Brought to Apple TV+ by M. Night Shyamalan, Servant season 1 concludes by attempting to answer some of the ongoing mysteries involving the Turner family...
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
...Before the start of the series, baby Jericho Turner passed away when his exhausted mother accidently left him in a car during a heatwave. In an attempt to protect the mental well-being of his wife, Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) finds an emotional replacement. So, instead of nursing a living newborn, Dorothy Turner (Lauren Ambrose) finds comfort in an eerily realistic doll. Neglecting to inform most of their friends and family about the death of the baby, the couple continues their lives as if they were never touched by heartbreak. While looking for a nanny, the mysterious Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) arrives and she holds a secret about her past and her connection to Dorothy Turner. Shortly after the servant’s arrival the inanimate doll becomes a living, breathing infant, whom both parents find themselves loving. Brother-in-law Julian Pearce (Rupert Grint) knows about the death of Jericho and remains suspicious of Leanne, her past, and her stubborn Uncle George. However, Julian will fight for Dorothy to keep the baby regardless of its origin. Now with the final episode will we find out why Leanne came to the Turners? Why did the baby come back to life? What does Leanne’s uncle want from her?
If you cringed at the gross ingredients Sean prepared in previous episodes, then this segment will probably push you over the edge. “Balloon” begins with the chef preparing a lavish dessert tower with the secret ingredient being Jericho’s placenta. Sean claims the addition of the placenta adds nutritional value to the dish, but he also fails to educate even his sous chef about including the organ. Letting his guests consume something that used to be part of Dorothy and Jericho signifies the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
For the first time during the show the house becomes invaded with people. Instead of the measly cast wandering thru the massive home, the pre-baptismal crowd fill every inch of the house which removes the lonely and empty feelings which filled all previous episodes. The director John Dahl (Dexter, Joy Ride) uses light and shadow to represent who withholds information and who has nothing to hide. Or at least thinks they have nothing to hide. Julian and Natalie (Jerrika Hinton) have a whispered conversation in the darkened doorway as they express their feelings of guilt and the topic continues in the shadowy kitchen as Sean and his brother-in-law discuss the anxiety they feel over lying to everyone in the church. Dorothy, on the other hand, gleefully speaks in well-lit rooms as she remains unaware of ever killing her baby. Only when glancing at the toy doll of one of the young party goers, does Dorothy’s face fall into the shadows as she seems to subconsciously remember caring for a fake baby.
A lot of the loose plot lines become discussed in private conversations in the wine cellar or in the nursery when two unexpected guests crash the party. Leanne and her Aunt May (Allison Elliot) discuss the importance of righteousness upstairs, while the men, Sean and Uncle George (Boris McGiver) unpack all that is wrong with the nanny. Leanne never died in the fire and instead went to live with her Aunt and Uncle after her parents passed, but for her entire childhood she only wanted one person: Dorothy. The brief encounter with Dorothy during an on-air interview left a mark on Leanne and she wanted nothing but to please the kind TV reporter. When Jericho died, Leanne wanted to help the Turners. However, the nanny’s family does not agree with her act of kindness because the Turners do not follow a righteous path. I’m not entirely sure all our questions are answered because the reason for the living baby still remains unclear as well as the relationship between Leanne and the two people posing as her aunt and uncle. The aunt actually provides further mystery when it becomes clear she shares a past with Dorothy as well.
Apple Tv+ announced awhile back a second season of Servant will continue the story of the Turner family and the rest of the small cast. However, based on the ending of episode 10 right now it is hard to conceive of how the story will resume next fall. As the season ends, Leanne calmly walks away from the Turner’s house and becomes embraced back into the cult she had escaped. And despite all of the efforts put forth by Sean and Julian to protect Dorothy, she finally remembers Jericho dying and the last shot shows her running to pick up her baby, but only finding a lifeless doll. Without Leanne around all of the supernatural occurrences within the home seem to disappear, so what could season two provide the Turners? Will they try to track down the cult to get back Leanne? Will Dorothy recover now that she must acknowledge her baby is dead? If Leanne is the servant of George and May, what will they make her do? It will be awhile until we can expect new episodes of Servant, but Shyamalan gives us plenty to think about until then.
What did you think of the first season of Servant? Let us know in the comments below!
By Amylou Ahava
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