The Handmaid's Tale spent three seasons as one of the timeliest shows on the TV schedule. The Season 1 debut landed just as Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Season 2 arrived along with Trump's attempt to roll back LGBTQ rights. But even as June's slide into authoritarianism in Season 3 mirrored world events, there was a question of how Season 4 would keep it up in 2020. However, that question disappeared once it was revealed The Handmaid's Tale is taking a year off. Don't worry, though; The Handmaid's Tale Season 4's teaser promises Gilead will be back in 2021.
The Handmaid's Tale was not initially planned to take a year off. With star Elisabeth Moss scheduled to film a few big-screen features, filming for the new season was slated to begin in March of 2020, teeing up the new season to air sometime in the fall of 2020. Unfortunately, that's when the coronavirus pandemic also hit the U.S. hard, shutting down filming across the board.
At the June 22 NewFronts presentation, Hulu announced The Handmaid's Tale would not attempt to rush for a fall debut, and instead will be rescheduled for 2021. While fans were disappointed in the delay, a new Season 4 teaser is holding them over and giving hints about what to expect when June finally returns.
Because the cast and crew only shot for two weeks before production was shut down due to the coronavirus, the teaser consists almost entirely of footage from the first three seasons. But still, it's helpful. After nearly a year of the show being off the air, fans could use a reminder of how Season 3 ended.
Here's what the teaser recaps: June's plan to steal back the "stolen children of Gilead" to return to their parents in Canada was successful, shocking those like Moira who were there to receive the airplane. June herself did not make the flight; instead, she nearly sacrificed her life to make sure the plane took off. The final scene of Season 3 showed her half-conscious body being rescued by fellow handmaids. Serena Joy's world also turned upside down, as her plan to expose her husband Fred's wrongdoings backfired when he, in turn, revealed evidence against her as well. Come Season 4, the Waterford trial is going to be explosive, maybe even more so than the Gilead government's lawsuit for Canada to give back the children they claim to have rightfully stolen.
The fall of Gilead is (hopefully) on its way, and June is just getting started. The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 will premiere in 2021.