Servant (TV series)

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Servant
Servant Title Card.jpg
Genre
Created byTony Basgallop
Starring
ComposerTrevor Gureckis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Production locations
Cinematography
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25–36 minutes
Production companies
DistributorApple Inc.
Release
Original networkApple TV+
Original releaseNovember 28, 2019 (2019-11-28) –
present (present)

Servant is an American psychological horror streaming television series created by Tony Basgallop and executive-produced alongside M. Night Shyamalan, who serves as showrunner.[1][2] The series follows Dorothy and Sean Turner, a Philadelphia couple who hire a girl named Leanne Grayson to be the nanny for their infant son Jericho, a reborn doll. Leanne's arrival brings about strange and frightening occurrences for the couple.

The series stars Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free and Rupert Grint as the four central characters. The series is produced for Apple TV+ and debuted on November 28, 2019. The series has been met with positive reviews from critics. Ahead of the premiere, Apple renewed Servant for a second season, which premiered on January 15, 2021.[3] In December 2020, ahead of the second season premiere, the series was renewed for a third season.[4] The third season premiered on January 21, 2022.[5] In December 2021, ahead of the third season premiere, the series was renewed for a ten-episode fourth and final season.[6]

Premise[edit]

A wealthy Philadelphia couple, Dorothy and Sean Turner, experience a fracture in their marriage after the death of their thirteen-week-old son, Jericho. The couple undergo transitory object therapy using a lifelike reborn doll after Dorothy experiences a full psychotic break. The doll, which Dorothy believes is her real child, was the only thing that brought her out of a catatonic state following Jericho's death. Six weeks after his death, they hire a young nanny, Leanne Grayson, to move in and take care of Jericho, the reborn doll, opening their home to a "mysterious force".[7] While Sean deals with the grief on his own, he becomes deeply suspicious of Leanne.[8]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Lauren Ambrose as Dorothy Turner (née Pearce), a local television news reporter and highly overprotective mentally ill mother who carelessly left her thirteen-week-old firstborn child in the car to die of overheat.
  • Toby Kebbell as Sean Turner, Dorothy's husband, a stay-at-home consulting chef and recently bereaved father.
  • Nell Tiger Free as Leanne Grayson, a mysterious young nanny from Wisconsin hired by the Turners to look after "baby Jericho". She seems to possess developing yet powerful supernatural abilities she has no control over.
  • Rupert Grint as Julian Pearce, Dorothy's alcoholic younger brother who is aware of Leanne's powers.

Recurring[edit]

  • Jack and James Hoogerwerff as baby Jericho (season 2–3)
  • Mason and Julius Belford as "Baby Jericho" (season 1)
  • Phillip James Brannon as Matthew Roscoe, Julian's private detective friend
  • Tony Revolori as Tobe, Sean's commis chef
  • Sunita Mani as Veera (season 3), Julian's new girlfriend
  • S. J. Son as Wanda (season 1), a babysitter who Leanne befriends
  • Molly Griggs as Isabelle Carrick, an up-and-coming reporter at 8News where Dorothy works
  • Boris McGiver as Uncle George, Leanne's "uncle"
  • Jerrika Hinton as Natalie Gorman (season 1–2), Dorothy's friend and therapist who suggested the reborn doll as a temporary coping method
  • Todd Waring as Frank Pearce, Dorothy and Julian's father, and maternal grandfather to baby Jericho
  • Alison Elliott as Aunt May Markhem (season 1–2), Leanne's "aunt" and leader of the Church of Lesser Saints cult

Guest[edit]

  • M. Night Shyamalan as a Delivery Guy ("Reborn")
  • Katie Lee Hill as Kourtney (season 2–3), Frank's much younger girlfriend
  • Barbara Sukowa as Aunt Josephine ("Josephine")

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110November 28, 2019 (2019-11-28)January 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
210January 15, 2021 (2021-01-15)March 19, 2021 (2021-03-19)
310January 21, 2022 (2022-01-21)March 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)

