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Brent Sullivan
Brent Sullivan

The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 - Episode 10

The show's use of music has impressed over the previous four seasons, ranging from David Bowie to Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone to Kate Bush, using tracks to heighten intensity or provide contrast to the on-screen action. Here is every song continuing the soundtrack for The Handmaid's Tale in season 5, broken down by episode.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 - Episode 10

"All I Have to Do is Dream" by The Everly Brothers - Calling back to episode 1, this song returns on the soundtrack of The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 2. This time, it plays as June lays in bed and is treated to a montage of all the ways the villain Serena mistreated her. Her revenge-filled present gives way to the dreams of an unpleasant past.

"The Chain" by Kerala Dust - This cover of the famous Fleetwood Mac song overlaps two scenes in The Handmaid's Tale season 5 episode 4. A battle begins to rage outside of Serena's new home outside of Gilead, and June has made sure to bring a gun. After escaping, she and Luke manage to get to the car where he asks to see her gun. Finally happy that the two are on the same page, the song begins to play as they make love. Then, the tune overlaps as Serena is taken in an SUV back to her new home, where Ezra and Alanis are waiting for her. The electronic score perfectly accompanies June and Luke's reigniting passion for one another while also lending a sense of foreboding to Serena's scene.

"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green - This tune appears twice in The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 5. First sung by Luke and June, and secondly when the original song plays. While Luke and June search for answers about Hannah they meet a Guardian named Jaeden, who passes them intel inside a defunct bowling alley. Since the two cannot make safe passage out at first, they are stuck with the Guardian overnight in the bowling alley. In a brief interlude from the chaos of the episode, Luke decides to play "Let's Stay Together" on the alley organ while June dances to the music. The song can be heard again over the end credits. The song acts as a sweet break in an episode that only heats up as it moves forward.

"Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, Pathetique: II. Adagio Cantabile" by Jeno Jando - The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 6 is quite a doozy, with a lot going on very quickly. In addition, the episode turns the narrative on its head when audiences see Serena actually shoot Ezra over June and load her into a car at gunpoint. The piano sonata plays during a scene of entrapment. Aunt Lydia finds out that Putnam got Esther pregnant by rape and proceeds to tell Commander Lawrence. Lawrence then invites Putnam and Nick over to his house for whiskey and cigars, where they congratulate him over his new baby. It's during this scene that the one and only song of the episode plays. Putnam gets his just desserts when Nick shoots him dead after he's dragged out of a restaurant by Guardians.

"Abide With Me" by Libera - The Handmaid's Tale season 5 episode 7 opens with episode 6's cliffhanger of Serena and June in a car. Their relationship changes as Serena quickly goes into labor, which causes her and June to seek shelter in a nearby barn, so she can have her baby. While June tries to help, Serena pushes her away, causing June to leave and declare that Serena can just do it on her own then. June tries to move her car out of the ditch and has a flashback where "Abide With Me" plays in the background of The Handmaid's Tale. In the flashback, she, Serena, and the other handmaids are attending Ofclarence's birthing ceremony. The baby is delivered alive, but Ofclarence dies during labor. Both June and Serena exchange pregnant looks in the flashback as they watch the maidens coo over the child while thinking nothing of the dead mother.

"I'll Be Your Mirror" by Clem Snide - The basic premise of The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 8, sees June attempting to get Hannah back, while Commander Lawrence unveils his plans for New Bethlehem and Serena faces a huge choice regarding the Wheelers and Noah. The song "I'll Be Your Mirror" comes at a sweet moment within the episode. At the house where June lives with Moira, Luke, and Nichole, June is given the chance to sing to her child. She sings the aforementioned song and tells her little girl that it was Hannah's favorite. This really hammers home the fact that June's one and only goal is to get Hannah back. It's the focus of The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 8, as most of the installment is spent with Lawrence and June discussing New Bethlehem and the possibilities of getting Hannah away from Gilead. It's a sweet and melodic tune that really brings home June's grief over the whole situation.

