The Handmaid s Tale showrunner on shocking season 4 finale death | EW.com - Entertainment Weekly News
|Entertainment Weekly News 16 Jun 2021 at 08:20|
When EW spoke to the cast and crew of The Handmaid s Tale in recent weeks, one word kept coming up to describe the season 4 finale: satisfying.
And oh, how satisfying it was indeed, as June finally exacted her revenge on the Waterfords by brokering a deal with Commander Lawrence for the release of 22 women of the resistance in exchange for Fred Waterford s return to Gilead. Only, instead of getting Fred back to Gilead, Lawrence, with the help of Nick, let him slip through their fingers and right into the murderous clutches of June and her fellow handmaids, who took turns beating him to death. The last we see of Fred, his headless corpse is hanging from The Wall, where misbehaving handmaids were hung in previous seasons.
It was equal parts provocative, fitting, and brutal, and the implications for June and Serena, who has not learned of the news by episode s end, will be explored in season 5. EW caught up with showrunner Bruce Miller to get answers to our burning questions about the finale, the season as a whole, and where the show goes from here.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let s start with the scene between Mark Tuello and Serena Joy. Was there an implication there that Fred might not be the father of her baby, or is that reading too much into it?
BRUCE MILLER: I think it s reading too much into it; it s reading into the chemistry. His job is to make her very, very comfortable with him, and he does it very well. But I don t know how much is the job and how much is the way that he feels [about her], but I don t know that he even knows. This is his job, to make her comfortable and to trust him. So yes, they have a very interesting, complicated relationship. As an intelligence officer, his job was to kind of become obsessed with her, before he met her, and know everything about the way that her mind works. You can t help but be impressed by someone like Serena in that way. So is she impressive to him? Sure. But Fred is the father.
The other scene that really stood out to me early on was the first scene between June and Fred. Why do you think June went to see him? Was she looking for an apology?
No. First, we did a lot of research with our partners at the UN and UNHCR, and refugee workers and all that stuff, to kind of see what this scene would be like, and what would be the stuff that was affecting June. I think June went to see Fred to be able to let him go. That s why she went. "I m gonna let him go. I m going to be a good mother. I m not going to let him control my life anymore." But when she got there, and especially when he apologized - we had a conversation with the refugees, and [they said] that the worst moment was when their abuser apologized. When they realized their abuser knew all along it was wrong from the very beginning. So that s the moment where June decides he should not be on the earth anymore.
When did you know Fred would die?
Actually, I was talking to Joe Fiennes [who plays Fred] the other day. And he was saying he remembered me bringing it up at the end of season 2. I don t remember being anywhere near that far ahead, but if he remembers it that way, great. The death of Fred was, as everything is, a natural continuation of June s story. So it s really a question of, what would June do if she got free? What are the things she would do if she had the opportunity and presented with this opportunity to make this happen? Does she take it or not? I think it s really interesting because for a long time, we were dealing so much with June s restrictions, and now we re dealing with June s freedom, and the choices are hers. They re not somebody else s, and she has to live with them.
At the end, when Luke walks in and sees June covered in blood and she says she s leaving, does she have to go? Do we know where she s going to go?
Well, I don t know if she s gonna leave. She feels like she has to. We are five minutes from her reckoning, but Luke has just walked in and seen his bloody wife holding a child. And he doesn t know what happened yet. So I think based on the episode before where her flashback with Luke says, "I ll love whatever you become. Don t worry, I love whatever you turn into." In this moment, she s saying, "Yeah, remember when he said that? This is obviously not true. So I ll go." But he may come back and say, "No, no, no, no." I think in the moment, it feels very final, but it s a very dramatic moment, a very dramatic episode. She s been up all night, and this horrible thing happened. He wakes up in the morning. I mean, it could not be a more fraught moment. So does she feel like she has irreparably broken her marriage and her role as a mother? Sure. Will she feel that way tomorrow? I don t know.