Season 1 (2019–20)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Reborn"M. Night ShyamalanTony BasgallopNovember 28, 2019 (2019-11-28)
Leanne, a dour eighteen-year-old, moves into the Philadelphia home of Dorothy and Sean Turner as a nanny for "baby Jericho"—a reborn doll. Following the apparent crib death of the real Jericho at thirteen weeks old, Dorothy suffered a psychotic break and catatonia, and an unlicensed therapist suggested the doll as a coping method. A deluded Dorothy, who acts as though the doll is real, enthusiastically welcomes Leanne into their home as she returns to her own job. Sean, alone in his grief, is uncomfortable around the devoutly religious Leanne, who also acts as though the doll is real. When Leanne puts the baby down for a "nap", Sean discovers the reborn doll has come alive in his crib.
22"Wood"Daniel SackheimTony BasgallopNovember 28, 2019 (2019-11-28)
Leanne appears mystified when Sean demands to know whose baby is in his house, telling him that it's his son. Dorothy acts "normally" when she sees Jericho, as though he'd never died. While both women are sleeping, Sean attempts to take Jericho to the police, but is suddenly unable to disarm the security system. He confides in Julian, Dorothy's younger brother who, along with their father, is one of the few who knows Jericho died. Sean destroys a homemade straw cross Leanne hung above Jericho's crib. He begins finding painful splinters all over his body and loses his sense of taste. Dorothy begins having flashes of catatonia, the state she was in after Jericho's death six weeks earlier.
33"Eel"Daniel SackheimTony BasgallopNovember 28, 2019 (2019-11-28)
Leanne passes out while watching Sean, a chef, kill and prepare eels in the kitchen. Using the address from her application letter to Dorothy, Julian and a private investigator, Roscoe, go to Medicine Bridge, Wisconsin, to investigate Leanne. They discover a burned out house that belonged to the Grayson family, and graves for Leanne, who was born in 2001 and died in 2007, and her parents, who also perished in the fire. Julian believes Leanne is an impostоr who is trying to get money from the family through blackmail. Leanne begins to emulate Dorothy.
44"Bear"Nimród AntalTony BasgallopDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
After realizing that Leanne is taking Jericho into her own bedroom at night, Sean installs a nanny cam in her room to spy on her. Flashbacks reveal Dorothy suffered multiple miscarriages before Jericho was born. Dorothy decides to take Leanne and Jericho to work with her to meet her coworkers, but Sean intervenes and insists Jericho is too young. However, while watching Dorothy reporting live from a murder trial, Sean spots Leanne in the background with Jericho, watching Dorothy. Leanne watches a DVD from 2011 of Dorothy's reporting, which appears to show Dorothy interviewing a young Leanne at a children's pageant.
55"Cricket"Nimród AntalTony BasgallopDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)
Leanne is hurt and angered by both Dorothy and Sean's actions toward her. She feels betrayed by Dorothy, who sends her on an errand so she and Sean can be intimate, while Sean snaps at her after she brings up a yellow onesie from the basement. After Leanne writes their names in her Bible before her evening prayers, Dorothy wakes up with a sudden coldsore and Sean gets yet another unexplained splinter. Julian tries to drive Leanne out of the house by playing cruel pranks on her, including filling her bedroom with crickets and replacing her tomato soup with dog food. Wanda, seemingly another nanny taking care of a neighbor's young daughter, befriends Leanne. However, when Leanne visits Wanda's supposed employer, she learns the family does not have a nanny or a child. When Wanda returns to the house, Leanne induces an allergic reaction in the young girl with one of Sean's dishes and withholds her epipen, forcing Wanda to confess that she was hired by Julian to ask Leanne questions and convince her to leave. An enraged Leanne nearly lets the girl die before finally injecting her with the epipen. That night, as a crying Leanne flogs herself, a dead cricket in the room returns to life.
66"Rain"Alexis OstranderTony BasgallopDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
Sean goes out of town for business. After Leanne receives a card in the mail with "Found you!" scrawled inside, her bizarre Uncle George arrives. He unnerves Dorothy by exhibiting strange behavior and announces that Leanne is returning with him. Dorothy insists that he spend the night during a rainstorm, with Julian also staying to watch over things for Sean. Julian and Dorothy are alarmed to discover Jericho lying on the floor of his bedroom and George curled up like a baby in the crib. The following day, Leanne insists on staying, and Uncle George relents but says he will return with her Aunt May, whom she can't refuse. He gives the Turners a hand-carved marionette of a chef in honor of Sean, which Sean later finds hung from Jericho's mobile.
77"Haggis"Alexis OstranderTony BasgallopDecember 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)
Natalie, Dorothy's friend and kinesiologist, is revealed as the "therapist" who suggested the reborn doll to bring Dorothy out of her catatonic state following Jericho's death. After a session with Dorothy, Natalie is critical when she discovers the Turners hired a nanny for the doll. Later, Natalie hears a baby cry and goes into Jericho's room, but Leanne attacks her and flees with Jericho before she can see that he is a living baby. Dorothy invites Natalie over for dinner, where Natalie intends to confront the Turners about their prolonged use of the baby doll, while Sean and Julian struggle to hide the living baby from her. Natalie tries to confront Dorothy first, but Dorothy becomes convinced that Natalie, Sean and Julian are trying to talk her out of going back to work, and becomes defensive. When Leanne is in the basement to get wine, a large crack appears in the concrete floor. Natalie hears a growl and goes into Jericho's room, where she discovers the baby. She is then chased out by a large wolfhound that follows her downstairs, where Julian kills it in front of a horrified Leanne. Explaining the real baby to Natalie, Julian claims it belongs to Leanne and may be adopted by the Turners. He also reveals to Natalie that he is still disturbed by Jericho's death, having seen something especially upsetting that day. Natalie comforts him and they have spontaneous sex before going home together. After Leanne takes her Bible into the room with the dead dog, it runs out of the house, now very much alive.
88"Boba"Lisa BrühlmannTony BasgallopJanuary 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)
Tobe and Leanne go out bowling, while Sean and Dorothy go out to a news awards gala. Julian is tasked with babysitting at the house, but is avoidant of the nursery, repeatedly flashing back to the day of Jericho's death when he saw something traumatic there. Noticing that Jericho's baby monitor is unusually quiet, he finally works up the courage to check on him, only to find him missing and replaced once again with the doll. A panicked Julian calls Sean, but their video chat is interrupted by Dorothy before he can explain what happened. He also contacts Roscoe, who is keeping tabs on Leanne and Tobe, but nothing seems out of the ordinary on their bowling excursion. When Tobe brings Leanne back to the house, she tries to kiss him but he pulls away, embarrassing and upsetting her. Inside the house, Julian confronts Leanne about the doll and her past in Wisconsin. Leanne is dismissive of Julian's questions, and resumes treating the doll as a real baby like she did before it was replaced. She also continues to ask Julian about Jericho's death and what he saw. Julian holds the doll over the banister, threatening to drop it. When he does so, he suddenly hears a baby's cry and catches the doll, then starts searching for the baby in the house. After his search is unsuccessful, he calms down and starts telling Leanne about the day Jericho died. After this, the doll is suddenly replaced again by the real baby. On a nearby street, Tobe runs into Wanda carrying a cradle. Sean and Dorothy return, and Julian admits to Sean that he told Leanne the truth about Jericho's death.
99"Jericho"M. Night ShyamalanTony BasgallopJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)
In a flashback, Jericho is born at home in a tub and Dorothy's placenta is kept in the freezer. While Sean is away judging a cooking show, Dorothy struggles to take care of a loud and colicky Jericho during a heat wave, causing sleep deprivation and wearing on her mental state. After bringing groceries in from her car one afternoon, Dorothy forgets to close the front door. Jericho is quiet for the rest of the day, but that night Dorothy discovers his crib empty. Dorothy then realizes that she forgot Jericho in the car while bringing in the groceries earlier, and he has been left there for hours. Dorothy returns to the car and recovers Jericho, now long dead from hyperthermia. This prompts Dorothy's catatonic state; alone in the house, she tends to Jericho's corpse as if he were still alive for the next four days, until Julian arrives and discovers what has happened. In the present, Dorothy's car alarm continuously goes off. Leanne is revealed to be controlling the alarm in an effort to remind Dorothy of Jericho's death in the car. Leanne confronts Sean, who now knows she is aware of the details of Jericho's death. Leanne condemns Dorothy, blaming her for it completely. Sean defends his wife, revealing that he blames himself for leaving her alone at a time when she needed his support. Leanne is nonetheless wary of Dorothy, refusing to let her hold the living baby that night.
1010"Balloon"John DahlTony BasgallopJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
After Jericho's baptism, the Turners and dozens of guests return to the house for a reception. Sean prepares a pastry dish including Jericho's placenta for the oblivious guests. Julian sees Uncle George in the background of footage of the baptism ceremony, and instructs Roscoe to keep watch outside the house in his car. However, both Uncle George and his companion Aunt May have already infiltrated the house. May confronts Leanne in the nursery, demanding she bring the baby home to them, while George convinces Sean to pray with him. Dorothy is troubled by a young girl's doll among the guests. It later turns out the young girl was a runaway when the police arrive at the reception looking for her. May and George depart without incident, but Dorothy encounters May and recognizes her. Going through tapes of her old newscasts, she finds a story identifying the woman as May Markham, the leader of a cult called the Church of the Lesser Saints, who supposedly died in a fire along with most of her followers after a standoff with the ATF. Sean discovers that he has lost his sense of feeling along with taste, and holds his hand over a stovetop burner until it is scorched. May and George return to the house at night, confronting Roscoe, whose car is later shown empty. Tobe leaves a balloon tied to the doorknob of Leanne's room. Leanne leaves the house with this balloon and her suitcase. She is greeted outside by a large group of people standing in the street, who encircle her in a group hug. When a passing police officer spots the huddle and backs up to investigate, they have vanished in a matter of seconds. Dorothy discovers that Jericho has been replaced by the doll in his crib. No longer seeing the doll as a real child, she drops it in the crib.

