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    TV Critic’s Corner

    ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ faces some challenges in season 2

    Elisabeth Moss in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
    George Kraychyk/Hulu via AP
    Elisabeth Moss in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

    I’m curious about the return of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on April 25. The dystopian Hulu show, which won a ton of awards including Emmys for outstanding drama and actress (Elisabeth Moss), is facing some challenges: How do you equal or beat such a tightly written and wildly praised first season, and where do you take the story as you move further and further from the original book?

    We know a few things about season 2. Bradley Whitford is joining the cast as Commander Joseph Lawrence, the architect of Gilead’s economy, who is a confusing personality — gruff, intimidating, slyly funny, and, on occasion, kind. Whitford has done some notable work since his days on “The West Wing,” in “Transparent,” “All the Way,” and “Get Out.”

    We also know the action will focus on Offred, now pregnant with, most likely, Nick’s baby. Motherhood will only add to her rebellious feelings against the horrors of Gilead. Alexis Bledel’s Ofsteven, missing since episode 5, will be back, and showrunner Bruce Miller has hinted that we might get a glimpse of Aunt Lydia’s past. Praise be!

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    Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.