'The Handmaid's Tale' Creator Bruce Miller Hints At The End Of June's Story

the handmaid's tale season 5
The Handmaid's Tale Season 5, EYNTKTodd Williamson - Getty Images

*Warning: This article may contain spoilers*

If 2020 and 2021 gave you the heebie-jeebies then wait until you hear what the next decade has in store for you.

After The Handmaid's Tale season four returned to our TV screens in May 2021, we long wondered if a fifth season of the show would be in the pipeline. After all, there’s so much work to be done in Gilead!

At the end of season four, June (Elizabeth Moss) and several women beat FredWaterford to death in the woods. The next day her husband, Luke, found her covered in blood and upset in her daughter Nichole's room. But thinking what would be in store for our favourite character in season five was anyone's guess - until now.

the handmaid's tale season 5
David Crotty - Getty Images

The Handmaid's Tale season five was finally released on September 14, and so far it's been one hell of a ride.

Here’s what you need to know about The Handmaid's Tale season five:

What will happen in The Handmaid's Tale season 5?

You can be sure to expect a lot of drama given the way season four ended.

At the end of the third season, June is seen holding her baby and telling her husband Luke: 'I know. I'm sorry. Just give me five minutes, okay? Just give me five minutes with her, then I'll go.'

Now that she has to live with the consequences of killing Fred Waterford, it's unknown where she'll go next.

At Commander Waterford’s funeral in episode three, season five, we see Serena arrange for June's daughter Hannah to present her with flowers at the broadcast Gilead ceremony.

'The June v. Serena concept is not going to be as simple as you may think,' Moss, recently told The Hollywood Reporter of the scene. 'We set it up in a really big way — in the biggest way you possibly could on that jumbotron. Where it goes is actually really personal, intimate and complex.'

Speaking about the lilac colour of Hannah's outfit, Nick explains its significance to June. 'It means she’s ready,' he says. If you don't know, in Handmaids wear red in Gilead, Wives wear blue, Marthas wear green, Aunts wear brown, young girls wear pink and baby bonnets, whereas purple is a new category for those hitting puberty and transitioning from childhood to womanhood.

Nick later assured June that there isn't a marriage planned for Hannah, but the change of her outfit colour means she'll be moving to a school where the daughters of High Commanders go to be trained as future Wives.

Speaking about the fifth season, Miller previously told THR: 'I have to say I would have had very different ideas before the pandemic. I mean, we talked about it, and Lizzie and I have talked about it, and the writing staff and I have talked about it extensively about where we're going precisely, but I do feel like after this year, it's a good time to reassess.

'So I know where I am in the story, and I do feel like we're kind of reaching kind of a pivot point, but whether that's the end or not, I don't know. It just feels like it's a good time to reassess what you were thinking, just because the story world has opened up because the real world has changed so much.'

In an interview with Digital Spy in November 2022, Miller hinted at what's to come for June in the end of the show in season six.

'So we have a season six. That’s going to be our last season,' he said. 'We’re going to wrap it up on our own terms. It’s something we never get with just the way the business is set up. And also, more importantly, not something everyone would give to the audience.'

He continued: 'I think the important thing for me to remember is that the story is June’s story, and we are following June. By reading the book, you know there really isn’t an ending for June.

'So I don’t expect her to have found out the endings for a whole bunch of other people either. I think it’s going to end— you know, so many women… the woman in the book doesn’t have a name. She’s Offred. She’s not June. We made her June. But she’s Offred.'

He concluded the interview to note: 'She doesn’t disappear from the world. She’s a real human woman. Just because she’s not on our radar, doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.'

When was The Handmaid's Tale season 5 confirmed?

A first look of the fifth season was teased by Hulu on Instagram in June 2022, along with its release date. In the post June was seen dressed in white looping up, while Serena looked down, smiling, while dressed in a black veil.

At the end of season four fans will remember that June and her fellow handmaids killed Commander Fred Waterford and sent his finger to then-pregnant Serena, who was granted freedom in Canada.

Speaking about the ending to ELLE UK, Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Serena, said: 'I thought [his ending] was an amazing move and important to have, even though it's obviously complicated.'

A two-episode premiere started on Wednesday, September 14, with episodes now following weekly. Sadly, a release date for the UK is still yet to be announced but we can expect to see it on Channel 4 soon after its US premiere.

Earlier this year Elisabeth Moss, who plays June, said of the fifth season in an interview with TV Line: 'I will say that the season itself is possibly one of the wilder rides that we've had. Some seasons a lot happens, some seasons not as much happens. This season, I almost can't keep up.

'And it's not lip service. I truly mean I almost can't keep up with the amount of activity that's happening.

'So that's been exciting, and it's been challenging of course, because it means we're working really hard, and we're on location a lot. But never a dull moment is the way I would say it.'

