‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Mark Tuello Had a Manipulative Reason for Letting June Meet Serena
Throughout season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, it has been tough to figure out Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger). The U.S. representative clearly hates Gilead, but he also feels a large amount of sympathy and attraction toward Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski).
In season 4 episode 7 of The Handmaid’s Tale, titled “Home,” June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) struggles to acclimate to Canada. After finding out Serena is pregnant, Mark takes her to meet with Serena, and the visit results in a heated confrontation. It turns out Mark had an underlying motive for letting June visit Serena in The Handmaid’s Tale.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 4 episode 7 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]
Mark Tuello has questionable tactics in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
In an interview with TV Insider, Jaeger discussed Mark’s complicated relationships with June and Serena along with his character’s end goal. According to the actor, Mark might turn to “the dark side” a bit in order to see Gilead fall.
“I think he’s trying to hold on to some semblance of control and navigate to the benefit of what he thinks is right on the whole in the world: to rescue as many people from the oppression of Gilead as possible,” said Jaeger.
He continued, “What lengths he goes to make that happen, I think he even questions in himself by the end. We see more of Mark struggling to do what’s right, even though he’s going to have to take a couple of steps under the dark side to do it.”
June met with Serena for a special reason in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
While June unleashing her rage on Serena proved to be a cathartic scene, it does not make narrative sense at first. Serena is set to be on trial for crimes she committed in Gilead, and June’s recent escape means she is a key witness.
Given that Mark supposedly wants to harm Gilead, it did not make legal sense to have his star witness confront someone she might testify against. Speaking with TV Insider, Jaeger revealed that Mark actually wanted June to speak with Serena.
“He believes June, and he understands Serena. He wanted to shake loose that part of Serena that he believes is still good. It’s maybe not the best way to do it, to have a woman who is as fiery as any person should be in the same room as her captor,” Jaeger said.
Mark needs Serena as an ‘ally’
While many rightfully view Serena as a villain, Mark originally sympathized with her. Even after Mark learned of Serena’s involvement in creating Gilead, Jaeger says Mark still needs her as an “ally” against her husband Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).
“He knows how powerful Serena is. He knows that if anybody is capable of getting Fred to give over information about Gilead, it’s her. He wants to hold onto her as an ally, as long as he can. This is a complicated allegiance,” the actor said. “Serena is becoming more dangerous to Mark with each episode.”
New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere every Wednesday on Hulu.