The Handmaid's Tale (TV series)
|The Handmaid's Tale|
|Created by||Bruce Miller|
The Handmaid's Tale|
by Margaret Atwood
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||47–63 minutes|
|Original release||April 26, 2017– present|
The Handmaid's Tale is an American dystopian drama web television series created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. It was ordered by the streaming service Hulu as a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes, for which production began in late 2016. The plot features a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War wherein a totalitarian society subjects fertile women, called "Handmaids", into child-bearing servitude.
The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017; the subsequent seven episodes aired on a weekly basis every Wednesday. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on April 25, 2018.
The Handmaid's Tale has received widespread critical acclaim and its first season won eight Primetime Emmy Awards from thirteen nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, becoming the first series on a streaming service to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss.
In May 2018, Hulu announced that the series had been renewed for a third season.
In the near future, fertility rates collapse as a result of sexually transmitted diseases and environmental pollution. With this chaos, the totalitarian, theonomic government of "Gilead" establishes rule in the former United States in the aftermath of a civil war. Society is organized by power-hungry leaders along with a new, militarized, hierarchical regime of fanaticism and newly created social classes, in which women are brutally subjugated, and by law are not allowed to work, own property, handle money, or read.
Worldwide infertility has resulted in the conscription of the few remaining fertile women in Gilead, called "Handmaids", according to an extremist interpretation of the Biblical account of Bilhah. They are assigned to the homes of the ruling elite, where they must submit to ritualized rape by their male masters in order to become pregnant and bear children for those men and their wives.
Alongside the Handmaids, much of society is now grouped into classes that dictate their freedoms and duties. Women are divided into a small range of social categories, each one signified by a plain dress in a specific color: Handmaids wear red, Marthas (who are housekeepers and cooks, named after the biblical figure) wear green, and Wives (who are expected to run their households) wear blue and turquoise.
Econowives, the lower-class women who still have minimal agency, are a sort of mixture of all these categories, and they wear gray (a departure from the book in which Econowives wear clothing striped with the aforementioned colors). Women prisoners are called Unwomen and are worked to death clearing toxic waste in the Colonies.
Another class of women, Aunts (who train and oversee the Handmaids), wear brown. Additionally, the Eyes are a secret police watching over the general populace for signs of rebellion, Hunters track down people attempting to flee the country, and Jezebels are prostitutes in secret brothels catering to the elite ruling class.
June Osborne, renamed Offred (Elisabeth Moss), is the Handmaid assigned to the home of the Gileadan Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski). Offred is subject to strict rules and constant scrutiny; an improper word or deed on her part can lead to brutal punishment.
Offred, who is named after her male master ("Of Fred") like all Handmaids, was married and had a daughter, a job, a bank account, and her own name and identity in the "time before", but all she can safely do now is follow the rules of Gilead in hopes that she can someday live free again and be reunited with her daughter. The Waterfords, key players in the rise of Gilead, have their own conflicts with the realities of the society they have helped create.
Cast and characters
- Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne / Offred, a woman who was captured while attempting to escape to Canada with her husband, Luke, and daughter, Hannah. Due to her fertility, she is made a Handmaid to Commander Fred Waterford and his wife, Serena Joy, and is named "Offred".
- Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford, a high-ranking government official and June's master. Both he and his wife played an instrumental role in Gilead's founding. He wishes to have more contact with June outside of what is lawful between a Handmaid and her master, and starts inviting her to play nightly games of Scrabble.
- Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Fred's wife and a former conservative cultural activist. She appears to have accepted her new role in a society that she helped create. She is poised and deeply religious, but capable of great cruelty and is often callous to June. She is desperate to become a mother.
- Alexis Bledel as Emily / Ofglen / Ofsteven, June's shopping partner. Although June is initially wary of her, it is revealed Ofglen is not as pious as she seems, and the two become friends. Ofglen had a wife and son, and was a university lecturer in cellular biology. Being homosexual is punishable by death in Gilead, and most university professors are sent to labour camps, but Ofglen was spared and made a Handmaid, due to her fertility. She is later captured and cruelly punished for her relationship with a Martha, and is sent to another household where she becomes "Ofsteven". She is involved with a resistance movement called "Mayday".
- Madeline Brewer as Janine / Ofwarren / Ofdaniel, a Handmaid who entered the Red Center for training at the same time as June and considers June a friend due to her kind treatment. Initially non-compliant, Janine's right eye is removed as a punishment. She becomes mentally unstable due to her treatment and often behaves in temperamental or childlike ways. She gives birth to a child for Warren and Naomi Putnam, whom they name "Angela", but Janine insists the baby's name is "Charlotte". Janine is later reassigned and becomes "Ofdaniel". She was temporarily assigned to the Colonies until a bombing at the new Rachel and Leah Center.
- Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, a woman in charge of overseeing the Handmaids in their sexual reeducation and duties. She is brutal and subjects insubordinate Handmaids to harsh physical punishment, but she also cares for her charges and believes deeply in the Gileadean mission and doctrine. She appears to have a soft spot for Janine, and even goes so far as to address her by her given name on occasion.
- O. T. Fagbenle as Lucas "Luke" Bankole, June's husband from before Gilead. Because he and June began their relationship before his divorce from his first wife, their union is considered invalid in the new society. June is considered an adulteress and their daughter, Hannah, is considered illegitimate. Initially, June believes he has been killed, but it is later revealed Luke managed to escape to Canada.
- Max Minghella as Nick Blaine, Commander Waterford's driver and a former drifter from Michigan who has feelings for June. June and Nick develop an intimate relationship and she eventually discovers that he is an Eye, a spy for Gilead.
- Samira Wiley as Moira / Ruby, June's best friend since college. She is already at the Red Center when June enters Handmaid training but escapes before being assigned to a home. She is recaptured and becomes "Ruby", a Jezebel. She seems to have given up hope of ever being free, but on meeting June again regains the conviction to escape.
- Amanda Brugel as Rita, a Martha at the Waterford home. She had a son who died fighting in the civil war when he was 19 years old.
- Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam, Commander Warren Putnam's wife.
- Tattiawna Jones as Lillie Fuller / Ofglen No. 2, who replaces Emily in the position after Emily is captured by the Eyes. She initially follows the rules and does not wish to upset the status quo, but this is because she believes her life as a Handmaid is better than the difficult, impoverished life she led prior to Gilead, rather than out of religious piety.
- Nina Kiri as Alma / Ofrobert, another Handmaid who trained at the Red Center with June, Moira, and Janine. She is frank and chatty, and often trades gossip and news with June. She is also involved with Mayday and becomes June's first contact with the resistance group.
- Jenessa Grant as Dolores / Ofsamuel, a local Handmaid with a friendly and talkative nature.
- Bahia Watson as Brianna / Oferic, another local Handmaid who is friends with June.
- Jordana Blake as Hannah Bankole, June and Luke's daughter. She is later renamed Agnes.
- Erin Way as Erin, a young, apparently mute, woman who was being trained to become a Handmaid but managed to escape to Canada.
- Sydney Sweeney as Eden Spencer (season 2), a pious and obedient girl who was Nick's wife.
- Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence (season 2), the founder of the Colonies.
- Greg Bryk as Commander Ray Cushing (season 2)
- Rohan Mead as Isaac (season 2), a Guardian assigned to the Waterford home.
