This season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been more volatile than any of the 3 previous seasons combined. Revolution has broken out, and June is leading the charge against the commanders of Gilead. While the 4th episode of the season certainly grabbed headlines for its storyline, the latest episode brought shock and despair to legions of loyal fans everywhere. In the closing moments of the episode entitled “Chicago,” Janine (played brilliantly by Madeline Brewer) seemingly meets her end in a horrific explosion.
We were lucky enough to connect with Brewer late Tuesday night in an exclusive chat to discuss the 5th episode. She was very gracious to help answer some of our burning questions but reader beware, there are spoilers if you haven’t seen episode 5, which drops today.
Dewey Singleton: So I guess, my first question is when you saw the script for episode 5, what was your first reaction?
Madeline Brewer: I mean, am I still alive? It was my first question, really. Will I somehow make it out of what was the end of that episode? So that was scary. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. I was really excited to be out of Gilead. I was really excited to have a few more scenes of June and me and challenging each other and Janine standing up more for what she wants and not just going with the flow. I was really excited about that. I was excited to see her boss, see her personality a little bit more as well, outside of Gilead, which is something we’ve seen.
DS: What do you think the fans are going to think after this?
MB: I think that they’re going to think that Janine is dead. I really do. And I’m excited to see the reactions to it. The end of the episode is so so moving and just incredibly powerful, especially after the explosion. Lizzy’s performance is just outstanding, and you really don’t know what happens, and then, After everything that they just went through together, and you know, do they split up? Do they not split up and then see them lose each other again. It’s just so devastating.
DS: How many people know you have tried to pull you aside and try and get some spoilers about this season?
MB: Quite a few (laughs). There’s just so much at stake this season.
DS: Are you willing to make an exception just this one time? (laughs)
MB: I give away no spoilers to anyone. I say you gotta watch!
DS: Do you know your character’s fate?
MB: Yeah, I mean, I obviously know the fate of my character through this point of the season, but beyond that, I have no idea.
DS: I think Bruce Miller and that whole team of writers get some joy from messing with our emotions.
MB: (laughs) every time I think I know where they’re going to go, they go in an opposite direction, and every time I think, I know where they’re going to go. They go in a completely opposite direction. So I’m just stopped making any guesses because I’m always like, oh, wow.
DS: Do you have any words for the fans that I imagine will be emotional after watching episode 5?
MB: You’ve watched Janie for four seasons. See the light against all odds.
Photo: Sophie Giraud/Hulu