The Handmaid’s Tale: What we want to see in the second season finale

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “June” – Episode 201 — Offred reckons with the consequences of a dangerous decision while haunted by memories from her past and the violent beginnings of Gilead. (Photo by: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

The Handmaid’s Tale has set a lot of plot lines in motion this season. Here’s what we expect (and hope) the Hulu series will cover in its Wednesday finale.

Much has happened since season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale debuted in April.

We’ve met June’s mother and have caught glimpses of Emily and Moira’s pasts. We were guests as Nick and his fellow Eyes got married. We’ve received some catharsis in the form of some saintly, morally upstanding Canadian diplomats. We’ve seen June and Serena Joy be enemies, allies, and enemies again. And we’ve listened to June tell her tale as she carried a pregnancy to term and gave birth in Gilead.

The Handmaid’s Tale has a lot of balls up in the air right now, and there’s no feasible way they’ll all be easily caught in Wednesday’s finale (not least because the series is getting a third season). And, as twisty as the show can be, trying to suss out what exactly the episode will include seems like a fool’s errand — but that isn’t stopping us from trying.

Below are our predictions and wish list forThe Handmaid’s Tale‘s season finale. We’ve also included developments that have zero chance of occurring, but we’re pulling for nonetheless.

We expect to see: Serena Joy continue to question her loyalty to Gilead

I’m no fan of Serena Joy, but I can’t deny that she’s been on an eye-opening journey this season. She’s been able to withstand the suffocation of Gilead, June’s rebellion, Fred’s mistreatment, even humiliation and an offer of a new life in Canada — all because she’s been promised a baby. And then she got that baby and, wouldn’t you know, her problems weren’t magically solved at all.

Gilead is still a hellish nightmare where a young (married against her will) girl is executed for “infidelity.” It’s still a place where Serena’s only power is naming the baby she stole after the man who actually fathered her (Nicole is mighty similar to Nick). Gilead simply is not enough for Serena, even with the added bonus of motherhood.

Another “Holly”-esque outburst seems imminent for Mrs. Waterford, and it’s bound to be a doozy.

We want to see: More Moira and Janine

The Handmaid’s Tale is June’s story; there’s no doubt about that. Yet the peeks we get into the lives of Gilead’s other disenfranchised residents — with the exception of Emily — are very compelling but all too brief.

The flashbacks to Moira’s surrogate pregnancy and her relationship with Odette felt shoe-horned in and half-baked. Also, Janine’s reunion with her baby, Charlotte/Angela, was touching and deserved more than a couple of scenes’ worth of screen time.

June is the center of The Handmaid’s Tale, but other characters should occasionally be in the spotlight, too. It would be nice if the finale acknowledged that.

We’re hoping against hope to see: Who June is telling her story to

This has been the topic of some chatter ever since June used the word “you” in her voiceover in “Holly.” It’s possible she’s imagining sharing her experiences with someone she cares about — Moira, Luke or her daughters. It’s also possible she’s actually relaying them out loud sometime in the future. Or perhaps she’s writing them down.

Personally, I believe June is mentally chronicling her life in Gilead to stay sane and to remember it, so she can talk about it if and when she escapes. It’s a survival mechanism, if you will; a way for her to preserve her sense of self.

Who knows if I’m right or wrong. Who knows if the series’ writers have even decided who June is conversing with. But getting some sort of answer in the finale would give us a clearer idea of where the show is headed in season 3 and beyond.

We expect to see: Aunt Lydia step in for the welfare of Holly/Nicole

The only thing Aunt Lydia cares more about than Gilead is the well-being of Gilead’s babies. And even a die-hard Gilead defender can see that baby Holly/Nicole is doomed if she is raised by Fred and Serena Joy Waterford.

Aunt Lydia is already aware of the domestic violence situation in the Waterford household, and anyone with functioning eyes knows Serena is only an episode or two from a complete mental break. Plus, the Eden-Isaac situation doesn’t bode well for anyone associated with the Waterfords.

So, it’s likely June won’t be the only person forced to say goodbye to Holly.

We want to see: The series reckon with the realities of the colonies

This plot hole has been driving me crazy.

It’s absurd that anyone would send uncooperative or barren women — or “unwomen” — off to die in the colonies, only to bring them back when Gilead’s handmaid supply falls low. The whole point of sending someone to the colonies is to condemn them to death by radiation poisoning.

Emily and Janine won’t magically get healthy when they return to their handmaid duties. Not to mention the radiation has most likely torpedoed their fertility — which is a problem if your only role in society is to bear children.

I love Emily and Janine and would be sad to see them killed off, but their return to Gilead makes zero sense. Fingers crossed The Handmaid’s Tale addresses this.