Pigeon – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Itch – | Review Score – 3/5
Seance – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Boo – | Review Score – 2/5
Neighbors – | Review Score – 3/5
Zoo – | Review Score – 3/5
Myth – | Review Score – 3/5
Tunnels – | Review Score – 4/5
Awake – | Review Score – 3/5
Fallen – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Crafting a compelling mystery series, especially in the horror category, takes skill. Not only do you need to keep the eerie atmosphere tightly woven, you also have to balance a steady trickle of answers and reveals with an ever-larger desire for a big pay-off to make the journey worth taking.
In that respect, Servant is a swing and a miss. The show has had some stand-out moments and across its four seasons, exceling with its trademark Shyamalan style and bringing in a whole swathe of revealing answers and a growing mythos surrounding Leanne, the cult and what her purpose inside the Turner house means. However, when it comes down to it, that’s not going to be enough to satiate viewers with anything but a lackluster, dragged out and poorly thought out final season.
Spread across 10 episodes, Servant picks up right where the previous season left off. Dorothy is bedbound after her tumble off the balcony while Sean has started to really excel in his job, donning a Gordon Ramsay-esque persona on his cooking show. Julian however, is wrapped around Leanne’s finger, who’s more dominant in the show’s narrative than ever before.
As the episodes progress, the truth about Leanne, the cult, Jericho and everything in between is unveiled. I’ve said it before but this show absolutely benefits from a binge watch and waiting for installments every week hasn’t done this show any favours.
The final few episodes are where things really take off though and episode 8 in particular is the one stand-out segment from the whole season. This 30 minute chapter perfectly balances action, big reveals, horror and drama, so it’s a pity that the rest of the show never follows suit.
What’s particularly egregious here is just how much filler there is. Given this is supposed to be the final season, with big answers and a bombastic conclusion (of which there is a big showdown between two characters) the early moments of the season include pointless filler episodes that could have been cut out completely.
All this does is cause you to ponder over some of the more lackluster elements and point out the plot holes. Early on, a kid gets his arm broken during an accident with Leanne. But yet, it’s never mentioned again. Another time, Leanne knocks out all the electrics in the street…but yet the lights are still on inside all the houses.
When you compare this to season 1, which is still arguably the best of the show’s run, season 4 feels like it runs out of steam and could have done with a shorter 6 episode run to tighten everything up.
In terms of the production design and general aesthetic, Servant continues to deliver. The familiar minor-string theme song is a particularly great mood-setter while the uncomfortable extreme close ups (which seems to be a Shyamalan favourite right now) does really well to heighten the mood. In fact, the penultimate episode features a lovely “angel” and “devil” moment in a rather unique bit of framing.
Servant season 4 ultimately delivers a perfunctory ending; a weak final hammer blow with just enough effort to leave a mark but not enough to crack the conventions of the horror genre and become a stand-out star.
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Verdict - 4.5/10