Apple TV’s Servant
Season 1, Episode 6: “Rain”
Directed by Alexis Ostrander
Written by Tony Basgallop
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Cricket” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Haggis” – click here
Sean’s getting ready to fly out for an event. Dorothy answers the door for mail, discovering a letter addressed to Leanne. The Turners leave so the chef can catch his plane while the nanny checks out the first letter that’s arrived since she came to Philadelphia. There’s a card inside. All it says is FOUND YOU! No, not ominous one bit, right? So, was Leanne fleeing Wisconsin when she left? Sounds like it. More than that, it sounds like she ran from someone or something specific.
Not long later, Uncle George (Boris McGiver) shows up at the door. “Hello, my little flower,” he greets Leanne. Immediately he’d like to see Jericho, taking the child in his arms. Definitely eerie. When Dorothy’s home from work later she finds the card sent to her nanny, suspicious of the weird message. She goes upstairs and meets Uncle George, who says he’s only here for the day. He’s brought something for Jericho: an odd chef’s figurine, carved out of elm.
When Sean calls he finds out about the uncle and doesn’t like it. He knows there’s something not quite right with the Grayson family. Although Dorothy ignores his paranoia, sitting to the table with the nanny and her uncle. George forces them to join hands as he says grace, under his breath like a creep. He then wipes the sauce off his chicken and squeezes it until it’s dry again. His entire demeanour’s unsettling. Soon he says Leanne will have to go back to Wisconsin due to “issues back home.” That doesn’t sit well with Dorothy. She’s unwilling to let her nanny go so easily.
Julian shows up at the door— he got a call from his brother-in-law. He gets pretty aggressive with Uncle George while Dorothy and Leanne are out of the room. He wants more info, knowing this man and his family are deeply strange. Again he gets nothing.
After supper, George wants to leave. He and Leanne will catch a train in the morning. But Dorothy insists they stay the night, as Julian urges her it isn’t a good idea. He’s sure George is behind this “whole thing.” Dorothy’s busy attempting to talk the uncle into letting his niece stay there. George exhibits stranger behaviour, like knowing Dorothy’s mother used to call her Dottie. Yes, there are extra weird things going on with him.
Dorothy breaks out a contract for Leanne, believing this is what will keep the nanny there. She does what she can to butter the young lady up, explaining she’s like “one of the family.” Problem is, Leanne knows George will force her to go and doesn’t think anything will change his mind.
In the night, Julian goes to see that Uncle George is nowhere to be found. He goes to tell Dorothy, then they look around the house. They hear Jericho cry, and stumble onto an unnerving sight: George curled up sleeping in the crib. Julian wants to toss him out, whereas his sister figures they should wait until the morning, in case this puts Leanne out on the street with her uncle. So, so creepy.
In the morning, everybody sits at the table for breakfast. Dorothy puts on a Christian cross and leads grace in an effort to impress George and, hopefully, keep Leanne around. Doesn’t make anything better than George speaks in what sounds like tongues rather than saying a traditional grace.
When George is ready to go he wants to take his niece. Leanne tells him directly she’d like to stay. The uncle gets angry, telling the girl she has responsibilities. He relents and leaves. He says next time he’ll bring Aunt May so that the niece won’t be able to refuse. He walks out and tells them all: “This is a godless house.” At least the nanny gets to stay.
But is that ultimately a good thing?
And is Uncle George really leaving? So many mysteries.
“He is smiling down on us all today”
Another truly unsettling chapter in Servant.
Many things are building up and soon we’ll need some of that to come together, or snap, or bend, or whatever. Great series. Father Gore’s just itching for at least a couple answers to trickle out. Though it seems that may happen very late in the game.
And that’s fine, too.
“Haggis” is next.