Servant season 3, episode 2 recap: What’s with the bees?

Toby Kebbell and Nell Tiger Free in Servant, premiering January 21, 2022 on Apple TV+.
Toby Kebbell and Nell Tiger Free in Servant, premiering January 21, 2022 on Apple TV+. /

Things are getting worse for poor Leanne as we progress into Servant season 3. In the latest episode, Servant season 3, episode 2, “Hive,” Dorothy invites a bunch of strangers over for a mommy-and-me group session so she can make some new friends and potentially a few connections for Jericho.

Leanne doesn’t understand why Dorothy needs this session. Their family should be enough for her. Yet Dorothy won’t be dismayed that easily. No one in the Turner household is as fearful of the cult as Leanne, and yet again, Servant season 3 creates an excellent portrait of paranoia. Throughout “Hive,” it becomes easy to see just why the nanny is so frightened of the cult’s wrath, even if the Turners are doing what they do best: denial.

Servant season 3, episode 2 recap

Servant season 3, episode 2 begins with Sean and Dorothy dropping six grand on a state-of-the-art new security system. In the wake of the burglary, they want to do something to help Leanne relax, and they believe some new security cameras will suffice.

As an extra layer of security, Dorothy also invites Julian and his new girlfriend Veera over to watch the monitors during the mommy-and-me session. Meanwhile, Sean does what he does best in his kitchen and enlists Leanne’s help so she can stay away from the horde of strangers.

It doesn’t take long for the session to turn a little strange. From the host “Mr. Smiley”—which certainly sounds creepy—to two of the moms launching an interrogation into the presence of an ambulance that appeared last summer (when Jericho actually died), there is some almost immediate tension. I think this is one of the first times we’ve had outside characters take notice of what happened at the Turner’s that fateful summer. It didn’t go completely unnoticed by the neighbors despite what Dorothy and Sean might wish.

While Sean cooks, Leanne tells him of some of the signs to watch out for cult members, like the way they dress and the fact they have scars on their backs from all the self-flagellating. During a yoga session with the moms and their babies, Leanne surreptitiously scans each woman’s back for damage and finds one with a scar poking out of her tank top.

It spooks her enough to go sprinting back into the kitchen, where she slams into Sean, who spills a sauce thickened with blood all over her blouse (probably not on purpose that it makes Leanne look like she got stabbed…foreshadowing?). Leanne retreats to her bathroom to clean herself up and notices one of the mothers snooping in her bedroom, even peeking under the bed. Leanne, understandably, freaks out, drawing Julian and Veera in to check out what the commotion is.

The mom claims she had only gone into Leanne’s room to find a private place to feed, and she was looking under the bed because she was looking for her baby’s dropped pacifier. The woman pulls a pacifier out of her pocket in a subtle maneuver and makes it look like she found it underneath the bed. At least, that’s what it looked like to me! Is that confirmation this woman is a cult member?

By the time Leanne returns downstairs, she finds herself alone with Mr. Smiley, as the rest of the group had gone outside to get ice cream from a passing truck. Despite his name, Mr. Smiley is weird and makes Leanne uncomfortable. She threatens him with a pair of kitchen shears and demands he shows her his back just as Dorothy and the women return and witness this bizarre confrontation.

After that, Dorothy sends Leanne to her bedroom for the remainder of the hangout. But it’s too late to salvage the party as the episode climaxes with a sudden swarm of bees flying out of the fireplace. One of the workers may have unknowingly disrupted a hive while installing the security system—or so the exterminator claims. In reality, I think Leanne might have caused the incident, similar to the seagulls swarming Julian in the previous episode.

Servant season 3, episode 2 recap: What’s with the bees?

Bees are a hot topic this week. The episode is titled “Hive” for a good reason. Listen carefully to Mr. Smiley’s song at the beginning, and you’ll hear him mention them.

Then a bee lands on Leanne’s hand while she’s in her bedroom, and she appears to attribute it to her Aunt Josephine as she talks to the hole in her wall above the donkey painting that leads to the body’s hiding spot. Finally, bees swarm the Turner family’s living room, although, mysteriously, Sean doesn’t get stung despite standing right next to the fireplace.

I’m assuming none of the other family members did either. Since most of the heavy symbolism on Servant can be attributed to the bible, like the donkey and Balaam in Servant season 3, episode 1, bees are often related to traits of Jesus Christ.

From Dr. Bee Keeper:

"In Christianity, the bee has historically been seen as a symbol of Jesus Christ’s attributes.  The honey reflecting his sweet and gentle character, whilst the sting pertaining to justice and the cross."

Hives, and specifically beehives, are representative of collective consciousness and interconnections. Bees work together toward one purpose. A hive is not unlike the cult in this analogy, specifically the Church of Lesser Saints. They believe they are working toward a higher purpose and are willing to do whatever they need to do to get there, even if that means “stinging” people (or delivering justice).

Of course, this is all my personal take and, like all things related to Servant, invites plenty of discussion and speculation.

Next. Servant season 3, episode 3 recap: Hair. dark