Alexis Bledel Departs The Handmaid's Tale Before Season 5

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The Handmaid's Tale will return for Season 5 down one significant cast member.

Alexis Bledel, who played Emily, has decided not to return.

Bledel released a statement about her decision.

Alexis Bledel as Emily - The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Episode 10

"After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale at this time," Bledel said in a statement.

"I am forever grateful to [showrunner] Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support."

June and Emily - The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Episode 10

Emily is a former handmaid and task partner for June (Elisabeth Moss).

She searched for ways to rebel, and was punished greatly for her efforts.

Emily spent time at a work camp and suffered female castration before she managed to escape the horrors and cross into Canada at the end of The Handmaid's Tale Season 3.

Emily calls - The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Episode 10

During The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Emily was helping to receipt the children smuggled out of Gilead as they learned to live without constant fear, something she knew a lot about.

Emily was determined to continue with the movement, so it will be interesting how she'll be written out of the story.

It's a big move for Bledel, who has been nominated for three Emmys for the role, winning one.

Emily and her past - The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Episode 8

The former Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls star currently has one other project in the works, according to her IMDB page.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3 is in pre-production status, and potentially, she'll star with other possible returning cast members, including America Ferrara, Blake Lively, and Amber Tamblyn.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 is currently in production and is expected to premiere on Hulu sometime later in 2022.

Emily reunited with June - The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 Episode 7

The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 also starred Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, Bradley Whitford, and Sam Jaeger.

What do you think of the news?

How will this impact The Handmaid's Tale's plot going forward?

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Handmaid's Tale Quotes

A priest, a doctor, a gay man. I think I heard that joke once. This wasn't the punchline.


Commander Lawrence: You must want something.
June: I need your help. It’s about getting Hannah.
Commander Lawrence: Again with this?
June: She’s my daughter.
Commander Lawrence: And you’re mother of the year. What a nightmare you’ve been for her. Just leave the poor kid alone.
June: She needs to be with me and her father.
Commander Lawrence: Does she? Honestly, does she, June? She has a lovely home.
June: That is not her home.
Commander Lawrence: It’s all she knows. You want to rip her out of there?
June: No one will love her like we do.
Commander Lawrence: Your love fucks people up. You’re a fountain of heartache and trouble.