THE ONE WHERE Everyone's at it like knives.
VERDICT Well, now we know what the French do during a power cut…
Even taking into account the fact that a. there’s no telly to watch and b. they’re all, y’know, French , this episode features a surprising amount of shagging. They must be putting something in the water (apart from, er, dead animals).
Much of it seems a little absurd. We know Léna’s been through a lot recently and so may be in dire need of a little physical comfort, but surely she’s still got more sense than to make the two-backed beast with Serge, a man she knows (thanks to Toni’s convenient confession) is a. dead b. “had to be stopped” and c. has a room full of taxidermy and knives that positively screams, “serial killer’s den”?
Then there’s the mysterious Lucy, who appears to be a bona fide psychic. Ever since the opening episode we’ve been left to wonder whether she was meeting Jérôme for sex, or to act as a medium… turns out it was both, simultaneously! It’s a far cry from Doris Stokes. It’s also, frankly, just a little bit risible.
Equally difficult to swallow is the speed with which Camille transforms into a figurehead for Pierre, a beacon of hope. The girl assuring grieving parents that she has communicated with the souls of their dead children seems very different from the wise-cracking, vodka-guzzling kid we’ve seen over the last few episodes.
Even that fantastic double-whammy finale feels just a little fumbled. There are people in the woods! Presumably those 20-odd figures are more of The Returned (which probably explains what those animals found in the lake were fleeing from) but a close-up or two showing that yes, these are the deceased loved ones of people in town might have given the moment a little more impact. By the high standards of this series, this is a slightly below-par instalment.
NITPICKS The local hospital is a bit underpopulated, isn’t it? Somehow Simon manages to smash his way out of a drawer in the morgue, wander around and steal some clothes without ever attracting any attention. Well, except from the patient who’s wandered off on her own, unsupervised. And Laure the cop’s behaviour is getting even more bewildering; now she’s not only happy to let Julie continue to look after Victor, but happy to let him live in her house? Admittedly, in a series like this the usual roles cease to apply, but when it comes to a lost child you still kinda expect the police to follow procedure.
SPECULATION What is that wound on Victor’s arm? It looks more like the one on Léna’s back than something you’d get from being shot. Wild theory: by confronting Pierre, Vincent achieved what he had come back from the dead to do, and now that he’s accomplished that, he’s starting to rot away to nothing?
FEATURED MUSIC “Goofballs” by Danish surf-rockers The Tremolo Beer Gut , and (yet again) “Unclean” by Steeple Remove.
Ian Berriman twitter.com/ianberriman
Read all our The Returned series 1 reviews .