If you watched the first three episodes of Handmaid’s Tale when the series premiered in April 2017, you probably went in thinking it was going to be just another series which turned out to be a wrong move. Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, Bruce Miller has teamed up with the streaming service, Hulu to create a work of art through this series – airing for 10 episodes in the first season and 13 episodes for the second season.
Much like the book, The Handmaid’s Tale, the series is set in a dystopian world where the balance, order, and harmony of society have been destroyed. Due to many factors including the plummeting of fertility rates, widespread environmental pollution and the rampancy of sexually transmitted diseases, the government of Gilead seeks to quell the chaos. They introduce a new kind of madness, creating a military-like hierarchical society, redefining social classes and stripping women of all their rights and property.
In Gilead, the few remaining women who are fertile – called the Handmaids – are rounded up and distributed to the residences of the ruling elite, who subject them to ritualized rape for the purpose of bearing children for them and their wives. The social classes of the women in the society include Handmaids who are identifiable by their plain red clothing; Marthas dressed in plain green – named after the Biblical character – whose jobs are to do handle all the chores in a home; and Wives who are expected to be in charge of household operations and supervision while dressed in blue or turquoise.
Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Release Date
After the first season premiered its first three episodes, it aired the remaining seven episodes every Wednesday following the premiere. Hulu renewed the series for a second season in May 2017 and it premiered on April 25, 2018, and ran for 13 episodes. So far, both installments of Handmaid’s Tale have been premiered in April which led most to believe that the third season will be coming in April of 2019. However, in May 2018, Hulu revealed that Season 3 will be making its bow on June 5, 2019, roughly a month later than expected. Similar to the first season, Hulu will drop the first 3 episodes on the first day and then one every Wednesday following the premiere. The third season of the show will have 13 episodes.
Based on the chilling clip Hulu released during the 2019 SuperBowl, there’s definitely a lot going through the minds of many as to how the third season will play out. The mini trailer, which was partly a play on Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign ads in 1984, raised some pertinent questions that many can’t wait to get answers to.
Here are a few spoilers and information to dwell on to help put oil your gears as you mark your calendars and wait for the premiere come June.
Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Spoilers
The second season ended leaving viewers on an edge. We saw June (Elisabeth Moss) decide to stay in Gilead for her older daughter Hannah after seeing her baby safely out of Gilead with the help of a bunch of Marthas and friends. Season 3 should definitely up the ante a few notches. A few things to expect here in the coming season and beyond.
1. June is dressed in green
The Superbowl trailer showed June swap her Handmaids red for the Marthas green. Perhaps she has somehow transitioned categories or maybe it is she is undercover in another attempt to foil the ruling elite. What that means exactly will remain a mystery until the premiere but at least we can all speculate until then, can’t we?
2. There will be a lot of screen time for June’s struggle
During an interview where show creator Bruce Miller sat down with The Hollywood Reporter, he revealed that the coming season will adequately chronicle June’s story as she struggles to get Hannah out of Gilead alive while dealing the regime a death blow. He reveals that she is going to be a much bolder character, taking risks and deploying all the skills she has garnered over the years. This character transition is definitely something to look out for.
3. We will get to see Emily and Nicole’s Escape from Gilead
While this is good news – we get to fill in the details of a pivotal moment that happened at the end of season 2 – Bruce Miller didn’t exactly spill the beans about whether they will make it out of Gilead or if they get caught or worse. He only alluded that their journey would be on show on Handmaid’s Tale. In fact, if anything, his revelation on CNN only served to heighten the suspense.
4. Aunty Lydia will be in the third season
We can all agree this is good news. In the previous season, Aunty Lydia (Ann Dowd) is stabbed by Emily (Alexis Bledel). Miller reveals that she survived the attack and will be back for the third installment of the series. However, he also says that the experience changes her. That’s more or less all that Bruce Miller will let us have. This transformation will remain a matter of speculation but at least it means one thing – we may finally get a backstory on the character!
