Spoilers for Season 2 Episode 3 of The Handmaid's Tale.
June was on the run for the first three episodes of Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale, but the dream of escape has just ended — she was captured at the end of Episode 3 and brought back to Gilead. Scary punishments probably lie ahead for June, though her pregnancy might cushion the blow. But now that June knows how close she came to freedom, it seems only a matter of time before she tries to flee again. So will June actually escape in Season 2 of The Handmaid's Tale? It might be a nearly impossible task.
For the first few episodes of the new season, it looked like June might actually make it across the Canadian boarder. Nick, the father of the child she's pregnant with and a spy connected to Mayday, managed to sneak June out of a hospital and into the empty warehouse of the Boston Globe, which she manages to make her home for nearly two months. From there, she lives for a time in the apartment of Omar, a member of Mayday, and makes it all the way to an airstrip before she's captured and returned to Gilead. Fans of this dystopian show should have known that having June's escape be this easy would have felt like a trap, but it was hard not to get one's hopes up anyway.
“This is a police state that really wants to hold onto these handmaids. The chances are that they would catch her — the chances are that she wouldn’t even get away,” showrunner Bruce Miller told Variety about his decision to have June get caught. “We felt like she got away for a long time — she was much more successful than they ever would have wanted her to be in a totalitarian state. So our decision [to have her captured now] was just based on what the reality would be.”
It's probably true that it would have been too unrealistic for June to escape so easily from Gilead. But what are the odds that she is able to flee again? Unfortunately for June, she'll like be under an even tighter watch than before, and as a pregnant handmaid, she is extremely valuable. June won't be killed as punishment, but as the preview for Episode 4 reveals, she can be chained up in a basement and forced to resume her duties with the Waterfords.
The other factor that might limit June's future attempts to escape this season is her daughter, Hannah. When Nick tells June at the warehouse that it's time for her to be moved, she immediately starts to feel guilty about leaving her daughter behind in Gilead. "It's what's best for everyone," Nick tells her, but June isn't buying it. Guilt about escaping without Hannah becomes a major factor in Episode 3. Heather, Omar's wife, chastises June for giving her children, both Hannah and the one she is carrying, away to other families. “I don’t know how you could give your baby up to somebody else. I would die first,” she says. “Yeah, I used to think that, too," June responds.
Maybe the only possible scenario in which June manages to escape from Gilead would be through the help of her husband, Luke, and her best friend, Moira, who have both managed to escape and are living as refugees in Canada. Actor Samira Wiley, who plays Moira in the show, hints in the same interview with Variety that Moira might be working to create an escape route for other handmaids, one that she might be able to use to help June get out:
“Yes, this is better [because] I’m not getting raped every day and I have health insurance, I have money, I have all of these things — but the question arises of if just me, I, singular, escape, is that enough?” Wiley says. “Harriet Tubman escaped and then she created the Underground Railroad — so that is what’s on the forefront of Moira’s mind.”
It seems doubtful that after getting a taste of freedom, June wouldn't try to escape again. It's only a matter of when, how, and whether she will be able to take Hannah with her.