The Handmaid's Tale: Why June Shouldn't Escape Gilead Yet

Offred before being abducted again

Warning: major spoilers ahead or The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Episode 3 "Baggage." If you haven't seen the newest episode, turn back now!

After a long year of waiting, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale has finally returned for its second season on the streaming service. The series is one of the biggest shows on TV, earning instant popularity and a slew of Emmy awards with Season 1. Season 2 certainly started off with a bang, with June managing to miraculously escape from inside Gilead's walls and attempt to cross the border. Episode 3 made is seem like she might make it to Canada, only for Eyes to arrive once again capture her. While this was a major let down, it's exactly where the show needs to go.

All Handmaid's Tale fans are ultimately rooting for protagonist June/Offred. We navigate the horrors of the dystopian future from her perspective, and long for her suffering to end with safety and a reunion with Luke and Hannah. But it's simply too soon for her to escape, as there are a bevy of fascinating character dynamics to explore back in Gilead. So while she fought and very nearly made it, The Handmaid's Tale ultimately made the right call by taking it away from her.

Bringing June back "home" will allow her to have continued relations with The Commander, Serena, Aunt Lydia, and the other Handmaids. It's here where the show really shines-- with June back in red dresses and wings. Her escape seems inevitable, but the show would be remiss to not go back to her home within the society. Her disdain for both Fred and Serena is out in the open, but she's also given some sense of protection because of her pregnancy. Will she be once again banished to her room to slowly lose her mind? How will her relationship with Nick function back in the confines of the household?

The trailer for Episode 4 also teased June's confrontation with Aunt Lydia, which is sure to be explosive. This is her second escape attempt, and she'd definitely be killed if she weren't pregnant. But Lydia is cruel and violent, so smart money says it's going to be rough for June when she returns.

The Season 2 premiere also showed Aunt Lydia punishing the Handmaids for refusing to kill Janine, and it's unclear how far it all went. She was certainly trying to turn them all against June, who dropped the first stone but avoided physical torture due to her condition. We'll have to see if Alma and Mayday turn their backs on her, or if she'll be able to continue the fight from within Gilead. Fans just have to wait and see how it all shakes up.

Bringing June back into Gilead was definitely the right call for The Handmaid's Tale. Her escape should happen further down the line, when the show's primary setting isn't so fascinating and layered. The show simply wouldn't be the same if it was only about characters in Canada and The Colonies.

The Handmaid's Tale airs new episodes Wednesday on Hulu. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch. Plus our superhero premiere list and Amazon premiere list to ensure you don't miss a single episode.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.