TV Review // The Returned: Series 2, Episode 4: ‘Virgil’




Spoilers Ahead!



Four episodes into this second series the various plot strands that make up The Returned are coming together and as motivations become clearer and answers a little bit closer it’s a pleasure to watch.

After last week’s revelations of the past we open with more, as the subject of this week’s title and newest revenant on the scene Virgil flees from the gang of then (before his death) town vigilante Milan, only to be freed from his under floor prison by a young Serge who is then forced by his father (Milan) to look for rather too long at the corpse of the escaped Virgil, which is soon shot for extra measure of ickiness to the episode. Milan’s work seems to all over the little town and when his body is dragged back to the wooden cabin by Serge, chucked unceremoniously into the under floor lock up and shot again it seems the end is near. It’s almost a relief when Lucy, whom he seemingly killed 35 years earlier, forgives him and throws him into the lake. Another great ending for an episode of this mesmerising series then! But will he be back? Don’t bet against it says this writers instincts…

Elsewhere we’re posed more questions and given more answers. How about the fate of Victor’s (whose brother and mother were murdered by the aforementioned Milan and co) father? Julie is on the case and ends up in the highest point of the mountainous area, the only part lucky enough to escape the flood and seemingly unoccupied. Needless to say, Mr Lewanski (Victor’s Father) is not present and hospitalised for some unspecified reason. All this information is procured from an elderly woman living nearby (with an axe habit, it seems) and with all those photographs on the wall there must be more to come. When we finally discover the area’s name, The Hand of God, there’s a feeling that perhaps we’re on the way to answers…

Meanwhile in the undead village across the water, Lena is recovering slowly after being delivered mysteriously in the night by Serge last episode to the safe house with the help of her Mother and an ever more moody Camille. Prostrate on a sofa for much of the episode it’s a reunion of sorts and it seems to be having a bittersweet effect on her returnee twin Camille. Virgil, the titular returnee of this episode, is slowly convincing her that her Mother and Sister would be better off away from this part of town and sees right through her odd denial of knowing her sister with a sixth sense that seems latent in the returnee population. 

As to Adele’s part returnee baby, the eternally creepy Lucy has gifted it to a couple who turn out to be Simon’s parents, seemingly returned after having taken part in some sort of suicide pact. Very sensibly, Simon returns the baby to its rightful home after much soul searching but with a price. Adele must leave town… but when so many have failed to even get past the bridge previously with a member of the dead will it be possible?

With so much parallel plotting going on it’s a small wonder this episode makes so much sense on first viewing. But with the slightly comical image of the dead in the house opposite when Claire (Camille and Lena’s Mother)  opens a door after hearing whispering while waiting for the helpful neighbour to bring some bandages unexplained and the exploration of the caves beneath the sinkhole beginning there’s certain to be much more to come…

Dead vs Living: What is the so far unspoken relationship between the dead and the living? The Helping Hand certainly seems to have less than a good image of the returnees, especially taking into account the captivity of Toni in the basement storage…

Berg: We’re slowly learning more about investigator Berg. We now know he once lived in the Hand of God and his father has passed away. 

Skeletons: All those skeletons in the caves are certainly pointing to something creepy we think…

Next Week: Madame Costa 

(Words: S.Gahan Images © Canal+)