"Tender Romance" by Daryl Griffith - The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 9, sees both triumphs and tragedy as Mark Tuello's mission to save Hannah ends horribly while Serena finally decides to take a chance on freedom. The latter half of the episode focuses on Serena and her relationship with the Wheelers, which is becoming increasingly strained as they request that she pump rather than nurse her baby. After convincing Ryan Wheeler to let her attend the opening of a fertility clinic with Noah, much to Alanis's chagrin, she is able to make a brief appearance before the Wheelers tell Serena to go home. While at the fertility clinic with her son, "Tender Romance" by Daryl Griffith plays, highlighting just how attached Serena is to her baby boy.

"Americans" by Janelle Monae - After being told to leave the clinic, Serena is able to convince the Wheelers to let her nurse Noah before leaving. They begrudgingly acquiesce, and the nanny takes Serena and Noah to a side room. It's here that Serena escapes with her son and is able to find a driver on the road to help them towards freedom. "Americans" by Janelle Monae plays in the background as Serena makes her getaway and over the ending credits of The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 9.

All of the new season is now available to watch on Hulu in the US after the season finale aired on November 9. In Canada viewers could watch it on the CTV Drama channel. Viewers in Ireland are two weeks behind on RTÉ2 at 10:35pm so are currently only on episode 8.

"I didn't think about it, though, really until episode 7, which was written by Rachel Shukert, which is the episode where June is with Serena when she gives birth," Miller told Entertainment Weekly. "I started to see the dailies, and it really felt as if the season was building towards a deeper understanding of June and Serena's relationship. I try never to kick off the next season at the end of the previous season. ... I never want to get too ahead of myself and make it like this huge thing that you immediately undo. So what I tried to do very much with this show, is it's kind of like a group of grandchildren asking Grandma June what happened to her in the war, and her telling them the story. It's a memoir. And it seemed like if she was going to tell a story about her relationship with Serena Joy to her grandchildren, she would tell this part of the story. So it felt like that moment was a great moment to end on because it really was their relationship landing on another lilypad together. And all I know about it that's new in this case is, they're kind of happy to see each other. That's a huge journey they've taken from reviling the sight of each other to kind of having some possibility that they could be supporting each other. That's a huge distance to go."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the ending, Moss, who also directed the episode, explained that while she loved the idea of going "full circle" by mimicking Serena's smile to June at the beginning of the season, she also wanted to keep a fair amount of ambiguity in place for the cliffhanger moment itself.

"I've been watching a lot of last seasons of shows that knew they were ending," he said. "And how do you do it? How do you do it in a way that's frustrating? How do you do it in a way that's satisfying? And what are the things that stick with you? So I'm thinking about it in a really prosaic "history of television" terms. I watched the last season of Game of Thrones again, and I watched the last season of The Sopranos, just to see how they're put together, and especially do they build the season around the fact that it's a season or that it's the end of the show? I just want it to be a solid season. And I just want every episode to be solid, and therefore I want every scene to be solid. And that's all I'm thinking about. And if it doesn't feel like the finale of a show, that's okay. I mean, the beginning of it didn't feel like the beginning of a show either."

As the walls close in on June, The Handmaid's Tale season 5 meets its end in a climactic and devastating finale. Having declined Commander Lawrence's offer to join his next phase in New Bethlehem and reunite with Hannah, back in Canada June and others are faced with rising hostility from anti-refugee protestors and Gilead sympathisers in Toronto. Make sure you know how to watch The Handmaid's Tale season 5 finale for free, from wherever you are now, for episode 10, Safe.

In Australia, SBS (opens in new tab) will air The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 10, live and on demand, from 9th November 2022. Episodes arrive as soon as they drop in the US on the Wednesday on SBS On-Demand. You can also catch the final episode on TV on Thursday at 9.30pm AEDT. Episode 1 - 9 are already available now. New episodes air weekly.

In the UK, The Handmaid's Tale season 5 began airing on October 23, arriving on both free-to-air channel Channel 4 (opens in new tab), as well as on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) at 9pm BST, with new episodes arriving weekly at the same time on Sundays.

After three fantastic but very different Castle Rock episodes in a row, and a season which left plot threads and secondary mysteries dangling right and left, I was looking for the season finale, Romans, to tie most of them up, and hopefully bring some of the subplots together to explain what it all means. Like a well-written show would do. Which this show has often seemed to be. But apparently that was a red herring. 041b061a72


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