Mckenna Grace, who played Esther in the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, intends to return for the fifth season. After a third-season dip, the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s iconic dystopian novel saw a rebound in critical acclaim thanks to several big twists and turns.
June, Janine, and the rest of the Handmaids were still on the run in the first half of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4, taking refuge at a farm owned by Commander Keyes and his teenaged wife, Esther, played by Grace. Esther was a strange blend of cruel control and the need for a mother figure to protect her.
Unfortunately, Esther is required to go to the Red Center and begin training as a Handmaid after June is arrested and gives up her friend’s locations to protect her daughter, Hannah. While June eventually leaves to Canada, where she spends much of the season attempting to reconcile her new life with the lingering pain from Gilead, Esther and Janine both fall back into Aunt Lydia’s hands.
Esther was acclimating to the tight structure of the Red Center by the end of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4, but it remained unclear whether she and Janine had another escape plan up their sleeves.
Grace claimed in an interview with THR that she has no idea what Janine and Esther are up to. The teenage actress was only supposed to be on the show for a few episodes until she signed on. Grace, on the other hand, wants to return for Season 5 in order to complete the season’s cliffhanger. Grace says she is content with how her role in the series turned out if she isn’t asked back, but Handmaid’s Tale writer Bruce Miller has indicated that they might return. “It’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’d be thrilled to return for another episode!“
It’s unknown whether Hulu will adapt The Testaments as a standalone series or integrate the premise of the novel into The Handmaid’s Tale. It appears that doing the latter is the better option, as the show is already a big hit. When it comes to bringing Esther back, there’s also the title to consider : what is The Handmaid’s Tale without her titular Handmaid’s?
Esther and Janine would be the ideal characters to provide the audience a glimpse behind the curtain in the theocratic country without breaking the natural flow of the tale now that June is in Canada and no longer under Gilead’s control.