‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Showrunner Hints How Serena Joy’s Pregnancy Will End

Before the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale premiered, it was confirmed in trailers that Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) is pregnant. While this storyline was teased leading up to the new season, it still has a lot of shock value.

Despite Strahovski’s nuanced performance, Serena is one of the main antagonists on the show. It is clear to fans that Serena does not deserve to raise a baby, and for The Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller, that is one of the main points of this new development with Serena.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 4 episode 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]

Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 Episode 2, “Nightshade.”
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4 | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Why Serena Joy is pregnant in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

In Gilead, infertility in men is illegal to discuss, and women are blamed for being barren. Because of this, it was always hinted that Serena could possibly conceive a child while her husband Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) was sterile.

Fred admits to Serena in season 3 episode 11 of The Handmaid’s Tale that he knows he is the reason the two cannot have a baby, and the two sleep together. The second episode of the fourth season, “Nightshade,” reveals that Serena is pregnant.

“We always had discussions about whether Serena was fertile because the fertility crisis really focused so much on men, and also, the more research we did on how infertility work, generally it’s a continuum, not an on-off switch, in most men,” Miller told Variety.

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While speaking with Variety, Miller explained that Serena’s pregnancy will face critics of Gilead in the show to realize that some aspects of the society work at improving the birth rate.

“… the stuff they’re doing in Gilead with the environment and the water is all geared towards increasing male motility… But, I think in a lot of ways it’s the worst case scenario for the audience because they’re going, ‘Oh sh*t, Gilead works.'”

What will happen to Serena’s baby?

In The Handmaid’s Tale, Serena was instrumental in the creation of Gilead because she wanted to have a child. Miller explains that the fourth season will show Serena dealing with the complexities of her biggest wish coming true.

“… there’s always been an idea of, ‘What happens if you give characters what they want more than anything?’ and when you start out a show like this, that’s the first conversation we had,” he said. “What does she want more than anything? A baby.”

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In the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale, both Fred and Serena are preparing to be put on trial for the crimes they committed in Gilead. Miller hopes that Serena will have her baby taken away from her like she took other women’s children in Gilead.

“… Yvonne’s an incredible actress and it’s something I was absolutely fascinated to see that character go through, both because I want her to feel all the good feelings, but also I want her to feel what it feels like to have that baby away from her and to not have control over that child,” said Miller.

Serena’s pregnancy most likely won’t have a happy ending in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Throughout the Hulu series, Serena has proven time and time again that she is not a redeemable villain. Because of this, it would not be satisfying for her to have a happy ending with her child.

Miller appears to know this and agrees that the only thing Serena deserves is for her to not have the chance to raise her baby.

“She clearly doesn’t deserve to be happy, but maybe there’s a world where she deserves to have a child and have it be taken away from her,” he told Variety.

New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere every Wednesday on Hulu.