Streaming
Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) in The Handmaid's Tale

4 Theories About *That* Handmaid's Tale Plot Twist

Where TF does the show go from here...?

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, Episode 6 follow. Ever since June became the replacement handmaid for the Waterfords way back in Season 1, her life has been intertwined with Serena Joy’s. The woman once known as Mrs. Waterford was a reactionary right-winger who promoted tradwifery, only to see her freedoms curtailed when the world she fought for finally arrived. Their push and pull has only deepened over the seasons, but even the most hardcore fan would have been hard-pressed to imagine June and Serena driving off together at the end of the Oct. 12 episode. These Handmaid’s Tale theories about where Serena and June are going show just how wild a twist this really is.

The title of Episode 6 was “Together.” Most assumed this referred to Luke and June, as they were seemingly captured by Gilead at the border, this time together. But it actually may have referred to the episode’s ending, in which Serena, driven to desperation, seized the opportunity she had with June and forced her to drive them away at gunpoint... together.

Serena had every reason to be desperate to escape. After two episodes of the Wheelers slowly wrapping her in captivity, Serena realized she was trapped. She couldn’t even leave for doctor’s appointments, and the one making house calls asked her on a date after inspecting her cervix. And when Serena refused to see her gynecologist romantically, Mrs. Whee;er made it clear Serena must get married; she could not be a single mother. Serena was incredulous. “This isn’t Gilead!” she cried. (Which, true, but it is the world she claims to want.)

When Mr. Wheeler told Serena that June had been captured and agreed to allow Serena to go to No Man’s Land to witness June’s execution, Serena took it as the chance to escape her captors. She asked to be the one to fire the weapon against June, but instead shot her bodyguard/watchdog, Ezra, at point-blank range. She then pointed the firearm at June, told her to get in the car, and instructed her to drive.

So, where are they heading? Here are some ideas.

01

Serena Demands To Go To Gilead

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

It seems like a ludicrous answer, but Serena Joy was never one for doing the logical thing. Had she been, it might have occurred to her that Gilead would take away her rights and power, or that maybe living with true believers as a pregnant woman would automatically get her treated like a handmaid.

Still, Serena Joy knows she is a dignitary of Gilead and that Canadians have attempted to kidnap and hold her pregnant personage prisoner. It is precisely the excuse she needs to return to Gilead, declare she cannot run their outreach “fertility center,” and try again to convince Lawrence to marry her. With Putnam out of the picture, perhaps she’ll make better headway.

As for June, Serena’s got the trump card: Hannah. June will do anything for the promise of Hannah, even go back into Gilead. Also, if she thinks Luke might be there right now, she’s got double the reason to agree.

02

Serena Will Make June Take Her To Little America

The most obvious place Serena would insist on going is to Toronto’s Little America to see Mark Tuello. After all, this *isn’t* Gilead, and Serena Joy is not a handmaid. She was being held against her will in a country where that’s illegal, so logically, she would go to Mark for help as a dignitary in need of protection. It’s hypocritical (and darkly hilarious), but it’s 100% a Serena Joy move. It also means she could make a play to get control of the fertility center and reestablish herself as a woman in power.

The question is what June does about this. She was nearly executed, she’s technically been kidnapped, and Serena running because a couple obsessed with treating her like a walking womb kept her prisoner is irony beyond measure. But also, June is a freedom fighter, and the Wheelers and their ilk are her enemies too.

Seriously, what will Moira say if June shows up with Serena saying they need to protect her?

03

They’re Going To America

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Those who have read The Testaments know that no one knows what happens to June after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale; it’s a mystery. But there are rumors she’s out in the Canadian wilderness, or even that she made it to what’s left of America, aka Alaska. Since she arrived in Canada, well-read viewers have been waiting for some sign that June would head Northwest.

That does not mean Serena and June are going to make it to Alaska in the next episode; there’s a whole sixth season to go, after all. But a failed wild ride into the wilderness could be the first step in creating the possibility June will head that way sometime in the future (sans Serena as kidnapper). Not that anyone knows for sure what June’s fate is — the wilderness rumors are just a theory in the novel — but the show playing into that as a possible ending would make a lot of sense, especially if, this time, June and Serena fail to get very far.

04

Serena Seeks Refuge With Mayday

I know this is a stretch, but what is the point of this Mayday plotline if not to blow up their spot by working with June? There are only two more episodes this season, and the group isn’t likely to have been a one-off guest appearance.

Not that Serena would demand to go there. It’s more likely that Serena’s capture of June wasn’t thoroughly thought out. Besides, let us not forget Serena didn’t murder Ezra. Her bullet lodged in his body armor, knocking him down. That’s still enough to do damage (deep bruising, probably broke a few bones), but he’s alive, and when he recovers enough to get to his feet, he’ll report them. June has to get them off the road and someplace safe, and Mayday might be their only hope.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 continues with new episodes streaming on Hulu every Wednesday.