Season 2 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Doll"Julia DucournauTony BasgallopJanuary 15, 2021 (2021-01-15)
No longer convinced by the reborn doll, Dorothy calls the police to report "Jericho's kidnapping", still believing him to be her real baby. Before the police arrive, Sean hastily hides all traces of the baptism reception. One officer who arrives, Reyes, was also a first responder after Jericho's death. Sean, Julian and Natalie feed her the cover story that Dorothy has seen the doll as her baby up until now, and believes Jericho is missing because her mind finally rejected the doll. Reyes is skeptical that they have used the reborn doll for so long, but maintains the pretense that Jericho is still alive for Dorothy's benefit. The officers leave, disregarding Dorothy's story about May Markham and the cult. Sean inspects his severely burnt hand, still unable to feel pain. He finds Leanne's Bible left behind, with his name written next to a passage about the "test of leprosy". Sean resolves to find Jericho, but he and Julian continue to suppress Dorothy's efforts to spread the story of his disappearance, throwing out her missing persons posters of Jericho, May and Leanne when sent to post them around the neighborhood. Julian also recycles the doll, and steals Jericho's shoe from his room. Using the shoe, he sends the Turners a fake ransom note reading "Tell no one, baby lives" in order to stop Dorothy's search. Sean later sees the doll in a recycling truck, and takes it back into the house to bathe it, using the therapeutic doll for its intended purpose.
122"Spaceman"Julia DucournauNina Braddock & Tony BasgallopJanuary 22, 2021 (2021-01-22)
Four days after Jericho's disappearance, Julian is staying in the house. He finds the bathwater running in the empty bathroom with no explanation. His baptism gift, a spaceman suit for Jericho, arrives late, and Julian puts it on the doll. Dorothy continues to research the cult. When she is called to co-anchor her news show, she agrees not to say anything that would alert the cult, but recites the news stories in a soothing and motherly voice in the hope that Jericho is watching, making the other anchor visibly uncomfortable. Roscoe reappears and wakes up in his car outside the house, believing he just fell asleep for one night. Sean and Julian convince Natalie to hypnotize him, believing he has repressed memories of the past four days after being brainwashed by the cult. Roscoe recounts the cult taking him to a dark room, and a disturbing story of a man with a hook for a hand removing a baby's eyes. Sean does not believe the story, but Julian is deeply shaken. Meanwhile, Dorothy ends her broadcast with an announcement that Leanne Grayson is missing. Leanne calls the house, asking Sean why they are looking for her, and why he hasn't told Dorothy the truth about Jericho's death. Cracks form in the basement, and liquid seeps through.
133"Pizza"Ishana Night ShyamalanNina Braddock & Tony BasgallopJanuary 29, 2021 (2021-01-29)
In a flashback, complications with her pregnancy force Dorothy to stay off her feet until childbirth. She stays in bed for the duration while Sean takes care of her. An oven mitt left by the stove catches fire, setting off the smoke alarm while Sean is out. Rather than calling him, Dorothy walks downstairs to put the fire out. As Sean returns home, Dorothy tells him that she "handled it". In the present, a small sinkhole has opened up in the basement of the Turner home. This goes unremarked upon, though Julian slips and drops a wine bottle into the hole. After Dorothy's newscast, the Turners field alleged sightings of Leanne. One report leads them to a huge, gated nine-bedroom mansion, which Dorothy finds suspicious. In order to get inside, the Turners create a fake pizza delivery service and leave a menu on the gate. Eventually, the mansion's owners place an order of twenty-two pizzas, which Dorothy suspects is for the cult members. Sean sends Tobe undercover as the delivery boy, with a camera attached to his lapel so the Turners and Julian can watch. The large order turns out to be for a young boys' soccer team hosting their party at the mansion. Tobe encounters Leanne, apparently working as a caregiver for the sickly, bedridden homeowner, but there is no sign of Jericho. After Tobe leaves, Leanne places an individual order of her own for one pizza. Dorothy insists on making this pizza herself. Tobe returns to the mansion with this second delivery and confronts Leanne, asking why she left the Turners. Leanne says Dorothy is selfish and cruel, and begs Tobe not to tell the Turners that he found her. During this conversation, Leanne suddenly collapses. Dorothy calls Tobe, revealing that she drugged the last pizza without Sean or Julian's knowledge, and orders him to bring the unconscious Leanne back to the Turner house. She tells Sean and Julian she has "handled it".
144"2:00"M. Night ShyamalanTony BasgallopFebruary 5, 2021 (2021-02-05)
Having kidnapped Leanne, Dorothy locks her in the old and disused attic of the Turner house. She interrogates Leanne about Jericho's location, but Leanne pleads ignorance. Dorothy hides the attic key and forbids Sean from speaking to Leanne, believing she will be able to manipulate him. Leanne decorates the attic with various items she finds, including an old mannequin and an analog metronome. Dorothy begins waking up at exactly 2:00 A.M. each night in a panicked frenzy, during which she physically abuses Leanne while demanding to know where Jericho is. Confused by this pattern, Dorothy starts to suspect she has some form of repressed memory regarding Jericho. While Dorothy is at work, Sean finds the attic key and visits Leanne without Dorothy's knowledge, bringing her gourmet meals while asking her more gently about Jericho. Leanne remains steadfast, and reminds Sean that the real Jericho is dead. Sean returns Leanne's bible to her, and she is later shown praying at the page where his name was written. During dinner with Dorothy and Julian, Sean's sense of taste abruptly returns. On her fourth night of captivity, Leanne anticipates Dorothy's 2 A.M. routine and leaves the mannequin in her bed as a decoy, ambushing Dorothy and striking her in the head with the metronome before fleeing. Dorothy corners Leanne at the front door, where Leanne finally admits to knowledge of Jericho's whereabouts, claiming she and the cult are protecting him from Dorothy. Enraged, Dorothy strikes Leanne unconscious. Sean is woken up by the severe pain in his burnt hand as his sense of feeling suddenly returns as well. With Dorothy absent from their room and the attic empty, he searches the house, finding that Dorothy has buried Leanne alive in the basement sinkhole. Sean digs Leanne out and comforts her, accusing Dorothy of going too far. A flashback reveals the significance of 2:00 A.M. as the moment Dorothy woke up and remembered Jericho the night after she left him in the car.
155"Cake"Lisa BrühlmannTony Basgallop & Nina BraddockFebruary 12, 2021 (2021-02-12)
Leanne is still captive in the Turner home, though they allow her to walk freely inside the house at certain times of day. Remorseful for her actions, Dorothy invites Tobe over to keep Leanne company, providing him with the cover story that they abducted Leanne to save her from a cult and deprogram her. A package arrives in the mail under Sean's name - a small baby figurine and a ransom note for $200,000. Sean initially suspects Julian, who pleads ignorance. The Turners pool their resources, including a package of cash Sean and Julian had set aside for a ransom scenario. Sean also sells his beloved espresso machine to reach the $200,000 mark. That night, while Sean and Dorothy take the money to the mall as instructed, Julian stays at the house along with Leanne, who bakes a cake with help from Tobe. Leanne places the baby figurine in one of the cakes, reminiscing about how her alcoholic mother would make her follow the same recipe and always take the prize of the "baby" for herself. She has Tobe hide in the attic, showing him that the Turners have been locking her in there. Julian calls the Turners, who receive no contact from the kidnappers at the mall. When Julian speaks to Sean alone, they realize that Leanne was able to access Sean's laptop and place the order. Julian confronts Leanne, who explains this wild goose hunt was more punishment for Dorothy. Uncle George suddenly appears at the mall, confronting the Turners. They bring him back to the house, where he demands to know where Leanne is. In the attic, Leanne devours the cake in search of the baby figurine while the lights around her flicker and pop.
