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The Returned – Esther Review

"The bloom has come off the rose"

I feel like this particular review has been a long time coming this season, but it is finally here. I don’t think there is enough, from a plot perspective, to continue writing these weekly reviews. Many of the things I loved about season one of The Returned just aren’t present here in season two.

For the past few weeks, the only storyline I’ve been following with much interest has been the one involving Victor and Julie. Adele and Simon have devolved into an unlikable pair without any forward momentum. The show has taken far too long to get to the heart of what Lucy wants with baby Nathan and how she has turned into the Returned’s de facto leader. The situation with the Helping Hand has spiraled at such a fast rate I can barely understand why Pierre is so obsessed with finding the “truth” from his captives. And, perhaps the most disappointing of all, the Camille-Lena arc appears to have been far less interested in continuing to explore how the reunion between the two girls has affected them and more concerned with simply reuniting the family (without really delving into Jérôme’s alcoholism and history of abuse). And don’t even get me started on the disaster that has been Toni, Milan, and Serge.

Swann Namboutin in the SundanceTV original series The
Swann Namboutin in the SundanceTV original series The Returned

I will admit that since Victor appears to be the key to everything (a smart choice, as he has been the clear breakout character from the series), I will keep watching this season until its conclusion. But I just don’t feel any particular connection to the bulk of the show’s characters. Combine that with the extremely slow moving pace of this season (and the lack of real character development across the board), there just isn’t enough left to justify writing each week. I want to see if the show will actually explain who or what Victor is, and how his presence is both a bane and a boon for those who encounter him. I want to better understand his dreams and why they affect him and those around him. And I want to know why these people continue to return. I suspect most of those answers won’t be coming this season, as that’s a lot of story to fit into only two more episodes, but I hope we get at least some closure- especially since there is no guarantee of a third season (and even if there is a third season, who knows when it will actually air).

So with that, I bid you adieu from these reviews. Hopefully you continue to enjoy the series for its final two installments, and should things improve significantly this season or down the road, I may pop in and offer a few more thoughts. But that’s all for now.

Rating
6.0
Pros
  • Victor and Julie's story
Cons
  • Lack of character development
  • Apparent lack of clear plot arc

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Meet the Author

About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeaniusIsMe on Twitter.

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