‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Fans Think Season 4 Will Be Just as Shocking as Past Seasons

Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale will not premiere until 2021, and so far very little about the upcoming season has been released. The season is currently filming, and the exact release date has not yet been announced. 

The Handmaid’s Tale is based on a novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The show follows June (Elisabeth Moss), a Handmaid in a totalitarian society known as Gilead where women are property of the state and do not have rights. 

At times, the show is traumatic for viewers because of its heavy subject matter. With the show now renewed for a fifth season, fans of The Handmaid’s Tale are hoping that the show will manage to take on a different tone beginning with the fourth season. However, some fans think Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale will be just as jarring as past seasons. 

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]

Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss | Phillip Faraone/WireImage

How Season 3 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ ended

In The Handmaid’s Tale, women are segregated into class roles. Wives of Commanders run their husbands’ households, Marthas are housekeepers, and Handmaids are fertile women who are forced to bear children for Wives and Commanders. 

In Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, June worked with Marthas, Handmaids, and Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) to help dozens of children escape Gilead. Rita (Amanda Brugel) and other Marthas successfully make it to Canada with the children.

June stays behind, and while helping the others escape she is shot. Janine (Madeline Brewer), Alma (Nina Kiri), and other Handmaids find June and carry her in a makeshift stretcher. The season ends with June’s fate unknown. 

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What we know about Season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale

In Season 2 and Season 3, The Handmaid’s Tale expanded on the source material of the novel. While June has had several opportunities to escape, she always ends up getting caught or choosing to remain in Gilead. Even though this is a necessity in order to keep the show’s main plot in Gilead, over the seasons fans have complained about the show’s pacing. 

On June 24, Hulu released a teaser trailer for the fourth season to announce the new season will premiere in 2021. The teaser trailer featured scenes from past seasons as well as a few new scenes showing June on the run, Commander Lawrence speaking with Nick (Max Minghella), and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) denouncing June’s rebellion. 

Going forward, producers of the show have hinted that June will no longer be a Handmaid in future seasons and will instead lead a rebellion against Gilead. Her main adversaries from previous seasons, Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski), have been arrested and are being held in Canada, setting up that Season 4 will have a different tone. 

Creator and showrunner Bruce Miller spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what to expect from the new season. 

“June is going into a very interesting world, she’s on the run, she’s got women with her who she feels responsible for. She’s also bleeding to death, basically, at the end of season [three]. June has a taste of freedom now, and we’re going to follow her,” he said. 

Fans think Season 4 will still be like past seasons

While Season 4 has the potential to bring something new to The Handmaid’s Tale, fans are not sure it will be able to deliver. On Dec. 10, fans on Reddit discussed an alleged leaked trailer for the new season. Based on the alleged leak, fans picked up that while June may not be a Handmaid anymore, the show will not dial back in intensity. 

“This looks like it’ll be another season of gut-wrenching frustration and hopelessness,” one Reddit user wrote. 

Some fans also think the show would be better off if it focused on other characters besides June, but they are not confident this will happen. 

“Oh no, more June filled episodes…,” wrote a fan on Reddit. 

“I personally found season 3 pretty boring and I do think having more storylines would have helped. It’s definitely got the potential to be a truly ensemble type show…,” a Reddit user wrote.