Alexis Bledel, who plays one of the central characters of Hulu‘s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, has announced that she will not be returning for season 5, Variety reports. After four seasons, the star amicably parts ways with the show and her co-stars. It’s time we say a fond “Under His Eye” to Bledel.
For her role as Emily/Ofglen in Hulu‘s series adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s influential and frighteningly relevant novel, Bledel was nominated for four Emmy nominations and won an Emmy for outstanding guest actress. In Season 4, Bledel‘s character Emily, a refugee in Canada after escaping the dreaded Gilead, joined forces with June who is played by Elizabeth Moss, to fight their oppressors in Gilead. There’s no telling how Bruce Miller, the show’s creator, will handle the character’s exit from the show in the script.
Bledel had this to say of her leaving:
“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ at this time. I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support.”
Bledel is best known for her role as bookish Rory Gilmore in the iconic Emmy-winning Gilmore Girls that ran for a healthy seven seasons and earned a revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that aired on Netflix in 2016. Other roles include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Tuck Everlasting, both of which are also book-to-screen adaptations, and Mad Men.
When The Handmaid’s Tale ended its fourth season, June, Emily and the other handmaids escaped from Gilead and killed Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), leaving him hanging on the wall. Miller has confirmed Fiennes‘s return to Season 5 through the characteristic flashbacks used to provide development for the characters. The escaped handmaids have fled to Canada where June reunites with Luke, and from there they will continue to fight Gilead’s regime. Fans will finally get to see what will become of Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) and how she will handle the death of Waterford.
Up until this point The Handmaid’s Tale has centered around themes of rebellion and the reclamation of power, but after the breakdown of Season 4 and where June, Serena Joy, and the others ended up, it’s likely a running theme for Season 5 will be revenge and processing trauma. In Emily’s absence, a new character has been confirmed by Christine Ko, best known for her role in the FX series Dave. She will portray a resistance leader named Lily.
The show also stars McKenna Grace, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Bradley Whitford, and Max Minghella. The Handmaid’s Tale returns to Hulu later this year.