REVIEW: M. Night Shyamalan's Servant Season 3 Is A Ride You Never Want To End
NOTE: As always, part of the joy of Apple TV+'s incredible Servant is in the intricacies of its masterfully timed reveals, thrusting the story just as far as it needs to go while allowing it to breathe. Therefore, this review of Season 3 will remain spoiler-free. Read Servant: Season 1 Review here and Servant: Season 2 review here.
I’ve been raving about Servant since a month prior to its debut on Apple TV+ in November of 2019. The M. Night Shymalan produced series had quickly reeled me in with it’s well thought out story, incredible performances and absolutely gripping storyline. The third season of Servant ups the stakes while sending the story forward and is all the better for it.
As a refresher, or if you haven’t yet seen Servant, it follows a young Philadelphia couple who tragically lost their baby. The mother, Dorothy, played by Lauren Ambrose, can’t mentally handle the death and has taken a therapists suggestion of using a Reborn Doll to extreme heights. Literally acting as though the Reborn Doll is real, Dorothy is supported by her husband Sean (Toby Kebbel) and her brother Julian (Rupert Grint) who must handle the grief in their own way while juggling their loved ones fragility.
Dorothy has become so dedicated to this delusion that she has hired a nanny (Nell Tiger Free) to assist her with Jericho as she returns to her job as a Phildelphia newscaster. With everyone so afraid of Dorothy literally breaking apart at the realization of the death of her son Jericho, they’ve all avoided the grief themselves. But have they even had to?
While Season 2 furthered the story of the Turners and their search for answers surrounding both Jericho and Leanne, Season 3 catapults the story three months into the future where things have seemingly become....normal. However, as always with Servant, nothing is what it seems. For the first time, we spend a significant chunk of the series outside of the beautiful brownstone the Turners own and into the surrounding world around them. What the Turners uncover outside of their home however, is just as terrifying as what they’ve been dealing with inside of their home.
Numerous lingering questions have been answered as new questions arise while the story is moved forward in a satisfying and organic way. Far too often, excellent series such as Lost and The X-Files (my other two favorite shows) have had to meander to fill time and ended up with episodes and storylines that led nowhere at all. M. Night Shyamalan's original intent to make Servant a series with a defined beginning, middle and end pays off in spades as nearly every second of the series is filled with things that matter to the story. No dialogue is throw away. No set piece is insignificant. Everything in Servant serves to tell the story the creators intended to make.
The decision to make Servant just 40 episodes is the right decision. Ultimately, no matter how much I'd love to see the Turners forever, the story must end to have meant anything at all. Season 3 clearly is moving us methodically to the end of the story, answering burning questions and raising new ones while remaining a vital and important chapter in the tragic story of The Turners.
Season 3 cements the fact that Servant is a masterclass in perfect television, weaving enthralling storytelling with knockout performances, beautiful sets and a ride that you don’t want to ever end.
Servant Season 3 debuts exclusively on Apple TV+ on Friday January 21.