Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.02: "Simon"

“I know you’re a ghost. I know you don’t really exist. But it doesn’t scare me. You can stay. I won’t ask you to leave anymore.” -Adèle

The second episode of “Les Revenants” continues much like the first. It is still moody and atmospheric, and we learn more about the characters we met last week. What is especially interesting is that we continue to learn lots of random past connections between the characters. For instance, ten years ago, Simon taught a very young Lena how to play drums, and Julie turns out to have been the victim of a very disturbing crime. We also got to see a bit more of the consequences of people coming back from the dead. It’s wreaked havoc on several families in this typically sleepy Alpine town. I especially liked seeing more of Simon and Adèle’s story. I have found their scenes to be the most emotional of the series thus far, probably because their story (or what we know of it at this point . . . there’s almost certainly more beneath the surface) is so tragic.

The episode opens with a flashback to the night before Simon and Adèle’s wedding. Simon’s band is playing a show at the Lake Pub, and Adèle is waitressing. It’s a joyful scene, and it seems that Simon and Adèle are truly ecstatic to be getting married the next day. Later, when they’re post coital, Adèle tells Simon that she has something to tell him, but she wants to wait until after the wedding. Simon correctly guesses that she’s pregnant. He is so happy he starts crying, or at least that’s how it appears. The next day, Adèle is at the church in her dress ready to get married, but Simon is missing. Several police officers show up, and Adèle immediately knows something is very wrong. In the present day, Adèle is not taking her recent Simon sighting well. She, Thomas, and her daughter, Chloé, are supposed to be going to church to do wedding planning, but Adèle won’t leave her room. Chloé is very worried that her mother is having another grief spell. Apparently this isn’t an infrequent occurrence.

Camille and her family are also having a hard time with Camille’s return. Lena in particular is very upset. She’s not entirely convinced that the person in the next bedroom is actually Camille, and she wonders if something supernatural is going on. She is still operating under the assumption that her sister is dead. While Lena is at the Lake Pub, Camille goes into Lena’s bedroom and looks at photos. She sees a photo of Lena and Frédéric, and she is enraged. She completely trashes Lena’s room, and then she lies to Claire when Claire asks about it, saying she was asleep the whole time. She is also very standoffish to Pierre when Pierre is trying to tell Camille that what happened to her makes her special (I don’t blame her for that one, honestly).

Julie makes good on her threat to Victor and goes to the police station to see if anyone has filed a missing persons report about him. Nobody has, but one of the officers still wants Julie to give a statement about the situation (she’s been lying and claims she just saw Victor while riding the bus). When she arrives back at home, Simon is at her door asking her if she knows Adèle, and Julie brushes him off. Once Simon is gone, Julie tells Victor that she didn’t actually turn him into police, but he can’t stay with her forever. Julie buys Victor a new sweater (suggesting she’s more attached to him than she’s letting on), and as the two are leaving the apartment building, Julie is informed by her nosy neighbor about Mr. Costa’s death. Once back at home, Victor gets extra creepy and pretends to jump out a window. Julie is shocked to find him completely unharmed downstairs. At the end of the episode, Julie puts victor to bed, then she goes into the bathroom and cries. As she lifts up her shirt, we can see scars on her stomach, and we now know she is the first person who was attacked by the person who attacked Lucy at the end of last week’s episode.

Simon, in the present day, goes to a diner and tries to get some food. When Simon shows the proprietor some coins and asks what they will buy, the proprietor tries to throw him out. Simon is extremely upset by this, and he beats the crap out of him. Unfortunately for Simon, the altercation is caught on CCTV. At the Lake Pub, Simon finds Lena, and he asks her to remind him where Adèle works again. As soon as she tells him, he leaves. The encounter makes Frédéric a little jealous. Soon after, the police stop by the pub and take Toni, who appears to be the owner, away for questioning about Lucy. Once that chaos has passed, Lena notices a very peculiar photograph on the wall. The photo is of Simon teaching her to play drums ten years ago.

Meanwhile, Adèle, Thomas, and Chloé are finally at the church for wedding planning. Adèle is not liking any of the hymns or readings that are being proposed to her. Thomas gets a call from his lieutenant about the attack on Lucy, so he leaves to go coordinate the investigation. Chloé excuses herself to go to the restroom, and she’s taken aback by the extremely low water pressure. That of course, is followed by a quick cut to the control room observing the lake and the dam, where we learn that the lake water level is continuing to go down. While Chloé is in the restroom, Adèle talks to her pastor about the Simon sighting, and he encourages her to talk to Simon the next time she “sees” him, because it might give her peace of mind and closure.

At the police station, the lieutenant is very aggressive about questioning Toni. She is convinced that Toni is responsible for the attack on Lucy and the other, similar attack that happened several years ago. Thomas has to make her back off a bit. Meanwhile, another returned person, an adult male, arrives at a seemingly abandoned farmhouse and breaks a lock to enter it. Once he’s released from the police station, Toni goes to that same farm house. He starts freshening the place up, but then he is attacked by a wolf. He manages to shoot it before it does too much damage. While Toni is burying the wolf, the other man appears. They clearly know each other and don’t get along (they’re brothers, the other man is named Serge), and at one point they each temporarily knock each other unconscious with a shovel. When both brothers are again conscious, Toni has to explain to Serge that their mother is dead and he (Serge) was dead too, and we see him comforting Serge using the same words the serial attacker said to Lucy.

Simon goes to the library where Adèle works to try and talk to her again. Unfortunately, he is noticed on security cameras, so the police are on their way to deal with his assault on the diner proprietor. Adèle does actually talk to Simon this time around, about how she’ll always love him but it’s time to move forward in his life, but a bunch of kids arriving at the library cuts the conversation short. As Simon is leaving the building, he gets picked up by police. When Simon arrives at the police station, Thomas obviously recognizes his name instantly. The lieutenant thinks it’s really strange that someone who was thought to be dead is now alive, but Thomas is mostly interested in grilling Simon about Adèle. When he gets home at the end of the day, Thomas finds a very happy Adèle who has finally chosen hymns for their wedding. He suspects Simon has something to do with this, and he’s not wrong.

Camille, still really upset about the Lena and Frédéric situation, sneaks out of the house and goes to the Lake Pub. She tries looking in the window, presumably hoping to see Frédéric, when she is stopped by a young man who she knows, but doesn’t seem to recognize her. She runs off. When Camille finally comes home, whole family wants to know where she was. She tells them about her trip to the Lake Pub, and it’s clear that the whole situation is really upsetting to her. Later, Lena comes into Camille’s room and says she thinks she’s found another returned person (Simon, obviously). It’s a nice way for the sisters to reconcile.

No comments:

Post a Comment