The Handmaid’s Tale is over for now, but the theories and spoilers are just beginning. Here’s a look at everything we know so far about Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, including when the show might return for Season 4, top fan theories about what’s going to happen, and possible spoilers. This post will have major spoilers for Season 3 and possible spoilers for Season 4 if theories are true.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Should Return by Early Summer 2020
In late July, Hulu announced that they were renewing The Handmaid’s Tale for Season 4. We will likely see the season premiere in about a year from now. Hulu hasn’t officially announced a premiere date, but if you look at the pattern for the last few seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, you can make some pretty educated guesses on when it will be back. The Handmaid’s Tale should return sometime between April and June 2020 (spring or summer 2020.)
- Season 1 of THT premiered on April 26, 2017
- Season 2 of THT premiered on April 25, 2018
- Season 3 of THT premiered on June 5, 2019
Season 3 was a departure from the late-April schedule that was set up in Season 1 and Season 2. Some fans thought the premiere was delayed so it wouldn’t compete with the last season of Game of Thrones. At the time, Craig Erwich told reporters that the show was delayed in order to maintain its quality in Season 3 and he said it had nothing to do with Game of Thrones, Hollywood Reporter shared. But still, fans couldn’t help but wonder if GoT played a role behind-the-scenes.
The Handmaid’s Tale writer’s room for Season 4 opened on August 12, so don’t expect an early return for the show. A June 2020 return, like we had for Season 3, is most likely.
Major Scenes with Nick Were Cut in Season 3. Will They Make an Appearance in Season 4?
Some fans think that the scenes that were cut from Season 3 will make an appearance and be a bigger part of the Season 4 plot. This includes some scenes about Emily that we were supposed to see, when instead she was pretty much dropped from the second half of Season 3. There were also scenes involving Nick that might have been pretty intense. An article from Harper’s Bazaar indicated that there was a storyline with Nick that they “hotly debated” in the writer’s room, that at one point he was shown using a machine gun in a way that was going to really mess with people’s minds. We never saw any of that. Fans think that Nick’s past and his backstory will have a bigger role in Season 4 and maybe, just maybe, his scenes were deleted once they realized the show would be renewed for a fourth season. (You can read more about the deleted scenes in our story here.)
Fans Think a Big War Is Brewing & June Will Have a New Role in Season 4
Fans have a lot of theories about what’s going to happen in Season 4. They think Season 4 is going to feature a big war, it’s just unclear from where. With all the children being taken to Gilead, it’s possible that war will be stirred up with Canada. According to some throwaway lines about Chicago in Season 3, there’s already a war going on there. So the children appearing in Canada might just make everything worse.
But others think it’s the commanders who will start warring within Gilead. One Redditor, u/throwthismafaaway, wrote: “It’s already been hinted in the last episode that there´s a clash between the commanders. Some are hung up on the geopolitics part and some are hung up on the power structure. It´s clear that outside of the handmaid system there´s conflict on how to gain sovereignty. Their economy is failing because of trade embargo on their new country. The handmaid system hasn’t been a success. Their morality laws haven´t prevented sordid places like the sex slave den Jezebels, which is now known to the outside world thanks to the letters. So even countries like Mexico and Russia who were overlooking such things are now going to think twice about publicly supporting them to avoid sanctions.”
Others think the Martha network is going to gain more and more power. But sadly, it’s also likely that many people will be put on the wall after what happened. Commander Lawrence will likely survive, since the two people above him are now gone from Gilead and they need his leadership. But many Marthas are going to be put on the wall after the children’s escape.
Other fans think that the Waterfords’ trials will be a BIG plot point in Season 4. In the book The Handmaid’s Tale, as u/IntergalacticFig pointed out, “it’s discussed that Waterford was killed in ‘one of the early purges’ and that his trial was broadcast to the UK.” So maybe, just maybe, something similar will happen but in Canada. Maybe Commander Waterford will be on trial in Canada and his trial will be broadcast around the world as a warning for the rest of the commanders in Gilead.
If they do have a major trial, maybe Rita will testify against the Waterfords. That’s a big fan hope.
Many fans think Aunt Lydia will have to pay some kind of price for what happened to the children. Maybe she will be stoned by the very Handmaids that she’s been leading.
And most fans agree that there’s no way June will be a Handmaid again. They think she’ll go underground and perhaps be the leader of an underground network that continues to free even more children. However, some fans think the other Handmaids will cover up for her and say that she was trying to stop the children from leaving and got shot in the process. If that happens, she’ll be branded a hero and maybe she’ll be promoted to being someone’s wife.
Fans are pretty much ready to riot if June goes back to being a Handmaid. Redditor u/shaneycent wrote: “But if we go back to June shopping at Loaves and Fishes and everyone in power just looking past the fact that she was shot and obviously involved in the escape of 52 children, I will lose my sh**.”
— Mikey’s S K I N N Y (@Mikey_11_Alvin) August 14, 2019
It’s hard to imagine that June would actually die in Season 4, but cast and crew have been tight-lipped on if she’s going to live. If she DID die, focusing on a Handmaid who was inspired by her might be a pretty compelling idea.
Someone suggested that for season 4 they kill off June and focus on a new protagonist who has been inspired by her actions. I don't hate the idea tbh especially because you could keep the other established characters too #TheHandmaidsTale
— Very That (@AndiSachs) August 14, 2019
Do you think June will be a Handmaid again in Season 4? Will she be an underground leader or maybe promoted to a wife or some other position for being a “hero” who tried to save the children? Let us know in the comments below.
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