Monday, February 22, 2016

The Returned, Season 2, Episode 8: Les Revenants

It’s time for the concluding episode of The Returned which begins with just about everything falling apart.

The soldiers pretty much give up trying to do anything about the Returned after the big escape last week – especially when the priest tells their leader everything and he, rather shellshocked, decides to side step the whole issue and let any further return they’ve gathered go (apart from anything else they’re creepy). Simply because he has no clue what’s happening or what to do. It’s actually pretty well done and not as simplistic as it sounds – he steps back from a situation that has pretty much shattered all he knows: he falls back on the words of a priest who simply tell him to help. And with the dead rising, a priest isn’t exactly an unreasonable person to talk to.

Helping Hand, Pierre’s cult, collapses – with Sandrine dead, Frederick dead in a firefight with Claire (he shoots Camille) and Audrey actually eating her mother (yes – zombie-like. Looks like the Returned do eat flesh – though this may be because Audrey was separated from the others. Camille explains she starts to rot and get marks when she is apart from the other zombies) absolutely no-one believes it’s still a safe place. I’m not sure whether a group under attack wouldn’t just hunker down, so I’m not entirely buying it but it’s not so far outside the realm of possibility – especially since Pierre kept bringing the threat to them which was pretty inclined to leave them alone otherwise

Pierre, all alone, is confronted by Berg, Etienne and Victor – and we learn that Pierre was the last man from the suicide Circle. He was the man who killed Milan but couldn’t bring himself to kill himself. He goes to Milan, who in turn has lost his faith (since Victor has said he basically didn’t want any of this to happen and he was Milan’s divine figure). Pierre shoots himself, following in the culty footsteps

We have lots more foreshadowing of Victor’s specialness: both Lucy looking for him 35 years ago when she first came to town (further adding her as one of the leaders of the mystery) and Victor returning to his dad after being murdered. Something of a shock for papa, but he hid the boy for all those years drawing the spooky spooky pictures that predicted just about everything that happened in the show to date. Victor didn’t age in those 35 years, but his dad did and, eventually died.

Victor begged him to come back… which seems to be what caused the Return to happen. Victor begging his dad to come back. Somehow I find Victor accidentally bringing everyone back rather more spooky than him having a diabolical purpose

The Returned all gather from various places (except Serge who has committed suicide in the tunnel where he stalked his victims), Camille saying goodbye to her family, leaving them sad… but content (after coming back from the dead again), Lucy and her Horde, collecting Victor from Julie (who stays behind when Victor begs her to), Mrs. Costa (reunited with her husband, this time in love not confusion), Milan, Federick (presumably newly returned) the whole horde.

Except Adele and Simon who go into the caves, where Adele meets waterlogged zombies and changes into a rather impractical and faintly Greco-Roman looking dress.

They arrive at a giant sink hole where Victor tells Lucy that Nathan (Adele’s child) is like him – and must be looked after. And, of course Julie joins them, despite Victor begging her to stay away. She says she can’t live without him – and jumps in the sink hole… sort of, since Victor’s not having that so he teleports them book to a lake bank instead – the sink hole has turned into a great big puddle. And everyone else vanishes leaving Victor and Julie to go home… and seem to have a happy future with Ophelie.

While Lucy who hasn’t vanished, dumps baby Nathan on someone else’s doorstep.



They vanish and Victor and Julie go home? Did the writers literally just yell “oh fuck it” and go home? I mean why not just go for “and he woke up?”

Where’s the answers? Where’s the explanation for anything?! Why did I want two seasons of this?! What was the point of any of this? Victor is a god child who did random stuff, partially by accident and in the end most of the storylines just vanished for REASONS

The dam and the flood? Serge, Toni and the serial killing? Audrey eating her mother? Milan and the cult? Baby Nathan? Zombies rotting when separated? Victor’s numerous appearance in numerous places? WHY WHY WHY WHY? It isn’t that this show ended on a mystery – it’s the fact it ended with the strong impression it HAS ended and everything has been resolved when it has resolved not one damn thing. I legitimately feel like I have completely wasted the hours I’ve spent watching both seasons.

I’m sure there’s a very highbrow and artsy reason for all of this. And I can’t fault the atmosphere which was amazing and I can’t fault it. And I certainly can’t fault the emotion or the acting. But the world building is non existent, the plot is non-existent, the development shaky – honestly this show takes the PRIZE for Madlibs. Gold medal right here.

This has even left one thing I should be praising the show for (and this is about the only minority praise I can give since POC and disabled people are pretty much absent) – Julie and representation of a lesbian as a main character so lacking. What did Julie actually do except constantly follow Victor around with no explanation? Even ending up with a happily ever after with Ophelie made no sense because Ophelie made no sense. Their relationship made no sense. Their motives made no sense

But, that’s not a homophobic trope or poor treatment of the characters, I admit – because no-one and nothing on this show has made sense. God child comes to Earth and does random stuff without quite understanding in a town of people in apparent 21st century France who are about 2 minutes away from Medieval witch burning.

Maybe it’s just gone all over my head, but I’m bemused and frustrated but this non-ending.