Where ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season Finale Leaves All The Characters

The Handmaid's Tale finale
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | (Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

The Handmaid’s Tale finale provided fans with a thrilling closing chapter for the third season. The episode showcased all of the actors at their best, and the show drastically changed in tone. While previous season finales were dark with little payoff for the characters, the third season ended on a hopeful note. With The Handmaid’s Tale renewed for a fourth season, the finale hints future seasons will be filled with hope and resistance. So where does that leave everyone’s favorite characters?

Serena and Fred Waterford are both arrested in the finale

Serena and Fred Waterford are the villains everyone loves to hate. While Fred was arrested a few episodes before, Serena was only detained. The third season finale reveals Serena received immunity in her agreement. Fred puts an end to that and tells Mark Tuello more about Serena’s true nature and how desperate she was for a baby. Just a week before Serena was released, Tuello arrests her. Because she forced Nick and June to sleep together, she is guilty of rape. The fourth season will most likely show Serena and Fred going on trial for their crimes.

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Rita and the children make it to Canada in the finale

Rita is one of June’s closest allies and friends. In the finale, she plays a large part in helping the children escape. Rita also makes it to Canada unharmed along with over 50 children. As a supporting character, Rita was instrumental in several plot lines throughout the seasons. It seems she will remain a key player in the show while in Canada. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that as soon as both Fred and Serena are arrested one of the people forced to serve them makes it to Canada. If needed, Rita will be able to testify against the two.

Luke, Moira, and Emily greet the refugees

The Handmaid’s Tale often neglects the story lines of characters in Canada in favor for the main players in Gilead. In The Handmaid’s Tale season finale, Luke, Moira, and Emily all have special moments. Moira plays a key role in leading volunteers with helping the refugees. She is the first person to see the children and welcomes them to Canada. Luke witnesses a child reunite with her father from before and desperately searches for his daughter, Hannah. Unfortunately, Hannah was not on the plane. It’s a strong moment from actor O-T Fagbenle when Luke realizes he cannot reunite with June and Hannah.

Emily was missing from the past few episodes, but she appears in the finale. While her relationship with her estranged wife and son are still unknown, she is seen in the aircraft hanger with Luke and Moira. Earlier in the season, Fred referenced extraditing refugees from Canada, putting Emily in danger. Because Fred faces trial for his crimes, it seems Emily and the other refugees are safe in Canada.

Nick is nowhere to be found on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

While Emily is seen for the first time in awhile, Nick is still nowhere to be found. It’s unclear why he was written out of the end of the season. Perhaps writers felt there were too many story lines to juggle. With nothing confirmed from the finale, viewers can assume Nick is still in Chicago and will not appear until the fourth season.

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June’s fate is left unknown at the end of the finale

Showrunners of The Handmaid’s Tale promised the finale would end with a cliffhanger and it did. To distract a guardian, June gets his attention and runs into the woods. He shoots her, and although she manages to kill him, she is left in the woods to die. As she lays on the ground, she sees the plane fly overhead, knowing she accomplished her mission.

In the morning, Janine, Alma, and Brianna find her. She is conscious, but unable to speak or hear them. They carry her through the woods, but fans do not know where they plan to take her.  As they carry June off, her eyes close. Will June die? That seems unlikely given that she is the main character. However, the writers of The Handmaid’s Tale clearly want viewers to ask that question. Even if June does not die where can she go? Will she and her friends be captured and taken to the Red Center? Maybe they go back to Commander Lawrence’s house, or maybe they are picked up by members of the resistance and go underground.

The fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t premiere until 2020. Fans have to wait a whole year to find out what happens to June and her friends. Still, the finale provided a tense and thrilling conclusion for a majority of the characters.