled a moment that has been three years in the making, but for some, it was more than just a little "underwhelming." As the end credits rolled on “Vows," the series' sixth episode of Season 4, many fans couldn’t help but lament that the episode seemed to underperform. Warning: This story contains major spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 6, "Vows."
Picking up after the bombing in Chicago, "Vows" follows June as she finally made it to Canada with the help of Moira. Although that moment, and her emotional reunion with husband Luke, is what The Handmaid’s Tale has been building up towards for the past three seasons, many viewers felt the episode was otherwise uneventful, with one viewer writing on Reddit, "given that this was the episode that June FINALLY escapes Gilead, I honestly found it a bit underwhelming." Another person said the episode "was just a really underwhelming episode, it almost felt rushed. This is the episode June FINALLY is out of Gilead and they’ve pooped out this?!"
Although many fans said they did not believe it was a bad episode, they felt it could have been condensed from its 40-minutes runtime down to something much shorter. One person said that while the "episode was intense," there was "not a lot of substance. It could have been 20 minutes and still showed all of the same thing. I was expecting a lot more plot." Several suggested that the flashbacks contained in the episode could have been cut. One person wrote that there were "just too many flashbacks that were totally pointless." Another suggested the flashbacks would have aired better as a single, longer flashback sequence rather than short, interspersed scenes.
On the flipside of that coin, some said it should have been much longer, with one person noting that "if you had told us during the first two seasons about this episode, we would have expected it to be an hour and a half longer one." Many of those suggesting the episode should have been longer said it could have focused on more than just June, with one person saying they "would have at least liked to know how Janine and Mrs.Keyes are doing at the red center." One fan said the episode "hardly moved the storyline forward from the end of the last episode, where we were left wondering: will June leave with Moira? This episode answered that question & nothing else," with another person saying that they're "soooo salty there was so much of the journey and less of Canada, upside is next episode should be epic."
"It somehow was both very fast and very slow. June is going to stay in Gilead, June is gonna go with Moira, June is going to stay in Gilead, nope, she's gonna go with Moira. Nope, back to Gilead, ok stay with Moira. Are the Gileadeans gone? Because June is gonna take a boat back to Gilead. Fiiiiine, Moira, I guess she'll stay," one person aired their greivances with the episode. "Like, there has to be a better way to show conflict and hesitation than 40 minutes of flashbacks and the same fight over and over and over again."
Regardless of how fans felt about the substance of the episode, they were all relieved to see June finally make it to Canade and are more than just a little eager to see what happens in next week’s episode. Fans can catch the episode, as well as all previous episodes of the series, on Hulu, which you can subscribe to by clicking here.