SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched the season two finale of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and do not wish to know what happens in the episode, do not read any further!
Blessed be? We shall see.
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale wrapped up another season on Wednesday, leaving our heroine, June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) making a shocking decision not to leave Gilead. After Rita (Amanda Brugel), the network of Marthas and the mysterious Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) orchestrated an escape for June, her newborn daughter, Nicole, and Emily (Alexis Bledel), June opted to send her daughter off with Emily and stay behind in Gilead.
ET caught up with the show’s cast and creative team at a screening of the finale on Monday in Los Angeles to get their thoughts on the shocking turn of events, and what might come in season three.
“I thought it was the only way to go,” Moss tells ET of June’s choice. “You know, it’s surprising. It’s definitely shocking. I think that people are gonna have a hard time with it, for sure, but I think that if you know her, and you know the fight that she sort of has before her, it'll make sense.”
“What is wrong with you?!” Brugel jokingly asks of June’s choice. “I got all my girlfriends to smuggle you out, what's your problem?! I mean, I love, I love the way it ended … She has to stay for [her daughter], Hannah, but at the same time, don't come back! I'm not getting you out again, I did it once … I’m probably going to get killed.”
Moss says June’s older daughter is definitely a driving force in her decision to stay, but notes that June is really fighting for “all the children that need to go back to their families.”
“I'm just dying to know what happens,” Bledel confesses. “Now what? I mean, first of all, I can't believe that [Emily’s] going to leave. And then, how does that work? I know we saw June escape and I wonder if it's going to be similar, or is it going to happen all the way? Like, will she really get out?”
While fans will have to wait until season three for the answers to those questions, executive producers Warren Littlefield and Bruce Miller say they won’t have to wait long into the season. The new batch of episodes, which go into production this fall, will likely pick up right where season two left off.
“It leaves us in a place where we're right back to our thematics for the year, motherhood,” Littlefield explains. “And Gilead is within us. Maybe you can get out, you never get away? … I think what's next will be quite a battle.”
June isn’t the only character with a battle coming. Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) is in a fight for her life after Emily literally stabbed her in the back, tossed her down a flight of stairs and stomped on her back.
“I could not believe it,” Bledel recalls of finding out about the moment. “That's the last thing I could have expected.”
“Like, can you do that to Aunt Lydia?!” Samira Wiley (Moira) asks. “I'm really scared of the repercussions from that.”
“I personally, I mean, I think that Aunt Lydia's somewhat indestructible,” Moss laments. “So, I’m not as confident about it I think as some might be.”
Moss is onto something there. Miller confirms to ET that fans haven’t seen the last of Aunt Lydia.
“Lydia survives,” he admits. “I don't think we can kill Lydia. Not that easily.”
In fact, fans might see a lot more of Lydia in season three, as the producers say they hope to explore her backstory in depth next season; it’s been on the cast’s wish list for a long time to figure out how Lydia became Aunt Lydia.
Along with that, expect some changes for Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), who ends season two without a child -- and without a pinky finger! Her husband, Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) ordered it cut off after Serena spoke out at a council meeting in hopes of earning the children of Gilead the right to read the Bible.
“Look, I think it's a beautiful story line,” Strahovski shares. “She's learning so much as she goes, and I think it's just, it's a little too late, though. It's almost a pathetic move to go stand before the council and do what she does, and it's, it's beautiful, but it's pathetic at the same time.”
Strahovski admits her biggest question going into season three is, where does Serena go from here?
“Will she ever really turn to the 'good side?’” she asks. “Will she go there? What will it take? You know, I always wondered what would happen if she lost her one sort of hope, which is this baby that she holds onto. You know, what kind of person does she become then? Because that's the whole reason why she invested in Gilead in the first place, so that's -- I wonder, we'll see.”
"Is there going to be a unification of all the women?" Brugel wonders. "Is there going to be, like, a wife, Aunt, Handmaid, Martha, like, alliance, where we all kill everybody? Not kill, but kill. Kill."
As for Moss’ final thoughts on season two, here’s what she told ET: “I think that sometimes the resistance is about more than just yourself and your own happiness, and I think that sometimes it’s about looking at the bigger picture.”
Seasons one and two of The Handmaid’s Tale are now streaming on Hulu. The series returns in 2019 for season three, which might include more Oprah Winfrey after her surprise season two cameo! For more on that, check out the video below.
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