Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Mayadog

The Returned (FR) / Les Revenants

Recommended Posts

I'm interested to see what happens with Laure and Julie's relationship, why the dead have really returned, how the water level in the lake relates to it all and the reason why all of these people are connected.

Also, the child actors were mesmerizing and from what I read were local children from the area where they shoot the show and most if not all of them had no acting experience before.

This is the first French show I've ever seen and I was riveted to the screen the entire season. I'm just glad that Sundance did a marathon because I didn't catch it the first time it aired here in the US.

Edited by maraleia

Share this post


Link to post

Ditto that this was the first French series I've ever watched. My mother is a French teacher and obsessed with all things French so it's not something I usually go out of my way to look for... lol (as we got enough of that growing up!) But I actually had to recommend this show to her! Tho not sure it's really her genre.

My only explanation for why Lena would have the injury on her back that only other Returned seemed to have is perhaps because of her psychic bond to her sister Camille. However Camille didn't have a similar injury until later, and it was in a different area, so not sure that really makes sense. I'm also puzzled by whether her father hitting her actually had anything to do with it - seems unlikely it'd flare up just like that a year later, and yet not have required serious attention when it first happened. Is there any correlation between the location of those injuries and how the Returned died? We don't know exactly what was injured on Camille during the crash (and she may have just drowned), and I guess we don't know exactly where Victor was shot, or really how Simon died (his daughter drew a picture of him shooting himself but did we ever confirm that was how he died?)

Speaking of which it seems odd to me that they were able to conceal Simon's cause of death from his wife Adele. Huge difference between a car accident (?) and being shot in the head.

Some other questions:

- Adele: Dead or not? I was surprised they said they wanted the baby, because one, the baby is alive, and two, I thought if anything, perhaps Adele was actually dead-and-returned (which I presume is the case with Lucy now)

- Julie: Dead or not?

- Lena and her tryst with Serge: This was the pairing that I thought would result in a pregnancy (but too soon to tell I guess). Simon/Adele kind of surprised me. Because otherwise - why?

- Water level in the lake and the power fluctuations: I was surprised to begin with that people were so blase about the power flickering from the get go. I guess this was typical in their town? How bizarre that the folks running the dam just packed up and left without warning the townsfolk (or if they did, it was rather down played) I was expecting the dam to burst at any minute, and I guess ultimately it did at the end of the season, overnight. AT least I am pretty sure that was the modern-day town that was flooded and they weren't all just transported back 35 yrs ago.

- Viviane Costa: She gave a couple different causes of death to different people. Car accident, starved after the dam broke, "killed by robbers" (which made me confused for a moment, thinking she was Victor's mother, but later saw she wasn't, but did have a convo with Victor's mother the day the dam broke). Do we know how she really died? I presume Mr. Costa's fire did kill her a second time in the first episode, but she just Returned again a la Simon. Why is she lying and so mysterious? Or did she perhaps die in all 3 ways? Was showing her in the camp the day after the dam broke meant to imply she didn't really starve to death (after all it seemed like help had arrived)

- WHy are they coming back? I don't think it's as simple as "unfinished business", ghost type stuff. THeories I've seen floated in the previous thread: "they're all already dead/dying", "it's the end of days", etc. I assume Pierre thinks it is the end of days, so I'm going to go ahead and declare him Wrong. But I'm wondering does anyone stay dead in this town? or anything?? We've seen animals/insects come back, and I'm sure they didn't have any "unfinished business" to speak of. We don't have any handy "mad scientist" characters to blame it on an experiment gone awry, so I'd expect there'd have to be some kind of supernatural explanation.

When characters kept trying to leave the area of the dam and couldn't I jokingly declared that they were all on the Truman show.

Share this post


Link to post

I've just finished watching all 8 episodes and all I can say is "Wow!" I can't wait until they film a new season of this show, but I wonder what will happen with the child actors. They will undoubtedly have grown since season 1.

