Descending Into Madness
If the first episode set the scene, Episode 2 of Servant dives deep into unsettling horror territory for its strongest episode yet. With deeper characterisation and some nicely implemented bites of tension, Servant looks set to be a solid thriller. We begin with Dorothy returning home and cradling Jericho, as Sean tries desperately to make sense of what’s happening. He immediately confronts Leanne over the baby but she acts oblivious to the entire situation.
Later that evening, Sean takes drastic measures and rips down the wicca cross from above Jericho’s cot and throws it in the sink dispenser. After turning off the baby monitor, Sean dresses up Jericho and prepares to leave. Only, as it turns out the code by the front door appears to have been changed. As the alarm sounds, Dorothy charges downstairs and shuts off the alarm – using the same code Sean input before which didn’t work.
In the morning, Sean watches Leanne suspiciously out the window as she takes Jericho for a walk before pulling a splinter out from his foot and researching more about their Nanny. When she returns home with Jericho, she spies the wicca cross missing from the cot. Julian heads over to the house and it’s here he sees first-hand that Jericho is no longer a doll but a living, breathing child.
That evening, Sean finds more splinters in his back and rear end. While Dorothy helps remove them, Leanne silently folds up another wicca cross to place above Jericho’s cot. It happens to be Julian’s birthday and as he arrives at the house, he decides to meet Leanne and convinces Dorothy to have her come down for dinner.
Julian seemingly takes a fancy to her too, pouring the young girl a large glass of bubbly at the dinner table. While Sean complains about the seasoning of the food and begins to choke, telling them he can’t taste anything, Julian asks Leanne about Jericho. Excusing himself from the dinner table, Sean coughs up a large splinter from the back of his throat.
Meanwhile, Dorothy opens the fridge and immediately sees a brilliant, bright white light which entrances her and she stands silently by, unresponsive. Unresponsive that is, until Sean and Julian tap her on the shoulder and she snaps out of her trance and returns to normal. As the episode closes out, Dorothy holds baby Jericho while Leanne remains at the dinner table, drinking wine alone.
After the opening episode, which did well to lay a solid foundation, Servant returns for a much creepier episode this time around, one that reinforces that something isn’t quite right with Leanne. The unsettling musical score and great use of compositional techniques combine to make for some really memorable moments this episode, in a series that’s, so far at least, doing well to solidfy itself as a decent horror offering.