Thursday, September 17, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: Les Revenants (The Returned) 1.08: La Horde

“We don’t need welcoming.”

The season finale of “Les Revenants” was certainly intense. There wasn’t a lot of new action, but we got to see the immediate consequences of everything that has gone down in the past seven episodes. We learned what the Horde of “other” returned wants (their fellow returned who have been trying to reintegrate into society), even if we don’t quite understand why. We also got to see directly what happened in the old village when the dam broke. Most importantly, we got the big confrontation between the Horde and the still living. It was very suspenseful, even if the actual confrontation was pretty sedate. I will be very interested to see what happens next when the second season, which premieres in France this Halloween, becomes available in the United States.

In this episode, the opening flashback takes place 35 years ago on the day the dam broke and the town flooded. There are bodies laid out in an open area, and Victor is walking among them like the creeper he still is. His mother, who is still alive at this point, takes him away from the scene. Because even though she’s raising a total creeper, she still has some good sense. One of the dead is a man we’ve never met before, and we see police take his wife to identify his body. She is distraught, as you would expect. In the present day, we see that same man shuffling along with the rest of the Horde. I’m wondering if the returned who didn’t try to reintegrate into town life are all folks who were killed in the flood.

Also in the present day, Julie and Laure wake up after sleeping in Laure’s Gendarmerie car. Victor, sitting in the back seat, has been awake all night. The ladies notice handprints in the condensation on the car windows, and they ask Victor if people were near their car while they were sleeping. Victor answers that yes, people wanted to take him away. Julie and Laure don’t have much of a chance to deal with this revelation, though, because they see Toni standing on top of the dam, getting ready to jump. Julie manages to pull him back from the ledge, but then Laure trains his gun on him, telling Julie that he shot at cops. The situation deescalates, and we see Julie hug Toni. She says she knows he’s the person who rescued her after her attack. She asks him why he wanted to jump, and Toni replies that he wanted to see his brother again. This conversation also gets cut short, though, because the Horde is approaching and everyone needs to jump in the car right away to escape.

Meanwhile, Adèle is in Chloé’s room, going through some pictures Chloé recently drew. Two are especially disturbing. One is of her (Adèle) bloody after her suicide attempt, and the other is of Simon pointing a gun to her head. Chloé asks if she can see Simon again, and Adèle gets very upset, locking Chloé in her room. Across town, Lucy visits Simon in jail, and ultimately, she helps him escape. The cops go to the Lake Pub looking for them, but all they find is the dead husband from the opening flashback drinking from the toilet. Simon arrives at Adèle’s house, and Adèle is not at all happy to see him. She hides in the laundry room as Simon tells her she is pregnant. Simon doesn’t get Adèle, but he does manage to take Chloé. Thomas comes home to find a distraught Adèle, and he immediately goes to the Helping Hand to confront Pierre about Simon’s whereabouts. The conversation is cut short, however, when some cops tells Thomas that they have seen the whole Horde, and they’re headed for the Helping Hand.

Earlier in the episode, there was some serious zombie existential drama at the Helping Hand. Sandrine (the mom of one of the other bus accident victims) is really frightened of Camille and Mrs. Costa since she miscarried during the memorial service. She blames the returned in general for the miscarriage. Pierre tries to defend them, but I’m not sure he’s entirely successful. Pierre starts showing off his armory to some of the other residents, and Jérôme questions whether it is really necessary. Pierre, however, claims he is just trying to protect Camille. Camille and Léna, meanwhile, have a heart-to-heart. Some of the boys, including Frédéric, seem worried about Léna hanging around Camille, but Léna says that she knows Camille is not dangerous.

After they get away from the Horde, Julie and Laure get out of the car and start arguing about what to do next. Inside the car, Victor tells Toni that he knows Toni killed his brother and (indirectly) his mother. Victor then manifests Serge and makes Toni shoot himself in the stomach. The gunshot startles Laure and Julie out of their fight, and they immediately drive Toni to the Helping Hand for assistance. It’s an interesting bookend to compare to Toni driving Julie to the hospital after her attack. It’s a good thing that Pierre has a secret surgery suite in his bunker, because that’s where Julie starts to work on Toni’s bullet wound. In the middle of the operation, Serge arrives, and recognizing him as her attacker, Julie freaks out. Toni grabs Serge’s hand when he sees him, but then he dies. Serge very loudly tries to get Julie to revive Toni, and she does indeed try, but it doesn’t work.

Elsewhere at the Helping Hand, Camille and Frédéric have a heart-to-heart where Frédéric admits that he did love Camille back in the day. Now I’m wondering, then, why he was having sex with Léna. Anyway, Léna sees the two talking to each other and immediately breaks it up. Meanwhile, Mrs. Costa is trying to help Victor go to sleep. She tells him to close his eyes and think of his mother. That leads into a flashback of Victor’s mother telling him about the fairy who is going to take care of him if something happens to her. Back in the present day, a standoff is brewing. Armed Gendarmerie are stationed outside the Helping Hand, and the Horde is approaching.

When the Horde arrives, Pierre and Thomas decide to be the negotiators with Lucy, who is representing the Horde. Lucy says that the Horde wants all of the returned who are at the Helping Hand, and in exchange, they will return Chloé to Thomas. This results in much protest and crying on the part of family members of the returned (like Julie, Claire, and Léna), and eventually Claire and Julie decide to join the Horde as well. Lucy and Simon do deliver Chloé to Thomas and Pierre, but they say there is one more returned person they want. Adèle’s baby. This is a no-go for Simon, which I find extremely hypocritical. He tore up other families for the sake of his own, and now he’s not willing to sacrifice his own family when it is demanded to save others. He has the Gendarmerie barricade the Helping Hand, and everyone remaining spends a very stressful night inside. The next morning, the survivors emerge to see what is left of the town.

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