I was a big fan of Servant when it initially hit Apple TV+. The first season was mysterious and interesting, sure, but it was also an exercise in viewer patience. One of the selling points of the Shyamalan-produced series is that the episodes are relatively easy to get in and out of in under 30 minutes or less. But after half the season had aired and almost zero information had been shared, I found myself nearing frustration–then it happened. Slowly but surely, secrets were revealed and side plots were planted leading up to a season finale that not only atoned for the sluggish start but left me aching for more. Going into the second season, the stakes were higher than ever before. So does it deliver?
Warning. Spoilers for Servant season one lie ahead.
Dorothy doesn’t know
Although we finally learned what happened between Dorothy and Jericho on that terrible Summer day, it’s clear that Dorothy still can’t confront the truth of the matter–Jericho is dead. This means she isn’t just deceived by the strange, unidentified baby in the house, she’s equally blind to the fact that there’s much more to Leanne than meets the eye. You know, like magical healing powers.
In season two, however, it starts to become apparent that there might be more than meets the eye with Dorothy as well. She’s not just some clueless whacko that used to be kinda famous on TV, she’s a legitimate investigative journalist with a particularly useful skillset when it comes to finding people. And if she’s smart enough to locate Leanne, and potentially Jericho (is that even Jericho??), then it’s only a matter of time before she learns about all of Sean and Julien’s secrets, right?
A cult of personality
Late in the first season, we are introduced to uncle George, aunt May, and a cult know as The Church of Lesser Saints. George and May definitely kidnapped Leanne when she was young and burned her house down, but up until this point, it’s unclear if that was done because she has powers or for other, less supernatural reasons.
In the first episode of the second season, a new wrinkle in this storyline is introduced: The Church of Lesser Saints has many members that can perform healing or restorative acts. In fact, some members are remembered and thought of fondly. This begs the question: is The Church of Lesser Saints all that bad? Is there any chance that Leanne fled from the cult to use her/their powers in an “unauthorized” way? I’m just spitballing here, but I’m beginning to think Leanne’s intentions were good–even if that changed once she discovered the many skeletons packed away in the Turner family closet.
The tortoise and the hare
Servant spent hours setting up its world and characters–even if that meant the pace slowed to a crawl in some episodes. But those chickens are finally coming home to roost. The second season starts with a ferocity that was previously unseen and contains a clear and shared objective between characters: find baby Jericho. Oh, and remember all of the weird shit going on with Sean not being able to feel pain and Leanne seemingly casting spells on folks? That’s front and center this season too.
We as viewers put in the work last year. Now we get to reap the reward. Thus far Servant season two feels more like a season of True Detective than anything else, and I mean that as a compliment. The drama is thicker, the stakes are higher, and the sense of wonder is increased. I can’t wait to see how it all ends.
Servant season two premiers on Apple TV+ on January 15th.