“THE RETURNED” Recap: Season 2
Six months after the flood and the confrontation with the horde, the town is near deserted and under military control. The returned hide out in an abandoned development hidden from the rest of the town by the floodwaters, while most of the remaining townspeople congregate around the Helping Hand.
Flashbacks reveal the pasts of Victor and Milan Garrel, father of Serge and Toni, a pub owner who became a pillar of the local community after the original flood covered parts of the town 35 years past.
Victor and Julie also cohabitate until a returned woman named Mrs. Lewanski shows up, claiming to be Victor’s mother. Julie leaves Victor to his true family and crosses the water back into town, but flashbacks reveal that the child simply turned up on the Lewanskis’ doorstep shortly before the original flood and was adopted. Townspeople later blamed the boy for the flood. Milan sent a pair of henchmen (including a young Pierre) to scare the Lewanskis out of town, ending in the family’s murder when things went wrong.
Adèle delivers Simon‘s baby. Lucy sends Simon to steal the child, claiming the infant will be essential to the horde’s future and leaving him in the care of a young returned couple she reveals to be Simon’s parents. When Simon discovers that his parents took their own lives as part of a mass suicide organized by Milan some time after the original flood, he returns the baby to Adèle, telling her they need to escape the town.
Milan returns and terrorizes Serge into taking Lèna (staying at the family cabin after a fight with her father) out into the woods to murder, but Serge kills Milan at the last second and delivers Lèna to Camille and Claire.
Pierre still runs the Helping Hand. When Pierre’s men find stray returned (such as Toni, back from his Victor-assisted suicide) they chain them up in the community center’s basement to starve and interrogate them.
Flashbacks reveal that Lucy fell under Milan’s sway when she came to town and that the barkeep was responsible for her demise decades previous. When Milan re-returns in the present day, Lucy and her men tie Milan up, weight him and leave him to drown at the bottom of the lake. She tries to lead the horde toward an unknown destination, but they scatter when an army helicopter passes overhead.
Julie learns that Mr. Lewanski survived the thugs’ attack years before and visits him in the hospital, where he confirms that he doesn’t know where Victor came from. Julie heads to the Helping Hand looking for more answers, but when Julie refuses to reveal Victor and company’s whereabouts, Pierre chains her up in the basement.
Adèle and Simon hide out in Father Jean-François‘s rectory until Adèle decides she wants to show the authorities the baby is okay and takes him to the police station. Police question her and insist on keeping the baby there for the time being, still not sure if Adèle might pose a threat to the child.
Military divers discover Milan underwater and bring him back to the police station.
Jérôme discovers a path to the land of the returned and reunites with his family, sneaking them back across the water as the horde rallies. Police question the foursome at the station.
Victor sees alternating visions of Julie meeting a horrible death and playing happily with an unidentified young child. He hurries across the water with Madame Costa to help her. Pierre’s goons find Victor and Madame Costa at Julie’s apartment and detain them, but accidentally kill Costa. The goon responsible throws himself out a window, and passing police stop to bring Victor and the other goon, Camille’s old friend Frédéric, to the station for questioning.
At the station, the power blacks out the police station’s power and a soldier shoots a cop. Victor, Milan, Frédéric, the Séguret family and Adéle all escape in the chaos, but Alcide steals the baby. The horde congregates around Lucy once more. Simon finds Adéle and correctly guesses what’s happened to their child.
One of Pierre’s imprisoned returnees, Audrey, feasts on the guts of her own (formerly living) mother, chained up beside her. Pierre’s followers abandon him when he refuses to take responsibility. Victor frees Julie.
Pierre finds Milan at the pub and apologizes for failing to live up to their agreement: the young henchman was supposed to take his own life 35 years ago after killing Milan and the others in the mass suicide, but balked at the last second. Pierre shoots himself.
The Ségurets speed out of town til they’re cut off by Frédéric, who demands they leave Camille with him, ends up in an armed stand-off with Claire and shoots Camille. Claire shoots Frédéric. The family rushes Camille to the border of the flood zone, where the girl dies but returns once more. Camille tells her family she belongs with the returned and they tearfully say goodbye one last time.
Victor and Julie travel to the edge of the sinkhole to meet with the horde and Lucy, who says Julie must stay behind. Julie refuses, but Victor insists and tells her he’s seen visions of her finding happiness caring for a child. Julie leaves, devastated.
Adèle and Simon search for the horde. Simon suggests the cave that seems to be where the returned come from. Adèle enters the cave after Simon. When Adèle comes out the other side she and Simon are in their wedding clothes, acting like carefree lovers, children and all other troubles seemingly forgotten.
Julie returns to the sinkhole at the last second and tells Victor she can’t live without him, throwing herself into the pit. A horrified Victor is consumed by another vision of Julie caring for a child, whose face is now revealed to be his own. Victor returns to reality and hurries down to find Julie miraculously unhurt.
Lucy abandons Adèle and Simon’s infant on a family’s doorstep.
Some time later, Julie and Victor enjoy a day at the beach.