“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18.
As we rapidly approach the end of the hit supernatural horror-thriller series, SERVANT, I am reminded of this quote. Since Leanne Grayson (Nell Tiger Free) entered the Turners’ residence in the beginning, we’ve watched as pride unraveled the residents within the brownstone. First, it was Sean (Toby Kebbell). Then came Julian (Rupert Grint), though his pride still isn’t overwhelmingly in check yet. Then in an act of cruel fate in the season three finale, we watched as Dorothy gravely injured herself upon trying to leave with Jericho. This sets up the overwhelming tension in the Turner household at the start of the season and shows no sign of letting up.
The connecting element between the three? They crossed Leanne, a young supernaturally gifted woman coming into her own and whose wrath is capable of great destruction. With season 4 being the final season, much remains to be answered. Who is Leanne Grayson in her entirety and who is the child living in the Turner home? Based on the first three episodes provided for review, it’s difficult to say. However, as Leanne grows surer of herself, she too must remember the quote above. If she becomes too cocky and flies too close to the sun, she will fall too.
What to expect in SERVANT Season 4
The lines in Season 4 are further drawn between Leanne and Dorothy. Their relationship has led up to this moment. We’ve seen how they’ve ebbed and flowed; the lack of boundaries between the two of them sowing the seeds of discord to be reaped later. Nell Tiger Free and Lauren Ambrose perfectly capture the clash of wills between the two. This season, though, the power imbalance is different. Leanne is the one with the most control in the situation, and she’s not afraid to use it even if it means hurting the ones around her. I’d be surprised if there wasn’t an epic showdown of some kind by the season’s end.
The men surrounding the women play their parts well. Toby Kebbell’s Sean is trying hard to make amends with Dorothy whilst distancing from Leanne. Of the characters in SERVANT, Sean has had one of the strongest character arcs, starting off as a prideful, arrogant person and ending on a more vulnerable and – dare I say – afraid note. Rupert Grint’s Julian is similar. He’s more than aware of what Leanne is capable of yet can’t help being drawn to her. His snobbery, however, is likely to never leave and, at this point, it’s part of the character’s charm.
The cult’s influence on the season has yet to be seen beyond the first of the three episodes provided. So, in the case of this review, I can’t speak to that.
SERVANT has always held tight to its horror roots. In SERVANT Season 4, it reads more amplified. As Leanne’s powers have grown, so too are the scenarios we’re introduced to when her emotions run amuck. From cracks expanding beyond the Turner brownstone to summoning murderous pigeons to a block-wide bedbug infestation, the creative team leans heavily into bringing us more horrific scenarios this season. The bedbug one will likely have you panic-scratching.
Aesthetically, the creative teams on board still haven’t strayed. Again, this provides a necessary cohesiveness that keeps things grounded. There are greatly executed pan shots used that heighten tension and intensity in ways that aren’t distracting, particularly in the first episode. Curious how often those shots will be deployed this season as they can sometimes distract if used too much.
In SERVANT Season 4, the team leans further into horror that will have you scratching anxiously, setting up the stakes for an epic conclusion. The tension is so thick that you’d need a chainsaw to cut through. The main quartet is not messing around this season, particularily Nell Tiger Free’s Leanne coming into her own in ways that will have us on edge. If the big juicy questions are answered and the ending hits all the right notes, the slow-burn mystery of SERVANT will be worth it in the end.
SERVANT Season 4 premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, January 13, 2023. Are you ready for the end?
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