The Returned review, Channel 4

The Returned Channel 4 review | Series 1 finale

Published by jamdog on 24th July, 2013.

The Returned Channel 4 review

Channel 4

You have to admire the people of Shit’s Creek, Veyrier-du-Lac – Alpine outpost, home of The Returned. During these weeks of the dead of their small town rising to live among them a quiet stoicism has prevailed. Whether it’s their 4 years dead twin sister or their 7 years dead stomach eating subway monster brother they’ve pretty much taken it in their stride. You might think at the very least they might contact the national press, upload a video to YouTube or start a blog but instead they opt to roll with the punches and see how this whole living among the dead men thing pans out. But quiet stoicism only gets you so far when there’s an army of malignant cadavers taking over your town, emptying your fridge and stealing your fiancée. Shit’s Creek just got real.

In the best horror traditions they make their big move at night. The normals are holed up in the Helping Hand shelter. 35 years ago the old dam broke and now the revenants have come to claim what’s theirs, specifically: Camille, Victor, and Madame Costa. Despite being a supernatural crime against nature they are not unreasonable ghouls. They are willing to throw in Chloé as a Stephen Ireland style makeweight. But wait; isn’t Chloé still registered to Adèle FC? Well yes but Simon broke out of chokey and kidnapped her and possession is nine-tenths of being a dead child abducting bastard the law.

Despite being a supernatural crime against nature they are not unreasonable ghouls. They are willing to throw in Chloé as a Stephen Ireland style makeweight.

I’ll not dissemble. Negotiations are tense. Julie lets Victor go on the condition that she goes with her and Claire also accompanies her daughter to the land of the somewhat dead. The Returned are all “yeh wotevs” with the human chaperones but I imagine they’ll kill and eat them quite soon. In a seemingly pointless twist sex psychic Lucy demands the normals hand over Adèle FC and starts making all kinds of threats about coming after her. Thomas invites her to visit a small Alpine town called Gettaefuck and bids her on her way. The nerve of that skank! Chloé reveals the motive for the last-minute addendum: Adèle is pregnant with dead Simon’s baby which you have to admit raises a slew of theological and metaphysical questions.

 Lucy demands the normals hand over Adèle FC starts making all kinds of threats about coming after her. Thomas invites her to visit a small Alpine town called Gettaefuck and bids her on her way.

As the normals huddle terrified inside the shelter in darkness, gunfire from the armed police rings out. It sounds like they’re putting more holes in the revenants than there are in the Lost series finale. And yet when dawn comes the town is flooded and not a copper remains. You’d have to imagine this might make the national press now?

It’s a powerful ending to a terrific first season. With a minimum of fuss they nail the nightmarish task of tying up the season arcs while setting up conflict for next year’s second outing. While never failing to be grisly and upsetting it also has a warmth in its human relations that thaws at least some of the bone chill. People care about each other in Shit’s Creek, always asking about you. “How have you been?” “Dead.” “Don’t worry – it’ll pass.”

The verdict: They’ll be back.

Marks out of 10: 8

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The Returned Channel 4 finale
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