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The moment viewers got to the end of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 5, “Chicago,” many fans wondered whether Janine (Madeline Brewer) died. Now, Brewer has something to say about her character’s fate. But in all honesty, it might be best to hold off expectations until The Handmaid’s Tale finale. 

Why ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ fans think Janine is dead after season 4 episode 5

Madeline Brewer as Janine saying goodbye to June in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 Episode 5, ‘Chicago’
Madeline Brewer as Janine in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

In The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 5, Janine and June (Elisabeth Moss) searched for the Nighthawks, a “real” rebel group in Chicago. The two women walked through the city and made it to an outpost. But they quickly realized something was wrong.

Suddenly, bombs flew from the sky. Then everything went black. The Handmaid’s Tale fans watched June emerge from the explosion. But Janine was gone, and all that was left was her beanie. 

June called out for Janine in the wreckage. But she didn’t find her old friend. Rather, June found another familiar face — Moira (Samira Wiley), who flew in from Canada because of the cease-fire. 

Madeline Brewer reveals whether Janine will return before ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 ends

When June couldn’t find Janine in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 5, many fans predicted that Janine died. But others questioned the character’s fate, especially since the Hulu series did not show a body. 

Meanwhile, Brewer hinted that fans won’t see Janine immediately after the bomb happens. So for now, it seems unlikely the character will show up at the start of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 6, “Vows.” 

“After the bomb happens, you don’t see me again,” Brewer told Digital Spy. “So when it came to all of the rubble, I wasn’t even there. What I just filmed was the scene of the plane, us turning and running.”

Nevertheless, Brewer shared an update on Janine’s fate in an interview with Good Housekeeping. The actor revealed her character will show up again by The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 finale. That said, Brewer hinted that fans won’t be happy with where Janine ends up.

“We see Janine by the end of the season,” Brewer said.“It’s not at a place that we want her to be, but such is life.”

What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ showrunner says about Janine and June in season 4


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For now, The Handmaid’s Tale fans will have to watch June’s storyline continue in season 4. So viewers might have to wait on answers in regards to Janine. But whatever happens next, showrunner Bruce Miller recently explained what Janine’s disappearance will mean for the story moving forward.

“Janine’s character this season grows hugely because of her experience,” Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “June having Janine with her is so important. It’s someone she’s dying to protect. The idea is that in the beginning of the season, June puts herself in a position of leadership and responsibility. And the season is about the cost of that. What does that mean?”

He continued, “June has constantly been making judgment calls and those judgment calls have ended up costing other people their lives, either directly or indirectly. And I think the question of: ‘How do you bear that guilt?’ is the question of the show.”

Hulu will drop The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Episode 6 on May 19, 2021.