A&E’s version of The Returned finished its first season last night. As promised, it diverged from the French show it was based on. But last night’s episode really didn’t feel like a season finale. Spoilers ahead.
I’ve railed against shows doing big cliffhangers when they don’t know if they’re coming back. The Returned finale didn’t do that for the most part. Instead it carried on with adding mysteries.
The revelation that Peter is one of the returned from the previous episode answered some questions but raised others. This is one of the major divergences from the original and I hope it’s going somewhere. It now makes sense why he so readily accepted and helped Camille and Simon. He has obviously aged since his death so will that happen to the others? Victor still appears the same as when he died though he’s been back for a while.
Meanwhile an online journalist (worst cover story ever, Agent Bering) showed up in town asking questions about Camille and Peter. She ominously mentioned places like the Roanoke Colony where the dead were said to rise before those places ceased to exist.
Camille isn’t affected by drugs, which isn’t a surprise since we’ve already seen that she can drink alcohol without getting drunk. She finally lost her virginity but her partner died in the process. Peter and Simon have had sexy undead funtime without killing their partners so why is Camille different?
Julie finally got rid of Victor...maybe. I will be very disappointed if that’s the last we see of him after all the crap he’s done.
The build up of the last few weeks with Helen and her mission with the dam ended not with a bang nor a whimper. Helen was finally able to light a match from the crappy matchbook she had but it was blown out just before the exit slammed shut. The impression I got was that something was trying to stop Helen, though it waited to the last minute to do so. Simon had a vision of the town being wiped out in a flood (presumably the one Helen is trying to cause) and raced back to town. I’m assuming that he’s the one coming for Rowan and is the father of her new unborn baby.
So the season ends with a lot more mysteries and questions raised Lost-style and little if anything really resolved. The cliffhanger they were setting up hasn’t reached a climax. We have Helen in the dam with a bunch of sweaty unstable dynamite but I’m not feeling the full sense of urgency you would expect. My overall reaction to the episode was a shrug. That said, I will probably watch if The Returned gets a second season.
Meanwhile it’s time to rewatch the French version.