Alexis Bledel, best known for playing Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, has been moved up to series regular status for the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. (Spoilers to follow.)
Bledel appeared in a guest starring role during the first season as Ofglen/Emily. She is paired up with Offred (Elisabeth Moss) in a creepy buddy system designed to ensure that handmaids hold each other accountable. Soon, Ofglen reveals to Offred that her name is Emily and she is part of a resistance group called Mayday. She is later captured and mutilated for having an affair with another woman in Gilead and then moved away from Offred to another house. The last sighting of Emily was when she stole a car and rampaged through the town square, running over one of the police guards before being captured and dragged off.
It seems nearly impossible for Emily to survive her latest act of resistance, and many viewers assumed she would never been heard from again. The oppressive regime of Gilead has engaged in cruel and unusual punishments for far lesser crimes (gouging out eyes, mutilating limbs, hangings and stonings). Maybe season two will see Emily finally escape to join Moira (Samira Wiley) and Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) in Canada, or she could be sent to the colonies where, according to Moira, “You’ll be cleaning up toxic waste. Your skin will peel off in sheets, and then you die.”
Either way, Bledel’s character was a favorite of fans and critics in season one, and seeing her in an even bigger role in the 13-episode second season will surely be welcomed no matter where Emily ends up. The news comes one week after the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, one of Hulu’s most watched shows.