Servant: “Josephine” Review

The season-long tension-build finally came to an explosive conclusion on Servant.  The result was equal parts thrilling and poignant, and leaves the series in a rather interesting position moving forward into the third season (which was already renewed before Season 2 began).

(Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned)

Aunt Josephine
We’ve met the oddly eccentric Uncle George and Aunt May, but Leanne’s “Aunt” Josephine makes her debut and instantly becomes the series’ most disturbing character.

Even after everything she’s seen, Josephine gives Dorothy the creeps in a way that George never did.

She arrives, dressed in a black dress and veil like she’s going to a funeral, and says that she’s there to bring Leanne home.  All the while, Dorothy has an emotional breakdown and existential crisis, realizing that Josephine hasn’t brought Jericho, and she believes the cult has in fact killed him.

As Sean tries to deal with a depressingly suicidal Dorothy, Josephine shows Leanne an instructional video from their church, explaining how to “free” someone’s soul who has gone against the path.

It’s an incredibly disturbing video that casually encourages murder in the name of religion.  What follows is an even more disturbingly violent confrontation as Josephine attempts to follow the video’s instructions and “free” Leanne’s soul.

It’s hard to watch, but compelling in a manner that you can’t look away either.

Their clash is the closest this series has ever come to outright horror and it doesn’t disappoint, with several moments getting cringes for just how brutal they are.  Eventually Leanne prevails, with the help of Dorothy, and finally ends the hold that this “family” has always had on her.

New Family
The moment that Dorothy steps in to save Leanne from Josephine is actually quite touching, as Leanne is nearly brought to tears at the mere revelation that Dorothy is willing to save her.

Both Dorothy and Leanne go through their own epiphany and self-actualization in this season finale.

Granted they’ve had quite the checkered history over the last few episodes (let’s not forget what Dorothy tried to do), but ultimately all Leanne ever wanted was to be like a daughter to Dorothy.  Ever since she saw her as a kid all those years ago.

Dorothy represented an escape from her cultish family.  It’s the reason that she defied her orders and went to work for the Turner family in the first place.  And even though Dorothy basically kidnapped Leanne and inflicted some harsh interrogation on her, it was ultimately for the sake of getting her son back, and when Leanne was in danger, Dorothy’s parental instinct kicked in.

It’s then a genuinely sweet moment to see the entire family together as Leanne “brings back” Jericho using what can only be assume as supernatural means that she did in the first place.  Dorothy had always believed that the cult physically took Jericho, but clearly Leanne just undid what she had done in the first place.

It definitely ends on a much more positive note than the first season did.

Now that Dorothy saved her and she finally feels like she belongs in a family, Jericho is back and everyone is seemingly happy.  Which does beg the question, where does the series go from here?

It’s already been renewed for a third season and unless more cult members from Leanne’s “family” show up, it does seem like the series’ primary conflict.  Granted, Dorothy still hasn’t accepted what really happened to Jericho shortly after he was born, and Sean was away.  So there’s definitely potential for more drama there.

But as it currently stands, the season finale delivered on the tension and even managed to throw in a few scares.  It was an extremely satisfying finale to a season that wasn’t afraid to go much further than its predecessor.

What did you think of this finale?  What were your highlights of this season overall?  Let us know in the comments!

Servant is streaming exclusively on Apple TV+

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