If you have already watched the season two finale of The Handmaid’s Tale you are probably feeling two particular emotions very strongly right about now.
The first is disbelief and fear at June’s (Elisabeth Moss) actions in those final moments of the episode where she handed her newborn daughter Nicole off to a fleeing Emily (Alexis Bledel) and chose to stride back into the dangerous world of Gilead in the hope of somehow saving her older daughter Hanna.
The other emotion you’re probably feeling in your heart is a softening towards Gilead’s previously most hated woman Serena (Australian-born Yvonne Strahovski), after she chose to let June escape with Nicole, tearfully begging “let me hold her so I can say goodbye,” before sacrificing her claim over the baby so she could be taken to safety.
In that moment it was an indeed a noble, if surprising, gesture from a women whose wrathful actions had been the cause of some of the show’s most most distributing seasons. During both seasons one and two of the show her continuously Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona of being pious one moment and downright horrifying the next has ensured that her presence on screen is always sure to give you goosebumps.
After all who can forget the time she she physically threw June to the ground and then leered over her as words of bitter hate fell out of her mouth? Or the time she vivaciously paraded Hanna in front of June’s desperate eyes and threatened to hurt the little girl if June didn’t bend to her will?
Or, not to mention that tiny little detail about how she actually helped to create Gilead and facilitate that hell-world they are now all living in.
And yet her gradual softening towards June and her apparent love for the daughter she raised as her own for just a few months during the later episodes of season two has seen some fans of The Handmaid’s Tale start to change their mind about her.