Apple TV’s Servant
Episode 2: “Wood”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Tony Basgallop
* For a recap & review of the premiere, “Reborn” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Eel” – click here
Sean has just found living baby Jericho in his crib, and now Dorothy’s come home. She hears the child, though doesn’t act any different seeing as how she’s believed he was alive the entire time. The husband and wife are experiencing dissonance between their perspectives. He’s amazed and frightened. She’s acting like nothing’s changed. He goes right to the nanny, questioning her: “Whose baby is that?” The young lady doesn’t seem to know what he’s on about, driving Sean further into paranoid terror.
At dinner, Sean asks his wife where she found the nanny. Dorothy says she put a “shout out on her Twitter” and then a series of people connected her with Leanne. Not so out there for this postmodern world. Yet there’s mystery. Later, Sean gives Julian a call, desperately needing advice.
Sean gets rid of the wood and twine cross, not wanting any of Leanne’s occult religion to infect the house any further than it has so far. Late in the night, he tries to leave the house with Jericho in tow. He puts in the security code for the house’s system, somehow getting it wrong three times, like the code’s been changed. And it sets off the alarm, bringing Dorothy downstairs, as well as Leanne.
Where was he really planning to go? And why didn’t the code work for him?
Leanne looks after Jericho while Dorothy goes off to her reporter job, and Sean remains at home working. He gets a nasty splinter to start the day off. Then he looks into his wife’s files. He sees the letter Leanne wrote to Dorothy applying for the job. All he gets is a paper cut for his trouble.
Sean calls Julian, telling him to drop by. The brother-in-law is astonished to see Jericho’s alive and well again, no longer a reborn doll. He and Sean talk about where the baby could’ve come from, believing it was swapped by the nanny. Julian thinks it could potentially have been Dorothy that “snatched a baby,” which Sean won’t immediately consider. They’re sure it’s a kidnapped child, not entertaining that the truth could be far, far darker.
The relationship between the married couple has been deteriorating, too. “A year without pussy” has driven Sean to be a whiny boy, while Dorothy’s mostly been trying to piece her mental health back together after the pregnancy + the loss of their child. That evening, they’re hosting Julian for his birthday. Sean and his brother-in-law sneak off to talk about the potentially kidnapped baby. Julian heard about a kid snatched recently, only making their paranoia worse.
Before dinner, he suggests his sister should have a healthy suspicion of anybody they’ve brought in to live/work in their house. He also gets her to bring Leanne down, making it seem like he’s maybe romantically interested, to get an idea of the nanny and if she’s possibly a psychopath. So Leanne comes down, dressed nicely, and joins them for a supper of mussels and even a small drink for a toast.
They all eat, though Sean is more critical of his wife’s cooking than anyone else at the table. Julian does what he can to get Leanne talking about herself. The nanny mentions her favourite places to go nearby. Sean’s suddenly having troubles tasting anything. He won’t stop coughing, either. He gets up from the table and goes to the sink, where he coughs up a splinter, like the bunch he’d gotten earlier. He blames it on the spoon Dorothy used while making sauce for the mussels. She’s in the kitchen, near catatonic at the fridge. Sean pushes her to remember what happened to Jericho, to accept it so they might move on somehow. Seconds later she snaps out of it, back to ‘normal’ again. She goes upstairs to take Jericho on her lap, though, as usual, she looks off.
What the hell’s going on in that house?
A nice, weird follow-up to the first episode. Many strange things occurring.
Father Gore can’t wait for more eerie madness.
“Eel” is next.