The new Apple TV Plus series, Servant, is confusing and simultaneously fascinating. Fans are coming up with all kinds of theories based on the many clues dropped in the last nine episodes. Here’s a roundup of some of the major clues and theories that we’ve seen, for your review before the finale airs. Of course, this doesn’t list every major clue, but it lists some of the major ones that have sparked theories and discussions.
This article will have major spoilers through Episode 9, and possible spoilers for the finale if any of the theories are correct.
Something Might Be Weird with Time
With M. Night Shyamalan, even the tiniest discrepancies could be clues. Some fans have noticed that sometimes weird things seem to happen involving timing.
One fan started a thread about it on Reddit, pointing out that in Episode 9 at 8:27 and 25:58, the trees are green and full of leaves like it’s summer, but at 28:38 the trees are bare like it’s fall. Yet, this is all supposedly happening in the same flashback within a period of a few days.
That’s a really good observation. If you watch the episode at those timestamps, you’ll confirm it. Another Redditor, CHACHA623, shared these screenshots showing how the leaves on the trees change during timespans when they probably shouldn’t.
Others noted that Jericho 1.0 looked a lot older in the changing table scene in Episode 9 than he did when Dorothy was standing at the door while Sean was leaving.
Some Fans Think We Still Don’t Know How Jericho Really Died
Other fans think the time discrepancy is a sign that we’re not seeing the real way that Jericho died. Instead, they surmise that Episode 9 is Sean’s guess about how Jericho died, because Dorothy was catatonic when he found her. She was in no state to explain what happened and then, once she came out of her catatonia, she never really believed that Jericho died. So this is the story that Sean came up with.
The comments Natalie made might line up better with the idea that something else happened to Jericho. Natalie said to Julian at one point: “You need to talk to someone about what you saw. What you did.” And she said to Leanne: “How much did those boys tell you about what happened?… If I were you I would look for something a bit more stable.”
Then again, Natalie might be talking about how Julian and Sean disposed of Jericho’s body. We still don’t know how that happened. That might be the really dark part of Sean and Julian’s story, and what we learned about Dorothy was real.
Is It a Modern Bible Story?
Some fans have said that M. Night Shyamalan said this was a modern Bible story. I haven’t been able to track that down yet. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said: “Sometimes, we explore what food represents, even biblically, like crickets. Do we eat those? Is that defiance? It’s great, in terms of wanting to tell an almost biblical story in a brownstone in Philadelphia, through the language of an upper-class family.”
It seems this isn’t a modern Bible story, although it’s “almost biblical” in feeling and tone.
Can Leanne Resurrect People?
Some think the supernatural element is that Leanne can resurrect people. They note that the cricket in the glass appears to come back to life when she’s whipping herself, the dog in the basement came back to life after we saw Leanne go into the room where the dog’s body was, and perhaps she also resurrected Jericho.
Redditor u/Felix72 has suggested that Uncle George resurrected Leanne (so she really didn’t steal a dead person’s identity because it’s her.) But she has a job of resurrecting people for specific reasons, and she’s neglecting that job to try to stay with Jericho.
(By the way, here’s an interesting clue posted on the Instagram account about Uncle George.)
If Leanne can, maybe she’s really upset about resurrecting a baby for a mom who killed Jericho (even if it was an accident.) We saw in Episode 9 that she’s now torturing Dorothy, like she’s trying to make her crazy again, and she may have poisoned her egg too. But others think that Leanne was trying to trigger Dorothy’s memory of what she did to Jericho. When she tried to open the car when the alarm was going off, the only door that would open was the back door where Jericho’s car seat had been.
On another interesting note: the letter from Leanne’s application might have arrived before Jericho died. Dorothy found it in a stack of mail, but at that point in time Jericho had only been dead for a couple days. That leaves the possibility that Leanne had applied for the job before Jericho’s death.
Did Sean Have an Affair on Dorothy?
Other viewers think that maybe Sean left Dorothy for Isabelle, the reporter who has replaced her. It seems like Isabelle’s getting a lot of attention on the show, so there might be more to her character.
