The Handmaid’s Tale season 5: Janine becomes an Aunt as showrunner teases future?

The Handmaid's Tale: Trailer for fourth series released

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The fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale quickly picked up the pace as June Osborne (played by Elisabeth Moss) and her fellow handmaids plotted their escape from Gilead. The latest season has finally made its way across the pond and audiences are eager to discover what awaits the beloved characters. In the meantime, showrunner Bruce Miller has detailed his thoughts about the recently announced fifth season, in particular, what lies ahead for the troubled Janine (Madeline Brewer).

WARNING: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season four below.

In the season four finale, titled The Wilderness, June’s abuser Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) finally met a gruesome end and the hands of his former handmaiden.

Fred was the horrifying villain, amongst numerous other heinous people of the series who raped and tortured June while she spent years living with the Waterford family.

It was what fans have been looking forward to since season one, and his final scene did not disappoint.

Despite the charges brought against them throughout the season, Fred and his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) had managed to avoid prosecution for the crimes they committed in Gilead.

June and fellow handmaiden Janine (Madeline Brewer) both managed to escape the clutches of their respective rapists in the episode Milk, which led both to Canada and, in turn, led to the demise of Fred.

After June and Janine managed to escape to Chicago, a bombing left Janine’s fate unknown for several episodes.

However, it was later revealed that she was captured and returned to Aunt Lydia’s (Ann Dowd) care.

Showrunner Bruce Miller has since discussed the latest season, what season four’s events mean for the characters, and hinted at a surprising future for fan-favourite character Janine.

He also talked about the shocking decision to return Janine to Gilead, telling Variety: “Janine getting stuck back in Gilead feels unjust. But this is the real world; it’s not just.”

Miller continued: “There’s the idea that if I just hit x, everything’s going to be fine — ‘if we just get rid of Trump, if the pandemic just ends, everything’s going to be fine’ — but that’s not the way the world works.”

He explained that Janine makes the decision to act now that she is back in Gilead and to align herself with the aunts to help the other handmaidens.

Miller revealed that viewers would eventually see her “management style”, which is very different from the management style of June.

Janine has found a way to establish herself back in Gilead and is becoming a strong leader, as well as successfully integrating with the aunts.

So, could this mean that she will become an aunt herself in the future? Or is she destined to become a resistance fighter like her friend June?

Along with June, viewers have witnessed the full force of Gilead’s brutality on Janine.

As punishment, she had her right eye removed, and she became mentally unstable after the incident.

Things got worse for the character after she gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte, and was later forced to give the child to the Putnam family, as per Gilead rules.

June and Janine have continually had a difficult and complex relationship, and the two frequently argue over the latter’s erratic behaviour. Yet, they love and trust one another despite their complex difficulties.

It’ll be interesting witnessing Janine’s journey going forward and seeing the effect June has had on Janine after all these years.

Miller further states that “Janine has changed” since returning to Gilead and that her return will greatly affect Aunt Lydia’s thinking about the totalitarian society.

The showrunner also promised that June’s influence will live on through Janine next season.

“She’s [Janine] amazingly volatile and dangerous, so June’s legacy is living on in Gilead in a big way,” Miller remarked.

Now that Janine is back in Gilead, “God knows what she can do,” Miller teased fans. Viewers certainly can’t wait to find out.

The Handmaid’s Tale season four continues every Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4, and will also be available on 4oD after airing.

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