Servant Series Finale Ending Explained: Leanne’s Fate And That Major Twist
M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop’s Servant has been one of Apple TV+’s best TV shows since its premiere. It’s a horror dramedy that explores grief, the enduring nature of family, trauma, growing up, and many other very human topics, but paired with supernatural elements. The Servant ending offers a satisfying conclusion without wrapping things up in a nice bow, meaning the series finale helps showcase what made the show so appealing and unique: its gripping storytelling and complex characters.
It also highlights why Shyamalan is one of the most fascinating creators. This on the same level as many of his best movies because it essentially takes a tale of a monster of sorts and shows the humanity in it, and the ending gives the show’s monster one last time to be the hero.
What Happened At The End Of Servant
Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) dances one final time as the house burns. We see her catch fire and fall into an endless pit. The police arrive to question Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose), Sean (Toby Kebbell) and Julian (Rupert Grint) about what happened with the fire.
Julian keeps looking to see if Leanne really burned in the fire. A police officer tells him that they didn’t find a body. Dorothy recognizes another police officer (Victoria Cartagena) as the woman who was kind to her after Jericho’s death.
The woman then tells Dorothy about getting in an accident and being brought back to life. She’s part of the Church of Lesser Saints. She joined the force because of their help and has been watching over Leanne.
Sean and Dorothy decide that it’s time for a new beginning. They have no plans to rebuild their home. After Sean and Dorothy get in a cab to go to their hotel, Julian is seen walking around.
The police officer who spoke to Dorothy approaches him. She makes him recall when he died a year ago and Leanne brought him back. She says that now that he’s sober, he must be feeling it now. Julian tries to dismiss her at first but he appears to understand. She calls them family now.
We see some people watching Julian. We also see angel wings around him in his reflection from a store window. He has wings because of the bird mural behind him. It ends with him saying “Holy shit.”
The Importance Of Acceptance In The Servant Finale
Servant really concludes its journey when Julian and Sean make Dorothy remember Jericho’s death in Servant Season 4 Episode 9, “Awake.” It’s important that this happens to allow Dorothy to begin to accept her grief.
The entire series has been leading to this moment. In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Shyamalan discussed wanting to wake Dorothy up sooner but kept delaying it. He knew that “as soon as she wakes up, the show's over.”
It’s necessary that Dorothy realizes what happens to Jericho to begin to face her pain and take away any control Leanne has over her. This acceptance leads to a domino effect of other things being accepted. Leanne accepts her own pain and regrets about her parents’ death.
This allows her to then accept what she must do to save the world. She also finally gets the acceptance she wants from Dorothy and the family. They forgive her and offer her a place in their family — at least to some degree.
The ending also shows a sort-of acceptance as Julian at least starts to acknowledge that he simply may not be human anymore.
Acceptance is important to the story, because it allows the characters to heal, but also showcases that there are some things that cannot be controlled, like a tragedy. We have to accept this fact and try to cope with our own pain and tragedies, even when they seem so senseless and unfathomable.
Leanne’s Death And The Significance Of The Burning House
Leanne may have one of the most dramatic TV deaths of all time. It’s an inevitable outcome but still feels like a gut punch to viewers, despite her death being her redemption. You’re also reminded of her brokenness and desperation for love, especially from a paternal figure.
However, if you truly believe that Leanne has these otherworldly powers, then she must sacrifice herself to save humanity. If you believe that she’s just a girl, then it’s an act of madness. Either way, it’s important to wrap up the story.
Her burning in flames is important because it calls back to her original death and how she was supposed to die with her birth family. It also has religious connotations. If she’s a fallen angel, like the devil, then it’s a call back to that idea. It even looks like she’s falling into hell at the end. The fire also goes with the Church of Lesser Saint’s ritual.
To add even more symbolism, Leanne starts the fire by burning the Jericho doll. The show starts with the doll, so it makes sense to end with it. Most of the series takes place in the Turner’s home, therefore, it must burn down to allow the family to start a new chapter and to live beyond those walls.
What The Tobe Scene Represents
Tobe (Tony Revolori) has barely been in Servant's final season, so it’s nice to see him pop up during the finale. Additionally, his scene, though small, has a lot of significance. Tobe has always represented a sense of normalcy for Leanne. When she’s around him, she’s just a young girl enjoying time with a boy she likes. She doesn’t have a higher purpose, nor is she this being who could end the world. She’s not evil in his eyes.
Tobe represents a dream or a fantasy for Leanne. Therefore, she calls him to once again imagine that she’s just a girl who has a date; who has a tomorrow to look forward to. He gives her one final dream before facing the reality of her death.
Julian possibly taking over Leanne’s fallen angel role may rank high with one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best twists — even if he didn’t write the episode. You don’t see it coming, but there are hints that lead to it. Before Leanne goes back into the house, she tells Julian to take care of the family now.
It seems like a throwaway line, but once the show is over, it makes more sense. He has taken her place. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Shyamalan doesn’t confirm if Julian really has powers now, but offers this perspective:
Rupert’s pretty convinced at the end. I think, in a wish-fulfillment way, we all want it to be true, even if I don’t one hundred percent confirm it.
He also discussed liking the idea of transferring powers in a People interview. Whether Julian really has powers doesn’t matter, just like whether Leanne had them doesn’t matter. It’s the belief that counts.
Servant also references the it-doesn’t-matter of it all when Dorothy asks Leanne what she is and she says it doesn’t matter because she’s hers. This kind of speaks to the audience. The answers of whether Julian or Leanne are truly powerful beings aren't important, your belief is. If you believe Julian is now a fallen angel, then he is one.
Rupert Grint doesn’t get much screen time in the finale, but just how he delivers the final two lines highlights why Julian is one of his best performances. It’s profoundly funny and sums up his attitude with it all.
Servant was one of the 2023 TV schedule shows that I was most looking forward to watching. The entire season delivers compelling storytelling and acting, and pays homage to the horror genre. The finale, though not perfect, captivates and leaves a lasting impression.