The Returned review – Episode Five – Channel 4

The Returned SergeEpisode five opened with a flashback revealing Serge’s attack on Julie, and how Serge’s brother was the one who saved Julie’s life. Toni decided his brother was beyond redemption though, and decided to kill him. You’d think he would use a more humane method than burying him alive but, hey, that’s sibling rivalry. Maybe Serge broke his N64.

So now we know how Serge died, though Serge himself didn’t until Toni told him. He didn’t take it lightly, struggling against the urge to kill his brother, before returning to his cabin, where Lena lies recovering from her back wound. It’s a little unrealistic that Lena would happily stay in a stranger’s bedroom, simply because he cooks for her and has some special nettle cream. She did though, and Serge kept her from Toni by pretending it was their mother in the room, back from the dead, increasing Toni’s guilt over what he did to his brother.

Camille meanwhile was off chasing Frederick. I said last week that this storyline was boring me, but it was better this week, and kind of heartbreaking in places, as Camille struggled to deal with the fact that the guy she loves is now four years older, doesn’t care about her and doesn’t even recognise her. After a drinking competition – which Camille breezed through presumably thanks to her recently dead status – Frederick succumbed to Camille’s advances, turning up in her bedroom, before finally comprehending who she really is, and running away in shock. Camille retreated to her mother in tears, knowing now that her secret is out, and that the person she loves is literally repulsed by her. Like I said, kind of heartbreaking.

Away from the show’s main characters, strange goings on continue in the town. Lucy – the waitress attacked at the start of episode one – woke up in hospital, her wounds miraculously healing. And we found out that there is a town beneath the lake; a lake filled with scores of dead animals. Pilling mystery upon mystery in this way is not something I enjoy. It can become a crutch that TV shows use to generate suspense and intrigue. It was this type of thing that made me lose interest in the American show Lost. Too many mysteries and things get absurd. I really hope The Returned is building towards some answers and satisfying conclusions, because if the series ends on a fuckload of cliffhangers it’s going to really piss me off.

I did though like the bit about how the animals in the lake died; they ran away from something so scary that they wilfully drowned themselves. That’s a great, intriguing and frightening little reveal, and I hope it’s true, but I wonder if maybe the animals are from the old town at the bottom of the lake, back from the dead and drowned again immediately.

The Returned Simon this episode decided it was time to leave town. There was quite a sweet scene between him and Camille, sharing similar problems, helping each other out. It was nice to see Camille have someone in her life she could relate to. Simon got his new friend to deliver a message to Adele, a request for her and her daughter to leave the town with him. She rejected it though and when Simon showed up at her house, she rejected him too. Conveying a pretty awful attitude towards mental illness, she rebuked Simon for killing himself, and said he was dragging them to the grave. After leaving the house, Simon was shot by Thomas. He’s a bit of a dick that guy.

We don’t know if Simon is really dead though. Mrs Costa told Victor this episode that the returned can’t die. And Victor in reply told her that he had someone he wanted to hurt. After spending the day fucking about in the unknown, Victor showed up at the Helping Hand hostel and confronted Pierre about his role in his death. Pierre insisted he’d tried to save Victor, who disagreed. And then the lights went out across the town, and in a very well shot and creepy scene, Victor’s killer appeared but was wrestled to the ground by Pierre. I’m guessing that what happened here is that Victor conjured up the spectre of his killer, to see if Pierre would save him this time, or let him be killed. Pierre passed the test in that case. And then Julie arrived with her ex-partner Laure.

Julie spent the episode struggling to decide whether she was alive or not. This is a little ridiculous. The returned, well, returned. For Julie to think she was one of them there would have to be huge gaps in her past where nobody saw her or spoke to her, and that just wouldn’t be credible. Her fractured mind though is evidence of the affect the returned are having on others, something we might see more of in the coming last three episodes, what with Camille’s secret, and the secret of all the returned, being revealed to more and more people.

Random notes:

  • Victor spoke normally this episode. At first I thought this meant he could speak only to fellow returned, but then he spoke to Pierre. I hope there is an explanation for him being mute for the first few episodes, because if not, it means the whole thing was just a plot contrivance to make the show scary.
  • Camille sleeps this episode, so I guess the retuned can sleep, but with difficulty.
  • The Guardian reviewer says that Toni killed his mother. I didn’t see anything to suggest that, but I’m putting it in here, to cover my ass in case it turns out to be true.

The Returned Reviews: Episode One, Episode Two, Episode Three, Episode Four, …………………………..Episode Six, Episode Seven, Episode Eight

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3 thoughts on “The Returned review – Episode Five – Channel 4

  1. I thought Simon saying Camille was sleeping was just to cover up Camille sneaking out to give Simon’s message to Adele?

    I must admit I thought it implied that Toni had killed his mother as well. I think his reaction (driving off) to knowing she was in the house but didn’t want to see him and I think he also asked if she had forgiven him. We’ll see I suppose.

    • Never picked up on Simon covering for Camille, makes sense though. Thanks for the comment – I just now found it; my spam filter’s being overly protective!

  2. It was not explicitly stated but the amount of Guilt Toni has would seem to confirm that he did kill his mother. In previous episode, he said something along the lines of he buried Serge and his mother at the same time, although this clearly isn’t so in this episode but he could have meant – almost the same time.

    The animals in the lake were damn creepy, especially as they just seemed to float there – not sinking, not rising to the surface.

    Mrs Costa said there was only one way for a Returned to know for sure that they were Returned, to Victor. As some of the other returned don’t know or remember how they died, it’s not unreasonable to think that someone could die, return immediately and be a Returned. This is perhaps what Julie was speculating.

    This could also explain Lucy’s miraculous recovery – she is also a returned. Since all the returned have shown up at the same time, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume someone who dies now could immediately come back.

    From the damned spoiler clip they keep showing, we know that Frederick and friends are going to dig up Camille’s grave (next episode maybe). If there is a body in the grave, then Lucy can’t be a Returned.

    In other notes, I really liked when Camille teased Fredrick about being a vampire and jumped at him to scare him.

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