The Handmaids Tale season 4: Fred Waterford star speaks out on gruesome finale death
The Handmaid's Tale: Trailer for fourth series released
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Season four of hit Hulu show, The Handmaid’s Tale, saw June (played by Elisabeth Moss) finally escape from Gilead to head to Chicago. However, the finale shocked viewers as it saw one series stalwart killed off and star Joseph Fiennes and showrunner Bruce Miller have spoken out with their reactions.
WARNING: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season four below.
The finale episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Wilderness, was a gruesome end to season four but the episode delivered what fans have been waiting for since the beginning.
Former Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) finally met his demise at the hands of fearless leader June.
Fred was the horrifying villain of the series and repeatedly raped and tortured numerous women in Gilead, specifically June who lived as the Waterfords’ handmaiden for years.
Star Fiennes and showrunner Bruce Miller have detailed the character’s brutal death scene.
On leaving his role, Fiennes told Deadline: “The Handmaid’s Tale has taught me so much.
“But I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy this show from another perspective.”
Throughout the season, Fred and his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) had escaped the charges of the crimes they had committed in Gilead.
As a way to gain leniency from the law, Fred promised to expose the secrets to the totalitarian society that he helped to create.
Fiennes detailed his exit from the series and revealed that only Miller and author Margaret Atwood knew how Fred would die.
“It was alluded to somewhere in the book that a certain Fred Waterford would get his comeuppance via a Salvaging, but when and by whom it didn’t explicitly say,” the star added.
Fiennes also revealed that at the end of every season, Miller would discuss the next season for him and his character.
Miller had previously told the actor that Fred would probably die in season three, however, Fiennes was shocked that Fred survived another season.
Miller later told Fiennes that season four would be the perfect time for Fred’s demise, and that little inkling prepared the actor for possibly departing the show.
The showrunner noted that Fred moves through the story in a certain way that leaves him unaware of the fury he lights within June.
However, he wanted to showcase in the final episodes how Fred cleverly manoeuvres himself and his family in the last few episodes to “acquire the power”.
“I mean he basically succeeds his way into the grave,” Miller remarked.
Fiennes was glad that Fred met his demise at the hands of June and that her story of revenge is “fascinating”.
The star added that Miller introduced the revenge theme in the series, which, in turn, required “closure and forgiveness” for the story and that ramifications for Fred’s actions were necessary for audiences to eventually see.
Fiennes stated that there was also an irony in that Fred would meet his end by the woman he brutalised for years, now that he finally has a son of his own, adding that his final scene with Elisabeth Moss is his favourite.
Miller has confirmed that Fred is definitely deceased and will not be returning in the future, but that “his influence on June continues”.
The showrunner went on to praise Fiennes for his portrayal of Fred over the past four seasons, saying: “This is such a titanic performance of a villain.”
The Handmaid’s Tale season four is available to watch now on Hulu in the US. The latest season will be released in the UK one 20 at 9pm on Channel 4.
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