The Handmaid's Tale: Season 2 (2018)


Season 2
The Handmaid's Tale

Critics Consensus

Beautifully shot but dishearteningly relevant, The Handmaid's Tale centers its sophomore season tightly around its compelling cast of characters, making room for broader social commentary through more intimate lenses.



Critic Ratings: 98


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1204

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Air date: Apr 25, 2018
Air date: Apr 25, 2018
Air date: May 2, 2018
Air date: May 9, 2018
Air date: May 16, 2018
Air date: May 23, 2018
Air date: May 30, 2018
Air date: Jun 6, 2018
Air date: Jun 13, 2018
Air date: Jun 20, 2018
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The Emmy-winning drama series returns with a second season shaped by Offred's pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. "Gilead is within you" is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia. In Season Two, Offred and all our characters will fight against -- or succumb to -- this dark truth.

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Critic Reviews for The Handmaid's Tale Season 2

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (34)

The first two episodes made available for review were a confident return, a vengeful approach that offers no reprieve from the stark intensity of its cocoon.

May 10, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The fourth [episode is]... the show's best depiction to date of how unearned guilt holds a vice on one's identity, fragmenting it into abstract concepts of good and evil that leave no space for the true essence of humanity.

Apr 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Handmaid's Tale had a tough act to follow, but its second coming soars on multiple levels

Apr 25, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

The most compelling scenes in the new season are the ones that explore how exactly Gilead took over America, and that draw on contemporary events and figures with eerie relevance.

Apr 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Prime examples of the The Handmaid's Tale ability to crush hope. But they also expand the world of Gilead beyond the Waterford domicile of misery and abuse.

Apr 26, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The Handmaid's Tale is powerful and propulsive. After the first three episodes, when the horrors become more predictable, it's even pretty watchable.

Apr 24, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This was, in my view, the perfect conclusion to a middle-brow stinker...

May 7, 2019 | Full Review…

The constant to-and-fro of hope and despair, the sheer defiance in the era of #MeToo, and the ever-enthralling talent of Elisabeth Moss make The Handmaid's Tale one of the most gripping TV shows to date.

Jul 13, 2018 | Full Review…

The Handmaid's Tale has returned with a searing second season that dwells on how the spirit of Gilead, where women have no control over their bodies, has always been alive in the real world.

Mar 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Once again, The Handmaid's Tale ignores the realities of racial history to tell a colourblind story of struggle that erases the contributions of black and brown women.

Mar 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Handmaid's Tale: Season 2

  • Jul 08, 2019
    This season has been extremely disappointing, the seconds star is only for the one episode when Nichole ( the baby ) got out. The rest of the season has been one disappointment after another. Very dry and soulless. This season has relentlessly offered no hope or moments of joy to hold onto, not enough to counteract the depressive, making it completely dark and depressing. I enjoyed the first season, this season has me questioning if i ever want to watch it again. So far i feel this will be the last season i will watch, i would not dare subject myself to pure depression, oppression and hopelessness again, with no chance of light.
  • Jul 08, 2019
    Boring! Very disappointed in this season so far.
  • May 27, 2019
    The first season was a brilliant adaptation of Atwood's brillant book. The 2nd season, however, shows that they're off the source material, and this is frustrating. It is still exquisitely crafted and acted, and they do have decent writers. But they now seem to be blinded by the accolades (or money?) and want to drag the series on forever - apparently without knowing what new to say, or where to take the story. The 1st season showed Atwood's genius in building the world, atmosphere, characters and story with such efficiency and effectiviness. The 2nd season, however, brings little new to what already was. The story (and character traits) keeps resetting, the pace is glacial, and a lot of time is spent with unnecessary flashbacks. It's understandable to now expand from Offred's POV, but this is not used well. Things that were told in jarringly curt - and therefore impactful - sentences in season 1 (e.g. what happens in the Colonies, or how Ofglen's pre-war fleeing attempt was aborted), are now spelt out in tediously drawn out sequences (many of which I fastforwarded). If only this had been condensed to, say, 5 episodes, as a preface to season 3 (assuming they'll then move on with the story). Now, it's just too much of everything; of trying to manipulate the audience feelings. Everybody speaks and does things incredibly slowly and sparsely. Elizabeth Moss emotes in countless of exteme closeups. Darkness, bleakness, torture. And women crying; goodness, so much of women crying! It almost felt like a parody towards the end - which is a terrible result, considering how horrific the subject is. The protagonist has also become a problem. Part of her appeal in the source material is how she's anonymous, one of many, could be any one of us. Passive and timid, and thus relatable. Now, it feels she's being built into a Chosen One, out of the blue. SPOILERS: Bizarrely, dozens of people risk (and lose) they're lives just to help Offred escape. Not the other Handmaids, not the taken children, and pointedly not themselves. Why her then? She hasn't even asked for help, just passively sulked around with a jutting chin - and chooses actually not to escape, twice. All the while Offred and the other main characters are protected by an unbreakable plot armour - and their hazardous behavior exposes that they know it. They survive everything, and make implausible comebacks after misdeeds that would behead anyone else. This shoots holes in the story logic, and lessens the feel of dread. Yet - I still have hope for season 3.
  • May 12, 2019
    Just as good as the first season. Amazing TV. This is the benchmark for quality right here.
  • Apr 14, 2019
    Each episode is thrilling.
  • Feb 26, 2019
    Don't watch the 2nd season. The characters are jagged. Instead following an arc of development guided by logic or nature, they zigzag back and forth between brutality and acts of kindness (well, maybe kindness is too strong a word). I'm not against violence on screen, and I can see how it's necessary to portray the brutality of this fictional world, but frankly it often feels like the writers are just trying to take up time in the episode by prolonging the violence. It's a shame because the premise is relevant and good and the acting is great, but as a coherent compelling story, the 2nd season doesn't compare with the first.
  • Feb 22, 2019
    As a life-long Bostonian and Red Sox fan, the Fenway Park scene was beyond disturbing. As soon as they came through the tunnel I thought, �����That looks familiar. No, it couldn�����������t be���� OMG IT IS!!!!�������� Fenway is sacred ground, and to see it in that context made me feel physically ill and brought me to tears. THAT gut-wrenching scene in a place I know so very well, and is always (well, almost always) my happy place, really struck a nerve and was especially chilling since it��������s literally close to home. In today�����s socio-political climate, seeing my hometown and its familiar landmarks as the backdrop for a dystopian nightmare, makes this fictional horror seem all too plausible.
  • Feb 19, 2019
    One of the best shows on Television
  • Feb 11, 2019
    Terrible show. Painfully slow ‘plot’ that goes in loops where nothing actually happens. Things that actually do happen they are unbelievable and out of character. Bad attempt at creating filler with draw out shots of the main character’s one facial expression or painfully slow shots of her climbing the stairs, putting in a coat or other needless things.
  • Jan 05, 2019
    This is a great show but it gets really hard to watching a series where NOTHING. GOOD. EVER. HAPPENS. Okay, some things do, but then its just more bad. Its exhausting. Have to plug away though- it has to end well. Right?

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