A lot has already happened to Janine in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4. She’s shown incredible growth from the first season until now, and season 4, episode 4 gives even more context to her complicated character. Recently, Madeline Brewer talked about playing Janine in the latest season and how her character could never make the same decisions June made. Here’s what she said.
[Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 4.]
Why did Janine lose her eye in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?
So, what happened with Janine in the past? Prior to The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4, Janine had a son, Caleb, who was taken away by Gilead when she was abducted and forced into becoming a handmaid. Initially, Janine showed her rebellious nature — but this resulted in the loss of her eye. Slowly, Janine started to accept Gilead as a way of life.
Janine nearly faced death a few times throughout the seasons. At one point, Aunt Lydia forced the handmaids to stone her to death after she threatened to kill herself and the baby she had in Gilead. The handmaids refused to stone Janine, though, and she was then sent to the colonies to work and die. After a few handmaids in Gilead faced their death, Janine was brought back to continue to bear children for the commanders.
Now, in season 4, fans get to see Janine fight back. She joined June and a handful of other handmaids as they broke free and escaped. But escape hasn’t been easy, as she saw the death of a few handmaids in episode 4, season 3.
Madeline Brewer said Janine could never do what June did in season 4
Madeline Brewer plays Janine, and she reflected on Janine’s character versus June’s. While the two are both strong-willed and powerful, they’re very different. In The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 3, June eventually told the Gilead guards where the handmaids were hiding after they threatened her daughter’s life. Brewer told Steve Varley he doesn’t think Janine would’ve said anything, no matter the threats.
“Janine doesn’t know what June went through,” Brewer said. “She doesn’t know how long she held out, she doesn’t know the way Hannah reacted. She doesn’t know. So, I think, in that moment, Janine truly does believe, ‘I wouldn’t have told them. I would never have told them.’
Brewer added there are stark differences between June and Janine as well. “I also think, though, Janine could never sacrifice people in the way that June is able to sometimes,” she added. “That’s just not who Janine is. She can’t. Janine’s good at other things. I don’t think Janine would’ve told.”
When is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 airing new episodes?
Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 can look forward to new episodes every Wednesday on Hulu. The finale airs on June 16.
It looks like we’ll see more of Janine and June’s dynamic through the rest of the season. Brewer talked to Entertainment Tonight about the handmaids’ relationship and how it’s evolved over time.
“They love each other, but with that great love of friendship and sisterhood, you come at each other,” Brewer said. “The people I’ve fought with the most in my life are my best friends. The people that I love the most I go at because we challenge each other and we confront each other. And I think that’s what we’re seeing here.”
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