The Handmaid's Tale Will Return For Its Sixth And Final Season

Ahead of this month's season 5 premiere, the hit Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale" has been renewed for its sixth and final season. For the last five years, Elisabeth Moss has been taking us through the dystopian not-so-distant future envisioned by novelist Margaret Atwood of a world where religious fascists reign supreme and those with the ability to conceive children are treated like breeding stock. 

The announcement is neither shocking nor unexpected, as it was originally assumed that the show would end in the fifth season, and while that wound up not being the case, the second half of season 5 was seemingly crafted as a set-up for the grand finale. Not to mention the fact that there's still talk of another Atwood adaptation, "The Testaments," which Hulu confirmed would not debut until the completion of "The Handmaid's Tale." 

The story of June and Gilead feels like it's reaching its natural conclusion, and stretching things out further than a sixth season would be unnecessary.

The fifth season focuses on the aftermath of June killing Commander Waterford, while also trying to adjust to a new existence and identity. Now widowed, Serena Joy uses her husband's death to her benefit, becoming an international sympathetic figure despite not fully understanding how to achieve a position of power. Nick and Aunt Lydia are working hard to reform Gilead with Commander Lawrence, but unfortunately, Gilead's influence is starting to infect Canada, which threatens the fight June, Luke, and Moira set out to complete.

An acclaimed run for the ages

"The Handmaid's Tale" has been an audience favorite and critical darling since its debut in 2017, nabbing 15 Emmy awards including Outstanding Drama Series for its first season. The show was created by Bruce Miller ("ER," "Eureka," "The 100") who is also developing "The Testaments." The entire cast has been rightfully praised for their performances across the series, namely Elisabeth Moss, Bradley Whitford, Yvonne Strahovski, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, and Madeline Brewer. Series regular Alexis Bledel also took home an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series but exited the show following season 4.

The impact "The Handmaid's Tale" has had on pop culture is immeasurable, with the traditional white bonnets (aka "wings") and red cloaks becoming memorable symbols of protest for many activists desperately trying to prevent our current world from inching a little too close to the practices of Gilead. Here's hoping that "The Handmaid's Tale" will continue to exist as a work of fiction long after the show has wrapped.

Season 5 of "The Handmaid's Tale" will debut its penultimate season with a two-part premiere on September 14, 2022, only on Hulu.