M. Night Shyamalan’s dramatic thriller Servant continues its second season on Apple TV+ today with the eighth episode, “Loveshack.”
Check out our review below. (Note: this review contains spoilers! Jump down to the Bottom Line for the spoiler-free take.)
Oh, Servant. How I wish you managed to be more consistent.
Last week’s episode made my interest in the show take a nosedive. But I also predicted my apathy wouldn’t last – and I was right. Episode 8 brings an uptick in mystery and intrigue. And though it doesn’t reach the highest highs of the season, it’s enough to get me back on board for now.
I’ve subtitled this episode “Sympathy for Leanne,” because that’s the big push here: make us feel bad for Leanne. (And yes, the “sympathy for the devil” parallel is intentional.)
We got a touch of this earlier in the season when Dorothy kidnapped the girl, but now she’s filling in the details of her tragic backstory. The fire that killed her parents? The one we were so quick to call intentional and evil? Well, it was kind of an accident. But maybe she also doesn’t regret it, because her parents were bad people. And now maybe you, the viewer, feel bad she was in that situation to begin with.
She chooses to confide in Julian, who’s dealing with his own issues. He reveals where he was when Jericho died. It finally closes the loop to show how each member of the family feels responsible for the tragedy. I think one of the areas Servant really succeeds is through a relatable portrayal of grief and familial responsibility.
As for the rest of the house… Uncle George is up to something. What exactly that something is, is hard to say at first. His actions tend to be pretty unpredictable. (You’re not gonna believe how the episode titles comes into play in this one.)
Roscoe pops up to talk to the Turners… but doesn’t really seem to say anything. The end of the episode reveals he’s been some sort of pawn for Uncle George. Apparently, the mysterious brainwashing or whatever he underwent at the compound will have long-term consequences. I loved this reveal. It sends us along a new and interesting trajectory that I want to know more about.
And speaking of new and interesting (and ominous) trajectories… Leanne kicks out Uncle George, who warns “she’ll come for you.” But if “she” isn’t cult leader Aunt May, who is it?
Alright, Servant. You have my attention again.
Servant S2E8: The Bottom Line
As I predicted last week, the downturn in my interest has once again been revived, as Leanne tugs on heartstrings and the return of Roscoe hints at something new and sinister. It’s not the best of the season, but it introduced enough new conflicts and intrigue to get me on board for the next episode.