WARNING: Contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale season 5 and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale season 6 is set to be the final one, but season 5 has already put in motion the stories that will see the light of day in The Testaments. Despite June (Elisabeth Moss) being relatively safer in Canada since her arrival in The Handmaid's Tale season 4, episode 6, Gilead-mandated violence managed to reach her also there. Along with Canada's growing anti-immigrant sentiment, Gilead's ability to indirectly reach June prompted her and Nichole's escape toward Hawaii in The Handmaid's Tale season 5 finale. While The Handmaid's Tale season 5 didn't reference much of what will happen in The Testaments, it offered glimpses of what'll happen.
Although not much is known about June's story in Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, escaping Canada with Nichole as she did in The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 8 directly set up her future. However, The Handmaid's Tale season 5's ending didn't just set up June's future as it's known from The Testaments. Hints about Aunt Lydia's story, Hannah's fate, and Nichole's future role in The Handmaid's Tale Hulu sequel were also disseminated throughout The Handmaid's Tale season 5, connecting the two TV shows in more ways than the books did. Here is every way The Handmaid's Tale season 5 has already set up its sequel, The Testaments.
The hope that they could be reunited with Hannah kept June and Luke going for the whole series, especially in season 5, as The Handmaid's Tale season 5 episode 8's American rescue mission to free Hannah and the others at the wives school showed. To reunite with Hannah, June even considered moving to Gilead's new settlement New Bethlehem, almost believing Commander Lawrence's promises. However, in The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 8's rescue mission was doomed to fail, as Hannah's Testaments story started in Gilead, making her potential escape impossible as Hannah would've always been a central player in The Testaments, without whom Gilead's fall couldn't have been possible.
The Testaments' Hannah was profoundly changed by learning that her biological mother was a Handmaid. That knowledge, coupled with her fear of becoming a wife, let her get into Ardua Hall, where she could've studied to become an Aunt. Thanks to Aunt Lydia's workings, The Testaments' Hannah brought down Gilead with the information Aunt Lydia gave her and got to know Nichole, succeeding in what June failed. Luke and June were never as close to getting Hannah back as in The Handmaid's Tale season 5, episode 8, however, that couldn't have worked, or The Testaments would've had to contain major changes from the original material.
All of the new season is now available to watch on Hulu in the US after the season finale aired on November 9. In Canada viewers could watch it on the CTV Drama channel. Viewers in Ireland are two weeks behind on RTÉ2 at 10:35pm so are currently only on episode 8.
We got to speak to Miller about the show this week, for a special bonus episode of The Red Center. He talks about working with Margaret Atwood, where the show will go in season 2, and the joys of writing profanity. 781b155fdc