Elisabeth Moss on divisive Handmaid’s Tale finale

Warning: Do not read until you have seen The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 finale.

If you saw the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale then you won’t be surprised to learn it has divided viewers.

June’s decision has infuriated many fans of the show, and it certainly feels like a move on the writers’ part to keep her in Gilead as a way of drawing out another season.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Elisabeth Moss (who is also an executive producer) says it was the only choice for her.

“There’s really a couple answers to this, and they are equally important,” she says when asked why June’s decision feels like the right way to end season two. “Hannah is the first one. It’s as simple as that. She cannot leave her daughter there. She doesn’t know if she can get back in if she leaves. What can she do from the outside? She doesn’t know,” she said.

“But here’s what she does know. She just discovered that there’s a legitimate and strong underground network of Marthas working for the resistance. The wives led by Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) just rebelled against the men and government of Gilead. They are starting to resist. And she just saw a commander (Lawrence, played by Bradley Whitford) help his handmaid and her dear friend Emily escape. A commander. How deep does this underground network of resistance go? She knows now she isn’t alone. She doesn’t want to leave Hannah, but when she sees Emily and the commander, she realizes she can get her baby Holly out and stay to try to do the same for Hannah. And she doesn’t have a lot of time to make that decision.

“She does the riskier thing, which is stay, but she literally cannot leave Hannah in that place.”

And let’s not even get started on Aunt Lydia….

You can read more here.


  1. My throat is raw from yelling, Get into the car! Still, it’s better than the hail of bullets I was expecting she was running into from the photo above. Glad there’s a season 3.

  2. I’m surprised in a way that people are shocked by it. Made perfect sense to me that she wouldn’t leave Hannah behind. Plus we knew there’d be a season 3 so presumably she wouldn’t be getting out just yet as if that was the case what would they be doing next season? Having her trying to get back in to get Hannah out? Also June knows that Luke hasn’t been able to get in to get Hannah or her out, then how hard it is to get out herself, so why would she expect to be able to get to Hannah if she left now? She had the opportunity to save Holly/Nicole & now (presumably) isn’t tied to the Commander so its the perfect chance for her to try save Hannah

    • Agree with the above. Some great points made.
      Initially I was disappointed and frustrated with June’s decision to stay but on second thoughts it does make sense. Also she’s now aware that the tide is slowly turning against the extreme oppression of Gilead and after all she’s been through and the unspeakable cruelty she’s witnessed, she no doubt wants to play a pivotal role in its downfall.
      Don’t agree though with June deciding to keep Serena’s chosen name of Nicole for her baby – just doesn’t ring true.
      Unrelentingly bleak as it is, this second season of THT has been absolutely compelling,
      heart-wrenching viewing, with a brilliant cast. By far the best current drama on television.

      • It also reminds us you don’t need a big cast to succeed. The dynamics between June, Serena, Waterford, Nick and Gilead philosophy offers plenty of twists for good writers to play with. I’m reminded Wentworth works with about a core of 10 players and Orange doubles it with less success.

        • Yes, sometimes less is more. The dynamics between the core actors, as well as many of the supporting actors are so perfectly and skilfully executed. Kudos to Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia as well – she’s exceptional in this role.
          Yes, Wentworth also succeeds so well with finely honed dynamics between a relatively small core cast.

      • I completely agree Angela about using Nicole for the name too. That seemed a bit odd since Serena wasn’t exactly nice to her, so I didn’t find that odd. I would’ve thought she’d keep Holly. But I also wonder if they’re going to make some sort of friendship between Serena/June & maybe if both get out or Gilead falls they’ll both get to be in the child’s life? So using this name will put June in Serena’s good books? I don’t know

        Also agree that they do wonders & amazing things with a small cast. I think a show like this wouldn’t work with a larger cast though

  3. It was pretty obvious that she decided to stay so that she could get her daughter out. But if she doesn’t f*** that place up from the inside in season 3, then we riot.

  4. Except what Moss is claiming was never developed with the scripts or direction over 22.5 hours of TV. Every single person who even read a book had been tortured and killed in graphic detail. Then they expect viewers to believe that rather dumb escape plot, one of half a dozen that have made up most of the plot of two season, means that escape isn’t necessary. Just because Moss does her best Offred is pissed and she not going to take it glare through the 4th wall. If they lost many of their viewers it their fault.

  5. I was surprised when I learnt there was so much hate online for how S2 ended, I really quite enjoyed it. I always thought it was odd that she’d escape with one daughter but leave another behind.

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