The episode began with a flashback to seven years earlier when in an effort to cover up an attempted cannibalistic murder in the underpass, perhaps not a first, Toni the bar owner buried his brother Serge alive after having driven the victim to the hospital emergency department and abandoning her next to the entrance. While he buried Serge his elderly mother wrung her hands inside listening to every spadeful.

The scene shifted to the present day with Camille angry as usual while she spoke to Lena’s boyfriend. Lena had disappeared from the hospital and encountered Serge who surprisingly hadn’t killed her, instead abducting her to his alpine hideaway. She was too ill to escape or to know how much danger she was in. Toni became convinced the woman on the other side of the bedroom door would be his mother and she would not want to talk to him – so did he kill her too or did it all go back to his killing of Serge.

Victor left the Helping Hand with the homeless lady to make for the American Diner. Neither had money but both were hungry and the burgers were filling. She knew him from her life as Mr Costa’s wife decades before and tried to reassure him that his parents might have already returned and were looking for him. Victor asked if the returned could hurt the living but was reassured that the living did not need to the dead to harm them as they were too busy doing it to each other. Later Mrs Costa was brought in for questioning and Julie was allowed a few moment with her. She was interrupted though before finding out the only way to tell if you were really alive or dead.

The lake featured strongly with 35 drowned animals surfacing. We were fed the idea that they had chosen drowning over something much bigger that they were afraid of.

Adele spoke to the children at the library about the former settlement which had been covered by water and when she saw Simon through the glass assumed again that he was just an illusion. Having found out that he had died by suicide on the morning of their wedding she realised that Thomas loved her much more than Simon ever had. Thomas however seemed surprised that Simon was being seen by the daughter, despite having CCTV set up all around the house and having witnessed the goings on himself.

Victor gave Pierre a taste of his own medicine by telling him who he was just before all the lights went out everywhere and the attacker returned to give Pierre a chance to show he could be the hero. It was rather pleasing to see something wipe the obsequious smile off Pierre’s face.

Frederic finally realised that Alice was not who she claimed to be when she was dragged off home by “dad” Jerome that she was pretending was her uncle. Frederic must be e bit thick as it’s not as if she had changed in any way, looking exactly as she had when she was the girlfriend he cheated on. Unfortunately now he knows it is likely that she will be unable to stay in the village.

So what have we apparently learned this week?

There is an old settlement under the reservoir and the animal carcasses are returning to the surface.

There is a theme of suicide running strongly through the episode and it seems to be the acid test for how to determine that you are really alive/dead – a bit of a challenge however.

The idea that love lives on after death has been challenged by three returnees now who all found their former partners couldn’t cope with their return. Mr Costa committed suicide, Frederic ran away in disgust and Adele chose her present lover over her former one as Simon was pulling them to their grave, not a new life.

Serge is obsessed with cannibalism rather than killing. the killing is just a by-product of his need to feed on raw flesh and he hadn’t realised that Toni had murdered him before as the returned have no recollection of their deaths (Simon has forgotten he committed suicide) or how they managed to get back to their former families.

It may be possible to kill the returned afterall – if the gunshot wound is anything to go by.

Victor has the mental powers to let people experience their past traumas.

And finally those who have died seem to be coming back after a much briefer time away.

Serge

Toni

Professional blog here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jul/07/returned-recap-series-one-episode-five-serge-toni

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