166"Espresso"Isabella EklöfTony Basgallop & Nina BraddockFebruary 19, 2021 (2021-02-19)
Uncle George demands Leanne be brought back to the house from which she was kidnapped, secretly promising to heal Sean in return. He claims he and Leanne are people who were "given a second chance at life" to serve others and says Leanne was not supposed to come to Sean and Dorothy with Jericho, which is why he was taken. In flashbacks, Sean brings home a new coffee maker and gets invited to be the judge on a cooking competition TV show, initially declining because he has to care for Jericho but later agrees, leaving Dorothy alone with the baby. Dorothy tries to bribe George to leave but he takes the money to the flooded basement and dumps it in the hole where Dorothy buried Leanne. He finds a strand of Leanne's hair in the hole and becomes afraid, praying and suggesting the flood is a divine punishment for Leanne being in the house. Sean tries to sneak Leanne out of the house, while she explains that George is lying and will not bring Jericho back no matter what. They are stopped by a news report on TV talking about gunfire at the Marino house, where Leanne was taken from. The whereabouts and status of that family are unknown.
177"Marino"Nimród AntalIshana Night ShyamalanFebruary 26, 2021 (2021-02-26)
Upon hearing the news of the gunfire at the Marino house, Leanne tortures herself and George becomes unresponsive. Officer Reyes' unannounced visit forces the Turners to hide George. It is reported that the bodies of the Marino couple have been found but that their son, Sergio, is missing. When Reyes insists on searching the house, she fails to find George but discovers in the attic a massive amount of straw crosses made by Leanne. Reyes reveals that she came to warn Sean of Dorothy's deteriorating mental state which is similar to that of Mr. Marino, who had failed to cope with his wife's sickness and had harmed his family. She also discloses that a note was found at the crime scene, written by Mr. Marino, indicating that Sergio's body should be searched. After Reyes leaves, Leanne is shocked to find out that Sergio's body was recently discovered having been shot by his father. She infers that she could have stopped the homicides if she had been there. Eventually, the Turners receive a mysterious wooden box addressed to George. It contains a Betamax tape, a note saying 'Reunite them by Christmas' Eve', a dagger, and some vials. Meanwhile, Leanne tears down the straw crosses in the attic and apparently rebels against God as the skylight in the attic shatters.
188"Loveshack"Isabella EklöfStory by : Nina Braddock
Teleplay by : Nina Braddock and Ishana Night Shyamalan
March 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
As George assures the Turners for Jericho's return, he begins collecting the 'ingredients'. Suddenly, Roscoe appears and shuts the couple out. He reveals that George strictly asked him to do so. Dorothy confronts George, who desires isolation for the 'process' and reassures her to expect a reunion when 'the clock turns'. Sean's hand begins to heal from the paste George made him. Meanwhile, Julian tries to bond with Leanne when he finds out that the burnt house was actually hers. Leanne discloses that her mother was cruel to her so she burnt her dress, causing the fire. Julian convinces her that he ignored Dorothy's calls when Jericho died and he is the person to be blamed. Both of them sharing guilt, they have sex. George plays a song and starts to bang his head on the wall in Leanne's previous room. When he finds out Leanne sleeping with Julian, Leanne confronts him. She accidentally shoves a candle on the floor, creating a wall of fire between herself and George. When she declares she can deal with May, an intimidated George assures her that May is not the woman she has to be afraid of but someone else entirely. Stressed, George runs out of the home only to be hit by a car as Leanne watches from the window.
199"Goose"Nimród AntalTony BasgallopMarch 12, 2021 (2021-03-12)
Leanne tells the Turners that George left, leaving them oblivious to the confrontation and car accident the previous night. Expecting Jericho to be returned on Christmas Eve, Dorothy prepares for his return by hosting a family gathering. In attendance are the Turners, Julian, Leanne, Frank, and his younger girlfriend Kourtney. Frank and Julian explain the situation with Jericho in its entirety to Kourtney before they arrive, but she has difficulty following it. Over the course of the dinner, tensions rise as the Turners gradually realize that Jericho is not coming back. Throughout the night, Julian indulges heavily in alcohol and hides in the bathroom to snort cocaine while ducking calls from Natalie. Leanne confronts him about their sexual encounter, hoping to continue their affair, but Julian refuses, claiming it was a bad idea because he's "not right in the head". Returning to the bathroom once more, Julian overdoses and Kourtney finds him dead. Sean attempts CPR but is unsuccessful, during which time Leanne arrives from a mysterious trip to the basement and looks at Julian's body with horror. Suddenly, Leanne also arrives and revives Julian with methods that ambiguously resemble CPR. Julian claims that he saw Jericho while he was dead, and the baby seemed "fine". After the Christmas guests depart, Leanne discovers that Dorothy was in the basement creating a noose out of Jericho's clothes, to commit suicide if he is not returned to her. A woman arrives at the house wearing a veil and asks Sean if he is looking for Jericho.
2010"Josephine"Ishana Night ShyamalanIshana Night ShyamalanMarch 19, 2021 (2021-03-19)
The woman in the veil introduces herself as Josephine. She speaks to Dorothy, hinting at the truth of Jericho's death and showing her the onesie he died in. Troubled by this, Dorothy locks herself in Jericho's nursery. Josephine then lures Sean to another room, locking him inside before she confronts Leanne in the attic. Josephine plays the Betamax tape for Leanne, an instructive Church of Lesser Saints video on the process of "purifying" wayward members by ritualistically mutilating, blinding, and killing them before burning the bodies. Josephine refers to this video as a warning and instructs Leanne to pray with her. When instructed to forget about Dorothy, Leanne flees to the basement and prays alone there. Sean's door unlocks and he goes to the nursery, where a despondent Dorothy now believes the Church has killed Jericho, and is preparing to commit suicide. Sean pleads with Dorothy and successfully talks her down. In the basement, Josephine attempts the "purification" process on Leanne, but Dorothy arrives and knocks Josephine out with a shovel. When Dorothy leaves the basement to retrieve Sean, Josephine attacks Leanne again, but Leanne stabs her through the eye. The basement sinkhole is later shown filled with burning coals, and Josephine nowhere to be found. Sean attempts to tell Dorothy the truth about Jericho's death, but they are interrupted by singing on the baby monitor. They find Leanne cradling a living Jericho in the nursery. Leanne declares that the Turners are her family. Later, back in her spare room, Leanne talks to herself, referencing a growing darkness in her and declaring war on the cult. The power goes out along the street, and Josephine's burnt corpse is shown behind the wall of Leanne's room.

