When fans last saw Offred in The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, she had done the unthinkable. She's looked escape in the face, a new life in Canada, and a new world for her child, and said "no." It was a shocking twist, the idea Offred could refuse escape, harboring hopes of bringing down the system and rescuing her older child. Leaving her baby in the care of Emily, she turned and headed home to the Waterfords once more. The new Handmaid's Tale Season 3 trailer suggests she won't have an easy time of it on her return.
There was a lot of speculation when Season 2 ended about how Offred's world would react to her return. The entire household mobilized to get her and the baby out, including Rita the Maid, who got her moving, and Nick stopping the Commander from being able to look for her once he realized she and the baby were gone. Serena Joy didn't precisely help, but she didn't hinder either. Recognizing the danger to the baby, she allowed the two to exit unhindered, making her an accomplice in the eyes of the law.
How will all those characters feel when Offred returns having failed to escape, but also sans baby? The trailer gives at least a couple of hints.
The good news, which fans will be glad to see, is that Emily makes it across the border with baby Nicole (or Holly) alive and well in her care. Not only that, but Luke apparently takes the baby in as his own when she arrives, as viewers can see in the TV clip Offred is pirating. Some fans were worried Luke might refuse to take in the baby since she's the daughter of Commander Waterford (though really she's the love child of Offred and Nick.) But it seems, considering the circumstances, he's overlooking any paternity problems.
In fact, Emily's arrival looks like a cause for massive celebration, having liberated a child from Gilead. This may be a bigger problem than it seems because Commander Waterford is going to realize "his" child was "kidnapped," and almost sure to insist she be returned. (This also may be how it comes out the child hasn't got a drop of Waterford DNA in her veins.)
However, the real news embedded in this trailer is that, at least for some portion of this season, Offred gets a whole new ally in Serena Joy. Mrs. Waterford is officially joining the Resistance. (Well, actually, she's unofficially joining the Resistance, because, as Offred intones, officially there is no Resistance. But let's not quibble.)
This has been a long time coming, with Serena Joy waffling on whether or not to blow up her repressed but comfortable existence. It seems that baby Nicole (which is the name the show is going with, at least for now) has altered that perspective.
It also remains to be seen if Serena Joy decides to stay faithful to the cause once she joins it. As fans saw last season, one minute she seemed ready to overthrow the country she helped build, the next, she was holding down Offred so the Commander could rape her. Offred may have a new ally, but perhaps it would be a little early to start trusting her.