Fans have had to wait a very long time for Season 4 of Hulu's hit series The Handmaid's Tale. The series was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but TV Guide has everything you want to know about the upcoming season -- including when you'll finally get to see it.
In the Season 3 finale's last moments, June (Elisabeth Moss) was in dire straits, bleeding out from a gunshot wound after staging a revolt of Marthas and Handmaids. The cost was high, but miraculously, she did manage to smuggle over 100 children out of Gilead and into Canada, safely into the arms of Moira (Samira Wiley) and Luke (O-T Fagbenle) of all people! As for the Waterfords, their troubles seem to have only just gotten started as they await trial for their war crimes thanks to Serena's (Yvonne Strahovski) shady deal to be in baby Nicole's life.
Here's everything we know about The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 so far.
Season 4 will arrive in April. A new teaser for Season 4 was dropped during The Handmaid's Tale panel during the Television Critics Association winter press tour and revealed that Season 4 will premiere on Hulu on April 28. The teaser set up the upcoming war between June and Gilead, showing she's ready to take the place down and it doesn't matter who gets in her way.
A new wife will join the cast. Deadline reports that Mckenna Grace has joined the cast of The Handmaid's Tale Season 4. She will play Mrs. Keyes, a sharply intelligent teenage wife of a much older Commander. Her character description says she has "a rebellious, subversive streak, and is calm and pious on the outside with turmoil, even insanity, on the inside."
Season 4 will be 10 episodes. IndieWire confirmed that Season 4 will dial back from the 13-episode format of the past two seasons, clocking in at only 10 episodes. According to executive producer Bruce Miller, the decision was "100 percent creative."
We'll see an unstable Gilead. Though Gilead's regime has never been particularly stable, we'll continue to see those in power wobble and waver in the aftermath of this mass exodus of children. "It's definitely kind of hitting them," Miller told TV Guide. "It's their reason for their existence -- reproduction. So when you start taking away those children, I think it's going to make Gilead very angry."
We haven't seen the last of Commander Lawrence. In a surprising twist, Commander Lawrence decided to stay behind in Gilead to try to clean up the mess he'd caused rather than escaping to Canada as he planned. Miller assured TV Guide that he has every desire to bring Commander Lawrence back for more in Season 4, and the teasers released so far have confirmed he's there.
We'll learn more about Nick's (Max Minghella) past. Though Nick's past and his role in founding Gilead were in the plans for Season 3, timing just didn't allow the writers the opportunity to explore that storyline. No need to worry though, that backstory is definitely on tap for Season 4.
The Waterfords are in hot water. Fred (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena were both facing criminal trials for war crimes (despite Serena believing she'd gained immunity by handing Fred over), and unless Gilead pulls off a miraculous extradition, we'll probably be heading straight for their trials in Season 4. Don't worry if you're conflicted about Serena's fate, though, as Miller warns you should definitely expect to stay on the fence where she's concerned.
"She does sometimes do things that we think are very understandable and noble, and even likable," Miller said. "And then she does so many horrible things. She has so much to answer for, and now she's in a position to answer for the horrible things."
Elisabeth Moss will direct. Season 4 will see series star Elisabeth Moss step behind the camera for an episode. Episode 3 of the new season will mark her directorial debut, and Moss hilariously joked that her only hurdle for this job will be working with the "incredibly demanding" lead actress.
It has already been renewed for Season 5. Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television Dana Walden announced during Disney's Investor Day in December 2020 that The Handmaid's Tale was renewed for Season 5, guaranteeing more episodes before the official Season 4 premiere date was announced. In fact, there's plenty of story left to tell. "We have not planned Season 4 to be the end, but we also look to Margaret [Atwood]'s book The Testaments and know that that story takes us 15 years into the future," Littlefield said. "We don't see ending it in [Season 4], and I can honestly say to you, we don't have a definitive out. But I think we want to keep the bar high, and it would not be a bad thing to leave the audience wanting more, and then we could ideally shift into The Testaments."
Seasons 1-3 of The Handmaid's Tale are currently streaming on Hulu.