In a series that has been marked by tragedy after tragedy, The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 finale proved to be among the most tragic episodes of them yet. Dropping on Hulu on Wednesday, "Safe" left the fates of three beloved characters in jeopardy after they were arrested on opposite sides of the border. Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 finale, "Safe."
In an episode that focused equal parts on Canada and Gilead, "Safe" put June and Luke's relationship at the center of the episode in a truly devastating way. After they both managed to survive a shooting in "Allegiance," Luke was forced to protect his in the season finale when she was run down by a man in a truck. When that man died of his injuries, Luke's freedom as a refugee in Canada was in jeopardy, with growing fears that he could be arrested for killing a Canadian on Canadian soil, regardless of the fact that it was self-defense. Although it initially appeared that he, June, and Nicole would manage to escape together on a train relocating refugees, those hopes were quickly shattered when authorities at the train station began checking IDs, and not long after, announced they were looking for a Luke Bankole. After encouraging June to go ahead of him and get on the train, promising that he would follow, he broke that promise when he called June, telling her to "get on the train" so she and Nicole can be safe. After telling her one final time, "I love you, June Osbourne," he raised his hands in surrender and alerted authorities to his presence. The last fans saw of Luke in Season 5 was him being surrounded by Canadian police and taken into custody.
Luke was not alone in meeting such a tragic fate. Back in Gilead, Janine, who had been living in the relative comfort of the Red Keep, was arrested by The Eyes. After she was pressured to give Janine a new assignment, Aunt Lydia, who has come to have a soft spot for Janine, gave her the best placement she could hope for: Commander Lawrence. Lawrence recently wed Naomi Putnam, the woman who in Gilead's eyes is the mother of Janine's daughter Agatha, and being placed in the household would allow Janine to spend time with Agatha. But Janine's anger towards Gilead has grown, and despite the potential promise of reuniting with her daughter, she chose rebellion, openly telling Naomi that she doesn't like her and disgusts her. The incident of slight rebellion resulted in her being taken into custody by The Eyes and facing a number of consequences, including potential death or reassignment to The Colonies.
"Safe" also found Nick Blaine's safety in Gilead in jeopardy. After covertly joining forces with Canada and learning that June was harmed not once by twice, attacks that were both likely to blame on Gilead, Nick's resolve to outwardly pretend to be with Gilead and Commander Lawrence faltered. After slapping Lawrence across the face on the day of his wedding, Nick's Season 6 storyline ended with him in prison, his fate unknown.
The ending that Luke and Janine met in an episode that was already stressful and emotional was met with a flurry of fan reactions, many viewers left shocked, angered, and sad. Keep scrolling to see what fans had to say.
"The moment the reality of Gilead finally set in for Janine. The veil has slipped and I don't think she's going to be the good girl and Aunt Lydia's pet any longer," one viewer wrote of the moment that led to Janine's arrest.prevnext
Fans theorize what will happen to Janine
I’m praying for the downfall of the House of Lawrence but with Janine being rescued first ‘cause we can all agree that she’s the sweetest and she deserves a happy ending.#HandmaidsTale #TheHandmaidsTale pic.twitter.com/GfqcfywtGo— Tanya (@ScriptedTanya) November 9, 2022
"Instead of the close up on June's face in this episode, the close-up was on Janine's face and Aunt Lydia's face. I feel like this is their way of telling us next season Aunt Lydia and Janine are going to be f****** some s*** up," somebody on Reddit theorized, with another person agreeing "I think Lydia is going to do something which saves Janine – maybe help her escape, I don't know."prevnext
"So they pulling Luke in After he stopped a man from killing his wife After he ran her over ???" asked one viewer. "I know that's not what's happening."prevnext
"I was not a big fan of Luke's at the start, now years later I am gutted to see him arrested and away from June and Nicole," a redditor wrote, with somebody else suggesting, "Luke is either going to prison for 25 years or getting killed."prevnext
"Oh Nick!! You couldn't keep your cool, you just had to punch Lawrence in front of all the other Commanders?" one viewer asked. "Not your smartest or stealthiest move. You can't do much from a prison cell to help June...that is if they let you live."prevnext
Fans fear the other Commanders are on to Nick
How the heck does Nick get out of jail? He’s publicly exposed Lawrence, the only ally he had in Gilead. Both have lost power and position. I guess that’s the end of New Bethlehem? #eyesongilead #TheHandmaidsTale— lesley.libx (@lesleylibx) November 9, 2022
"When Nick punched Lawrence and the camera held on Mackenzie's face...if he didn't know before, now he does know that there is something of an alliance/assistance/connection between the two of them and June. Given that Mackenzie's rhetoric against June has already amped up, this will play out in S6," one person wrote on Reddit, another person adding, "Nick is gonna die next season, there's no way Rose is going to stick her neck out for him as a pregnant disabled woman. She's gotta think about her baby."