Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Returned, Season 2, Episode 6: Lucy

Opening flashback to a year ago to Lucy’s past – her hitchhiking into town becoming a bartender and then deciding to seduce Jack because he was flashing a lot of money around and, for reasons that are still beyond me, playing the whole sex-medium thing with him.

In the present day, Lucy dies in hospital from her wounds. Briefly – she then wakes up all well and shocked and in pretty much perfect health. Her stab wounds have completely disappeared.

Tommy the sheriff arrives though she remembers little about being attacked – Tommy does his best to push her into accusing Simon.

At the Winship house, everyone is panicking because Lena has disappeared. Well except Camille who practices her complete indifference, explaining she can feel Lena through her twin bond. Claire questions if Camille drove Lena off – and even wonders to Jack if Camille MIGHT not be the daughter they lost. Jack objects to that – Camille is their daughter, but Claire counters that so is Lena.

Lea has been taken by Adam – and put in a bed in his cabin, no more wounded than she was in the first place (though still with the awful back wound that fascinates serial killer Adam). He treats her wounds with gleaned herbs and they talk about siblings and unforgiveable crimes and how both of them should be dead. But Adam also holds out the idea there’s chance to change

Claire tries to talk to Lena’s friend to find out where she could be but only really learns that Lena “knew” a lot of guys.

Lena does call Claire but only to say she’s fine and to stop looking. When Claire acknowledges that she hasn’t been there for Lena Lena simply says “it’s a little late for that.” Claire asks Jack if he knew Lena had a reputation for being with lots of guys – and when it’s clear he did, she also wants to know if Jack just ignored what Lena was doing while he was with Lucy. Jack counters that Lena is an adult and she’s living her life as she wants (which would be supportive if it weren’t a passive aggressive dig at Claire for not living her life). He accuses Claire of being lost without someone to mourn, without being the “perfect grieving martyr”.

Adam continues to be creepy but doesn’t murder Lena. Tony pays a visit and to get rid of him without having him poke around, Adam tells him their mother has returned. And she’s hella pissed at Tony and doesn’t want to see him because he killed Adam. Tony is going to need a whoooole lot of therapy.

Of course seeing Adam with his brother clues Lena in that Adam is also returned. She asks about it and he tells her he was a “bad person”; she disagrees and kisses him. They have sex, presumably forgetting about the gaping back wound.

 Peter has Victor in his car which is probably creepy and likely to end with Victor eating Peter’s skin.

Meanwhile Julie panics about Victor being missing (hey, here’s a tip – don’t put lost kids who are unable to talk in a homeless shelter, unsupervised with completely unknown adults who don’t even give you a name let alone a background check!). Nikki has been looking for him but all she has is Helen who was seen with Victor in a diner. Helen isn’t even trying to hide who she is and happily tells Nikki that she was George’s wife who died 29 years ago. Since Julie was George’s doctor they ask her to speak to Helen – and when she does (with another reference the huge appetite of the returned) she recognises Helen from the pictures in George’s house.

She describes dying and that Victor – or Henry – also died and came back to life. Julie also has a more personal question – how do you know if you’re dead? Nikki naturally discounts the whole story but Julie is shaken with her own experiences. Nikki desperately tries to reassure Julie that her attacker didn’t kill her- and that she fought - not getting that whether or not Julie fought isn’t what is worrying her. Julie would actually feel relieved if she had died because it would explain how she feels – or doesn’t feel.

Peter takes Victor out to the grave of his fellow murderer, the man who shot Victor and his mother and explains both that man’s death and Peter’s own guilt and attempts to atone. He asks for Victor/Henry’s forgiveness and gives him a gun if he can’t give it; instead Victor causes a hallucination of a man in a balaclava to point a gun at Peter and pull the trigger – only to find the gun has no bullets and is actually held by Peter. Oooookay, extra-creepy powers. No quick death for you Peter, Victor’s still playing with you.

Claire eventually finds her way to the very troubled Peter and acknowledges what Jack said – she has been living in the shadow of Camille’s death. She’s going to fix that by making out with Peter.

Jack goes looking for Lena and, while she’s alone, Camille invites Ben over. She kisses him – and he recognises her. Duly freaked out he runs.

Putting Helen to the test, that night Julie stands on the edge of her roof contemplating suicide until Victor returns and distracts her. She asks him if he came to her because she’s like him and he shakes his head no. He tells her she’s the fairy his mother said would protect him.

In the hospital Lucy keeps hearing eerie, whispered words until they suddenly cut off – and she looks around her hospital room as if seeing it for the first time. Jack arrives and they both have a reconciliation with her apologising, him forgiving and accepting that he was pretty desperate. But now she is actually hearing voices… scary voices and she doesn’t think she’ll be believed. She then drops a lot of info about Jack’s dead father.

As the show deviates from the French original I’m getting much more intrigued to see where they’re going – because we have a lot of new directions here.

The Winships are doing something interesting in a bad way. I actually like the fact that we’re beginning to see how much grief has consumed and scarred them – that it’s only when that grief is lifted with Camille’s return that they can actually look back and see how poorly they’ve treated Lena. Jack has just collapsed into alcohol and sex and misanthropy, Claire has become, in Jack’s words “the perfect grieving martyr” and Lena was completely and utterly forgotten; it adds so much to Lena’s character and the bitterness she feels towards Camille since we not only have guilt of not being on the bus and grief over losing her sister – but also the constant shadow of Camille’s death tearing apart her life. This also provides some other interesting insights – is Claire suddenly doubtful of Camille out of genuine doubt or guilt over Lena or even because she can’t STOP being that perfect grieving martyr? Is Jack trying to get back with Claire out of a genuine wish to reconnect or because he’s just trying to of back to the past.

Unfortunately a lot of this fascinating insight is done by yelling “ZOMG LENA BE HAVING SEX!” which permeated the whole thing like an unpleasant smell. Especially since this episode also comes with a heavy dose of sex shaming Lucy (almost setting her up as victimising Jack)

I found Julie and Nikki interesting as well – because Nikki could almost be reading from a step-by-step guide on how to speak to the survivor of trauma, and it’s really good and caring and supportive but completely not linked to how Julie is actually feeling or what Julie actually needs.