PRAISE BE! THE HANDMAID'S TALE RETURNS WEDNESDAY
Praise be! The second season of The Handmaid’s Tale is fast approaching. The first two episodes of season two will be released on Hulu on Wednesday, April 25. (Pro tip: depending on your time zone, you may be able to watch them earlier, as Hulu releases things at the stroke of midnight, Eastern time.)
Anyway, let’s revisit last season’s cliffhanger and check in with the characters!
We left Offred exactly where the novel leaves her, in the back of an Eye van, headed for freedom or destruction. The novel hints, in the last section, that she made it at least part of the way to freedom on the Underground Female Road, as the audiotapes from which the book was transcribed were found in the ruins of a safehouse, many years later. Has baby daddy Nick pulled through for her? We’ll find out soon.
Moira and Luke
The refugees seem to be making a life for themselves in Canada, where they are joined by Luke’s mute former handmaid friend. They have phones and tea and walking around money. Thanks, Justin Trudeau!
Fred and Serena Joy
These two assholes seemed to be halfway up shit’s creek, after the Eyes snatched their Handmaid. The Republic of Gilead does not look fondly on people who harbor subversives. Plus, the baby! Serena Joy really wanted that baby Offred is carrying. Don’t forget that Serena Joy broke every law by forcing her handmaid to have sex with their chauffeur! That’s a big no-no.
Seems into the whole daddy gig. It seemed like he was helping Offred when she was taken away. He’s probably been listening to records and drinking brown liquor.
Poor Janine survived her suicide attempt and was last scene in the hospital, under the watchful eye of Aunt Lydia. Her commander has arrested by the authorities, due to all the obvious rule breaking he’d been engaged with, and his wife looked to be in trouble, as a woman’s worth is based only on he man’s status.
The former Ofglen was last seen being hauled out of a stolen car, after she ran down a few Guardians.
The Waterfords Martha ended up with the stash of letters Mayday was attempting to smuggle out of the country.
June and Luke’s daughter is with a prominent family. Serena Joy cruelly took June to see her, in order to blackmail her into good behavior.
Hulu has released two trailers, so let’s do some speculating!
<potential spoilers ahead>
We are truly entering into uncharted territory, as the first season used all of the novel. Everything this season will be new, so the smug book readers among us will be as surprised as anyone. I find that a bit of a relief, especially as a Game of Thrones reader and watcher. To a certain extent, it’s fun to watch other people get blown away by twists, but it also makes me feel like Milhouse, desperate to get to the fireworks factory. (Jezebels, The Red Wedding). It’s easier to relax and enjoy, perhaps, when a series goes off book. That’s also an act of trust, that the show runners will not completely fuck up everything. We’ll see!
With that in mind, I’m going to take a few guesses, informed by the trailers, promotional material, and other people’s guesses. Big hat tip to the podcast Red All Over!
What will we see?
The trailers have a ton of footage of the Colonies, the toxic waste dump Unwomen and other subversives are sent to serve out a prolonged death sentence. Talk about cruel and unusual—I’d hate to be sentenced to death by cleaning.
Emily / Former Ofglen is still alive.
Alexis Bledel has been heavily featured in the promo material, including this week’s Entertainment Weekly. She’ll probably be in the Colonies.
June’s mom is a powerful figure in the novel. She’s an outspoken lesbian feminist. I basically love her. The first season left her out completely, although June did talk about her dad, which was mystifying and mildly infuriating. June’s mom will probably be in the Colonies, too.
Janine may be joining the Unwomen in the Colonies, too. Also, Marisa Tomei is going to be there! Probably being mean.
Big Trouble in Little America
It looks as though there may be some pushback against the Gileadean refugees in Canada, based on a very brief shot of paper nooses. Logic dictates that there have to some problems in Canada, or Luke and Moira would be wasted in the narrative.
June on the road
She’s clearly pictured with her handmaid tracker cut out of her ear.
Waterfords, past and present
No doubt we will see the backstory of both Waterfords as they create Gilead. In the present timeline, these two have some ‘splaining to do.
Will we see more of Mayday? I hope so.
We’ve heard tell of the secret Martha network. I hope we see it and the Top Chef Martha from Jezebel’s again.
Other types of women in Gilead
We didn’t see Econowives or Daughters in the first season. It’s a good bet that they will be in the second.
Institute for Gileadean Studies
Could we at last see that condescending asshole from the future, Professor Piexoto? Handmaid cosplay? Is the future still fucking sexist?
Grand MFA narrative prediction!
Here’s what I think is going to happen in the next two seasons. This season will be about June’s escape and a love triangle between June, Luke, and Nick. The third season will be about returning to Gilead to rescue Hannah. After that, who knows? Fighting to overthrow the Republic? Aliens? The afterlife? Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong!