The Handmaid’s Tale wrapped up its critically lauded first season on Hulu this week, and the drama has already been renewed for a second season.
Season 1 ended with Offred (Elisabeth Moss) being taken by guards from the home of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) into a dark van. In the book by Margaret Atwood, the same happens, but it’s strongly implied that Nick (Max Minghella) has arranged her rescue with the “Mayday” operation.
In the show, it’s much more unclear whether Offred is being escorted to safety or to some kind of punishment for her role in the not-stoning of fellow handmaid Janine. Nick does reassure her about the guards, but he might just mean that they won’t hurt her. We’ll have to wait and see where that van is going when Season 2 returns.
But what else will Season 2 cover? The first season covered most of the plot in the book by Margaret Atwood. Moss, who’s also an executive producer, has said that she and showrunner Bruce Miller have discussed ideas for Season 2.
If they’re reading, here are some of our own suggestions for what the show could explore in Season 2:
1. Offred’s imprisonment
It seems highly unlikely that the show will go the route of saving Offred. Yes, she could reunite with Luke and Moira in Canada and fight for the liberation of all the handmaids from there. But then we would lose her perspective in the thick of things in Gilead.
So, the more probable next step is that Offred is imprisoned for inciting the handmaids’ resistance. But she’s pregnant, which complicates any punishment. We may get more insight into how the government and justice system of Gilead works.
2. The Colonies
The Colonies are alluded to, in both the book and the series, as a harsh place ravaged by environmental disaster. Criminals and unwanted citizens are sentenced to live and work there — including June’s mom.
Atwood’s book features several flashbacks to June’s mom, a staunch feminist who was banished to the Colonies. It would be interesting to see if she’s part of the Mayday resistance out there.
3. Janine’s and Ofglen’s fates
The last we saw of Ofglen/Emily, she had gone on a murderous drive after her clitorectomy. Guards dragged her away. But did they hang her? Perhaps they sent her to the Colonies (maybe she can meet up with June’s mom).
As for Janine, she was sentenced to be stoned to death, but the handmaids refused and she survived. Now what? Will she be hanged? Sent to the Colonies? (She, too, can meet up with June’s mom.)
4. The letters
Before being taken away, Offred whispered the location of the letters written by handmaids to Rita (Amanda Brugel). Rita now has them in her possession, but what will she do with them? While Rita has seemed sympathetic to Offred, she also hasn’t really done anything indicating that she’d be willing to join the resistance.
5. The rest of Gilead
The show provided a glimpse of Gilead society through Offred and Waterford’s visit to Jezebel’s. From that, we learned that Gilead isn’t strictly divided into commanders, their wives, handmaids, aunts, and Marthas.
Atwood’s book also mentions other classes of people, like econowives, who are married to working-class men. In the book, Offred also sees tourists in Gilead.
6. Other countries
As well as a look at life in Canada for American refugees, this season introduced Mexican officials, and one of the handmaid letters mentioned a sister in London. So, what’s going on in the rest of the world? The female Mexican trade official told Offred that her hometown had a birthrate problem as the United States once did, which is why she’s bartering for handmaids.
It’s clear that Canada refuses to go along with what Gilead is doing, while Mexico is being swayed. But what about other countries? If the United States actually dissolved as it did in this story, it would have huge consequences across the globe.
7. Aunt Lydia
The first season gave us flashbacks to pre-Gilead life for Serena Joy and Nick. Who isn’t dying to see what Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) was up to when the country was still the United States? We’re going to guess DMV employee.
The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale is currently streaming on Hulu.
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