- Julie Dretzin as Eleanor Lawrence (season 2), Joseph's wife.
- Kristen Gutoskie as Beth (season 1), a Martha at Jezebel's. She has an arrangement with Nick whereby she trades illegal alcohol and other contraband for drugs, which the Jezebels use. She has a casual sexual relationship with him and is aware that he is an Eye.
- Marisa Tomei as Mrs. O'Conner (season 2), a Commander's wife who is sent to the colonies as punishment for having sex with another man.
- Cherry Jones as Holly Maddox (season 2), June's mother, an outspoken feminist.
- Clea DuVall as Sylvia (season 2), Emily's wife.
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Omar (season 2) a man who helps June attempt to escape.
- John Carroll Lynch as Dan (season 2), Emily's boss at the university where she worked.
- Kelly Jenrette as Annie (season 2), Luke's ex-wife.
- Rebecca Rittenhouse as Odette (season 2), a Doctor and Moira's fiancée.
- Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello (season 2), a mysterious stranger who Serena encounters in Canada.
- Oprah Winfrey (uncredited) as Newsreader (season 2) on a car radio.
|First released||Last released|
|1||10||April 26, 2017||June 14, 2017|
|2||13||April 25, 2018||July 11, 2018|
Season 1 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Offred"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|A family is pursued by a group of armed men. The woman is caught, and separated from her young daughter and husband as shots are fired in the distance. She is now known as Offred, the Handmaid to Commander Fred Waterford. While walking with another Handmaid, Ofglen, they pass by a wall on which men have been hanged for crimes such as being gay, working in an abortion clinic, and being a Catholic priest. In a flashback, various women are indoctrinated into their Handmaid roles by Aunt Lydia, and Offred notices Moira, a woman she knew in college. Handmaid Janine taunts Aunt Lydia and is shocked with a cattle prod, later her right eye is removed as punishment. In the present, Commander Waterford tries to impregnate Offred during "the Ceremony" as she lies in the lap of his wife, Serena Joy. The next day, the Handmaids are encouraged to beat a man to death after Lydia announces he raped a pregnant Handmaid. Janine tells Offred that her friend Moira is dead. On the way home, Ofglen tells Offred that she had a wife and son, and warns her there is an Eye in the Waterford house. Offred affirms to herself that her true name is June and that she intends to survive to find her daughter.|
|2||2||"Birth Day"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|Offred and Ofglen go shopping, and they reveal more personal information about themselves to each other. While they are walking, they see St. Paul Catholic Church, their local church, being destroyed by the new régime. Ofglen tells Offred that the régime also bulldozed St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan to try to "erase" the fact that it ever existed. When Offred asks how Ofglen knows this information, she reveals that she is part of a resistance movement against the government, but Offred declines to join. Commander Waterford's driver, Nick, tells Offred that the Commander wants to see her alone later that night, which is forbidden, and warns her that Ofglen is dangerous. Offred and other Handmaids visit a home to witness the birth of Ofwarren (Janine)'s child, named Angela by the Puttnams, but Charlotte by Ofwarren. In flashbacks, June (Offred) remembers the birth of her and Luke's daughter, Hannah. At that time healthy births were already rare, and a woman who tried to kidnap baby Hannah was arrested. Warily, Offred goes to the Commander's office, but he just wants to play Scrabble, to her relief. The next day, when Offred prepares to tell Ofglen what happened that night, a different woman introduces herself as Ofglen.|
|3||3||"Late"||Reed Morano||Bruce Miller||April 26, 2017|
|In flashbacks, the rise of Gilead is detailed. June and all the other women at her office were fired, and the government froze women's bank accounts and ruled they could no longer own property. In the present, Serena takes Offred to see Ofwarren and the baby, and Offred fears Ofwarren is delusional. Back home, Offred is interrogated by an Eye and Aunt Lydia about her knowledge of Ofglen. Offred eventually reveals she knew Ofglen was gay and for this, Aunt Lydia shocks Offred with a cattle prod. Before she can leave the room, Offred quotes one of the Beatitudes from the Bible, which would have earned her a much more serious beating, but Serena intervenes, believing that Offred is pregnant. When Offred later tells Serena that she's not pregnant, Serena angrily locks her in her room. In a flashback, June and Moira attend a protest against the new laws amidst automatic gunfire and explosives. In the present, Ofglen and the Martha she's in a relationship with are charged with "gender treachery". The fertile Ofglen receives a lesser sentence, but the Martha is executed by hanging as Ofglen watches, sobbing and horrified. Later, Ofglen (now referred to by her "old" name, Emily), to her grief and anger, undergoes female genital mutilation surgery as explained by Aunt Lydia.|
|4||4||"Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"||Mike Barker||Leila Gerstein||May 3, 2017|
|Banished to her room, Offred retreats to her closet where she finds what appears to be a Latin phrase, Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum, scratched discreetly into the wall. When Rita, the Commander's housekeeper, finds Offred lying on the closet floor, Offred tells her that she fainted. Serena then has Offred sent to the hospital for a check-up. During the examination the physician remarks that the Commander is most likely sterile, as is common. He offers to personally impregnate her but she declines. In flashbacks, Aunt Lydia teaches the Handmaids about The Ceremony in which a Commander endeavours to fertilize a Handmaid. Later, June and Moira assault Aunt Elizabeth, and Moira takes Elizabeth's outfit. June and Moira plan to escape via train to Boston, which has safe houses. Moira manages to catch the train without June, who lets Moira know it's okay. June is later caught and punished by having her feet whipped. Commander Waterford has an unsuccessful Ceremony night with Offred, but later that night, they have another game of Scrabble. She asks him about the Latin phrase, and he tells her it means, Don't let the bastards grind you down. When she inquires about the previous Offred, he tells her that she committed suicide because life was unbearable. He then releases Offred from her solitary confinement.|
|5||5||"Faithful"||Mike Barker||Dorothy Fortenberry||May 10, 2017|
|Serena suggests to Offred that she have sex with Nick in case Commander Waterford is sterile. Later that day, Serena leads Offred up to Nick's room and waits by the door while Offred and Nick have detached sex. Flashbacks detail Luke and June's first meeting and courtship. At the grocery store, Offred talks to the original Ofglen, now called Ofsteven, but Ofsteven is not as responsive as she used to be. During a Ceremony night, the Commander touches Offred's thigh, which she later tells him never to do again. In their ensuing conversation, the Commander admits that while they thought they were building a better world, they knew that "better never means better for everyone." Nick reveals to Offred that he is indeed an Eye. At an open-air market, Offred questions Ofsteven about the resistance group called Mayday. Ofsteven jumps behind the steering wheel of a security car and drives erratically around the plaza. She hits a guard, and is caught and put into a black van. Offred returns to Nick's coach house alone, and they have passionate sex.|
|6||6||"A Woman's Place"||Floria Sigismondi||Wendy Straker Hauser||May 17, 2017|
