Borrowing its fair share of narrative tricks to mixed effect, “The Return” piles on more questions while thinly fleshing out its characters and their relationships.
This recap of The Stranded Season 1, Episode 2, “The Return”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Dreams and music form two interweaving themes in The Stranded Episode 2. Kraam (Papangkorn Lerkchaleampote) awakens from an ominous dream as “The Return” opens, and occasional flashbacks reveal Anan’s (Chutawut Phatrakampol) orchestral past. It’s a played-out, Lost-like story device, but at least it gives some needed depth and background to a character. Development elsewhere is still a bit thin on the ground.
The closing events of the previous episode are still being puzzled over, causing some bickering among the group. But relationships are beginning to emerge: Ice (Kittisak Patomburana) and Ying (Ticha Wongthipkanont), and later May (Chayanit Chansangavej) and Kraam after the latter experiences a climbing accident – it seems getting higher than ground level in this show is not a good idea.
Arisa (Chaleeda Gilbert), after a fair amount of tinkering, manages to get the audio device working, which prompts ominous singing, and a quest leading back to the foreboding, poetic promise of a great flood. The mystery of this device and its intentional manipulation, and the extricating of the boat from its craggy lodging, account for most of the happenings in “The Return”. Music makes a return when Anan reduces squabbling by playing a shore-side piano, and dreams when Nahm (Chanya McClory) tells Kraam not to resist his imaginings, and to see where they take him.
The final twist of The Stranded Episode 2 is the sudden emergence of a woman, who staggers from the jungle in the distance. Who might she be? Add it to the rapidly growing list of questions that will carry the curious through to the next episode, even if the slim characterization and familiar narrative devices don’t allow the imagination to wander too far.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.