Streaming service Hulu is well aware of how many of their subscribers sorely missed their cash cow series, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The dystopian series about a woman’s struggle to survive in a totalitarian patriarchy that has condemned all women to specific roles, especially fertile females as slave baby-makers, has been one of Hulu’s critical successes and awards magnets. Its three-season run was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing back the release of season 4 by nearly two years. A trailer revealed the delayed season to have status-breaking plot developments, building anticipation for its April 28 release to fever pitch. Then Hulu premiered a day early.

Indeed, as told by Variety Hulu has dropped a sweet surprise for their subscribers who are hooked on “The Handmaid’s Tale” by releasing not just the season 4 premiere, but the first three episodes, this past Tuesday, April 27 instead of the 28th as originally billed. And what better way for the streaming service to deliver the good news on social media than to rope the show’s principal cast members into doing so? The “Handmaid” cast, led by Elizabeth Moss and featuring Joseph Fiennes, Alexei Bledel, Sam Jaeger and more, featured in a Hulu Twitter post announcing the early premiere.

As it stands, the initial three episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale” entitled “Pigs,” “Nightshade,” and “Crossing” are now available for streaming on Hulu. This three-episode release has been done in the first and third seasons as well, while season 2 started with two. The rest of the episodes in this ten-part run will premiere on Hulu weekly. Season 4 picks up from the events of the third where Handmaid Offred aka June Osborne (Elizabeth Moss) begins openly defying the establishment of Gilead, even as Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) is set up to be one of her greatest opponents in the coming battle for everyone’s freedom. But will June survive it? More importantly, will her humanity?

Image from Hollywood Reporter