‘Servant’, review: an ending without answers very typical of Shyamalan

The story of the couple who lose their son and get him back in an inexplicable way, conflict in the series Servant, available on Apple TV+She was always ambitious. Particularly because M. Night Shyamalan never seemed to decide what explanation to offer for the phenomenon. The first season reserved all the information and left the event to speculation. A dark miracle? A fantasy that embodies mourning? There were no explanations for such a thing.

Nor in his second delivery. In the third, the script hinted at the existence of something dangerous. Magic, witchcraft and power. But it is the fourth, which, finally, offers a more precise picture. As strange as it may seem, it does not make it any clearer. In fact, again Servant insists on saying very little to reveal an explosion in the center of his narrative.

But, before that, it raises a dense atmosphere. In several of the sequences of the first chapter, the camera remains motionless in an empty room. The light spreads out and shows each object in relief. The minutes pass in silence. So much so that the tension builds until a character’s voice can cause a startle.

Even true fear, and more when it is evident that the apparent placidity shown is about to break. The Turner home collapses. As if the chaos that began with Jericho’s death now became a corporeal element capable of threatening everyone.

Servant

For his last season, Servant, from Apple TV +, left behind hints about the possibility of the supernatural. Now, as a certainty, whatever lurks is an obvious ominous presence. At the same time, it is a threat that the characters must deal with with any weapon at their disposal. Doors that close and open. But the void is the center of the action. Also the clear hint that something mysterious awaits and threatens. By the time it attacks, the plot then shows its true aim. It delves into what brought a dead child back to life, but, at the same time, about the power that acts around him.


























Score: 4 out of 5.

Servant reveals what is hidden in the center of his story

For its final season, the production dropped hints about the possibility of the supernatural. Now, as a certainty, whatever lurks is an obvious ominous presence. At the same time, it is a threat that the characters must deal with with any weapon at their disposal.

With shady forces at work in the midst of what were hitherto ordinary rooms, the plot plays with what it does not show on the screen. There are little noises, laughter, murmurs. Doors that close and open. But the void is the center of the action.

There’s also the clear hint that something mysterious awaits and threatens. By the time it attacks, the plot will then show its true objective. Delve into what brought a dead child back to life, but, at the same time, into the power that acts around him.

Fear, light and shadow in Servant

The production has the identity of any work of M.Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense, the protégé, Multiple). From the foreboding atmosphere to the characters facing supernatural experiences with no tools to understand what’s going on. But especially, the ambiguous nature of its history.

Servant traversed, throughout its three previous installments, the possibility that the mystery surrounding the series was simply a fantasy. In the best of cases, an escapist, fruit of the pain of loss. In the most macabre, a break in reality that turns the red brick floor into the center of the conflict, a door to the unknown.

For its closure, the mystery is solved. At least half. Servant uses the feeling that the neatness that shows its opening sequences hides the chaos. The one that was already envisioned when the nanny, Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), became the link between cults, magic and the incarnation of evil in its purest form. One of the essential points was to build an enigma that became denser and more solid over time.

The death of a baby, the subsequent mourning, and then the indecipherable element that allowed the apparent portent of his return to life, mixed into something deeper. By the end of its third season, the story emphasized its central point: there is no escaping what Jericho stands for. Of the boy who was resurrected or the enigma that lives in his mere existence.

Back to the twisted spaces

Shyamalan picks up the narrative a few months after the shocking finale of the previous season. In fact, the premise of this installment is that each element and event—before or after—has a reason. After toying with the idea of ​​the disintegration of domestic life, normality, and even sanity, Servant returns to a precise point.

For the script, everything that happens preserves a secret that each character knows only a part of. Dorothy Turner (Lauren Ambrose) managed to survive the fall that closed the previous installment. How did she do it? The story is not lavished on explanations and the feeling that her recovery could be an unreal image persists for a good part of the first chapter.

The prison of everyday life in Servant

But, little by little, it is apparent that what the character lives is a forced seclusion. Not only because of the recovery that she must continue in the red brick house and forces her to isolate herself from the outside world. At the same time, because when she returns, she falls under Leanne’s control.

However, none of the above is obvious. Everything is suggested in everyday scenes that hide something more sordid. The nanny has become the center of the world for Sean (Toby Kebbell) and his brother Julian (Rupert Grint). Apparently, without anyone noticing, the woman who may or may not be the center of a cult is the real power that gravitates in their relationships.

But Servant It has enough narrative strength not to fall into the premise of a confrontation between two opposing forces. Nor make Dorothy a victim. In reality, all the strands that converge on Jerich—the dead child, mysteriously returned to his mother’s arms—are dark in nature. But, without answers about the origin of such an event, the story raises disorientation.

Is some of what has been seen so far in the series real? Could it be a hallucination, collective hysteria, fear turned into unreal images? The series refuses to give an answer. But it hints that any of the three possibilities could be true.

What happens as the passive-aggressive relationship between Leanne and Dorothy becomes symbolic. There is an unstoppable energy about to explode between the two. Either for a final confrontation or the death of one of them. Nevertheless, the plot gives no clues as to what will happen. When it does, they are so confused that the possibilities are multiple and even contradictory.

A farewell to a story that has become a cult object

It has never been easy to describe Servant, neither as a production obsessed with a single point of view, nor when it encompasses several themes at the same time. In fact, each of its seasons recounts what seems like a different dimension of the same inexplicable circumstance. Its closure is equal to that mystery and, perhaps, it is not easy to assume that its open ending is also a tribute to his best moments.

Shyamalan managed to create a series in which he refines his perspective on horror. That can be an advantage, but also the weakest element of an argument with some original flaws. Servant she never seemed willing to complete a story, but to add layers of complexity to the uniqueness she tried to tell. In the end, the challenge of embracing all the possibilities that were hinted at throughout its four seasons seems to have been great for the production.

Servant he says goodbye clarifying several of his mysteries, but without answering most of his questions. It is that incomplete feeling, perhaps, that breaks the balance of a dangerous enigma that must be discovered. Was it the filmmaker’s inability to live up to his own premise? Did the series end up falling apart as parts of the Turner household? The production offers nothing clear. An uncomfortable farewell that, however, coincides with what has been proposed in the series so far.

‘Servant’, review: an ending without answers very typical of Shyamalan