“The Returned” continued to drop more clues about the mystery surrounding the small French mountain town in episode 7 of Season 2. The SundanceTV series, also known as “Les Revenants,” explored the backstory of another returned -- Etienne (Aurélien Recoing), Berg’s (Laurent Lucas) father.
Episode 2 picks up with a flashback to 35 years ago, 10 months after the dam first broke. Milan (Michaël Abiteboul) brought a group of survivors into the woods, where he promised them answers about why so many people died and why they survived. Among them were the parents of Simon (Pierre Perrier) and Etienne, who was the architect responsible for building the dam.
“Where we’re going, you’ll never feel guilty again,” Milan promised Etienne.
Meanwhile, the police were raiding Milan’s home, where they found a closet full of children. And that wasn’t all they discovered. Inside the home were sleeping tablets that Milan’s wife was going to give the kids. The police managed to save the children -- but they couldn’t save the people with Milan.
The group, which was in a circle, committed suicide. Etienne shot everyone before handing the gun over to Milan. Milan killed Etienne and then passed the gun onto Pierre (Jean-François Sivadier). Pierre killed Milan, but when it came time to turn the gun on himself, he couldn’t do it. Hearing the police dogs coming, Pierre made a run for it -- but in the background was Victor (Swann Nambotin).
Cut back to present day. Frédéric (Matila Maliarakis) is at the Helping Hand telling Pierre about what happened to Lucho (Vincent Trouilleux) when they found Madame Costa (Laetitia de Fombelle) and Victor. To Frédéric’s surprise, Pierre knows exactly who Victor is -- and he thinks that Victor drove Lucho to commit suicide.
But it’s not just Victor that Pierre fears. He tells Sandrine (Contance Dollé ) that the returned – like her daughter Audrey (Armande Boulanger) – want to drive all of the living to their deaths.
Across the flood zone, Camille’s (Yara Pilartz) family is living in fear of the dead. Now that Jerome has reunited with his wife and children, he’s ready to bring them home. But will the dead let them leave? When the group attempts to go outside they find the house surrounded by the dead.
“We have to leave,” Virgil (Ernst Umhauer) tells Camille. “We’re not safe here anymore. Come with us.”
Camille says she can’t leave her family – but that doesn’t mean Berg won’t. Although he came with Jérôme (Frédéric Pierrot), he decides to follow the dead into the woods in an attempt to find his father.
With the dead gone, Camille, Lena (Jenna Thiam), Claire (Anne Consigny) and Jérôme leave the house and make their way toward the water. But the water is no longer there. Instead, the group finds the military.
Meanwhile in the woods, Lucy (Ana Girardot) is leading the dead to safety -- but it’s not clear where safety is. Lucy is lost, and Virgil knows it. She tells him that everything will become “clear” once they get the child of Simon and Adèle (Clotilde Hesme).
Simon has no plans to hand over his baby -- but the same can’t be said for Alcide (Guillaume Marquet). Now that Adèle is at the police station, the officer is eyeing baby Nathan. And it looks like it’ll be easy for him to get his hands on him. Adèle’s doctor is called in to check on Nathan after his “kidnapping” and finds an abrasion on his forearm. Adèle denies knowing anything about it and insists that while she was “disoriented” at first, she’s happy to be a new mom now. The doctor doesn’t believe her, though, and he tells that to the police when they ask for his opinion on whether she is fit to take Nathan home.
While Adèle remains in custody at the police station, Julie (Céline Sallette) is having sweet dreams of the nice nurse that is helping her at the hospital. Julie and the nurse are embraced in a kiss when Julie wakes up and finds the nurse standing over her in real life. She breaks the bad news to Julie -- Mr. Lewanski died.
The nurse is asking Julie about Mr. Lewanski’s relatives when a scream distracts them. When they run toward the sound, Julie finds Madame Costa surrounded by doctors. The soldiers had brought her body in as a homicide victim, so needless to say, the nurses and doctors were shocked when she sat up, alive and well.
Julie goes in to talk to Madame Costa once she gets settled in. Madame Costa reveals that she left the flood zone with Victor because he was worried about her. She adds that Victor is very “fond” of her.
With this new knowledge, Julie sets out to find Victor. But if Madame Costa is at the hospital, where is he? “Les Revenants” fans learn that the military took Victor back to the police station to question him about Lucho’s suicide. They want to know why Lucho jumped, but all Victor can say is that Lucho “wanted to die.” When they ask Victor about the woman he was with, he denies knowing her.
Elsewhere at the police station, the Commander (Laurent Capelluto) is talking to Adèle about Thomas (Samir Guesmi). He reveals that her fiancé died of an external hemorrhage caused by a bullet in his shoulder. The weapon belonged to one of his colleagues, but a fellow police officer did not shoot the weapon. The Commander tells Adèle that they believe someone stole the weapon and shot Thomas – and one of their theories is that Simon did it.
