The Handmaid’s Tale: Could Nick And His Wife Rose Actually Get Separated In Gilead? Here’s What Creator Bruce Miller Told Us

Nick in custody in The Handmaid's Tale
(Image credit: Hulu)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 5 finale of The Handmaid’s Tale. 

The streaming services are constantly competing, and Hulu has been putting out a ton of TV and film content. We recently wrapped up The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, which is the penultimate installment of the property. The finale was full of cliffhangers, with Nick in Gilead custody and his wife Rose seemingly ready for a divorce. But could Nick and Rose actually end up separated under Gilead rules? Here’s what The Handmaid’s Tale creator Bruce Miller told us.

Nick’s wife Rose is played by actress Carey Cox throughout Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale (opens in new tab), and she was one of the most intriguing new characters. Namely because she knew about his history with June, and his role in Waterford’s death. But the finale episode “Safe” saw Rose confronting her husband after he punched Lawrence and signed a new deal with the Americans. She claims she doesn’t want to be married to Max Minghella’s character, but how would that work? I had the privilege of speaking with The Handmaid’s Tale writer/creator Bruce Miller about this plot line, where he explained that a separation is indeed possible. As he put it,

I think there’s such a thing as a Gilead separation as the same thing with lots of people in Edwardian times or before that. When there weren’t any divorces in England who lived completely separate lives.

Now that’s interesting. While the idea of Gilead divorce doesn’t exist, it seems possible that high ranking members of society might be able to quietly separate. It remains to be seen if this will actually play out in the sixth season of The Handmaid’s Tale, or if Nick and Rose will try and make it work despite the way June keeps factoring into their relationship. 

Carey Cox appeared in five episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale this season as Rose Blaine. And I have to admit that I’m still curious to know more about her relationship with Nick, and how much she knows about the June situation. In our conversation Bruce Miller revealed how/why they found each other in Gilead, telling me:

The character of Rose has a disability in real life. And we made that character disabled in the show, because we don’t see very many people in Gilead who are disabled in the because they won't let those children live. So I think that being another outsider is the basis of their good relationship. They’re both people who feel like they're a square peg in a round hole in Gilead.

Indeed, another reason why Rose is such an intriguing character is because she’s the only disabled person we’ve seen in a position of power at Gilead. As Bruce Miller shared, Carey Cox herself is living with a disability, with her Instagram bio referring to herself as a “Ehlers Danlos babe.” The actress has shared what it was like working on the set, and how Hulu made sure she was advocated for throughout the long and grueling filming process. And it sounds like Rose and Nick’s sense of other-ness is what helped to bring them together as a couple. 

Rose Blaine visiting Nick in jail in The Handmaid's Tale

(Image credit: Hulu)

Gilead seems like a dangerous place for someone like Rose, but it was revealed in Season 5 that her father is a high ranking Commander. Still, we’ve seen other wives’ jealousy of her pregnancy, and ableist comments made right in front of her face. Later in our conversation, Bruce Miller explained how the Blaine family is able to be more progressive than some of their peers, saying:

Nick has his task as a real part of the revolution, and Rose has her family to protect her. So I think they can both be a little bit radical and I think that’s why they found each other.

With Season 6 of The Handmaid’s Tale being the show’s final entry for those with a Hulu subscription, the stakes certainly feel high for the entire ensemble of characters. It’s unclear if Carey Cox will be back as Rose, but it certainly seems logical. Unless Nick is actually being punished for hitting Bradley Whitfod’s Commander Lawrence. But with so many questions still surrounding Nick’s wife, hopefully we’ll get more of the Blaines.

The Handmaid’s Tale is currently streaming all five seasons on Hulu, and it’s unclear when the show will return for Season 6. In the meantime, check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch. And luckily for fans of the dystopian drama, a spinoff is coming, adapting Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel The Testaments

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.