Saturday, September 5, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.07: Adèle

“I’m not scared to be like them. It’s the opposite. For years, I’ve felt incapable of living. What if it’s because I’m dead?”

The penultimate first season episode of “Les Revenants” continued a slow burn towards the season finale that we will be discussing next week. There were a few twists in the mythology, although no real intense action. We also saw the living and the dead, for the most part, continue to struggle to reconcile with each other. I have a feeling it might get to full-on torches and pitchforks status pretty soon. In the midst of the greater public beginning to fear the returned, we see sibling pairs affected by the return become closer. I especially enjoyed seeing Léna and Camille finally reach an understanding and really act like sisters again. It was nice to have a brief moment of happiness and unity before things undoubtedly go to Hell in the finale.

The opening flashback in this episode was a little different from the usual. We usually see either the death or major trauma happen to the title character directly. In this episode, the opening flashback did depict Adèle’s suicide attempt, but we see the incident through the perspective of her daughter, Chloé. Thomas tries to keep Chloé out of the room, but she still clearly knows that something is very, very wrong. In the present day, there is a lot going on with many of our characters. I guess that’s pretty characteristic of penultimate episode. There’s a lot going on that needs to be wrapped up quickly. There are also increasingly weird things happening with the town.

People have started having trouble leaving the town. First up is Serge and Toni. They spend quite a lot of time wandering in the woods, trying to avoid the cops who had showed up at the farm. At one point, they come across another pile of dead animals, which is more than a little creepy. Toni is really worried that their mom is going to be arrested, but Serge assures that definitely won’t happen. Eventually, they reach the lake, and Serge thinks that the fastest way to continue to escape is to swim across the lake. Toni is doubtful, but Serge thinks that because they swam across the lake all the time as kids, they can do it now, too. In the middle of the lake, though, Serge gets sucked underwater by some unseen force. Toni barely makes it to shore, and it appears that he’s right back where they started.

Laure and Julie also try unsuccessfully to leave. That plot begins early in the episode, with Laure, Julie, and Victor trying to get used to their new life together. Early in the morning, Laure and Julie start making out. They’re about to get more intimate when they are interrupted by Victor standing creepily, as he does. Laure yells at Victor, and he goes downstairs. I swear someday that kid is going to blow some shit up. For now, though, he’s just creepily watching Chloé play on the trampoline through the window. Julie and Laure end up talking about how Julie is worried that she’s dead and like the returned. Laure says she’s not like them, but that makes Julie more upset. The idea that she might be dead had started to make her life make more sense.

Eventually Victor joins Chloé on the trampoline, and Adèle and Julie talk while the kids play. Adèle makes a remark about how they didn’t used to be so formal with each other that made me think they might have had a relationship in the past. If so, go Julie! For such a shy wallflower, she certainly has done well in the romance department. Outside, Chloé tells Victor that her dad returned from the dead, but when Victor says he’s returned, too, Chloé doesn’t believe him. Victor manifests an image of a bloody Adèle, and this makes Chloé faint. The adults come running over, and there is much fussing. In their separate houses, Julie tries to ask Victor what happened while Thomas fusses over Chloé. Julie and Laure decide to try and leave town with Victor, but they get caught in a sort of time loop as they try over and over again to drive over the dam. Every time they emerge from the tunnel, they’re right back where they started.

Meanwhile, Léna has finally returned home. She has a tearful reunion with Jérôme, which makes me think there was indeed more to the back laceration story. He doesn’t seem like an abusive dad in this scene. Across town at the Helping Hand, Pierre shows Claire exactly why he’s not worried about the power outages and other creepy things happening in town lately. He has an equally creepy, well-armed bunker. The place even has a surgical table, which is just bizarre (and creepy). Camille is upstairs having breakfast with Mrs. Costa. To say Mrs. Costa isn’t pleasant would be an understatement. She seems to be convinced the end times are near. She tells Camille to go out to the storage shed to see what happened to the parents she tried to comfort in the last episode. Camille (and Claire, who caught up with her thankfully) are horrified to find them hanging from the rafters.

We also deal some more with the Adèle and Simon drama in this episode. Adèle and Chloé have a nice little conversation about whether or not Simon will come back and whether or not he’s angry at Chloé. Adèle tries to reassure her daughter as best she can. Simon wakes up at the Lake Pub after his little sexcapade with Lucy. Now that I think about it, it’s kind of interesting that he was actually able to sleep. It’s the first we’ve seen one of the returned do so. Lucy wants Simon to give up on Adèle and start a new life with her. Understandably, Simon is kind of freaked out by Lucy, and he doesn’t agree with her proposition. Simon goes to talk to the priest, hoping to learn more about the circumstances of his death and why he committed suicide. All he really learns is that the priest wasn’t surprised by his suicide, because the police show up to interrupt the conversation and arrest Simon. At the police precinct, Thomas and Simon have a confrontation. Thomas mostly wants to know if there are more returned, and that’s a question Simon can’t really answer.

At the Helping Hand, Camille and Léna are reunited and put the Frédéric situation behind them. Lena notices a mark on Camille’s face and covers it up with make-up. Victor and Simon also have rotting going on – Victor on his arm and Simon on his stomach. It’s super gross. Anyway, there’s a nice little memorial service for the parents, and Pierre encourages all of the residents to show their support for each other. Léna and Camille seem especially happy to be reunited. Meanwhile, the group of folks (presumably returned people) that Léna saw in the woods has arrived at Lucy’s room at the Lake Pub. And she doesn’t seem upset by this at all.

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