Warning! Major SPOILERS ahead for The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale.
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 has come to an end, so let's take a look at what viewers can expect from season 4 of the Hulu drama. The streaming service has already renewed The Handmaid's Tale for a fourth season, guaranteeing at least one more visit to Gilead and the story of June (Elisabeth Moss).
Season 3 of The Handmaid's Tale has been another dark, if uneven, outing for the series. Following on from June's shocking decision to stay in Gilead at the end of season 2, the third run has seen her attempting to bring down Gilead from the inside and the difficulties that come with that, as well as exploring the fallout from her and Serena's choice to smuggle Nichole into Canada.
It's unclear just how much longer The Handmaid's Tale will run for, since June's story isn't one that seems designed to last for too many years, and so season 4 could start setting up the eventual endgame. It's also going to build on the shocking events of the season 3 finale, and with a return in 2020 likely, here's what we can expect from The Handmaid's Tale season 4.
The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Release Date Info
With The Handmaid's Tale already renewed, then that means the creative team will have been able to start planning for season 4 already. That, in turn, should ensure a relatively swift production schedule, so while many major streaming and cable dramas are taking gaps of 18-24 months between seasons, it's very likely that The Handmaid's Tale season 4 will air in 2020. The series hasn't skipped a year since starting back in 2017, and there's no discernable reason for that to change now. The first two seasons of The Handmaid's Tale premiered in April, while season 3 didn't start until June. Part of the reasoning behind that was to give it a greater chance at Emmys success, i.e. by avoiding Game of Thrones' final season, which in turn means it'll quite possibly wait until June next year too in order to avoid a clash with itself.
The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Story Details
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 was largely centered around June's efforts to work against Gilead from the inside, which is something we can expect to continue playing out in season 4. The fall of Gilead isn't something that can be resolved in just a couple of episodes, so it's likely that this arc - and Gilead's retaliation to June's actions - will be a focus of season 4. In The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale, June succeeds in getting a number of children out of Gilead, but at a cost, as she's shot in the process. While she'll live, it remains to be seen just what impact that's going to have on her going forward.
As well as that, there's the continuation of the strained relations between Canada and Gilead, which feels like it's edging ever close to tipping point. With Fred selling out Serena to the Canadian government, we'll presumably see the complete dissolution of their marriage and what happens to them in Canada. On top of that, there are supporting characters such as Luke and Moira, and the fates of Hannah and Nichole (among others) to sort out, so there's a lot for The Handmaid's Tale season 4 to get through.