As much as it may feel like we’re in the bad place right now, the awful truth is — it could get worse. Just ask June Osborne and the women of Gilead. The Handmaid’s Tale, the hit series based off Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s seminal novel of the same name, is back for its fourth season on April 28, and mirroring three seasons-worth of drama the upcoming set of episodes looks intense.
The Handmaid’s Tale follows June (known throughout seasons one and two as Offred, and played by Elisabeth Moss), a Handmaid in the near-future dystopian Gilead — a totalitarian and patriarchal state that’s overthrown the United States government. ICYMI, all the women in Gilead are divided into rigid socio-economic classes: Wives (married to “commanders,” i.e. men who run things), Marthas (who cook, clean, and do manual labour), Aunts (who police behaviour), and Handmaids (fertile women who are assigned to commanders and forced to have their children). Oh, and anyone who speaks out or against the government is taken away by The Eyes — the state’s secret police — and most likely never seen again.
The first handful of seasons saw June beginning to rebel against her oppressors in an effort to escape to Canada to be reunited with her family. (Along the way she also fell in love with Max Minghella’s Nick, a driver at her commander’s home, and had a baby.) Season three ended with June and her network of Handmaids and Marthas helping a bunch of stolen children escape to Canada, with June being shot in the process.
The fourth season promises to expand upon the dystopian world created by Atwood, with Moss’ June and her fellow Handmaids now officially on the run after an uprising, and attempted escape to freedom. If the latest trailer is anything to go off of, expect more action, more blood and explosions, and copious amounts of heartbreak (did you catch that reunion between Nick and June?!).
Atwood aside, the series itself has a fun Canadian connection, with the show filming primarily in and around Toronto, and starring a host of Canadian talent, like Amanda Brugel. Canadian viewers interested in the show (or maybe just really into Canadian architecture) can peep the landmarks themselves, with season four streaming on Crave and CTV Drama starting April 28. (Seasons 1-3 are also available on the streaming service if you need to catch up).