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The Handmaid’s Tale is finally back on Hulu for season 4. The first three installments — which dropped simultaneously on April 27 — dove back into June and Gilead’s thrilling story. With the weekly schedule going forward, many fans want to know how many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 will air in total.

Elisabeth Moss in season 4 episode 2 of 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Elisabeth Moss in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

How many episodes is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 4?

Unfortunately, season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t be as long as the last. Seasons 2 and 3 aired with 13 episodes each. But season 4 will end with ten episodes, just like the first.

Factoring in the three-episode drop on April 27, season 4 should run for a total of seven weeks. Episodes will drop weekly on Wednesdays, with the finale scheduled to air on June 16. 

Showrunner Bruce Miller teases a lot will happen in season 4

The fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale highlights June’s evolution from a nearly helpless handmaid to a commander in her own right. She managed to help dozens of children and Marthas escape Gilead. And in episode 3, it becomes clear that she’d rather die than live under Gilead’s thumb. 

But with the deaths of several of her friends, June’s rebellion proves costly. And according to showrunner Bruce Miller, many of her choices this season will come with dire consequences.

“In the beginning of the season, she talks about how she wants to be a rebel and a hero, Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. ”Those are nice words. But she is dealing with real human beings, making real decisions, and you have to drive that home for her.”

“S**t happens to people because she makes these decisions,” he continued. “The reason why this is a season where lots of stuff happens is because she makes active decisions. She makes them happen, but there’s a huge cost.”

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ will be back for season 5

Despite Miller’s promises of a thrilling, action-packed season ahead, the shorter 10-episode installment is a bit of a disappointment. But luckily, fans are getting another season next year. 

In December 2020, Hulu announced it was renewing The Handmaid’s Tale for season 5. And at a February 2021 panel, Miller suggested the show could last well beyond that.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: How Did Gilead Find Out Where June Was?

“As long as Lizzie [Elisabeth Moss] will do this with me, I’ll keep going,“ he said. “There’s a lot of life in this story. I‘m certainly fascinated by what happens in the Testaments, and if that’s going to be part of our future, that’s a bigger question.”

Hulu hasn’t revealed a premiere date for season 5 yet. The timeline will largely depend on the show’s production schedule and how it is affected by pandemic-related safety protocols. 

New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale air Wednesdays on Hulu.