The Handmaid's Tale capped off its first season last week with a glimmer of hope. Hulu's compelling dystopian-set finale episode — which featured Moira (Samira Wiley) fleeing to Canada, a pregnancy test revealing that Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is with child, and an act of defiance that saves Janine's (Madeline Brewer) life — likely foreshadows a follow-up Season 2 that will focus on small acts of defiance as well as the growing resistance in Gilead and the surrounding regions.
While we know very little about what's in store for Season 2, one big surprise for fans came courtesy of Variety, who reported that Alexis Bledel's character Emily/Ofglen had been upgraded from guest star to series regular. This is a surprising move, given that the last time we saw Ofglen she had snapped under the trauma of her forced genital mutilation, acting out by stealing a military car and brutally running over an Eye.
On top of that, Ofglen is considered a "gender traitor" by the state, having been caught in an affair with a Martha — who she had to watch be executed as a result. Despite this, it seems Ofglen has been spared the ultimate punishment for her crimes — but how is this possible, given the brutality of Gilead's criminal justice system?
How Has Ofglen Survived?
It seems that because Ofglen is a Handmaid — a woman able to bear children — the regime cannot kill her in good conscience. However, the system appeared fine with stoning Janine to death because of her threat to kill a baby — just another example of the contradictory politics and grim ideologies the Commanders enforce. It's unlikely Ofglen got off scot-free, but it's difficult to imagine a punishment Gilead could dish out that is worse than what she's endured already.
Ofglen's survival, however, may show the other Handmaid's that they have some semblance of power due to their fertility — proving they're able to get away with far more than they thought they could. Ofglen's upgrade to series regular also hints that Season 2 will shift focus to Mayday, as we know Ofglen was an active member of the resistance movement.
Another theory suggests that Ofglen was sent to the colonies and somehow escaped, finding her way into Canada. Handmaids are regularly threatened with the colonies if they fail to produce a child after three postings of two years each, according to the source material. The colonies are still a bit of a mystery, but we know they are areas of nuclear fallout and war, where many "undesirables" are sent to work until they die.
Whatever the reason behind Ofglen's survival, we will have to wait until 2018 to find out. The second series of #TheHandmaidsTale is likely to take us well past Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel to add a whole new level of depth to this intriguing story.
Are you glad to see Alexis Bledel returning to The Handmaid's Tale as a series regular? Let us know in the comments.