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The Returned: Virgil

“Sometimes the love of a father or a mother isn’t enough.”

Oh dear: Victor's wall of prognostication. (Or creations from his imaginative mind?) Hidden behind an armoire – is basically a 'previously on The Returned' package in crayon.

Did you catch how a town with self-imposed moral checks and balances in place becomes subject to an act of God, nature, what-have-you with moral checks and balances in place? If that's what Fabrice Gobert is going for here, I might have to sell my things, become an expat and move to France to be closer to him because that is a worldview sophisticated beyond measure.

'Virgil' is saying something about mob mentality versus our views, concerns and decisions made in isolation and it's not at all the usual take on this concept. Well, 'Virgil' is saying several things – about several things, but bear with me. (And by 'saying' I really mean possibly insinuating.) Simon makes the wise choice to return Nathan to Adéle all on his own. Virgil warns Camille about the danger that awaits any of them if they don't remain a horde. But she intuits that he's only saying that because he was influenced by another. The whole town goes to shite when decisions are made in a group, too many examples to cite. Collectively, people scramble for answers to why the dam broke and collectively, they persecute a small boy in the absence of anything rational. Yet, there's great power in duos, as is seen in nearly every scene in 'Virgil', so interpersonal connection between two people might be the ace in the hole.

The theme about our compulsion to assign meaning to things, rather than to just let them 'be,' has a particularly meta fantastic component given how maddeningly goal-oriented many TV audiences are. Re: Victor – is Gobert saying that as soon as something stands trial in the court of public opinion, we effectively ruin our future and are doomed to relive it over and over? That's so French. And I love it. The suicides on The Returned appear to be a dramatization of ending an inescapable re-experienced emptiness in the most permanent way we can imagine.

Finally, the idea that the living and the dead simply cannot coexist continues to fascinate. The Returned even in all of its supernatural-ness, has no intention of selling us a fantasy. It is, however, quite comfortable giving us a wish fulfillment, taking it away, then giving it back us. Très extraordinaire.

Little pieces of dread and intrigue: The "Hand of God" hamlet story, The Helping Hand namely Pierre, the recon mission in the cave, "We were all confused"... And big ones: Simon's parents, the rapidly growing discord between the dead and the living, Milan at the bottom of the reservoir.



Julie eating all the cookies.

Practically a mugshot.

Love the asymmetrical symmetry of many of this show's shots

I'd watch the shite out of a spinoff of these two
doing their good cop, morose cop routine.

Pierre: "They have no pity. We must have none for them."

Virgil: "I thought that they'd understood, that they'd accepted this. But no one can accept this."

Virgil: "We cause the death of those we love without meaning to."

Simon's dad: "We joined the circle. We found our way through."


  1. Louis/Victor's drawings, omg. I loved what you said about the Milan mug shot. :) And that hole is completely creeping me out. All of the bones in a pile didn't help with that.

  2. Billie,
    I agree, the cave was incredibly creepy! I feel like there are multiple image 'stamps' that the show is trotting out lately whereas a lot of S1 (from my memory at least!) was more mood on top of mood on top of mood.


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