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Les Revenants

Saison 1 – Les Revenants Finale

Relations are strained between the living and the dead. The living deeply fear the dead, especially as a newer and more sinister wave of them enters the town.

In the season finale we found out that Victor had been a child 35 years ago when the dam burst and caused multiple deaths. He had been called Louis in those days and played with Serge and his brother Toni who were around the same age group. He also had an older brother. When Julie spotted Toni on top of the dam wall she persuaded him to come down but later in the car when Toni and Victor/Louis were alone in the police car Toni was persuaded that  Serge was in the car with them and that Serge was shooing him to pay him back, The only hands on the gun however were Toni’s so Victor seems able to manipulate reality to get the results he wants. It wasn’t enough for him that Toni had been the one who rescued Julie from his murderous brother in the tunnel years before. Although he has now been alive for decades he seems to have the understanding of a child out to seek revenge. We had another flashback to the final conversation between Victor and his mother when she promised him she would not die and that if she did the fairy would look after him until she returned. The fairy on the cover of his book just happened to resemble Julie, whom he had told previously that she was his fairy.

Camille was disintegrating more and more but Lena told her she was not afraid of her. Frederic also seemed to be still drawn to her although she denied she was Camille – which she might have meant on a deeper level.

Lucy continued to help Simon to try to get both Adele and his daughter. When he broke the news to Adele that she was pregnant with his second child she stabbed him – a condom would have been better perhaps.

Meanwhile at the Helping Hand preparations were being made to survive both lack of food and attack from outside. The approach of a horde of returnees didn’t seem to have altered the mantra that “all are welcome here”. The horde however wanted all the returnees in the Helping Hand to be with them. Some of the living went with the returnees to help them but tellingly none of them were male. The theme of trying to hold on to the dead and abandoning the living may well be what the final message of this series has been.

Disappointingly all the loose ends were not tied up and there will be a new season next year. I only hope they don’t ruin it by turning it into another Lost.

 

Professional blog here:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jul/28/the-returned-recap-season-one-episode-eight

 

Les Revenants – Series 1, Episode 6: Lucy

The town is affected by a power cut. Pierre forms a community around Camille, who is now seen as a ‘prophet’. Julie finds refuge at Laure’s house with Victor, whose body is undergoing a strange transformation. Lena grows closer to Serge but has to escape back to the town.

Lucy’s bus pulled into the bus park near the dam with one leaving just as her’s arrived. What would such a small place need such a big bus park for?  Is it a tourist draw? After securing a place to stay in exchange for bar work the scene shifted to an ill advised sexual liaison.Lucy had had sex in order to have spiritual contact with the departed – at least it explained her attraction to Camille and Lena’s father. Anyone less attractive would have been hard to find. The scene shifted to a year later when she was waking up in hospital to be told that her recovery was a miracle. At the same time Frederic and his friend were opening up Camille’s grave only to find that it was full of water, but empty of Camille’s corpse.

Simon appeared to be dead as the medical examiner discussed his shooting with Thomas but when he was wheeled into the morgue cabinet the electricity flickered.

Victor seemed to be rotting along his arm underneath his clothing and was convinced that his rescuer Julie was the fairy that his mother had told him would look after him until she came to fetch him.

Meanwhile Camille’s attempts to convince the parents of the other children who had died in the coach crash that she suddenly remembered their journey over to the other side was interrupted by Thomas arriving at Claire’s house to interview her about Lena’s disappearance.

Talking of which, how do you get a girl to go into a room in your house where you keep the weapons? Why close the door of course. Serge is obviously very conflicted between trying to have a normal relationship with Lena and wanting to kill her – I think she has a small window of opportunity to get out of there but of course they both got swept up in the passionate sex that seems to grip all the returnees.

Adele and her daughter talked about the big questions surrounding suicide and whether Simon would return again. On cue Simon kicked his way out of the morgue fridge and after some more full frontal shots – nice by the way – he got dressed and met with Lucy who led him off to the bar and had sex with him to find out how he had died. His suicide seemed to turn into someone else’s but it seemed unclear to me who it was – it looked like Jerome and perhaps Lena but they looked changed in some way. Others say it was the parents of another child killed in Camille’s bus crash wanting to be reunited with their son but it didn’t look much like them either to be honest.

Lena escaped from Toni and Serge’s cabin above the dam believing that Toni was the one she should fear but as she made her way through the woods towards the town she stumbled across crowds of returnees – obviously who has been attacking the American Diner – and at that moment the episode ended.

Thoughts 

Camille seems to have found a purpose and is now much happier – perhaps what we all need even if it is built on lies?

The returnees can’t die and keep coming back.

The returnees seem to be slowly rotting – both Serge and Victor have marks on their arms.

Victor knows something important perhaps – or maybe he is just searching for his next victim.

Lucy uses sex to get pictures from the past but since she died perhaps she is getting pictures of the future?

Those who are nurturing the returned may end up being in danger from them as this town doesn’t seem to be big enough for all of them and the returned without family have no problem attacking the living for the things they need – and they perhaps know they are invincible?

