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The full trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 is packed with juicy clues to forthcoming storylines, from Nick (Max Minghella) and June’s (Elisabeth Moss) long-awaited reunion to a knock-down-drag-out between the heroine and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). But the biggest tease of all could be a pointed moment for Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).
At 1:41 in the above trailer, the Gilead commander is depicted opening an ultrasound image in his Canadian jail cell. The brief moment implies his wife, Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), is pregnant.
Where we left off
If it’s been a while since you watched an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, a quick refresher: In episode 11 of season 3, Fred is arrested as the Waterfords cross into the Canadian border; Serena Joy collaborated with the government to indict her husband on charges of war crimes in exchange for the chance to visit with the baby she considers to be her daughter, Nichole. June gave birth to Nick’s daughter in season 2, but as Handmaid to the Waterfords, she was forced to give Nichole to Fred and Serena to raise. In the season 2 finale, June and Serena collaborate to get the infant out of Gilead, and Emily (Alexis Bledel), an escaped Handmaid, carries her over the border, where June’s husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and friend Moira (Samira Wiley), are now raising her. In season 3 episode 12, Serena is briefly reunited with Nichole, much to the chagrin of Luke and Moira. The season ends with Serena also arrested after Fred alleges she coerced June into sleeping with Nick to get pregnant.
Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale were theorizing about a potential Serena pregnancy even before the trailer dropped. Reddit user kweerhawk noted the “womb imagery” in an episode 11 scene that implies Fred and Serena slept together before their arrest. “Serena discovers she’s pregnant, giving Gilead massive political leverage to argue that despite their crimes, in a post-fertility crisis ridden world, separating a mother from a child is a massive moral/politically charged/religiously insensitive PR nightmare,” kweerhawk writes. “The Canadians broker a deal for the release of the Waterfords in exchange for June, makes them look politically strong that they’ve reunited a Handmaid with her natural child on their land. Makes other countries more likely to leverage and support them.”
This could explain some of the trailer’s more shocking images, from the Waterfords walking hand-in-hand in full Gilead garb as an adoring crowd cheers them on to a distraught June reuniting with her older daughter, Hannah, who’s inexplicably caged in a glass box.
In 2019, Strahovski spoke to HarpersBAZAAR.com about the ramifications of Serena Joy’s decision to turn on Fred. “I think the whole ‘I get to be with my baby’ thing isn't panning out the way that she had envisioned for herself,” the actress said. “It’s very timed and very scheduled and just a bit awful. I can imagine her down the line wondering whether it was worth it, all of this.”
The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 premieres April 28.
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