|Mexican trade delegates visit the Commander's home to evaluate the effects of the Gilead cultural movement. The female head of the delegation questions Offred about her experience, but she lies, saying that she is happy. Offred visits the Commander's office later, but there is tension. She reluctantly obeys his demand to kiss him, but ferociously brushes her teeth afterward. The Handmaids and children are then taken to a function to demonstrate Gilead's success. Offred's friend remarks that the delegates are only interested in fertile women. The next day, as the delegates are leaving, Offred tells them the brutal truth about Gilead. She pleads for their help, but in response, the Mexican ambassador explains her own country's dire situation. However, the ambassador's assistant quietly claims June's husband is alive and that he can deliver a message to Luke. A flashback details Serena and Fred's life at the beginnings of the Gilead movement when Serena was a conservative cultural activist with passion and intelligence equal to her husband's. Serena Joy wrote a book about her beliefs, titled A Woman's Place. However, after the takeover, she is completely shut out of the new government planning and accepts her new limited role in the society she helped create. A copy of her book is seen being thrown out with the trash.|
|7||7||"The Other Side"||Floria Sigismondi||Lynn Renee Maxcy||May 24, 2017|
|A flashback chronicles Luke's story after he becomes separated from his wife and daughter. Luke is shot by Gileadan guards, but he escapes when the ambulance crashes, and he takes some medical supplies. He reaches a small abandoned town and, after passing out from his wounds, is rescued by a resistance group traveling to Canada. These survivors included a Roman Catholic nun, a seemingly mute escaped Handmaid, a homosexual man, and a daughter of a US Army soldier. Initially reluctant, Luke joins them after one of the survivors, Zoe, shows him that Gileadan authorities hanged townspeople from the rafters of their church for resisting. As they board a boat, Gileadan guards open fire, killing several members of the group, but Luke and Erin, the escaped Handmaid, survive. A further flashback shows Luke, June, and their daughter Hannah before they were separated. June and Luke are helped by Mr. Whitford, a man who knew June's mother. He leaves them at a secluded cabin in the woods while he arranges documentation for them to escape to Canada. Later, a local hunter tells them Whitford has been caught and hanged, but the hunter helps them cross the border. Three years later, in the present, Luke and Erin live safely in "Little America", based in Toronto, Ontario. While in the main administrative office, Luke receives the letter from June, which reads "I love you so much. Save Hannah."|
|8||8||"Jezebels"||Kate Dennis||Kira Snyder||May 31, 2017|
|Commander Waterford gifts Offred with makeup and a dress as he is taking her out for the night. Nick drives them to Boston to an underground brothel, where prostitutes (known as "Jezebels") work. Offred spots Moira working in the club, and they briefly reunite. Nick trades drugs and pregnancy tests for alcohol with one of the brothel's Marthas. Offred goes to see Moira again, and she explains to Offred how Quakers tried to help her escape but were caught. Moira had the choice of being sent either to the colonies or one of the brothels. Moira tells Offred, "Forget about escaping. This is Gilead. No one gets out." Offred reveals to Moira that she knows Luke is alive. Flashbacks detail how Nick got involved with the Gilead movement and how he became an Eye after reporting a Commander for breaking protocol with his Handmaids. There are other flashbacks to the suicide of the previous Offred, with Serena pointedly saying to her husband, "What did you think was going to happen?" In the present, after Nick drives Waterford and Offred home, he ends his relationship with Offred, which upsets and angers her. Offred receives a gift from Serena, a music box. The episode closes with Offred etching "You are not alone" into the closet wall.|
|9||9||"The Bridge"||Kate Dennis||Eric Tuchman||June 7, 2017|
|Ofwarren's daughter is handed over to Commander Putnam and his wife, and Ofwarren is transferred to another couple and renamed Ofdaniel. However, Offred is worried about Ofwarren/Ofdaniel's mental state. During the first Ceremony night with her new Commander, Ofdaniel forcefully stops it. At the market, Alma pulls Offred aside, tells her that she is involved with the resistance group Mayday, and requests that Offred retrieve a package from the bar at Jezebel's. Offred convinces Waterford to take her to Jezebel's again that night. After Offred and Waterford have sex in their room, Waterford presents Moira, as he believes they have a sexual attraction. Offred asks Moira to retrieve the package, but she refuses, seemingly resigned to her fate. The next day Offred is taken to a bridge where Ofdaniel is standing on the edge with baby Charlotte, while Gileadan guards, the Putnams, the Waterfords, and Aunt Lydia stand fearfully by. Ofdaniel shouts that Commander Putnam promised to leave his wife for her. Offred convinces Ofdaniel to give her the child, and Ofdaniel then jumps into the icy water below. Later, while Ofdaniel lies comatose in hospital, Commander Putnam is led away by guards. When Serena Joy tries to offer comfort to Mrs. Putnam, she reminds Serena of the first Offred's fate, causing Serena to doubt her husband's loyalty. At the market, Offred is given a package by the butcher, sent by Moira from Jezebel's. At the brothel, Moira kills a client and takes his clothes, then jubilantly drives off in his car.|
|10||10||"Night"||Kari Skogland||Bruce Miller||June 14, 2017|
|A flashback shows June's capture and indoctrination by Aunt Lydia at the Red Center. After Serena discovers Fred's trips to Jezebel's, she slaps Offred hard and forces her to take a pregnancy test. It is positive. Serena then angrily accuses her husband, telling him the child is not his. Upon learning the news, Nick shares a brief, tender moment with Offred. Serena takes Offred to where Hannah now lives, but Offred is kept in the car, and unable to attract her daughter's attention. Serena warns Offred that Hannah will be cared for as long as the unborn child is safe. Fred participates in Commander Putnam's trial advocating leniency, but Mrs. Putnam wants the harshest punishment possible, and ultimately Putnam's left arm is amputated at the elbow. The package from Jezebel's contains letters from women who have lost family members and been enslaved in the Gilead takeover. Later, an emotional Aunt Lydia gathers the Handmaids for the execution of Janine/Ofdaniel. The Handmaids hesitate, and Ofglen No. 2 is brutally beaten when she voices her angry refusal. Offred, then the other Handmaids, drop their stones. One of the guards threatens to kill Offred, but Aunt Lydia saves her, although assuring the handmaids that there will be consequences. Not long afterward, a black van comes for Offred. Nick urges her to trust him and go with them. Offred's transfer is unusual, as neither of the Waterfords have any idea this would be happening. As Offred leaves, she whispers to Rita where to find the hidden letters. In a side story, Moira reaches Canada and is reunited with Luke.|
Season 2 (2018)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|11||1||"June"||Mike Barker||Bruce Miller||April 25, 2018|
|Offred and other handmaids are taken to a dilapidated Fenway Park, where they are made to believe they will be hanged, but it turns out to be a ruse to frighten them. During another punishment, Offred is freed after Aunt Lydia is told of her pregnancy. When she rejects a meal Aunt Lydia gives her, she is shown a pregnant handmaid, Ofwyatt, chained in a prison room due to her attempt to kill herself by drinking drain cleaner. Offred agrees to eat, and during her meal Aunt Lydia, who had told her that her friends would be punished for their disobedience, but her pregnancy would mean that she would be exempted, brings the other handmaids into the room. One by one they each have a hand burned over an open gas flame. Later, Offred is at a pregnancy check-up, where she is visited by Fred and Serena, but afterwards finds a key in one of her boots, which she uses to escape to a van parked underneath the hospital. The van drops her off to a safe house in Back Bay, where she meets Nick, while Fred authorizes a highly resourced search for her. He tells her to change out of her handmaid outfit, and to cut her hair. After stripping off her handmaid's dress, she burns it before cutting the red cattle tag out of her ear. In flashbacks throughout the episode, Hannah is admitted to the hospital for having a fever while in school; June is questioned by one of the hospital workers about giving Hannah medication to bypass the school's fever policy, as well as about June and Luke's fitness as parents. Later, they arrive home to a news story about the Capitol Building and the White House being attacked.|
