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The Handmaid's Tale Season 6 - What We Know So Far

For the better part of the past half-decade, Hulu's dystopian drama "The Handmaid's Tale" has been one of the more celebrated, decorated, and entertaining series on television. It's also one of the more eerily relevant shows around, as its barbed study of a cruel, exploitative society run by a theocratic dictatorship has often hit a little too close to home in the modern political climate.

Politics aside, "The Handmaid's Tale" remains a fascinating exploration of what might become of a world in which zealotry is allowed to reign unchecked by the masses. Over the series' first five seasons, however, an increasingly steadfast rebellion has continued to do all it can to not just check but topple the male-dominated regime that rules over Gilead with an iron fist. And after the startling events of the series' fifth season, it's clear things are coming to a head in Season 6. Here's everything we know so far about Season 6 of "The Handmaid's Tale." 

When will Season 6 of The Handmaid's Tale be released?

The good news for fans of "The Handmaid's Tale" is that a sixth season has officially been greenlit by Hulu (via The Hollywood Reporter). That seemingly joyous news is a touch bittersweet as Hulu also announced Season 6 of the series will be its last. Even still, it's good to know that series' mastermind Bruce Miller and "The Handmaid's Tale" creative team will have the chance to close things out on their own terms. And we can only imagine Miller and company are plotting a finale as pointed in its message as it is emotionally satisfying.

As it stands, Hulu has yet to make any announcement regarding when the final season of "The Handmaid's Tale" will make its way to the platform, so there's no telling how long fans will have to wait to find out how things end. Before the pandemic, Miller and his crew were cranking out a new season of the show every year. While pandemic delays led to a two-year gap between Seasons 3 and 4, the show got back on schedule between Seasons 4 and 5. Assuming "The Handmaid's Tale" team keeps the pace, we can likely expect Season 6 to debut late in 2023.

Who will appear in Season 6 of The Handmaid's Tale?

Given how much is at stake in the final season of "The Handmaid's Tale," it wouldn't be surprising if Bruce Miller and his team take a little longer to bring it to Hulu, if only to ensure they get the ending just right. And that will no doubt prove a monumental task in and of itself, considering how many narrative threads are still dangling in the wind. 

Most of them, of course, revolve around the series' central player, June Osborne, who's been portrayed by Elisabeth Moss since the series debuted. The actor has been at her fiery best throughout, even earning a long-overdue Emmy award for her work in the role. And yes, she'll be back to close June's story out in the final season. Fans can also expect her frequent onscreen adversary Yvonne Strahovski to return; her scene-stealing work as Serena Joy Waterford has been a legit series highlight. Returning alongside that fearsome duo are series regulars Samira Wiley (Moira Strand), Max Minghella (Nick Lane), Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia Clements), O-T Fagbenle (Luke Bankole), and Bradley Whitford (Joseph Lawrence), among many others.

What will Season 6 of The Handmaid's Tale be about?

As for what that crew will get up to in the final season of "The Handmaid's Tale," in a word, Season 6 will be all about endings. Judging from the way things have played out over the course of the first five seasons, it's safe to assume at least a few of those endings will be permanent in nature. The series has, of course, veered far at times from its source material, Margaret Atwood's iconic 1985 novel of the same name. Given how many new characters Miller has brought into the world, one might rightfully expect the series to end a little differently than the book.

Fans of the novel no doubt recall "The Handmaid's Tale" ends in a defiantly open-ended fashion, leaving to imagination what becomes of its protagonist. While that ending has proven frustrating to some, it's hard to imagine Miller deviating too far from it. Still, Miller is apparently one of those frustrated fans and admitted during an interview with Digital Spy he may expand the story a bit for the series finale. "The book is so frustrating at the end, because the book just ends," Miller said, adding, "I'm like, 'Oh my God, it's all I've ever wanted to do, to write the rest." That no doubt includes setting up the show's sequel series, "The Testaments," which is currently in development at Hulu (per Entertainment Tonight).

Fates are sealed for many of the players in "The Handmaid's Tale" landscape, however. While we're still not certain how things will play out over the final season, it should be thrilling to watch the final chapter unfold.