The Handmaid's Tale season 3 is on the way, but what can fans expect from the new season? Based on Margaret Atwood's bestselling dystopian novel of the same name, The Handmaid's Tale follows Offred (Elisabeth Moss), handmaid to Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), under the totalitarian regime of Gilead in the United States. Formerly known as June, Offred tried to escape to Canada with her husband and child, but they were caught and separated.
The Handmaid's Tale has run for two critically acclaimed seasons so far, expanding upon events from Atwood's original novel, with the author serving as a consulting producer on the show. At the end of season 2, June had done her duty in providing the Commander and his infertile wife with a child. Both June and Serena Joy knew that as a girl, the baby stood no chance of a decent future growing up under such a regime, and with Serena's knowledge, June escaped with the baby. At the last moment, June handed the baby over to Emily, a fellow handmaid, to escape, while she chose to stay behind in Gilead, possibly to find her first daughter, Hannah.
A short teaser for The Handmaid's Tale season 3 premiered during the Super Bowl, powerfully ordering America to wake up. But while The Handmaid's Tale season 3 is currently in development and should be nearing its release this spring, there's still quite a bit that fans aren't aware of regarding the new season.
Last updated: February 12, 2019
The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Premieres In June 2019
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 is scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, June 5. This marks the first time that the series will premiere in late - rather than early - spring. The Handmaid's Tale season 1 premiered in 2017, while season 2 arrived in 2018. Both seasons debuted at the end of April, so it's strange that The Handmaid's Tale season 3 is premiering in June. The Handmaid's Tale season 1 consisted of 10 episodes, while season 2 had 13. Given that there is so much story to catch up on after the events of season 2, expect season 3 to be 13 episodes as well.
What We Know About The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Story
The Handmaid's Tale season 2 ended with a number of cliffhangers, and it seemed as if many things were beginning to unravel in Gilead. Serena Joy had appealed for women to be allowed to read the Bible, which resulted in her losing a finger, with the approval of her husband. Fred had already beaten and raped his wife during season 2, with the result that we left a very embittered but defiant Serena, who helped her daughter to escape Gilead so she could have a better future. As fire burned from a house across the street, Rita, the Waterford's Martha, helped June and the baby escape, while Nick threatened the Commander with a gun to stop him from going after her.
Now, June remains in Gilead while Emily has escaped over the border with the baby. A brief teaser on Twitter showed June dressed as a Martha, not as a Handmaid, which could mean she's now in a new role following the birth of the baby. Or it could be a disguise, in order that June can make it back to Nick, or to Hannah. What we do know for sure, is that Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) has survived the brutal stabbing and assault from Emily.
Showrunner Bruce Miller has hinted that the event has altered her outlook, making her feel unsafe. Consequently, she's liable to be more tough and disciplined than ever. After helping Emily and June escape, Bradley Whitford will also be back as Commander Lawrence. Miller has teased that we'll learn "a ton" about him, most especially what he's willing to do or not to to help or hinder the Gilead regime. After playing such a role in creating it, he's now watching how Gilead unfolds, and given his aiding and abetting of June and Emily, it seems he doesn't totally agree with how it's all played out. New cast additions are also a certainty, with Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Reaser already confirmed to be playing husband and wife Commander and Mrs. Winslow, respectively, who host the Waterfords on an important trip.
Will The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Happen?
In short, there's no confirmation of The Handmaid's Tale continuing beyond season 3, but given the reception of the show thus far, and the wealth of possibility for the characters and plot lines, season 4 (at least) does seem likely. The Handmaid's Tale was renewed early for season 3, so that could be the same again this year. Miller has said that he originally "roughed it out" to about 10 seasons when he first started, and he's particularly keen to focus on the fall of Gilead at the end of the series, in keeping with Atwood's epilogue in the original novel. Atwood is also busy writing a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, called The Testaments, which releases in September. That novel may also provide more source material for Miller to continue The Handmaid's Tale TV show.