Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.04: "Victor"

“You’re not going to cry, are you? Think of something nice. What about a song you could sing in your head? A song from school?”

This is the first episode of “Les Revenants” that I haven’t seen already (I like the show, but there are so many shows on my radar that I was never able to finish this one before), and I’m so glad that I have seen it now. There was a lot more to this particular episode beyond the moodiness and killer soundtrack courtesy of “Mowgli.” There was some significant action and some truly shocking moments in this episode, and I really enjoyed it. I’m convinced that most of the men in this series are manipulative assholes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy watching the fictional drama play out. It’s the random connections that I enjoy the most, much like I did with “Lost.” It becomes a little obvious as the show goes on, but it’s still fun.

In this episode, as you can probably tell from the title, we get to learn a little more about Victor’s past. Specifically, we learn the rather horrific circumstances (really, could it be anything else) under which he died. Thirty-five years ago, Victor was staying with the Costas, perhaps as a foster type of arrangement. We see Mrs. Costa telling her son and Victor that they need to go to bed, and they will be sleeping in separate bedrooms. After Victor is tucked in and Mrs. Costa and her young son leave the room, gunshots ring out from the living room. Victor tries to hide in the closet, but he wets himself with fear, and one of the robbers can see the liquid flowing from under the closet door. He tells Victor to keep quiet, maybe think of a song from school, and he will try to keep the other robber from noticing him. Well it doesn’t work, and the robber shoots Victor dead, too.

Victor wakes up in present day very upset, and Julie tries to comfort him. As they are sitting on the couch, they hear screams from next door. The mangled body of the nosy neighbor has been discovered. Meanwhile, across town, Jérôme and Claire talk about the possibility of moving away, although Claire is careful to say that it would be for Camille’s sake, and not necessarily for the purpose of rekindling their marriage. Before they can really dig into the conversation, though, a couple police officers stop by and ask Jérôme to come into the station to talk about what happened to Lucy. Jérôme promises Claire that it’s nothing serious. Later, Claire and Camille talk about the potential move, and Camille is not in favor of it. She thinks she can get by as Alice. Léna is about to join them, but she faints while walking down the stairs, and we can see that her “scar” has gotten much worse. She ends up in the hospital.

Adèle sends Chloé off to school, and then she goes up to the attic of her house, where it looks like Simon has been staying. She delivers a breakfast tray, but he doesn’t want to eat yet. He wants sex first. Adèle keeps saying “no,” but Simon doesn’t stop trying to have sex with her until she slaps him. Finally eating his breakfast, Simon tells Adèle that he wants the thre of them to move to Helping Hands and try to start a new life. Adèle is not so sure this is a good idea. Later, Adèle shows Simon Chloé’s bedroom, and apparently Chloé is quite the artist. Adéle shows Simon a drawing that Chloé did for him, and they start making out. Adèle drags Simon into the master bedroom, and they have sex. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Thomas sees all of this on the security camera system. He leaves work in a huff and goes and questions the parish priest about the possibility of resurrection beyond Jesus.

There is a lot of police action going on in this episode. Police are swarming the murder scene across the hall from Julie’s apartment, naturally, investigating the nosy neighbor’s murder. All the tenants are going to be interviewed, so of course Laure volunteers to interview Julie. While the interview is taking place, Victor tries to hide in the bathroom, but the hiding gives him PTSD flashbacks to his murder, so he runs out and hugs Julie. Laure is very upset that Julie is hiding this, but Julie asks her to keep it quiet. Later, Laure shows up at Julie’s apartment again and says that she’s taking Victor to Helping Hands. There may have been no missing persons reports on him, but his parents might still be out there somewhere.

