Servant Season One Episode 8: Boba-Recap and Review-3 Of The Weirdest Theories
A brilliantly crafted episode that put Julian front and center delivered some of the weirdest theories yet. What happened to the original Jericho?
Jericho 1.0 is dead. There is no doubt about it. Something terrible happened and Julian found the aftermath. Natalie, Sean, and Julian covered it up and have been protecting Dorothy from the truth ever since. What is in doubt, is what exactly happened and who was responsible?
Finally, after being something of a fourth wheel, Dorothy’s little brother Julian(Rupert Grint) gets his moment to shine. Proving Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe weren’t the only talents to emerge from the Harry Potter franchise, everyone’s favorite wine-swilling ginger had the focus firmly placed on him. It was an important episode and one that, quite frankly, we had been building towards for a long time. In the early episodes, Julian is a tool. He was more swagger and fermented grapes than compassionate relative. All of that changed when he was pushed to the breaking point by too many memories, too much toxic parenting, and a babysitting nightmare.
When Leanne and Tobe and Sean and Dorothy all have plans, the young uncle gets Jericho duty. After a night of wine drinking and pot smoking, Jericho goes full Cinderella on him and turns into a doll again. In the midst of this crisis the sibling’s father shows up unannounced and it isn’t hard to imagine the kind of upbringing Dorothy and Julian had. In between his callous disregard for his family’s mental health he drops some major bombs. He wants to pass a baby off as Jericho with a random Swedish baby which makes Julian laugh because that ship has already sailed. In addition to that little gem, he casually mentions the house should be sold. “Too many ghosts”, he says. Assuming Jericho is one of those ghosts, who else is haunting the house we rarely get to leave.
This episode relied heavily on Grint’s emotional vulnerability and smart plot devices. Servant Episode 8: Boba was heavy on imagery and parallels with pearls of encapsulated breast milk and actual pearls everywhere. Sean who continues to cook bizarre foods at completely inappropriate times is making boba out of Dorothy’s breast milk right before heading out to a black-tie event. When Julian arrives to babysit he mirrors Dorothy and Julian giving up breastfeeding when he says Natalie has taken him off of milk as well. Making this interlude even stranger is Julian ingesting his own sister’s breast milk boba.
An opening sequence shows Julian trying to help but just as we the viewer have misjudged him so does a woman who is juggling a baby and some packages. It is everything you need to know about Julian. He is a basically okay guy who is constantly fighting a persona that is not accurate but unintentionally cultivated by him. This present-day event is overlaid with a memory of a rainy day. Something happened that day and Julian was the first to find it. Nothing was ever shown but it led to a host of wild theories about Julian, Jericho, Leanne, and Dorothy.
What Happened To Jericho?
Sean and Dorothy’s Jericho has left the building. Jericho 2.0 could be the Reborn doll come to life. The doll is never seen at the same time as Jericho making this plausible if weird. Someone must have the ability to make the doll come to life which is where Leanne comes in. She has the power to make everyone’s beliefs come to life. Similar to a Djinn granting wishes, Leanne makes the impossible possible when you want it and believe it enough. She can’t do it all by herself though. Others need to believe it completely in order for her to work her magic.
Evidence of this can be seen in Dorothy’s near-pathological acceptance of the doll and then a new baby, and Julian’s willingness to pray with Leanne. When Jericho is replaced by the doll Julian shows his true colors. He may drink too much, and probably isn’t the most attentive sitter in the world, but he loves his sister. He eventually tells Leanne what happened to Jericho and prays with her when he gives up controlling the situation. His concern for his sister and the infant supersede his need to maintain normalcy.
Julian’s memory shows him entering the house after calling for Dorothy repeatedly. There is food rotting with flies circling in the kitchen and an open window in Jericho’s room. Was the baby older than we thought and he fell out the window? Was he abducted per the news report Julian catches a glimpse of while babysitting? There is an interesting theory that everything that happens on television also happens in Dorothy and Sean’s reality only differently.
Many of Dorothy’s stories manifest themselves as events in the house. Dorothy covered sewer pipes and a serious rainstorm came. She covered the stray dogs and a feral dog invaded the house. Did Dorothy do something to Jericho either by accident or on purpose? Her fugue states occasionally go on for a while and if she zoned out for days the baby would die from dehydration pretty quickly.
