After ten riveting episodes, The Handmaid’s Tale season finale left fans with plenty of questions which we hope are answered in season 2. Here are five questions still haunting us after the events of “Night.”
Caution: This article contains spoilers for season 1 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. We’re looking forward to getting answered in The Handmaid’s Tale season 2!
Is Offred really pregnant?
Offred/June’s emotional evolution in The Handmaid’s Tale season finale is sparked, at least in part, by what might just be the most uncomfortable pregnancy announcement in television history. Truly, no joyous occasion is complete without a violent assault and some nice emotional manipulation.
The import of Offred’s apparent pregnancy cannot be overstated. Though Serena Joy takes diabolical steps to correct the balance of power upset by Offred’s “miracle,” there is a limit to the tentacles of Serena’s control. Offred’s stock has risen in Gilead, whether she likes it or not.
Which begs the question — is Serena Joy’s black market pregnancy test accurate? And if Offred is pregnant, will she remain so? Depending on whether Offred faces Gilead’s idea of justice, or a more surprising fate, the answer could be the difference between survival and destruction.
What happened to Emily?
Speaking of survival and destruction, “Night” leaves open the tantalizing question of Ofglen/Emily’s fate. Last seen hustled into a van of Eyes after committing a kickass vehicular manslaughter, it certainly doesn’t seem like there is much hope for the defiant, tortured handmaid.
But though out of sight, Emily is certainly not out of mind. Whether dead, tortured beyond rescue, or just waiting for a familiar face (a.k.a., Offred) to join her in prison, Emily’s fate is still unknown. And damn it, we won’t let the bastards grind our hope for her down just yet.
What are Moira and Luke up to in Canada?
Let’s gently skate past the fact that the true hero of The Handmaid’s Tale might really just be Canada, and focus on the two central characters now at home with our benevolent northern neighbors.
After two harrowing escapes, Offred’s husband Luke and best friend Moira have both crossed the border and become refugees from Gilead. The pair have an emotional reunion in “Night,” but it’s not hard to imagine that the once-combative friends might soon have their energies diverted to the directive Offred has sent from captivity: Find her daughter Hannah, and keep her safe.
That’s easier said than done, of course. It’s still unclear whether or not it’s even possible to cross back into Gilead — its own horrifying prospect — but even if Moira and Luke make it back to Boston, they face more than just political challenges in the land of codified repression.
Hannah, as “Night” reveals, is being held as ransom for Offred’s good behavior by Serena Joy. The child’s safety is the best tool in Serena Joy’s anti-Offred arsenal, and whether or not Offred has a future with the Waterfords, the Commander’s terrifying wife is not likely to let Hannah go without a fight.
What the hell is next for the Waterfords?
Though Commander Fred and Serena Joy have little hold on our sympathies, we can’t help but wonder where The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will find the nasty pair. As critical architects of Gilead’s awful structure, it will be fascinating to see what havoc breaks free when that same structure turns on the Waterfords.
After all, Fred and Serena Joy had finally found their way past Fred’s dalliance with Offred and Serena Joy’e manipulation of Offred and Nick. United in their desperation for a baby whose conception they had very little to do with, and yet lay sacred claim to, the divine pieces of the Waterfords’ lives seemed to be coming together.
Offred’s apparent apprehension by the Eyes — baby Waterford going right along with her — breaks open the cracks in the Waterfords’ pious facade. And with both Rita and Nick seemingly aligned in their sympathies with Offred, we can’t help but wonder if the staid and proper Waterford house might just have had its foundations irreparably damaged.
Where is Offred going?
Offred’s fate is by far the most pressing question left to viewers by The Handmaid’s Tale season finale, and it’s the same question left to readers at the end of Margaret Atwood’s novel.
Climbing serenely into the Eyes’ black van, Offred herself contemplates the ambiguity of her destination. Is she bound for the darkness — torture or death for her defiance, as Aunt Lydia suggested? Will Offred be forced to rely on her new pregnancy, or the strength of Nick’s affections in order to survive?
Or could the next stage of Offred’s journey offer be headed to a more surprising next stage? Could Nick’s connections to Gilead’s underground propel Offred to safety, or into the arms of the still-mysterious Mayday? Could there be loftier goals in June’s future, or is survival all the light left to hope for?
It’s impossible to say at this point. But with its careful, critical lens, and vivid cast of characters, The Handmaid’s Tale has left fans both satisfied and ravished for the answers to come in season 2.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will air in 2018 on Hulu.