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The Returned did something particularly interesting with “Morgane.” Rather than present an episode that revealed something completely new about the title character (or, as has been the case this season, introduced a new character into the already crowded canvass of the season), “Morgane” was a tool to explore more of Lucy and Milan’s past. Seeing as Morgane is an empty shell of a man in his returned state (because he had no one waiting for him upon his return), he only serves as a tool to show us how absolutely horrific Milan was during his reign of terror 35 years ago.
The revelation that Lucy was, presumably, the first of the Returned makes her role as the commander of those who have returned make far more sense (if you recall, Lucy mysteriously appeared in the town a year before the major returns began). I was always wondering why she was given the chance to take the lead on things, but if she was the first I can understand the other clinging to her for support. But, as with so many other episodes over the course of The Returned‘s run, this revelation only brings up more questions. Why did Milan think killing Lucy would cleanse her of her sins? How was she related to him, since he clearly believed he had a claim to her (my guess is they’re brother and sister)? Why does everyone seem to just allow Milan to do these horrible things to people in the town? So many more questions.
The episode’s most successful moments were, as usual, those that involved the slowly fracturing relationship between Victor and Julie. As one of the show’s only purely sympathetic characters (I would argue that Lena has also reached that level this season, after being a petty teenager in season one), it’s particularly difficult to watch her lose all that she has left in the world. With Laure gone (although, it is possibly she is the one missing police officer) and now Victor telling her he no longer needs her (along with the particularly hurtful revelation that Julie was pregnant at the time of Serge’s attack) has completely robbed her of all her connections within the town. Kudos to Céline Sallette for her continued excellent work on the series. It’s always a joy to watch her understated performance. I presume Julie will continue to factor into the series, albeit from a different angle, but watching her walk slowly into the flooded lake was just awful to see.
— The sequence with Serge, Milan, and Lena was shocking for its mater-of-fact use of violence, but it also rung a little hollow. So far, Milan is simply a sadistic bully who thinks nothing of killing those around him. Considering he was just shot and left for dead (again) in the woods, I worry we might not get a real answer as to what is making him act this way. Sure, there are some people who are just wired to hurt those around them, but I like to think a show as nuanced at The Returned has proven itself to be would have more at work here than that.
— I like the idea of Lena and Camille reuniting. I think there’s a lot of anger and distrust that has been wiped away by the circumstances of the past several months, and I would love to see the pair bond on a sisterly level.
— We have gotten some hints as to what the Returned are looking for, but it’s still not quite clear what their endgame is. Do they want, as Milan said, to kill all those alive and have them return? Or is there more complexity to it? And how does the flooding fit into things?
— Did anyone else find it a bit icky that Lucy was essentially using Morgane for sex without his apparent knowledge? I think the show needs to flesh out the rules around the reanimated, but not fully conscious, returned.