Entertainment TV Elisabeth Moss Says Alexis Bledel's 'Handmaid's Tale' Exit Wasn't Easy 'to Handle' The first episode of The Handmaid's Tale season 5 explained Alexis Bledel's absence By Kelly Wynne Kelly Wynne Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 14, 2022 11:33 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season 5 premiere of The Handmaid's Tale. Elisabeth Moss has big feelings about her Handmaid's Tale costar's exit. After Alexis Bledel announced she wouldn't return as Ofglen (later known as Emily) for season 5 of the dystopian Hulu series, Moss, 40, spoke out about the Gilmore Girls alum's absence. "I love Alexis. I've known Alexis for years, back from our Mad Men days. So, I love her very much," Moss told Entertainment Tonight. "We were very sad that she couldn't join us this year, but I think she's spectacular." The actress, who plays June Osborne on the series added, "it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to handle, I'll be honest with you, because she's such a great, fantastic part of the show." The Handmaid's Tale Renewed for Sixth and Final Season Ahead of Season 5 Premiere George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock Moss also said she thinks Bledel's departure "was handled in a really good way." The season 5 premiere explained Bledel's absence by saying the woman, who previously escaped Gilead, had returned to the land of her captors to "fight." Sylvia (Clea DuVall) tells Moss her wife left "to find Aunt Lydia if she can. It's what she needed to do." The way Bledel's character left made sense to Moss. "She makes some wild choices and so I think the idea of her going back into Gilead's very realistic," Moss added. "And it gave us the opportunity, which I really liked, to juxtapose that with June because June is constantly wrestling with whether or not to go back. And so, it gave us the opportunity to show what that looks like when you leave your family." Elisabeth Moss Says She Doesn't Want to Be 'Cagey' About Ties to Scientology: I'm an 'Open Book' Bledel, 40, announced her exit in May. "After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time," she said in a statement first published by Variety. "I am forever grateful to [executive producer] Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support." Miller confirmed to ET that the door is open should Bledel choose to return to season 6 — which has been confirmed as The Handmaid's Tale's last. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. New episodes of The Handmaid's Tale drop Wednesdays on Hulu.