There Were 2 Major (& Unexpected) Cameos in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Episode 6

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

There’s a lot to process after watching the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s the whole Nicole situation, the muzzles and the fact that Nick (Max Minghella) isn’t at all who we thought he was. But among all of the international drama, there were not one, but two surprising celebrity cameos you may have missed.

OK, think back to when Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) and Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) arrived at High Commander Winslow’s house. Now, we know it was really dark in that living room for some reason but guess who plays Commander Winslow? Christopher Meloni of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit!

christopher meloni on red carpet
Rich Polk/Getty Images

The 58-year-old actor played NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU for the show’s first 12 seasons. Remember when he was Detective Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) partner? Yep, that’s him.

Meloni also played inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz and currently stars in the Syfy series Happy.

Who was the other cameo, you might wonder? Well, let’s just say her résumé is a little haunting. *Drumroll, please*

elizabeth reaser handmaids tale

Elisabeth Reaser appeared as High Commander Winslow’s wife, Olivia, in the new episode. You might remember her as funeral home director Shirley Crain from the hit Netflix horror series Haunting of Hill House. She also stars in the new (and far less scary) Netflix show, Easy.

Meloni and Reaser may be friendly faces, but as far as their characters go, June (Elisabeth Moss), the Waterfords and Rita (Amanda Brugel) might want to watch out. Between their many, many children and their mouth-wired-shut Handmaid, we have a feeling they’re bad news.

Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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