Is She Dead? The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Finale Cliffhanger Explained

Get the scoop on what's to come when the Emmy-winning Hulu drama returns for a fourth season

By Chris Harnick Aug 14, 2019 5:30 PMTags
Watch: "The Handmaid's Tale" Cast Promises the Best Finale Yet!

About that The Handmaid's Tale season three finale cliffhanger…it's time to talk. Warning, spoilers follow!

In "Mayday," June (Elisabeth Moss) successfully saved dozens of children from growing up in Gilead by getting them on a cargo plane to Canada. But at what cost? She, along with several Handmaids and Marthas, put their lives on the line to distract an armed airport guard. June was shot, but took the guard's life as well. The season ended with her seemingly on death's door being carried to safety—well, probably to punishment—by several of her fellow Handmaids. So, is June dead? Nah. She'll live to see another day.

Elisabeth Moss Says June Becomes Ruthless in Season 3 of "Handmaid's Tale"

"June has plot armor based on the fact that it's The Handmaid's Tale, and the premise of the show is the same as the premise of the book. That this is a recorded memoir that was, you know, found at some point in the future. This story only exists as long as June was alive to live it and write it down," executive producer Bruce Miller told Vanity Fair. "So I think that June is our guide. When June dies, our guide dies, and our show dies."

Spoiler alert: The Handmaid's Tale has been renewed for a fourth season by Hulu and Moss told us she's already had conversations with Miller about where things will go. Sure, June succeeded, but, "even winning means you lose something," Moss told E! News. June isn't paying with her life, at least not yet, so what punishment is in store now? Getting the children to Canada creates quite the conflict between Gilead and the neighbors to the north. June sending her baby with Emily (Alexis Bledel) sparked a lot of the tension and drama in the third season, so what about a whole plane full?

"You can imagine, I mean, if one child getting out and going to Canada [became] an international incident...For Gilead, these kids were kidnapped from their homes. So I think they react like any other country would, but magnified because we're living in a world where children are very rare," Miller said. "So are there going to be consequences more than [June] getting shot? Yes, absolutely."

The Handmaid's Tale will return for a fourth season on Hulu.