|The hills are alive!|
The Returned brings back the family member with the most menace so far when the show takes a turn for the patriarchal in 'Milan'. There's also the mother of all flashbacks -- to a house visit gone horribly wrong 35 years ago. And not coincidentally, the discovery of a huge hole in this town's essential reservoir.
Let's start with the flashback that bookends the episode. The revelation of those details these people have been living with, even as few of them as we were treated to, shifted this entire series in my mind. Holy hell, the only thing creepier than a family secret in a supernatural thriller is a whole town's secret in a supernatural thriller! And the town secret underlying this community is as sinister as it is cruel. There doesn't appear to be a crime that the Lewanskis could have committed worthy of this type of home invasion. The insinuation that it's Victor's sixth sense gift that cannot and will not be held as a treasure by his community holds much intrigue! One can imagine how his drawings, prescient and revealing, might shine the light on the wrong people.
Speaking of the wrong people, 'Milan' gave us a peek into how the living are regarded over in le subdivision across the water. While it continues to be opaque as to what the goal(s), hopes and dreams are of the returned, one thing is clear -- Camille, Esteban and Audrey never appear to be in real peril when they leave their safe haven. But Claire gets knocked around quite a bit for the same indiscretion. Somehow, Julie may be the one exceptional living being there. She appears to fit seamlessly in both worlds. And she really always has.
Serge and Toni's dad has reappeared, oozing danger like a block of concrete strung up haphazardly over your head. His presence is so daunting, he actually dwarfs his twitchy terrifying serial killer son in every way imaginable. God only knows the dynamics of that family. And they're all dead now and, save for their mom, returned. I still have no idea why they took that walk in the forest with shotguns in hand except to ratchet up the tension to 11. There's an awful lot of taxidermy in their house.
Speaking of dads behaving badly (well, in their children's eyes), Léna experiences the proverbial last straw when she discovers what her dad's really been doing for these months in reclusion. In what I found to be the episode's most fascinating scene, Jérôme confides in her that he might just be onto some kind of organization of the madness, as well as the whereabouts of his beloved Claire and Camille, by mapping out the deaths and returns in the town. When he referred to places as entry and exit points, I almost fell off my couch in excitement. YES! PLEASE! 100 more scenes like this one!
Berg's tour of the eeriest tunnel on the planet, followed by his stumbling onto the biggest hole in the bedrock under a dam ever, was perhaps the best way to follow up Jérôme's hyper-vigilante wall of clippings. And then(!) to follow that with all the flashlights, casting shaky pinpoints of light in the foggy soggy forest, only to reveal a most terrible message to local law enforcement about how obsolete their existence is in this new world -- well, c'est fantastique!
Little pieces of dread and intrigue: Adèle's baby boy, the 'passing' acknowledgement that the bite marks in the stag were human, the man who moved Claire from someone's yard to her home, "Audrey's always terrified." And big ones: Toni now residing at The Helping Hand, Victor has a brother, Victor is scared of his mom, Victor is forbidden from drawing anything.
*Let me just get this out of the way now, Julie is my favorite female character and Léna is a close second. I'm specifically smitten with both actresses, though I'm pretty obsessed with the entire cast, generally.
*The way everyone says the French word for dam -- barrage -- cue the emoji with hearts in its eyes.
*The Sabitinis -- especially the mom. Loved her last season, too.
*Hey, do you think this show's trying to say something about isolation?
Médecin: "There aren't many people in the hospital."
Madame Costa: "But what goes on behind closed doors..."
Milan: "Serge, you're not alone anymore."
Virgil: "You know the rules, do you?"
Jérôme: "I'm looking for some meaning -- an explanation, a reason."
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