M. Night Shyamalan’s dramatic thriller Servant continues on Apple TV+ today with the penultimate episode of season 2, “Goose.”
Check out our review below. (Note: this review contains spoilers! Jump down to the Bottom Line for the spoiler-free take.)
Christmas with the Turners: not all it’s cracked up to be.
Christmas always comes with family obligations and inflated expectations of harmony. And Dorothy heads into the festivities embracing the spirit of peace and goodwill – a bit too much.
She’s convinced George has disappeared because he’s going to fetch Jericho. And this episode of Servant introduces another point where we see Sean start to go off the rails with her. When Julian realizes they both actually believe Jericho might come home for Christmas, he asks if he’s the only sane one left in the house. (Of course, given all his own issues, that may be too generous an assessment.)
There’s some good humor in the episode, particularly from dealing with their father’s date, Kourtney. Julian trying to explain to her the situation with Jericho is pretty much a meta for Servant fans trying to explain the show to someone who’s never seen it. (“I don’t understand. They have a baby, or don’t they?”) It’s not the funniest episode overall, but there are a couple standout moments.
Otherwise, this episode really focuses on the drama of the situation. We see Dorothy nearing the end of her rope and Sean blindly following her. All of Julian’s problems are catching up to him. And Leanne’s still caught in the middle of all of this (and we don’t fully understand what that means).
I definitely felt that the drama of this episode came from a more grounded place than a lot of the thrills on Servant. Most of the episode focused on more traditional dramatic conflict, rather than the ominous mystery of the vaguely supernatural. That might work well for some people, but for me it’s a bit of a miss. If I want to watch a strict family drama, I can tune in to This Is Us. At its best, Servant works because it weaves in an otherworldly element. And there just wasn’t enough of it in this episode.
Servant S2E9: The Bottom Line
This episode wasn’t bad, but it didn’t quite “wow” me either. The emphasis was so strongly on regular drama (as opposed to supernatural drama) that it ended up a little less compelling for me.