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THE HANDMAID’S TALE Boss Reveals Season 2 Will Explore Offred’s Right to Choose

THE HANDMAID’S TALE Boss Reveals Season 2 Will Explore Offred’s Right to Choose

By the end of The Handmaid’s Tale season one finale, Offred, a.k.a. June (Elisabeth Moss), learned she was pregnant. But that was about all she knew for sure. The things she didn’t know far outweighed that revelation: was the baby her kind of boyfriend Nick’s (Max Minghella) or was the baby her rapist/owner Commander Waterford’s (Joseph Fiennes)? Was she being taken away by rebel Mayday operatives to safety, led by Nick, or was she being taken away by Gilead officials for her act of rebellion against Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) for punishment after refusing to stone her fellow handmaid Janine (Madeline Brewer)?

While The Handmaid’s Tale creator and executive producer Bruce Miller didn’t want to give away too many spoilers for the upcoming, highly-anticipated season two of Hulu‘s award-winning dystopian sci-fi drama (which premieres April 25 with two new episodes, with subsequent episodes dropping every Wednesday), he did reveal something pretty interesting about June’s journey. After his 2018 Winter Television Critics Association press tour panel ended, Miller fielded some questions from a few reporters about June’s pregnancy in season two. Apparently the writers decided to factor in June’s right to choose and how she would feel about carrying the pregnancy to term in light of her growing up in a world where pregnancy is rare and therefore celebrated.

“We talked about it a ton,” Miller said, standing off to the side of the stage surrounded by Nerdist and a few other outlets. “Offred is a product mostly of our world, but also a world where fertility dropped precipitously beforehand. So you have to take into account that backstory and how it would affect the way she thinks about things. We certainly had many, many, many discussions about that but also thinking about how would it change someone’s mindset or how they think about these things having lived through a period where the birth rate went to two percent.”

Miller wanted to make sure that June “stays true to that.” But of course, she also has to factor in that she doesn’t know who the father of the child is, since she was repeatedly raped by Commander Waterford while also carrying on a consensual, loving relationship with Nick.

“[The pregnancy] could be the product of rape, it could be the product of a forced union, or it could be the product of real affectionate lovemaking that Nick and June did in their relationship,” Miller said. “You don’t know and they don’t know. Does it end up mattering for the kid? That’s a big discussion to have as well. There’s plenty of stuff to talk about, but I think that yes, we did talk about it and yes, we have Offred think about it. But considering the rigidity around her actions anyway, it doesn’t go very far.”

As for other season two teases, Miller announced during the panel that Oscar-winning actor Marisa Tomei has been cast in a big role for episode two when The Handmaid’s Tale tells a story about The Colonies, the pollution-riddled, savage area of the country where people are exiled in punishment. “I can say that she plays a wife,” Miller said cagily. “A commander’s wife.”

And while Moira (Samira Wiley) is only seen once in a flash during the season two trailer and nothing was revealed about her season two fate during the panel, Miller did reveal that viewers will pick up with her in Canada with Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) after she escaped Gilead. But don’t use the word “escape” when talking about her story.

“You don’t really escape, do you?” Miller said. “Gilead is within you, as Aunt Lydia says, so you carry it with you where you went, wherever you go. That’s the story, the story that her body is out and how long is it going to take her to build a semblance of self, and not to recover, but to start to move past what happened in Gilead, and for everybody around her like Luke, they’re looking at her and saying, ‘God, how difficult this journey is. What’s going to happen if I ever see June again? Is she going to be this broken?’ All he’s thinking about is what it’s going to be like when he sees his wife again.”

That doesn’t sound like something Moira will want to hear, so expect some major tension between those two. Yikes.

What are your predictions for The Handmaid’s Tale season two? Tweet me at @SydneyBucksbaum and let’s chat!

Images: Hulu

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