M Night Shymalan’s TV series Servant comes to an end with this fourth and final season. This series had been a delight to watch over the years because it feels different from most conventional TV series, and the very good performances from its predominantly cast of 4 main characters. The plot involving a mysterious “servant”, Leanne, who enters the lives of a Philedelphia family that had just had a tragic family loss, is filled with unexplained happenings that borders on the macabre. However, the plot serves only as a foundation for developing the invigorating personalities of the key characters, which are the series’ primary draw. The script is punchy and I never get bored by the dialouge. Perhaps the series’ format of having each episode length run for 30 minutes helps as there is simply no time to get bored.
Season 4 attempts to finally wrap things up. Sadly, it is also its weakest season. The initial episodes felt like fillers as nothing much happens with some non-movers plot developments thrown in. For example, what’s with the introduction and departure of the two private nurses, and the reappearance of Uncle George as an unlikely threat to get Leanne out of the house? In contrast the final two episodes which supposedly provides the closure to the mystery and story seemed rushed. These were the season’s most powerful episodes and Lauren Ambrose and Nell Tiger Free had some great emotional and poignant scenes both individually as well as when they are together. It’s a pity that everything happens so quickly in the final episodes as I think we could have had more of these impressive moments to provide a meatier and more explainable conclusion.
Season 4 has mixed emotions for me. I was disappointed by the initial episodes because they felt like fillers and added nothing to the story development. But I loved the ending which displayed a surprising level of empathy over the loss of a family member, and how it projected the beauty of forgiveness and atonement. All of this is impossible without the brilliant performances of the complete ensemble and a script that is both funny and emotional at times, but always authentic. Thank you, M Night Shyamalan, for providing us with this series. I’m hoping for more positive things in the future.