The Returned: Morgane

"The situation isn't going to improve."

The difference between the vivacious undead and zombie undead can now be measured, thanks to the return of the title character in 'Morgane'. Oh dear, you guys, and things did not go well for Julie and Lèna.

It was tender yet heartbreaking to find out that those who return unchanged do so because their memory is kept alive. I think I might have to ponder the philosophical scope of that for several lifetimes. (To say nothing of what it says about human psychology.) Fabrice Gobert has said before that the Ségurets are the audience -- the typical family, having the most commonly-shared experience in our world. In this case, that experience is grief and the existential question of how to move on after a mind-shattering loss.

But the worldview of The Returned, that people who have the capacity for love will allow the dead to be a presence even in their absence, grows immensely when it extends that courtesy to, say, Milan and his family. Love isn't something just for those having the traditional mannerly human experience. Gobert doesn't create an equation where love is earned or deserved based on someone's deeds. Who is qualified to bring back their loved one in their fullest form has nothing to do with morals. It's a whole lot deeper than that (too deep to plumb actually, except for with a camera -- ha!). This show's definition of what love is made of is symbolized by a cavernous hole that has time-worn contours, grooves and width, all too vast perhaps for us to explore, much less understand. But dammit if Gobert isn't going to try.

So then the very entity of Lèna was keeping Camille alive to all of them. (Yet she, herself, wasn't enough to keep her parents together after Camille died which I have always thought added to her pathos.) The others had to find other less corporeal ways to yearn to be reunited. Adéle didn't even believe Simon was real when he returned, so used to seeing him in her mind's eye that she had whole conversations with him believing he was still just a part of her imagination. Lucy and Morgane were both taken out of this world before they could miss the other. What does it mean then for whole families of returned beings like Milan and his sons or Victor and his brother and mother? What was the order of things there? Did Victor bring his mother back, then she her other son by their longing? So many possibilities. But two things appear to be true: Everyone eventually does return and 35 years ago, things went to hell considerably.

Poor Julie. I thought the saddest thing was that she didn't defend herself against anything Victor said to her. And even if he was acting out his sadness that he knew she didn't belong there anymore, she didn't disagree. Julie's story has always been so damn interesting. She's someone whose tale had a unique twist, walking the razor's edge of life and death as she has. And now it's twisted (back?) again. She has been displaced by those around her. Though this time, she doesn't belong with the dead, whereas before, she was an outlier to the living. I absolutely loved the final shot of her walking into the water.


Little pieces of dread and intrigue: Berg lived there when the dam broke 35 years ago, Berg and Jérôme teaming up, the inside of Esteban's house (this might better fall into the big category because that shot of the horde inside his living room was very chilling!) And big ones:

Um, ASDFGHJKL

J'adore

*Tiny Toni and Serge.

*The black sheep on Nathan's pjs.

*The doctor and priest bringing Adéle and Nathan home together.

J'adore: The Art Direction Edition

*
Honestly, every shot of le hole was flipping gorgeous

*
This picture almost went in the little pieces of dread section because -- wallpaper

*
I know this is sick but I'm still rooting for Séna... (Lerge?)

*
C'est pour toi, Billie

Quotes

Victor's mom: "She's not like us."

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Poor Julie. Poor Lena! Is she dead? I don't want Lena to be dead. And I can't believe how sorry I feel for Serge the maniac. Milan is a monster, and now it's impossible to get rid of him. Or is it? The focus of this season does appear to be figuring out why the dead are returning (I dare say longing for them isn't enough; "le hole" must be like the Sunnydale High library) and possibly figuring out how to get rid of them. It's fascinating.

C'est pour toi, Billie. LOL. Merci bien, Heather.

FlopHairedWuss said...

MORGANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I had to :) (it's a Classic Who reference in case you were wondering, although it's supposed to be Morgaine).

Watched this one about of weeks ago and I don't remember it too well. So unfortunately I don't really have anything of consequence to add to the conversation. Nothing new right ;). I basically just came for that ↑.
I have a lot to say about the new episode but that won't be for another few weeks and I'll probably forget by then :P.

Great review. I do love the way this show deals with its themes of grief, mortality, faith and loneliness. Like I said in the previous review, the show prides character and theme over plot, which is what endeared me to it right from the beginning.

Julie is absolutely my favourite character. Her character really speaks to me as loneliness is something I've had to deal with in the past, and still do to an extent. It's something many people are afflicted with at some point in their life. You can be surrounded with friends and family and still feel very much alone. And people say you can't relate to characters of the opposite gender. (-‸ლ)

Crap, I think I 'accidentally' stole that line from Scrubs. And here I thought I was being almost thought-provoking. :O :$

I think this is more emoticons than I've ever used. :) ;) :( :[ //:=| (•_¤)

Heather said...

Billie, "and possibly figuring out how to get rid of them"... It's so good and wonderfully weird and complicated!
FlophairedWuss,
Yes, I agree that Julie is this perfect ethereal gorgeous sad creature to whom we can relate and relive our sense of loneliness. I think this show is very smart to allow us to see ourselves through this lense. Love all the emoticons!