‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ EP & Star Unpack June’s Journey & Latest Reunion
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 6 “Vows.”]
It took just about three and a half seasons, but June (Elisabeth Moss) has escaped Gilead. The May 19 episode ends with her taking her first step onto Canadian land.
In planning June’s journey to get to that point, the producers spoke with refugees who had escaped and aid workers who helped them. “One of the things they talk about is the fact that oftentimes it’s about putting yourself in a position to get lucky. And that’s what I thought about with June is that she’s putting in her herself in a position that gets lucky,” executive producer Bruce Miller tells TV Insider. “I was looking to strip her down to absolutely feeling like she’s been a failure on every possible level, right before she succeeds.”
Before that major moment comes another one: June’s reunion with her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle). “One of the things that’s great about working with Lizzie on this show is we trust the writing. We get there and we see what unfolds between us and figure it out in front of the camera,” Fagbenle says of filming that scene. “There wasn’t really much big pre-planning. We just let things unfold as they may. It was really moving to read the scripts at first and it was really moving to do. I think we did read through the scenes with the director once, but for the most part, we just let things roll on camera.”
Upon seeing her husband, June apologizes for not having their daughter, Hannah, who’s still in Gilead, with her. “I’m sorry it’s just me,” she tells him. He hugs her.
“It’s really interesting because we’re not told how much Luke knows when he comes to the boat, so I had to kind of write that in myself, in my own head,” Fagbenle says of whether his character expected a bigger family reunion. “I think I’d already decided that we knew that June had come back, but [not] Hannah, so that way I could focus on the importance of having June back.”
But just because they’re together again doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for them to move forward. “A lot of what Luke has to try and figure out is who June is post these most traumatic experiences that she’s been through,” Fagbenle previews.
“He’s been desperate to connect with her and to have a teammate in trying to get their daughter back, but he kind of finds someone who’s really been damaged by what she’s been through and also grown in many ways — in her leadership and a desire for vengeance in a way,” he continues. “He has to contend with that and figure out a way to be with it or not be with it. That’s kind of key to their relationship going forward.”
The Handmaid’s Tale, Wednesdays, Hulu