In March 2022 Samira Wiley - who plays Moira in the show - appeared on an episode of The View and shed light on what to expect from season five.

'We’re picking up, really exactly where we left off,' Wiley said. 'Everyone who saw the season finale knows what happened with Commander Waterford. And so June, as always, is in a little bit of trouble.'

She added: 'But she’s in Canada now, and she’s living with Moira, my character, and also her husband, Luke.'

On June's future she noted: 'She has resources around her now that she hasn’t had before living in Gilead. So, we’ll see how that will play out. How June can fight Gilead from within Canada and the help of her friends.'

Ann Dowd, who plays the terrifying Aunt Lydia in the series, teased episodes in season five while discussing her new film Mass with The Independent.

When asked when the cast and crew will film season five, Dowd said: 'We begin shooting in February. I’ve read the first couple of episodes and all I can say is they’re so good. I just didn’t see any of this stuff coming. To be able to get to season five and you’re thinking, "What?!"

handmaid's tale season five
Phillip Faraone - Getty Images

'Not in an outlandish way where you’re thinking, "Wait a minute, how could that happen?" It’s like: "[gasps] that is fantastic." It’s really good. There’s stuff that happens that’s like, "Woah, woah, woah."'

In December 2020, the series’ Instagram account shared a video of several of the cast members, including Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Bradley Whitford, Madeline Brewer, Yvonne Strahovski, O. T. Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, and Sam Jaeger.

In the clip, the cast confirmed that the series had been renewed for a fifth season on Hulu. The caption to the video reads: ‘The cast has a special message for you Season 4 returns in 2021 …oh and praise be, we’ve also been renewed for Season 5! #HandmaidsTale.’

‘It's my privilege and honour to tell this story. ... It's going to be a wild ride,’ concludes Moss.

Series creator Bruce Miller also said in December 2020, via The Hollywood Reporter: ‘We’re very grateful to Hulu and MGM that the show will be returning for a fifth season, and especially to our loyal fans for their support...

‘We are thrilled to be able to continue to tell these stories, with our incredible cast and crew, and can’t wait to be back on the air with season four next year.’

Who stars in The Handmaid's Tale season 5?

Given the fact several of the original cast members appeared in a video announcing the confirmation of a fifth season, we expect to see more of Moss and Wiley, but there might be a few new faces added to the mix.

British actor Zawe Ashton joined the season four cast, thanks to Miller’s comments to THR, as well as actress Mckenna Grace and actor Reed Birney.

the handmaid's tale season 5
David M. Benett - Getty Images

Actor Amanda Brugel opened up to Digital Spy about criticism of the show and comparisons of an early season four episode to Saw. After all, over the years we've seen everything from gouged out eyes to tongues being cut out.

'I really think the only way to make an impact is to make people uncomfortable,' the actor said. 'Not so uncomfortable that they turn away, but that it hits a nerve in order to make people stand up and pay attention.

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Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

'Nothing that has been shown in the show is new. These are things that happen all around the world, constantly. And so while it's uncomfortable and it's not easy to digest, I think it's important to show that we're not even close to being done with our journey, especially towards violence against women, misogyny, and there being equity between the genders.'

The comments come after actor Madeline Brewer said she understands that the show can be 'difficult' to watch, 'especially in the last year'. However, she noted to Digital Spy: 'I think the show since season one has been a big ask. We ask a lot of the viewers to enter this – you know, it's not fun. You're not watching Mamma Mia. I love Mamma Mia, but it's just not the world that we are living in.'

Is there a trailer for The Handmaid's Tale season 5?

Yes, in one of the trailers for season five we see that there are major consequences in store for June following Commander Fred Waterford's death.

'They want to fight? Let's fight,' read the trailer's caption on YouTube.

Weeks before season five's release Hulu shared a new poster on Instagram which sees the waters of Gilead turning red. 'Some sins can't be washed away, [sic]' the post's caption read.

Handmaid's actor Mckenna Grace commented on the post: 'Under his eye. [sic]'

When was The Handmaid's Tale season 5 released?

It was released on September 14, 2022 on Hulu in the US and now the UK release date has finally been confirmed.

Season 5 will begin on Channel 4 on Sunday, October 23 at 9pm in the UK. For the first time ever, Prime Video will also share the season premiere. The previous four seasons have premiered on Channel 4 in the UK, though are also now available to watch on Prime Video.

Miller previously also told THR: 'We planned out the whole season, started filming, and then had to stop … everything from locations, to number of people in scenes, to traveling actors, all that stuff had a huge impact on our story, just because it has to, and honestly, we're in a situation where we have to make do with what we can get our hands on.

'In the end, it was surmountable, and I think we're making an excellent show, and I'm really proud of what we're doing, but it was hard, and it continues to be hard.'

Hulu released a one-minute-30-second teaser for season four back on June 24, 2020, and the official trailer on March 30, 2021.

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