Season 3 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"Donkey"M. Night ShyamalanRyan ScottJanuary 21, 2022 (2022-01-21)

Three months after Aunt Josephine's visit and mysterious baby Jericho's spirit's return to his body, Leanne is paranoid. Believing the cult is coming for her, she refuses to leave the Turner House. Julian, now sober and finished with rehab, accompanies Leanne on a walk with Jericho, though she is terrified. Julian tries to break up with her, but she says she likes their relationship and doesn't want Julian to change. She then mistakes a stranger for Uncle George and goes back inside with Jericho. As Julian goes to follow her inside, a chunk of the gargoyle adorning the front of the house falls off and shatters on the sidewalk, nearly hitting him. Dorothy gives Leanne a two-piece bathing suit. The next day, Dorothy, Jericho, Sean, Julian and his girlfriend Veera, leave to go to the beach, though Leanne insists on staying behind. She sits in the basement with her blank diary until the mud in the sinkhole starts to bubble. Leanne scribbles what appear to be check marks all over the page. While Leanne is cleaning, doors begin to close on their own and she hears strange noises. She drinks wine and invites Tobe over, but he is busy. Dorothy FaceTimes Leanne to check in, and she mentions Julian was attacked by a flock of rabid seagulls.

Leanne finds her diary on the floor of the hallway, and realizes the check marks she drew were a flock of birds. She hears a noise and finds a man rifling through the drawers in the master bedroom. She hides in the closet and calls Sean to explain the situation. He says he will call the police. Leanne leaves the closet and steps on a creaky board, alerting the man. She hides in the crawl space in her bedroom, where Aunt Josephine's body still remains, covered in moths. They swarm Leanne and the man leaves. Leanne sets off an alarm on her phone in the bathroom to lure the man inside, and she closes the door. She tells the man, who she thinks is part of the cult, that he can choose not to be a part of it. Distracted by the police arriving, Leanne accidentally lets the man escape. The Turners arrive back to the house shortly after, and the family is informed that the intruder's M.O. is consistent with a string of burglaries in the area. Leanne later realizes that her dagger is amongst the stolen items. Dorothy tells Leanne they will install security cameras. As the episode ends, Leanne watches a moth on her lampshade.
222"Hive"Ishana Night ShyamalanIshana Night ShyamalanJanuary 28, 2022 (2022-01-28)

The Turners install an expensive security camera system. Dorothy hosts a mommy-and-me gathering without consulting Leanne first. Leanne hesitantly allows Dorothy to host the party. Leanne hallucinates that the camera technician has her dagger, but it is just a screwdriver. The guests arrive, including a man named Riley Smiley for the infants. Leanne is wary of him.

One of the mothers asks Dorothy a few prodding questions, and even asks about an ambulance at the Turners house last summer, which was when Dorothy had carelessly left Jericho to die in the car. Leanne hallucinates that the mothers are cult members. She then discreetly checks the mothers' backs for scars while they are in downward dog, finding one peeking out of the tank top of one of the mommies. Startling her, she flies to the kitchen-only to run into Sean, who spills his blood-thickened dish on her. While upstairs washing off her clothes, she sees a mother in her room looking under her bed. Leanne confronts her, Julian and Veera come in to see the ruckus. The mother claims she was not snooping and the baby dropped the pacifier, and pulls one out of her pocket in a maneuver to make it appear she picked it off the ground. Julian tells Leanne she's overreacting.

Later, Leanne returns to the living room to find it devoid of guests except for Mr. Smiley. Leanne becomes convinced Mr. Smiley is a cult member and threatens him with a knife when he refuses to stop approaching her. The mothers return from their walk outside as Leanne demands Mr. Smiley show her his back. There are no scars. Dorothy apologizes to the group. She gives a toast to motherhood. Suddenly, hundreds of bees fly out of the fireplace. Everyone runs out of the house. The exterminators determine the beehive must have fallen in the chimney when the cameras were being installed. Julian suspects Leanne. Later, Leanne brushes her wet hair, Dorothy admits that she feels cursed while Leanne says everything happens as it is supposed to but Dorothy is uncertain.
233"Hair"Carlo Mirabella-DavisAlyssa ClarkFebruary 4, 2022 (2022-02-04)

A flashback shows Julian discovering Jericho dead in his crib, causing him to vomit. He weeps in sorrow and fear as he had tried to revive his catatonic sister. In the present, he and Veera decide that they should prove that Jericho is actually Leanne's baby. Dorothy leaves for work with blonde hair to cover a news story on a Marilyn Monroe lookalike contest. Later, Sean takes Leanne to the park. She is not as paranoid, but when Sean gives spare change to a stranger, Leanne says she wants to go home. Dorothy returns that evening and puts Jericho to bed, although Leanne isn't happy about it.

The next day, Julian meets with Roscoe. He convinces Roscoe to call in a favor to a friend of his, who will analyze Leanne, Dorothy, and Jericho's DNA. The stranger from earlier walks past the two of them. Sean brings food to her and another homeless woman, although he finds them a bit off-putting. Roscoe tells Julian via FaceTime that he needs the DNA (hair samples) within thirty minutes, and that he is visiting a relative.

Another flashback shows Julian tearfully calling his father the night of Jericho's death and asking for help. Back in the present, Julian sneaks into the nursery and pulls out one of Jericho's hairs. He searches Leanne's bedroom for her hair, but finds none. Leanne walks in on him looking under her bed. Julian attempts to rekindle their relationship and pulls out a few strands of Leanne's hair. Upset, she makes him leave.

