The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian show which first aired on April 26, 2017. It is based on the novel under the same name which was written by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood in 1985. The show is a Hulu original blockbuster that has gained a lot of fame all over the world with 3 seasons that have aired. As we are getting closer to the long-waited Season 4 release, series was already renewed for a season 5 back in December 2020.
The handmaid’s Tale season one was nominated in 13 categories in the Primetime Emmy Awards out of which it won in 8 categories, including the outstanding drama series. The Handmaid’s Tale also won the Best television series Golden Globe award.
The Handmaid’s Tale Plot
The story shows an era where there was great injustice in the society and especially on women, who were treated like property and were not allowed to own a bank account, they could not own any property and they were not allowed to read or write. During these tough times, there are a few women who have it the worst. These are the handmaids who are assigned to households of the elite and rich people who are not able to conceive. These women are forced to a ritualized rape which is known as the ceremony where the male who is called commanders force themselves on these women in the presence of their wives so that they can conceive children for them.
Handmaids are not allowed to use their real names and they are given new different names. The society after the second civil war in America is governed by a tyrannical government. Society is filled with all kinds of unjust and repressive actions. Living in a world like this is a nightmare for all except the ones in power who can enjoy all kinds of luxuries.
Society is divided into many classes and each class had its roles and duties. The women are classified and they can be recognized by the dress they wear. The Handmaids wear a long red dress with white coifs and brown shoes. They have another long white coif which they wear when they are outside which concealed them from public view and also restricted their vision.
The story is based in Gilead a place where no person from today’s world would like to live. People who try to run away from Gilead are punished and the story starts when a woman tries to run away from Gilead to Canada but is caught and forced to become a handmaid. Now all she wants is to get reunited with her family. The lead character June Offred is played by Elisabeth Moss who won the Golden Globe for best actress for her role in the series.
Let’s go over a quick recap of the first 3 seasons of the Handmaid’s Tale so that when season 4 comes out you are prepared for the season.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1-3 Recap
The story started with the introduction of the conditions in Gilead and the injustice that took place. We learned how horrific life was for handmaids who were forced into ceremonial rape and we can remember the scene where Offred is later known as Ofjoseph as a handmaid was held down by Serena while her husband assaulted her in the attempt to conceive a child.
This hideous impregnation attempt occurred once a month. Some Handmaid’s and Martha’s have started some kind of a resistance which is named the Mayday and Offred willingly helps them out on many occasions through her association with Ofglen#2 while Ofglen#1 is shipped off to the colonies for being a lesbian and called a gender traitor. When Serena’s husband Fred isn’t able to impregnate Offred after many attempts Serena forces Offred to sleep with Fred’s bodyguard Nick. As the season progresses Offred and Nick have many consented sexual encounters and eventually Nick can make Offred pregnant.
By the end of season one, we get to know that Offred’s husband who we presumed dead is still alive and Offred’s husband Luke is living in Canada and helping people who escape from Gilead. To keep Offred in check and to make sure that the new baby in her belly stays safe and the secret that the baby is Nick’s and not Fred’s, Serena takes Offred to a home where she has a glimpse of her daughter Hannah being taken good care off. Serena promises Offred that Hannah is going to be taken care of as long as her baby is taken care of.
At the beginning of season 2, Nick helps Offred to escape. She then hides for two months before planning to escape to Canada through an airplane but unfortunately, she gets caught and is brought back to Gilead. Offred is brought back to Gilead where she is given two options. She could either give birth to her child and be executed or return to Gilead and live with the Waterford’s which is no less than Hell itself. She chooses to return to Gilead and live with Fred and Serena.
Offred lives under the watch of Aunt Lydia and Serena keeps abusing Offred. As the season progresses the Mayday resistance gets powerful and they are successful in delivering a powerful attack on the Waterford through a bombing which leaves 26 commanders, 31 handmaids and the commander Waterford injured. Emily and Janine are both reinstated as handmaids after this incident. Offred gives birth to a beautiful daughter who is named Nichole by Serena.
Emily is assigned to a new commander who lies to Aunt Lydia that they have performed the ceremony but in fact, he doesn’t sleep with her. When Aunt Lydia comes to find out how Emily’s first ceremony went, she is attacked by Emily by a knife and pushed down the stairs. While all this is happening, many housemaids help Offred escape. When they are about to escape to Canada Offred has a change of heart and she hands her baby Nichole to Emily telling her that she loves the baby a lot and at the end Offred watches them all leave with the baby in a van.
The main reason for Offred to stay behind is her daughter Hannah. She meets commander Lawrence who promises her to help snatch Hannah away from commander McKenzie’s house. Back at Waterford house, Nick holds Commander Waterford a captive and when Serena enters by force the viewers are shocked when she says that she let Offred escape for the sake of their newborn baby, eventually Nick releases commander Waterford.
Offred reaches McKenzie’s household and rushes to Hannah’s room where she finds her sleeping. She ties a red ribbon around her hand and tells her how much she loves her while the guardians arrive and take her into custody. Mrs. McKenzie confronts Offred and tells her how happy Hannah is and how she is thriving in this home and seeing Offred can upset her and traumatize her, so she needs to stop visiting her like that. She tells her about Hannah’s hobbies and interests and assures Offred that she is in good hands.
Offred is returned to the Waterford home where Serena is devastated to learn that she left Nichole in the hands of Emily who is a murderer. Offred consoles Serena that Nichole is in good hands and that she will be cared for, while Nick is furious at Offred about the fact that so many people risked their lives for her escape and she had returned to this hell of a place and that she is now going to die in Gilead to which Offred acknowledge that she was aware of it.
On the other hand, Emily is trying to reach Canada and with helicopters circling above them she has to cross a river in which she is swept by a current and after a moment inside the water, she reemerges and realizes that Nichole isn’t breathing which creates a lot of panics but eventually she starts to cry and a man hears them and offers his assistance. In Gilead commander, Waterford suggests to Serena that they put all the blame on Emily and tell people that she stole Nichole to avoid execution. Serena burns down the Waterford home and Offred is blamed for the fire and she is taken to the red school to be punished. Emily meets with Luke Offred’s husband and tells him that she helped her escape.
Season 4 Expectations
While Offred is assigned with a new commander, Lawrence. Now in season 4, the story is going to continue and we can hope that Offred is going to have a better time with commander Lawrence. We can hope that one day she will escape over through the government at Gilead and make the world a safer and better place to live in. Is she ever going to have the chance to live with Hannah again? Will she ever be able to meet with Nichole? Is she going to ever reunite with her husband Luke?
We might be able to get the answers to these questions in season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale. The wait is almost over and the date for the release of season 4 is April 28, 2021. Let’s hope that season 4 is as amazing as the first 3 seasons. Let’s hope that Offred can help more handmaids and the resistance becomes successful in overthrowing the government at Gilead.
What are your expectations for season 4? Leave your comments below