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Hollywood Insider The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Review, Hulu TV Shows

Photo: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’/Hulu

On March 30, 2021, Hulu released the full trailer for season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ along with a synopsis, poster, and scene stills from the first three episodes that will be releasing on April 28, 2021. As said in the synopsis, “In the 10-episode upcoming season, June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.”

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The first season of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ won audiences with its dystopian but close-to-home themes surrounding the restrictions of women’s reproductive rights and all-around restriction of human rights from women. With covid regulations, the fourth season comes about two years after the premiere of season three in June of 2019. The premiere of season four will return with the first three episodes lead by June after having saved 86 children by sending them to Canada. 

I have noticed that ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’’ is not mainstream spoken about, and I believe that is an extreme disservice as the show is more than a piece of entertainment. Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, everything that occurs within the story is taken from real-life origins in political and religious history. And after you watch the show or read the novel, yes, that fact blows my mind just as much as the next person.

Religion and politics are a touchy subject for most people, which is why this novel was challenged for its stance, but the truth lies in the fact that those people cannot seem to find themselves in the wrong. While June’s story is fictional with those characters that stand beside her, the religious and political acts against women are, in fact, the truth, and some people cannot seem to digest it nor approve of June’s brave stance against it. 

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With storyline and purpose aside, I cannot begin to explain how beautiful the cinematography and the acting are within ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ The entirety of the show is an art form of stunning choices that genuinely leave me speechless, from the bodies covered in red fabric lining snow to an abandoned and destroyed Fenway Park lined with gallows. Just even thinking about the scenes leaves me speechless. Not even to begin with Moss’s acting that is underrated to the point that it brings me to anger from the non-existent remarks about her acting strength. Watch the scene in which she gives birth by herself or any moment she stares down at Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) and then get back to me on how you feel. 

This show, a novel and more so empowering piece of cinema, deserves so much more than this article, but with all my honor I can give, I present to you all of the information we know about season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ 

What The Trailer For Season 4 Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Reveals

The trailer released a few weeks ago gave many hints as to what we might expect in the upcoming season. From familiar faces that will be returning to the state of Gilead as June holds her stance of bravery and womanly power to bring children and women to safety, it seems that this might be the darkest season yet. The trailer reveals that practically all of Gilead is on the hunt for June after having smuggled 100 children along with Handmaids and Marthas. As June says in the trailer, “I made a promise to hurt them the way we hurt.” 

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Take my words as opinions, but by the looks of the trailer, there seems to be a possibility that Serena Joy could be pregnant. And said by practically everyone in the trailer, they all want June dead from Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) to Aunt Lydia Clements (Ann Dowd); they want her head. From the scene stills and trailer, it is safe to say that June will have reunions with Nick Blaine (Max Minghella) and her daughter, but not in a picture-perfect way you all might desire.

Instead, it seems conflicted and more so detrimental as June’s daughter is pictured in a glass box held hostage from June. Also exciting, there seems to be a pretty epic showdown between June and Aunt Lydia, who has proved herself more than responsible for an uppercut to the face. At the TCA panel, Moss made an exciting but short comment about the longtime coming fight. “God, June versus Aunt Lydia.” 

During the virtual Television Critics Association Press Tour, producers Bruce Miller and Warren Littlefield, along with star Elisabeth Moss, revealed more context as to what might be expected in season 4. Producer Bruce Miller had this to say at the TCA panel about what we might expect. “We’ve got Lydia in this season in a Javert kind of position, where she is just obsessed with June and has so much of her personal worth tied up in what June is doing, and how much damage June is wreaking out in the world that she feels responsible for.”

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Miller also added his thoughts on how even though June and Aunt Lydia are antagonists, they are inextricably intertwined. They spend a great deal of time worrying about what the other is conniving or planning to accomplish. He also added that it’s interesting to see two people who both want to be free of each other are constantly entangled. 

Miller teased that a significant theme for season 4 is who remains responsible for others’ actions with Moss, adding that power will be explored differently from what it had already been in the first three seasons. If anything should be known about this upcoming season, Miller assured fans that this season would include many completions for past build-ups. So, the big word to keep in mind is satisfaction.

“This season, we weren’t waiting around. It was time for shit to happen. And I think that made me feel like, ‘Wow, you can have shit happen, and you can still have a really interesting show,’ It makes me think there’s a lot of life left in this story,” Miller said. As a fan, I think we are all waiting for things to return to normal with June reunited with Hannah Bankole (Jordana Blake), Holly, Luke Bankole (O-T Fagbenle), Moira Strand (Samira Wiley), Emily Malek (Alexis Bledel), and so many more that she has been restricted from.  