 

When I first saw the scar on Lena's back I thought it was symbolic of the way she stabbed Camille in the back by sleeping with the boy Camille was in love with. Victor confuses me, as does Serge. That being said, I find Serge to be at once repellent and yet compelling. I'm wondering if the dead start to rot when their "mission" on earth is done? So many questions!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the first season. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

Share this post


Link to post

Victor confuses me,

 

 

I think Victor's story is much more complicated than the others.  He obviously died as a child not too long after the dam broke the first time 30+ years previously, and then returned recently with the others.  However, he was also standing in the middle of the road 4 years ago and partially caused the bus wreck that killed Camille.

 

 

My only explanation for why Lena would have the injury on her back that only other Returned seemed to have is perhaps because of her psychic bond to her sister Camille.

 

 

The bond between Lena and Camille seems to be almost like the Corsican Brothers (it's an old Cheech and Chong film, but basically one twin feels what happens to the other, but the twin experiencing things feels nothing at all).  Camille started to freak out on the bus because she felt the sensations of Lena having sex, and distracted the bus driver and helped cause the crash.

 

Then there's the issue of how the Returned are related to water -- when Camille's grave was dug up, it was full of water but there was no body.  Where did the body go ?

 

As the case with Simon and Vivienne, how many times can they die ?

 

How are the returned animals related to the human returnees ?  My theory about all those animals they found in the water behind the dam is that they were returned from a time before the dam was built and weren't able to swim to the surface without drowning (but will they be returned once again).  Then there's the wolf in Tony's shed that was only recently killed (and returned), and the butterfly in the wall case (who knows how long it had been dead ?).  What does it take to ultimately make sure that something that is killed stays dead ?  Cremation ? Otherwise, it's going to become a really crowded place soon if everyone that ever died returns.

 

ETA: because spelling counts.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver

Share this post


Link to post
When characters kept trying to leave the area of the dam and couldn't I jokingly declared that they were all on the Truman show.

When Serge and Toni were running through the woods and kept circling- and then Serge disappeared in the lake, I was concerned. Then when it repeated with them driving the car, I wondered how more "sci-fi" the show would be. Everyone in the lake town cannot escape! But was that just to get Victor and Serge back? Or is it a ploy to force them all into the old flooded town... and then drown them?

Share this post


Link to post

There's a great Facebook group called The Returned (Les Revenants) that has translations of the journals, articles, etc and some great people to chat with.  You have to be approved to join, but they are quick to add any interested people.  Come join us if you are interested!

Share this post


Link to post

I recently finished watching the first season.  I know there are about a gazillion unanswered questions, and this may be one of the least important ones, but... In the first couple of episodes, Julie told her neighbor and Simon that she didn't really know Adele; she just took over her apartment.  But then in the seventh episode she and Adele acted as if they did know each other  In fact, Adele asks, "Weren't we less formal once?", suggesting that they may have been close in the past.  So did Julie lie to her neighbor and Simon, and if so, why?  Or is it possible that this was just a goof on the writers' part (seems unlikely to me)?

Share this post


Link to post
In fact, Adele asks, "Weren't we less formal once?", suggesting that they may have been close in the past.  So did Julie lie to her neighbor and Simon, and if so, why?  Or is it possible that this was just a goof on the writers' part (seems unlikely to me)?

 

You might be confusing Adele with Julie's ex-girlfriend the policewoman -- Jule and the policewoman were lovers several years ago when Julie was attacked and her stomach was slashed (by the same returnee that slashed Lucy in that pedestrian underpass).  They look do similar -- fair complexion, straight dark hair parted in the middle -- though I think Adele is taller.

 

ETA: The policewoman's name is Laure.  She was dressed as Batman when Julie was dressed as Catwoman on the night Julie was attacked.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver

Share this post


Link to post

You might be confusing Adele with Julie's ex-girlfriend the policewoman -- Jule and the policewoman were lovers several years ago when Julie was attacked and her stomach was slashed (by the same returnee that slashed Lucy in that pedestrian underpass).  They look do similar -- fair complexion, straight dark hair parted in the middle -- though I think Adele is taller.

