Season 2 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale will take viewers to an even more depressing place than Gilead, as is discovered with a new image revealing the fate of Alexis Bledel’s Ofglen. It’s the first look of the actor’s return to her Emmy-winning role, after Emily/Ofglen was carted off near the end of season 1, presumably to spend the rest of her days toiling in The Colonies.
The image serves as another confirmation of the character’s fate, one that will take Emily into uncharted territory as far as the story is concerned. As the image shows, that territory is the radioactive wasteland that is often used as a threat by Aunt Lydia and others as a place where Gilead sends those it no longer has any use for, or for whom a particularly brutal punishment has been passed down. And while the photo depicts what looks to be an incredibly harsh environment, it also points to where the series is headed in season 2.
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As book readers know, the story never actually went to The Colonies, and it wasn’t ever depicted in any concrete detail in season 1 of Hulu’s adaptation, either. Since the first season more or less followed the path laid out by Margaret Atwood’s novel, this and any future seasons will introduce entirely new or previously unseen elements, like the radioactive wasteland where people essentially work until they die (also known as freelancing), as well as the fates of Elisabeth Moss’ Offred, Serena Joy, and more. In true Handmaid’s Tale fashion, this particular reveal appears to be appropriately bleak.
While the prospect of doubling down on the dreary atmosphere of an already grim show might be too much, the idea of seeing where showrunner Bruce Miller and the writers’ room plan to take the series, and how it will build upon and expand the ideas laid out in both the book and the first season is exciting. A new trailer for season 2 that was released recently hinted at June/Offred’s rebellious future, which will certainly take the story in an interesting direction. One has to wonder, then, whether or not there are plans to fold Emily/Ofglen into that same storyline at any point in season 2.
For her part, Bledel was a standout among many great performances — hence her Emmy win — and though it seemed like her character’s fate had been sealed by the time she left the season, knowing there’s more to her story is certainly intriguing. It’s a good bet that Bledel will also factor into some flashbacks at some point, as Clea DuVall was cast late last year as Emily’s wife.
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The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 premieres Wednesday, April 25 on Hulu.