M. Night Shyamalan’s dramatic thriller Servant continues its second season on Apple TV+ today with the fifth episode, “Cake”
Check out our review below.
(Note: this review contains spoilers! Jump down to the Bottom Line for the spoiler-free take.)
In episode 5 of Servant, things go back to normal. (Well, normal for Servant, anyways.)
I mean this literally from a pacing perspective, and on-screen within the Turner household. The last episode of Servant was unusually action-packed, intense where the series normally favors a slower, more creeping sense of dread. We’ve slowed things down again in episode 5, with the Turners taking a new approach to getting information out of Leanne.
Basically, it can be described as:
Following Dorothy’s shocking methods of extracting information in the last episode, she’s now decided the best thing to do is treat Leanne normally again. Leanne is allowed out of the attic again, able to roam the house as she likes. Of course, the doors leading outside are padlocked. She’s still a prisoner. But now she’s a… free range prisoner.
And somehow, Tobe is still around. (Tobe, please. The Turners tricked you into drugging a girl, then threatened to blackmail you for it. Why are you sticking with them?)
While Dorothy is testing out her new “forced niceties” approach to cracking Leanne, she’s shocked – but excited – to receive a ransom demand for Jericho. (One that isn’t a ploy created by her husband and brother, actually.) The Turners scramble to liquidize enough assets to come up with $200k, and stuff it all in a duffel bag to meet the ransomers at the local mall.
Of course, no one ever shows up to claim the cash, because Leanne’s the one who sent the ransom note. She did it specifically because she knew it would hurt Dorothy to think she was going to get Jericho back, only to have nothing come out of the encounter. Honestly, I have to admire Leanne’s commitment to pettiness here.
In a move that has become so popular with Servant, the moments packing a real punch happen right at the end. Leanne’s creepy uncle is back, and he’s pissed. (Which is honestly reasonable, considering the Turners did kidnap Leanne.) And the final moments reveal another bizarre surge of paranormal power from Leanne herself. This episode was a bit of a slow-burner, but once again the closing minutes manage to draw me right back in.
Servant S2E5: The Bottom Line
This episode slows the pace and the thrills back down to a more standard level for Servant. We run the full spectrum of emotions for Leanne, starting out worried for her and ending worried about what she’ll do. (Pretty impressive for a run time clocking under 30 minutes.) The creeping dread is still there, but I can’t help but miss the intensity and excitement of the previous episode.