‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Elisabeth Moss Thinks June and Serena Joy Are ‘the Most Complicated Relationship of the Show’

Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale is currently underway, with the first three episodes of the season available to watch on Hulu. While June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) and Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) have always had a complex relationship, their dynamic is taken to new heights in the show’s fifth season. In an interview with Metacritic, Moss called Serena Joy and June “the most complicated relationship of the show.”

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]

Yvonne Strahovski on the set of 'The Handmaid's Tale' with Elisabeth Moss
(L-R) Yvonne Strahovski and Elisabeth Moss | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Elisabeth Moss thinks June and Serena Joy have a ‘complicated relationship’ in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

As with most seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, the show’s fifth season begins with June and Serena Joy once again at odds. While they frequently go head-to-head against one another, both June and Serena Joy have a complex understanding of one another.

In an interview with Metacritic, Moss expanded on the relationship.

“There’s only one other person who knows what June experienced in Gilead. They have a bond that June doesn’t have with anyone else and that Serena does not have with anyone else,” Moss said. “They are the heroine and villain of the show. They’re the most complicated relationship of the show.”

The actor continued, “I think Season 5 brings us to a really, really cool, interesting place because, for me, we are saying to the audience, ‘Oh it’s been them all along.’”

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Serena Joy is scared of June at the start of season 5

At the end of season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, June murdered Serena Joy’s husband Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). Serena Joy does not find this out until the premiere of the fifth season.

“I think she’s just absolutely terrified once she finds out that June was the one [who killed her husband],” Strahovski told Metacritic. “I think anything is possible at that point, and given that Serena finally has the one thing she’s wanted this entire time, which is a baby of her own growing inside of her, the fact that June could kill Fred means that she could kill the baby and Serena.”

She added, “So, the stakes are just so incredibly high, and she just has so much to lose.”

RELATED: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Showrunner Says He Is ‘Not Going to Rush’ the End of the Show

June and Serena Joy react to fear differently in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

While June and Serena Joy have some similarities, the series’ showrunner Burce Miller thinks the two characters have different responses to fear. These differences are displayed in the early episodes of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale.

“They don’t like to be scared, and so, if they have a way to act to get out of it, they do. The way that Serena reacts is by trying to pull a whole country around her to protect her from June, but June can’t live the life she did before where she’s waiting for them to come get her,” Miller told Metacritic.

New episodes of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere each Wednesday on Hulu at midnight ET.

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