Leanne de Servant, we will miss you

The first episode of Servant It premiered on Apple TV+ on November 28, 2019, just a few weeks after the launch of the platform itself. In it, Leanne Grayson, the character played with singular cunning by actress Nell Tiger Free, arrived at the Turner house one rainy night to offer her services as baby sitter reborn. At that time, many thought that the series created by Tony Basgallop and sponsored by M.Night Shyamalan it was never going to be able to top its premise, so they raised their eyebrows a bit at the knowledge that such an apparently self-fueling concept (and, moreover, contained within the harrowing walls of a Philadelphia house and its surrounding streets) was meant to unfold. through four seasons. What no one could guess at the moment was the number of trump cards that Leanne and, by extension, Servant they hid from that first moment. This was never (just) a show about a baby reborn that is truly reborn, but an exploration of the weight of guilt in modern family dynamics who, incidentally, experiments endlessly with the conventions of storytelling in streaming.

Taken together, the devilish artifact that Basgallop and Shyamalan unveiled for three-odd years looks like one of those books. pop up that gradually unfold all their content before the eyes of a reader who tries to anticipate their surprises, but is rarely able. Guest directors such as Nimród Antal, Julia Ducournau, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala have been able to expand the possibilities of a series of spaces (the kitchen, the living room, Jericho’s room, the backyard, the park) that, season after season, have been composing a small staging recital at the service of bad vibes. Servant it’s architectural terror and, also, a kind of lullaby that progressively mutates into an occult litany. The turn towards the most unleashed fantastic occurred after Ishana Night Shyamalan, worthy daughter of her fathertake the reins of a fiction that has ended up raising Leanne de Free to the contemporary altars of the genre.

In this fourth and final season, his almost Hegelian dynamic with Dorothy Turner (magnificent Lauren Ambrose) has undergone a 180-degree turn, since Servant documents nothing less than the awareness of a whole Mistress of the Dark Arts from a domestic and daily watchtower. In that sense, Leanne’s evolution is also that of AppleTV+: what was presented as another service of streaming more has gradually earned its reputation, thanks above all to a handful of series (Separation, for all mankind, Pachinko) and movies (Macbeth’s tragedy, wolfwalkersthe Oscar winner coda) that have placed it in a privileged zone with respect to its competitors. We shouldn’t have underestimated her.

Now that Shyamalan (father) is about to return to theaters with knock at the doora film for which he has also had Rupert Grint, perhaps we could consider his always very interesting episodes for Servant What an excuse to test new ideas on a formal level –the pilot is full of discoveries in that sense– and remind us, once again, of his unwavering commitment to supernatural suspense. Add to the equation the work of Toby Kebbell and Tony Revolori, not forgetting the fact that each episode runs exactly as long as it’s supposed to, and the result is a series delight. We’re going to miss Leanne when she’s gone from our lives.just as the Turners did every time they had the happy idea of ​​throwing her out of their house.

From Leanne’s house, you understand.

Leanne de Servant, we will miss you