SRCZmagazine TV Review // The Returned: Series 2, Episode 2: ‘Milan’
Directed by Fabrice Gobert and Frédéric Goupil
Following a typically (and arguably expected) opaque return last week in L’Enfant, The Returned gets back to business proper in Episode 2, ‘Milan’. If you thought that following the plot in one watch was difficult last series, then this second series looks to be no different as the plot gets back into its traditional spirals of logic and understated connectedness.
The big news is that we finally meet the Mother of the rather creepy Victor, and his name is apparently Louis and, as we discover in one sequence, she doesn’t like him drawing. Quite why, we don’t find out but if they are anything like those that we saw in series one then it might be half the explanation we need. Certainly though, it’s clear that Victor was considered a bit creepy even before his return as a revenant.
Elsewhere in this rather densely plotted episode, there are further revelations into just why just what Lena’s father has been doing for six months in his basement. (It has to be something good to develop a beard like that, after all.) Luckily, (although daughter Lena doesn’t seem to agree judging by her reaction), it’s been full of research and trying to tie up facts, possibly more than regular visitor to the Gendarme for updates Lena. Whatever happens with this relationship, it’s going to change when they discover the people they seek are ensconced in the ‘village’ created by the flood and hiding.
Yes, Camille and her mother are in lockdown, attempting to avoid the undead that block their attempts to leave the cut off village for still unknown reasons. This creates s0me interesting scenes of conflict as Camille finally snaps and charges out of the front door with her fellow Returnee teenagers Esteban and a new boy. It doesn’t get a happy ending as the wandering undead soon catch up with both them and Camille’s in-pursuit Mother. Indeed, we do wonder just who it was took her home. Meanwhile, in one of the more moving scnes of the series as a whole, Camille and co are taken to the memorial of their death, flowers, heartfelt letters and more. It really is an effective moment in its. Few, if anyone, get to see their epitaph and there is a very good reason many people just don’t think about it. As evidenced by the teenager’s reactions it’s as moving as it seems.
Elsewhere, investigations are continuing with former resident and investigator Berg discovering a colossal crater in the ground that is certain to be significant. Next week can’t come soon enough! Also, taking into account the exemplary visual work also on the series as well, how good was that final shot of all the bodies of what looked like the Gendarme from the first series tied to the trees, probably never to return?
Is there a knack to arriving and leaving the village? It seems that the returnees can’t leave but the living can mostly come and go. Surely answers are forthcoming…
What is going on at The Helping Hand? Returnee and former owner of the local pub Toni is strong armed, against the protestations of Lena, into joining the rest of the people there but seeing him being taken down into the basement certainly doesn’t seem like any kind of looking after we’ve seen before…
Can the soundtrack ever get more atmospheric? It seems so, yes! Mogwai’s incidental music this season is as captivating as ever and the opening title sequence is so well done as to be haunting.
Next Week: Morgane
(Review: S. Gahan / Image (c) Canal +)