(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen the Season 2 finale of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Word.”)
Serena Joy may want her baby back.
On Wednesday’s Season 2 finale of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Yvonne Strahovski’s character made the last-minute decision to let Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss) take their infant daughter, Holly/Nicole, away from Gilead with the help of a whole bunch of Marthas.
While Serena does not yet know that June actually gave the child to Emily (Alexis Bledel) to take to safety — and that she stayed behind in hopes of saving her other daughter Hannah from the dystopian regime — she does know that she may not be comfortable with the choice she made so quickly to let June’s biological baby go.
At least that’s what creator/showrunner Bruce Miller says Commander Fred Waterford’s (Joseph Fiennes) wife is thinking as they prepare for Season 3.
“I think that Serena is a complicated character. But she, in her own mind, doesn’t have evil motives,” Miller told reporters Monday during a conference call regarding the sophomore season’s closing episode “And here she’s been kind of left with this one thing that she’s allowed to want, which is a child. I mean everything else has been taken away with her. The desire to run a country, the desire to kind of serve God in the way that she wants to.”
“So I think that now that’s been, that she’s made the choice of that actually means that she’s going to not be with the child — that she genuinely loves the child, it can’t grow up in Gilead, she has a choice to make — is she gonna find something else to focus on? Is she going to stay bereft, and empty, and live in Gilead? Or is she gonna find a way to get her daughter back? Is she gonna change her mind about her daughter and try to get her hands on that child again, all those things are possible.”
To Serena’s credit, earlier in the episode, she came before her husband and the other commanders to try and make a case for gender equality in Gilead as she started to realize that her daughter would never really be safe in an extremist patriarchal society. But that didn’t go as planned. (See: her chopped off pinky finger.)
“So I think that going forward with Serena, you wanna follow that incredibly, intelligent woman with a force of personality and tunnel vision that is unrivaled,” Miller said. “What is she gonna bring that force to bear on next and I don’t know. I mean, I know because I’m working on it. But I’m not sure whether she’d be so quick to let go of the idea of a child just because she made a decision in a moment.
Miller says that he’s “in awe of what Yvonne’s been able to do this season.”
“And what Lizzy and Yvonne have been able to build together in terms of the arc of a character who really can be despicable and completely unredeemable in one moment and then you feel sorry for her and the next moment, which is just an astonishing slight of hand that Yvonne works very, very hard to make seem easy,” he added. “She’s spectacular.”