The flies buzzing around the rotting food in the kitchen would not appear instantly. It typically takes three to five days depending on temperature for rotting food to produce maggots and then flies. Based on his clothing it appeared cool outside so five days or longer would be typical. Where was Dorothy, or Sean for that matter during those days? Dorothy has mentioned Sean taking other trips before. It would not be farfetched to assume Dorothy would be alone for days with Sean gone.
Is Leanne evil, divine, or just a naive, odd girl?
She certainly seems to have some superpowers. When Sean and Dorothy made her angry she wrote their name in her bible. Shortly after hinky things happened like worthless taste buds, wood shards, and gasp… acne. A “living, breathing, pissing” baby as Julian puts it appeared shortly after her arrival in the home. Her Uncle George practically screams evil with his dirty feet intrusive behavior and rigid rules.
After Tobe rejects Leanne’s attempt at a kiss he thinks he sees her in her bedroom tossing something out of the window at him and closing a window. Just moments later she is entering the house from the foyer. Is she a ghost that can materialize in places in a blink of an eye or is there someone else in her room? Jericho 2.0 must look quite a bit like the original and Julian and Dorothy’s father has a third child Anders who also could be a dead ringer. Does Leanne also have a twin or doppelganger?
At times Leanne appears omniscient. She knows what someone is going to ask before they ask it. Tonight she knows Julian saw something he has been hiding about the real Jericho. She is an enigma. Sometimes she is the aggressor, and others so hesitant it is painful. Who is the real Leanne? She knows Julian would never hurt Jericho even when he pushes her by holding the doll over the stairs. As he drops the doll he hears a real infant cry. All roads lead to Leanne but she may be completely innocent here. Someone left the kitchen door open. The mystery person may be bringing Jericho back and that is what Julian hears. Did they return Jericho at just that moment?
Leanne has some odd behavior. This girl brutally whips herself, has an obsession with tomato soup, rips out hair, carves creepy Blair Witch dolls, and eats pearls. There is very little normal about her, but it might lead to nothing. A Maguffin of sorts that really has nothing to do with the mystery, just appear too. The only thing we know for sure is she has a temper and an interest in Tobe.
Cloning, Genetic Engineering, and Doppelgangers
When Julian and Dorothy’s father comes to visit he says something very odd as he is leaving. He tells Julian he’s glad, “we gave her a brother”. It is an odd phrase for someone to use about a second child. It would be much more commonplace to say we were glad she had you. What if Dorothy and Julian are cloned or genetically engineered children? There is a myth that clones are sterile. This is false. If Julian and Dorothy were engineered in some way it could explain why her body has rejected so many babies causing all of the miscarriages.
Twins, cloning, or doppelgangers would also explain why there are so many babies floating around that look just like Jericho. One baby brought to life by supernatural power would account for Jericho 2.0, but Anders who evidently also looks exactly like Jericho has bever been near Leanne or the house. Leanne’s twin could be the dead girl in her grave. Instead of stealing an identity she is, only borrowing her dead sisters. There is no evidence she had a sister, but would anything surprise you at this point?
There are so many loose threads to pull on. Leanne may have stalked Dorothy since she was little. The baby may be hers through incest. Sean still can’t taste anything and has wood chips everywhere. Bugs infect the house occasionally for no reason. Babies come and go at will in this house of horrors. There is so much going on it’s hard to imagine how anything will be wrapped up in season one. With season two already ordered this is probably one dinner party that is just getting started. Catch up on all our theories and our ongoing coverage here.
- I have long thought there was a massive amount of religious iconography that could not be a coincidence. Might all of the wine and food be an allegory for the last supper which became the holy communion? Wine is the blood of Christ, and the food is his body?
- Leanne becomes fascinated by cotton candy shortly before Jericho reappears. The making of cotton candy is actually pretty simple. It is made from sugar and flavoring that is heated and liquefied. The liquid confection is then spun out of tiny holes and rapidly cooled making the fine strands that form together to create the pink and blue cloud of bagged goodness. Unless Leanne ate whole cloves of garlic there is no way her breath stunk after eating cotton candy. Sorry girlfriend but I think he’s just not that into you.
- Did someone steal Jericho and then bring him back? Why? What was Wanda doing with a baby? Was Tobe even right about it being Wanda?
- Pearls symbolize knowledge gained through experience and purity and loyalty. These things certainly are embodied by Julian who has seen his fair share of shit and is nothing but utterly loyal.
As the Television Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.