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Well, sh*t. Emily might be sent back to Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale.

Warning: Spoilers for season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale ahead. If you’re not caught up yet, bookmark this page and come back when you’re ready!

Gather round.

We have another The Handmaid’s Tale theory courtesy of Refinery29 to present to you and it’s… pretty grim.

It involves Emily’s freedom in Canada and how it may be (devastatingly) fleeting.

Watch the official trailer for season 3 below. Post continues after video.

While we suspect we’re a long way off seeing June finally flee Gilead, watching Emily trudge through the woods to make it out, and into the arms of her wife Sylvia and son Oliver, stands as a beacon of hope we’ve been clinging to for the entire season.

But – as The Handmaid’s Tale so often succeeds in doing – a new theory suggests that beacon, which has become more of a dim glimmer, may be thrown in mud and stepped on by an angry guardian.

Why? Emily could be tossed back to Gilead in a white bonnet, and she might be sent to the colonies or worse yet – the wall.

You see, in the latest episode of season 3, the former Harvard graduate microbiologist is under scrutiny for her involvement in Baby Nichole’s rescue, or as Gilead sees it, kidnapping.

handmaids tale in real life
Emily in Gilead. Image: SBS.
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While her escape with Nichole in tow makes her a hero to the rest of the world, in the eyes of Gilead, she's a criminal at large and given the attention on baby Nichole at present -  at the risk of being deported.

With the Commanders and Serena are working on a treaty, and the tug-of-war for Nichole is playing out on TV screens worldwide, Emily's past activities have been unearthed to a world stage.

And while we think Emily's brave conduct in Gilead is totally bad-arse, a stern Swiss diplomat's reaction suggests it could spell danger for the mother.

Here's a handy guide to the so-called "crimes" Emily committed while in Gilead.

Emily's affair with a Martha.

Before meeting June, Emily - who Gilead calls a "gender traitor" - committed a "sin of the flesh" and had an affair with a Martha, which ends with her being forced to watch her lover be hanged and undergoing a forced cliterodectomy.

Emily's role in the resistance.

Emily is a valued member of Mayday, the resistance group dedicated to attempts to take down Gilead from within.

When she ran over a Guardian and murdered a wife.

Who could forget the season one episode where Emily stole a Mercedes SUV and fatally ran over a Guardian.

Her hit and run had her transferred to the colonies, where she murdered Mrs. Connor (a Wife) by poisoning her under the guise of offering antibiotics.

When she kicked Commander Roy in the balls.

On Emily's return to Gilead from the colonies, she's immediately transferred to the Roy household.

But when the Commander suffers a fatal heart attack during the Ceremony, Emily kicks him repeatedly in the balls, after he has raped her.

When she stabbed Aunt Lydia.

And our favourite Emily moment... while in Commander Lawrence’s household, Emily stabs Aunt Lydia in the back and throws her down a staircase.

This of course, leads us to her escape with Nichole to Canada - where she is now embroiled in the Waterford's attempts to bring the infant back.

In "Under His Eye" Sylvia seems visibly shaken by how much Gilead changed her once-timid and bookish wife, while the Swiss diplomat reads out her "crimes".

This is where the compelling yet extremely dark theory comes into play: should Canada recognise Gileadean refugees’ actions as “crimes” - legitimising Gilead as a sovereign nation - Emily may be deported.

While this seems largely unlikely, if Nichole's refugee status in Canada is revoked as the Waterford's so wish, then a dangerous precedent is set. It could mean that more refugees, like Emily and Moira, will follow.

We'll just have to wait and see...

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