 

ETA: The policewoman's name is Laure.  She was dressed as Batman when Julie was dressed as Catwoman on the night Julie was attacked.

 

No, I know who Laure is.  But I'm referring to the scene where Julie and Adele are in Adele's kitchen right before Adele's daughter falls off of the trampoline.  

Share this post


Link to post
No, I know who Laure is.  But I'm referring to the scene where Julie and Adele are in Adele's kitchen right before Adele's daughter falls off of the trampoline.[p/quote]

 

I went back and took a look -- you're right.  It does seem that they might have been something more between the two of them in the past.

Adele did used to bartend at the local pub, so maybe they were acquaintances when Julie used to go to the pub with her girlfriend -- but there's nothing was shown in the series.  I'm just speculating, but after Julie was attacked (7 years ago) she basically became a shut-in, only going out of her apartment for work/shopping for fear of being attacked again since they never caught the guy who did it to her.

Share this post


Link to post

I think Julie just plays everything very close to the vest and isn't the sort of person to be forthcoming with information.  Plus, she was stabbed and bitten (which is a strange sentence to type), so I think if anyone was going to be likely to be incredibly reluctant to share information about a woman with a random guy, it would be Julie.  

Or we're meant to believe she never made the connection with Adele Laure's neighbor (who she knew from her relationship with Laure) and Adele former tenant of her apartment.  However, not being willing to share information with scary intense guys just seems sound policy.  

 

I really enjoyed this series a great deal.  Again, another workout show for me, and I'd watch these solely while on the elliptical, because I did have to rely on the subtitles, since my French is a) entirely disused b) iffy to start and beyond flawed to finish c) it takes me quite a while to translate what I do know in my head.  

But one of the beauties about European TV is they seem far less likely to have character's talking, just to talk.  I remember that from film studies too, that American audiences don't tend to dig the length of time shots tend to be held, or less reliance on dialogue.  It makes our TV pretty fast paced and probably sort of a nightmare to watch exclusively with subtitles, but that difference makes subtitled TV really easy to watch.  Plus, jeez, was I ever not aware I was exercising, because this show was riveting. 

Victor was easily the most unsettling child actor I've ever seen.  

 

Also, in this show, boy are the French ever not prone to hysterics or dramatics.  Apparently when your dead brother, who was a serial killer that you killed, shows up years later in the flesh and talking away?  It's a case of bash first, ask questions essentially never.  That scene is a great example of the dialogue preference difference  If that happens on an American show (either Canadian or U.S. based)...wow, would there ever be a ton of talking.  "You're not real! You're not real! What are you doing here?!?"  at the bare minimum.  Same thing with finding your dead daughter making herself an after school snack.  Camille's mom just silently processing is not something American audiences would tend to buy.  

One thing I found very strange and rather off-putting was Lucy, the Literally Fucking Psychic.   Okay.  So jeez, I wasn't expecting something quite that gratuitous from a show filmed in a country with a much less hysterical reaction to sex and nudity.  Come to think of it, I suppose that renders the objection moot.  In the U.S. that entire story line would be about an excuse for a woman to strip off her clothing, but since the show and the culture are much more relaxed about "Jeez, it's just a naked body and it's just sex, calm down there, Puritans of the world" it actually wasn't exploitative on the same level it would be in a different setting.  Although, still sort of gratuitous, Lena and Serge spring to mind too.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished watching this, and I can't wait for the next season.  I was totally creeped out by Victor at first and I still kind of am, but I also don't want anything bad to happen to him!

 

Camille's mom just silently processing is not something American audiences would tend to buy.
I think they did have somewhat of a range of reactions though.  Léna freaked the fuck out, which I think makes perfect sense.

