'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4: What does Margaret Atwood's book 'The Testaments' hint about show's future?

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4: What does Margaret Atwood's book 'The Testaments' hint about show's future?
Elizabeth Moss (Hulu)

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 4 teaser was released by Hulu. However, it did not have any connection to the plotline of the upcoming season. Instead, it was a collection of scenes from Season 3's finale episode. That got us wondering. What waits for June Osborne in Gilead now that she managed to send tens of kids over the border is something that would control the plotline of the show in addition to seeing how her injuries from the last episode will be dealt with. However, one of the questions that fans had since the first time that June gave up on escaping from Gilead was if she will ever make it out. Another was if Aunt Lydia will ever regret her actions.

'The Testaments', a spin-off novel that released in September 2019, is set years after the events of 'The Handmaid's Tale' took place which centers on three women — Aunt Lydia, a handmaid in present-day Gilead, and a young girl who has been smuggled into Gilead to gather evidence against the commanders of the state. Through the pages of this book, we learn that Aunt Lydia is not only regretting her decision of having been convinced by Gilead but has also decided to go against the very state that had convinced her to follow and believe in its idea of what was right and wasn't. Turns out, she is hoping to leave proof of the atrocities that were committed in Gilead through her diary that she hides in the library. 

She recalls everything that happened at the beginning of the resistance to until very recently and in her own words, also wonders how long her act of being loyal to Gilead will hold up. She wonders in her journal, how long can she continue to hide the scrolls, and even if she were to succeed in hiding the record how long would it be before someone found out the scrolls and recorded the events that took place in Gilead instead of burning everything? It is this reason why she seems to have turned against Gilead and instead ends up supporting the resistance by collecting and handing over evidence to a member of the resistance. The title of the book refers to Aunt Lydia's record of history, her testament as a first-hand witness of everything that took place. 

Aunt Lydia with June Osborne (Hulu)

The book also shows us Lydia's past, something that the show had pretty much explored in Season 3. How Lydia was captured, trained, brainwashed and turned against other women is something that the book portrayed at the very beginning and from there, the tale switched between the journal that is left in Ardua Hall and the testaments of women who are connected to Gilead in one manner or another. While we are not sure if the Hulu show will draw Aunt Lydia's path to redemption in a similar pattern, we want to see the show move towards this at least.

Now, speaking of Baby Nicole who managed to escape Gilead and Hannah, both daughters of June, we see how the two reunite 15 years after the book ended and are initially not even aware of who they are for each other. Hannah grows up as Agnes, daughter of Commander Judd and Tabitha, a woman that Agnes had come to love. However, after Tabitha's untimely death, Judd remarries and this new woman in his life arranges for Agnes to be married to another commander. However, before this could happen, Agnes signs up to become a supplicant and she uses Aunt Lydia's help to get away from a disturbing situation while not being aware of how her real mother, who used to be a handmaid was treated by Aunt Lydia. In the process of training to be an aunt, Agnes, and Baby Nicole who enters Gilead in disguise to complete a mission for Mayday, Becka becomes friends and is then tasked with helping Lydia pass on incriminating evidence against Gilead Elite to Canada. 

The half-sisters also learn about the truth of their relationship and who their parents are during this time as well and it is only towards the end of the book that the two girls reunite with their mother, June. This indicates that June will be taking care of the Mayday business in Gilead for a while still. This also tells us that Aunt Lydia's death will not be in the hands of anyone other than herself. The point now is if the creators of the show will make the upcoming season in the context of 'The Testaments'.

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