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'The Returned' recap: 'Morgane'

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Jean-Claude Lother/SundanceTV

The Returned

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
2
run date:
10/31/13
performer:
Pierre Perrier, Yara Pilartz
broadcaster:
Sundance Channel
genre:
Drama

Last season, Esteban’s parents killed themselves in an attempt to reunite with their late son, whom Camille said was waiting for them on the other side. This comes up again in this episode when Camille — despite her mother’s wishes — reveals to Esteban what happened to his parents, and also because something similar happens to Léna: She’s injured (and might be killed) at the hands of both Serge and Milan in an act of violence that’s part murder, part a way to get her what she wanted.

Milan tells Serge they’ve returned to help others come join them, and with that, he orders Serge to take Léna to the clearing and kill her. So Serge obeys (kind of). He takes her to the clearing and points a gun at her as she begs to be brought to her sister. Then he shoots, but doesn’t kill her — Milan discovers this and stabs her, giving Serge the choice to either finish the job by shooting her and ending her misery or letting her bleed out from the stab wound. Serge, who’s been pretty obedient to Milan ever since he returned and is clearly shaken by what he just did to his beloved Léna, has a moment of rebellion and shoots his dad in response. 

Serge obviously shot her because he felt threatened by Milan, but it could have also — even if only subconsciously — been because he knows that’s the only way to get Léna back to Camille, what she wanted in the first place. And that is what happens: Serge carries the limp Léna to Camille and Claire’s backyard, where Camille finds her. Most of the family is together again — except, of course, for Jérôme, who’s drinking his (many, many) sorrows away at the American diner.

As Léna’s arriving, Julie’s exiting. Victor’s mom wants her out now that she’s back, and Julie’s starting to agree that she doesn’t really serve a purpose there anymore. Victor disagrees, and is clearly upset that Julie is even considering leaving — so upset that he says some pretty cruel things to her, including something about how he doesn’t need her but she needs him. Then he reveals to her that she was carrying a child when Serge attacked her.

Julie is visibly shocked by this, and it’s not clear if it’s because she didn’t know that she was carrying a child at that point or if she’s just confused how Victor would know that. It would make sense for her to have been knowingly pregnant though in context of her devotion to Victor, someone that could have been a stand-in of sorts for the child she was supposed to have but never did. What makes the whole situation even creepier is that Victor tells her the child would have been unhappy with her. What?

After this eerie conversation, it’s not that much of a surprise that Julie wants to get the hell out. She silently leaves the house after Victor’s mom thanks her, and then heads to the water separating their world from the living one. The episode ends on a shot of her wading into a water in an image that is beautifully and devastatingly similar to the final scene of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, an 1899 novel that ends with the main character also wading into the water but to end her life, not to return to her old one.

Or maybe Julie is ending her life, even if just figuratively. She has become so attached with Victor in these last months and made herself a definite mother figure to him. And he does have a point, that she doesn’t really have anyone left — her once-lover is probably dead with the rest of the police force and she never seemed to be a person with many, if any, friends or family. What’s she going to do when she returns to her old life? How is she going to cope?

NEXT: Lucy’s afraid of Milan’s return [pagebreak]

It’s probably best that she left though, because, as Lucy notes, their area is getting a bit crowded. It doesn’t help that Morgane, someone Lucy was apparently in a relationship with 35 years ago during the flood, just came back, and that she’s also still insistent that Simon bring Adèle’s baby to her.

Lucy might seem misguided, but she’s also going through some trauma, it seems: She tells Simon that Milan is nearby and looking to do them harm, which would be repeating history judging by another flashback to 35 years ago when we see Milan throwing a beat up Morgane into a shed next to the recently murdered Lucy. Simon insists he’ll stop Milan, even though he’s already got enough responsibility on his plate, including bringing the baby — whom Chloé is calling Nathan, the same name Simon would have given her had she been a boy — back.

Adèle spends a little quanity time with the baby this episode, and even brings him into her room to sleep with her on the bed. The last we see of them is that image seen from Simon’s point of view, meaning that Simon is probably using that opportunity to nab Nathan while his former fiancée is fast asleep.

While most of the episode is vague, as usual, the younger horde member that brought Camille and company to the site of their deaths in the last episode does gives some insight about why some of the dead are more zombie-like than others: He explains to Camille that no one was waiting for them, that no one wanted them to return, hence why they are stuck there. This doesn’t explain all that much — Why don’t they want anyone to leave then? Why did they attack Claire? What’s with the mute thing they have going on? — but it’s a start.

Back at the Helping Hand, Toni’s stuck, confused and starving. Pierre will only feed him if Toni says where the others are, but Toni maintains he has no idea. He probably doesn’t. The last thing he remembers is wanting to jump off the dam before Julie stopped him, even though there were still at least a few minutes between that event and the moment when he killed himself. There are a lot of holes in Toni’s memory at this point, and asking him to lead them to the rest of the dead is a bit much. Plus: Camille and the others didn’t know where the others were, or if there even were others, when they first came back. Why would Toni?

Pierre’s dedication to the cause is understandable, but his behavior is also veering into scary, inhumane territory that probably isn’t going to work the way he wants it to. Like, Pierre, you aren’t going to solve this giant mystery by simply preventing Toni from snacking on a granola bar. That’s not how this works.

In the week’s other mysteries, Berg discovers a sinkhole that they’re having a hard time getting to the bottom that likely has something to do with the flood, and it becomes clear that the people tied to the trees in the forest were all the police officers who disappeared the night they fought the horde — but one is missing, suggesting that one of these police officers had a big secret to hide.

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