Monday, July 15, 2013

The Returned, Season 1, Episode 6: Lucy

We start 1 year ago, with Lucy arriving in town and getting her job at the pub through, well a lot of confidence and chutzpah. Jérôme is also in the bar, drunk, being collected by a weary Claire who seems to have done it a few times before. Toni tells Lucy about the local tragedy of the crashed school bus and lets her stay in the back room. Later she has sex with Jérôme there – and during sex she talks to Camille. There follows the freakiest séance you ever did see. Personally, I would have thought the last place you would want to commune with your dead child is while her ghost watches you have sex. That is one seriously messed up kink.

Today, Lucy is in hospital after her miraculous recovery; she doesn’t remember what happened to her and the doctor is looking at her like she’s the second coming or grew a second head. Or is the second coming with a second head.

Elsewhere, the power plant, the source of so much weirdness, has flooded, completely. And the boss seems to just write it off – well shit, it’s flooded, no power for you, off home now. That’s a… staggeringly nonchalant attitude towards a major disaster. And more than a little fatalistic. “Dear people of town: your power plant’s fucked, no we can’t fix it. No power for you. G’bye now.”

So what do you do on a night with no power? Why grave robbing of course! Frédéric and his friend dig up Camille’s grave – inside they find the coffin full of water and no body.

The next day with the power off, Pierre gathers a number of people at Claire’s house. He gives them a complete ring master run up before revealing – ZOMBIE CAMILLE! I don’t know if it’s cruel or not to show her off to the parents who also lost their children in the bus crash, since their kids didn’t come back. Pierre presents it as hope for all of them that their kids will come back, but one grieving mother wants to know why Camille and not her daughter – Camille runs upstairs and Claire tries to follow, but Pierre stops her and goes instead. He calls Camille selfish for being upset that Léna, Frédéric and the circle of parents look at her like she’s a monster because 15 year old Camille should think of them and is upset that she’s a miracle and does nothing with it. After shaming her, she agrees to do what he says

Pierre looks like a manipulative wannabe cult member.

Thomas takes Simon, who he murdered last episode, to the morgue, but the hospital’s generators are running low. After asking to be informed if there’s anything odd in Simon’s autopsy he goes home to Adèle and Chloé. Adèle asks Chloé to go to her room but Thomas talks to her about the “ghost” and how he’s all gone because they don’t need him any more and coaches her on what lies to tell the police when they ask about the murder. Chloé goes to bed and Adèle falls helplessly into Thomas’s arms for comfort.

Lucy gets a visit from Alcide in the hospital – and remembers his name even though she doesn’t remember seeing him before. Over at Julie’s, Victor takes a bath (and is Julie surprised that he doesn’t want her there to see him get undressed?) and examines his arm in the mirror – it has a blackened wound like Léna’s back – shaped like a burn.

Later Julie again tries to check if she’s actually dead by asking Victor – but he stays with her because his mother told him a fairy would look after him – and he’s decided that’s Julie. Laure drops in to offer to let Julie and Victor move in with her while the power is out, but Julie shoots her down again; Laure also tells Julie about Simon’s death and how they think he was the killer based on… absolutely nothing beyond Thomas’s hatred of him. Police work in this town is almost as shoddy as social services.

At the police station, Thomas interviews Frédéric and his friend about grave robbing – and missing bodies. He learns that Camille is back from the dead as well. Camille is actually busy talking to Pierre’s cult meeting, telling them memories I think are completely made up at Pierre’s behest, about bright lights and feeling the other children. Or feeling their presence rather. Which is when Jérôme drops in to warn Claire that Pierre is a fraud (I agree but I also think the man who was tricked into paying for sex séances isn’t the best judge of fraudulent afterlife information). To make matters worse, Thomas appears on their doorstep, demanding that “Alice” come to the station with identification. What, he’s on a crusade against the returned now?

In the hospital, Lucy completes a photofit of her attacker for Alcide – and it doesn’t even remotely resemble Simon. But it’s a dead ringer for Serge. Who is still playing host to Léna who investigates his creepy taxidermy room while Serge gets clothes for her. When he brings them, she doesn’t go into a separate room to change, she just asks him to turn round (more than a little odd – and why isn’t Léna questioning why she’s in a rustic cabin and not a hospital? Nor made any attempt to contact anyone?). Serge plays with knives and fights to control his serial killer urges.

