The Returned Series 1 (Channel 4) Review “Adele”

It seems like a good idea to establish just how trapped all of your principle character’s are by the end of the penultimate episode, and now we will be entering the eighth and final installment of The Returned’s first series knowing that something horrible is probably going to happen inside the town they’re forbidden to leave. What’s stopping them? We don’t know, but it seems that it’s only the returnees who are trapped, and unfortunately all of our main players are or are responsible for the dead.

The moment in which Julie and Laure realize that they’re inexplicably driving around in circles is a deliciously creepy one, made all the more powerful by the lack of words exchanged. Our suspicions are confirmed in this scene, after first being aroused by Serge and Toni’s similar adventure in the woods while on the run from the police. We don’t know what separated the two while in the water, but I’m certain that’s not the last any of us will see of Serge given the returnees’ habit of being immortal.

If all of the living characters were to do a runner right now, it’s possible that they could just quarantine the town and be done with it, but The Returned isn’t a normal humans vs. zombies horror fest a la Walking Dead. There, this rule would be most convenient. No, this show is as much about the human connections and relationships as it is about the mysteries, and that’s what makes it great viewing. Only a couple of returnees are villainous right now, and others, such as Camille, are only getting more sympathetic.

One of the bad guys is certainly Simon, who still wants to reunite his family despite the negative effect he’s had on Adele and Chloe since his return. Thomas is the only one seeing sense and, through some cunning and an idea about where a confused Simon might go next, he finally manages to re-arrest him. Despite this, Adele’s opening points to some nasty residual mental illness that’s likely recurring, and Chloe’s new friendship with Victor doesn’t help matters. It’s now pretty certain that Victor can cause hallucinations, showing Chloe a vision of her mother having self-harmed.

But Julie’s still loyal to her adopted devil-child and, after moving in with Laure causes the pair to reunite, they decide to get out of town and start over again. It’s a shame that whatever’s going on prevents this, but at least the two of them have another ally. They’re going to need one if Pierre’s prediction of a biblical apocalypse is correct, and you know something’s definitely on its way if you factor in the returnee’s various wounds. Are they decomposing? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, it’s not what I wanted to see while I was eating my lunch.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Returned airs on Channel 4 in the UK.