June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) joins the resistance in Handmaid’s Tale, season 4. (Photo: ScreenCap)
Elisabeth Moss will be returning in “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 4, and already, the anticipation is almost too much to handle.
If you’re a devoted fan (and what binge watcher isn’t?), a lot of loose ends were left hanging at the end of season three.
Now, the 38-year-old actress, who plays the lead character, Handmaid June Osborne, is dropping a few hints about what to expect. And, it appears to be a lot.
She says in a new interview the new season will “fulfil a lot of promises.”
Of course, our biggest wish is to see Gilead finally get its comeuppance.
The show first aired in 2017, and was an eerie, nightmarish extension of many of the issues promoted by the Donald Trump administration.
The plot features a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War that so many of today’s right-wing groups are clamoring for.
A right-wing totalitarian government seizes power in much of the lower United States and sets up a patriarchy based on strict religious tenets.
Handmaids exist on the lowest rungs of society. The women are valued because they are capable of bearing children for the elite, who are cursed by a fertility crisis.
Their role is based on the Old Testament story of Rachel and her handmaid, Bilhah. “Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.”
Non-Christians, Christian followers of denominations other than the Sons of Jacob, political dissidents and academics are all persecuted.
Women are particularly subjugated. Even those who are members of the elite ruling class are forbidden to work, own property, handle money or read.
Those who have been married and divorced, (termed “adulteresses”), single or unmarried mothers, lesbians (“gender traitors”) and others are considered “fallen” and enslaved.
Marthas also named after a Biblical character, are housekeepers and cooks and almost uniformly minorities.
“Unwomen” wear rags and are worked to death clearing toxic waste in the colonies.
In “the time before,” June is a highly educated woman who was married with a child.
When Gilead comes to fore, she is forced into slavery because she can bear children. Her husband flees to Canada and joins the resistance.
June plots against the hierarchy to regain her daughter, who has been given to one of the elite families to raise as their own.
You may recall, June was last seen suffering from a gunshot wound after successfully shuttling more than 50 Gilead children to Canada.
Handmaidens carry June away as she recites Exodus 3: 7-8 over and over. Lord seeing the suffering of his people delivers them to a land of milk and honey.
By the end of season three, June is a rebel with a price on her head. That appears to be the nexus around which season four will revolved.
Milk and honey are still a long way off. But Moss says characters will go to “places they’ve never gone before.”
“I do feel like we have built something over the past three seasons that quite rightly needs to be kind of fulfilled, and I think that we do that this season, with season four,” she told Jimmy Fallon on the “Tonight Show.”
Right, now that Trump is a defeated one-term president and Democrat Joe Biden has rebuked his far-right agenda, it’s time from Gilead to take a fall.
“We kind of fulfil a lot of the promises that we’ve made over the last three years, and we really get to see, not just June, but a lot of these characters really go to places they’ve never gone before and change dramatically,” Moss said.
“It’s a huge season, which, of course, we chose to shoot during a pandemic, as you do,” she added.
Following a pandemic postponement, Moss stepped in to direct a number of episodes to maintain social distancing and work with a limited crew.
“I chose episode three that was going to be my directorial debut, before COVID, and started [filming] it,” she told Fallon.
“Then, we shut down for the six months, and then all of a sudden, I did that episode, I did two more – I did episodes eight and nine. Because nobody else was there a lot of the time.”
If a director finished their work and left, and they didn’t want to come back and quarantine for two weeks, somebody had to direct it,” she explained.
“So all of a sudden, I was the director on hand. And it would be like, ‘Lizzy, we’ve got this drone shot we need you to do. Would you mind just running out and grabbing that?
“But by the end, we were joking that I was just going to be this journeyman director now, off to do my ninth episode of ‘Law & Order,’ just clocking in and clocking out.”
Hulu released a season four trailer last month. It’s already racked up 11 million views.
It provides a few clues about the upcoming season.
For one, it looks like war is all but inevitable. You may recall, Canada is a safe haven and parts of Detroit and Chicago are in friendly hands.
June and some of her colleagues will be in the thick of it, and June is out for revenge of Biblical proportions.
The new season debuts April 28 on Hulu. Check out the trailer below.