The Handmaid’s Tale’s Canada Change Hints June Could Return To Gilead

WARNING: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4 and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood below.As support for Gilead in Canada rises and the country gets more dangerous for June, the events of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 hint that June could make a dramatic Gilead return. The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4 begins with a harrowing scene – June is at the park with baby Nichole when a woman approaches her. Seemingly innocuous at first, the woman then reveals her true nature, spouting Gileadean ideology and threatening June. The scene is eerily reminiscent of a scene from early in The Handmaid’s Tale’s run that prefaced Gilead’s eventual takeover of America, indicating that Canada could be on a similar path.

In season 1, episode 2, June has just given birth amidst the rising population crisis in The Handmaid’s Tale’s world. In a harrowing scene, a woman steals June’s baby before June is able to get her back. This happened shortly before the regime change in the United States and, as The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 has shown, support for Gilead is increasing steadily in Canada (and presumably the rest of the world). This has even resulted in physical violence, with Moira being punched by a Gilead supporter outside of Serena’s so-called « cultural center. »

June’s visibility also immediately makes her a target for any supporters of Gilead in Canada. The regime in the former United States is determined to paint June as public enemy number one, and, in doing so, is putting her life, as well as the lives of Nichole, Luke, and Moira, at risk. Despite escaping from Gilead last season, this lingering threat of violence could push June to go underground, reigniting the fight inside of her and prompting her return to Gilead either through Mayday or of her own volition. Now that Serena is also back in Gilead, June has another reason to return, as she is still hellbent on revenge after the end of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 4. All in all, The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 is setting up several compelling explanations and rationales for June’s Gilead return.

June returning to Gilead may frustrate some viewers who felt that she was there for too long, but it would ultimately make sense for her story – which is hinted at in The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Eventually, in the novel, June does go underground, but readers don’t learn much about her activities while she works for Mayday. The Handmaid’s Tale is nearing its conclusion with season 6, so having June return to Gilead to continue her fight would be an apt way to bring her back to where it all started.

June’s return to Gilead would not be without its issues, though – she would need to have an excellent reason to go there, one that justifies her putting her life at risk now that she’s gotten a taste of a better one with Luke and Nichole. Ultimately, though, this would give The Handmaid’s Tale the opportunity to explore a side of the world that has long been hinted at but never utilized to its fullest potential. Exploring the operations of the resistance movement and Mayday inside Gilead could give The Handmaid’s Tale the excitement it needs heading into its final season.

New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 premiere Wednesdays on Hulu.

Next: What Serena Joy Returning To Gilead Really Means For The Handmaid’s Tale