Servant: “Doll” Review

Just two days short of being exactly one year later, the Servant is back with a second season.  Known for creating a myriad and mysteries, and making its audience intentionally uncomfortable, this new season wastes no time at doing with the series does best.

The Aftermath
Following the events of Jericho’s christening party, that baby himself is missing, with just the doll left behind.  While Leanne and her creepy aunt and uncle are nowhere to be found as well.

Dorothy calls the police to report a missing child, however, from their legal perspective, there never was a “real” baby, as they’re already aware of what happened to Jericho.  They essentially drop the case just thinking that Dorothy is distraught and still grieving.

Even for the audience, it’s a been strange seeing the doll again, as we were so accustomed to the real baby for so many episodes.

After they leave, she spends the next 48 hours obsessing, making flyers, and doing research on the cult standoff that involved Uncle George and Aunt May all those years ago.

She fears that Jericho could very well be halfway across the country, and she’s becoming increasingly frustrated with Sean, even insulting him as a father for not doing more.  At point, he and Julian aren’t ever sure what to believe anymore.

Setting the Stage
At this point, most viewers would be forgiven for not being sure exactly what’s going on, as that’s very much the same boat the characters are in.  We’re not 100% what is and isn’t supernatural, or if it’s all just one massive conspiracy with this religious cult pulling the strings.

But this season premiere wasn’t particularly concerned with addressing the big mysteries, nor should it have been.  There are very few pieces of media that truly understand subtlety, and Servant is one of them.

“Doll” gave us a chance to breathe and explore the characters.  When Dorothy says that she expected Sean to be a better father, it hits hard, but it’s the culmination of their disconnect from the entire first season.  At this point it feels like they’re living in completely different worlds and it’s tragic.

If they want any hope at finding Leanne and Jericho, they need to unite forces.

Not only does it reflect on the very real challenges of parenthood and how it tests relationships, but it felt like a boiling point that was a long time coming.  Following this episode, for the first time ever, it feels like they’re all on the same page moving forward.  And that’s probably for the best.

This second season premiere, “Doll” doesn’t really add to the mythology, nor does it weave another thread to the ever-growing tapestry of mysteries.  But it doesn’t have to.  It’s another great example of subtle character study and it’s a good starting point of what’s to come.

Servant is streaming exclusively on Apple TV+

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