'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 5 Premiere: Did Emily return to Gilead? Here's how Hulu series wrote off Alexis Bledel's character

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 5 Premiere: Did Emily return to Gilead? Here's how Hulu series wrote off Alexis Bledel's character
Alexis Bledel as Dr Emily Malek in 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)

Dr Emily Malek is one of the most important characters in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and one of those who managed to get away from Gilead. However, ahead of the Season 5 premiere, we got to know that Emily won’t be returning to the show and the character will be written off in the very first episode of the season. So, how did the makers do it? Let’s take a look.

The first episode of Season 5 sees June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) in the immediate aftermath of killing Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) at the end of Season 4. In the first half of the episode, she’s enjoying how her life just became so much better after killing one of the most disgusting people on the planet. She didn’t even take the time to wash his blood off her hands and had breakfast with all the handmaids that helped her in killing the evil. She gets to know that Emily is not there and immediately goes to meet Emily’s wife Sylvia (Alexis Bledel).


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At first, no one opens the door, but Sylvia finally comes to the door and tells her that Emily has “gone back to Gilead”. Yes, you heard it right. She went back to Gilead in order to find Aunt Lydia. June was speechless and asked, “What did you say? Did you talk to her?” To which, Sylvia said that Emily said goodbye and told her to not wake Oliver up. Oliver is their son. June felt guilty about what just happened and told Sylvia that she will find Emily, but Sylvia stops her and says, “She’s gone” and tells June to “shut the f**k up”.
The scene concluded with Sylvia telling June that nothing can happen now and the time they, she and Oliver, spent with Emily is everything that they could have asked for. June asks Sylvia to call her if she hears from Emily, to which, she replies, “No. Goodbye, June.”

Clea Duvall (Sylvia) and Alexis Bledel (Emily) in 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)
Clea Duvall (Sylvia) and Alexis Bledel (Emily) in 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)

Now, that’s a pretty extraordinary end to a character that has played a pivotal part in the series from its inception. Bledel, who played the character for four seasons, revealed in May 2022 that she won’t be returning for Season 5. The actress garnered a lot of success with the show and went on to win the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2017. She was nominated in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as well.

Although Emily’s disappearance manages to make us believe that she can return to the show if she wants to in the final season. Yes, it’s a long shot, but we would love to see her back.

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 5 returns to Hulu with a new episode every Wednesday. 

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