During the Super Bowl, The Handmaid’s Tale aired a TV spot for its third season asking America to wake up. The Hulu Original, starring Elisabeth Moss, has been widely hailed for its horrifying, all-too-relevant, and brilliantly written adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel. Since the second season of the show delved further into events that weren’t part of the source material, the shocking decision made by the series’ protagonist June (Moss) left many fans reeling with anticipation to find out what her next move will be. Atwood has also since confirmed that she’s writing a sequel to her novel.
Season 2 concluded last summer with June, otherwise known as Offred, having finally grasped a chance to escape her life as a handmaid: a woman purposed for breeding, in order to replenish the dwindling population of a war-torn future America called Gilead. At the last moment, she gives her newborn baby Nicole to her fellow captive and friend Emily (Alexis Bledel), as the escaping party heads for Canada. June slips into the night, preparing to track down her other daughter Hannah, who was seized by the government as an infant, adopted by another family, and is imminently becoming a child bride. June’s painful but persistent longing to save a daughter has been integral to the story so far, and the first glimpse of the third season implies that she’s now gone rogue, preparing to start a revolution.
Related: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Finale Explained
Cut together with series footage, The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 announcement trailer begins with an optimistic message about economic prosperity and happy families in America. A radical tone shift into the alarm and dread that encapsulates the show then leads into June stating: “Wake up America. Morning is over.” Check out the Hulu spot below:
The “It’s morning again” narrative is a reference to a campaign by Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s. However, while the Reagan ad proclaimed “More men and women will go to work than ever before,” The Handmaids Tale spot singles out women in this line,and runs itover what appears to be footage of imprisoned women (or “Unwomen”) toiling in the Colonies. Meanwhile, baptism ceremonies show scores of newborns welcomed into a totalitarian, puritanical society which would have them executed for questioning its authority. The scores of handmaids seen opposite the giant crucifix that replaced the Washington monument are what indicate that resistance will indeed arrive.
2017’s The Handmaid’s Tale Super Bowl trailer introduced a hero who was first and foremost determined to survive an unbearably bleak future. But, despite the unspeakable torment she’s undergone, June has been a stubborn rebel, taking opportunities to disempower her oppressors, however temporarily, and remind the women around her that their true identities do still exist. The evolution of June’s relationship with Serena, who’s come to realize that her position as a Commander’s wife ultimately doesn’t make her, or any woman, any less susceptible to misogynistic violence under Gilead rule, also signals an acceleration of class consciousness among the groups of women and marginalized groups in the series.
While many viewers have criticized The Handmaid’s Tale for being almost unwatchable on accounts of bleak tone – with some even calling it torture porn – fighting for hope has always been at the center of the story. The payoff, affirmation that violent, corrupt, discriminatory systems can be taken down appears to be visible, however faintly, in the distance.
Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale premieres in 2019 on Hulu.