 

One thing I found very strange and rather off-putting was Lucy, the Literally Fucking Psychic.
It's a show about people coming back from the dead, but this is the thing I had trouble suspending my disbelief about.  It might make sense if she could have visions while having an orgasm, but not just in the middle.  Maybe it's me.  I was wondering if everyone knew about Lucy's power and that's why Léna and Camille's dad was seeing her. 

 

I had another question about Lucy though.  If she lives in the pub, where was she going when she was attacked?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Also just discovered this show and finished it in a week or two literally, it was hard to let it stretch out that long! What a great series! Start to end riveting, acting believable and the story line..wow though so many questions left unanswered. What is with the water? why are the people returning? Is Julie dead? Is Adele dead? What is the connection with the flesh rotting on Lena and her sister? What is up with Lucy the Fucking psychic? And Mrs Costa, why does she seem to "know" things? OH and Thomas he can literally go jump in a lake, hate his ass. And finally yes thank you France for showing some male nudity.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm one of those people who will scan the last few pages of a mystery novel first.  I enjoy the trip more if I know where I'm headed.

 

So I very much enjoyed reading all your comments on the French series, while I was watching the American premiere.  As far as I can tell, you aren't going to be too disappointed with the American version.  It's very moody and beautiful and the dialogue doesn't intrude when the facial expression is sufficient.

 

If a moderator doesn't drop in soon and start a new thread, I'll start one.  Clearly this show is going to generate a lot of discussion.  : )

Share this post


Link to post

I was wondering if there is a thread on the American Version. Saw the premiere last night and I am pretty glad I have never seen the version that Sundance was showing (assume that was the French version?) because I really liked the premiere.  The only similar show I had to compare it to was Resurrection, so the bar admittedly isn't very high.

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished all eight episodes over a three day binge and I have LOTS of thoughts, so I'm very glad to have found this forum.

 

I watched the pilot of the American version because I recently became fed up with and quit a show I was watching and was looking for something new.  I was intrigued by the pilot and came here and that's how I found out about the original French version which I had no idea existed.  Overall, I found the series to be excellent and very well-done.  It was creepy and suspenseful (most of my watching was done late at night which heightened the effect which was great) and the acting, locations, and direction were all wonderfully done.  I'm very excited to hear about a Season two as I want to know what happens next.

 

My jumbled thoughts about all eight episodes in no particular order:

 

I really didn't enjoy how everything towards the end of the last episode became centered on Adele/Chloe.  Other than her initial reactions to Simon's return, I found Adele to be the weakest/least interesting in terms of story and acting.  She was just SUCH a weak crybaby.  I mean, did she ever leave the house after episode two/three?  Or do anything besides cry and wait for Thomas to come and tell her what to do and her just believe everything he told her?  I know she was traumatized and deeply affected by Simon's death and I was totally buying her story for awhile.  Then she just wasn't DOING anything.  Just going along with whatever Thomas told her.  She didn't question him on anything.  Weird dynamics with those two.  I guess they got too comfortable with him saving/taking care of her during her grief after Simon's death.  They were the only story that I actively found myself not liking at all as I worked my way through the episodes.  I absolutely HATED that the last episode ended on Adele/Chloe/half dead baby.

 

So the dam flooded the town again.  And the authorities failed to warn/protect the people again.  Does that mean that a lot of people drowned in this new flooding and will also return?  I don't think I was supposed to believe that EVERYONE was at the Helping Hand.

 

Speaking of Thomas, he can totally fuck. off.  I really hope his ass is dead, dead, not able to return dead in Season two.  Bastard has no problem ripping Victor and Camille away from those who love them in order to get his precious Chloe back from the Horde and protect the rest of them, but won't give up Adele when Lucy tells him that they want her too.  I didn't like anything about his character.  I started out feeling sympathetic towards him when Simon, his future wife's great love came back, especially when he was watching them having sex in his bed, but the willful ignorance as to what was happening and the attempted and repeated railroading of Simon was too much.  Walk away dude.  He was never going to get her to love him like he wanted.  

