15 Things We're Looking Forward to in 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 spoilers, paleyfest panel, 2018, elisabeth moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, samira wiley, alexis bledel, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield
Brian To for the Paley Center

Dying to get your hands on 'The Handmaid's Tale' season 2 spoilers? We don't blame you! Here's everything that we learned from 'The Handmaid's Tale' PaleyFest panel, just in time for season 2!

Brian To for the Paley Center

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Spoilers: 15 Things We Learned At PaleyFest

Praise be! The Handmaid's Tale season 2 is just getting started and we've already got tons to worry about. Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale attended their first PaleyFest panel on Sunday afternoon at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to offer fans a taste of what's to come in Gilead. Following a screening from the upcoming season, The Handmaid's Tale cast and creatives, including creator Bruce Miller, executive producer Warren Littlefield, Madeline Brewer (Janine), Max Minghella (Nick Blaine), Samira Wiley (Moira), O-T Fagbenle (Luke Bankole), Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy Waterford), and Amanda Brugel (Rita), came to discuss the series. And although Elisabeth Moss (June/Offred) and Alexis Bledel (Ofglen/Emily) were unable to attend, there was plenty to say about their characters. So, what's coming for our favorites in The Handmaid's Tale season 2? Spoilers directly from the PaleyFest panel have us pretty damn terrified for everyone. So, hold onto your hats, kids. The Handmaid's Tale season 2 spoilers from Paleyfest 2018 are here!

Warning: The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Spoilers Ahead.

1. Punishment For The Handmaids


The Handmaid's Tale event at PaleyFest kicked off with three sneak peek clips from the second season. In the first clip, we see the handmaids, including Offred, undergo the consequences of disobeying Aunt Lydia's (Ann Dowd) orders to stone Janine in season 1. The handmaids are punished by being forced to hold a heavy stone out with one hand in the pouring rain. But, an assistant comes to share the good news of Offred's pregnancy to Aunt Lydia, who tells the handmaids that Offred has been "filled with divine light."

While the scene itself is compelling and ultimately makes me want to scream until my lungs fall out of my chest, we're left wondering what happened after the events of season 1? Clearly, the scene showed us what happened after the handmaids resisted against Aunt Lydia. But, didn't we see Richie Castellano, I mean, Nick take June/Offred somewhere at the end of season 1? Well, they didn't get very far because the punishment and the pregnancy announcement to Aunt Lydia wouldn't have happened much later, especially since Serena Joy would have wanted to keep that baby safe at all costs. No way in hell would she let Offred sit out in the rain while she was pregnant. Right? Right??

2. A Look At Ofglen's New Life At The Colonies


The second clip is a glimpse at Ofglen's life in the Colonies. We already knew that she would be sent away to the Colonies after stealing a car and murdering someone, but we never imagined it quite like this. In fact, it's worse. The trailer and teaser photo did not do the Colonies justice. The desolate and radioactive wasteland that is the Colonies is more horrifying and haunting than we would like to think, especially since this is the place that the infertile, lower-class women are sent to work in Gilead. Both the guards and horses wear gas masks. But, the women at work do not.

Ofglen is seen shoveling the waste from the ground as she (as well as the other women) say a prayer. Yes, Alexis Bledel's eyes say it all in this scene. And yes. You will cry.

3. There's Something Happening Here


In the final clip, we see Offred in a familiar bright white room of the hospital. While she's waiting for her doctor, Serena Joy walks in and hisses, "All of your disruptions and all of your games and secrets, all of that smart girl bullshit is finished, you hear me?"

June's response? "Don't get upset, Serena. It's bad for the baby."

I am still screaming. But wait. There's more.

Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and the doctor walk in and the doctor shows them an early ultrasound of Offred's baby. Both Serena Joy and Commander Waterford become emotional. Once the exam is finished, Offred gets ready to go when the technician says, "Godspeed, June." Her real name. In Gilead. In a public place. Offred then finds a key in her boot that is marked with red.

Again, SCREAMING. We have so many questions, it hurts. But, from the looks of it, this one scene ties in with the major themes of season 2. Excited yet? We are.

Where Are The Characters In Season 2?

Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Once the panel got started, The Handmaid's Tale cast shared where their characters would be at the start of season 2.

4. Where Is Offred/June In Season 2?


Clearly, even from what we saw with the clip, Offred is becoming more and more like June in terms of character and who she presents herself as. It appears that June will be less concerned about her own survival and more about her child and what life she wants for her child.

Show creator, Bruce Miller said, "Her character's a lot more of a rebel and feistier. She's having a little more trouble as Offred hiding June, that sort of stubborn fighting spirit, so that stuff comes out more."

"She's also getting to know and building a relationship with Serena," Miller added. "Even though they wouldn't like it to turn out that way, it's getting way more honest."

5. Where Is Janine In Season 2?


It looks like the handmaids couldn't save Janine from punishment after all. But, are we surprised? No. It looks like Janine will join Ofglen in the "sinister and gut-wrenchingly terrible" Colonies in season 2. Madeline Brewer's words. Not mine.

