Here's what happened to Emily

the handmaid's tale season 5 premiere wasted no time in addressing alexis bledel's exit

(Image credit: Hulu)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Handmaid’s Tale season 5, episode 1! Turn back now if you haven’t caught up on Hulu yet.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 has now begun – and it didn’t take long to find out what happened to Emily following Alexis Bledel’s exit from the Hulu drama. The season premiere picks up in the wake of Commander Waterford’s murder at the hands of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss), Emily, and a bunch of other disgruntled former handmaids.

June is eating breakfast with her co-conspirators following the deed when she realizes Emily is missing. She wastes no time heading to the house that Emily shares with her wife Sylvia (Clea DuVall) and their son to question her about what happened.

Sylvia explains that Emily has gone back to Gilead – despite her brutal escape back in season 2 – to find Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) and continue the fight against the oppressive cult. June is understandably shocked by the news, as viewers likely were too, while she wonders if it was her fault this happened. Sylvia is having none of it though, telling her to leave, not speak to her again, and not come back.

While it’s an abrupt end for the original character who’s had some dramatic storylines over the seasons, Bledel announced she would not be returning to the show back in May. She didn’t give a specific reason for the exit but thanked the creators of the show in a statement.

“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale at this time,” Bledel said. “I am forever grateful to [creator] Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast, and crew for their support.”

Addressing her exit from the series, Moss told Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab) that they were “very sad” that Bledel couldn’t return. “It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to handle, I’ll be honest with you because she’s such a great, fantastic part of the show,” she said. “But I do think it was handled in a really good way. Somebody has to go back [to Gilead]. Emily has always been the one that is at the forefront of the resistance.”

Check out our The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 release schedule to make sure you don’t miss an episode. For what else to stream, here’s our guide to the best Hulu shows available now.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I’ve also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.

Keyword: The Handmaid's Tale season 5 premiere wasted no time in addressing Alexis Bledel's exit

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