Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale is set to premiere late next month, but Hulu has begun its marketing of the series with a new teaser and poster dropping on International Women’s Day. In addition to nabbing a number of awards last year from the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the Critic’s Choice, and the Television Critics Association, the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel also made director Reed Morano the first woman to win Emmy and DGA awards for directing a television drama. Considering just how many awards the series earned in its first season, it’s no surprise, then, that the expectations for season 2 are running high.
Those high expectations aren’t entirely due to the show’s winning ways; it also has to do with the fact that the series’ second season will see it continue on past the source material to explore more of the patriarchal world of Gilead and perhaps beyond. That’s a bold move for the show to undertake, as leaving Atwood’s novel behind means venturing into (mostly) unknown territory. What effect that will have on the story of Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss) is certainly a huge question, one that the new teaser is keen to underline.
The Offred-centric teaser serves as a reminder of everything Offred and the other subjugated women of Gilead had to endure, offering glimpses of familiar sights from season 1 as the voiceover from Moss recounts the various expectations of the handmaids. But as the teaser moves forward and as the new poster suggests, the fuse to Offred’s rebellious streak has been lit. The teaser ends with her free from the red dress and wings and saying, “Seriously? What the actual fu—“.
The images of the burning dress certainly suggest that The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will be looking more toward Offred’s future, one that is perhaps set to see her pitted against the tyranny of the Republic of Gilead. That would present a big change for the series, one that would take it out of the day-to-day misery of the handmaids and perhaps reduce the show’s use of flashbacks as a narrative device. If so, then the difference from season 1 may be greater than anticipated.
Though there’s no indication of what’s in store for Moira, Commander Fred, Serena Joy, or Aunt Lydia, seeing Offred shed the symbols of Gilead’s oppression makes for a pretty compelling teaser. It’s still over a month until the new season officially premieres on Hulu, but this first look will certainly get the conversation started early.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 premieres Wednesday, April 25 on Hulu.