Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.06: "Lucy"

“If you like tragedy, you’re in the right place.”

The sixth episode of “Les Revenants” continued to build and deepen the show’s mythology. We’re learning about more characters who may or may not be returned, and we also learn more about Lucy’s rather unique psychic powers. I wouldn’t say this was my favorite episode of the show, because it felt a bit like the creative team was marking time for a little bit before the shit really hits the fan. There was some subtle building of the mythology, and the fabric of the town in general is starting to tear apart. I was going to say it’s subtly tearing apart, but the more I think about it, the whole town being without power indefinitely isn’t exactly subtle! In fact, the town is in such shambles infrastructure-wise that I’m surprised that people in general aren’t more worked up. There are some references to potential torches and pitchforks if too many people learn about Camille, but when it comes to the massive power outage, everybody is mostly orderly. Well, except for some looting of the diner (the guy who owns that place has the worst luck!). Maybe the French are just more civilized about such things than we are?

Given the title of this episode, it’s unsurprising that we open with a Lucy flashback. It’s a relatively recent flashback to one year prior when she first arrived in town on a bus. I was actually kind of surprised to see how many commercial busses travel to this particular lakeside Alpine town. I never got the impression that it was a big ski destination or anything. I also wonder about Lucy’s motivation in making this trip, because it isn’t exactly made clear in the episode. Anyway, her first stop is the Lake Pub, where she asks Toni for a job. She shows spunk, so Toni agrees, and he also gives her a place to stay in the back of the bar. Jérôme, who is a drunken mess, and Claire, who seems embarrassed, are there as well. In the next scene, we see that Jérôme has discovered Lucy’s having visions while having sex powers, and of course he wants to know how Camille is doing. And that’s really all I have to say about that because it’s kind of gross.

In the present day, Lucy finally regains consciousness. She tells the doctor that she can’t feel her legs, but the doctor says that’s normal, and she should be feeling better soon. Not long after she’s woken up, the police officer who responded to her attack visits her. She immediately knows who he is (so I guess her psychic powers go beyond communing with the dead during orgasm), and together they used a computer program to put together a sketch of her attacker. Unsurprisingly, it’s not Simon. It looks exactly like Serge. Speaking of Simon, his body is taken to the morgue, and the medical examiner tells Thomas that he shot Simon perfectly in the heart. Simon’s body is put into a locker at the morgue, but as we’d expect, he doesn’t stay there for long. When Thomas arrives at home, he tells Chloé to lie to the police if they ask her if she knew the “ghost” that he killed. Chloé doesn’t seem thrilled with the idea of having to lie, but for now, she agrees.

In a rather surprising scene, some of the power company guys decide to just up and leave town. They think the situation with the dam in hopeless. My late grandfather was a power company employee for over twenty-five years, and I can’t imagine him ever giving up on a situation like this. Julie has to heat up a pan of water on a gas burner for Victor to be able to take a bath, because the power has gone out throughout the entire town. Victor asks Julie to leave the room, and as Victor looks in the mirror, we can see some ugly marks on his arm, kind of like what was on Léna’s back. Later, Victor tells Julie that he thinks she is the fairy who is supposed to watch him until his mother comes back. Laure checks in on Julie and Victor and suggests they move in with her for the duration of the power outage, but Julie isn’t interested. Julie does eventually give in, though, and they move in with Laure.

Frédéric, still freaked out over the big Camille reveal, enlists a friend to help him dig up Camille’s grave. He’s got to be absolutely sure she is telling the truth. When they pry open the coffin, Frédéric and his friend discover that the coffin is filled with water. Frédéric and his friend get picked up by the Gendarmerie, and Thomas ends up interviewing them. Frédéric explains the Camille situation, and Thomas is very upset and concerned at the prospect of someone else returning from the dead like Simon. Meanwhile, there’s a big meeting at Claire’s house with all the bus crash families. Pierre introduces Camille to them as some sort of miracle and source of hope, but the reception is frosty. Everyone wants to know why Camille returned and their kids didn’t. Pierre tells Camille that her purpose is to be a source of comfort for the other bus crash families.

Camille starts describing a pleasant afterlife to the group, but Thomas interrupts (and Camille hides). He tells Claire and Pierre that if “Alice” shows up, she needs to come to the police station immediately to answer some questions about Léna’s disappearance. Like returned who have caught the interest of the police tend to do, Camille and her family decide to move to the Helping Hand, at least temporarily. At the Helping Hand cafeteria, Camille tries to give comfort to two particular parents by telling them that her son is fine and looking forward to seeing them again someday. Claire and Pierre think this is the happiest Camille has looked since she returned, because she has a purpose. Unfortunately, though, at the end of the episode, we see those parents kill themselves, presumably to meet their son again sooner rather than later.

Serge and Léna continue to grow closer through the course of this episode. There’s a really awkward scene where Léna wants something to wear other than a hospital gown, and Serge gives her one of his mom’s dresses. At the Lake Pub, the police officer who was helping Lucy shows Toni the sketch of Lucy’s attacker. Tony says he doesn’t recognize the man, but he knows it’s Serge. He immediately heads for the farm house. Toni warns Serge that the police are on to him, but he also vows to protect Serge this time around. Lena hears all of this, and the next time she sees Serge, she confronts him with a knife, asks if he is dead, and tells him to stay away. Somehow this leads to them having sex. I don’t quite see the appeal of Serge, myself. The cops eventually show up at the farmhouse, and Lena runs off so she’s not caught. While she’s wandering through the woods, she finds a group of rather surly people gathering around a camp fire.

Adèle and Chloé end up having a nice heart-to-heart about Simon, where Adèle admits that she doesn’t know why Simon committed suicide, but she is sure he was happy she was pregnant with Chloé. Meanwhile, at the morgue, Simon wakes up and Lucy spontaneously gets up from her bed. They meet in the hallway and almost immediately, Lucy leads Simon to her back room at the Lake Pub. She tells Simon she’s his guardian angel, and they end up having sex (shocker). Lucy gets a little freaked out when the sex causes her to see Simon’s suicide. Simon still claims he can’t remember how or why he died, though. Thomas is very worried when he sees Simon’s empty bed at the morgue. He calls Adèle and warns her, and she starts locking all the doors and windows. Chloé, however, reopens one sliding door.

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