‘The Night Logan Woke Up’ (Original title: La nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est reveille) on Netflix has everything you would expect from Xavier Dolan’s oeuvre. The miniseries has exquisite costume design, gorgeous-looking actors playing intricately written characters, and an emotionally exhausting drama. The miniseries puts all these elements in a family drama set-up where its narrative plays out like a mystery thriller. It essentially shows a family reunion in the wake of the death of a family member.
A dark secret from over thirty years before gets exposed, which makes everyone reconcile. The cast of ‘The Night Logan Woke Up’ (Miniseries) includes writer-director Dolan himself with his frequent collaborator Anne Dorval – besides a wonderful ensemble of Julie Le Breton, Patrick Hivon, Éric Bruneau, Magalie Lépine Blondeau, Julianne Côté, Guylaine Tremblay, Jacques Lavallée, and Sylvie Drapeau. Spoilers ahead!
The Night Logan Woke Up (Miniseries) Recap:
What is Xavier Dolan’s ‘The Night Logan Woke Up’ about?
Xavier Dolan’s ‘The Night Logan Woke Up’ (La nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est reveille) is an adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard’s theatrical play by the same name. It follows the Larouches, a family in Val-des-Chutes, Quebec, coping with the death of family matriarch Madeleine (Anne Dorval). The narrative swings between different timelines – the present day when the family gathers together to bid adieu to Madeline – and the past from over 30 years ago. During their time together, a dark secret comes to the surface that changes the way they see their lives.
The Night Logan Woke Up Episode 1 “La nuit où Madeleine est morte” Recap:
The series begins with a highly disturbing scene. In the fall of 2019, an old woman looked out of her house window to see a pride flag burning and a naked body lying on the side. In the Larouche residence, Dennis (Éric Bruneau) comes to meet his mother, Madeline. He looks around her house and sees old photos of his siblings – sister Mireille / Mimi (Julie LeBreton) and brother Julien (Patrick Hivon). He also sees a framed news clipping about Mireille’s big career achievement.
Later that day, a man shows up at their doorstep to share an old box he found. He believes it belongs to one of the Larouches. Soon after, Denis informs Julien’s wife – Chantal (Magalie Lépine Blondeau), about the deteriorating health. Because of this, their youngest brother – Elliot (Xavier Dolan), gets an early release from rehab. Besides Elliot, Julien struggled with substance abuse in the past. But he eventually decides to resume his education. Elliot believes that it keeps Julien’s mind occupied. The reality seems a bit different since Julien continues to be anxious about something.
After the class, Julien’s lecturer shares how much he appreciates Julien’s recent story – which follows the death of a hometown hero who sacrifices himself to defend his half-wolf, half-man buddy. He wonders where the idea came from. Julien only mentions that he also played baseball in school. Later that day, Julien has sex with a female sex worker. He speaks with her about his family issues and offers a cryptic reason for not having sex with his wife. Meanwhile, Denis offers Elliot a ride back home and asks about the box he had received before. But Elliot does not know anything about it either.
Back at their house, Madeline receives a call, which deeply disturbs her. Her caretaker looks through the archive of files on Madeline from 1991. The clippings are about Madeline getting elected and removed from the local school board besides someone named Goodyear. Seeing those clippings disturbs Madeline even more. Once Elliot returns home, she keeps mentioning that she is ashamed of his brother. Later on, Chantal and Denis also come there to witness their mother in her last moments. Eventually, when Julien sits next to her, she cannot control her emotions. Moments later, she takes her last breath.
Madeline’s death puts everyone in shock. Everyone tries to process their grief in different ways. Julien returns home with the box from Dennis and opens it. It brings back a rush of memories from his childhood. Soon after, Julien learns of an issue with his mother’s body. She wants his thanatologist sister Mireille to embalm her body. In a flashback scene, we see Madeline from 28 years before, with Monique Gudreault / Goodyear (Guylaine Tremblay) talking about the board elections and their children. At the time, Mireille and Julien were close friends with Monique’s son – Logan Goodyear / Laurier Gaudreault (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie). After a certain event that shook both their families, Mireille left the town and did not stay in touch with them for over 25 years.
