The Returned: 105 “Serge & Toni” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
This week in the bizarre supernatural drama, events are finally being unfolded, leading into the final three episodes of the series – irrevocably, The Returned has reached its climax, as the residents of the peculiar French village are at last discovering the truth about the dearly departed. It wouldn’t be too flippant to say that expectations are high at this stage, and that any apparent shock or advance could inevitably leave the audience with less than they’d hoped for. Indeed, you may be disheartened if you’ve spent the last five weeks waiting for a character to launch his or her teeth into another character’s neck. However, this tense suspense is undoubtedly building up for what will hopefully be a thrilling conclusion to the series.
Once again, besides a few striking underwater visuals, the selling aspect of The Returned has been the characters. Victor works in a classic innocent child/walking-death juxtaposition sort-of-way, whilst Mrs Costa appeals with her dryly cold answers to questions [in the meantime, Toni and Serge fail to capture my interest in the same way as the other characters, but I hope to be surprised next week].
It’s been fascinating to see the dead interact with the dead for a change: Camille bonding with Simon about death (“how did you die?” – The Returned relishes in its subtle dark humour), and Mrs Costa and Victor planning to escape together. Mrs Costa remarking about her date of birth was a nice addition; separating her from other characters and presenting another interesting side of resurrection. Victor, meanwhile, has begun to seek revenge on Pierre after realising that he “can hurt other people”. His final scene was unquestionably creepy, and raised a number of questions. Likewise, Simon’s death elicited the greatest matter of all: do the dead stay dead?
One final comment to make would be that among all the mysteries, moral quandaries and unanswered questions, everything seems to have been planned out beautifully: parallels are often drawn between different characters and their predicaments (i.e. Simon and Camille), and all the characters are connected in different ways, allowing the writer to experiment with their different relationships and perspectives.