Julian searches for strands of Dorothy's hair, eventually finding her hairbrush in the living room. Roscoe arrives and Julian gives him the hair. Leanne watches from a distance. The stranger from the park knocks on the back door and asks Sean if he can use his bathroom. He lets him. When he leaves the bathroom, Dorothy sees him and screams, causing the stranger to run out of the house. Dorothy decides her next story should be about the homeless in the local park. She attempts to interview them, but only one out of the three is willing to share any information. The story becomes more about Sean doing good in the community by helping the homeless. The family happily watches the story air on TV. The DNA results arrive and Julian informs Dorothy that Jericho is not her biological son. Dorothy becomes convinced Julian is using again. A woman from the mommy-and-me group arrives to collect her diaper bag she left, and she notices her hairbrush on the kitchen table — the same brush Julian got "Dorothy's hair" from. Dorothy sternly tells Julian not to do anything like that ever again. Later, Leanne notices the three homeless people staring at her from outside, indicating that they are indeed from the Church of Lesser Saints.
244"Ring"Dylan Holmes WilliamsLaura MarksFebruary 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)

Tobe comes with his new girlfriend Sylvia, who happens to be very rude to him, as assistants in Sean's lunch. Sylvia has donned a silver-and-red ring that will not come off. Leanne tries to tell Tobe that Sylvia does not care about him, but does not listen and returns to work. A tense situation causes Sylvia to fall and catch her ring finger on a catch that cuts it off entirely. Leanne takes little Jericho out of the kitchen as Sean and Tobe try to find her finger. Tobe accidentally activates the disposal in the drain, causing it to be destroyed. Only able to find the ring, Tobe faints.

In the evening, Julian shows Sean how Dorothy zoned out during her interview with a street artist and runs humiliated as she has begun lactating. She returns home in tears and Leanne hugs her as Dorothy takes her son upstairs to breastfeed him. She tells Sean how she thinks that the universe wants to hurt her and the feeling she is getting that something is not right. In the attic, Leanne is shown to have the ring and dances seductively to songs Dorothy played earlier during their aerobics. Outside, several more homeless people have gathered looking right at her.
255"Tiger"Logan George and Celine HeldHenry ChaissonFebruary 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)

At a block party for feeding the homeless, Dorothy ignores Julian's warnings about the cult probably watching and takes baby Jericho for his television debut to undermine her friend Isabelle for replacing her as Channel 8 reporter. Finally feeling relaxed for once, Leanne and Tobe dance and win a llama during a game. In a face-painting booth, Leanne asks for a tiger that covers the right half of her face. She overhears Isabelle and the black-haired mother of baby Matthew from the mommy-and-me group talking about the ambulance that came for Jericho's demise the previous summer. Leanne says how rude it is to talk about people behind one's back, to which the mother replies that it is just as rude to eavesdrop and leaves. Isabelle googles Leanne, and finds the missing poster that Dorothy had made before Christmas.

Wanting to get more food, Leanne instead finds her dagger that was stolen and is attacked by two people who chase her in the Turner house, breaking the glass on the door. Leanne puts her bloody overalls in the washing machine and assures Dorothy that nothing has happened. She gives the llama to Jericho, and goes to the bathroom, where she flashbacks to her terrifying predicament, and then places some of her blood on her forehead.
266"Fish"Kitty GreenAmy Louise JohnsonFebruary 25, 2022 (2022-02-25)

Leanne has nightmares of the night she was attacked by members of the Church of Lesser Saints. Dorothy comes into her room and is happy that Leanne is now making an effort at opening herself up more. Sean has started praying, much to the chagrin of his wife who thinks that Sean is wasting his time in "throwing the Lord down their son's throat." She prepares for the dinner party for Sean's minister friend Nancy while Sean hears yet another call from the producers of Gourmet Gauntlet. Dorothy is delighted and tries to get Sean to accept the time on the cooking show. Julian, however, reminds Sean that the last time he had left to be on that show had cost them Jericho; that accepting would unmistakably wake Dorothy up from her "sleeping beauty" routine. Checking the security cameras, Dorothy sees the attack and confronts Leanne as to why she kept her in the dark about such a horrifying experience; certain it was the cult. When Nancy finally does come, Leanne is surprisingly rude and indifferent towards her. Sean has prepared several fish dishes, having forgotten that Nancy is vegetarian. Dorothy arrives with baby Jericho, and notices Leanne's leg shaking due to her nervousness of their guest's presence. As they eat, Nancy brings up the time Sean was on the show "last season" which Dorothy, of course, has blocked out of her mind as it was the time she had found Jericho dead. Sean and Julian cover up her confusion under the pretense that Dorothy has "the worst memory whenever she even gets a bit jealous" and even had "forgotten her own brother's birthday three times". Leanne continues to antagonize Nancy by claiming that God would not fix her because of what she had done. Humiliated, Nancy leaves and demands that Sean stay away from her. Julian had found out that Nancy had attacked her own aging mother, who was afflicted with dementia, in 2012.

After putting baby Jericho to bed, Dorothy watches a Gourmet Gauntlet episode but quickly closes her laptop, confused as to why she cannot remember such a time. In the attic, Sean tries to assure Leanne that he and everyone else is on her side. He says that he believes that God had brought his son back through her, to which Leanne contradicts him, saying that God himself was not involved in Jericho's return to life. Confused, Sean asks her who did but she does not give an answer. Leanne tells Sean to go ahead and take the job on Gourmet Gauntlet since they will be fine with her there to protect Jericho this time. She leaves Sean alone to ponder her response.
277"Camp"Celine Held & Logan GeorgeKara Lee CorthronMarch 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)

Sean's promo for Gourmet Gauntlet impresses Dorothy and Leanne. Leanne takes nine-month-old Jericho for his walk as Dorothy chastises Julian for lovemaking with Leanne, to which he assures her that it is over. Dorothy tells him about Leanne being attacked and how confused she, Dorothy, is at being unable to recall Sean ever being on Gourmet Gauntlet; afraid that she is losing her mind. Julian covers this to her being under a whole lot of stress, something Dorothy takes as part of postpartum depression. At the park, Leanne sees the group of "homeless people" who present her with a necklace and tell her how Jericho is a miracle child, which implies that they are aware that Leanne had actually managed to return the infant's very young spirit to his earthly body all on her own. Seeing this from a window, a thoroughly panicked Dorothy runs and takes her child. She forbids Leanne to return to the park, which Leanne compares Dorothy's controlling nature to May Markham's. Sean disregards Dorothy's increasing paranoia regarding Jericho's safety as he prepares dinner and she leaves upstairs. Leanne tells Sean that the homeless people she has visited appear to almost worship her to the point of wanting to learn from her rebellious nature for being able defect from the Church of Lesser Saints cult.