5. Commander Lawrence will be upped to a season regular
Bradley Whitford’s character Commander Lawrence is the brain behind the creation and establishment of Gilead. One of the reasons his character is special, Miller says, is because he is as manic as he is unpredictable. Having lived through create the Colonies and seen them in action, he remains consistent in the uncertainty and unpredictability he brings. This trait will definitely help keep viewers on their seats as to what to expect from him. We do know now that he will be bumped from recurring to a season regular in Season 3.
6. Margaret Atwood’s involvement is going to continue
The author has been involved from the beginning since her novel The Handmaid’s Tale was adapted for television via this series. Miller revealed in June 2018 that Atwood always is always shown every cut and allowed to make suggestions if she has the time.
This is a role he says will continue while reiterating that the series will always stick to the spirit of the source material. Margaret, on the other hand, says she has no control over the direction the Handmaid’s Tale chooses to go and she is fine with it. In fact, Bruce says she is more willing to alter the story than they are.
Handmaid’s Tale Cast News
So we already know the members of the ensemble cast and since they were no major deaths by the end of the second season, we can expect them all to be involved. These include:
June – Elisabeth Moss
June (Elisabeth Moss), the star of the show. This one needs little explanation as it is literally impossible for the show to go on without her. Confused? Read the novel.
Emily – Alexis Bledel
Emily (Alexis Bledel) is also going to remain on the series. Emily, a Handmaid has belonged to a few families throughout the series. She is also good friends with June and is a homosexual. Naturally, she would have been killed under the laws of Gilead but she is spared due to her fertility. It is going to be interesting to see how she fares in the third season.
Commander Fred Waterford – Joseph Fiennes
Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) remains his high ranking government self and one of the founding members of Gilead. Over the last two seasons, he has been developing a thing for June and was trying to have relations with her outside what is required of a Handmaid and her master. With June seeking to destabilize the regime in season 3, the dynamic between her and Waterford is going to be one to watch out for. However, after his actions in season 2, we may be having another villain on our hands.
Serena Joy Waterford – Yvonne Strahovski
Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) is the wife of Commander Waterford. It is left to see if the transition bug that bit June and Aunty Lydia in the third season gets her too. So far, she plays a deeply religious Wife who is also capable of some amazing feats of cruelty. June has been on the receiving end of this a few times and can probably tell better.
Lucas “Luke” Bankole – O.T. Fagbenle
Lucas “Luke” Bankole (O.T. Fagbenle) plays June’s husband. Luke was having an affair with June before the establishment of Gilead, while he was still married to his first wife. Under the new rule, their relationship is tagged invalid and June’s daughter Hannah is labeled an illegitimate child. After June thinks Luke dead, he resurfaces later. With June’s new mission in the third season, we’ll have to wait to see how Luke ties into all this.
Moira – Samira Wiley
Moira (Samira Wiley) is termed “Ruby”, a Jezebel for trying to escape being assigned to a home after Handmaid’s training. Samira depicts a sunken character devoid of hope until a meeting with her college friend June rekindles her hope and resolve to escape. Bring on the next season!
We will also see Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Reaser join the cast as guest appearances, says Miller. They play the role of a couple – Commander Winslow and Mrs. Winslow – who host the Waterfords on a trip. In the season, the couples become good friends, especially their wives.
Other News About Handmaid’s Tale
So just a few more things to note about the series going forward. It turns out that Hulu apparently still has a lot of material left to give their audience. This assertion springs from the fact that Miller revealed the series could go on to air up to ten seasons which he already has mapped out. In the interview, he mentions that the story could also go on to include the fall of Gilead much like it is at the end of Atwood’s book.
Speaking of which, Margaret is already working on a sequel to her original novel. She is calling it The Testaments and its story is set 15 years after the happenings of the first book. The author revealed on Twitter that the sequel is inspired by all the questions she’s gotten concerning the inner workings of Gilead among other things. She and her publishers have stated, however, that this book has got nothing to do with Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale. The book is slated for release in September and is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
Hulu really hit it out of the park with this one for many reasons. The chief of them being that Handmaid’s Tale is the first series made by a streaming service to clinch an Emmy Award for an Outstanding Drama Series. Its first season also bagged 13 Primetime Emmy nominations, taking home eight of them.