Apple TV’s Servant
Directed by Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
Written by Laura Marks & C. Henry Chaisson
* For a recap & review of 3×08, click here.
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, click here.
After Isabelle’s death on live television, Dorothy’s left reeling and she questions Leanne about it. Dorothy believes that Leanne is happy. The nanny says she only “wanted to help.” But obviously the mother’s unnerved by everything that’s happened. She wants the nanny out of the house bad enough as it is, plus she’ll probably get some help from her father. Outside, Leanne wants to have a quickie with Julian so he obliges, however, they don’t know the camera’s come uncovered, and Dorothy sees all from the comfort of the surveillance system upstairs.
Sean keeps trying to use his culinary powers to make things better with his wife, though Dorothy’s not feeling too forgiving at the moment. She continues to not let go of Jericho every second she’s awake. She’s also not willing to do any forgiving until Sean grants her wish and gets Leanne out of their home. When Dorothy goes for a bit of cereal she finds maggots in her bowl. Nasty! A while later, Leanne heads out to see her people at the park and Dorothy watches from upstairs. The mother decides to hide a baby monitor in Leanne’s room so she might eavesdrop. She then looks through the nanny’s things, taking pictures of the diary and the drawings inside. She finds other things, like a drawing with blood smeared on it. And she gets out right before Leanne returns.
Dorothy uses trying on clothes to get a glimpse of Leanne’s scarred back. She asks about the scars. The nanny talks about punishing herself while she was part of the cult. She also asks if Leanne blames herself for Isabelle’s fate. “I just want to understand what you believe,” says Dorothy. Leanne assures she no longer follows the cult’s rules: “I decide now.” After she finds a nice dress Dorothy takes a photo of them both. I wonder if Dorothy might try to use Leanne’s scars as a way to have the nanny committed to a psychiatric ward? She’s definitely plotting. That night, Dorothy calls her father and asks if he’s still close with his doctor friend. Oh, yes, the mental health plan is going ahead. Dorothy believes Leanne is “clinically insane.”Now Dorothy goes about trying to convince Leanne to see a doctor, talking about her and Sean doing “couples therapy,” so on. Such a horrible person, using mental health issues to actually just try railroading a young woman into being locked away in a hospital. On top of all that, what happens when Leanne gets taken off by men in white coats and Jericho turns into a plastic doll again? Dorothy hasn’t quite thought this through. She’s also hearing strange noises around the house at night; noises she can’t pinpoint. She roams the halls to look for the noises’ source. No luck.
The next day, Dr. McKenzie drops by the Turner home. He and Leanne sit together alone for a chat. Meanwhile, Dorothy gets a visit from Julian, and when he finds out about the doctor he isn’t happy. But the mental health scam continues. Soon, Dorothy’s got to go chat one-on-one with Dr. McKenzie, as well. She rambles on about Leanne as “a little worm that gets under your skin and eats away at your heart.” She all but breaks down, spewing thoughts all over the doctor. Does anybody else think this is headed towards Dorothy being put in the hospital rather than her nanny?
Outside, Leanne gets a visit from one of the houseless folk; one of their friends, Milo, has gone missing. Inside, Dorothy receives her father at the door. Frank wants to have a talk with Dorothy and Dr. McKenzie. He’s concerned about Jericho. As expected, the doc was actually sent by Frank to do an evaluation on Dorothy’s mental health.
Sean shows up in the middle of it, confused by everything. Frank brings up Dorothy’s insomnia and her inability to put Jericho down. The doc believes the mother’s having a “paranoid fixation” on the nanny. He thinks the baby’s in danger and it’s his medical duty to report it, unless Dorothy complies with them. I mean, besides all this, Dorothy’s already had an absolutely major, intense, horrific breakdown. She really does need help for her mental health. Sean and Julian are actually just making Dorothy’s mental health a whole lot worse by shielding her from reality. It’s kind of misogynistic at its core, if you think about it, like they don’t believe Dorothy might possibly be able to get better.Everyone’s interrupted by Leanne, who all but puts a spell on everybody, telling them Jericho’s in no danger, pretending like Dorothy has no problem letting go of the baby. Leanne takes Jericho in her arms as a demonstration. Things certainly aren’t perfect. Dorothy runs off into the bathroom while Leanne sings to Jericho. The doc and Frank seem fine with letting things go on this way, as if Sean and Julian have the situation under control. Again, Servant is brilliant because both Leanne and Dorothy are villainous in their own ways; or at least Dorothy is, because it’s not quite clear who, or what, Leanne is at this point, even in Season 3. Amazing stuff.