Wanting to be rid of Leanne for good, Dorothy sweet talks Leanne into taking a two-month dance course in New Jersey, which Sean is not pleased about as Dorothy did not consult him on such a sudden decision. Undeterred, Dorothy accuses Sean of gaslighting her, which he does not react to, as it is true since Jericho's premature death the previous summer. The next morning, Julian tries to tell Dorothy that she is making a grave error at making Leanne leave, which Dorothy dismisses to "how it should be." However, as Leanne is about to leave, Dorothy screams at seeing the reborn doll in place of Jericho in his highchair. Everyone frantically searches the house at hearing crying from different parts. Veera breaks up with Julian and leaves, as he had used her personal history as a weapon. Fully aware that Leanne's departure is linked to Jericho's sudden disappearance, Sean prays to God holding the lifelike doll. Leanne puts her coat on the rack, and Dorothy furiously orders to her to tell her where Jericho is as Leanne knows what she is capable of. Leanne simply replies that Jericho has been safe and sound in the nursery the entire time. Dorothy weeps over finding Jericho and Sean comforts her. He tells Dorothy that Leanne is to remain, as he does not want to lose his son again. Profoundly panicky, Dorothy warns Sean about a "plan being set in motion" but he ignores her and apologizes to Leanne on Dorothy's behalf and that she can stay as long she likes. As she returns to her room, Leanne thanks Dorothy for attempting to broaden her horizons, but that she could never leave Jericho as anything could happen to him if she was not around.
288"Donut"Dylan Holmes WilliamsAlyssa ClarkMarch 11, 2022 (2022-03-11)
Leanne takes on a leadership role with the homeless encampment, whose inhabitants seem to be runaways from the cult. At home, Dorothy is cold toward Leanne and refuses to let her touch Jericho, as well as making Sean sleep on the couch for as long as he refuses to kick Leanne out. Isabelle starts showing up near the house and speaking to Leanne, offering to befriend her and bond over their shared grievances with Dorothy. Isabelle later calls an ambulance on a homeless man she claimed was sleeping nearby, and Leanne spots her speaking to a paramedic and pointing at the Turner home. Isabelle confronts Dorothy, apparently having pieced together the truth about Jericho, but Dorothy misunderstands and believes Leanne accused her of kidnapping during the pizza incident. Leanne tries to dissuade Isabelle from pursuing an investigation into Dorothy and Jericho, but Isabelle is adamant. That night, Dorothy invites her father and Kourtney over for what Sean hoped would be a private celebration dinner for the couple to watch the premiere of his new show. A moody Dorothy changes the channel to jealously watch Isabelle covering a police standoff, and they see Isabelle killed by a stray bullet on camera. Dorothy sees Leanne smile at this, and Leanne later disposes of a bag of donuts Isabelle had brought to the house.
299"Commitment"Veronika Franz and Severin FialaLaura Marks and C. Henry ChaissonMarch 18, 2022 (2022-03-18)
Dorothy asks Leanne about her smiling at Isabelle’s death, and Leanne says that Isabelle only wanted to hurt Dorothy. Leanne and Julian have sex on the back patio, unaware that Dorothy is watching them on the security camera; Dorothy later confronts Julian, who suggests she make peace with Leanne. Dorothy, meanwhile, continues to refuse to let anyone other than her, including Sean, hold or care for Jericho. When Dorothy refuses a breakfast cooked by Sean and instead has cereal, she finds insects in the cereal bowl. Later, when Leanne leaves to go to the park, Dorothy looks through her belongings and sees a drawing of her whipping herself with a drop of blood on it. Dorothy sees the same scars on her back and asks Leanne about them, but Leanne insists she does not hurt herself or listen to the cult any more. Dorothy convinces her dad to bring a psychiatrist friend of his to the house to evaluate Leanne for commitment. The doctor speaks to Leanne and Dorothy each by themselves. After he speaks to Dorothy, Frank shows up at the house, and Dorothy learns that her father sent the doctor over to evaluate her, not Leanne. Frank and the doctor suggest sending her away for some rest while Sean and Julian object, but Leanne shows up and convinces them to keep Dorothy in the house, manipulating Dorothy into finally letting her hold Jericho in order to do so. Frank and the doctor relent, and the doctor gives Dorothy trazodone before leaving. Dorothy curls up alone in the bathroom as she hears Leanne singing to Jericho.
3010"Mama"Ishana Night ShyamalanRyan ScottMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
When Dorothy wakes up the following morning after being given trazodone, Sean and Julian show her support against her father's actions. Leanne tells Dorothy that she is going to help her no matter what, says that she forgives her for trying to get her sent away, and pleads her to stop fighting her. Dorothy appears to accept this and starts to act more friendly towards Leanne, but Sean and Julian both do not believe it to be genuine. The next morning, Leanne takes Dorothy with her on her walk into the park with the "homeless people". There, Leanne tells Dorothy of a new job opportunity as an anchor that one of her friends found, but Dorothy doesn't believe they'll accept her. Later in the tub, Jericho says "mama", his first word, to Dorothy. Dorothy cooks dinner that night for herself, Sean, Leanne, and Julian, and they all seem to be in good spirits. After dinner, Dorothy reconciles with Sean, and they kiss in their own bed. Outide the Turners' house, Roscoe converses with Uncle George, who is alive and out of the hospital, and George tells him that the house is rotting. When Sean falls asleep, Dorothy attempts to run away from the house with Jericho, but Leanne stops her and wakes up Sean and Julian. When Dorothy tells them she is leaving, Leanne apologizes to her, and the railing behind Dorothy then gives out due to a termite infestation. Leanne grabs Jericho, but Dorothy falls to the ground floor, slamming her back into multiple railings on the way down. Still breathing on the floor but unable to move, she can see Leanne looking down at her, holding Jericho.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Promotional poster

On February 27, 2018, it was announced that Apple Inc. had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by Tony Basgallop who also wrote for the series and executive produced it alongside M. Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black, and Steve Tisch. Production companies involved with the show include Blinding Edge Pictures, Escape Artists, and Dolphin Black Productions.[9][10][11] Mike Gioulakis served as the series' cinematographer.[12] On October 3, 2019, it was reported that the series was scheduled to be released on November 28, 2019.[13] Ahead of the series premiere, on November 22, 2019, it was announced that Apple had renewed the series for a second season which is set to premiere on January 15, 2021.[3][14] On December 15, 2020, ahead of the second season premiere, Apple renewed the series for a third season.[4] On December 14, 2021, ahead of the third season premiere, Apple renewed the series for a fourth and final season.[6]

