*WARNING: Spoilers for Season 1 and minor plot details of S2 Ep1*
Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale was welcomed back to our screens on Channel 4 last Sunday night. Season one ended with lots of questions; where was the van taking June (Elisabeth Moss)? What will the series consist of now that Atwood’s book (which the show is based on) has already been covered? Will June be reunited with Luke (O. T. Fagbenle)? Or will she stay with Nick (Max Minghella)?
Episode one picks up straight from last season’s finale. June is in the van and the intense first 10 minutes is gripping, edge-of-your-seat drama. The van could deliver her either to safety or to her demise. Both are explored in a matter of moments. A stream of light is shown when the window to the front of the van opens but is then slammed back shut, almost at the expense of June’s fingers. Sound is slowly incorporated and muffled yells, doors slamming, and dogs barking ramp up the intensity.
There’s not many shows that can make the audience feel genuine fear for the characters. This episode does so in 14 minutes. Creepy and scary – there’s no let up as later on in the episode there’s a horrible scene where certain characters face consequences for decisions made in season one, and we get to see how June and her family react to the violent start of Gilead.
Overall, this episode was a great start to the second season. As good as it was first time round, season two has serious potential to reach further and tackle more complex issues within Gilead. Next week will be fascinating to watch and The Handmaid’s Tale looks like it will maintain the exceptionally high standards it set itself in its opening season.
Image credit: The Movie DB