Mckenna Grace wants to return as Esther in The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 after her character was last seen training to become a Handmaid in the finale.
Mckenna Grace, who played Esther in The Handmaid’s Tale season 4, hopes to return for the fifth season of the Hulu show. The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s seminal dystopian novel experienced a resurgence in critical acclaim after a third season slump thanks to some major twists and turns. The first half of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 saw June, Janine, and the rest of their fellow Handmaid’s still on the run, taking shelter at a farm owned by Commander Keyes and his teenaged wife, Esther, played by Grace. Esther was a mix of sadistic controlling behaviors and someone searching for a mother figure to protect her.
Unfortunately, when June is captured, she gives up her friend’s locations to protect her daughter, Hannah, and Esther is forced to go to the Red Center and begin training as a Handmaid. While June eventually escapes to Canada, and much of the season revolves around her trying to reconcile her new life with the lingering trauma from Gilead, Esther and Janine both find themselves in Aunt Lydia’s grasp once again. The end of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 saw Esther acclimating to the rigid structure of the Red Center, but it was unclear whether or not her and Janine had another escape plan up their sleeves.
In an interview with THR, Grace revealed that she’s not sure what Janine and Esther are up to either. When the young actress signed on for the show, she only came onboard for a few episodes. Still, Grace hopes to return for season 5 to follow-up on that season ending cliffhanger. Ultimately, if she isn’t asked back, Grace says she is happy with how her turn in the show came out, but even Handmaid’s Tale creator Bruce Miller has hinted that they might return.
It’s Handmaid’s, if they want me back for another episode, I would be honored!
Grace’s return would be welcome on The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 – Esther Keyes quickly became a fan-favorite addition to the series and there’s already a surefire way to ensure that she stays onboard. Hulu has purchased the right to Atwood’s sequel, The Testaments, a novel that follows Aunt Lydia’s exploits in the Red Center and a pair of subversive Aunt’s in training who hope to overthrow Gilead. While Esther isn’t a character in the book, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Miller and co. to write around that, finding a way to fit Esther into the plot.
What remains unclear is whether or not Hulu will adapt The Testaments as a separate series or integrate the novel’s plot into The Handmaid’s Tale itself. It seems like a smarter decision to do the latter, as the show is already a well-recognized hit. There’s also the title to consider when it comes to bringing back Esther – what is The Handmaid’s Tale without its titular Handmaid’s? With June in Canada and no longer controlled by Gilead, Esther and Janine would be the perfect characters to give the audience a peek behind the curtain in the theocratic country without disrupting the natural flow of the story.