 

Chloe got a little bratty towards the end there too.  I didn't get what they were going for with her.  She started out not being scared of Simon at all, but then she was?  Was she more afraid of the effect he had on Adele?  But then she seemed to turn against him when she found out that he committed suicide and chose to leave them.  Also, was she clairvoyant as well like Lucy?  I don't recall anyone telling her about Simon committing suicide, but she drew that picture of him killing himself and then she had the vision of Adele slitting her wrists, but that could have been her fears of what she's been through with her mother manifesting itself.  They did make mention of her liking to draw.  I was thinking that the drawing could be how her visions presented themselves to her.  Similar, but not as weird as Lucy having a vision during sex.  I did NOT like how she became the bargaining tool of the Horde.  

 

The Lucy stuff I didn't get.  The sex stuff was weird and I thought unnecessary.  For all the other creepy and different storytelling techniques used, her only being able to see the dead during sex was dumb.  What if there was a woman who wanted to use her services?  Did she have sex with them too?  I felt she was exploiting the grief of others a bit.  Especially when she jumped Simon when they came back to her apartment.  But then she was tight with the Horde at the end, so who knows?

 

I felt like Toni was one of the most tragic characters who I really felt for.  He tried to do what he thought was the right thing to stop his murderous brother from hurting anymore innocent people, but lost his mother and eventually his own life.  He seemed desperate for his mother's love, like she always loved Serge more than him even though he was a killer.  I don't know why he just didn't alert the authorities when he knew it was him though.  Maybe his mother would have thought Toni "snitching" would have been worse?  I really felt for him when he was desperate for what he thought was his mother to forgive him and when he was like "I'm going to protect you (Serge) because I'm the big brother."  He's another one who I hope is dead, dead and doesn't return so he can finally have some peace.

 

Why weren't the Horde  looking for Serge at the end?  He was one of the returned, but Lucy wasn't asking about him.  I didn't get why he was allowed to return either.  To attack someone else?  Why/how was he suddenly not a cannibalistic killer anymore with Lena?  I thought for sure she was his next victim.

 

I didn't get why Vivianne was back either.  Of all of the original returnees, she got the least story.  But, maybe that's the point?  That there was no rhyme or reason to why or who returned?

 

So the entirety of the eight episodes took place over just a week?  The guy who they showed dead as a result of the original flood thirty-five years earlier was shown crawling up the road above the dam the same time as when Camille came back.  He even called out to her and the screen said it was one week earlier.

 

So Victor likes to get back at those who have hurt him or those close to him by making them kill/hurt themselves.  He killed the nosy neighbor because of his feelings for Julie and then shot/made Toni shoot himself because Toni and Serge scared him in the tent when they were kids by hiding under the sheets in the tent with the dead bodies.  Why didn't he do something to Pierre then?  Victor's death shocked/scared me the most.  That is such a terrifying situation for a little kid.

 

I would have liked to see more of Jerome.  He kind of just disappeared for chunks of time and would pop back up, but wasn't really doing anything.  I would have loved to have seen more of his interactions with Camille and Lena.  Something went wrong with him and Lena after Camille died that fractured their relationship and it would have been nice to see what.  The break between him and Lena obviously was connected to his grief over losing Camille, but there wasn't really that much interaction between the two once she got back.  

 

I hope Season two is NOT centered on Adele, Chloe, and the baby.  They were the least interesting part of the whole show for me.  And this baby should DOA no?  Simon's sperm still functions normally even though he's dead?  I really don't care to be honest.

 

I'm mostly okay with the American version so far.  It's too bright, sunny, and well-lit.  The darkness and shade of the original was everything.  They also haven't brought up the issues with the level of the dam yet, which turned out to be a big deal.  But maybe they're going to go a different way with that.  I hope they go a different way when it comes to Thomas, Adele, and Chole as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Just binge watched this series and I'm anxiously awaiting the second season.