|12||2||"Unwomen"||Mike Barker||Bruce Miller||April 25, 2018|
|June has been transported to the abandoned former headquarters of The Boston Globe, another safe place arranged by Mayday. Emily has been taken to the Colonies, where disobedient and lower-class infertile women ("unwomen") are forced to dig on highly toxic land. Many of the unwomen are becoming sick, and Emily is doing what she can to help them. A commander's wife arrives at the Colonies and is not welcomed by the unwomen: Emily befriends her and finds that she was sent to the colonies for committing a "sin of the flesh." Emily holds her in contempt for "holding a woman down while her husband rapes her". She feigns giving her pills for her ailments that are in truth poison, which leads to her death.  The unwomen are warned that there will be consequences for this death. Janine arrives at the Colonies, where she is briefly greeted by Emily. June is visited by Nick at the Globe and gets upset when he tells her she needs to wait for several weeks before she can leave because everyone is looking for her. Nick ends up giving her the keys to a car and a gun but she decides to stay, and they have sex. In a flashback, after the attack on the Capitol Building and the White House, Emily is told by her boss, Professor Dan, that she will not be teaching the following semester at the university, giving her a lower profile to avoid attracting criticism for her sexual orientation. Professor Dan is later seen hanged at the university with the word "faggot" spray painted underneath him. While Emily, along with her wife Sylvia and son Oliver, attempt to emigrate to Canada, she is unable to leave the country because their same-sex marriage is no longer recognized, and it becomes known that she is the biological mother of Oliver. June makes a news-clipping memorial for The Boston Globe employees who were executed at the newspaper's former headquarters and prays to God to send an angel to watch over it.|
|13||3||"Baggage"||Kari Skogland||Dorothy Fortenberry||May 2, 2018|
|Having spent two months at The Boston Globe offices, June has found evidence in their archives of the early emergence of the Gilead movement. Nick visits occasionally. She is abruptly moved to a different place where she meets Omar, who tells her he is bringing her to a safe house near an airstrip in order to fly to Canada. He receives a message that the safe house has been compromised, and tries to leave without her, but she stands in front of his van to make him take her. He takes her to his apartment, where she meets his wife, Heather, and their son, Adam. Left alone when his family goes to church, June finds a hidden Qur'an and prayer rug under the bedsprings; Omar and his family do not return. She dons Heather's Econowife outfit and leaves the apartment, blending in with other Econowives. After a train ride, June runs into the woods. She realizes she has no way of rescuing Hannah and advances to the airstrip that Omar had told her of; however, the plane is intercepted before take-off, the pilot is executed, and June and another fugitive are apprehended by the Guardians. Meanwhile, Moira, now living with Luke and Erin (who is no longer mute) in Canada, gives a tour to a new co-worker but he has a breakdown, traumatized by what he did as a Guardian. In a flashback, June as a child is taken to a Take Back the Night rally by her mother, Holly. When she grew up, Holly was disappointed at June's career choices and plan to marry Luke, hoping that she would have been an activist. Moira and June learned during their training at the Red Center that Holly had been declared an Unwoman and was sent to the Colonies to be worked to death.|
|14||4||"Other Women"||Kari Skogland||Yahlin Chang||May 9, 2018|
|June is taken back and chained in a room where Aunt Lydia explains that she must choose between this imprisonment, followed by execution after the birth of her child, or return as a handmaid to the Waterfords. She chooses the latter and is under close supervision from Lydia. The Waterfords, who still employ Nick, publicly treat Offred's disappearance as a kidnapping, but privately Serena is furious and grabs Offred by the throat. Rita returns the letters she found and tells Offred that she will no longer be involved. A baby shower is held for Serena, incorporating prayer and a ritual binding of Offred to Serena. Offred learns from Alma that Ofglen's tongue was removed for speaking up to save Ofwarren (Janine) as she was about to be stoned and that Mayday has now gone silent. Aunt Lydia takes Offred out to show her what is presumed to be Omar's hanging corpse. She tells June that Omar's wife, Heather, is now a handmaid and that their child, Adam, was given away to another family. Aunt Lydia tells Offred that this was her fault, and Offred accepts the blame. Aunt Lydia encourages June to distinguish between Offred's identity and June's, saying June is to blame not Offred. In a flashback, June sees Luke's first wife Annie, who tells her that they made wedding vows before God, but Luke rejects her attempts to come between him and June. A few years later, Annie sees Luke and June in a restaurant with their child, Hannah. Offred has collapsed emotionally under the knowledge of Omar's family's fate. June prays that Hannah forget her. Ignoring Nick the following day, Offred appears to be conforming to the expectations of a handmaid.|
|15||5||"Seeds"||Mike Barker||Kira Snyder||May 16, 2018|
|Offred is very subdued, and starts to burn the letters she had been keeping for Mayday. She notices vaginal bleeding, which continues and gets worse but does not inform anyone, although Rita notices her unsteadiness. Nick notices Offred's apparent depression and lets Mrs. Waterford know about it. Mrs. Waterford becomes alarmed at Nick's interest in Offred and informs Commander Waterford, who arranges for him to be married at a Prayvaganza where loyal Guardians are issued a wife as a reward for their work. Nick's new bride, Eden, moves into his room. Nick later finds Offred unconscious and drenched in the bushes outside the Waterfords' house and she is taken to the hospital. Offred, still pregnant, promises to her baby that they both will escape Gilead. Meanwhile, in the Colonies, Janine assures Emily that God is protecting them through their struggles in Gilead, and helps to arrange a small wedding for a dying worker, officiated by another Unwoman who is a rabbi. Emily, who has begun to lose her teeth, argues with her for attempting to bring brightness to a place that otherwise seems so bleak. When the newlywed Unwoman dies, the rabbi officiates at the burial as she is lowered into her grave in a cemetery adorned with crosses.|
|16||6||"First Blood"||Mike Barker||Eric Tuchman||May 23, 2018|
|Advised by a doctor that a harmonious household would be good for the child, Serena shows increased care for Offred, giving her the sitting room as a bedroom and inviting some handmaids to have brunch with her. When Serena shows Offred the nursery for the baby, Offred asks to see Hannah, upon which Serena moves her back to her previous room, and sets about humiliating her. Eden reveals to Offred that she fears Nick may be a "gender traitor" due to his reluctance to have sex with her, so Offred warns him and he has sex with Eden to avoid suspicion, but only after he tells Offred that he loves her. Fred visits Offred in secret and gives her a photograph of Hannah, and wants to have sex with her, but Offred refuses. At the opening of the Rachel and Leah Center, a construction and ceremony overseen by Waterford, Nick asks Commander Pryce to be reassigned, and that Offred be protected, to which he agrees. Ofglen runs toward the stage, and detonates a bomb: only Handmaids are seen to have escaped. Flashbacks show Serena being verbally attacked while promoting her book A Woman's Place, and being shot by a protester, and Fred's punishment of those he believes to have been involved.|
