The fact that the show writers are compelled to keep having June return to Gilead reveals one of their big weaknesses - they are unable to tell a compelling story about Gilead without June being part of it, and vice versa.
A show with deeper world-building and immersion would have been able to deliver gripping episodes taking place in Gilead having nothing to do with June if the plot required it. There’s SO MUCH unexplored story material there - a deeper look into the world of the Marthas or the “aunts”, or a look into how Gilead’s military trains its “guardians” and how it managed to ensnare capable and well-meaning young men into its ideological doctrines (or maybe they just recruited psychopaths and rejects from the normal military - interesting question, but we’ll never know because they haven’t explored it). Fuck, I’d like to see how Gilead handles its most basic logistics - sanitation, utilities, maintaining the railroad that we saw being used by running trains a few episodes ago - a show like The Wire was capable of delivering a riveting drama about guys who moved around cargo containers at a dock.
Not every scene of every episode needs to consist of Elizabeth Moss grimacing. But Handmaid’s show runners seem incapable of fleshing out the world that they’ve had free reign over ever since the first season ended and the material of the original book was exhausted.