The Handmaid’s Tale feels unstoppable at every award show, and Season 2 appears to have no intention of slowing down — or letting us off the hook.
Over the weekend at the TV Critics Association press tour, Elizabeth Moss warned reporters: “It’s a dark season. I would say arguably it’s darker than Season 1 — if that’s possible.”
At the forefront of that darkness is the conflicting, traumatizing experience of being an expecting mother in Gilead. “[Show creator Bruce Miller] and I always talked about this impending birth of this child growing inside her like a ticking time bomb.”
This season’s telling tagline of “Gilead is within you” takes on endless layers of dark implications for June, who the show’s finale left in the most dire and uncertain of situations.
Another added layer of the season’s darkness comes from the expansion of the world created by Margaret Atwood, author of the book on which the series is based. In the trailer, for example, we see June in the desolate colonies that the book only hinted at.
According to executive producer Warren Littlefield, we’ll be able to see: “How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?… We get to follow the historical creation of this world.”
Maybe — just maybe — we’ll take that history to heart and avoid those mistakes in our current dystopia.
Moss said that it’s not all hopelessness. Part of what makes The Handmaid’s Tale so compelling is the ways in which it finds humanity within the strictest confines of Gilead’s dehumanizing regime.
According to Moss, one of her character’s biggest arcs is realizing that “there’s more than one way to resist,” because while “there’s the resistance in the outside world in May Day, there’s also resistance within her.”
Aside from announcing that actress Marisa Tomei (who won an Oscar for her role in My Cousin Vinny) will guest star in Episode 2, Miller also revealed that he had plotted out a 10-season arc while first conceiving the show.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and the seasons to come — both in our world, and Atwood’s dystopia.
Miller assured the crowd that, while “there’s a lot of dread, there’s also a lot of absurdity… I always feel like June is always about to turn to the camera and say “Really? What the fuck?”
You can say that again.