The Handmaid’s Tale season five finale spoilers are present in this article.
Do you have a diaper?
The fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale ends with these seemingly unimportant but ultimately loaded words. The episode concludes with the two women and their babies on a train leaving Canada behind to travel “out west,” said a stunned and probably relieved Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) to a similarly shocked and undoubtedly confused June (Elisabeth Moss).
The sixth and final season of the show has already been picked up. Therefore it’s safe to assume that this episode’s nearly every aspect showed the characters facing comparable crises or turning points as they approached that season’s finale. The last time we see Janine (Madeline Brewer), she is being taken away by The Eyes, much to the dismay of a devastated Aunt Lydia. Janine made the lovely mistake of putting the new Mrs. Lawrence (previously Putnam) in her place (Ann Dowd). Before ultimately turning himself in to the police for shooting the man who attempted to kill his wife, Luke (O-T Fagbenle) persuaded June to board the train for long enough to ensure her safety. Speaking of June’s lovers, Max Minghella’s character Nick is currently in a timeout after punching Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) during a party. His expecting wife, Rose (Carey Cox), arrives to let him know that she doesn’t want to be involved with him.
There are many things to sort through, so EW spoke with showrunner Bruce Miller via Zoom to explain what it all means for the show’s future.
Weekly Entertainment: As a result, the episode opens with June being hit by a supporter of Gilead. How did you choose to punish our heroine in that way this time?
MILLER, Bruce It certainly seems to be what Americans enjoy doing to those they don’t like. Driving into a crowd of people demonstrating against a cause you support is a new way to show how you feel. So, that had a significant impact on it. Additionally, it made sense to the sort of person who, in my opinion, is insufficient and does something similar: It’s one thing to attack from a safe distance or with a weapon, but it’s even better if you don’t even need to get out of your automobile. She seems to not even exist. And Lizzie [Moss] and the entire crew did a great job as directors to pull it off and, in my opinion, make it feel so authentic. This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on television. Oh, that’s how getting run over in the middle of the street feels, I reasoned. And the truck can be found in the prior three or four episodes. When they are cleaning the driveway, time seems to pass quite quickly.
Oh, you’re right. And then the complete circle tracking shot that comes right before it is so unsettling.
It’s simply ideal. And I appreciate how sluggish it is. That gives you pause, and you’re attentively looking, like, “What is happening? What am I overlooking? What is the horrible thing I have not yet noticed?”
Yes, and just a few moments ago, everything was so peaceful.
Please don’t ruin it, is what June advises her. Yeah.
Right. And it appears that this episode has ruined everyone’s joy. Start with Janine first. Even though it was very pleasurable to watch her do it, I can’t imagine that what she did would turn out well for her.
She follows June’s script, and as with everyone else, she will pay the price for doing so. Also, June pays well. Look at the results when Janine channels her inner June. However, being noticed by The Eyes might imply many different things. They have always wanted Janine to be prolific and fertile, and they will relocate her if she isn’t performing those things at the Red Center. And they don’t act very nice about it. However, she could also be taken by surprise and shot in the middle of the road. It’s that kind of place, after all.
I’m pondering what she was thinking at that very moment. Was she inspired after finding that June’s life in Canada isn’t all that different from Janine’s?
She may be motivated by what June is beginning to realize—that they despise us. And despite her kind nature, Naomi dislikes me. Additionally, [Janine] said to Naomi, “Naomi, don’t you understand — you hate me, too.” You treat someone you despise in this manner. You hold someone you dislike in your home and rape them; you despise me. Why do you find this news? But I believe she does it with significant consideration, and she sometimes feels Naomi has to know about it because it would eventually come out. And I think it’s better now. Just so this is out on the table, I loathe you,’ I believe Janine is acting in some ways maturely.
And thanks to what happens to Janine, we see some of Aunt Lydia’s affection for her. Could this be the last straw that turns Lydia against Gilead?
No, I don’t believe it’s that easy. I think there is a version of Gilead that Lydia believes would be successful. And this variation is ineffective. Now, if Lydia were to sit down and tell you, Janine, or me what she believes is wrong with Gilead, we would all say, “Oh, my God, yes.” You would flee like hell if she sat down and told you what she believes to be correct. Does she intend to undermine Gilead, then? No one in this group does. They don’t want to return to America because, in our nation, when a decapitated woman is discovered abandoned in a ditch, it doesn’t even reach the first page of the newspaper. For women, what kind of a world is that? And every day, women are violated. And why would you want to return to it, in their opinion? She may be disheartened, but I still believe she has the arrogance of “I know better,” which is also highly Lawrence. Lawrence believes, “This isn’t it, though. However, there is a variation of this because I am so intelligent; if I felt it would work, it would work.” Like when you start writing a story and say, “Oh, well, I know this isn’t good yet, but I know it’s a decent idea,” No matter how many times you go back to it, it won’t work. And because it is cruel and demeaning, this is fundamentally terrible. It is still brutal, degrading, unsustainable, and unethical even when it is misogynistic and doesn’t touch everyone.