|17||7||"After"||Kari Skogland||Lynn Renee Maxcy||May 30, 2018|
|31 handmaids and 26 commanders, and an unspecified number of civilians, have been killed in Ofglen's attack on the Rachel and Leah Center, including Commander Pryce, while others, such as Commander Waterford, were seriously injured. Following the attack, Commander Cushing takes Commander Pryce's role, instituting an increased number of checkpoints and having numerous people summarily executed. He questions Offred, asking who aided her when she tried to flee the country. Offred responds that she was kidnapped, an answer that Commander Cushing does not believe. Mrs. Waterford is alarmed at the possibility of her household being targeted, and is angry at his heavy-handed response to the bombing. She forges orders from her husband to have Commander Cushing arrested for treason and apostasy. Because so many handmaids were killed, some fertile women are taken back from the Colonies and are made to serve as handmaids once again, including Janine and Emily. Both reunite with Offred in the grocery store, with Janine happily telling her that it was God's plan that she be rescued. Offred, who had been sad to discover that none of the handmaids had known Ofglen's name, tells her real name, June, to Emily and another handmaid and following this, several of the handmaids whisper their real names to one another, which Eden overhears. Later, Mrs. Waterford enlists Offred's help in illicitly performing the Commander's work for him while he is in the hospital. At the refugee center, Moira looks through records to try to confirm whether her fiancée, Odette, has died. Through flashbacks Moira is revealed to have been a surrogate for a couple before the war. She met Odette, an obstetrician, during this process. In the present, Moira eventually finds photographs showing Odette was killed.|
|18||8||"Women's Work"||Kari Skogland||Nina Fiore & John Herrera||June 6, 2018|
June has been helping Serena to complete Fred's work for some months while he is too ill from his bomb injuries to do so himself, but as soon as he returns home he excludes Serena from his office. Serena tells June that the Putnams' child, Angela, (called Charlotte by Janine, who is her biological mother) is sick. June advocates for Janine to be able to see the baby, and Serena agrees to ask about it for the baby's sake. Naomi Putnam dislikes the idea, but she is overruled by her husband, Warren. Serena petitions Fred to allow the sick child to be seen by a Martha who, prior to the Sons of Jacob coup, was one of the nation's top neonatologists. Fred denies the request, saying that whatever happens to the child must now be left to God's will. A dismayed Serena forges Fred's signature to a written order that transfers the Martha to the hospital for a day. Aunt Lydia tells June that she will hold her personally responsible if anything goes wrong with Janine's visit to the hospital. The neonatologist can find no physical explanation for the child's deterioration and can recommend no further treatment. She advises them to unplug the baby from all of the machines and help her to feel safe and warm. When Fred discovers that Serena forged his signature on an order to temporarily transfer the physician/Martha, he beats Serena with his belt as June is forced to watch. Serena later tearfully rejects June's offer of sympathy. Meanwhile, Eden is working hard to please Nick, but after she rearranges his garret and uncovers the bundle of handmaids' letters he recovered from June, he becomes angry, demanding that she never touch his belongings. The episode ends in the hospital with Janine, partly undressed, singing "I Only Want to Be with You" to her child and bouncing her as her baby gurgles happily.This is the first episode in this series that does not have scenes from before the formation of Gilead.
|19||9||"Smart Power"||Jeremy Podeswa||Dorothy Fortenberry||June 13, 2018|
|Fred and Serena travel to Canada on a diplomatic mission accompanied by Nick, while a Guardian, Isaac, is to be left responsible for the household. Much to Offred's distress, Serena tells her that she will be transferred as soon as the baby is born. In Toronto, Serena is reminded of the time before Gilead, and the Waterfords are ambivalently greeted by Canadian officials. Later, Serena is approached by Mark Tuello, who works for the remnant of the US government in Hawaii, and offers to help her defect from Gilead, but Serena declines. At the Waterford's residence, June tells Rita that when Hannah was baptized, she and Luke chose godparents for her and wishes for Rita to be the godparent of her expected child as soon as it is born. Rita states that she will try her best, though the government of Gilead has prohibited baptisms and severely restricts Marthas. June makes a similar request to Aunt Lydia, prompting her to reveal she was previously godparent to her sister's baby, who died in infancy. At a protest, Luke confronts Commander Waterford. Afterwards, Nick finds Luke and tells him June is pregnant by Waterford, but safe, and gives him the bundle of letters from women enslaved in Gilead. Luke, Moira, and Erin make the letters public, causing an outcry that prompts the Canadians to cancel the rest of the summit. Moira holds a sign up to the Waterfords' car that says "My name is Moira" and Fred recognises her from Jezebel's. Serena burns the Hawaiian matches Mark left her. Meanwhile, Nick gives June news of Luke and Moira, and tells her that the letters were instrumental in getting the talks curtailed. June reveals that Moira is Hannah's godmother and is happy that she escaped to Canada. Nick tells June that he loves her, and tries to kiss her, but she does not allow him to.|
|20||10||"The Last Ceremony"||Jeremy Podeswa||Yahlin Chang||June 20, 2018|
|The commander to whom Emily is newly assigned as handmaid collapses and dies during the Ceremony. June suffers contractions while shopping, forcing her home and to endure a "birthing ceremony" as everyone awaits the birth of the child. However, it turns out to be a false alarm and everyone is dismissed. Following the false alarm, June pleads to Fred to be positioned closer to her daughter Hannah after the eventual birth. After Fred denies this request, June implies that the child she is carrying is not his and that he will never have a biological child of his own. Later, Fred rapes June with Serena holding her down, under the guise of inducing the labor. Eden finds herself attracted to Isaac, a guard, and meets with him late at night. They kiss, but she breaks off once she sees Nick watching. She begs his forgiveness, which he readily gives with a detachment that infuriates her. She accuses Nick of liking Offred. Fred then arranges Nick to take June to an empty and remote house for a short visit with Hannah, who is now named Agnes. After they are once again separated, Guardians take Nick captive, and June is left behind, having hidden in the house.|
|21||11||"Holly"||Daina Reid||Bruce Miller & Kira Snyder||June 27, 2018|
|After Nick is taken away from the house, June finds a car in the garage and car keys and is able to start the car, but she returns to the house and gets a man's coat. Flashbacks throughout the episode show her first pregnancy, and Hannah's birth and childhood. Fred and Serena arrive at the house in a panic, looking for Offred. They are arguing with each other, with Serena telling Fred she gave up everything for him and the cause, and only ever wanted a child. June finds a gun, and prepares to shoot them, but desists. They are unable to find Offred and decide to leave, feeling both angry and concerned. After she's certain they're gone, June, having contractions, gets back into the car, but cannot get it out of the garage, which is frozen shut. June is exhausted and in pain, and lays down in front of the fire, finally going into labor and passing out. When she wakes, she's covered in blood, but the baby still hasn't come. She crawls outside and discharges the gun to attract attention, then she ends up delivering the baby by herself. She whispers that her name is Holly, after her mother. Light comes in through the windows, indicating that a car has arrived at the house.|
