After an almost two-year delay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic shuttering production on nearly all major titles, the countdown to The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 is officially underway. Originally debuting on Hulu back in April of 2017, the series is based on Margaret Atwood's novel of the same name and follows life in Gilead, a totalitarian society once part of the United States where fertile women become "Handmaids" and are forced into child-bearing servitude. In more recent seasons, the series has documented the uprising sparked by June/Offred as she fights to save her daughter. Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 3.
When fans last saw June, the rebellion she had sparked came to a crux as she and her fellow Handmaids and Marthas, who are also subjected to the cruel antics of Gilead, had banded together to usher nearly 100 children across the border and to the safety of Canada. The season ended with June being shot while attempting to distract a guard to allow the plane carrying the children to evacuate. Left bleeding in the middle of the woods, the final image was the Handmaid's carrying her to safety, leaving fans hanging on a major cliffhanger with June’s life in limbo.
Thankfully, by the time Season 3 came to an end, Season 4 was already promised, Hulu having given the series a fourth season renewal in July 2019. Now, nearly two years later, fans are counting down the days to the Season 4 premiere, and PopCulture has everything you need to know! Keep scrolling to see all of The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 details...and don't forget to subscribe to Hulu here so that you can watch the new season when it debuts!
When Does The Handmaid's Tale Return: Season 4 Premiere Date
Fans can finally expect to head back to Gilead this month! The season was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus production, which temporarily shuttered production in March 2020, with series star Elisabeth Moss writing at the time, "we hope to be back in production as soon as it's safe to do so." The series resumed production later that year, announcing in February Season 4 will premiere on Wednesday, April 28. At that time, the first three episodes will be available for streaming on Hulu, followed by a weekly release for the remainder of the season.prevnext
How many episodes will there be in The Handmaid's Tale Season 4?
While both Seasons 2 and 3 of the series, based on Margaret Atwood's novel of the same name, received expanded 13-episode seasons, Season 4 will follow suit with Season 1, airing a total of 10 episodes. The streamer released the titles and release dates for all of Season 4's episodes in March and are as follows:
- Episode 1, "Pigs": April 28
- Episode 2, "Nightshade": April 28
- Episode 3, "The Crossing": April 28
- Episode 4, "Milk": May 5
- Episode 5, "Chicago": May 12
- Episode 6, "Vows": May 19
- Episode 7, "Home": May 26
- Episode 8, "Testimony": June 2
- Episode 9, "Progress": June 9
- Episode 10, "The Wilderness": June 16
The streamer has also released synopsis for the first three episodes. In the premiere episode, an injured June and the fugitive Handmaid's are on the run and find "refuge at a farm, where the 14-year-old Wife nurses June back to health. June restores her role as the women’s leader. In Gilead, an imprisoned Lawrence tries to avoid a death sentence, and Aunt Lydia reels from the loss of 86 children on Angels' Flight. The combative Waterfords, in custody in Toronto, learn of June’s feat."
In Episode 2, "June plots her revenge at the local Jezebels, before she and the Handmaid's plan to leave the farm for the next safe house. In Toronto, Moira deals with the fallout of June's choices, and Serena and Fred are bound together by a miracle." Episode 3's synopsis reads, "Captured by Gilead, June faces a vengeful Aunt Lydia and endures a torturuous interrogation. Nick and Lawrence collaborate to produce June. In Toronto, Luke struggles with how to help June and Hannah."prevnext
The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Trailer
After waiting more than a year for the new season, Hulu hasn't shied away from treating fans to more than just a few first-looks, including a full-length trailer that dropped in late March. The trailer teased the rising rebellion sparked by June, who is labeled "public enemy No. 1 in Gilead." In the trailer, June is asked, "if you were returned to Gilead, would you be subject to danger of torture or risk to your life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment?" The trailer also teased a possible pregnancy for one key character. The trailer, as well as an early teaser, gives fans a pretty good idea at what they can expect, though Hulu has also released a synopsis for the season.
"In the upcoming fourth season of The Handmaid's Tale, June (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges," the synopsis reads. "Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships."prevnext
The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Cast
Thankfully, fans can expect to see all of their favorites returning in Season 4. Unsurprisingly, and as confirmed in the trailers, Elisabeth Moss will be returning to play June/Offred. Other returning cast members include Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski as Commander Fred and Serena Joy Waterford, Max Minghella as Nick, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence, Samira Wiley as Moira, Madeline Brewer as Janine, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Amanda Brugel as Rita, and Alexis Bledel as Emily.
The cast is also seeing some change ups. Sam Jaeger, who appeared in Season 3 as American operative in Canada's US-Government-in-Exile Mark Tuello, has been promoted to series regular, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The cast will also see at least one new face in McKenna Grace, who will recur as Mrs. Keyes, "a sharply intelligent, teenaged wife of a much older Commander who rules her farm and household with confidence. She has a rebellious, subversive streak, and is calm and pious on the outside with turmoil, even insanity, on the inside," according to Deadline.prevnext
Elisabeth Moss to Make Directorial Debut
Moss will be pulling more than just double duty in Season 4. Already the star of the series, and also acting as an executive producer, the actress is set to make her directorial debut in the upcoming season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moss will direct Season 4, Episode 3, "The Crossing." Moss said she is "thrilled to be given this opportunity" and that "it means so much to me and I do not take the responsibility lightly."
"Leading and executive producing this show the past three years has been such a joy and I've had the incredible gift of learning so much from the directors we've had on this show," she added. "I can't wait to try my hand at working with my collaborators from this new perspective because I am lucky to have the best cast and crew in the world. My only hurdle may be working with the lead actress who I hear can be incredibly demanding. Wish me luck."prevnext
The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Photos
Along with the trailer, Hulu has also dropped the first images from the season. The images are from the first three episodes, with images from the premiere episode teasing the Handmaids' harrowing flight to safety with an injured June, which leads to them encountering a new face to the cast. The images also show a glimpse at June and Nick's reunion, as well as moments shown in the trailer, including June with her daughter Hannah. You can view more of the images by clicking here.prevnext
Is Season 4 the final season?
While Season 4 may only just be on the horizon, fans no doubt already have their minds on the series' future. Thankfully, when Season 4 concludes in June, fans can rest easy knowing more The Handmaid's Tale is coming. In December, Hulu announced it had renewed The Handmaid's Tale for Season 5. Given that Season 4 hasn't yet premiered, fans will have to wait a little while longer for details on Season 5.