The Handmaid's Tale season 2 finale: Does [spoiler] die? Huge twist explained by showrunner Bruce Miller

*Major spoilers below - you have been warned*

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 13 August 2018 09:00
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The Handmaid's Tale season 2 finale promo

The Handmaid's Tale ended its breathtaking second season in the UK last night with a divisive finale sure to torture fans until it returns next spring.

While showrunner Bruce Miller has leapt to the defence of the final scene which saw fans screaming at their TV screens, an executive producer on the Hulu series has debunked one of the episode's other huge moments.

*MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW*

One scene in the episode, titled 'The Word', sees Emily (Alexis Biedel) attack Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) by stabbing her in the back with a kitchen knife before throwing her over a bannister and kicking her down the stairs. The last we see of Lydia, she's lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs as the house's Martha rushes to her aide.

It seems it would take a lot more to kill off Aunt Lydia - both Miller and Warren Littlefield confirmed that the character will live to see another season.

Speaking to EW Radio, Littlefield revealed: “The first thing we said [to Ann] is, ‘You’re not dead, but it’s going to be a pretty brutal scene.' She was completely up for it.”

Miller himself revealed the character's fate in a conference call to journalists.

"Aunt Lydia doesn’t die. I don’t think Aunt Lydia can die. I don’t think there are forces in the world strong enough to kill Aunt Lydia. And by extension, the incredibly strong, fabulous Ann Dowd I think is with us for a long, long time, as well.

"She’s transformed by this event, one of her girls - she has you know has twisted herself into thinking there is a love between her and her girls - has literally stabbed her in the back. And that kind of, you know, alters your workplace feelings on a day-to-day basis. You don’t want to turn your back on them. So I think in some ways, there’s a lot of possible effects, but in her case it makes her double down on that she feels she just wasn’t strong enough in her discipline. So she’s decided it’s time to get tough.”

While the character is deserving of her comeuppance, the show just wouldn't be the same without Dowd who earned an Emmy nomination for her role in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama category alongside co-stars Biedel and Yvonne Strahovski who plays Serena Joy Waterford.

The episode ends with June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) deciding to remain behind in Gilead to find her daughter Hannah having found another chance to escape. Instead, she hands her baby - renamed Nicole in honour of a newly-compliant Serena who lets Offred go after catching her fleeing - over to Emily whose new commander, Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), is revealed to be rebelling against the economy he helped create.

The Handmaid's Tale recently earned 20 Emmy nominations, sitting just under Game of Thrones which scored 22.

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