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Everything You Need To Know About The Handmaid's Tale Season Two

Elisabeth Moss returns as Offred in season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale

Photo Credit: George Kraychyk courtesy of Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale, the 1985 Margaret Atwood feminist novel that became an Emmy award winning smash hit TV show, returns in April for season 2.

For those of you who haven’t seen season one, the story is set in a dystopian future, where environmental and human disasters have caused widespread infertility and a plummeting birth rate, and a fundamentalist Christian movement has taken over the U.S government, suspending the constitution and turning the country into a totalitarian, theocratic military regime called Gilead, where rule is based on the Old Testament. Women have been stripped of their rights, including their names. Homosexuality is punishable by death and fertile woman are forced to become ‘handmaids’, enslaved surrogates for the ruling class.

Atwood based the action in the book on real events which happened in history. “Somewhere at some time. I made nothing up,” she told Time Magazine. Atwood remains a consultant on season 2.

The events in season one seem eerily prescient in Trump’s America, with parallels drawn between the drama and current events.

Producer and lead writer, Bruce Miller, told reporters on the TV Critics Association press tour that “I wouldn’t say the story is ripped from today’s headlines, I would say that today’s headlines were ripped from the book.”

So what do we know about season two?

“It’s a dark season, I would say arguably it’s a darker season than season one – if that’s possible,” Elisabeth Moss, who won an Emmy for her extraordinary portrayal of lead character Offred in season one, told the TV Critics Association press tour.

The Resistance Is Fighting Back

The writers have consulted with the United Nations and Human Rights Watch to ensure the events stay grounded in reality. Topics like the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia have been discussed in the writer’s room.

“There’s more than one way to resist, as well”, Moss told the TV Critics Association Press Tour. There’s also resistance within her. That’s something that is a big part of this season.”

Offred Is Pregnant And On The Run

“So much of this season is about motherhood,” Moss said. “We’ve talked a lot about the impending birth of the child that’s growing inside of her as a bit of a ticking time bomb. The complications are really wonderful to explore. She does have the baby, but it gets taken away from her. She can’t be its mother. It makes for good drama.”

Offred, formerly know as June, appears to flee to ‘The Colonies’ is season 2 and is relying on her unborn baby's father, Nick, to keep her safe.

Elisabeth Moss returns as Offred in season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale

Photo Credit: George Kraychyk courtesy of Hulu

Alexis Bledel Is Back As Emily

She won an Emmy for her heartbreaking storyline in season one as Ofglen (formerly known as Emily), the lesbian resistance member and handmaid who was genitally mutilated as punishment for being a ‘gender traitor’.

In the book, Ofglen commits suicide before she’s arrested and tortured, but in season 2 she seems to have been sent to work in ‘The Colonies”, the toxic, radioactive hellhole where criminals and undesirables are sent to work themselves to death in labor camps.

In season two we meet Emily's wife Sylvia and their young son, probably in flashback, as we see their attempt to flee to Canada.

Alexis Bledel returns in season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale as the doomed Ofglen (Emily)

Photo Credit: George Kraychyk courtesy of Hulu

Moira Has Escaped To Canada But Gilead Is Still Within Her

A deeply traumatized Moira (Samira Wiley) has fled to Toronto, Canada, and is trying to help Luke free June and their daughter Hannah from Gilead.

"Part of our thematic in Year 2 is 'Gilead is within you,'" executive producer Warren Littlefield told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association press tour. "So Moira may be out of Gilead. It doesn't leave her. I think that becomes a powerful touchstone for many of the characters but certainly for her and for Luke and the world we present in Toronto."

Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale begins streaming on Hulu in the U.S from April 25, on SBS On Demand in Australia on April 26 and Channel 4 in the UK with dates to be advised. Catch up on season 1 on SBS On Demand now.

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