|22||12||"Postpartum"||Daina Reid||Eric Tuchman||July 4, 2018|
|Some weeks after the birth, the baby, now named Nichole, is cared for by Serena, while Offred is providing milk through a breast pump. She is unable to pump enough milk and is brought to see her baby in order to induce lactation. Offred requests to nurse her herself, but Fred rejects the idea. Given that Offred's lactation increases during the meeting, Aunt Lydia convinces Fred to allow Offred back in the house for the baby's health. Serena becomes enraged and demands that Offred stay away from the baby. Nick, who is back in the Waterford household and presented as having been key to the rescue of Offred and the baby, suggests lightheartedly that he, Offred and the baby should flee, and Fred attempts to renew the illicit elements of their relationship. Emily is reassigned to a new household as a handmaid after being rejected by four couples. Commander Lawrence, the "architect of Gilead's economy", seems suspicious. His wife, Eleanor, reveals to Emily that Lawrence was the creator of the Colonies. Lawrence interrogates Emily, revealing that he knows much about her past. Meanwhile, Eden and Isaac elope but are soon caught. Eden and Nick admit their faults and ask forgiveness of each other. Eden and Isaac are brought to a diving board above a swimming pool with chains and weights attached to each of them. Both refuse to ask for forgiveness, and Eden instead begins to recite a biblical paean to love. Both are pushed off the diving board and die by drowning in front of a crowd. Distraught by the events, Serena and Offred get to an understanding and Serena allows Offred to nurse the baby herself.|
|23||13||"The Word"||Mike Barker||Bruce Miller||July 11, 2018|
|It is revealed that Eden's father was the one who turned Eden and Isaac in, leading to their execution. While searching through Eden's belongings, June discovers a Bible that Eden read from and annotated, despite it being illegal for women and girls to read in Gilead. June argues with Serena about her daughter's future in Gilead, stating that baby Nichole (Holly) won't be able to know God unless she is eventually able to read his word. Serena and a number of wives propose an amendment to the council that girls be taught to read the Bible and Serena reads from the Bible to make her point, resulting in one of her fingers being cut off. Emily reluctantly prepares for her first ceremony with Lawrence, but he dismisses Emily without going through with it. The next day, Emily is visited by Aunt Lydia and, as she is leaving, Emily brutally attacks Lydia by stabbing her in the back with a kitchen knife. Emily continues to kick Aunt Lydia down the stairs, leaving her gasping for breath. Lawrence's Martha, Cora, finds Aunt Lydia and throws Emily into a room and locks the door. Fred suggests to June that he could arrange for her to remain as his handmaid, and when she rejects the proposal, he suggests that future meetings with Hannah could be arranged. As a fire consumes a house across the street, Rita tells June that she and her daughter, Holly, have this chance to get out and need to leave immediately. Fred tries to arrange their capture, but is prevented by Nick, who threatens him with a gun. Serena catches her mid-escape, but after a tearful goodbye to the baby, allows June to take the baby and flee, assisted by several Marthas. June is reunited with Emily, who is dropped off at the escape van by Lawrence, who says he is getting himself "in deep shit" when asked why he's allowing them to leave. At the last second, June decides to stay behind and gives the baby to Emily. She tells Emily to call her Nichole, and to tell her she loves her.|
A straight-to-series order by Hulu of The Handmaid's Tale was announced in April 2016, with Elisabeth Moss set to star. Based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, the series was created by Bruce Miller, who is also an executive producer with Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, and Warren Littlefield. Atwood serves as consulting producer, giving feedback on some of the areas where the series expands upon or modernizes the book. She also played a small cameo role in the first episode. Moss is also a producer. In June 2016, Reed Morano was announced as director of the series. Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, and Ann Dowd joined the cast in July 2016. Joseph Fiennes, Madeline Brewer, and Yvonne Strahovski were cast in August 2016, followed by O. T. Fagbenle and Amanda Brugel in September 2016. In October 2016, Ever Carradine joined the cast, and Alexis Bledel was added in January 2017.
Filming on the series took place in Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Oakville, and Cambridge, Ontario, from September 2016 to February 2017. The first full trailer of the TV series was released by Hulu on YouTube on March 23, 2017. The series premiered on April 26, 2017.
On May 3, 2017, The Handmaid's Tale was renewed for a second season to premiere in 2018. Moss told the news media that the subsequent episodes would cover further developments in the story, filling in some of the unanswered questions and continuing the narrative already "finished" in the book. The second season consists of 13 episodes and began filming in fall 2017. Alexis Bledel returned as a series regular. Showrunner Bruce Miller stated that he envisioned 10 seasons of the show, stating, "Well, you know, honestly, when I started, I tried to game out in my head what would ten seasons be like? If you hit a home run, you want energy to go around the bases, you want enough story to keep going, if you can hook the audience to care about these people enough that they're actually crying at the finale."
Broadcast and release
The first three episodes of the series premiered on April 26, 2017; the subsequent seven episodes were released on a weekly basis. In Canada, the series is broadcast by Bravo; the first two episodes premiered on April 30, 2017. In Scandinavia, the series is available on HBO Nordic. In the United Kingdom, the series premiered on May 28, 2017, on Channel 4. In Ireland, the series premiered on February 5, 2018 on RTÉ2, with a showing of the first two episodes. RTÉ also became the first broadcaster in Europe to debut Season 2 following its broadcast in the US and Canada. In the Brazil, the series premiered on March 7, 2018, on Paramount Channel.
In New Zealand, the series was released on the subscription video on demand service Lightbox on June 8, 2017. In Australia, the series premiered on the TV channel SBS's video streaming service SBS on Demand, on July 6, 2017.
The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13, 2018.
|1||95% (107 reviews)||92 (41 reviews)|
|2||92% (73 reviews)||86 (28 reviews)|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 95% based on 107 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Haunting and vivid, The Handmaid's Tale is an endlessly engrossing adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel that's anchored by a terrific central performance from Elisabeth Moss." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 92 out of 100 based on 41 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter called it "probably the spring's best new show". Jen Chaney of Vulture gave it a highly positive review, and wrote that it is "A faithful adaptation of the book that also brings new layers to Atwood's totalitarian, sexist world of forced surrogate motherhood" and that "this series is meticulously paced, brutal, visually stunning, and so suspenseful from moment to moment that only at the end of each hour will you feel fully at liberty to exhale".