Despite Simon being legally dead, the Commander knows that Thomas apprehended him a couple days before his death. He also knows that Simon was engaged to Adèle before he killed himself. Adèle claims to not know that Thomas apprehended Simon just days before his death, but the Commander knows that she’s lying. He breaks out photos that Thomas had that prove she was having an intimate relationship with Simon.
“Was he the person that tried to kidnap your baby?” the Commander asks. Adèle denies it, but the ghost of Thomas warns her that the Commander knows she’s lying.
The Commander then asks if she thinks Simon shot Thomas. Adèle doesn’t respond, prompting the Commander to ask one last follow-up.
“Is Simon dead?” he asks. “Yes,” she replies.
The questions continue to pile up in the woods with the returned. A helicopter overhead makes everyone scatter, despite Lucy’s pleas to follow her. Berg uses that opportunity to follow his dad. But he isn’t the greatest at spying. His dad catches on that he’s following him, however, Etienne doesn’t recognize his own son. He has no memories about his past life.
Berg brings Etienne into an old house that has been closed up for years. Inside is a model of the dam and old notes. The room was Etienne’s old office.
A flashback to before the dam breaking 35 years ago shows Berg as a child asking his dad about the dam. The father and son are interrupted by a knock at the door – Victor. He tells Etienne that he must stop construction on the dam because it will collapse. Etienne tries to ease his worries by explaining that the dam will be “very strong.” But Victor insists “hundreds of people will die.”
“It will be your fault,” Victor says, trying to drive the point home.
But Etienne doesn’t listen. He tells Victor to go home, but before he leaves, Victor looks at Berg. “Do you believe me?” he asks.
The flashback ends with Etienne closing the door on Victor, and Victor going to the house nearby – the Lewanskis, who adopted him.
Back at the police station, Victor has another disturbing dream. In this dream Lucy tells him that he “must help.” He moves to grab Julie’s hand, but Milan is behind her. “She’s going to join us,” he tells Victor before pulling out a gun. Victor yells “no” and wakes up. But he’s not exactly conscious. He’s in another dream, but in this one Julie looks happy. She’s sitting on the beach looking at the water when a young boy runs up to her. Could this be the baby that she was supposedly pregnant with at the time she was attacked by Serge (Guillaume Gouix) all those years ago?
The police station is beginning to fill up. While Victor is in one room, the military places Camille’s family in a room with Adèle. It’s a happy reunion for Adèle, who is friends with Claire. And things only get better for the group when the police bring in Chloé (Brune Martin). She tells them all that Simon is waiting outside for them. But how will they get out?
The police or military certainly aren’t going to let them leave – especially since their files show that Camille is dead. They bring Jérôme up for questioning, but he won’t throw his child under the bus. When they ask how it is that she’s declared dead, all Jérôme can say is that he doesn’t know.
Although it seems like almost everyone is at the police station, Julie goes to the Helping Hand to search for Victor. Unfortunately the Helping Hand isn’t that helpful. Frédéric pulls a gun on her and forces her into the basement, where Pierre is keeping Sandrine and Audrey locked up. Pierre wants to know where the returned are, but Julie tells him she doesn’t know. He promises that if she joins them her suffering will stop.
Could Pierre be picking up where Milan left off and be planning a second mass suicide at the Helping Hand? It’s not clear right now, but Victor knows that Julie is in trouble. He someone manages to get out of his room at the police station and goes into the next room, which is holding Milan.
“Don’t hurt Julie,” he tells Milan. But Milan says he’s not the bad guy. He tells Victor that he doesn’t “hurt” people, he “saves” them ... just like Victor asked him to.
Victor denies it, but Milan says that he’s the one that decides everything. “I felt your presence in the clearing,” he continues, referring to the mass suicide 35 years ago. Milan then asks why Victor made them return. But once again, Victor insists that it’s not him.
The two are interrupted by one of the soldiers, who comes in to question Milan about why he referenced a cult from 35 years ago when he was interrogated. But Milan is done answering questions. Instead he asks the soldier one – “You want to know how you’re going to die?”
Milan begins to scare the soldier, telling him that he can read his thoughts and that he knows his fears. The soldier snaps, telling Milan to shut up. And that’s when Victor begins to shake and the lights go off.
All of the sudden, the soldier goes completely haywire. He shoots one of his fellow officers, causing mass panic within the station.
Jérôme takes that opportunity to break his family, Adèle and Chloé out of the station. They manage to get to an exit, but Adèle won’t leave Nathan behind. She asks Claire to take Chloé while she goes back inside for the baby. Inside she runs into Simon, but the two don’t find the baby. Instead, the bed he was staying on is empty.
Episode 7 of “Les Revenants” ends with the cops killing the soldier after he hallucinates dead bodies and aims his gun at the Commander. The lights in the building go back on just as Victor walks out into the parking lot.