The first season of Hulu's breakout series The Handmaid's Tale has come to an end, leaving fangirls (and boys) on the edges of their seats. We love a cliffhanger, but it's going to be a long couple months of wondering what's become of Offred. Is she headed to the Colonies, or will Nick intervene and set her up with the underground railroad for handmaids?
I attended a Q&A hosted by Hulu with the show's cast and crew in June, where showrunner Bruce Miller gave some clues as to what lies ahead. Here are some predictions — speculative fiction, if you will — based on Miller's comments, Margaret Atwood's novel, and our own intuition. Praise be.
1. We'll Find Out Where Offred Is Going
Despite major differences between the TV series and the book, season one ends just as the book does. Offred is escorted into a black van by a pair of guardians, willing to accept her fate, whatever it might be. The series and book share another similarity in that Nick tells Offred to go with the Guardians, asking her to trust him. Maybe we're naive, but we do trust Nick to do right by Offred. She's carrying his child, and while his stoicism prevents him from revealing his true feelings, we can see he loves her.
All of this leads us to believe Nick has a hand in Offred's future. Our guess is she's being taken to Commander Pryce, where she'll be asked to testify against Commander Waterford.
2. Commander Waterford Will (Hopefully) Get His Due
If there's one line we've heard again and again (outside of "May the Lord open"), it's "no one's above the law." Commander Pryce is a purist, and he intends to eradicate corruption in Gilead with the help of his secret police, Nick being among them. In episode nine, Commander Pryce asks Nick to report on Commander Waterford's activity, so we know judgment day is coming.
Early on, Commander Waterford seems harmless enough, a product of his environment with a penchant for wordplay. But as season one progressed, we saw his vices go beyond Scrabble games after dark. He exposed Offred to the most demoralizing aspects of patriarchy by taking her to Jezebels, and it was here that we saw Commander Waterford for what he really is: a misogynist and a hypocrite. To be sure, his days under the banner of Gilead are numbered.
3. We May Meet Offred's Mother
Offred's mother — a staunch feminist — is a major character in the book; however, she hardly receives mention in the TV series. We expect this to change in season two, because Offred's mother was sent to the Colonies in the book, and showrunner Bruce Miller said we'll start to learn more about these other worlds in future episodes. He made sure not to reveal too much during last week's Q&A, but he assured us next season's storylines will go beyond the checkpoints to shed a light on daily life in the Colonies and Little America. Our bet is Offred gets sent to the Colonies as punishment (despite Nick's attempts to save her), and once there, she's reunited with her mother.
4. Luke and Moira Will Fight Back From Little America
In episode seven, we followed Luke's journey across the border into Canada. We see him settled in a section of Toronto called Little America along with other refugees who managed to escape. The season finale shows Luke reunited with Moira in a refugee camp in Ontario after he's alerted of her arrival. With these two back in action, we can expect to see them raise hell and fight for Hannah. But will they see Offred back to safety? After Offred's pep talk to Moira during their last night together, we know Moira won't rest until her friend crosses the border to the new promised land.