‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Showrunner Clarifies That Mark Tuello Is Not the Father of Serena Waterford’s Baby
It’s no secret that in The Handmaid’s Tale, Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger) and Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) have a lot of chemistry. After it was revealed in the fourth season that Serena is pregnant, theories began to fly that Mark could be the father instead of Serena’s husband, Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller confirmed that Mark is not the father of Serena’s unborn child.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 4 episode 10 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]
Serena Joy Waterford and Mark Tuello have an emotional conversation in the season 4 finale of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
In “The Wilderness,” the season 4 finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fred begins acting as an intelligence asset in order to secure freedom for himself, Serena, and their son. While he shares intel about Gilead, Serena speaks with Mark about expediting their legal process and securing a house for her family once they are free.
“We’re going to need a home that is big enough for our family,” Serena tells Mark. “Of course, security is a concern, so once the Commander returns from Europe I would like to schedule some tours.”
“You are both still under custody until the judge’s ruling is issued,” Mark replies.
“The judge’s ruling needs to be expedited,” Serena demands. “The Commander and I have discussed it. We will not have our son born in this place.”
The conversation then becomes emotional, and Mark asks Serena, “You plan on leaving with the Commander? As husband and wife?”
Serena replies, “As a family, of course.”
“Can you explain that to me, Serena?” Mark asks, given that Serena was the one who originally turned Fred in.
“I don’t believe I have to,” Serena answers.
Mark Tuello is not the father of Serena Joy Waterford’s child in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
Like most scenes in The Handmaid’s Tale, Mark and Serena’s conversation is filled with nuance, possibly leaving some things open to interpretation. While some fans might assume the emotion means Mark is secretly the father of Serena’s son and has feelings for her, Miller denies this is the case.
“I think it’s reading too much into it; it’s reading into the chemistry. His job is to make her very, very comfortable with him, and he does it very well. But I don’t know how much is the job and how much is the way that he feels [about her], but I don’t know that he even knows. This is his job, to make her comfortable and to trust him,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
Miller continued, “So yes, they have a very interesting, complicated relationship. As an intelligence officer, his job was to kind of become obsessed with her, before he met her, and know everything about the way that her mind works. You can’t help but be impressed by someone like Serena in that way. So is she impressive to him? Sure. But Fred is the father.”
Mark Tuello thinks Serena Joy Waterford is ‘dangerous’
Before “The Wilderness” premiered on Hulu, Jaeger participated in an interview with TV Insider. In the interview, he made it clear that Mark does not have feelings for Serena, and instead he finds her to be “dangerous.”
“He knows how powerful Serena is… He wants to hold onto her as an ally, as long as he can. This is a complicated allegiance,” Jaeger said. “Serena is becoming more dangerous to Mark with each episode.”
Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale is now available to stream on Hulu.