the handmaid's tale season four hulu
Credit: Image: Hulu/YouTube

June and her compatriots are coming back, but not until 2021.

There’s good news and bad news on The Handmaid’s Tale front. The good: The show will be back for a fourth season, according to a new trailer released by Hulu on June 24. The bad: Fans will have to wait until 2021 to find out what happens next in the dark, dystopia of Gilead.

(Warning: Spoiler alerts for Season 1 – 3 ahead.)

The trailer features a combination of scenes from previous episodes and focuses on explosive moments – literally and figuratively. Buildings go boom, Handmaids are shown wearing red mouth guards, June (Elisabeth Moss) appears to sprout wings. But it also throws us back into the heart-stopping Season 3 finale, which gave us a big shot of hope (young refugee girls are successfully ferried out of Gilead) and an equally big shot of pain (June opted to stay behind – again! — to continue the battle and rescue her daughter). “I can’t rest,” she says in the trailer while being carried from the latest conflict by her fellow Handmaids. “My daughter deserves better. We all deserve better. … This war isn’t going to win itself.”

More: Handmaid’s Tale actor Bradley Whitford talks soap snobbery

For the upcoming Season 4, the battle rages on – and everyone’s looking scarred, bruised and bloody, including Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), who announces that June is “beyond redemption.” In addition, Bradley Whitford’s conflicted Commander Joseph Lawrence, who assisted in getting the girls out of the country, returns in fresh scenes alongside June and also seems to still be part of the fight, not just to save the young women of Gilead, but to change the fate of the country he helped construct.

For those who haven’t quite caught the Handmaid’s bug, the series is based on the 1985 book by Margaret Atwood and focuses on a transformed portion of the United States in a near future where the new world order involves assigning women to very specific domestic roles. One set of women, Handmaids, have been determined to be fertile in a time of declining births, and are assigned to be impregnated by high officials whose own wives are unable to conceive. June, a Handmaid, does not follow the rules, though. Season 1 of the series followed much of the book, but the ensuing seasons have expanded the story and its characters exponentially.

The news that Handmaid’s will return next year is heartening, but it’s still a delay for the show, which had begun shooting Season 4 just before all Hollywood production shut down due to quarantining and social distancing. “It’s about, how do you do it and be safe?” Moss told Collider in June. “Human life is not worth making a TV show for. Everyone wants to go back to work because we love what we do … but we’ve gotta do it safely, and we’re just trying to figure that out. It’s all new territory, and we’re all in the same boat here.”

The Handmaid’s Tale Seasons 1 – 3 are currently available on Hulu.

Video: Hulu/YouTube

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