‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Madeline Brewer Says There Will Be ‘a Confrontation Between’ Janine and Aunt Lydia in Season 5

The fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale premiered on Hulu on Sept. 14. On the show, one of the most nuanced relationships is between Janine (Madeline Brewer) and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). In an interview with SlashFilm, Brewer revealed that fans of The Handmaid’s Tale can expect “a confrontation between” Janine and Aunt Lydia in the show’s new season.

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

Esther, Janine, and Aunt Lydia in season 5 of 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Mckenna Grace, Madeline Brewer, and Ann Dowd in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Fans of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ will ‘see a confrontation between’ Janine and Aunt Lydia

Throughout The Handmaid’s Tale, Janine has always been one of Aunt Lydia’s favorite Handmaids. This brings a level of nuance to their dynamic. Overtime, Janine has become less naive when it comes to Gilead and Aunt Lydia.

“I think that Janine doesn’t have that kind of hopeful, wide-eyed, innocent energy anymore. I think she sees things in a very practical way. And I think she does see the ways in which they’re helping each other. And she loves her she does want to be in her good graces. Also, being in Aunt Lydia’s good graces is beneficial to her,” Brewer said in an interview with SlashFilm.

According to Brewer, “the second half of” season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale will be intense for Janine and Aunt Lydia.

“Especially in the second half of the season, and especially the finale, you’ll see a confrontation between the two of them that is the culmination of five years, and how much they have changed, and the tables have turned. They’ve just changed as individuals. Their relationship has changed,” the actor told SlashFilm.

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Janine will be part of ‘a chain of events’ on the show

In season 5 episode 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, Esther (Mckenna Grace) poisons herself and Janine. Brewer told SlashFilm that Esther’s actions have a huge impact on Janine.

“For Janine, everything else that Janine has been through, the cat with nine lives situation, it’s either been of her own doing or at the hands of the men and Aunt Lydia and the Republic of Gilead. This was done to her by a friend,” said Brewer.

She continued, “This is someone that she trusted and someone that she loved and someone that she respected, who, before she tries to kill her, tells her that she hates her. It’s really devastating, and I think that it breaks something in Janine, who has such a well of love in her.”

Brewer revealed that Janine being poisoned by Esther will also have an impact on “the relationship between Aunt Lydia and Janine.”

“And then I think it causes the relationship between Aunt Lydia and Janine to morph as well. And then Aunt Lydia’s relationship to Gilead. It sets off a chain of events that’s really unexpected,” Brewer told SlashFilm.

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What to expect from Janine in season 5 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

By the end of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale, it seems like fans might not recognize the person Janine has become.

“I think, when we see her toward the end of the season, just enough has happened to her that something has turned, not in the direction of vengeance but in the direction of numbness, which is new for Janine. She’s not a numb person,” Brewer told SlashFilm.

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

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