His brother, Toni, is busy drinking the bar dry since he’s had to close with the power cut – and gets a copy of the photofit from Alcide, giving him another reason to drink. He drives out to and sneaks up on the house Serge is in and spots Léna – assuming it’s his mother. He talks through the door to her, asking forgiveness for killing the out of control Serge. Serge returns from hunting and tells Toni, again, that their mother doesn’t want to see him; Toni warns him that the police are looking for him for attacking Lucy and takes Serge’s gun, promising to protect him.

Inside, Léna tries to hide from Serge and when he finds her, she has a knife. She asks if he’s dead but he speaks soothingly and takes the knife off her – then kisses her and they have sex (I think the actor has an inappropriate tattoo they covered with make up and Léna was told to cover with her hand when it didn’t cover well – the silly things you notice). I’m not quite sure of the cause and effect here – knife point, thinks is dead, kiss, sex. Nope, not following that.

Pierre moves the Séguerts to the Helping Hands and promises to keep them safe; he goes to Julie’s to tell her to bring Victor to Helping Hand where he will be safe otherwise he may be hunted (isn’t this rather a huge over-reaction to the little hints you’ve had so far? Or is this part of Pierre’s desperate cultishness?). Julie tells him no, most firmly, but also tells Victor to pack.

They go to Laure’s taking her up on her offer and Laure promises to keep Julie safe as she reveals that, no, Simon wasn’t the man who attacked her. Victor is still creepy

Adèle and Chloé play the most depressing game of Truth or Dare ever, with precocious Chloé using it as an excuse to ask whose fault it was that Simon killed himself; when Adèle won’t answer she says she’ll ask Thomas because he’ll tell her the truth (hah!). Well done Thomas, you’ve completely and utterly undermined Adèle in her daughter’s eyes. Adèle follows her and admits that honestly she has no idea why Simon killed himself; she reveals that Simon was depressed and had suffered from depression even as a child. Adèle reassures Chloé it wasn’t her fault.

At the hospital, Simon wakes up in the morgue and breaks out of his cooling drawer – while upstairs Lucy suddenly wakes up and gets out of bed. The lights flicker (seemingly common with the Returned) and they meet up in the corridors. Lucy tells Simon to come with him. They go to the pub where Lucy used to stay in the back room; Lucy kisses Simon, he tries to push her away briefly but quickly starts kissing her back.

At the Diner, the police arrive to find the extremely unlucky Diner proprietor dealing with another problem – his place has been ransacked and all the food taken. But he does recognise the photofit of Serge and tells them where he lives – and that he’s “crazy”.  They go to the house and are confronted by Toni and his gun. One of them goes for his gun and Toni shoots him – not fatally (if you can even get a fatal wound in this town any more) and Alcide and the wounded cop run. This is all witnessed by Serge and Léna and Serge decides it’s time for Léna to escape, she runs out the back to the treeline.

Pierre’s whole cult seems to have moved to Helping Hands where the power still works on generators and Camille is still playing voice of beyond reassuring all the parents how their kids are doing. Claire is happy that Camille has found a purpose but Jérôme is more cynical; me too.

Thomas finds that Simon’s body is missing and calls Adèle – she locks all the doors in the house, but Chloé opens one. Lucy and Simon have sex (all these zombies getting it on) – and Lucy has one of her visions, seeing Simon killing himself. And the parents Camille “gave hope to” (i.e. lied about an afterlife with their son waiting for them) commit suicide; now with the certainty of an afterlife and a loved one waiting for them they speed up the meeting. Oops.

Léna staggers through the woods, exhausted, until she finds a large camp fire with lots of people around it. More Returned?

I mentioned before how I didn’t like how women are portrayed on this show – how passive and victimised so many of them are. This is only growing – why is it Pierre who gathers everyone at Claire’s house to show them that Claire’s daughter, Camille, is alive again? Why does Pierre constantly stop Claire going to see Camille and going instead?

Adèle tries to send Chloé, her daughter, to her room – but it’s Thomas who ignores that and decides what Chloé, should be told, should know, should think, should say.

Camille, Léna and Laure were the only two who showed considerable strength and determination to do things their way; now Camille is in the hands of cultish Pierre, Léna has been taken by a serial killer and Laure’s sole purpose of existence is to scratch at Julie’s door and beg for recognition. Julie remains the only one having some power in her life now – but even then her entire life is based around her victimisation and sudden clinging to Victor. And maybe Lucy – under special Returned thrall.

Things are definitely moving ahead now – but with more mystery on mystery. The Returned definitely seem to be drawn to each other in some way – and the water and power station are connected – but I have no clue where this is going

They have done well to maintain 2 themes with the Returned – they don’t sleep and they’re always hungry (for brains?)