Everyone has pretty much covered my thoughts and questions. Although I am intrigued by Pierre and Victor. From the beginning, my boyfriend said that Pierre rubbed him the wrong way. I thought he seemed like the kind of guy who seemed to be over compensating for something he did wrong in his past. Sure enough, they show Pierre at Victor's house the night he died. I'm wondering if the motive wasn't robbery and there was something more Victor's parents knew about the dead.

Also, maybe it's just me but has anyone noticed the use of green in this series? Simon wore green shoes before he was shot, Camille's room is green and various other little things like that. Unless it's a coincidence.

ETA: We also thought Adèle was the worst character. Hope she's not the center of the next season.

Edited by what

Share this post


Link to post

So (as usual), I am way late to this party.  Just binge-watched S1......

 

Not that I needed a reminder, but nevertheless, I was reminded of just how absolutely little I watch of necessarily-subtitled foreign TV & movies;  what with all the bare body parts, sex acts, and F-words flying around each episode.  I'm not a puritanical bible-thumper by any means and I get that other countries have more relaxed attitudes and restrictions on what they show, but I had a difficult time reminding myself this was a (network?)TV show and not a series of ~55 minute MA-movies on a network like HBO/Showtime.  Even though it was all hidden by blankets, that Lena/Frederic scene at the end of 1.1-Camille was a little uncomfortable.  Again, I know the actors were most likely older than on-screen portrayed ages and the different cultures & ages of consent laws, but that and seeing Camille feeling it, too?  *shudder*  Wasn't the biggest fan of how some scenes' content should have had sex as the last thing in mind for at least one of the characters, but a full-on sex scene ensued anyhow.  The Lena/Serge fornication?  Really??   Now that that's out of the way, moving on.......

The music made this show, at least in the first season.  The opening theme, the musical cues.  This show doesn't have near the immersion and sense of eerie WTF-is-going-on feeling if not for the aural sensations it produces.

Thomas won the "Most Detested Character" in the first season, hands down.   Once we found out Adele tried to kill herself once before, it made some sense, but he just seemed like a crazy-ass creepy stalker when he was sitting at his desk and watching the in-home cams all the time.  And then the way he treated everyone (aside from Chloe).  Asshole is easiest and plainest way to describe him.

I get that its a small village town, but I always thought the line about "everyone knows everybody here" was just clap-trap to put a light-hearted spin on how small a town is.  This show takes that sense of small and goes crazy with it.  Not only does everyone know everybody in present time, there's personal connections all the way back to 35 years ago!  That storytelling choice is pretty creepy in its own right.

So we have just three visual confirmed causes of death among the main/supporting cast, right?  Camille=bus, Victor=shot by home intruders, and Serge=buried alive by Toni.  Simon was first said to have died when a car hit him, but then it seems to turn out he blew his own brains out.  With Ms Costa, we've been misled to believe she died from a few different causes.  In that sense, I can't wait to get started on S2 to see if the non-confirmation of Simon and Ms Costa's original causes of death will be explicitly explained and if they won't play a role in the overall mytharc.

Also can't wait to see why this isn't the first time Victor=ie Louis has come back... or has he been 'back' the whole time between when Camille died and present day?  I like to think there has to be a connection between 'the fairy' & Julie, including the book's cover illustration looking like her.  I'm not sure which is more interesting - that she's "dead" or did survive the assault.  But then what about Lucy, the Penis-fueled Physic?  Did she survive as well and just healed miraculously, or did both she & Julie die from the injuries inflicted and have been 'living' since their time of death??

Another thing I'm not understanding (yet), is Victor's ability to psychically induce visions of homicide that are actually suicide.  And since that seems to be the case, what terrible thing did Mrs Payet do that caused her homicidal-psychosis suicide?  Aside from being a nosy, trashy neighbor?  Oh wait, just remembered.  She was going to call the police and have Victor taken away from Julie.  But still, she had to have some sort of past mental trauma he could exploit.

 

So many freaking questions.  Season 2, here I come (soon).

Edited by iRarelyWatchTV36
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×