Servant Season 3 Episode 9 serves up a heaping dose of gaslighting as Dorothy is pushed to her breaking point.
Dorothy is committed to solving her Leanne problem. Unfortunately, her plan backfires on her in Servant Season 3 Episode 9, which proves ignorance isn’t always bliss. What happens when you have a psychotic break and don’t get the help you need? You become a Cassandra forever doomed to be doubted. Just because Dorothy is losing it, arguably she lost it some time ago, doesn’t mean she is wrong about Leanne.
Dorothy has always had a tenuous grasp on reality. She has completely blocked out the death of Jericho 1.0 and, for months(maybe years), believed a Reborn doll was a living baby. The problem with not knowing what came before is you have no context for what is happening now. To her, Julian and Sean’s behavior is wildly inappropriate. Julian treats Leanne like a drug he can’t quit, and Sean reveres her as his savior. Making matters worse, she feels she is losing control of her life. She doesn’t realize she lost control a year ago and never got it back.
Dorothy is on edge, and Isabelle’s very public death is enough to push her over. She is desperate to save her family from Leanne, who she views, not wrongly, as a threat. However, instead of taking Isabelle’s death as a warning that she shouldn’t cross Leanne, Dorothy takes it as proof that she needs to forge ahead with her plan to get Leanne committed before she does something to hurt the family. It’s not faulty logic per se, just ill-informed. The damage is already done, and if Leanne goes, so does Jericho, which would destroy them anyway.
However, since getting Jericho back, she had begun to regain some of herself back. Memories were slowly coming back, and she was enthusiastic about work and life again. In the past few months, though, that has changed. The homeless camp in the park has disturbed her world. The fact that they are so devoted to Leanne is a problem for Dorothy, not just because she doesn’t think she should trust her baby with them but also because the power dynamic is essential to Dorothy. She is used to being in charge and in command. Sean is a devoted husband, and Julian is a loving brother, but they have extended that loyalty to Leanne now. They are drawn to her like one of the many moths in her bedroom to a flame.
She thinks she has the upper hand with them because she doesn’t remember what happened last year. That key bit of information clouds her judgment and makes her unreliable at best and unstable at worst. She liked being Leanne’s hero and her superior. Now that the tables have turned, Dorothy is unbalanced. She isn’t sleeping, refuses to put the baby down or let anyone else handle him, and barely eats. She knows she is being gaslit, but she doesn’t understand why and it is damaging her relationship with Sean. He is her ride or die, but he has chosen to take Leanne’s side over losing Jericho again. Both he and Julian believe Leanne is supernatural. They think she could be an angel, a demon, a God. They don’t care. They just know she is necessary and very powerful.
Leanne is done playing by others’ rules. If it feels good, she’s doing it. But, on the other hand, what could be seen as the sexual liberation of a young woman who had been abused and trapped nearly her whole childhood could also be the perversion of a saint or angel. So, is Leanne tainting the house, or has the house spoiled her? It’s hard to tell in a series so mired in murky waters. In addition to her growing supernatural powers, she has become a master manipulator. Dorothy may think she has the upper hand tricking Leanne into therapy and pretending to care about her, but Leanne sees right through the ruse. Instead, she seizes the opportunity to further entrench her position in the house.
This episode is beautifully shot between the shadowy close-ups, which hint at truths, to the Dutch angles; the cinematography is a well-used narrative tool. Light tells an essential story in Servant Season 3 Episode 9 as well. Leanne is frequently captured in shadows, and Dorothy walks the halls of her darkened house. Dorothy seems to be losing time again.
It could be something as simple as a sleep-starved mind, but I wonder if this doesn’t point to Dorothy having lost more than a few weeks. I also wonder if it is not the first time she has struggled with mental illness. Julian and Dorothy’s father, Frank, is extremely controlling, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn both Dorothy and their mother were committed or medicated at some point in the past. Does that hint at a possible Disassociative Disorder?
By the end of Servant Season 3 Episode 9, Leanne is firmly in control. Dorothy is locked in the bathroom, cradling her infant carrier as if it still held Jericho, and Julian is moving back in. Nothing appears to be stopping Leanne now, but the Church is waiting, watching, and I doubt they are giving up. Leanne is amassing an army of acolytes. Like the Queen in a beehive, every other insect serves a purpose to maintain the hive and keep the Queen safe. I don’t think the Church stands a chance. Or it’s all in Dorothy’s head. Whatevs… Find all our Servant coverage here.
- We see Leanne in yoga pants go into a tent in the park while Dorothy searches her room. We then see her return not long after sweaty. Leanne could not have gone for a long enough run to perspire that much in the short amount of time we saw Dorothy in her room. Was Dorothy in the room longer than we thought? Was this another example of time slipping through Dorothy’s fingers?
- Is anyone going to call an exterminator? There are bugs everywhere in this house, and no one seems to care? Are the maggots a hint that they are all dead and this is Hell? Did Leanne manifest those maggots to freak out Dorothy?
- The bathroom Dorothy locked herself in at the end is the same one Julian accidentally overdosed and died in last season.
- It’s interesting to note that Leanne says specifically she had to be “perfect,” not pure, when describing her time with the Church of Lesser Saints. She was supposed to avoid wicked and selfish thoughts and actions. That is the opposite of what is happening now. Which came first, sinful actions corrupting an innocent or someone who was already wicked and was controlled by strict adherence to rules? Is she an angel or a demon?
- Sean said he would be home late that night but I don;t think he ever came home. Is this proof he doesn’t exist anywhere but her head?
- Does Leanne now have the force? She sure seemed to control that roomfull of men, and the scene the night before might indicate Leanne is driving Dorothy crazy purposefully.
- Julian will be back in force now that he is moving in full-time. I could not be more thrilled.
- Has Roscoe fully embraced the Church of Leanne? He escorted her into the park.
- The date on the phone says September 5th or 6th.
- Where is Milo? Has the Church of Lesser Saints kidnapped him in retaliation? Are we about to have a cult rumble? FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.