The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most popular shows out there, with season three now streaming on Hulu. There are all sorts of characters, from Commanders to Handmaids, from wives in Gilead to refugees in Canada. One Handmaid in particular has proven to be especially important: Ofglen. Full name: Dr. Emily Malek, Ph.D.
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The Top 10 Ofglen Facts Every Handmaids Fan Should Know
Oflgen is one of June’s friends and receives special attention, with many of the episodes focusing in part or in whole on her. As such, it is important to understand Emily as fans watch the latest season. Be warned if you aren’t caught up yet: there are spoilers ahead!
10. Oflgen is played by Alexis Bledel.
Bledel’s full name is Kimberly Alexis Bledel, though she goes by Alexis. She was born in Houston, Texas on September 16, 1981. She was initially a very shy girl, though performing in community theater productions helped her overcome her stage fright. In high school, Bledel became a model, then attended NYU to study film. In 2000, she was cast as Rory in Gilmore Girls, which kick-started her career. She has performed in television, film, and stage productions ever since. Bledel is married with one son.
9. She is part of the resistance.
At the beginning of season one, it is revealed that Ofglen is part of Mayday, an underground resistance in Gilead. She recruits June to help her in their fight. They are walking partners when Emily reveals that she had a wife and son before the government takeover. This motivates her decision to fight Gilead, a battle that is relentless. She is the most vocal opponent of Gilead among all the Handmaids, even when it gets her in trouble.
8. It is near-impossible for her to keep a Commander.
Oflgen struggles with her duties as a Handmaid, which makes it difficult for her to stay in any household. As a result, she has gone by multiple different names. Servicing Commander Deeds, she is the first handmaid in the series to be referred to as Ofglen. In Commander Scott’s household, she is Ofsteven. Then, she is Ofroy in Commander Roy’s household, and finally, she is Ofjoseph in Commander Lawrence’s home.
7. Gilead considers her a “gender traitor.”
Emily is referred to as a gender traitor because she is a lesbian. Before Gilead, she is married to her partner Sylvia. They have a son, to whom Emily gave birth, named Oliver. When they try to travel to Canada, where Sylvia is a citizen, Emily is stopped at the airport because she is an American and she is the one who had Oliver. Gilead caught her as a gender traitor when she had an affair with her household’s Martha, who was executed.
6. She takes drastic measures to end her suffering.
Emily is miserable after she is forced to undergo clitoridectomy to prevent enjoyment of sex and moved to a new household. Assuming she will be killed if she does something bad enough, which would end her suffering in Gilead, Emily reveals her real name to the other handmaids at the marketplace and then steals a car. She runs over a Guardian, killing him. Then, she is forcibly removed from the car and taken away by other Guardians.
5. Emily was Sent to the Colonies.
Often used as a threat to keep people in line, the Colonies are deadly work camps where women are forced to endure radiation poisoning while performing strenuous manual labor. The work is incredibly difficult, and the women struggle to survive. Every day, there are new injuries and illnesses, and there is a flow of new prisoners as old ones die. It is a barren landscape with toxic air, an orange sky starkly different from Gilead.
4. She kills a Commander’s wife.
One of the new prisoners who arrives from Gilead is Mrs. O’Conner, who was a Commander’s wife. The other workers in the Colonies reject her because of her former position, but Emily extends an olive branch—at least, she seems to. The two women talk, and Emily learns that Mrs. O’Conner had an affair. Emily gives her “antibiotics” to help her survive the difficult climate, but when Mrs. O’Conner is seen throwing up, the audience learns it was something deadly.
3. Her life as Ofjoseph is unexpected.
When Emily goes to Commander Lawrence’s home, she expects it to be like every other house in Gilead… but she couldn’t be more wrong. It is full of books and banned artifacts, and Emily is not punished when she is caught reading one. He serves Emily beer and knows about her family, despite Mrs. Lawrence saying the Commander is responsible for the Colonies. He refuses Emily when she presents herself for the Ceremony, but lies and says it happened.
2. Ofglen stabs Aunt Lydia.
Aunt Lydia is one of the audience’s least favorite characters. She is cruel, calculating, and annoying. It was only a matter of time before one of the Handmaids fought back. After the night of the nonexistent Ceremony with Commander Lawrence, Aunt Lydia visits and lectures Emily because she won’t talk. In doing so, Aunt Lydia chooses to mock the genital mutilation she forced Emily to endure. Furious, Emily stabs Aunt Lydia in the back.
1. Emily is alive… in Canada.
The beginning of season three reveals that Emily’s escape was successful. Commander Lawrence, a member of the resistance, helps her escape, where she meets up with June. June has the Waterford family’s baby and gives her to Emily, requesting that she call the baby Nichole. Without June, Emily and Nichole manage to escape across the border and find Luke, Moira, and other Americans who made it to Canada.