Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale has arrived on Hulu. The streaming service, which dropped three episodes at the beginning of Season 1, only gave us two episodes to begin Season 2, but believe me, that's enough. Like last season, the opening episodes have driven fans to Twitter to scream in horror about life in Gilead. But the tweets about The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 aren't just about how terrible everything is and how horrific Offred's life in this world of oppression is. They're also screaming over the huge bait-and-switch the series pulled at the top of the episode. Warning: Spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 follow.
The Handmaid's Tale Season 1 ended exactly as the book does. A van which looks like it belongs to the government, maybe the Eyes, pulls up to the Waterford household with orders to take Offred away. Nick whispers for her to get in the van and she can trust him. Offred doesn't know if that's *really* true, but she gets in the van anyway. Whether she's going to her death or freedom, it has to be better than here.
With the footage in the trailers clearly showing an Offred escape and a declaration of freedom, fans thought this was definitely her getaway van. As the scene progressed though, and it began to look less and less like a drive to Canada, fans began to panic.
And sadly, it was indeed a fake out. The van was not from Mayday. They were sent to pick up all the Handmaids in Offred's vicinity. Now she and all her sisters have been herded into the Red Center. Why? It turns out this is the fallout from last season, the punishment for them for the mass act of disobedience for refusing to kill Janine.
I mean, did you really think there wasn't going to be a punishment coming for that? Though, perhaps considering the crime, the punishment here seems a tad over the top.
They are all put on a mass gallows, nooses around their necks. The floor drops out from under them.
It drops six inches. It's another fake out. Are you screaming yet?
Upon learning June is pregnant, she gets to go inside and eat a nice meal. The rest of the Handmaids are stuck in the rain, holding up rocks.
Then, just as we think that Offred is basically trapped in a life of "Walking Waterford Womb," as she gets dressed after her ultrasound the orderly says "Godspeed... June."
And in her boot, there's a key. The escape fans were waiting for has come.
It turns out there was an escape plan from the Mayday rebellion coming for Offred. It's just that Nick didn't know when, or where, or what it would look like. (It's not like they would let him in on it, after all, he's an Eye. Heck, they might not even know who requested the breakout of a pregnant Handmaid, only that the request came, and they are doing what they can to make it happen.)
Fans were stressed beyond belief at watching June follow her escape.
Apparently, the answer is now.
Offred has made it to her first safety stop on the Gilead Underground railroad to Canada. And she does the only thing anyone would: she burns her Handmaid clothes.
She burns the bonnet. She burns her hair. (Nick hands her the scissors and she cuts it all off, somehow looking more stylish in the process.)
She burns all of it... including the tracker in her ear she has to cut out herself. She's bloody, sooty, but unbowed. June Osborne, for at least this moment in time, is free.