The season 2 opener of the groundbreaking series ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ was truly a nail biter, starting with the first, explosive minutes. Elisabeth Moss and her costars shared with us EXCLUSIVELY on how those first 10 minutes.
Should go without saying, but what the hell — SPOILERS AHEAD! The new season of Handmaid’s Tale kicks off just where last season left off, with June shoved in the back of an unmarked black van, unsure if she was heading to freedom from her life as a Handmaid or to her death for defying the powers that be to save her friend. While I’m sure we were all rooting for June to be whisked away to Canada right away, turns out it’s not quite so easy. No — instead, when the van comes to a halt, June is violently dragged out, only to see her fellow handmaids have been made to do the same. She’s muzzled and corralled with the other women down a halfway that’s unfamiliar. Then, blinded by light, she steps outside, on a field — specifically, the field at the famed Fenway Park in Boston. Before them are dozens of hangman’s nooses, a literal gallows set up yards away from the Green Monster. No dialogue is spoken for nearly 10 mins, but it’s perhaps the most brutal scene to watch in the series yet — emphasis on the word YET.
Star Elisabeth Moss, who as June was at the center of it all the drama of that scene, felt the same while shooting it, and hinted that if audiences though that was bad, they better settle in for the reason for season two. “You probably need to buckle your seat belt,” Elisabeth said to us EXCLUSIVELY at the season two premiere of Handmaid’s Tale. “It is not going to let up!” Consider the belts BUCKLED! Later, while speaking to the press about her character June, she expanded on the power of June, and how she continues to survive harrowing situations like an attempted mass murder on a baseball field. “She is an every woman, she is just like us. She is not a super hero. She doesn’t have any special powers or skills. She is like you or me, she is a fighter and she stands for something. And I think that is an important thing for us all to remember.”
But Elisabeth isn’t the only member of the cast moved by the start of the season. When we caught up with star Max Minghella, who plays June’s lover Nick, at Paleyfest last month, we asked also him about this pivotal, jaw-dropping scene and he admitted that it was a game-changer. “There’s this scale to it that is really, even if somebody’s read the scripts and was there when we filmed it, it was really overwhelming and exciting.” He added that fans should settle in, because things are just going to get wilder from here. “It’s deeply cinematic this year, and I think it’s just gonna surprise people,” he said. “I think it’s gonna surprise people that Bruce [Miller, creator] and the writers were able to continue the story away from the book in a way that feels not only organic to what we started with, but really raises the stakes and it makes the first season feel almost quaint.” Yeah, quaint is a really good way of putting it!