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'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 5 teaser sets up June vs. Serena Joy

The Hulu hit returns this September.

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale Season 5

The Handmaid's Tale ended its fourth season on Hulu with a game-changing death. Now, the first teaser for Season 5 shows us the aftermath, and it looks like there's a bloody reckoning coming. 

Season 4 of the acclaimed series based on Margaret Atwood's classic novel of the same name was full of major changes, as June (Elisabeth Moss) finally escaped to Canada to be with her husband Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) and live her life as an advocate for refugees from Gilead. But old wounds don't heal easy, especially when Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) are in Canada facing trial for their international crimes back home. For a while, it seemed like Fred Waterford was going to slip away yet again by striking a deal to turn on his fellow leaders in Gilead, but some last-minute craftiness meant that he would never escape again. June and her fellow former handmaids ended Season 4 by beating the commander to death and stringing up his body as a warning to all of Gilead. 

Season 5 picks up in the immediate aftermath of Fred's unsanctioned execution, as Serena Joy mourns her husband in what looks like a return to her home country. More importantly, it seems she's also preparing for some kind of revenge on June, who remains in Canada, working to find more information on her eldest child Hannah, who's still being held somewhere in Gilead. The teaser's too brief to show exactly how it's all going to come together, but one thing is very clear: A clash is coming between the show's oldest enemies, and it's a clash so big it may coax June out of Canada and back into Gilead for one final showdown. 

Check out the trailer below:

In the aftermath of Season 4 last year, showrunner Bruce Miller reminded viewers that Waterford is far from the only Commander with significant power in Gilead. It's clear from this teaser that there are plenty in the country who aren't willing to let June simply get away with what she did.

"You know, in some ways, the whole point of the show, and I think nowadays especially is to make people feel something, to feel connected to something, to other people’s stories because we’re a little missing in human contact," Miller said while describing what happens next in the wake of Season 4's finale. "So, but what I think I would say to them initially is the Commander is dead. Long live the Commander. The fact is that there are plenty of Commanders. It’s a long fight. What you don’t want to get caught up in is the victories or the defeats that June is going through. I think the lesson she is learning is the lesson we’re all learning, which is it doesn’t matter how many elections you work on, there’s always another election to throw yourself into. I think a lot of our problems in the world are thinking that fights are as soon as you kill Fred in the woods, your problems are over. It’s a long struggle, and that’s what we have to get used to in this world is long struggles."

The Handmaid's Tale returns Sept. 14 on Hulu. 

For more dystopian TV, check out Brave New World on Peacock.

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