Pierre is driving back to Helping Hands when he comes upon a police barricade. He approaches an officer who is a friend, and the officer tells him that they are looking for Simon. As Pierre and the officer are talking, a bunch of heavy trucks are rushing towards the lake. We also see these trucks in a scene where Camille and Frédéric are walking home from school. A phone call from Claire interrupts the conversation, because she needs Pierre’s help dealing with Lena being in the hospital. Before he leaves for the hospital, Pierre asks the officer to look into why Jérôme has been taken to the police station and why he’s been there for so long. Those heavy trucks, by the way, are pumping the lake so that the folks who have maintaining the dam can do a more thorough check for leaks. They make ominous comments about something bad happening with the lake in the past.

At the hospital, the doctor removes a keloid from Léna’s back, and he wants to keep her overnight for further observation. The doctor asks Léna if she ever injured her back, and she mentions getting pushed against a stool at the Lake Pub about a year ago. Claire is surprised, and Léna angrily tells Claire that she (Claire) doesn’t know everything about her life. Somewhat related, the police officers finally get around to interrogating Jérôme. They point out that he had a regular appointment in Lucy’s diary. Jérôme swears they just talked and that she’s not a prostitute (we later find out that she claimed she could talk with the dead while having sex). Then the officers start going at Jérôme about Léna’s back injury the previous year, because Jérôme was the person who took her to the hospital. They try to say that he’s an abusive father, but Jérôme denies it.

Chloé goes to her bedroom after school, and she notices something very strange. Both she and Adèle investigate, and they find security cameras in Chloé’s bedroom and elsewhere throughout the house. Later, Chloé wanders up to the attic, and she hears Simon and Adèle talking. Adèle introduces Chloé to her father, but she says that Simon is leaving. Chloé can still see him now and then, but she’s not allowed to tell Thomas about it. Simon is very sweet to Chloé, talking to her about watching her from Heaven. Later, when Thomas gets home, Adèle says she’s leaving him because of the cameras. Thomas says he installed the cameras to make sure Adèle didn’t hurt herself, and she also says that Simon committed suicide. This makes Adèle very upset, and she ends up in bed, with Thomas giving her pills.

Simon is headed for the Helping Hand, and some police officers see him walking along the road. They are about to go after him when the power in the entire town goes out. This gives Simon his window to escape and make it to the Helping Hand. Meanwhile, Camille is trying to flirt with Frédéric, and it’s super awkward. She asks him what it was like to sleep with Léna, specifically their first time during the bus accident. She’s not really winning Frédéric to her cause here. Once the power is back on, we see Laure take Victor to the Helping Hand, and we see that Mrs. Costa is already there. So now we have three returned people at the shelter. When Pierre is trying to comfort Victor, he starts using the same phrasing as the first robber from Victor’s flashback about thinking of a song from school. Victor recognizes it too. So presumably Pierre was one of the robbers?

Pierre finally gets a call from him police officer friend about Jérôme. The friend says that Jérôme was questioned about Lucy, but he was cleared of anything to do with that situation. However, the issue with Léna has come up. Of course, because he wants to create trouble for Claire and Jérôme, he immediately calls Claire and tells her what he has learned. When Jérôme gets home, Claire tells him he needs to leave. He realizes that Pierre has told her about the Léna situation, and he says it didn’t go down as Pierre said. He doesn’t, however, completely deny hitting Léna, so Claire still tells him it’s over. In other awkward relationship news, Laure calls Julie with news about the autopsy report on Julie’s neighbor. She says that they are going to rule it a suicide. Julie is looking at bloody drawings Victor drew of her neighbor dead and being licked by cats, so she’s not so sure.

Léna is still in bad shape, but she decides to leave the hospital anyway. Of course, she heads right for the Lake Pub, where Camille is still trying to flirt with Frédéric. Léna confronts them and tells Frédéric that “Alice” is actually Camille. Camille denies it, but Frédéric isn’t quite sure what to think. After the confrontation, Léna stumbles home, and on the way, she falls in the tunnel. Serge, as we know, likes to frequent the tunnel, so he is the one who finds Léna lying there. It looks like he’s about to start eating her, although I think if he looks at her back, he’ll find his potential meal is a bit off.

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