There was much debate on whether parallels could be drawn between the series (and by extension, the book it is based on) and American society during the Presidency of Donald Trump. A comparison has also been made to the Salafi/Wahabbi extremism of ISIL, under which enslaved women of religious minorities are passed around and utilized as sex objects and vessels to bear new jihadis.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 91% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 8.31/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Beautifully shot but dishearteningly relevant, The Handmaid's Tale centers its sophomore season tightly around its compelling cast of characters, making room for broader social commentary through more intimate lenses." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 86 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
However, the second season of the show received criticism for being excessive in its depictions of violence with critics questioning whether it was merely "torture porn" and going too far. The Atlantic's Sophie Gilbert wrote: "There came a point during the first episode where, for me, it became too much." Lisa Miller of The Cut wrote: "I have pressed mute and fast forward so often this season, I am forced to wonder: 'Why am I watching this'? It all feels so gratuitous, like a beating that never ends." And The Daily Telegraph's Rebecca Reid admitted she had an anxiety attack watching an episode of the show.
|2017||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken, Sheila Hockin, Eric Tuchman, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Kira Snyder, Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Boccia, and Leila Gerstein||Won|||
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss (for "Night")||Won|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Ann Dowd (for "Offred")||Won|
|Samira Wiley (for "Night")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||Reed Morano (for "Offred")||Won|
|Kate Dennis (for "The Bridge")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Bruce Miller (for "Offred")||Won|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Alexis Bledel (for "Late")||Won|
|Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series||Russell Scott, Sharon Bialy, and Sherry Thomas||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour)||Colin Watkinson (for "Offred")||Won|
|Outstanding Period/Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series, or Movie||Ane Crabtree and Sheena Wichary (for "Offred")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)||Julie Berghoff, Evan Webber, and Sophie Neudorfer (for "Offred")||Won|
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role||Brendan Taylor, Stephen Lebed, Leo Bovell, Martin O'Brien, Winston Lee, Kelly Knauff, Zach Dembinski, Mike Suta, and Cameron Kerr (for "Birth Day")||Nominated|
|Peabody Award||Entertainment, children's and youth honoree||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Gold Derby TV Awards||Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Nominated|||
|Drama Actress||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Drama Guest Actress||Alexis Bledel||Won|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Program of the Year||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Drama||Won|
|Outstanding New Program||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Drama||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|American Film Institute Awards||Top 10 TV Programs of the Year||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|2018||American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television||Julian Clarke and Wendy Hallam Martin (for "Offred")||Won|||
|Art Directors Guild Awards||One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Television Series||Julie Berghoff (for "Offred", "Birth Day", "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum")||Won|||
|Andrew Stearn (for "The Bridge")||Nominated|
|Casting Society of America||Television Pilot and First Season – Drama||Sharon Bialy, Sherry Thomas, Russell Scott, Robin D. Cook, and Jonathan Oliveira||Won|||
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour||John J. Thomson, Lou Solakofski, Joe Morrow, and Don White (for "Offred")||Nominated|||
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||Excellence in Contemporary Television Series||Ane Crabtree||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Best Actress in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Ann Dowd||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a Drama Series||Reed Morano (for "Offred")||Won|||
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Drama||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Ann Dowd||Nominated|
|Location Managers Guild Awards||Outstanding Locations in Contemporary Television||John Musikka and Geoffrey Smither||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Drama Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Film||Ann Dowd||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best New Media Television Series||The Handmaid's Tale||Nominated|||
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Ann Dowd, O. T. Fagbenle, Joseph Fiennes, Tattiawna Jones, Max Minghella, Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, and Samira Wiley||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|USC Scripter Awards||Best Adapted TV Screenplay||Bruce Miller and Margaret Atwood (for "Offred")||Won|||
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Dramatic Series||Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, and Eric Tuchman||Won|||
|BAFTA Television Awards||Best International Programme||The Handmaid's Tale||Won|
|2018||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Drama Series||Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Mike Barker, Sheila Hockin, Eric Tuchman, Kira Snyder, Yahlin Chang, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Dorothy Fortenberry, and Joseph Boccia||Pending|||
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Elisabeth Moss (for "The Last Ceremony")||Pending|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Joseph Fiennes (for "First Blood")||Pending|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Alexis Bledel (for "Unwomen")||Pending|
|Ann Dowd (for "June")||Pending|
|Yvonne Strahovski (for "Women's Work")||Pending|
|Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||Kari Skogland (for "After")||Pending|
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Bruce Miller (for "June")||Pending|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Kelly Jenrette (for "Other Women")||Pending|
|Cherry Jones (for "Baggage")||Pending|
|Samira Wiley (for "After")||Pending|
|Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series||Sharon Bialy, Sherry Thomas, Russell Scott and Robin D. Cook||Pending|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour)||Colin Watkinson (for "June")||Pending|
|Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes||Ane Crabtree and Natalie Bronfman (for "Seeds")||Pending|
|Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)||Burton LeBlanc, Talia Reingold and Erika Caceres (for "Unwomen")||Pending|
|Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More)||Mark White, Elisabeth Williams, Martha Sparrow, and Caroline Gee (for "June")||Pending|
|Elisabeth Williams, Martha Sparrow, and Rob Hepburn (for "Seeds", "First Blood", "After")||Pending|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series||Wendy Hallam Martin (for "June")||Pending|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour)||Joe Morrow, Lou Solakofski, and Sylvain Arseneault (for "June")||Pending|
|Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role||Stephen Lebed, Brendan Taylor, Kelly Knauff, Kelly Weisz, Kevin McGeagh, Anderson Leo Bovell, Winston Lee, Xi Luo, and Cameron Kerr (for "June")||Pending|
- Bradley, Laura (May 2, 2018). "The Handmaid's Tale: Why Offred's Latest Heartbreak Is the Most Devastating Yet". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
In its third installment, however, the drama digs even deeper into the emotional toll Gilead has taken on everyone—both those left in what was once the United States and those who’ve made it out. The lives and dreams that each character lost to this totalitarian regime have been laid out in excruciating detail before—but this week, the show lays those losses bare with more subtlety than perhaps any other episode. ... (In richer households, handmaids do the childbearing, Wives raise the children, and Marthas do the housework. Econowives, in contrast, “have to do everything; if they can.”)
- Vilkomerson, Sara (January 14, 2018). "The Handmaid's Tale: Here's the first trailer for season 2 (and a premiere date!)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Hipes, Patrick; N'Duka, Amanda (September 17, 2017). "Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' Win Marks First Best Series Emmy for a Streaming Service". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- Holloway, Daniel (May 2, 2018). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Renewed for Season 3 at Hulu". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- Douthat, Ross (May 24, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale,' and Ours". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
The first situates the Gilead regime's quest to control the means of reproduction in the context of an enormous fertility collapse, caused by the combination of environmental catastrophe and rampant S.T.D.s.
- Douthat, Ross (May 24, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale,' and Ours". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
Now, in the era of the Trump administration, liberal TV watchers find a perverse sort of comfort in the horrific alternate reality of the Republic of Gilead, where a cabal of theonomist Christians have established a totalitarian state that forbids women to read, sets a secret police to watch their every move and deploys them as slave-concubines to childless elites.
- Segovia, José de (June 22, 2017). Daniel Wickham, ed. "There is no balm in Atwood's Gilead". Evangelical Focus.
A clear example of Atwood's focus on the Reconstructionism of theonomy is his way of representing the death penalty.
- Williams, Layton E. (April 25, 2017). "Margaret Atwood on Christianity, 'The Handmaid's Tale,' and What Faithful Activism Looks Like Today". Sojourners. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Stanhope, Kate (August 17, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Promotes Amanda Brugel to Series Regular (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
- Grady, Constance (November 28, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale season 1, episode 7: "The Other Side" takes us out of Gilead to check in on a familiar face". Vox. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Dowling, Amber (May 24, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 Taps Sydney Sweeney (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 15, 2018). "'The Handmaid's Tale': Bradley Whitford Joins Hulu Drama Series For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Moraes, Lisa de (January 14, 2018). "Marisa Tomei To Guest on Hulu's' Dystopian 'The Handmaid's Tale'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
- Heldman, Breanne L. (January 25, 2018). "The Handmaid's Tale casts Cherry Jones in key role for season 2". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Goldberg, Lesley (October 26, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale casts Cherry Jones in key role for season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Turchiano, Danielle (June 27, 2018). "How 'The Handmaid's Tale' Nabbed Oprah Winfrey". Variety. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- Pacatte, Rose (May 10, 2017). "Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' presents striking oppression, silent sisterhood". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
They walk past a priest, doctor and gay man hanging dead from a wall in their Cambridge, Massachusetts neighbourhood along the river; they see St. Paul's Catholic Church where Offred was baptized, being torn down.
