Apple TV’s Servant
Season 1, Episode 5: “Cricket”
Directed by Nimród Antal
Written by Tony Basgallop
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Bear” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Rain” – click here
An envelope slips under the door for Leanne. It’s filled with money. She gets up for the day to Sean telling her to go get Dorothy. His wife’s not feeling too well, acting kookier than usual. Dorothy snaps out of it, then starts saying her husband’s been nicer than normal lately. She thinks Sean has “done something he shouldn‘t have” or wants something. Leanne doesn’t think hubby would have an affair, which Dorothy never contemplated until now.
The nanny finds out that this week will be a little different at the Turner house. She’ll be spending more time alone with Jericho than normal, with the chef out. She does have eyes on her. Roscoe’s on the street watching. The nanny’s no dummy. She’s keen.
Back at the house, Leanne sees the door open a little. There’s a noise inside. She discovers Tobe downstairs. He isn’t the one who left the door open, having used a different entrance with a code Sean gave him. The commis chef is down there chopping meat. He shows Leanne a box of crickets— more unusual ingredients.
A knock on the door: a woman called Wanda (S.J. Son), and the girl she watches, Olivia, brought the baby carriage with Jericho in it, urging Leanne not to leave it/the child unattended. The two young women get to know each other, somewhat. Wanda’s a bit distracted with her phone. She has to run somewhere suddenly and leaves Olivia with Leanne for an hour.
To pass the time, Leanne and Olivia play hide and seek. The little girl goes looking for a place to hide, then the nanny counts down. Leanne goes into the basement looking, finding a bunch of baby clothes. She hears footsteps upstairs and rushes to Olivia, who tells her a man was in the house. Yikes! This leaves the nanny weirded out. Eventually, Wanda comes back for the girl and leaves again. And still Leanne’s unsettled by someone having been in the house.
That night, Dorothy sends the nanny on an errand for cake, after cruelly faking her out with the possibility of there already being cake. What a jerk! The young lady returns later with cake. She goes upstairs with a piece for Dorothy, hearing the lady of the house moaning in ecstasy. Is Mrs. Turner alone in there? Sounds like it’s only her— tomorrow, she’ll claim she and Sean had an “early night.” At the moment it disturbs the nanny, who goes straight for the Bible in her room.
Things get stranger for Leanne when she goes to look for Wanda, telling the woman who owns the place across the street she met her nanny and daughter. The woman says she doesn’t have any children, throwing Leanne into confusion. Who’d she meet? When she gets back to the Turner house, she hears noise upstairs again. It’s Roscoe, snooping around the place for clues about the nanny. He slips out as she hides.
Leanne takes one of the old baby outfits from the cellar to put on Jericho, which pisses Sean off. Later the husband talks to his brother-in-law with Julian suggesting to freeze the nanny out of the house, literally. Upstairs at night, she prays more, reading the Bible where she’s marking names: first Dorothy, now Sean. She keeps finding crickets everywhere, too. She brings them back down to their box, placing them inside.
Note on biblical allusions: Jericho is obviously connected with the Bible, and there are other religious connotations throughout Servant so far, but the name itself is very compelling because there was a curse placed upon anybody who’d try to rebuild Jericho, after its wall was torn down, which makes Father Gore think that Dorothy and Sean have cursed themselves somehow by attempting to ‘rebuild’ their son, Jericho.
Leanne meets up with Wanda and Olivia. She’s more standoff-ish this time. She’s caught up in the lie Dorothy told, sending her off to get cake while really just wanting to get laid. Then Olivia starts to cough, because she’s eaten the lobster ice cream from the fridge. “Who sent you?” the nanny questions Wanda. She finds out Julian’s the one who set it all up. All it took was nearly murdering a little girl with shellfish.
That night, Sean comes to Leanne’s room looking for her help. He’s preparing crickets with a sugary reduction. He wants the nanny to test one out. She tells him of a family superstition, that when a cricket comes into your home it meant “something bad was coming.” She goes ahead and chews on the insect anyway, noting it’s similar to “caramel popcorn.” Yum! Sean has an odd relationship with her, simultaneously needing her to help with his weird culinary dishes and also feeling deep distrust for her. Later, in her room, Leanne flagellates herself, engaging in mortification of the flesh. More eerie religious stuff. She’s trying to whip out that sin.
WHO IS THIS YOUNG LADY?
Another biblical note: Crickets appear in Leviticus 11:22, specifically in relation to creatures that are allowed to be consumed— just something to think on going ahead.
Very creepy episode. So many threads, all leading back to this nanny.
But something, or someone, is soon going to snap, and hard.
“Rain” is next.