At this point, it seems like The Handmaid’s Tale is just thinking of new ways to terrorize June and the audience. In the previous seasons we saw the ff: a girl was chained to a metal ball and pushed to the gymnasium pool as punishment for adultery, a handmaid in Washington DC was not allowed to speak so obviously her mouth had to be sewn tight with what seemed like abaca, Ofglen was forced to undergo genital mutilation for being a lesbian, and of of course all the rapes, beatings, electrocutions, hangings, casual slapping, finger-chopping, and so on. Jigsaw (of the Saw franchise) suddenly showing up would not be out of place here.
In the first few episodes of Season 4, June was forced to watch two “Marthas” get pushed off a skyscraper, after she survived a waterboarding. At some point she successfully escaped again, but during this dramatic exodus her friends were run over by… a train. She and Janine were able to run away from the now cartoonish Aunt Lydia… but when will they get re-captured? Abangan.
This is the problem with TV shows where the main goal is to escape something: the protagonists can’t really escape because it would signal the end the show. The heroes of the story need to get captured again, escape somehow, and so on. This was the case with Prison Break, where the Scofields were fashionably sentenced to imprisonment in each new season. Or in Lost, where each season ended with the cast almost getting saved. But at least in Lost, we were all astonished with that fantastic flash forward which totally rekindled our interest. All together now: We have to go back, Kate! We have to go back!