[SPOILERS for season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale ahead.]
One of the big questions dangling at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1 concerned the fate of Alexis Bledel’s character Ofglen. At first Ofglen seemed like just another handmaid going compliantly about her business, taking trips back and forth to the market with Offred, but we soon learned that she was a member of the resistance and therefore in a precarious position. Through Ofglen, Offred learned that there was an Eye in Commander Waterford’s house, and it seemed Ofglen was going to pull Offred into the resistance until she was taken away for having an affair with a Martha and horrifically-punished.
Ofglen eventually returned with the new name Ofsteven and Offred started reconnecting with her, finding out her real name was Emily, but Emily’s return would prove to be short-lived. Seeing an open car door while at the market, Emily attempted a spontaneous escape, taking off in the vehicle and running over a guard before being captured and hauled away presumably to suffer an even more horrible punishment than before.
Nothing was heard of Emily after her Episode 5 departure, leaving fans to wonder if they would ever see the character again. Now it has been confirmed by Hulu that Alexis Bledel will be returning for Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, meaning we will get to find out what happened to Emily after she was arrested. Not only is Bledel coming back, but she is being bumped from guest star to series regular, so she should have a big role in the new season.
The finale of Season 1 set up a lot of potential storylines for Season 2. The big question is what happened to Offred/June after she was taken away in the van, possibly to be punished but possibly to be smuggled over the border to Canada to be reunited with Moira and Luke. If June does get away, you have to believe she will want to return to Gilead to get her daughter Hannah, who we know is still alive after Serena Joy took June to see her.
Another possibility is that June winds up in confinement somewhere, and that Emily is also there (this would explain Bledel’s expanded role in Season 2). After the horrors that were already inflicted on many of the Handmaids, we can only imagine the misery that Emily and June would experience together if they were imprisoned. Such a turn of events would definitely be a grim development after the slight glimmer of hope left at the end of Season 1.
Whatever happens in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2, we know that it will not be from the Margaret Atwood novel, which ended at the same point as the Season 1 finale. Though the material in the novel has been exhausted, Atwood reportedly will be involved in developing the second season’s storylines, so expect the show to remain faithful to Atwood’s vision.
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