Shyamalan stated that he originally envisioned the series to stretch for 60 half-hour episodes, or six seasons, but he ultimately planned the show to be four seasons with 40 episodes in total.[15][16]

Casting[edit]

On August 22, 2018, it was announced that Lauren Ambrose and Nell Tiger Free had been cast in leading roles.[8] On November 30, 2018, it was reported that Rupert Grint had joined the main cast.[17] On December 4, 2018, it was announced that Toby Kebbell had been cast in a starring role.[18] in December 2021, Sunita Mani was announced to be joining the cast.[19]

Filming[edit]

The first season of Servant was filmed in Philadelphia from November 2018 to March 2019. Exterior scenes took place in Philadelphia's Center City near Spruce and 21st Streets. A set for the interior of the Turner home was built in a former paint factory in Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.[20][21] Italian chef Marc Vetri served as a food consultant for the cooking scenes in season one.[15]

In March 2020, Apple TV+ shut down production of season two due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22] In September 2020, production resumed to finish the four remaining episodes of season two.[23] Philadelphia chef Drew DiTomo was the food consultant for season two, spending many days making pizzas and teaching the cast to make the pizzas that served as the basis for Cheezus Crust, the fictional pizza delivery company that Sean and Dorothy created during the season.[24]

In February 2021, it was reported that production on season three had begun.[25]

In an interview with Backstage, Grint revealed that unlike many film and television productions, Servant is filmed chronologically, with the cast getting scripts as they film each episode, keeping them just as much a part of the mystery as the characters and viewers.[26]

Reportedly Apple CEO Tim Cook asked Shyamalan to not display crucifixes on the walls during filming.[27]

Release[edit]

The first season of Servant premiered on Apple TV+ on November 28, 2019, and ran for ten episodes until January 17, 2020. Ahead of the first season premiere, Apple renewed the show for a second ten-episode season, which premiered on January 15, 2021.[3] In December 2020, ahead of the second season premiere, the series was renewed for a third season.[4] The third season is scheduled to premiere on January 21, 2022.[5] In December 2021, ahead of the third season premiere, the series was renewed for a fourth and final season.[6]

Marketing[edit]

Coinciding with the finale episode of season two, and paying homage to Cheezus Crust, the fictional pizza business that Dorothy and Sean create in the season, Apple partnered with two pizza restaurants in Los Angeles to offer free pizza throughout the weekend.[28]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Servant
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
184% (61 reviews)[29]64 (20 reviews)[30]
288% (26 reviews)[31]76 (9 reviews)[32]
392% (12 reviews)[33]73 (4 reviews)[34]

For the first season, the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 84% approval rating with an average score of 7.2/10, based on 61 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though Servant's slithering mystery often wanders into dark, crowded corners, its claustrophobic atmosphere and powerful performances build enough tension to keep viewers hooked."[29] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 64 out of 100 for the season, based on reviews from 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[30]

For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes reported an 88% approval rating with an average score of 7.6/10, based on 26 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Servant's second season serves up a solid—if not always convincing—set of thrills with a better grasp on its dark humor."[31] Metacritic assigned a score of 76 out of 100 based on nine critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32]

For the third season, Rotten Tomatoes reported an 92% approval rating with an average score of 6.7/10, based on 12 reviews.[33] Metacritic assigned a score of 73 out of 100 based on four critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[34]

Author Stephen King has praised the series on multiple occasions, calling it "spooky as hell", "extremely creepy and totally involving."[35][36] Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has called it a beautifully crafted, elegant show which feels like a European slow burn. He also praised the surgical staging and camera work in the episodes directed by M. Night Shyamalan, as well as Rupert Grint's performance.[37]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Golden Reel Awards January 19, 2020 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Sound Effects, Foley, Music, Dialogue and ADR for Live Action Broadcast Media Under 35 Minutes Sean Garnhart, Alexa Zimmerman, Mark Filip, Fred Rosenberg, Lesley Langs, Julien Pirrie and Gareth Rhys Jones (for "Reborn") Nominated [38]
April 16, 2021 Sean Garnhart, Mark Filip, Michael Feuser, Lesley Langs, Julien Pirrie and Gareth Rhys Jones (for "2:00") Won [39]
SEC Awards June 21, 2021 Best Supernatural Mystery/Thriller Series Servant Nominated [40]
Best Actor in a Thriller Series Rupert Grint Nominated
Best Actress in a Thriller Series Lauren Ambrose Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association August 29, 2021 Best Streaming Series, Drama Servant Nominated [41]
Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Series, Drama Rupert Grint Won
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Horror Television Series Servant Nominated [42]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards September 18, 2021 Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) Marshall Adams (for "2:00") Nominated [43]

Lawsuit[edit]

In January 2020, Francesca Gregorini filed a lawsuit against Servant producers including Tony Basgallop and M. Night Shyamalan, the production companies involved, and Apple TV+, alleging copyright infringement for her 2013 drama film, The Truth About Emanuel. The Truth About Emanuel is a psychological thriller in which a woman uses a lifelike doll to cope with the loss of her infant hiring a young girl as a nanny to take care of it.[44] Basgallop and Shyamalan responded that neither had seen her film and that any similarity is coincidence.[45] They go further in saying that Servant was in development before the creation of Gregorini's film.[44]

On May 28, 2020, a federal judge threw out the copyright lawsuit against Shyamalan and Apple, ruling that the TV show is not similar enough to the film to merit a lawsuit.[46] Gregorini responded that the, "ruling is disappointing, but not surprising", and that "the balance of power in the entertainment industry has always favored powerful men and institutions" after the suit was thrown out.[47] On July 21, 2020, the court ordered Gregorini to pay the defendants' attorneys' fees of $162,467. The court emphasized the objective unreasonableness of her claims.[48]

In February 2021, however, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the lawsuit was dismissed prematurely, as the discovery steps had not actually been carried out, ruling "'reasonable minds could differ' on whether the stories are substantially similar."[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kornelis, Chris (January 12, 2022). "M. Night Shyamalan on Impostor Syndrome and His Old-School Film Techniques". Wsj.com. Retrieved January 15, 2022 – via www.wsj.com.
  2. ^ "The Prizes of the International Jury". Berlinale.de. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Otterson, Joe (November 22, 2019). "'Servant' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple Ahead of Series Premiere". Variety. Archived from the original on November 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (December 15, 2020). "'Servant' Renewed For Season 3 By Apple". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Hersko, Tyler (October 29, 2021). "'Servant' Season 3 Teaser: Apple TV+'s Horror Series to Return in January". IndieWire. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
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  7. ^ Vadala, Nick (November 7, 2019). "M. Night Shyamalan's 'Servant': Trailer reveals creepy details for the Philly-shot show". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
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