Well praise be. The Handmaid’s Tale has completed its first, 10-episode season and we’re still biting our nails wanting to know what happens next. If that isn’t a sign of a terrific freshman season then we really don’t know what is.
Here’s the problem though: we’re going to have to wait an entire year to find out what the heck happens to Offred next, where they’re taking her and what will become of her unborn child. And those are just some of the starter questions we have following that twist-filled finale.
To quickly recap, Aunt Lydia wanted the handmaids to stone Janine to death for putting a child in harm’s way. They refused, and the aunt promised retribution. But she was too shocked to do anything in the moment. And so Offred, who was the second handmaid to vocally oppose the stoning (following Ofglen #2, of all people), went home to await her punishment. By the end of the episode men dressed as Eyes came to take her, but maybe they weren’t actual Eyes after all.
Because Offred also happened to be pregnant — with Nick’s child. Crazy, right? So Serena went all ‘eye for an eye’ and threatened to hurt Offred’s child, Hannah, if anything happened to “her” baby. Nick didn’t seem to be totally down with that, and so it looks as though he may have called in these men to extract Offred from the house to save her.
Meanwhile, Offred also opened that package she got from Jezebels, and it turned out to be dozens and dozens of stories of women whose lives had been ripped away from them. She had been squirreling it behind the tub, but when the uniformed men came for her she secretly whispered their whereabouts to Rita.
Oh, and did we mention Moira? As we saw last week, Moira escaped from Jezebels, and as it turns out she did, in fact, make it to Canada. There she shared a heartfelt reunion with Luke, and we got something of a happy ending.
See? We told you there was a lot to take in. Okay, so now that we’re all up to speed, here are some of the biggest questions we have heading into season two.
1. What happens to Offred?
If you’re one of those people who read Margaret Atwood’s book and have been comforted by kind of knowing what comes next, we hate to tell you but that ride is over. The book ended in pretty much the same way as this finale, which means what happens to Offred next is anyone’s guess. Here’s hoping she’s actually with the resistance group Mayday, and that something good will finally happen to her. We can’t even wrap our heads around what life captured by Eyes might look like at this point.
2. Where does this leave the Waterfords?
There is no couple more despised than Serena and Fred — at least not in our eyes. They’ve both done some awful things to other people, and to each other, to get Gilead up and running, and the thought of them having a child is just plain old terrifying. Now that Offred has left the house, where does this leave them? We know they’re still going to be a part of season two, we just don’t know how. Will they be punished for Offred? Will they get a brand new handmaid? And how hard will they search for answers as to why Offred was taken in the first place? Given that she was pregnant, we’d think they’ll be looking pretty hard.
3. What will happen to Janine?
Once you’re sentenced to death it pretty much seems like the writing is on the (blood-stained) wall. Yet the guards and Aunt Lydia didn’t kill Janine after the handmaids refused to stone her, so where does that leave her? Will she be stoned by someone else? Pardoned in the near future? Made an example of with an even worse death? All we know is that we’re seriously concerned for her safety… and sanity. We fell in love with the character and would hate to see her go so soon.
4. Can Luke and Moira work together to save June?
Now that June’s husband and best friend are at the refugee camp in Canada, does that mean they can put their heads together to try and save June? Or will they both be too distraught from their own experiences to do much good? Also, it’s worth noting that while Moira knew where June had landed, now that June has been extracted from the Waterfords no one knows where she’s going. So… it seems like that knowledge won’t be much help going forward either.
Of course this is all assuming that Luke and Moira are even in a position to help. Who knows what kind of resources they actually have in Little America?
5. Where will season two take us next?
In the first 10 episodes of this show we’ve seen Little America, met trade delegates from Mexico and been inside a few households to showcase what life with a handmaid might really be like. Now that the world of Gilead is more open than the novel, how will that impact things going forward? The show’s executive producer has told us he’s interested in exploring The Colonies – that radioactive landfill where bad people are sent to clean up and die – but we imagine there are other areas and worlds to explore as well.
Let’s be honest: we can’t wait. Especially if that means introducing some of the characters that were absent from the first season, like June’s mother.
For now we do know that the show has been renewed for a second season, and that production is scheduled to start back up in Toronto this fall. So if you happen to be in the area and see some women dressed in red cloaks and Old Dutch cleaner inspired caps, wave your own hat to them; they’re hard at work answering all of our pressing questions.