For those of you who read my Best of 2020 list, you may know that I’ve been obsessed with Servant since I saw it a little while back. I was lucky enough to find it later on so I didn’t have to wait long for season 2, and would you look at a that! It’s here already. We’ve received access to the season for review, so I figured we could do a weekly recap and review of the new season. This way, I get to talk about it because not all of my friends watch it and we can all theorize together to try and decipher what on earth is actually going on. This series WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, so I’ll be marking where the recap starts and ends so you don’t see any detailed spoilers if you haven’t watched yet, but I’d advise you to stop and watch the episode first if you haven’t.
To start, let’s recap where we left off in the first season. When we left Sean (Toby Kebbell) and Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose), they had just lost Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) after she learned about Dorothy’s part in the death of her son. Her uncle George (Boris McGiver) and Aunt May (Alison Elliot) have disappeared evidently into thin air. At the very end of the season, after Leanne has left the house, we see that their son Jericho (Mason & Julius Belford) has returned back to his doll form. We’d learned that Aunt May is the leader of a cult, and Leanne had spent time in this place with her and her Uncle George. We don’t know if they possess any super powers, but we do know that Leanne does in some regard. With her departure, the baby also has disappeared. Whether that was intentional or a result of her departure, that is left to be determined.
RECAP (spoilers ahead)
When we open up on the first episode of season 2 (The Doll), we see Dorothy frantically searching the house for her missing child. Sean is hovering his hand over his gas burning stove, seemingly in some kind of self harm. Dorothy calls the police to show up and desperately tries to convince them that her missing son has been taken by Aunt May, the cult leader that was on the news for dying in a fire the day before. They were already skeptical, but her hysteria clearly isn’t helping her to logically provide any useful information to work off of. Natalie (Jerrika Hinton) and Julian (Rupert Grint) formulate a plan to tell the cops that Dorothy is in recovery from the death of their child months ago, and explains the use of the doll therapy. Natalie tells the investigator that she’s in a stage of grieving that has taken a bit of a turn, but that there is no missing child for them to be searching for. In agreeance, Natalie and Julian bring up the idea that they just let Dorothy grieve as whatever baby they had wasn’t hers to begin with. Sean isn’t entirely on board with this plan, but eventually comes around to the idea that they could investigate on their own as they had been for the past few weeks.
As issues evolve, Dorothy creates a campaign strategy for Sean to help her try and find their child. In missing person cases, generally the first 48 hours is crucial and the easiest time to find them and return them home. Dorothy makes sure to remind Sean of this and hands him a stack of flyers and instructions to place them around the city. He agrees, leaves the house and immediately throws them into the recycling with zero intention to distribute them. We discover through conversation that Roscoe, their private investigator, has gone AWOL. Julian and Sean figure that he may have found the cult and is tracing a lead so write it off assuming he’ll return soon. After this conversation, Julian and Dorothy have a conversation where she tells him that instead of searching for Jericho, she wants to hunt for Leanne instead as she will have the answers they need and is easier to track down. Julian reluctantly agrees to post the flyers she’s created. Before he leaves the house, he visits the baby’s room where the doll is laying in the crib. He picks it up and tosses it in the garbage on his way out.
Sean and Dorothy end up getting into a huge fight over their separate responses to Jericho being missing, just as the 48 hour alarm goes off on Dorothy’s phone. As she’s about to start breaking down, we hear the doorbell ring. At the door she finds a note and a shoe of Jericho’s. The note says “Tell no one, the baby lives”. Dorothy is ecstatic that her baby is still alive somewhere, but Sean doesn’t look placated in the least. They go inside the house and we see Julian in his car, watching them. As soon as they close the door, he drives away into the night. It’s pretty safe to assume that the note has come from him.
To close out the episode, the next day we see Sean taking the garbage out. When the bin is dumped into the truck, he sees the doll laying amidst the pile of trash. We cut to Sean inside the house, giving the doll a bath to clean it up. He is caring for it as if it were a real baby.
THOUGHTS AND THEORIES
My thoughts so far on this season is that they did not make any effort to give us any sort of immediate answers – we still don’t know where Leanne is, if Aunt May and Uncle George are dead, if Jericho has been kidnapped by them or somebody entirely different. In a very similar fashion to the first season, you are left wondering what on earth is actually happening. I anticipate that this season is going to be slow to start, but suddenly tons of answers will start appearing. With Julian acting a bit shady with the doll and the note, it seems like they’re trying to paint him in a negative light but my theory is that that is entirely planned. I feel like that’s too simple of an answer to have him be involved in any way, despite him being a bit more trusted by Leanne than Dorothy was. Roscoe being missing seems a little bit off to me, seeing as if you’ve hired somebody for private investigation work they generally would take your calls and provide updates. That being said, with this show who really knows.
I don’t have too many theories or thoughts right now given that we haven’t really been provided any new information as of yet, but there were two scenes I really wanted to mention. The first scene is when we see Sean in the bathroom picking at the scab on his hand from burning. I cannot begin to describe how mortified I was when he started cutting it open and all the pus started coming out. I was talking to Andres about this earlier today, but I’m completely desensitized at this point to the “horror movie injuries” – I can watch somebody lose a limb, get shot, stabbed, decapitated… and nothing. But once there is anything remotely relatable on my own personal pain scale I’m a huge baby. This scene reminded me of that scene in Black Swan where she rips the hang nail down her finger. I wanted to look away, but somehow I just couldn’t. It was like a train wreck, only instead of some big climactic explosion you’re just stuck watching somebody cut into a wound. I will say I never need to watch that scene again.
The second scene I wanted to mention was the argument between Dorothy and Sean when they were playing the “blame game” about Jericho’s disappearance. I find that this show borders on being completely unrealistic sometimes because I cannot relate to any of the characters in a substantial way. They’re rich, they steal/offer to literally BUY babies, they’re suspicious, and ultimately they are all moderately unlikable. That being said, this scene to me felt like the most realistic and relatable expression of them. If you’ve ever had an argument with somebody that was fuelled by pain and fear, this was a moment you probably felt. Words are flying both ways back and forth that are cruel and often not meant. Most things said are just a projection of their own insecurities as a parent. Both Ambrose and Kebbell played it very well. As much as I don’t particularly like either of them, in that moment they made me feel bad for their situation. It’s hard to imagine losing a child once, let alone twice. They didn’t really get an opportunity to finish this discussion because of the mysterious package on the doorbell, but if it’s any indication of the rest of the season I’m willing to bet we’re in for some rocky marital issues coming up. Seeing as they weren’t exactly the most stable couple last season, this doesn’t come as much surprise but I’m still intrigued to see how it pans out.
I’ll be back next week to discuss episode 2!
Don’t get a nanny for a baby that is plastic. Apparently it gets you into some complicated situations.