The novel version of “The Testaments” is set 15 years after “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but in the meantime, June still has some more immediate problems that need to be solved. The final season will likely tie up the many loose ends left by the most recent finale, which saw June, having just survived two apparent assassination attempts, aboard a train headed westward with her daughter Nichole. Except, she’s not alone: Serena is also there with her new baby, Noah. Meanwhile, Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) has just married Naomi (Ever Carradine), and Janine (Madeline Brewer), Luke (O-T Fagbenle), and Nick (Max Minghella) all end the season behind bars, having been arrested for different reasons.
The final season will likely have lasting repercussions for the entire future of Gilead, as Commander Lawrence has been fixated on the idea of a place called New Bethlehem, where Gilead refugees could live free of the current regime’s persecution. By season’s end, Lawrence’s sanctuary island has been built, and with Naomi by his side, his influence will surely only continue to grow. Lawrence isn’t selfless, and his plan isn’t exactly based in compassion: instead, he wants New Bethlehem to strengthen the position of the former U.S. on the geopolitical stage, making it look better to both the United Nations and its northern neighbor, Canada. While interpersonal dramas and fights for freedom play out among the characters who are still scrambling to escape Gilead’s grasp, Commander Lawrence will likely continue to make some major power plays in the final season.