Written by Tony Basgallop, ‘Servant’ is an engaging psychological thriller that focuses on Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and her husband Sean’s (Toby Kebbell) relationship with their child. Dorothy’s firstborn, Jericho, died in her care, and unable to bear the trauma, she is advised to keep a therapy doll to deal with her grief. Dorothy and Sean hire a maid, Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), whose devoutly religious ways sow seeds of suspicion in Sean. Gradually, Sean encounters some deeply mysterious happenings that provide the chilling moments in the series.
In the first season, the doll is replaced by an actual baby with unknown origins that further deepens the mystery. It is revealed that Leanne is a member of a cult, and in the end, she leaves Dorothy’s and Sean’s home. The baby is nowhere to be found, and the doll resurfaces. Season 2 follows this story and uncovers the past trauma that Dorothy has been repressing. It also takes the viewer into the search for the baby and explores Leanne’s character deeply. Here is what we thought of the first episode of season 2. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Servant Season 2 Episode 1 Recap
The first episode starts with Leanne leaving Dorothy’s place after the party celebrating Jericho’s baptism is over. Jericho is found to be missing, which leaves Dorothy and Sean in despair. Dorothy frantically induces a search for Jericho and informs the police. When the police arrive, Dorothy tells them that she suspects May Markham, Leanne’s aunt, to be the abductor. The police are baffled at this allegation because May is apparently dead.
Dorothy insists that May was at their place during the party, and she and her cult are responsible for Jericho’s disappearance. Natalie and Julian (Rupert Grint) arrive at Dorothy’s place, with Julian being rather cool about the baby’s disappearance. His rationale says that it is for the greater good that Leanne and the kid have left the house- a disposition that Julian has maintained since the first season. Since the doll reappears and Dorothy refuses to play along with it, Natalie has reasons to believe that Dorothy is on the path to recovery.
Meanwhile, Dorothy decides to take the help of her neighbors in the search for Jericho and asks Sean to distribute pamphlets asking about the child’s whereabouts. Sean is visibly flustered at his inability to feel or taste anything since the arrival of Leanne. The wooden splinters appearing on Sean’s body in the first season keep him preoccupied with the thought that Leanne is not who she seems to be. He searches Leanne’s room and finds his name written on a page of the Bible titled ‘Test for Leprosy.’
The discovery shocks Sean, and he is unable to wrap his head around the happenings. Adding to this conundrum is an anonymous letter that the couple receives stating that the baby is fine. Sean confides in Julian about Dorothy’s frantic search and is apprehensive of involving the neighborhood. Julian appears placid and tells him not to bother about Leanne and the kid since they are now gone. Dorothy focuses her search on Leanne but cannot find any solid evidence or trails leading to her. She asks Julian to help her.
Servant Season 2 Episode 1 Ending: A Father’s Grief
Julian’s dismissive attitude towards Dorothy’s search comes to light when he dumps the pamphlets and the doll into the dustbin. He is perhaps relieved that the ordeal revolving around the child and Leanne has finally ended with their disappearance. On the other hand, Sean is reeling from the after-effects of the confession that he made to George in episode 10 of the first season. He is happy to have the kid back and accepts him as his own child. So, when he sees the doll being taken out to the dumpster, he brings it back.
Sean’s rational behavior and his consideration of Dorothy’s condition leads him to play along with the charade in the first season. When things start to get murky around him, he is pushed to a corner and installs a camera in Leanne’s room. In the second season, the camera is discovered by Dorothy, which puts Sean in a tight spot. The baby’s presence provides him a conduit to process his guilt and absolve himself of it. We see a change in his attitude towards the kid as he gets desperate to get him back and delves further into the mystery of Leanne, her aunt May, and uncle George.
The second season starts on an intriguing note, which sets up the premise of the grief-stricken parents’ search into the kid. Perhaps, as the series progresses, we shall know more about the characters and their past. The cult remains a prime mystery of the show’s narrative and the curious cases of bringing back the dead raises many questions. If the first season was about establishing the family’s premise and their situation, the second season answers questions like where did the baby come from and who his parents were. Leanne’s truth is yet to be uncovered, and the way episode 1 of season 2 unfolds, it is safe to assume that we are in for a thrilling ride into the enigma of ‘Servant.’
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