If you’re forced to hang out in Gilead, and you’ve had your rights and humanity stripped away, there’s probably not much to look forward to. But who better than Oprah Winfrey to be a beacon of hope in an otherwise desolate dystopia?
Perhaps that’s what The Handmaid’s Tale was thinking when they signed up Oprah for a cameo in the latest episode of Hulu’s hit show.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Episode 11 below**
In Season 2 Episode 11, "Holly," Oprah, an Elisabeth Moss-professed fan of the show, can be heard loud and clear broadcasting over "Radio Free America."
The scene occurs when Offred/June (Moss) -- who’s very pregnant at this point and very much alone after being left at the house where she was momentarily reunited with her daughter (and having just passed a potentialy huge easter egg)-- resourcefully finds herself behind the wheel of a car. Which is quite a coup for someone in her situation, but that doesn’t mean she can’t use a little pep talk. And we all know that Oprah is the Queen of the Pep Talk.
Offred somehow finds the keys to the car, and defies all odds by getting it to turn over! But even more miraculous: Oprah is “broadcasting from somewhere in the Great White North."
Golden-throated DJ Oprah then reveals some uplifting info about the American government in Anchorage, Alaska recieving economic aid coming from India and China; additional U.K. sanctions on Gilead; and plans to “raise the cap on American refugees relocating to Canada.” Then she tables up a “tune to remind everyone who’s listening – American patriot or Gilead traitor – we’re still here. Stars and stripes forever baby.”
And boom, Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” rocks June’s world.
While speaking to Variety, showrunner Bruce Miller explained how the cameo came to be. “We’d heard Oprah was a fan of the show, and had a story idea, and thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if… So we asked and she said yes, and it was a lovely, easy process,” said Miller. “The radio segment she recorded was inspired by the free radio of the Allies from World War II. It was an absolute honor to have Oprah featured on the show, and especially thrilling as she was the one who presented us with the Emmy [for Outstanding Drama Series] last year.”
Will June be yet another downtrodden fighter inspired by Oprah to take control of her life and drive that rig North? You’ll have to tune into the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, available for streaming now on Hulu, to find out.