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The Returned: Madame Costa

"He drew them all before the dam burst."

Flush with thrilling, tragic and revealing moments, alike, 'Madame Costa' takes Les Revenants to a new level.

I get the sense that as thoughtful details have shifted plots into their rightful place (okay, Victor sees the future, he doesn't orchestrate it), and the series continues to load up its characters with ever more tension and drama, we can only be in store for a hell of a climax this season. For a show that doesn't care about matching its pace with other TV dramas, The Returned is moving at quite a clip. Though the episode does feature the town's most caustic, quick-witted spitfire, so that was likely a deliberate choice! Even her death, which she mocked last season repeatedly, was a lovely dramatization of her personality. I also found it comforting to see that her biting manner is still very much intact, a wonderful (and heartbreaking) contrast to poor Esteban.

The one tear falling from Esteban's eye in the fourth act was so sad, you guys! The insinuation that he understands he has crossed over to this other (dreaded) state – well, if the show is an analogy for depression, watching Esteban's shift moves from sadness to agony pretty quickly. And Léna not wanting him to go, followed by Camille's voiced maturity that in fact that's exactly what they need to do, followed by Léna's sidelong (very long) glance at her sister was perfectly executed. I mean really, slay me now.

And this intricate subdivision drama is situated in the same episode as Audrey's desperate relief-filled reunion with her mother followed by her mom's betrayal. (But no one can accept this.) Seeing Audrey forced down the stairs at The Helping Hand, knowing what awaits her down there, yeah, that was pretty heavy. (Except maybe her dad can now get involved because her mom helping is clearly a wash!)

Finally, I was thrilled and floored to see Serge surrounded, in his own home, by the women he's killed – his tears, too, they really moved me – though in this case an emblem of that weirdly specific reaction when our emotions can't be sorted succinctly, as though we're melting from within. Guillaume Gouix, who plays, in some miraculous way, the show's most sympathetic character, owns every moment of his screen time.

Little pieces of dread and intrigue: the tunnels under the lake, who, originally, hung all of those pictures of Victor's on the wall and had the good sense to do it behind a unwieldy armoire, Lucy denying that the returned killed the cops, the wounds on the returned surface when they're in captivity, Berg's dad was the engineer of the original dam.

And big ones:

Quelle surprise!

Oh shii.

My only note from the first watch said: the dead still smoke.

It just occurred to me that it's possible that when Victor returned to his home, six months ago, his presence caused his dad to fall and hit his head. Am I just slow on the uptake?! Thoughts?

J'adore: Serge's Personal Horde Edition

Love how Toni greeted them. And also just love, Toni, in general.

Applause to the director that they made the horde even creepier...

...with every successive shot!

Madame Costa: "If I break my leg, it'll be your fault."

Jérôme: "Where is this development?"
Audrey: "I don't know. I think it's after the shopping mall."


  1. A fascinating episode. It's definitely winding up for a pitch, but I don't know what it will be. I absolutely loved Serge's reaction to coming home and finding all of his victims at the dining table. It was just so freaky.

    My only note from the first watch said: the dead still smoke. Of course they do. They're French.

  2. Billie,
    Haha, yes, exactly!
    Everything with Serge and his family is really so compelling.
    Very curious where all this is going.
    As an aside, thanks for your comments. I look forward to them!


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