Forget the explanation and embrace the emotion of The Returned’s season finale

A-

It became apparent at the midpoint of season two: With the revenants still in hiding and the living in various states of distress, it was suddenly very, very important to the characters of The Returned that they not be left alone. The sentiment is all over “Virgil”, and the notion of isolation as the ultimate level of…

The year in swag 2015: Celebrating the many perks of the ivory tower

There are a lot of perks to occupying this, the highest peak in pop culture’s ivory tower. Us A.V. Clubbers are, on a daily basis, lavishly plied with all manner of semi-marketable garbage, from fancy picnic baskets packed with name-brand candy to potentially lifesaving survival kits that could, in theory, keep us…

Tragedy answers tragedy in a chilling Returned climax

A

In its exploration of grief, The Returned has reached the bargaining stage. It might be reductive to apply something as rigid as the Kübler-Ross model to the show’s murky mythology, or the flexible “rules” of its living dead—after all, The Returned’s emotional baseline is depression, the Kübler-Ross stage that follows…

As The Returned approaches a climax, “Esther” brings it all back home

B+

“Esther” begins with the most promising five minutes of The Returned’s second season: The story of how one of those mute women wound up in Toni and Serge’s cabin (with special guest Victor), followed by Toni setting the day’s agenda for himself and his brother. Like Toni, we recognize the young woman in the trenchcoat…

The Returned is opening its eyes

B+

The camera locks in on a character we’ve presumed dead. Their eyes are closed, they’re not breathing—all onscreen vital signs point to negative. But the camera’s holding on the body, so the filmmakers are building anticipation for something. With or without a zoom, it’s a visual shorthand for “Closer. Come closer…”…

The Returned answers big question, moves past it

B

The explanation is so simple, it’s shocking. Six months after the flood, Camille wants to know why some of the returned are like her—thinking, feeling, and (eventually) sleeping creatures—while others are like the zonked-out sentries guarding Lucy’s neighborhood hideaway. It’s a question that’s been gnawing at the…

Warnings and dangers suffuse The Returned’s ominous second episode

B+

If there’s a thematic constant running through “Milan,” the even darker second episode of The Returned’s sophomore season, it’s the idea that we all have cages and prisons—self-imposed or otherwise. Nearly everyone is trapped, for one reason or another, and not simply in the geographical sense of the town. Most of the…

There are many entrances—but no sure exits—in The Returned’s season premiere

A-

Things used to be permanent in the world of The Returned. If a dam was un-compromised, it held back the flood waters. If someone became a parent, they stuck around to watch over their children. If someone died, they stayed dead. But then Camille Seguret came home one day, years after she and her classmates perished in…

Can The Returned continue its streak as one of the best shows on television?

A-

How do you follow up one of the best single seasons of television in the 21st century? Very slowly, if the glacial pace at which France’s The Returned has eked back onto the small screen is any indication. Nearly three years after its homeland debut—and two years since it made its way to SundanceTV in the U.S.—the…

A&E cancels The Returned, definitively distinguishing it from its French counterpart

Look, we like to have fun here at Newswire, because passing along the day’s entertainment news can grow a bit monotonous. In the past year and change, a lot of that fun has been had at the expense of The Returned, A&E’s English-language remake of the fantastic Sundance import The Returned (known as Les Revenants in…

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