The Handmaid's Tale delivered perhaps its most dramatic episode yet when Wednesday's episode "Vows" aired on Hulu. The sixth episode of the 10-episode-long Season 4 fulfilled a moment that has been more than three seasons in the making, and in a very subtle way, the Hulu original series made a major change. Warning: This story contains major spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 6, "Vows."
After the episode, documenting June’s continued escape from Gilead, aired its final, poignant scene, it did not segue directly into the end credits. Instead, the episode moved to the title card. For the past three-and-a-half seasons, that title card has always appeared at the beginning of episodes, typically following an opening scene or two that centers viewers in the events of the episode to come. "Vows," however, did not show a title card at the start of the episode, with it only appearing on screen after the episode concluded.
For many, the change in the title card's placement wasn't just a random decision made by the creative team, but rather a well-thought-out move indicative of the nature of the episode. After June and Janine escaped Gilead, made it to the frontlines in Chicago, and were ultimately caught up in a bombing on the city, "Vows" culminated with a moment fans have been waiting on for years: June, bruised and battered, stepping onto Canadian soil and into safety. The decision to place the title card after the episode ended, some believed, was to signal the end of her journey in Gilead and the beginning of her story in Canada as a free woman.
On Reddit, one person said they "took it as her 'handmaid' journey had come to an end," something that several viewers seemed to agree with, as somebody else wrote, "I actually think that it signals the end of her tale as a Handmaid and her story as June Osborn will continue. Sort of like bookends." Another person suggested that it could have more to do than just with the pivotal moment in June's journey, and could instead be indicative that The Handmaid's Tale is now moving into The Testaments territory. One person questioned, "Do you think they are moving into Testaments territory? Response: I definitely think they are going into Testaments territory since a few episodes ago they seemed to be building up Aunt Lydia's character."
As of this posting, nobody connected to the show has addressed the title card's change in placement. It remains to be seen if the title card will again move to its long-held spot at the beginning of episodes when "Home" airs on May 26. Season 4 has just four episodes left before it concludes on June 16, with new episodes dropping Wednesdays on Hulu, which you can subscribe to by clicking here.