'Servant' Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Apple TV's horror drama off to bewitching start

It's broody, it's eerie and there's enough story there that makes for a good season opener


                            'Servant' Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Apple TV's horror drama off to bewitching start
A still from 'Servant' (Apple TV+)

Spoilers for 'Servant' Season 3 Episode 1 'Donkey'

What made 'Servant' a gripping affair was the horror that managed to make the skin crawl, and the Apple TV+ drama that premiered with Season 3 manages to run on the same template. It's broody, it's eerie, and yet there's enough story there that makes for a good season opener. Titled 'Donkey', the season is set three months after the devastating events of Season 2. The third coming of Jericho also brings in some suspense and extra horror to boot.

With Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) making sure Aunt Josephine (Barbara Sukowa) was burnt to a crisp, she is now a complete enemy of the Church of the Lesser Christ. She still has nightmares of the past and it translates to how she feels about her present. She's anxious when the door opens, she's threatened by new faces and she's suspicious of any strangers around the house. Her relationship with Julian (Rupert Grint), despite "the good sex", is sailing in troubled waters and she always has Uncle George's dagger under her pillow.

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The family sans Leanne head off for a day in the sun and that's when the events begin to transpire. There seems to be a hint of the supernatural only for her to find a burglar who makes off with some possessions. There's no explanation about who he was, but he does make a clean getaway even as Leanne calls Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell). The cops explain that he might be the key suspect in a string of robberies at Society Hill.

As the episode ends, there's that feeling that the horror that was in focus was all the thoughts running on Leanne's mind. The feeling of dejection, fear, and helplessness, along with the robbery sets the tone for the lurking trepidations that lie ahead. 'Servant' does a neat enough job focusing on Leanne in the premiere. Everything Leanne notices, she connects it to the past. When she sees dirt bubbling to the surface, she's immediately transported to the memory of Dorothy burying her alive.

The latest season also sheds light on Julian and Leanne's relationship. The former clearly doesn't understand what she's going through and how their relationship pans out will form one of the key storylines of the season. The relationship with the Turners and what baby Jericho goes through may form the remaining plotlines. For now, safe to say, 'Servant' Season 3 is off to a broody, but bewitching start.

'Servant' Season 3 drops with a new episode every Friday on Apple TV+.

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