‘The Returned’ – Episode 5 Review

Toni and Serge

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So far the supernatural thriller has done little to disappoint. The Returned  has been a chilling and emotional roller coaster full of mysteries – and this week the series not only moved up a gear, but also chose to go all Love Actually on us in their very own special way.

One of the best elements of the show is the way they start every episode. Particularly pleasing is the flashback as it immediately ties up loose ends from the Julie episode in minutes. Remember how Julie (Céline Sallette) got attacked by Serge (Guillaume Gouix) in the tunnel 7 years ago? Here we see the aftermath of that attack, which is even more extreme than the attack itself.  Serge’s brother Toni (Grégory Gadebois) is furious at his mother for letting Serge out of the house, knowing he’s the serial killer. Toni finds Julie just in time to save her life as he knocks down his brother Serge, and drives Julie to the Emergency Services. Afterwards Toni takes the extreme decision to kill his own brother to stop the madness once and for all – by trying to bury him alive first and then finishing him off with the shovel. (yes the shovel makes another appearance!)

Talk about a complex relationship with a sibling! Throughout the episode the brothers struggle to make peace with each other. Matters are not helped by the fact Serge makes out that their deceased mother has also returned, instead of telling him he has Léna (Jenna Thiam) in the bedroom. Toni is convinced their mother died of a broken heart and now begs his brother’s forgiveness for killing him. It’s not a total surprise Serge takes the news rather badly…

A very exciting aspect this week was the mingling of the returned. Victor (Swann Nambotin) and Viviane (Laetitia de Fombelle) both died 35 years ago and Viviane knew Victor’s family. Interesting questions are asked: “Will we ever see our loved ones again?” “Why did we return?” and one very disturbing question indeed: “Are we able to harm people?” Victor shows us later what he’s capable of, as he wipes that smug grin off Pierre’s (Jean-François Sivadier) face by making him believe he’s seeing ghosts of his criminal past. As fun as it is to watch, it’s clear we all should be really scared of Victor!

Another ‘returned‘ friendship is formed when Pierre drops of Simon (Pierre Perrier) at Claire’s (Anne Consigny) place and meets Camille (Yara Pilartz). The two ‘zombies’ quickly bond over their lost loves and form a pact to help each other. Camille heads over to Adèle’s (Clotilde Hesme) and tells her to prepare a bag for her and Chloé ready to meet with Simon later in the evening. Adèle however has no wish to leave the village, still unsure what to think about Simon’s suicide. Simon is a good sport and helps out Camille in his own way by posing for pictures, intending to make Frédéric jealous. This plan actually works until Frédéric FINALLY realises Alice is in fact Camille.

Serge and Léna also form a bond. Every time we see Serge around Léna we feel scared for what Serge might do to her. But Serge takes us by surprise by showing he actually cares for her. He’s treating her scar and making her comfortable – however he did smash her mobile to pieces. We’ll have to find out if Serge manages to keep his killing urges under control next week to see if this friendship lasts.

Talking of killing,Thomas (Samir Guesmi) sees no problem in shooting Simon in the heart when he finds him round the house. The trouble with killing a returned is: Will Simon actually stay dead? From what we’ve learned from the previous weeks, the answer to this would be NO!

Brotherly love, friendships, teenage love, passionate love… Love really is all around in The Returned  especially when we add the love declaration between Laure and Julie as well.

Love may be all around but the mysteries keep us intrigued too. Who else noticed that Lucy (Ana Girardot) is staying in hospital room number 101?! If that isn’t a clue of what’s to come once she wakes up…

The dozens of drowned animals in the lake was very eerie to watch. Do they know more zombies are on their way and therefore choose death by suicide? And what about Adèle’s history lesson of the dam that broke and engulfed the previous village? Are people who return out for revenge?

It’s clear the plot keeps thickening, make sure you don’t miss the next episode! I have a feeling more trouble is on the way…