Apple TV’s Servant
Directed by Logan George & Celine Held
Written by C. Henry Chaisson
* For a recap & review of 3×04, click here.
* For a recap & review of 3×06, click here.
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day for Leanne. She looks outside to see there’s a carnival atmosphere on the street with a bouncy castle being blown up and tents getting pitched. There’s going to be a festival—essentially a bougie block party. Sean’s cooking and preparing a big surprise for the festival. Julian arrives, hoping to use food and festivities to replace his addiction. He also mentions all the houseless people in the neighbourhood, and it starts making Leanne suspicious, even though she’s planning to attend the event.
Everything’s underway outdoors. Kids are screaming with excitement. Sean’s making ice cream for all to see, underneath a banner about homeless youth. There’s everything from people on stilts to folk dancing to axe throwing and more! Something for everyone. Dorothy notices her co-worker/nemesis Isabelle arrive with a media team, angry that she wasn’t given the opportunity despite pitching the whole concept. Then she grabs Jericho, intent on being on TV, not thinking about the potential consequences—like if the cult happens to see the report. She barges her way in front of the cameras, grabbing a mic. What a mess. Leanne and Julian can only stand by watching helplessly. The concerned brother goes to his brother-in-law, but Sean isn’t particularly worried. He also discovers Sean’s been talking to a minister lately, getting closer with God.Leanne tries to get the houseless people kicked out of the block party, worried they’re cultists in disguise. A woman gives them the boot and the nanny relaxes for the moment. We see Roscoe’s at the big event, keeping an eye on Leanne and the houseless folks, too. Leanne goes to get her face painted; a young woman paints a tiger pattern on the nanny’s face. When the painter leaves to take a call, a hand reaches out to draw an invisible symbol on Leanne’s head. She keeps her eyes closed, but a second or two later the painter comes back, and it unsettles her deeply. She runs off with her face half painted, looking for anybody suspicious, but there’s nobody around other than all the partygoers.
Leanne hears a woman talking to Isabelle about an ambulance outside the Turner house, so she interrupts them, sending the woman off. Isabelle tries chatting with the nanny, and Leanne asks tough questions that the news reporter cannot answer well. Immediately, Isabelle Googles the nanny and sees a MISSING poster. Oh, man, not good. A little later, Dorothy’s approached by Sean’s minister, Nancy—a surprise to the wife. Elsewhere, Tobe and Leanne play festival games together. He says Sylvia “ghosted” him after the finger incident, but he’s happy in a way. Leanne wins a prize and then she and Tobe move on to the bouncy castle. It’s sweet to see her experience things she didn’t get to do in the cult as a child. Also very cute to see her and Tobe further connect; someone outside the Turner family for her to bond with finally.
One of the people from Gourmet Gauntlet calls Sean about a spinoff, hoping to lock him down as a lead in the series. He hangs up on the call. Hmm. Probably not a great time for him to have to leave and go somewhere while Dorothy and Leanne are both still not feeling totally stable. Sean then gets confronted about him going to church again. Dorothy’s not even so much angry that Sean didn’t tell her, she finds church “a freak show” and also doesn’t want Jericho involved, either. Sean believes church can help give their son structure, in a social sense particularly. They’ll soon have dinner to sit down with Minister Nancy, which won’t be awkward at all.Leanne goes looking for food and wanders into a tent, only to see two people with a familiar dagger sitting on a hot barbecue. She rushes to get away with the two people in pursuit, one of them slashing at her with the blade. She escapes the tent and gets back to the crowd on the street. But the two mysterious people keep chasing Leanne and nearly get to her as she gets inside the Turner house. They manage to get inside, forcing Leanne to flee out the back door and back towards the crowds. The two people run at Leanne, so she closes her eyes.
Later we see Leanne with blood all over her. She cleans the house up, then she scrubs her bloody clothes, all before Sean and Dorothy get home. She seems off yet Dorothy can’t get anything out of her. She plays the happy nanny until it’s time for bed. Dorothy notices a bit of mess that Leanne missed cleaning up, though has no reason to suspect anything crazy. Upstairs, Leanne feels the back of her head, full of blood, and remembers the two people attacking her. She’s still alive. So, that must mean…?
Are the two people dead? Or, did something else occur?
That’s the best part of Servant, all the intense, dreadful ambiguity.