The Night Logan Woke Up Episode 2 “La nuit où Mireille était reparue” Recap:
In the events from the early 1990s, we see Madeleine getting angry at Mireille (Jasmine Lemee) for breaking into someone else’s place with her friends. Madeleine is concerned with how it affects their reputation. On the other hand, Julien (Elijah Patrice-Baudelot) teases Mireille about having a crush on Logan/Laurier (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie). Sometime later, we see Laroches in shock about something that Logan did to their family. Julien said to have saved his sister from Logan. After that, her parents started treating her differently as a victim of a terrible crime.
During a Christmas dinner, they broached a topic that angered her. Since they did not value her opinion, she threw milk at her mother’s face. It angered her father, Pierre (Jacques Lavallee), who slapped her in the face. He immediately regretted it, but in the shock of what he did, he suffered an attack that took his life. In the present, we see Mireille return to her hometown, which infuriates Julien. Chantal does not understand the root of his extreme anger. He meets his mother’s caretaker to know if any particular thing or event triggered her death.
Meanwhile, Mireille tries to work with Stefanie (Julianne Côté) on her mother’s body. Elliot struggles with relapses and ends up causing self-harm. Eventually, he ends up meeting Mireille, who stitches his wounds. Later, Chantal invites Mireille home for a get-together. She hopes to close the distance between Mireille and Julien. But Mireille decides not to let the old wounds get exposed in this process. Later that night, she meets a man at a local bar. She tells her sexual desire to him, which he cannot satisfy. It briefly reveals a history of her emotional pain.
Eventually, she decides to attend the gathering at Chantal and Julien’s house. It frustrates Julien, who childishly takes out his frustration on Elliot. Besides them, we learn about Denis. He separated from his wife and started sharing custody of their children with her. His present house is an absolute mess, which reflects his chaotic, emotional state. After meeting the family and friends at the gathering, he learns that his mother received a call the day she died. Right after that call, she asked for Mr Dolbec to meet and have a conversation with him. Denis calls this man to learn that Madeleine said that she does not want any of her children to attend the reading of her will.
The Night Logan Woke Up Episode 3 “La nuit où Chantal avait compris” Recap:
In the winter of 1992, the Larouche family grieved over the death of their family patriarch. Madeleine stayed upset due to Mireille and Julien’s behavior. By the next autumn, Mireille kept trying to make peace with her new life. But the past kept haunting her she was teased for being indecent. As a result of a sexual encounter, she was thrown out of her school. Madeline guilt-tripped her into thinking about the repercussions of her actions. Her constant vexations made it difficult for Mireille in the same house thereon.
In the present, Julien sees a helmeted man on a motorcycle, keeping a watch on him. So, he stays nervous due to the fear that he may encounter this person. Back home, he learns that his daughter – Marie-Soleil (Rosalie Loiselle), said something homophobic to her classmate. Although it upsets him, he does not react at the time. On the other hand, Elliot decides to finally go on a date with Stefanie. Julien dismisses this idea in a usual ‘older brother’ fashion. However, it brings out his deep-rooted issues through subtext. We figure he is in terrible pain over something that happened between him, Logan & Mireille. It almost seems like he cannot fathom losing control over Elliot’s life’s decisions.
The Masked Man
Denis books tickets for his ex-wife and their daughters to attend his mother’s funeral. Meanwhile, Mireille goes out on a date with a guy who presents himself as a gentleman, only to show his true colors when they get together in bed. This man takes advantage of her and pretends that everything is fine. Julien takes Marie-Soleil to apologize to the classmate whom she insulted before. Once back home, he walks out to notice the helmeted biker outside his house. He goes out to confront the man and sees his face. Within moments, he falls to the ground, unconscious.
The next morning, he says that the man is Pete Marand, who may want more money from their family. Later, Mireille joins them for drinks and bonds well with Chantal. When Mireille is alone with Julien, he warns her not to expose his truth to his wife. She gets sick just thinking of how he still wants to dictate her life. Around that time, Chantal notices the helmeted man inside the bar. She follows him to see his face up close. The man was not Pete Marand but Logan. He reveals that Madeleine left all her inheritance to his name. While that might be a cause for concern, Chantal gets particularly upset because Julien lied to her.
