On Friday, Hulu announced it had renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a fourth season during their Television Critics Association session. Later, Handmaid’s Tale producer Warren Littlefield happened to be on a panel for his new Hulu show Reprisal. After the Reprisal panel, Littlefield spoke with reporters further about Fargo and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Now that The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely coming back, Littlefield could speak about where this season would leave characters and what to expect from the now-confirmed fourth season.
June (Elisabeth Moss) has remained in Gilead despite having a chance to escape. She’s mostly played by the Commanders’ rules to survive. Littlefield says we can expect to see her fully embrace her rebel status.
“What we’re seeing is that June no longer considers herself an other,” Littlefield said. “She may still wear the robe of a handmaid, but she’s asserting herself and what you’ll see between now and the end of the season is her being less obedient to authority, being more assertive.”
It may seem strange to identify disobedience as a big change in June’s character. She led a rebellion in season one and she stole the Waterfords’ baby to set the child free. Perhaps what Littlefield means is June will be less sly and deceptive to accomplish her goals and more upfront. That includes roping in allies who may have otherwise not rocked the boat.
“She coopts Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) into her vision and that’s just starting to unfold,” Littlefield continued. “It’s a snowball rolling down a mountain. It’s just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
So that snowball will build up to the season finale. Where will that leave things for season four?
“I hope you’ll feel shocked in what we accomplish and where we leave our key characters,” Littlefield said. “So I think it’s quite a cliffhanger that we’ll leave you with and I feel quite confident.”
A season finale cliffhanger is not unusual for any show. For The Handmaid’s Tale, cliffhangers can be dire.
Hulu bragged about the growing audience for The Handmaid’s Tale. Viewership grew 40% from season two to season three, so now Littlefield hopes to leave season three in a place where not only fans have to come back to see what happens, but they’ll bring new viewers along to catch up too.
“If we had a 40% leap from year two to year three, I look forward to what that leap will be in year four,” Littlefield said.
New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere Wednesdays on Hulu.
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