Let’s discuss Nick. Has he still got any chess moves left, or did he instantly destroy all the goodwill he has garnered in Gilead?
He didn’t waste his goodwill. And as Nick claims, “I try to keep out of problems” is his entire plan of action; I don’t believe he is playing chess. The key phrase there is “try,” which he could not do in this instance. He won’t be put to death. The males are exempt from all of these rules, f—-. Nick’s problem, in my opinion, is that he makes an effort to avoid trouble. And now he cannot do so because June is the source of his return to difficulty. Because they spend the entire time trying to convince themselves that they don’t need to be together, I believe this to be the most romantic Nick/June season ever. And in the end, they fail and are not successful. They are so much in love that they don’t even get to see each other in the last episode. Make sure you let Nick know we’re fine, June instructs Trello in her final words. I adore anything romantic Nick does. He sacrifices his entire future and his commitment to his country to visit her when she isn’t even awake. He comes to see her. Thus, it has a romantic vibe about it. He’s not even trying to play chess. He would be doing much better if he were playing chess. Everyone’s checkerboard pieces have a significant heart symbol while he plays.
Serena, who we don’t see until the episode’s conclusion, takes me to this. When June boarded the train, it suddenly felt like Serena would be there. I had been wondering where she was.
This entire season has been a genuine testament to their relationship’s development. They aren’t even close buddies. Serena harmed June in ways that she will never be able to forget. She undoubtedly injured a tonne of people, but she doesn’t regret it. She does have some brief moments of regret. They are not my buddies, yet they are recognizable faces. You get that moment when you see each other. It’s wonderful when your lead actor also serves as the episode’s director. That sequence is titled “they see each other.” There are no specifics; Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski carry the entire emotional burden and make all emotional decisions. So all I want to do is lay some foundation. Therefore, when you ask, “Did you prepare for this moment?” I build up to a moment, but it takes the entire team working up to the same time for it to be so fulfilling.
When did you realize this was how the season would end?
Before considering June’s future, I first thought through Serena’s story. She explains why she needs a place where she can blend in with the crowd and where not having an ID, a toothbrush, or anything else would not even be noticed is perfectly logical. When you stop thinking about it, it makes sense that they are both there because they are both doing the same thing—hiding among a group of people to leave Canada. However, I didn’t give it any thought until Rachel Shukert’s episode 7, which is the one where June is present when Serena gives birth. When I started watching the daily updates, I had the impression that the season was leading to a better understanding of June and Serena’s bond. I make an effort never to begin the new season right after the old one ends. I never want to make it seem like a huge thing that you instantly undo by getting ahead of myself. I, therefore, made a concerted effort to make this play resemble a gathering of grandchildren asking Grandma June what happened to her during the war and her telling them the tale. This is a memoir. And it appeared that she would include this section of the story if she was going to tell her grandchildren an anecdote about her friendship with Serena Joy. Since their relationship was landing on another lilypad, it seemed a fitting moment to conclude. All I know about it in this instance is that they appear to be rather pleased to see one another. They have come a long way from hating one other’s presence to even hinting at the prospect of supporting one another. That is a long way to travel.
How much of the upcoming season have you planned out? Can you tell us how much?
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this, which is incredibly fortunate. Our show will conclude according to our artistic conditions. In that manner, Hulu and MGM have been quite exceptional and kind. The wonderful thing is that I can do it how I want to. If you dislike it, know that it was done on purpose. It wasn’t an error. I didn’t go on a trip. [Laughs] However, am I aware of what happens in season 6? Yes, I did reflect on the events from season 6 for a long time. But I’ve also seen how other shows fared, whether successful or not. And I have to attend those classes. When I sat down to write the pilot of The Handmaid’s Tale, I had written pilots before, but I watched a lot of pilots because they are usually stinky, and I don’t want a stinky one. So now, I’ve been watching many of the last seasons of shows that I knew were ending. How do you accomplish this? How do you go about doing it frustratingly? How can you achieve it in a way that makes sense? What are the things that you hold onto? I’m therefore putting it in inefficient “history of television” terms. I rewatched the final seasons of Game of Thrones and The Sopranos to observe how they are put together, particularly how much emphasis is placed on the fact that the season is a season or that the show is coming to an end. All I want is for the season to be strong. And as I want every episode to be intense, I also enjoy every scene to be strong. And that’s all I can think of right now. It’s acceptable if it doesn’t feel like the show’s finale. In fact, it didn’t feel like a show at all when it first started.