For the sixth episode in a row, Servant has managed to relish in its own mystery, all while still revealing very little. This week’s episode “Rain” is in many ways the creepiest we’ve seen thus far. And in a strange way it plays out like a twisted version of a sitcom episode (let me explain).
Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned!!!
You Don’t Know Creepy Yet
As Sean needs to travel overnight, Leanne’s Uncle George shows up unexpectedly. Clearly Leanna recognizes him, but there’s still a great deal of mystery to him (as well as Leanne).
Things are tense and awkward (to say the least) when Dorothy arrives home to find this unexpected guest in her house. Between his stoic demeanor, and overall creepy vibe, it’s hard not to be intimidated by him.
George states that his primary reason for visiting is to bring Leanne back with her family, which puts Sean (and Julian) in a direct conflict with Dorothy. She insists that Leanne stay, all the while the digging into her sketchy past has left Sean and Julian wanting her out by any means necessary.
And things only get stranger from there, as George accuses Dorothy of living in a godless house, as well as sleeping in Jericho’s crib overnight for reasons that, even when finally explained, will still be weird and creepy.
Part of what makes this episode so uncomfortable is that these events almost feel like they could have been taken from a comedy series.
If we look at the plot at mere face value we have: a family member visiting to try and make a main character leave, a disagreement over whether that character should leave, and the visitor being weird and creepy, even sleeping in the baby’s crib. This very easily could have been played for uncomfortable laughs on a series like Friends or Seinfeld.
But here, it’s treated with a more serious tone, and therefore far more disturbing, which is more telling of just how unsettling sitcom plots are if you really think about it. At its core, “Rain” is compelling because it shifts the mystery from Leanne to George, and even puts her in a vulnerable and sympathetic place.
At this point, it’s somewhat clear that Leanne (while dishonest about her past) doesn’t seem to have any nefarious agenda. And given the pressure by George for her to return, she’s probably running away form an abusive environment. Even as disturbing as her behavior was in last week’s episode (when she withheld the epi pen during a child’s allergic reaction), it was motivated by desperation and her own naïveté.
All that said, we’ve now over halfway through this season (if IMDB episode guides are to be believed), and we’re still not much closer to understanding who the baby really is, where Leanne came from, and what anyone’s actual agenda is (other than Sean who just wants to know the truth). Thus far, Servant has been very much a slow burn, but it will need to pick up soon if it wants to keep and maintain interest.