In The Handmaid’s Tale, it is clear that Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger) wants to take down Gilead. The character was first introduced in the show’s second season, and in season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale, he was instrumental in the arrest of Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).
Despite his loyalty to the U.S., the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale has shown that Mark might have some questionable motives when it comes to achieving justice. Jaeger confirmed this and hinted his character might stray closer to “the dark side” as The Handmaid’s Tale continues.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 4 episode 7 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]
Mark Tuello wants to keep Serena Waterford on his side in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
In the season 3 finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, Mark had Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) arrested for arranging the rape of June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) and Nick Blaine (Max Minghella) in order to claim their child, Nichole.
This marked the first time Mark saw Serena for who she actually is, as before he thought she was a victim of Gilead. Throughout the fourth season, Mark attempts to keep Serena as an “ally” for as long as possible.
“He knows how powerful Serena is. He knows that if anybody is capable of getting Fred to give over information about Gilead, it’s her. He wants to hold onto her as an ally, as long as he can. This is a complicated allegiance,” Jaeger told TV Insider. “Serena is becoming more dangerous to Mark with each episode.”
At the end of season 4 episode 7, “Home,” Mark allows June to visit Serena. Jaeger told TV Insider that Mark did this to try and push Serena toward redemption.
“He believes June, and he understands Serena,” the actor said. “He wanted to shake loose that part of Serena that he believes is still good. It’s maybe not the best way to do it, to have a woman who is as fiery as any person should be in the same room as her captor.”
Mark Tuello might turn to ‘the dark side’ in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
When it comes to justice, it seems that Mark looks at the big picture versus the lives of individuals. Despite June’s trauma and fragile mental state, he pushes for her to debrief about her time in Gilead and encourages her intense confrontation with Serena.
“I think he’s trying to hold on to some semblance of control and navigate to the benefit of what he thinks is right on the whole in the world: to rescue as many people from the oppression of Gilead as possible,” Jaeger told TV Insider. “What lengths he goes to make that happen, I think he even questions in himself by the end.”
He continued, “We see more of Mark struggling to do what’s right, even though he’s going to have to take a couple of steps under the dark side to do it.”
This is not the first time Sam Jaeger has teased his character’s allegiance
In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Jaeger discussed Mark’s motivations in the latter half of the fourth season. According to the actor, season 4 episode 9 of The Handmaid’s Tale will show a shift in the character.
“By the time episode 9 came around, I thought ‘Oh, oh, that’s an interesting angle. I saw that. I knew he was capable of this, but I didn’t know that they would take this switch that he does,’” Jaeger said.
New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere every Wednesday on Hulu.
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