Redditor u/allwomanhere noted that Sean and Dorothy had been arguing a lot and were having a lot of problems. So maybe Sean was having an affair. However, this theory seems less plausible because of how supportive Julian is of Sean. What do you think?
Some Think There Will Be a Rational Explanation for Everything
Others are convinced that the twist is that there will be a rational, non-supernatural explanation for everything. It’s tough to imagine that being the case for the splinters that Sean keeps finding, but it’s still a prevailing theory.
The idea is that Jericho 2.0 really is a different baby, and Leanne employed the idea that Julian’s dad had also considered.
Maybe she didn’t trust Julian to watch the baby safely. so she had Wanda switch the baby out for a doll while she was gone. (Or she did it herself right before she left.)
Some people think everything is an act. This theory was brought up by Redditor u/Victor-Toombs. They suggested that Dorothy’s rich dad hired everyone to play different roles to try to bring his catatonic daughter back to reality. The idea is that Sean, Julian, and Natalie are all employees playing roles. Leanne was hired outside that role and isn’t in on the whole thing. To me this seems a little far-fetched, but you can decide what you think.
Here’s another Redditor commenting on the “it’s all an act” theory:
Although I don’t really buy the “It’s all an act” theory, I do think the theory that Dorothy may not actually have her job anymore. She got sick and couldn’t show up for the swimming pool news report, which we saw her replacement do. There’s a big gap in videos of her newscasts and nothing recent. (The videos show 2011, 2017, 2018, and one video from 2019, with a gap from 2012 to 2016.)
At one point, Dorothy comments about how Isabelle (the blonde reporter we see doing news segments), was an intern with her and then moved up really fast and was doing camera testing. But we saw Isabelle (or someone who resembled her) in the background giving a news report while Julian was on the phone with the investigator. Some fans think that maybe Dorothy has a lost a lot more time than she has any idea and Isabelle really didn’t move up the ladder super fast at all.
Another clue: Dorothy was invited to the award show, but she wasn’t actually receiving anything. Maybe she was invited as a courtesy, even though she no longer has that job.
Could This Be Taking Place in the Future?
Redditor u/hathorofdendera came up with a fascinating theory that this is all a high-tech simulation to uncover crimes that Dorothy and Sean Turner have been committing. This would involve some future tech we don’t have, but the idea is that this is some kind of simulation or AI program designed to get at the truth.
They mentioned how Leanne is the name of a girl who died at the age of 6 and Dorothy was near her probably around the time of her death at the pageant. In addition, other news reports pop up from time to time that reference unsolved crimes.
They said that Leann’s questioning of Julian like she’s some kind of detective early on could be a sign for this theory. Maybe Uncle George was one of their victims (or all the random characters are.)
This one also seems a bit far out, but it’s a fascinating idea.
Other Strange Clues
Viewers have also noticed that the house doesn’t really seem set up as one that has a little baby. There are no photos of Jericho in the house and the nursery is almost empty except for a couple teddy bears and a mobile. They don’t have a playpen for him downstairs or a high chair anywhere. There aren’t any toys anywhere.
Here’s a thread about it:
Interestingly, there are some theories that might imply maybe Sean lost his mind too. Redditor u/Itscheezybaby wrote that in Episode 1, he put in 0106 to arm the alarm. In Episode 2, he tried 0603. Why did he forget his own alarm code? But then, Julian used the 0603 alarm code in Episode 4. So something’s off, but it’s unclear just what.
Here’s the same alarm clip on a different Instagram account:
Then there’s that cross that Leanne hung over the crib. The cross in the burned house had a patch around it that wasn’t affected by the fire, some viewers noted. So maybe Uncle George was sleeping in the crib not because it was a crib, but because it was the only place directly beneath the cross. Here’s a discussion about the cross:
There Are Two Official Instagram Accounts
Interestingly, there are two official Instagram accounts for the show. One is called ServantOfficial and one is ServantOfficial_. The first has the tagline “Doubt what you believe.” The second has the tagline, “Believe what you doubt.” There are probably some significant clues in these accounts. They share different posts and videos.