Apple TV’s Servant
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Written by Tony Basgallop
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, click here.
* For a recap & review of 3×02, click here.
Life is certainly different in the Turner household since last we saw everybody. Leanne hasn’t let down her guard in a lot of ways. She remains vigilant in the aftermath of all that happened at the end of Season 2. In a certain sense, she remains in the cult that brought her up, spending her days doing rituals, though now mostly the everyday kind like hygiene, and keeping everything in its right place. She also tries to bring a dead butterfly back to life but can’t do it. She goes about her day as part of the Turner house, though it’s almost like she’s in a daze.
Downstairs, Julian’s dealing with his recovery while Sean and Dorothy are feeding Jericho solid food. Leanne only cares about keeping the door shut, militant about doors and windows, worried the cult might return. Even though Leanne knows Aunt Josephine’s fate, she still worries. Dorothy’s tired of being cooped up, so the family’s headed down the shore for a little getaway. She thinks it’ll do Leanne some good.
Leanne has a whole medicine cabinet full of dead insects she seemingly couldn’t bring back to life. She’s not doing well in general, having difficulty going outside the house, even for just a stroll. She’s verging on agoraphobia, but Julian’s tasked with taking her on a walk, along with the baby. Julian talks with Leanne about their sexual relationship. He finds himself creepy, but it’s likely more so just narcissism, and she doesn’t want to stop having sex with him, either. The whole thing’s complicated by Julian’s girlfriend Veera (Sunita Mani) going to the shore with the family. Leanne has a small flip out in the street when she rushes back home with the baby, and Julian nearly gets an errant piece of concrete on his head after it falls from the building. Damn.
In the basement, Leanne kneels near the open hole of ooze that the Turners are having trouble getting looked at, like some open wound that won’t heal. Later on she gets a gift from Dorothy: something cute to wear when the weather warms up. At least even if life’s still fucked up Leanne has been embraced by the Turners, both Dorothy and Sean alike. That can’t take away the unease that Leanne keeps feeling. Not to mention there’s a corpse in the house’s walls and butterflies keep coming out of a hole in Leanne’s room. So weird and wonderful.
The Turner family vacation is about ready to get underway, as Dorothy and Julian sing a weird sea chanty that’s apparently tradition. Before they leave, Leanne decides she doesn’t want to go anywhere. She says goodbye to Dorothy and the others, then she locks the place down, checking all the windows and the doors, making sure the security system is on. After that she cleans the house from top to bottom. Out of nowhere a door slams, frightening Leanne, so she searches the place but finds only a breeze. That evening, Sean video calls with Leanne and things look happy. He sees she’s in the basement, then suggests a good bottle of wine for her. She’s already chugging back a glass, writing in her diary, or trying to, anyway. She hears strange noises from the oozing hole in the floor now, and suddenly she’s scribbling check marks all over her diary. It almost looks like a flock of birds on the page.
Leanne goes on drinking. She calls up Tobe, hoping he’ll come over, but he’s busy. Then she receives another video call from Dorothy. She sees how much Jericho’s enjoying their little trip. Dorothy shows Leanne the ocean. She also mentions Julian was attacked by a group of seagulls. This stuns Leanne, after what she drew in the basement. Looks like all her culty powers aren’t quite gone.
Leanne hears noise in the house; there’s an intruder. She hides in a closet and calls Sean, whispering to him that somebody broke in. She sneaks out of the closet to try getting a look at the intruder, but accidentally makes some noise, forcing her to hide behind the wall where Aunt Josephine’s corpse is hidden, nearly getting swarmed in butterflies.
Leanne traps the intruder in a closet. She thinks he’s from the cult. Eventually the guy bursts out and runs, just as the cops arrive at the house, as well. In a while, the Turners are back, and the cops are searching the place all over. Dorothy feels terrible for leaving Leanne alone. The cops then tell the Turners the break in resembles others in the area. Leanne goes to look for anything that might be stolen and worries something’s gone; is it her dagger?
That night, Dorothy tries to assuage the “pattern–seeking creature” in Leanne, assuring the young woman about what the cops told them. That still doesn’t help Leanne as the butterflies from Josephine’s corpse continue to poke through the walls.