Season 3 ended with June (Elisabeth Moss) smuggling around 50 children across the border from Gilead into Canada. This obviously will cause the already large target on her back to grow even larger — and it seems everyone on both sides is geared up for war. Judging by the trailer, the next season will also continue to follow June’s relationship with Nick (Max Minghella), as well as confrontations between June and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski), and, finally, June and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). During the show's recent Television Critics Association Press Tour panel, the cast and staff hyped up this showdown in particular as one of the many "payoffs" audiences will be rewarded with in season 4.
“We’ve got Lydia in this season in a Javert kind of position,” producer Bruce Miller teased, referencing Les Miserables, “where she is just obsessed with June and has so much of her personal worth tied up in what June is doing, and how much damage June is wreaking out in the world that she feels responsible for.”
“You have destroyed my life, my family, my friends, my country, and my child,” June says at the end of the trailer. We then see her stand in what looks like a courtroom as she states: “I ask for justice.”
Face-offs and reunions aside, the trailer also teases a good amount of painful and gruesome torture that June (and likely others on her side) will face while she's trapped in Gilead's clutches. It's been a difficult and recurring theme throughout the series, and something that a number viewers have criticized as veering into gratuitous torture porn territory. Needless to say, many will be on high alert — after all, things are hard enough to watch in the real world.
The upcoming season is composed of 10 episodes, three of which drop on the first premiere day, and the rest rolling out weekly. Moss will be directing the third episode, which is a first for the series.
Watch the trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale season 4, streaming April 28 in the US and hopefully(!) soon after on Channel 4 in the UK.