Directed & Written
by Ishana Shyamalan
* For a recap & review of 4×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 4×04, click here.
The live-in nurses, Roberta and Beverly, or “Bobbie and Bev,” are introducing themselves like a theatre troupe to everyone else. They’ve got a place to stay in an apartment downstairs connected to the Turner’s brownstone. Leanne helps Sean bring the nurses’ things down and sceptically watching the old women. She’s not happy about this new arrangement. She’s sure that these nurses are part of the cult, but Julian thinks they wouldn’t try a “Trojan fucking Horse” on Leanne, insisting he did a thorough background check on the women anyway. Leanne says there’s something in their backgrounds surely, if only Julian looks harder.
“Haven’t they heard what I do to people who threaten me?”
Outside, a crow calls. Inside, Leanne wakes. She finds a cleansing candle burning, along with some sage, and now she’s only more suspicious of the nurses. In the morning, Bobbie and Bev bring Julian a book by Marie Kondo. They also talk to him about the “tense energy” throughout the house. They assure him “things are finally changing” now that they’ve arrived. When Leanne sees a stuffed bunny in Jericho’s crib with AUNTIE BEV and AUNTIE BOBBIE on it, she throws it in the garbage, further convinced the nurses are part of the Church of Lesser Saints.
At the same time, Dorothy is fed up with the same old therapy. She wants the nurses to help her faster. They suggest maybe it’s a cognitive issue. Dorothy talks about how badly she wants to get out of that bed, particularly related to Jericho crying and being scared that she doesn’t know what’s happening with him. She wants to be back on her feet again ASAP. Meanwhile, Sean’s at home today and he’s got a book on love languages from the nurses. Leanne says he shouldn’t let the aunties judge him, though she’s happy to see him cooking again.
Leanne gets very pissed off when she finds the nurses have cleaned up her room and left her a book. “Fuck you,” she says to all that. In the apartment downstairs, Julian drops off some Amazon packages ordered by the nurses, taking this chance to sneak in and have a look around the place. It’s mostly what you’d expect, including some typical white lady uses of the dreamcatcher (hint: it doesn’t go in your living room, Karen!). Not much evidence of cult activity, though it wouldn’t just be laying around in the open, now would it? Up in Dorothy’s room, she’s getting help from the nurses; this time, more practical help. They’re trying to get her literally up on her feet, helping Dorothy stand with their weight as balance. Dorothy wants to try walking, against the advice of the nurses. She winds up hitting the floor and now she’s discouraged.
Down in the apartment, Julian finds a box, inside of which are dildos; nothing culty, just a bunch of dildos and vibrators and other sex toys. He hilariously sets one of the vibrating toys off and it’s just a chaotic mess. A wonderfully foolish scene amongst all the dark, depressing themes.
Leanne finds the rabbit she put in the garbage back in Jericho’s crib. She goes straight to the nurses, who act innocent, claiming they bought the stuffed rabbit from “the Amish in Lancaster.” But Leanne’s absolutely not buying that. In the kitchen, Sean puts the finishing touches on a dish he made for his wife. He brings the meal up to Dorothy; it’s “duck and truffle pithivier,” a dish that nearly made him “drop out of culinary school.” It’s also the dish Dorothy wanted to try years ago, and it pushed him, over months, to learn to make it. He claims Dorothy’s the “only reason” he became a chef, and the reason he’s anything at all. And to this, Dorothy says she’d rather have the gross puddings the nurses bring her. Afterwards, Sean puts his pithivier down the garbage disposal. The nurses see this and tell Sean that his wife’s hope is slipping away. They want Sean to tell them everything that’s happened between everyone in the house. He’s reluctant, obviously. He says “this family doesn‘t cope well” and they’ve experienced a lot of loss. Bobbie and Bev want to suggest “something radical” to help.
In Dorothy’s room, everybody gathers around the bed with candles. Even Leanne decides to be a part of the seance. Everyone holds hands in a circle. Bev and Bobbie get Dorothy to set her intentions, to which Dorothy replies she needs guidance. Bobbie starts making a weird nose, “becoming the vessel.” She requires an item, which Julian produces. She says a ghostly visitor is with them. It’s mostly old school mystic trickery, as Bobbie wavers between letters of the alphabet until Dorothy confirms things. Bobbie goes on about a woman who looks like Dorothy, and so Dorothy automatically assumes it’s her mother. Julian thinks it’s all a load of shit and makes it known. Then Bobbie gives Julian a message from his mom that seems like it actually hits home. She also says there’s “a warning.” She says the woman has shown her a rotting house with peeling paint. Bobbie sees a dark shadow inside the house; she feels cold and evil. She says the dark thing is attached to the family. She hears a baby crying from inside. Sean wants them to stop, but Bobbie feels pain from the cries. Bobbie says “it‘s time to close the door to the other side.”
Yet Leanne pushes to try another item that she brought: the ceremonial dagger from her room. She’s sure Bobbie and Bev were looking for the dagger. She recounts how the dagger is used, urging Bobbie to use it on her. Bobbie says she has no clue what’s going on. But Leanne continues to push, grabbing the dagger and ripping open Bobbie’s dress, looking at her back. She realises that Bobbie isn’t “one of them.” Then Dorothy orders Leanne to leave the room: “We don‘t want you here.”
In Leanne’s room, she’s questioned by Julian. He wants to know what she would’ve done if Bobbie had scars on her back. Leanne says: “I would‘ve fucking killed her.” It seems that this hasn’t pushed Bobbie and Bev out of the house; Sean assures his wife that the nurses are staying put, chalking things up to Leanne feeling distant and reacting badly. Sean brings blueberry pancakes to Dorothy, something that always cheered her up. This time, Dorothy accepts the pancakes. A good sign, at least.
Leanne has an apocalyptic dream of the street outside. Everything is ruined. There are burned cars in the road. The street is cracked. Apartments are nearly rubble. Inside the Turner home is something lurking. Dorothy’s in her bed, too, but she’s not dreaming. She wakes to see Leanne in her bed, curled up next to her like a child. She’s not going to run the nanny off any time soon.