Like the folks in the small French mountain town, “The Returned” too has come back from the dead. It’s been nearly three years since Season 1 of the supernatural drama premiered, but Season 2 of the Canal+ series is finally hitting SundanceTV in the United States. Picking up six months after the jaw-dropping events of the finale, the show, also known as “Les Revenants,” answers some lingering questions while introducing intriguing -- yet frightening -- new twists.
While a long gap doesn’t generally bode well for maintaining interest in a series, the mysterious ending -- and canceled A&E series remake -- makes the Season 2 premiere that much more exciting. Viewers are ready for answers, which they do get in episode 1. However, more questions are added to the list by the time the credits roll.
Premiering on Halloween night, fans will revisit Adèle (Clotilde Hesme), who was pregnant with Simon’s (Pierre Perrier) baby when “The Returned” last left off. Jump ahead six months and Adèle’s baby bump is finally showing. But not all is well in the village. The water level still hasn’t gone done, and the military has arrived to lead an investigation into the mysterious flooding and disappearance of residents. The twist is that the military doesn’t know about the “undead.” And those that stayed behind don’t plan on revealing the truth.
Season 1 focused on what would happen if a loved one returned from the dead, and whether or not it would be possible to rejoin society. However, those that returned are now gone. Instead of rejoining their community, they’ve formed their own on the opposite side of town, a newly formed lake separating the two groups of people. They still don’t know why they’ve come back from the dead, but even more are arriving.
The living left behind are torn – some ready to move on from a town that has lost so much, while others, like Jérôme (Frédéric Pierrot), are desperate not to give up hope. However, in Jérôme’s case, the desperation to unite his family is not much different from his grief during Season 1.
Although he’s not turning to alcohol this time around, he’s succeeded in alienating his daughter Lena (Jenna Thiam) again by focusing on crazy conspiracy theories instead of holding onto what’s left of his family. Meanwhile, Lena is like zombie, falling into a routine of making guilt-ridden daily visits to the makeshift police station at a school gym in order to get her hands on any new piece of information about her mother and sister. But unfortunately there is no news. Investigators come and go and the military knows that the people in town are hiding something.
The big change between Season 1 and Season 2 comes down to supernatural plotlines. While “The Returned” has always been a “zombie” show, things are much more eerie this time around. Adèle is afraid she’s going to give birth to a monster, frequently traveled highways mysteriously turn into dead end dirt roads and a new group threatens to cause trouble for both the living and the returned. It’s an interesting change that hints that something bigger is brewing underneath the surface.
“The Returned” Season 2 premieres on the SundanceTV on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. ET.