Apple TV’s Servant
Season 1, Episode 8: “Boba”
Directed by Lisa Brühlmann
Written by Tony Basgallop
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Haggis” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Jericho” – click here
What IS that, anyway?
Are we seeing something from the fateful day Jericho died?
Julian drops by to babysit for Sean and Dorothy while they go out to an awards ceremony, because he nanny’s going on a date with commis chef Tobe. He tells his brother-in-law about how he sold their lies to Natalie about the fake adoption story. Natalie, obviously, worries about “psychological damage” long-term. Neither Julian nor Sean have fully considered that. Then again, they’re both psychologically broken, as well.
When everyone’s gone Julian calls Roscoe to keep somebody watching the nanny. He then heads for the cellar to start drinking. He smokes a bowl of weed and goes to the fridge for leftovers. He heads upstairs, calling out to try and get a noise from the baby. He goes into Jericho’s room and sees the child face down. He frantically grabs the kid, realising it’s the reborn doll. And he rushes off throughout the house searching for any sign of the previously real baby. He can’t find anything, screaming into the empty house.
All Julian can think to do is call Sean, getting his voicemail. He rings Roscoe looking for the baby, too. When his brother-in-law calls back he can’t say anything because Dorothy is on FaceTime with him. They hang up, just as a knock comes at the door. What a strange coincidence: it’s dad, Frank (Todd Waring).
Frank doesn’t have a nice relationship with his kids. He’s not happy with his daughter “parading that sack of cloth” in public at church for a baptism as is planned. He takes out a photograph of a Swedish baby that looks like Jericho. For a “small contribution” the child can be theirs. They could convince Dorothy it’s her own. An oddly funny coincidence this time— it’s basically what Julian and Sean think they’ve been doing with the real baby that’s been in the house.
Leanne tries to kiss Tobe at the end of their date, getting jilted. She goes inside and sees the reborn doll on the floor. She picks it up and takes it upstairs, meeting Julian along the way. He asks her where the real baby is, getting nothing in response. The nanny takes the doll back to the room and starts getting it ready for bed. She calmly asks Julian to get more diapers from the closet. He offers her “fifty grand, cash,” but Leanne continues to say nothing. She goes to the kitchen and eats cotton candy. So finally, Julian confronts her about the real Leanne Grayson.
The nanny simply asks if her breath smells, thinking only about the cotton candy.
She keeps pretending like nothing’s changed, insisting Jericho is in his crib. She wants to know what Julian saw when he came to check on the Turners that fateful day months and months ago. He goes to the crib and grabs the reborn doll, hanging it over the stairs threatening to drop it. He’s about to drop the child when Jericho starts to cry, just grabbing hold before the baby falls to his death. Holy shit. And what’s Julian doing now? What’s “in the house“? He begins banging a pot and walking around, calling out as if he’ll conjure something from thin air.
“Too many ghosts”
After a while, Julian goes upstairs to kneel next to praying Leanne. He’s ready to tell her about the day Jericho died. He was the first to get to the house. We hear no more. When Sean gets home later he’s told the nanny knows everything about that day. He’s not pleased with his brother-in-law. And what toll will the truth take on Leanne, as well as her relationship to the Turners? She already seems to feel different around Dorothy. She breaks a pearl necklace while helping Dorothy take it off, almost on purpose. Then she even eats a pearl as the mother scrambles to find them all.
Father Gore has a theory about what happened to Jericho.
Perhaps the Turners aren’t so innocent. Something disturbing happened that day, obviously having all kinds of ramifications for Dorothy, Sean, and Julian. Only time will tell exactly what dark things occurred in the Turner house. Right now, Leanne’s looking like she’s angry. She might’ve discovered that Dorothy isn’t the loving, grieving mother she appears. Who knows, yet.
“Jericho” is next.