It is getting close to half a decade now since Hulu premiered “A Handmaid’s Tale,” a TV adaptation and expansion of a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. For three seasons, viewers have followed, sympathized with and supported the character of Offred, portrayed by Elizabeth Moss. A fertile woman enslaved as a baby-maker to an elite family of the religious extremist post-US nation of Gilead, she gradually begins working to undermine the current society, all while seeking to reunite with her husband, an exile in Canada, and her daughter, raised by an elite Gilead family. The end of season 3 in 2019 led to a “Handmaid” drought, which ends this April.
Entertainment Weekly has it that season 4 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is due to arrive for streaming on Hulu this April 28. That should end over a year and a half of no word on what happened to June Osborne/Offred/Ofjoseph since the daring evacuation of children from Gilead to Canada that ended season 3. While wounded in action, June survives and remains in Gilead to further stoke the fires of revolution, even as the world continues to sanction the nation and the situation grows dire.
A scene from the trailer sees June (Elizabeth Moss) out of her Handmaid garb for once; then it flashes back to her trying to coerce more cooperation among the Handmaids to rise up. “We don’t hide. We fight,” she tells one. Armed guardians increasingly patrol the streets while the Gilead leadership ponders the intensified unrest that the child evacuation has triggered in their country. One prominent voice in labeling June as an existential threat to Gilead is Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). As the season tagline “Let freedom reign” flashes, a now-civilian-garbed June gives her name and determinedly declares herself to be a United States citizen.
Series show-runner Bruce Miller noted how he deliberately steered Moss’ character of June into becoming more morally compromised towards the end of season 3. Season 4 is stated in the official description to pick up on this thread, as the once-integrity-bound June makes decisions and takes actions that gradually break down her true self from “the time before” and threaten to make her a dangerous stranger to those who know her, including her lost family. But is it worth it in order to end Gilead? Fans of “The Handmaid’s Tale” can start following season 4 when it premieres April 28.
Image courtesy of Digital Spy