At the start of season 2, Janine is also just "happy to be alive after a few brushes with death, so she's living every day with much more gratitude for even the horrors that are presented to her."

6. Where Is Nick In Season 2?


It looks like fans have nothing to worry about when it comes to Nick's feelings for Offred in season 2. However, we might have to worry about what this means for Nick.

"Offred is carrying Nick's child and his primal feelings for her have not shifted," Max Minghella said. "Nick is constantly making decisions that negate his self-preservation."

Why do I get the feeling that they're going to kill off Nick? My hunches are usually always wrong. But, still.

7. Where Are Serena And Fred In Season 2?


So, basically, things are pretty normal in the Waterford household.

"Serena's pissed," Yvonne Strahovski said. But, when is she not?

As terrifying as that is, the next bit gets a little more terrifying.

When speaking of the Waterford's marriage, Miller said, "They've come to an incredibly uneasy peace."

But, this isn't good news for June.

"It hollowed out their marriage and made it a lot more empty," Miller said. "But I don't know if you'd see that from the outside. They seem like a united front."

We will also get to take a look at Serena's past. Though, we won't be seeing her mother anytime soon, according to Miller.

8. Where Is Rita In Season 2?


And if you thought that the drama in the Waterford house was done, you're wrong. We've got bad news for you Rita fans out there, too.

Although the hilarious Amanda Brugel joked about Rita being at Red Lobster and Target, Brugel made it clear that Rita was at the bottom of the totem pole in Gilead.

"If this one's pissed," Brugel pointed to Strahovski, "then you can imagine what my life is like at home. So, it's always a state of peril as far as the Waterford household is concerned. But, it's the most perilous state that this character has ever been in as we open season 2."

9. Where Is Moira In Season 2?


Moira is in Canada, as we saw in season 1, and she has reconnected with Luke over their mutual love for June. It also looks like we're going to be able to explore a little more outside of Gilead.

"In season 2, we will find the things that are so wonderful about escaping to Canada, Wiley said. "But it's also away from everything that she knows. I think we'll see both sides of that."

10. Where is Luke In Season 2?


O-T Fagbenle echoed Wiley's statements on Luke's relationship with Moira, expressing that they have plenty to work through together to "try to make it work."

And how will the Luke-June-Nick triangle play out? Well, according to the panel, season 2 will explore Luke and June's relationship as well as uncomfortable aspects of falling in love when you're married. Whether or not that meant June and Luke versus June and Nick or both are unclear. But, the parallels between both are unmistakable.

11. Two Major Themes: Motherhood And 'Gilead Is Within You'

Brian To for the Paley Center

According to Warren Littlefield, the major themes that will be woven throughout season 2 will be motherhood and the idea that "Gilead is within you."

As mentioned, both Luke and Moira have escaped, but are trying to deal with life outside of Gilead as a family.

"They both may be in Little America up in Toronto," Littlefield said. "But they haven't really left Gilead and Gilead haven't left them. So, we get to play with the trauma and repercussions for all of that."

Motherhood is also a major theme we will see throughout the series, from Serena's drive to June's. Littlefield mentioned that June would have the desire to "connect to Hannah, somehow manage to reconnect and protect." So, it seems that we will see more of June's daughter.

However, at the start of season 2, Offred "has a child and in this explosive, volatile chess game of season two, all her moves are for that unborn child and what life will be for that unborn child."

12. How US Became Gilead

Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

If you ever wondered how we went from our society to Gilead, you're finally going to get your answer! Well, maybe.

Littlefield stated that they had greater ambitions than year one with the creation of the Colonies as well as explaining how this all happens. This being how did the United States turn into the horrifying world of Gilead. So, we're finally going to see the moment where we went from our society to Gilead through the eyes of these characters, hoping to expand on the world as well as the characters themselves.

13. Who Will Bradley Whitword Be Playing?


It's finally been revealed that Bradley Whitword is joining the Handmaid's Tale cast as a Commander.

"Alexis Bledel is assigned to his house," Miller said.

So, that means that Emily/Ofglen makes it out of the Colonies, right? Maybe?

Also, guest starring in season 2 are Clea Duvall, who plays Emily's wife in a flashback sequence, Cherry Jones as June's mother, Holly, and Marisa Tomei.

14. Another Character Will Escape Gilead


Is everyone just going to end up in Canada? When asked if anyone was going to escape from Gilead this season, Miller responded with, "Yeah."

When followed up with if the person was on the stage, Miller declined to respond.

So, who's leaving Gilead next? Place your bets!



While we knew this since the start of season 1, it's still a little nervewracking when the show creator and executive producer say it out loud.

"Anyone could die," Littlefield said after Miller responded to "Is everyone safe?" with "Oh no!"

Pulling some major Shonda Rhimes moves. We see you.

"The terrible thing about Gilead is that sometimes the worst case scenario is that they don't die," Miller added.

Yikes. Do you think someone will die this season? And if so, who? A lot of characters are in danger. But, hey, what else is new?

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 premieres on April 25 on Hulu.