Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Returned, Season 1, Episode 9: Helen

Opening flashback - 29 years ago and Helen being upset reading about Victor and his mother’s murder. She’s sure that the murder is just a harbinger of terrible things to come - and that some mysterious “they” have taken her clothes and perfume.

They would be the mental institution she’s been locked in for trying to burn down the town hall. She’s not encouraging when she tells her husband how she’d do it again and burn it all down. As he leaves she sadly says “you used to say you loved the way my mind worked.” The burst dam washes away the mental hospital and destroys Helen’s escape attempt

In the present day Helen is involved with booze, a guy in a truck and heading towards explosives - after asking previously how to bring the dam down again. She has sex with the man to get a guide of the explosives in the run down mine. She kills him and takes the map to the explodey stuff which she then stocks up on.

Julie is a little concerned that Victor, the world’s creepiest kid, killed Tony. Victor responds with a creepy smile. Because creepy.

Nikki researches Victor - finding a string of women who took in a silent, nameless boy who looked like Victor before they all died. She tries to warn Julie about the creepy murder child but only gets Victor on the phone.

She hurries to Julie’s to find Victor and creepy, flickering lights. Julie is there - but suddenly very hostile for Nikki, blaming her for not being with her when she was attacked. Does this seem bizarre? Yes because Julie is actually in the shower, this Julie is a hallucination Victor is conjured because CREEPY. Hallucination Julie makes Nikki fall down the stairs. Which is what Julie finds - Victor at the top of the stairs and unconscious Nikki at the bottom

Camille discovers the joys of social media and that her “friends” have now spread the word she’s an evil murdering zombie complete with photos of her empty coffin. Lena is still on her side though.

The town is also setting up their new memorial - and the grieving parents want the Winships to stay away because they’re all commemorating the kids they’ve lost and the Winships kind of found there’s again. They’re also blaming Camille for the Kratski’s suicide (when they should be blaming Peter).

Simon, newly returned from the dead, tells Peter about Tommy murdering him before Peter sends him on his way (Tommy’s too suspicious of him) with a wadge of cash and a van - though Simon doesn’t really want to restart his life and leave Chloe

So it’s to Chloe he goes, loading her in the van while Rowan is all concerned about Tony’s death (since they’d booked the bar for her wedding reception and now he’s got himself all dead which is damned inconvenient). Rowan chases them - and ends up in a car crash, but not dead (not that that means much).

She gives a full report to the police which is kind of awkward given that Simon is dead twice over.

Of course Simon hasn’t exactly thought things through and Chloe gets kind of nervous. He tries to explain his parental issues being a foster kid and she’s very much “that’s nice, can we go home now?”

Tommy goes straight to Peter since he knows where Simon’s getaway van was from. Peter claims the van was stolen and when Tommy starts ranting about Peter helping all the returned and grabs Peter, Peter quietly and calmly slams him against a wall. When Tommy tries to scrabble for moral high ground, Peter points out Tommy lied to his fiancee for years and shot an unarmed man - someone had to say it.

The next person to confront Peter is Camille who, rightly, blames Peter for his terrible advice. He considers telling Camille to leave but she refuses - all of the Returned can’t run and hide.

Lucy, now out of hospital, catches up with Jack in the bar (which he is clearing out for some reason - Jack now owns it?) and she doesn’t think Tony is the one who attacked her. She’s also stopped hearing voices which is good because Jack doesn’t want to discuss the whole mess of her hearing his dad. She turns to leave but he says he needs her - and they kiss and have sex

A complication no-one needs.

She wakes up later to ominous whispering and something unpleasant happening with the plumbing.

Rowan, looking for Simon, decides to tell Lena that undead Camille is dangerous. Simon calls because this whole daddy daughter day has been a disaster so they arrange to meet in the church

There Simon has a brief heart-to-heart with the priest who’s pretty blase about zombies in the pews before Rowan arrives to slap Simon around and tell him she’s set on Tommy (because her taste in men is universally awful). He tells her she should marry Tommy (wow, he must really hate her). He says goodbye to Chloe and leaves before the police arrive. Rowan stops Tommy chasing

Time for the big memorial for the dead kids and, against all common sense, Peter has not only decided to bring Camille but also thinks this is the best time for them to have a big speech in front of everyone. C’mon, shunning Camille is awful, but waving the living kid around all these grieving parents during the memorial isn’t exactly tasteful.

Naturally one person stands up to say Camille is an abomination but Peter says he knows she’s the real deal - because he’s also Returned!

Damn it, that means he can’t be killed off.

When Helen said how the town was corrupt and needed to be destroyed I was hoping for a more sinister explanation than “she’s insane.”

At the same time we did need some explanation for Helen’s bizarre assertion that the town was so terrible. I kind of hoped it would be more than this - or that it could still be more than this. I’m happy to see more non-neurotypical people on TV, but not if their “craziness” is used as a replacement for actual motivation (it doesn’t have to make sense because crazy! is an overdone trope) along with the endless meme that mentally ill people are so very dangerous.

I kind of want to put Simon, Tommy and Rowan in a big pit and fill it in. Nothing to see here, go look at the creepy kid

I kind of want someone to smack Peter with a shovel (except now he’s going to come back!). His earnest yet arrogant patronising do-gooderness gets on my last nerve and was only tolerable this week because it was aimed at Tommy (who could use a shovelling of his own). And how did Peter even get to lead this group of mourners? There’s something really tasteless about him saying things like “we can move on” when, as far as I can see, he hasn’t actually lost anyone in the crash.

Jack and Lucy - do not want. We have enough earnest drama without throwing this into the mix.