The Night Logan Woke Up Episode 4 “La nuit où Julien avait pris peur” Recap:
When Chantal came face-to-face with Logan, he told her to speak with Julien, explaining why Madeline left her inheritance to him. But Julien refuses to share any information, which angers her even more. Once he leaves home, she opens the box that Denis gave him. She notices a ring, besides a torn-out paper, that only reads ‘anyway.’ Meanwhile, Elliot tries to get back to his regular life, where his interest in Stefanie seems like a ray of hope. But he still keeps having occasional relapses. He was not old enough to hear or learn first-hand their family’s history with the Goodyears. But still, he faced the result of the rooted dysfunctionality in their family.
We get a look at the past, back when Madeleine had decided to step down from the mayoral race. Pierre took an immature step that kept Mireille furious at him for days. Eventually, she agreed to get out of her room and go to a Halloween party, dressed up in a costume. But people kept staring at her as if she was the one who did something wrong. Julien was also at the same party but maintained a distance from her. Later that night, he and a bunch of other teens beat up Logan to the point he turned black and blue.
The Chaotic Funeral
At the funeral home, we see Julien staying emotionally distant from Mireille. He even throws something at her in his anger when she expresses agency over her life. Since he sings praises of their mother during his eulogy, she cannot control her frustration. She walks out of the room, and he follows her. Mireille mentions that she tried to hold on to their secret for years to the point it became unbearable. That is why she told Madeline about their past before her death. Julien worries about the implications the truth will have on his perfectly constructed life.
Julien walks out of the funeral and drives away from the car without even taking Chantal and their kids. He shows up at a bar, where a man approaches him to offer some drugs. Eventually, this man approaches to kiss him. But he gets upset and walks away. He rushes back to his car despite the heavy rain. On the other hand, Elliot suffers through his relapses and ends up getting hospitalized. All his siblings, except Julien, arrive at the hospital to provide Elliot with comfort and emotional support.
The Night Logan Woke Up Episode 5 “La nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est reveille” Recap:
The local police look around in the woods for someone but can’t find the person. Right after, we see Julien arrive at a nearby store with blood all over his face. He asks the manager if he can use the phone. Meanwhile, Elliot regains consciousness in the hospital, which relieves everyone. But Julien is still not there. We get a look back at the events from when Elliot graduated and Julien & Chantal were about to have a baby. Both Julien and Mireille lived deeply troubling lives as a result of holding onto the painful secret for years.
Once, while doing drugs, Julien ended up blurting out how that activity is not the same without ‘him.’ Elliot did not have any idea who Julien was referring to. Back then, Julien also ended up getting injured by Logan. When he was in the hospital, Mireille briefly paid a visit. It was brief because Julien couldn’t bear the thought of Mireille being in the town, fearing she would expose him. Although it was no fault of hers, she ended up protecting her brother through all those years and also in the years afterward.
The Night Logan Woke Up (Miniseries) Ending Explained:
What were Julien and Mireille hiding about Logan for several years?
Julien’s professor drives him back to his place. He tries to understand how Julien ended up with blood all over his face. Julien only says that it is complicated. Eventually, Elliot wakes up from his sleep, and Julien arrives there at the same time. Mireille decides to get her bag and leave immediately so as to not cause any more issues with her presence. But this time, Julien asks her to stay. He finally comes clean about what happened in the past. Back when they were kids, he and Logan loved each other but explored their romance by only hiding away from the world.
One night, when the two were on a bed together, Mireille ended up noticing them from behind a door. Once the door opened, the couple realized that she knew about them. With the lights turned on right after, Logan tried to silence her. Logan’s father arrived in the room. To him, it looked like Logan was forcing himself on Mireille. Julien looked at it as a convenient lie and threw Logan under the bus. That is when they decided to stick to a lie that Logan raped her. It affected the lives Goodyears had taken years building in the town.
What happens to Julien & Mireille at the end of the series?
Before leaving the town, Logan left a ring wrapped inside a piece of paper that said – ‘I Love You, Anyway.’ That is what we see Julien cherish through his recently discovered box. In the present, this revelation affects Julien’s marriage with Chantal. While Elliot decides to return to rehab, Mireille heads back to her usual life with a smile on her face. Meanwhile, Julien shows up outside Logan’s house, which comes across as his messy, awkward moment of self-acceptance.