5 'The Handmaid's Tale' Theories That Might Actually Give You Some Hope

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No one ever accused The Handmaid's Tale of being optimistic, but as the Season 2 finale approaches, fans are starting to hope that June will finally get a happy ending. In Episode 11, June delivered her baby, Holly, and as we've seen throughout Season 2, she's more than willing to fight to give her daughter a better life. Will June escape Gilead? And if she does, will Hannah and Holly make it out with her? Fans have been speculating about what will go down in the final two episodes in Season 2, and surprisingly, their theories will give you a little bit of hope.

In Season 2, The Handmaid's Tale has gone to darker places than fans could have ever imagined. We've seen multiple brutal rape scenes, watched Serena Joy and Fred's relationship implode, and learned about the lengths Gilead is willing to go to suppress rebellion. Each episode, June's situation gets progressively worse, so it's natural to think that Season 2 is heading towards an equally dark resolution, but judging by these fan theories, that may not be the case. These five theories about The Handmaid's Tale will actually make you happy — a huge feat for a show that manages to disturb fans week after week.

Theory 1: June escapes to Canada
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Will June make it out of Gilead alive? Fans on Reddit seem to think that she'll head north to Canada — and this time, she'll make it there successfully. According to user birdienumnumms, June will escape from the Waterford house in the Season 2 finale (more on how exactly she does that in a bit) and will spend Season 3 trying to bring her daughters to safety:

After having met with Hanna, and found that she still loves and wants her real mommy, and also, that she seems to be relatively safe and relatively happy with her new family, it would be repetitive/boring if June got caught again. So I think she might escape and that season 3 will focus on her efforts from Canada to get Hanna out and overthrow the Gilead regime.

I know it's naive to think that The Handmaid's Tale may result in a happy ending, but I actually believe this theory. Fans have already seen June escape and then get re-captured, so watching that same thing happen again in Season 2 would be a huge let down.

Plus, Moira and Luke's story line is essentially a dead end until something major happens. Sure, you can include flash backs to keep their characters in the narrative, but at the end of the day, Luke and Moira are sitting ducks, and watching them wait around for news doesn't make for great TV.

If June does manage to escape to Canada (in the book, she escapes and her journal entries are published as The Handmaid's Tale), the big question is whether Nick would come with her. Nick and June love each other, and it's not as if he has a future in Gilead now that the Commander hates him. And who wouldn't want to see Nick and Luke try to be a thruple with June?

Theory 2: A massive fire helps June break free
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Some fans who think that June will escape believe that a massive fire will serve as the cover-up. There has been a lot of fire imagery in Season 2 — June burned her handmaid uniform, Serena has been smoking, she was offered matches (and then burned them) to help her escape, June gave birth to Holly by fire light, etc. — so it stands to reason that fire will play a role in the season finale.

One user, Ginger_mutt, believes that the fire will be purposeful and will serve as both a diversion and a way to get revenge:

I think maybe Rita will set the fire and frame Serena for it using the contraband cigarettes. The fire will serve as a diversion to get somebody (June, the baby, both) out of Gilead. Nick will have to stay to keep any focus off Rita as the actual fire starter.

While Season 2 was filming in Canada, someone spotted a black fire truck on set, which suggests that this theory may be correct. Or maybe there's just a grease fire in the kitchen?

Theory 3: Canada will invade Gilead
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Throughout Season 2, fans have learned more about Gilead's relationship with Canada, and after the Mayday letters were published online in Episode 9, it seems like diplomatic relations are at an all-time low. Canada is well aware of Gilead's human-rights violations, but is that knowledge enough to justify a full-fledged attack?

The Canadian border is only a few hours away from Gilead's hub in Boston, so if Canadian forces do decide to invade Gilead, there's a good chance that they will be successful. It's also possible that other nations may help Canada invade the theocracy — remember what June heard on the radio at the farmhouse? Nations like China, India, and Britain have already sanctioned Gilead and have given the small American government economic aid, so it's clear that they're willing to help restore American control over the continental U.S.

If this theory is true, Season 3 will likely revolve around an all-out war. Of course I'm excited for Gilead's prisoners to be free, but I also know that things would get much worse before they get better, and at this point, I'm just not sure if I'm ready to witness that kind of carnage.

Theory 4: Serena Joy will join the resistance
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In Episode 9, Serena Joy was given an opportunity to escape Gilead, but she turned it down because she believes in the cause. However, some fans think that her devotion may waver in the final two episodes. Serena and Fred's relationship continues to deteriorate, and even though she now has a baby (we'll see how long that lasts), she doesn't seem satisfied with her life.

Reddit user birdienumnumms theorizes that Serena's frustration will boil over in the Season 2 finale, prompting her to finally join June in the resistance movement:

As she is ultimately a woman, she might find herself in a situation she could help change through her intellect and former role as the architect of Gilead, assuming the role of the speaker/leader. Becoming a secret resistance leader inside of Gilead would suit her well and also, in a way, her character's natural resources. She knows about the inner workings of the theocratic oppression state and might well want to pay back the patriarchy.

The Handmaid's Tale has been hinting all season long that Serena is unhappy in the prison she's created for herself, so it seems only natural that these feelings would manifest in rebellion. Serena has slowly begun breaking the rules (she took over for the Commander when he was in the hospital and enlisted June to help), and as she becomes more dissatisfied with her husband, joining the resistance seems like a logical step.

If Serena joins the resistance, it would be a huge step towards redemption, but fans should remember that she's still responsible for creating Gilead in the first place. Those two don't exactly cancel each other out, do they?

Theory 5: Rita is an American spy
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This theory is a total game changer. Rita has played a larger role in Season 2, but she's still maintained a low profile in the house — just as a spy would do. Rita doesn't seem like a devout Gilead follower, but she's also not an insurgent like June. In essence, it's totally possible that Rita is feeding information to the American government, and hopefully, that information ends up helping destroy Gilead.

Plus, Rita being a spy dovetails nicely with many of these theories. Maybe Rita sets the fire, as Redditors have suggested, to help June escape? Maybe she's getting information off Fred's computer and sending it to the Canadian forces? And maybe she's the one who ultimately introduces Serena to the resistance? There are a lot of question marks surrounding Rita's character, and I can't wait to get some answers.