Showrunner Bruce Miller Talks ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Cliffhanger Ending [SPOILERS]
Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Brucer Miller spoke about the show’s eerie cliffhanger ending, and what can be expected for season two.
HANDMAID’S TALE SEASON TWO SPOILERS
The Hulu original series ended its first season on Wednesday, and is already signed on for a season two. The season finale ended with the same lines as the end of the novel by Margaret Atwood that the show is based on: “And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.”
This is said by main character Offred, played by Elizabeth Moss, as she is put into a white van, an ominous moment for any Handmaid’s Tale viewer. While in the novel, this provides an ambiguous conclusion, in the show, it serves as a chilling cliffhanger.
“On the other hand,” says Miller told Vanity Fair, who is not a fan of cliffhangers, “people are already clamoring. While I’m just starting to figure out Season 2 stuff, people are already pounding on my Twitter door.”
Drawing the first season to a close proved tricky for Miller. “[It] was very difficult, I think because in some ways one of the hallmarks of the book is that the ending is a bit unsatisfying on purpose,” he explains. “It ends as such a mystery. And so, as someone who’s adapting that world to television, you want to follow that. But you don’t want to be so frustrating that people throw their TV, slash laptop, slash phone out the window.” He wanted the ending to house the same emotional hook, “but not make people want to hunt me down and kill me.”
“We tried to maintain that feeling—that feeling of the unknown—because in some ways, that’s what’s made the whole show work—and scary—is [Offred’s] limited perspective,” Miller said. “It’s so unusual for a dystopian novel—for a book that creates such a wide world—to have such a limited perspective. It’s one of the best things about the book, one of the bravest things that Margaret did in creating it.”
As for season two, Miller assures us that Offred is not riding the van to her death. He also promises that Samira Wiley and O-T Fagbenle will play more central roles in the new season as they live freely in Canada. “At the beginning, Moira’s in the hands of strangers. She’s in the hands of this person she doesn’t know. But that person conveys her to Luke – someone who does care about her.” Miller also notes that the Waterfords will stick around for the second season, despite Offred being taken away from them.
But best of all is the fact that author Atwood will stay on as a consulting producer. “Margaret is an amazing collaborator,” Miller said, “and I think is enjoying revisiting some of these decisions she made a long time ago, and kind of picking them apart in light of the expansions that we’ve done in the show, and also just in light of the new world—the 35 years later that we live in now.”