‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Stages Major Reunion in Midseason Cliffhanger

Wednesday's new episode of The Handmaid's Tale left fans shocked in more ways than one. As Season 4 continues to document the uprising in Gilead sparked by June, "Chicago" Tale fulfilled a reunion long in the making. Warning: This story contains major spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 5, "Chicago."

After making it to Chicago by way of a milk vat in the aptly titled "Milk," Episode 5 found June and Janine parting ways after years by one another's sides, breaking the long-held rule that handmaids always walk in pairs. June decided to leave the group of bandits to seek out the Nighthawks, another group of rebels determined to kill as many Gilead soldiers as they can, whereas Janine initially opted to stay amid a budding romance with leader Steven. The two reunited towards the end of the episode, however, when Janine also left the bandits, though their reunion gave way to another reunion that has now been seasons in the making.

After finding an outpost abruptly abandoned by Gilead soldiers, tragedy struck when bombs began dropping in the streets of an already crumbling Chicago. The bombs had been part of an agreed upon attack by the Commanders ahead of a planned cease-fire, an effort to strike down any rebel forces. As June awakes, dazed and confused, fans were struck with the realization that Janine may not have survived, but before they had the chance to fully process that fact, a figure emerged from the smoke: Moira. As fans know, Moira had been among the original handmaids, but had escaped to Canada, where she has since been working as an emergency aid, in Season 1. The reunion was brief, however, with fans only getting a few-second-long glimpse of it as a shocked Moira asked, "June?"

"Lizzy's face and Samira's face when they see each other, it's got a lot more to it; they really dug around," showrunner Bruce Miller told The Hollywood Reporter of the emotional reunion. "Watching these two people, who are also reuniting as actors in those characters, was big and moving. They turned it into a fascinating scene."

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Further opening up about that special moment in an interview with TV Insider, Miller said June and Moira's relationship "is so strong and so vital and so important," though after years apart, he teased that there may be struggles moving forward. He told the outlet that fans will "see how they’re going to manage that going forward gives you a good idea of how [June's] relationships with everybody, including [her husband] Luke, are going to change."

With just five episodes left in the season, fans can catch new episodes of The Handmaid's Tale when they air on Wednesdays on Hulu, which you can sign up for here. Stay tuned to PopCulture for all the latest updates!

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