Just FYI, I did manage to update to v1.4.1. I had run into the same issues as before - then I restarted the VM and suddenly all was well.
I have noticed one strange thing with v1.4.1 - when people I follow engage in public conversations, I can no longer see the toots they’re replying to on my instance. I have to visit the web view to see the conversation. A weird side-effect is that the reply by someone I follow shows up in my home timeline even though I’m not following the other person(s) in the conversation.
This resembles the behavior I had been seeing when people I follow respond to followers-only posts. Except now it’s happening for public toots that, in earlier versions, got pulled in.