Season three of The Handmaid's Tale will premiere on Wednesday, June 5, Hulu announced at during the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. The 13-episode season will pick up with Offred/June's (Elisabeth Moss) continued resistance to Gilead, after giving her newborn daughter, Nicole/Holly, to Emily (Alexis Bledel) and choosing to stay behind while they made their escape.
June hasn't just accepted her fate, however. A description for the season teases "startling reunions, betrayals, and a journey to the terrifying heart of Gilead force all characters to take a stand, guided by one defiant prayer: 'Blessed be the fight.'"
“I thought it was the only way to go,” Moss said of June’s choice. “You know, it’s surprising. It’s definitely shocking. I think that people are gonna have a hard time with it, for sure, but I think that if you know her, and you know the fight that she sort of has before her, it'll make sense.”
Moss said that June’s older daughter, Hannah, was definitely a driving force in her decision to stay, but noted that June is really fighting for "all the children that need to go back to their families."
Executive producers Warren Littlefield and Bruce Miller said season three will likely pick up right where season two left off.
“It leaves us in a place where we're right back to our thematics for the year, motherhood,” Littlefield explained. “And Gilead is within us. Maybe you can get out, you never get away? … I think what's next will be quite a battle.”
The Handmaid's Tale will return for season three on Wednesday, June 5 with three new episodes (interestingly past the eligibility period for the 2019 Emmys). Subsequent episodes will be released every Wednesday only on Hulu.
"Maintaining the quality of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is impeccable, takes time and we wanted to give the show enough time in season three to maintain the standards of storytelling," Hulu’s Senior Vice President of Originals, Craig Erwich, explained of the season three premiere date at TCA on Monday. "Season three episodes, all of them, will be viewed by the academy when it is qualified."
"No, it doesn’t [have anything to do with trying to avoid Game of Thrones at the 2019 Emmys]," he added. "You’re going to watch the final season of Game of Thrones as well. We wanted to give the show as much time as possible... I’ve had a chance to see the first two episodes of Handmaid’s Tale, and it’s spectacular."