The Handmaid’s Tale nears its finale, plus Samira Wiley on Moira’s life in Canada

Samira Wiley
Photo: Elly Dassas (Hulu)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Wednesday, August 7. All times are Eastern. 

Top pick

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, 3:01 a.m.): We’re coming up on the end of another season of The Handmaid’s Tale, and at long last, Moira is back.

Liz Shannon Miller will recap today’s eventful episode, but first, a brief conversation with Samira Wiley, who offered some insight into Moira’s life north of the border, her character’s friendship with Emily, and what she watches at the end of a long day of work.

The A.V. Club: How would you characterize Moira’s relationship with Emily at this point?

Samira Wiley: I think it’s a really, really deep connection. I think that Emily lands in Canada, and Moira and Luke have two completely different reactions to this woman being dropped into their world. Emily represents lots of things that are bigger than her, and to Luke, she represents where his wife is. Being around her is very hard for him. For Moira, it’s almost the exact opposite. Finally, she’s able to have someone in her life [who understands]. There’s an understanding between them, because of their shared trauma. It’s also familiar, because she knows what her transition to Canada was like. She knows the things that she needed and that she didn’t get. She’s able to sort of rectify the things that happened to her, for Emily. She’s able to be that welcome community for Emily. I’m just excited to be able to show that female friendship on screen.

AVC: What effect does that have on Moira?

SW: Emily represents lots and lots of things for Moira. Emily, actually along with baby Nichole, is giving Moira a place to channel her energy, and her empathy, and all of the things that she maybe she thought that she lost: Her ability to love her, all of that. So she brings out lots of things in her.

AVC: Seeing someone who was understandably struggling so much to find herself in a position to care for others was very affecting.

SW: That was really moving and gratifying [for me]. I just want to emphasize that these are things that Moira thought that she didn’t have anymore. In season two, she comes to Canada and she can’t even be Moira anymore. She’s in that club. “What’s your name? It’s Ruby,” you know? We see that episode when she’s lost her fiancée, where she’s lost hope. And finally, there are these people that can come into her life that she can actually care for. It’s remarkable actually, that journey this season, to be able to do that with Emily and with baby Nichole. It’s very moving to me.

AVC: What does recovery look like for Moira?

SW: There’s that line this season—“There’s no happily ever after, there’s just after.” It’s a real gut punch, but there is an after. It’s not just an empty void. So what recovery looks like for these women—I think that they’re trying to figure that out the entire time. They’re figuring that out every day. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a roadmap? They’re having to do this for the very first time, but they can learn to lean on each other.

AVC: Watching this show can be pretty difficult, but I imagine shooting it can be even harder. When you get home after a rough day, what do you want to watch? What’s your comfort food?

SW: South Park. One hundred percent. I mean, if I’m not watching South Park, I’m watching CNN, and that’s not healthy. You just need something to make you laugh. I either watch South Park or FaceTime my wife.

Wild card

Bulletproof (The CW, 8 p.m., U.S. series premiere): Noel Clarke (Doctor Who) and Ashley Walters (Speed Racer) co-created this British action series, which centers on two undercover cops with very different life experiences.

Go get ’em, Mickey.

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