Servant is back with a bang. “Pigeon” is an electrifying opener that makes great use of your typical horror conventions. There are jump scares, a clear sense of foreboding and some nifty camera techniques in this entertaining installment.
We recap the Apple TV+ series Servant Season 4 Episode 1, “Pigeon,” which contains spoilers.
Servant’s executive producer and frequent director M. Night Shyamalan posted on Twitter back in December 2022 that his team had been ‘working around the clock to bring you the coolest and biggest last season’ of the show. It still remains to be seen whether the creative team behind this unique Apple Original series can deliver a satisfying conclusion and answer all the many, burning questions fans have been pondering for four years straight now, but fourth season opener “Pigeon” makes for a promising start.
Servant Season 4 Episode 1 Recap
The Turner family’s nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), who may or may not have supernatural powers, is seen in a snazzy, new title sequence, which kick starts the new season. The camera pans up over the Turner house and we find Leanne with the baby out on the rooftop, amid a biblical downpour. In the opening scene, Leanne frantically cleans the Turner home, meandering through Sean’s Gourmet Gauntlet merchandise. Dorothy is returning home today and Leanne prepares for this celebration with party paraphernalia and enthusiastic cleaning.
In the previous season’s climactic scene, Dorothy fell backwards down a flight of stairs. Leanne didn’t overtly cause this tragedy, but the family clearly blame her and her supernatural influence. Now, she wants to make the right impression and bakes Dorothy her favorite cake. Julian phones to update her on their estimated arrival time. He’s evidently back on the booze and explains that they are delayed due to the endless paperwork they have to sign. Julian instructs Leanne to retrieve flowers from the car. On her way back from the car, it appears the front door has been left ajar, somebody is in the house.
Director Dylan Holmes Williams creates a sense of foreboding as Leanne checks through the house. She turns off the TV, which is playing an episode of Gourmet Gauntlet, and spots the intruder in the television’s reflection. She attacks the stranger and runs for the safety of the street, but more enemies are there, waiting for her. Leanne hides in the car and contacts Roscoe. Her band of devoted followers have been removed from the park and therefore can no longer protect her or rush to her aid. In her panic, Leanne glimpses Uncle George in a trench coat and then has a vision of the now deceased Aunt Jospehine inside the car with her.
The Church of Lesser Saints have been after Leanne for a while now and the cult members are starting to get bolder with their advances. As she surveys the empty street, Leanne doesn’t know who to trust. A man pushing a hot dog stand stops outside the Turner home and an innocent jogger passes by. Leanne seizes this opportunity to leave, but both strangers are clearly part of the cult and attack her immediately. Leanne stabs the man in the neck with a pen and traps the jogger’s fingers in the car door. Trapped inside the vehicle again, the cult members gather around her, banging on the windows in a claustrophobic nightmare scenario. Leanne beeps the car horn erratically until they all disperse.
It isn’t long before more cult members descend upon the scene. There’s a surprisingly tall man and some creepy-looking identical twins. The tall man tells Leanne to come back to the Church and then more strangers surround the car. Leanne has an epiphany, and realizes that they cannot hurt her. She feels invincible in that moment and decides to fight back. She manages to start the engine, but is unsure how to proceed. They stuff leaves into the car’s exhaust and she starts to choke on the fumes. A few pigeons land on the street, pecking at the fallen hot dog buns. Leanne reverses the car into a man, and then hundreds of pigeons appear, as if summoned by Leanne herself. They attack her opponents.
This plague of pigeons quickly scares off the intruders. One even plucks out a man’s eye in the fray. The cult members either flee or drive away, frightened by the carnage. Leanne screams as they run off. An eerie fog is soon replaced by torrential rain, and Leanne returns to the Turner’s building. Some of her followers arrive in a taxi, although they are far too late to support their leader.
Back in the safety of the house, Leanne cleans up the mess, trying her best to disguise the break-in. She bins the burnt cake and prepares Dorothy’s bedroom. An ambulance arrives and Dorothy is wheeled in. She sports overly-large glasses and a stern expression, ignoring Leanne’s well-wishes. Sean gives Leanne a disparaging stare as well, and then Julian brings in the baby, ironically commenting on the pains of the day.
Leanne goes to her room and spies one of her followers watching over her from a street corner. She asks Julian about Dorothy’s injuries. Her spinal injuries are treatable and she could regain most of her mobility, but she may not as well, it’s unpredictable. He seems discouraged, but Leanne tries to cheer him up. She thinks Dorothy will recover, now that she is home. Sean is equally bleak, denying Leanne the opportunity to care for Dorothy for the time being. Sean stresses that Dorothy needs her space. She clearly blames Leanne for her injuries and her current predicament.
Angered by the Turner’s cold reaction and the chaos of the day, Leanne releases some of her pent-up rage. This causes the light bulbs to pop and the cellar floor to crack again. These cracks stretch out of the cellar onto the pavement, stopping by the street. Her powers are now entering the outside world, who knows what ramifications this will bring.
What did you think of Servant Season 4 Episode 1? Comment below.
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