Apple TV’s Servant
Directed & Written
by Ishana Night Shyamalan
* For a recap & review of 2×09, click here.
* Season 3 to come!
Leanne’s up holding fake Jericho when she sees the woman in the black veil outside. At the door, Sean meets the black-veiled woman: Aunt Josephine (Barbara Sukowa). He reluctantly invites her inside, after she says that Aunt May and Uncle George are no longer involved in this situation. Josephine meets Dorothy—”the warrior“—and then, cryptic as all the rest, asks the wife and mother to come sit with her. She embraces Dorothy. Then she says: “You were never meant to be part of this.” She wants Dorothy to have peace and to put an end to everything. She also wants to see Leanne. But Dorothy refuses, until Jericho is back with them. Yet Aunt Josephine has a way of speaking that seems to comfort Dorothy, as well as Sean. She gets fifteen minutes with Leanne.
Leanne’s upstairs, terrified. She doesn’t want to be alone with the black-veiled woman. Aunt Josephine’s then brought up to see the girl. They go up to the attic, where Josephine asks what Leanne wants; the girl wishes to stay, but Josephine says she “doesn‘t belong” there. She tells the girl that this family doesn’t care about her. Afterwards, she goes downstairs and explains she’s leaving with Leanne. She also gives Dorothy a baby’s jumper, claiming “it‘s the truth.” Again, more cryptic words. What does this item of baby’s clothes actually mean?
Plus Aunt Josephine is sneaking around the house. Not good. She’s probably doing a little cult magic. She’s fetched the box Uncle George received, while Leanne gets the Betamax player ready. Aunt Josephine says this is a “final warning,” as Leanne puts the tape in. A man called Uncle Frederick (Marcin Paluch) talks of a “reunion ritual” that’s used to bring someone back into the cult’s fold. We see a truly insane bit of video literature, depicting cult members tearing themselves apart to rock n’ roll. We also see there’s blinding and cutting involved. So, basically, murder. Then you burn the body to make sure they’re REALLY dead. A terrifying video.
“I don’t want to play your games anymore”
Aunt Josephine wants to know why Leanne came to the Turners. She hopes that Leanne can be saved in spite of her transgressions. She has the girl get on her knees and start praying. Leanne’s hesitant when it comes to renouncing her connection to Dorothy and her family. She attempts to run but Aunt Josephine then tosses some of the oil in Leanne’s eyes, rendering the girl blind for a bit. Downstairs, Sean’s locked inside a room while Dorothy’s in Jericho’s old room, going into a kind of manic state of pain. Leanne comes down fumbling her way everywhere. She gets hold of a knife and sees Josephine stabbing herself in the thigh. She gets to the basement door and closes it, though nearly falls head first over the stairs. Then she prays.
Sean goes out the window to try escaping the room but then notices the door’s suddenly open again. He knocks on Jericho’s door, asking Dorothy to open up. She claims that the cult has killed Jericho, she can feel it. She’s busy tying a new noose on the crib. She wants to join Jericho. Sean tries to talk Dorothy out of what she’s about to do. He says he’ll “never forgive” her. And what if Jericho’s still alive?
In the basement, Leanne’s washed her eyes out right when Josephine comes down searching for her. Aunt Josephine lights a fire in the basement’s hole where George previously put all his ‘ingredients.’ She then gets her hands on Leanne, dragging her towards the fire. She slices open the girl’s arm. But before anything else can happen Dorothy cranks Josephine over the head with a shovel, saving Leanne. And the girl says Jericho isn’t gone, that she wants to bring the boy back to Dorothy. Leanne’s happy to be alive, even more happy that Dorothy saved her “like a daughter.” But when Dorothy’s gone upstairs, Aunt Josephine comes to and attacks Leanne, choking her. We get a glimpse of Josephine’s face for a moment under the veil, seeing her scarred face; could she actually be Leanne’s mother, burned in the fire? Either way, Leanne stabs the woman through the eye with a hot dagger.
When Dorothy and Sean rush to the basement they find only the fire’s embers; no Josephine, no Leanne. In fact, they can’t find Leanne anywhere in the house. Dorothy’s convinced the girl has gone to get Jericho and bring the baby back. She’s sure Jericho is coming back. Upstairs, Sean’s about to tell Dorothy something about when he went on a trip to California and she was there alone for a week, but then they hear something on the baby monitor—it’s Leanne, singing lullabies. The married couple find Leanne cradling Jericho next to the child’s crib.
And behind a wall in the Turner house is Aunt Josephine’s burned corpse.
Season 2 was great, though it only begs the question of what the hell’s going on.
There are many possibilities. Lots of symbolism and potential allegories here.
I specifically think about the idea of angels, particularly considering some angels, according to the mythology, were cast out and wound up in Hell. So, what’s the deal with the cult? Whatever it is, Leanne is ready for them to come find her. I’m excited to see what Season 3 could bring.