The season three finale of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale has dropped and the episode ended on an extremely vague note. How will it play into season four?
As a flagship of Hulu’s original programming package, The Handmaid’s Tale is one of their most proudly touted series. It’s been nominated for countless Emmy’s and audiences have nothing but positive things to say about the show, for good reason, of course.
The season three finale recently debuted and it proved exactly why this Hulu Original is so award-worthy. At the same time, the episode also served as the perfect jump to Season Four which has been confirmed already. Continue reading for a more thorough breakdown.
Warning! Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season Three Finale follow.
As far as “Mayday” goes, the episode was hugely successful as it gave fans what they’d been asking for all season, except, more than a few plotlines were left dangling in the end. For instance, what happened to June? She was shot and left incapacitated in the woods but it’s unclear what her fate will be in Season Four.
While the other Handmaids returned to rescue June, there’s no way they can explain said injury to the authorities. They also need to consider how the news will be received once the children’s escape becomes known. That’ll raise alarms across the board and anyone involved in a shooting will undoubtedly be questioned; that includes June (Elisabeth Moss).
What kind of torture awaits June in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4?
Luckily, the Lawrence home can still offer them a reprieve from the Eyes. As long as the house wasn’t raided and the escape plan exposed, Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) can offer June a fitting alibi. He could easily say his pistol went off and June was struck but there’s a small problem with that explanation.
The reason Lawrence can’t say he shot June by accident is the caliber of bullet used. The one pulled from June will be linked back to an M16 or another automatic rifle so there’s no way for him to use that as a feasible excuse.
In such a situation, June’s only option is to come clean and hope she isn’t punished too severely. This kind of offense would normally be cause for execution but my guess is Gilead’s high command will want to make an example out of June, choosing public torture over death.
There’s also the matter of what’ll happen to Commander Lawrence now that his Handmaid has been implicated in an extremely heinous crime. Lawrence won’t be able to talk his way out of this situation like he’s done in the past, especially considering his Martha and Handmaids were the ringleaders.
Is Commander Lawrence going to be executed?
Once the higher command in Gilead’s leadership uncovers that information, Lawrence will be punished just as severely. The question is: How would they torture him? We know Gilead is big on maiming and leaving their mark on people, what would they do to Lawrence in light of that?
Our guess is a form of genital mutilation would be brought up. In Gilead, that type of torture is usually reserved for gay people but castrating him would leave an impression on the traitor. There’s a number of other tortures they could suggest but we won’t know what’s ahead for Commander Lawrence until Season 4 debuts.
Speaking of guilty parties, the other Handmaids are going to be in just as much trouble. The authorities were already searching houses for one missing child when June’s group headed to the plane — imagine their reaction to fifty children disappearing all at once. And with the Handmaids still dragging June out of the woods, they’ll be labeled prime suspects if they’re caught.
What will happen to June’s friends upon being discovered?
The list of Handmaids carrying June includes Janine (Madeline Brewer), Alma (Nina Kiri), Brianna (Bahia Watson), Sienna (Sugenja Sri), and two other Handmaids who we’ve only seen in passing. Their fates are unknown at the moment but we don’t expect all of them to survive.
Since there’s no feasible way for all seven Handmaids to return to their homes without raising suspicion, the ongoing search for Rebecca (Kate Moyer) will lead the patrols to homes with missing children. And at that point, anyone not where they’re supposed to be is going to be deemed a suspect.
Because of that factor, the Season Four premiere may feature the deaths of one or more of the Handmaids who helped June. Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) knows that Ofjoseph would accept full responsibility for the crime to save her friends, making death a sweet reprieve for her.
So to really make the pain sink in, Aunt Lydia will likely suggest June watches as her friends are punished instead of her. They’d then either be hung on the wall or maimed to bear further punishment as breeders. It would also serve to break the bonds forged between June and her cohorts.
Regardless of how devoted to the cause they are, if Janine loses another eye for her part in the plot — or if Sienna is fitted with the three rings — they’re going to hold June responsible. They’re helping her at the moment but those sentiments can change following traumatic tortures.
Is Serena being charged with the same crimes as her husband?
Outside of Gilead, things took a rather interesting turn as well. Serena Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) believed that her immunity deal kept her safe from prosecution but crimes against humanity weren’t covered in that plea deal. The act brought up by Agent Tuello is that of Serena forcing Commander Waterford to rape and impregnate June Osborne.
Agent Tuello (Sam Jaeger) informs Serena that she’s being jailed because of her role in the despicable act while at a sanctioned visit with Nicole. Once she’s given the news, Nicole is taken back with the social worker and Serena is directed back downstairs to the processing center. Tuello doesn’t explain what’ll happen but it’s safe to say she won’t be seeing Nicole again.
On top of being barred from seeing Nicole, all of the privileges that Serena enjoyed while in custody are bound to be stripped away as well. She’s been living comfortably in a hotel-like space as a willing informant but now that she’s a war criminal, we can count on Serena’s accommodations decreasing significantly.
What we’re interested to find out is whether or not she’ll be imprisoned alongside Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) or with the general population. Serena doesn’t hold any value as an informant, making her of little use to the Canadian government. So without any sort of leverage, Serena could be immediately jailed and sent to prison for a long life-sentence — war crimes don’t come with light sentences after all.
Where is Hannah?
Lastly, the whereabouts of Hannah Bankole is up in the air. Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) expected to see her on board the plane of escapees but his daughter was nowhere to be found. June didn’t lay out any specific plans to get Hannah out, and because of that, she may be in more danger than ever.
There are additional risks surrounding Hannah now because Gilead’s leaders won’t take their latest setback lying down. Who knows what they could be planning but they’re undoubtedly going to increase security around the nation’s youth. Or, perhaps they’ll take precautions even further by moving all of their prime families and reassigning different Handmaids to each of them.
Whatever they decide, June will have a much more difficult time getting Hannah out of the country now. She’ll have to focus on her own safety when things pick up in Season 4 but freeing her daughter will be even more complicated now — that is unless the situation changes.
Even though things are grim at the moment, if June’s actions bring with them the desired effect, more of the subservient within Gilead will rise up. At the same time, they’ll begin freeing children, challenging the status quo established by the totalitarian state’s Commanders.
There’s also a distinct possibility that Canada will use the Marthas and children’s stories as catalysts to wage war on the country itself. Rebecca and her father were reunited at the airport in a major shocker and that little girl’s firsthand experience would be more than enough to inspire others. Afterward, it would just be a matter of time before the world lays waste to Gilead.
What do you think is in store for The Handmaid’s Tale Season Four? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 is currently streaming on Hulu. Season 4 will begin production later this year. For more on The Handmaid’s Tale, follow us on the Hulu Watcher Twitter Account @HuluWatcherFS or on the Hulu Watcher Facebook Page.