- Blondiau, Eloise (April 28, 2017). "Reflecting on the frightening lessons of 'The Handmaid's Tale'". America. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
In the screen version, Offred and her friend Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) surreptitiously lament the demolition of St. Paul's, their local church.
- Sabelhaus, Kate Jackson (May 3, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Recap: Ofglen and Jeanine's Birth Stories". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
On their stroll, they walk past the remains of St. Paul's, a historic cathedral in Boston. Burned and bombed, it resembles the churches of Europe during WWII. Offred pauses to remember her daughter's baptism, which took place there years prior, and Ofglen notes that Gileadean thugs were also successful in taking down St. Patrick's cathedral in New York City. "They blew it up and dumped every stone in the Hudson River. They erased it." Upon hearing this bit of news, Offred asks, "How do you know that? And how do you know there's an Eye in my house?"
- Hudson, Laura (May 24, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale Recap, Episode 7: The Other Side". Vulture. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- Locke, Charley (May 25, 2017). "Handmaid's Tale: Make Sure You Escape The Dystopia Before It's Too Late". Wired. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
The group has a plan to escape, but Luke won't go, refusing to leave his wife and daughter behind – until Zoe (Rosa Gilmore), one of the rebels, shows him a whole town that was hanged from the rafters of their church after trying to resist.
- Blunt, Tom (May 24, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Episode 7 Recap: The Other Side". Signature Reads. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
Finally, one of these guardian angels discreetly escorts him to a local church building, driving home the point of what's at stake for those who attempt to survive and resist from within. This mass-hanging in the belly of a church is more than just the episode's visual centerpiece: it’s a wake-up call, underscoring once and for all that Gilead isn’t a religious movement or a political revolution, it’s not something you can reason with or withstand on your own.
- Truong, Peggy (April 24, 2017). ""The Handmaid's Tale" Glossary – A Guide to All the Handmaid's Tale Terms Before You Watch the Show". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
Following her great escape from Handmaid training, Moira is helped by a Quaker family.
- Roots, Kimberly (May 31, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Recap: Season 1, Episode 8 — [Spoiler] Returns in 'Jezebels'". TVLine. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
Since we last saw the escapee, she made it to Boston, hooked up with some Quakers who had ties to the Femaleroad that helped smuggle handmaids out of the country. She didn't make it farther than an office park outside the city. "They shot the guys who helped me", Moira sadly tells Offred, adding that because she was a "corrupting influence", she was interrogated and then given a choice: the colonies or the jezebels.
- Nicolaou, Elena (April 25, 2018). "Handmaids Tale Season 2 Episode 2 Recap Unwomen". Refinery29. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- Glynn, Amy (April 25, 2018). ""Unwomen" Features The Handmaid's Tale's First, Terrifying Glimpse of the Colonies". Paste. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
"Unwomen" alternates between the Colonies, where "unwomen" (lesbians, defiant Handmaids, the infertile of low economic status, sex workers, collaborators against the republic—you know, "undesirables") are sent to perform brutal manual labor...
- Gross, Rena (June 13, 2018). "9 Major Moments From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 9 'Smart Power'". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
Offred doesn’t have many cards left to play, and seems to be drifting toward breaking the vow she made to her child at the end of this season’s fifth episode, accepting that she will inevitably lose this baby. She’s looking for someone to do what she can’t. In a moment alone with Rita, Offred asks her to act as a godparent, telling her, “I want my baby to know kindness. I need her to have someone kind in her life.” Rita says she’ll do what she can, but she’s just plain scared. It isn’t enough. Nobody but June is going to put this baby first.
- Goodman, Lex (June 13, 2018). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap". PureWow. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
This news brings back the fire in Offred’s belly and she muses, “Moira is Hannah’s godmother. She got out. It was impossible, and she did it.
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- Gross, Rena (July 11, 2018). "'The Handmaid's Tale': Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: 19 Startling Moments in 'The Word'". Billboard. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
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- Pederson, Erik (October 27, 2016). "Ever Carradine Books Role On Handmaid's Tale; Sibo Mlambo To Recur On Teen Wolf". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
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- For articles that attempt to draw parallels between The Handmaid's Tale and Trump's election as President of the United States, see:
- Nally, Claire (May 31, 2017). "How The Handmaid's Tale is being transformed from fantasy into fact". The Independent. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Brooks, Katherine (May 24, 2017). "How 'The Handmaid's Tale' Villains Were Inspired By Trump". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Robertson, Adi (November 9, 2016). "In Trump's America, The Handmaid's Tale matters more than ever". The Verge. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- For articles that disagree with attempts to draw parallels between The Handmaid's Tale and Trump's election as President of the United States, see:
- Crispin, Jessa (May 2, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale is just like Trump's America? Not so fast". The Guardian. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Smith, Kyle (April 28, 2017). "Sorry: 'Handmaid's Tale' tells us nothing about Trump's America". New York Post. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Cohen, Ariel (May 2, 2017). "Stop comparing 'The Handmaid's Tale' to Trump's America". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- Douthat, Ross (May 24, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale, and Ours". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- Geraghty, Jim (April 27, 2017). "'What Fans of The Handmaid's Tale Prefer To Ignore". National Review. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
- Lowry, Rich (September 19, 2017). "The 'Handmaid's Tale' Lunacy". National Review. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
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- Given, Casey (May 2, 2017). "'The Handmaid's Tale' is profiting off anti-Trump hysteria". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
- Stanley, Tim (May 30, 2017). "What The Handmaid's Tale can tell us about Islamic extremism". The Telegraph. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- Nicholson, Rebecca (June 12, 2017). "Hate crimes, honour killings and FGM: how The Handmaid's Tale captures our age of fear". The Guardian. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- Douthat, Ross (May 24, 2017). "The Handmaid's Tale, and Ours". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- "The Handmaid's Tale: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
- "The Handmaid's Tale : Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- Gilbert, Sophie (April 25, 2018). "'The Handmaid's Tale' and the Suffering of Women". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- Miller, Lisa. "The Relentless Torture of The Handmaid's Tale". The Cut. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- Reid, Rebecca (May 29, 2018). "Why I'm turning off the Handmaid's Tale and its needless torture porn". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- "The complete list of 2017 Emmy winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
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- Schwartz, Ryan (August 5, 2017). "TCA Awards: The Handmaid's Tale, Atlanta, Big Little Lies, Carrie Coon Among Big Winners". TVLine. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
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- "DGA Announces Nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials and Documentary for 2017". Directors Guild of America. January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (January 7, 2018). "Golden Globes: Big Little Lies, Handmaid's Tale and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Are TV's Big Winners". TVLine. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Sandberg, Bryn Elise (February 22, 2018). "'The Crown,' 'Dunkirk' Among Locations Managers Guild International Awards Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
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