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O-T Fagbenle as Luke and Elisabeth Moss as June in 'The Handmaid's Tale'

June Finally Made It To Canada. Now What?

These Handmaid's Tale theories are all over the place.

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

After three and a half seasons, the impossible has finally happened. When June was least looking for it, a chance at being rescued from Gilead turned up. Moreover, unlike the last three rescues that either failed or June turned down in the past, she actually made it out this time — not like she had much of a choice. Moira wasn’t leaving Gilead without June and that was that. So what will happen to June in Canada now that she’s made it out of Gilead? Let’s run down the big theories.

Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, Episode 6 follow. It took the whole May 19 episode to get June out of Gilead and across the Great Lakes to Toronto. But the final moment had June stepping forward off the boat and onto Canadian soil for the first time. Freedom was here; freedom was hers. Luke was there, and he wasn’t angry their daughter Hannah wasn’t with her. June would be reunited with Nichole; she would never put on a red dress and bonnet again.

But the story is far from over. There are four more episodes in Season 4, and a fifth installment is already greenlit for 2022. So what happens next?

01
Serena Joy Will Ask June To Stand With Her
Sophie Giraud/Hulu

The biggest storyline happening in Canada currently is Serena Joy’s attempt to get out of prison by turning against Fred. That’s been complicated by her pregnancy, which has only strengthened Fred’s potential hold over her.

So far, Fred’s been his own worst enemy in convincing Serena Joy to stand with him, but it’s obvious she needs someone to partner with and keep her strong. Rita’s helped somewhat, but not nearly enough. What Serena needs is someone who’s a seasoned fighter who can hold onto the hate and rage. Serena needs June.

But will June come to Serena’s aid? On the one hand, June hates Fred. But discovering Serena Joy is pregnant — after all that rape and torture to force June to carry a child she could claim? June may be too angry to consider Serena to be an enemy of her enemy and, therefore, a friend. After all, oppression no longer makes them strange bedfellows in a war against the patriarchy.

02
There Will Be A Custody Battle Over Hannah
Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Escaping Gilead meant June was leaving Hannah behind. Now, those who have read The Testaments, author Margaret Atwood’s followup to her Handmaid’s novel, will know what happens to Hannah down the line. But there’s a question of what happens between then and now. With June in Canada and the law on her side, will she make a stand for all the parents whose children are still with their other families in Gilead and demand their children back?

Fans expected a cross-border custody battle over Nichole that never came. But a custody battle over Nichole would have been dicey when one takes Gilead’s laws into account. On the other hand, Hannah was June’s lawful child, who was kidnapped and stolen from her. This case might be one Canada’s lawyers might agree to take on.

03
Luke & June Will Not Stay Together
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Fans were treated to the long-awaited Luke and June reunion when June finally reached Canadian soil in Episode 6. But is domestic bliss really in the cards? Consider, for example, how long it’s been since the two were together. Although the series has never given an exact timeline of events, viewers know June was in Gilead for a long while. Not only did she give birth to a whole baby, but also, Janine had a full-term pregnancy (and months of postpartum) before June did, and Ofmatthew had an entire one after her. Add in months of brainwashing at the Red Center before Janine’s pregnancy and the weeks of Season 4, and you’re looking at two-and-a-half to three years in Gilead.

That might not seem like a long time, but let us consider what time feels like when you’re living through a trauma that turns reality as you know it upside down. How many times did someone in 2020 complain that this morning was five years ago and last month seems like two decades? That’s been June’s entire life since the show began.

The woman who came out of Gilead isn’t the same one who Luke knew before. She’s a traumatized soldier with PTSD who just escaped a war that’s still ongoing. Maybe the two of them will find a way, but the chances of them making it are slim.

04
June Will Wind Up On The Run

What is the logical endpoint for June? She’s back in society and trying to acclimate. But as the Episode 7 trailer shows, she’s still thinking the way she did when she lived in Gilead. She’s focused on revenge, “hurting them the way they hurt us.”

Moira escaped back in Season 1. She’s experienced far less trauma than June by avoiding ever becoming a Handmaid, and she’s already shown to have trouble following the political rules set around her. Does anyone think June will be satisfied by giving a few speeches and “raising awareness” while U.N. groups like CERA make nice with Gilead to bring over a few boxes of supplies?

No. June is a fighter, a killer, someone who was training young women like Mrs. Keyes to murder those who abused them. She blows things up, figuratively and literally. It’s not going to be long before she blows up whatever spot the American Government In Exile thinks they have for her and winds up either returning to Gilead or on the run somewhere else.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 continues with one episode a week every Wednesday on Hulu.