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Writer Margaret Atwood released the sequel, ‘The Testaments,’ a few months after season 3 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ This novel is focused on the Aunts’ points of view, women such as Aunt Lydia and the children. During the TCA panel, the producers and Moss were asked about the future involvement with the new addition to the dystopian society story. “I certainly am fascinated by what happens in ‘The Testaments,’ and if that’s going to be part of our future, that’s a bigger question,” Miller also added that he is down to continue as long as he works alongside Littlefield and Moss. What is in store for the future, not quite sure, but I think critics, as well as Hulu, are wise to know that ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a milky-way in a vast darkness. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller gave some details that we might have already expected. “She’s not going to leave without Hannah.” Well, yeah, I think we can all agree with that as she has denied leaving twice already because Hannah is not with her. “As far as Gilead is concerned, those children are legally under their law. So, I think that Gilead, from their point of view, under their set of codes, is going to be ready to go to war over this.” If you are just now hearing about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ I urge you to digest the first three seasons before April 28. More than ever, the show connects with our real-life timeline, with the word of politics taking over our households. It has taken a form we have come to know all too well. Although, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ takes the word and puts action alongside it, making the fear of politics all too real. 

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Who Is Returning For Season 4 Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Just about everyone we have come to know in the first three seasons will be returning for season four. With familiar faces such as Nick, Aunt Lydia, Serena Joy Waterford, Fred Waterford, Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whiteford), Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger); it is safe to say that just about everyone will make an appearance. However, there is an exciting addition of Mckenna Grace (‘The Haunting of Hill House’), portraying Mrs. Keyes, a Commander’s much-younger wife. At 14 years old in real life, it will be fascinating to see her strength in representing a wife at such a young age. 

As for Nick’s involvement, Producer Littlefield revealed that he would be connected with Chicago. “We’ve planted seeds for several years about this uprising and hot spot in Chicago and that the forces of Gilead really can’t keep it under control. So Nick is going to be sent to Chicago, and now we leave our central universe around the greater Boston area, and, boom, we are in a completely different environment.” It is interesting to take note that the trailer hints that June is not quite necessarily a “Handmaid” in this season as she has no permanent household or “posting.” In seasons 1 and 2, June was at the Waterford house, and in season 3, she was at Commander Lawrence’s home. With this new uproar, it will be interesting to see what kind of trouble June finds herself. 

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Episode Titles For Season 4 Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ 

Digging deeper, some events for the season might be detected within the episode titles that were released on March 26, along with the episode’s writers and directors. With great honor and success, Elisabeth Moss directed episodes 3, 8, and 9 of season 4. It will be intriguing to see her perspective on the story that she has come to know so dearly. 

The following are the titles of the 10 episodes of season 4, their release date, corresponding writers, and directors.  

Episode One: ‘Pigs’ | Release Date: April 28, 2021 – Written by Bruce Miller – Directed by Colin Watkinson

Episode Two: ‘Nightshade’ | Release Date: April 28, 2021 – Written by Kira Snyder – Directed by Colin Watkinson

Episode Three: ‘The Crossing’ | Release Date: April 28, 2021 – Written by Bruce Miller – Directed by Elisabeth Moss

Episode Four: ‘Milk’ | Release Date: May 5, 2021 – Written by Jacey HeldrichDirected by Christian Choe

Episode Five: ‘Chicago’ I Release Date: May 12, 2021 – Written by John Herrera & Nina Fiore – Directed by Christina Choe

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Episode Six: ‘Vows’ | Release Date: May 19, 2021 – Written by Dorothy Fortenberry – Directed by Richard Shephard

Episode Seven: ‘Home’ | Release Date: May 26, 2021 – Written by Yahlin Chang – Directed by Richard Shephard

Episode Eight: ‘Testimony’ | Release Date: June 2, 2021 – Written by Kira Snyder – Directed by Elisabeth Moss

Episode Nine: ‘Progress’ | Release Date: June 9, 2021 – Written by Eric Tuchman & Aly Monroe – Directed by Elisabeth Moss

Episode Ten: ‘The Wilderness’ | Release Date: June 16, 2021 – Written by Bruce Miller – Directed by Liz Garbus

Where To Watch ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ will premiere on April 28, 2021, available to watch on the streaming platform Hulu. Until then, you have access to the first three seasons available to watch with a Hulu subscription. All I can say is that I will be unavailable on April 28 because I will be stuck watching the suspense of season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ 

By Isabella Brownlee

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