WARNING: Spoilers for Servant season 2, episode 2, “Spaceman”
M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant season 2, episode 2 is titled “Spaceman” for a very specific reason that might explain exactly what’s going on with Leanne’s cult and the Turner family — three clues hint at its greater significance. Subtlety is proving to be one of the showrunner’s strong suits, as the most minute details featured in the AppleTV+ series tend to foreshadow even larger events that may determine the trajectory of the Turner’s search for Jericho. While Servant season 2 is only just beginning, the title “Spaceman” might’ve revealed a major character arc and just how deadly Leanne’s cult really is.
Servant premiered in 2019 on Apple TV+ to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Audiences and critics were so impressed by Shyamalan’s latest project that the series was swiftly renewed for season 2. The director is known for his works that contain unexpected and jarring twists, such as The Sixth Sense. In Servant season 1, he did not hold back. The series follows Dorothy Turner (Lauren Ambrose), a grieving mother whose infant son Jericho died after she left him in a hot car. She and her husband Sean (Toby Kebbell) hire a nanny named Leanne Grayson (Nell Tiger Free) to care for a reborn doll that Dorothy believes to be real. As Servant season 1 unfolded, it was revealed that Leanne belongs to a nefarious cult where all members seem to have the power of resurgence. Now that Roscoe (Phillip James Brannon) has returned following his disappearance in “Balloon”, even more information has surfaced regarding her bizarre and, possibly, Satanic practices.
Servant season 2, episode 2 revealed far more information about Julian (Rupert Grint) and his sister, Dorothy. While Roscoe seemed to be the primary emphasis of “Spaceman”, it was actually the concept of outer space, space travel, and flightiness that encompassed the core of the episode and its theme. Shyamalan expertly wove in subtle clues that compare Leanne’s cult to Heaven’s Gate, allude to the state of Dorothy’s mental stability, and predict how Julian will be more involved in season 2 than he was previously. Here’s what all three clues in “Spaceman” really mean.
After Dorothy receives another mysterious package in the mail, Julian reveals it was a baptism gift for Jericho. The box contains a spacesuit. There are numerous reasons that Julian could’ve picked this gift in particular and they’re definitely made clear by the end of episode 2, but it also alludes to a close tie-in with a real-life cult. It may have been Shyamalan’s effort to reference Heaven’s Gate. The cult was founded by Marshall Applewhite, who believed that extraterrestrials were tied to biblical prophecies. This led him and his followers to commit a mass suicide with the hopes that these beings from space would resurrect them. They believed space was a stepping stone towards ascending to heaven.
The cult that Leanne belongs to has supernatural capabilities. While they may not share a lot of similarities with Heaven’s Gate, their ties to the supernatural are enough to necessitate a vague comparison. They also have the capability to resurrect others, which could be a direct link to Heaven’s Gate’s beliefs that extraterrestrials were going to resurrect them. As of season 2, episode 2, Servant‘s cult has several known powers: resurgence, teleportation, and mind erasure. They seem to have powers similar to those given to aliens in science fiction stories. It may be fair to say that the future of the series may find that the cult has ties to extraterrestrials, but only time will tell.
Dorothy Turner is not getting better. In fact, she is getting substantially worse. While she initially accepted the reborn doll, she has now rejected it. As she continues to search for the living Jericho, her mental stability deteriorates due to exhaustion and disorientation. The title “Spaceman” could indicate that she has become a “space cadet.” This slang term is sometimes used to describe an individual who has lost touch with reality. Undeniably, she was never truly in touch with reality, which could mean that there’s a storm coming to greet her with the awful news that she accidentally killed Jericho, information she has rejected throughout the series. By the end of “Spaceman”, Leanne calls Sean and asks him why he hasn’t told Dorothy about what she did to her baby. Surely, the young nanny is demanding that this be relayed to her in order to give her a harsh dose of reality, one that’s been guarded from her to spare her feelings. Dorothy’s characterization as a “space cadet” may end in season 2.
Julian’s dreams of space travel are the most impactful on season 2, as they indicate that he will be far more involved in uncovering who Leanne really is and locating Jericho. In “Spaceman,” he expresses to his girlfriend Natalie (Jerrika Hinton) that, when he was a kid, he dreamt of going into space. He wanted to become a spaceman. While this could be assumed as a child’s dream occupation, its implications of being a dream are far more gripping than this overly simplistic explanation. Natalie is a kinesiologist, which means that she specializing in psychological and physical studies of non-human and human movement. In season 2, her specialties are further explored through the hypnotism of Roscoe, which Julian regards as a pseudoscience. Coincidentally, so are dream interpretations.
In order to understand how Julian will develop over the course of season 2, one must look into dream interpretations of his desire to be a spaceman and the symbolism of the space suit. According to dream researchers, suits indicate how a person will take on a specific situation or circumstance. Space represents wanting to break free from confinement and confusion as well as being persuaded into a collective belief. He is likely slipping into the same mentality as Dorothy and Sean, as he has confirmed that he will be part of the grand search for Jericho. The three have a collective conscience where they believe that the infant is still alive and well, despite him returning to his reborn state and the reveal that the cult offered an infant to their hay cross leader. The title “Spaceman” indicates that Dorothy, Sean, and Julian will falter under a collective consciousness that has already led the grieving mother to be characterized as a being out of touch with reality. As Servant season 2 continues, even more will be revealed about each character as well as just how similar Leanne’s cult is to Heaven’s gate.