Professional blog here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jul/14/the-returned-recap-season-one-episode-six

 

Explore the Canal+ site here for more photos, a 360 degree tour etc

http://lesrevenants.canalplus.fr/#!/

The Returned – Serge et Toni

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

The Returned – Episode 4 – Victor

Camille is more and more alive, owing to her new identity as Alice, whilst Lena’s scar becomes prominent and weakens her. Julie can no longer hide Victor, and wonders if he may have had something to do with the death of her neighbour.

Victor had been murdered 35 years before. Hiding in a closet he heard a younger accomplice of the man who had murdered his mother(or babysitter) and brother tell him to think about a song from school and to stay quiet. Unfortunately the bodily fluids seeping under the louvered doors gave the game away and he was shot – soon there was a mixing of blood with the urine. Victor’s nightmares and fear of the dark is traced back to this moment and he can’t stay hidden in the bathroom of Julie when the light goes out. His secret now needs to be kept by the police officer as well as the woman he is staying with. Her solution is to take Victor to the Helping Hand until Victor’s family is found – unlikely reunion after 35 years. Victor suddenly realised that  person running the Helping Hand had more to hide than  an affair with Lena’s mother. The woman across the room from him smiles oddly – could she be his real mother? Could she be the returned wife of the man who threw himself off the dam at the start of all this? Victor caused the bus crash years before which killed Camille so it is possible that he thought he might be saving them for the future or is he just a freaky kid, ruined by his murder to feel nothing for anyone else? Why can he sleep but none of the other returnees seem to? Is the former town under the water fast disappearing  from the dam? He’s been back for 7 years but not grown – are the returnees doomed to eternal youth while they remain in their new existence?

Meanwhile Lena’s scar grows to the extent that it resembles a gaping wound. She is in so much pain that she collapses at the foot of the staircase and she is hospitalised. The examining doctor thinks it is a keloid which sometimes forms when someone has an injury which doesn’t heal properly. It turns out that her father Jérôme took her to the doctor a year ago with claims that she fell off a chair, but he is suspected of abuse towards his daughter. She leaves the hospital, going to the Lake Pub to seek out Camille but, as often is the case, her truths make her sound like the crazy one and “Alice” denies all knowledge of her claims.

Simon is hiding in the attic of his former fiancee Adèle but, just as the insatiable appetite for food seems to afflict all the returnees, his desire for sex is all consuming. The police captain Thomas  has installed cameras all over the house and watches his fiancee enjoying sex with Simon. There was a surreal moment when he saw Simon’s face turn into his own. The cameras are discovered and Simon knows he has to leave but in the meantime they spin a story about heaven for the daughter so that she can understand his return. Adèle finds out that Simon did not die accidentally and her own suicide attempts are the excuse used by her fiance for the cameras being installed all over the house.

Ortec vehicles drove past the road blocks making for the dam and it is clear that something the company have done has set this all in motion but we are no closer to finding out what.

Professional blog here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jun/30/returned-recap-series-one-episode-four-victor

The Returned – Episode 3 Julie

Determined to come out of hiding and return to something resembling normal life, Camille invents a new identity for herself as ‘cousin Alice’. Meanwhile, her sister Lena finds a strange, fast-spreading scar on her own body. Simon gets closer to Adele, who finally accepts he has returned and is not a manifestation of her grief. But as the dead try to reclaim their lives, for the living, things seem more and more disturbed. Julie’s dark past resurfaces and threatens to destroy her completely.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” cousin Alice might have said.  The living were increasingly challenged by the returning dead in this episode. Camille asked her dad for cigarettes  arguing that she was hardly likely to get cancer but her older twin’s scar was spreading up her back. Camille began to act more and more grown up choosing clothes which were more suitable for the age she would have been if she hadn’t lost 7 years. Sibling rivalry continued apace with both girls going for Frederick in just the same way they had prior to the accident. Silly Frederick was more concerned about the scar on Lena’s back and his big moment was lost.

Simon was released from jail but instead of going to the Helping Hand sought out Julie at the library, keeping the artifice going that she was imagining his appearances. He hadn’t been that keen on them settling down once he realised she was pregnant and perhaps saw this as an easy exit but once he saw his daughter at school he decided to stay. His every move however was being observed by his ex fiancee’s husband.

Freaky child – Victor – immediately went across the hallway to the nosy neighbour as soon as Julie left the apartment. We found out that Julie had been attacked several years before and her lover, who is one of the investigating officers, hadn’t contacted her since. Julie’s scars also seemed worse when she got out of the bath to answer the door. Her memories of her attack came to the fore and she almost succeeded in killing herself with scissors but the child saved her – seeming to understand.Too bad he wasn’t so understanding of the crazy cat lady.

The dam continued to drain away although no breach of the walls could be found and the pub toilets were blocked by stinking dirty water and, just as the butterfly coming back started off the series, a plague of insects infested the home of Camille and Lena in the form of flies devouring a rotting carcass of something in the kitchen bin. It seemed to be a precursor of the final scene of the cats feasting on their former owner. Cats eh – who’d have them?

Professional blog here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/jun/23/returned-recap-series-one-episode-three-julie

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