Offred’s attempts to free herself and her unborn child from Gilead’s oppressive threats will continue next month when Hulu’s award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale returns for its second season. As fans eagerly await the show’s return, we can whet our appetites with the first official trailer for the second season.
Hulu announced that The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will premiere April 25 on the streaming video service, with two new episodes debuting that day and new episodes released every subsequent Wednesday. The second season builds on season 1’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, which is set in a dystopian, patriarchal future. Elisabeth Moss stars as Offred, one of the women forced into servitude under the harsh, totalitarian theocratic government of Gilead in what was once the United States of America.
Read on for everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale season 2. There are spoilers ahead.
Is this what freedom looks like?
Hulu released the first full trailer for season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale just shy of a month before the premiere, and while it certainly leans into the story’s darkest elements, it also suggests that a revolution is in the making for the oppressed women of Gilead.
Danger in the Colonies
In season 1, Offred saw some of the horrible ways handmaids are punished when her shopping partner, Ofglen (played by Alexis Bledel), got into trouble for not abiding by the laws of Gilead. The other handmaid continued to resist, though, and now she’ll face even more terrible consequences. A new photo (released via Entertainment Weekly) shows Ofglen working in the Colonies, meaning she’s been sentenced to clean up radioactive waste.
The punishment is obviously a dire one. As Bledel told EW, her character “does not have a great deal of hope for a future there; she knows her days are numbered.”
Hell and fury
A new teaser for the season was released March 8, and it offers a reminder of the rules that dictate a handmaid’s life in Gilead, as well as a pointed question (or at least, part of one).
“We are in hell. But we are still the fury,” reads the description for the teaser.
Another confusing commander
Joining the cast in the second season will be Emmy-winning West Wing and Get Out actor Bradley Whitford (pictured below), who will portray Commander Joseph Lawrence, “the architect of Gilead’s economy, who is gruff and intimidating, with a disheveled mad genius vibe.” According to Deadline, his character’s “sly humor and flashes of kindness make him a confusing, mysterious presence for his newest handmaid.”
The January 2018 announcement of the show’s premiere date was accompanied by a trailer for the second season that teases what’s to come for Offred over the course of the show’s next 13-episode story arc. The trailer is set to a haunting version of Buffalo Springfield’s 1967 song For What It’s Worth. In it, Elisabeth Moss returns as Offred, a woman who lost her daughter and husband when she was forced to become a handmaid in the service of a Gileadan commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski).
The renewal came as no great surprise. The first season of the series earned 13 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and took home eight statues — including the Emmy for the year’s best drama series. This marked the first time a series on a streaming platform won an Emmy in that category, and The Handmaid’s Tale went on tie with HBO’s Big Little Lies for the most major awards for any one show at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. Star Elizabeth Moss also won the Emmy for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series,” while cast member Alexis Bledel won the award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series,” Ann Dowd won “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series,” and series creator Bruce Miller won “Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.”
The series’ first season was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, with Moss and the series itself each winning one.
Along with the aforementioned cast members, The Handmaid’s Tale also stars Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, and Amanda Brugel.
Updated on March 28: Added the first full trailer for season 2.
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