Servant season 1, episode 9 recap – “Jericho” finally reveals what happened An Unfortunate, Tragic Situation

4.5

Summary

Servant Season 1 Episode 9, “Jericho” provides horrifying context with a flashback chapter to when Dorothy and Sean brought their baby home.

This recap of Apple TV+ Series Servant Season 1 Episode 9, “Jericho” contains significant spoilers.


We’ve been waiting for this episode for a while. Episode 9, “Jericho” provides us with the secret the story has been holding back — what happened to Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean’s (Toby Kebbell) baby? Why did the baby die?

Episode 9 opens up with Dorothy giving birth in a birthing pool. She’s instantly in love, holding Jericho in bed – -they’ve decided to keep the placenta and chill it in the fridge. The news broadcast congratulates Dorothy on the arrival and they seem to be getting on with family life. But then it all changes; Sean has been offered a TV career opportunity that he can’t refuse — a reality cooking show competition. “It will only be for a few days”.

“Jericho” highlights the struggle parents have in a world where support is lacking and unequal between father and mother. Sean leaves for his job opportunity and Dorothy looks after the baby. Over video call, Sean and Dorothy nag at each other like any couple would with a newborn but it is clear Dorothy is struggling. Dorothy tells Sean he looks exhausted on TV but it’s evident she is the one that is concerned about her mental wellbeing. On one of the days without Sean, she goes out shopping with Jericho; there’s a heatwave. Dorothy returns home, takes the shopping in the house, goes to the toilet, and then goes to sleep. The temperatures are rising outside…

She’s left Jericho in the car. When she wakes up at night, she checks the cot and realizes Jericho is not there.

In the present day, Leanne wakes Dorothy up — her car alarm is going off and she’s starting her periods again. Leanne offers to make her breakfast; Sean helps out. Sean randomly tells Leanne the “incident” wasn’t a crime — the police said it can happen to anyone.

I tend to agree with this statement from Sean based on experience — sleep deprivation with a newborn baby is extremely difficult; it must be more difficult with a fragile mind.

At the midway point of Servant Episode 9, Dorothy rushes out to work and tells Sean she needs the car. When she jumps in, she smells the fish in the back seat and throws up instantly and heads inside. Sean tells her to “let it all out” and recover.

Back to the flashback. Dorothy is experiencing the first stages of her mental breakdown; she is walking around the house slowly looking stunned. Dorothy heads out to the car and lifts out a dead Jericho. There is then a series of scenes where she has a bath with him, uses her breast pump and tidies up the house. The next day, a large meat order arrives and she leaves it in the kitchen.

Back to the present day, the car alarm is going off and the baby wakes up. Dorothy cannot find the keys and she panics, searching the house everywhere for a set of car keys. Eventually, she finds a set and heads outside, but the car will not turn off and it continues to blare the alarm. People in the street record Leanne on their phones as she becomes increasingly frustrated. Inside the house, Leanne is in the window with another set of keys causing the alarm to keep going off.

And we are served another flashback; Dorothy goes on a walk with her dead baby in the pram. The meat that was delivered has gone off quickly in the kitchen due to the heatwave. On a video call, she asks Sean to come home and he says he will be doing, “on Monday” — there’s a series-ending after-party. He suggests they hire someone for help. The next day she hears the baby crying on the monitor and she rushes upstairs, confused that she can hear crying. She checks the cot to see a dead Jericho — she’s losing her mind; she can hear herself on the monitor soothing a crying Jericho. Dorothy has a strange fit and then zones out on the bed, looking into space.

We then see the scene again where Julian goes to check on Dorothy in the pouring rain and he sees the off meat in the kitchen.

Back to the present day, Dorothy is watching her “sick day” replacement on TV. Sean asks Leanne for help — he wants her to try out his food. It’s blowfish. He describes a process where it has cooked itself raw naturally and then you have to be very careful in how you cut the fish up. Leanne tastes it and claims it is sharp and bitter. Sean asks her to try another piece but Leanne asks why he left Dorothy alone. Sean explains that it was an accident, a mistake, and he left them for four days — if he stayed, everything would have been okay. Dorothy eats the blowfish again and gives a new description — “Tastes like an apple that’s been in the sun for too long”.

Servant Season 1 Episode 9, “Jericho” closes with Leanne taking the baby off Dorothy and explains that she should be staying away from the baby because she’s sick. Leanne tells Dorothy that she wants what is best for the baby and Dorothy agrees.

Dorothy looks back at Leanne and the baby looking worried. Leanne is clearly punishing Dorothy.

Nursery Room Log

  • Sean pretends to put spice in Dorothy’s food because it doesn’t work weak with her.

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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

4 thoughts on “Servant season 1, episode 9 recap – “Jericho” finally reveals what happened

  • January 13, 2020 at 3:16 am
    Permalink

    Well done, except the last sentence seems unclear. What does “it doesn’t work weak with her” supposed to mean?
    Also, you never mentioned the fact that Leanne poisoned Dorothys food to make her sick. Notice that she sprinkled something (presumably toxic) in the food before the scene with Sean in which he asks her if she added cayenne to it yet (and she says “no,” implying what she sprinkled was something else, the vomiting that ensued soon after is unlikely to be coincidental). This was another way that Leanne punishes Dorothy in this episode.

    Reply
    • February 28, 2020 at 3:46 pm
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      Pretty sure ‘it doesn’t work’ -well- ‘with her’ was meant to be said.

      Reply
    • February 28, 2020 at 3:53 pm
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      She didn’t poison Dorothy at all, we see Leanne making her breakfast the entire time. She added some salt, and Dorothy threw up because of the fish in the back of her car The article did an accurate job.

      Reply
  • April 14, 2020 at 3:17 am
    Permalink

    We don’t actually know whether Leanne poisoned Dorothy. That’s left up to our interpretation until Sean has the omelette tested – presumably this will happen sometime in season 2.

    Also, I’d like to point out, I don’t think Dorothy is hearing Jericho and herself on the baby monitor. Those monitors have reach and do pick up other conversations from other homes. I believe she’s hearing a neighbor comfort her crying baby.

    This is a powerful episode and Lauren Ambrose really shines. Her acting is incredible throughout the season, but this episode particularly shows off her talent. I love that this show leads you to believe that there’s some horror or otherworldly element (and there is, to an extent) but at the end of the day, Jericho dies not from something truly evil but an extremely exhausted parent trying her best and succumbing to her own stress, anxiety and exhaustion. It’s heartbreaking and very well done.

    Reply

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