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'The Returned' recap: 'Julie'

The tunnel attacker might be back.

Posted on

James Dittiger/A&E

The Returned (A+E)

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Seven years ago, Julie was walking home from a Halloween party when someone attacked her in the tunnel—the same place where Lucy was murdered in the present day, and presumably by the same person who murdered Lucy in the present day. 

We watch as he stabs her and whispers “It’s over,” and then the show cuts to the present—and that’s the extent of what we find out about Julie’s past in an episode titled after her.

The fact that the episode’s title is “Julie” is strange given that the previous two episode titles—”Camille” and “Simon”—were named after people who returned. But Julie hasn’t done anything to indicate that she’s a Returned: In the beginning of series, it was established that she was known around town by cashiers, patients, neighbors. None of the people she encountered in that first episode batted an eyelash when they saw her—which they certainly would have done had she been previously presumed dead.

Yet there’s still something suspicious about Julie. The only person who appears to know about the attack is a police officer who Julie made out with immediately before the attack. This becomes clear when, in the present day, the nosy neighbor approaches Julie to ask if she heard about Lucy’s murder. “She was stabbed in the tunnel,” the neighbor explains. “The attacker ate her stomach. Just like that woman seven years ago.” As we know, Julie was that woman. 

It’s entirely likely that Julie’s identity was just concealed in the attack’s aftermath, or that the neighbor didn’t know Julie at that time and therefore doesn’t realize who she’s living next to now. But there’s also a part of me that thinks maybe Julie didn’t survive that attack, that maybe she made a quick return and changed her identity. That, of course, is far-fetched and doesn’t offer an explanation for why Julie’s kissing buddy knows, but it’s something.

Now onto the present day:


Julie freaks out a bit once she finds out about Lucy because it brings back memories of her own attack and signals that the attacker might be on the loose, looking for her. She goes home, where the police officer/makeout pal shows up to tell Julie about Lucy. Julie is not having it though: “You haven’t come to see me in seven years,” Julie tells her through the door, only opened slightly.

Later, the nosy neighbor asks Julie why a cop was around and proposes that the reason she’s being so secretive about Victor is because she adopted him illegally. Nosy Neighbor is the all-around worst—especially when she insists to Julie that she’s calling the cops (this is right after Julie calls her a crazy bitch though, so they’re kind of even at this point).

Julie apologizes to Victor for having to hear the spat, and soon after leaves him alone at the apartment so she can grab some food from the store for dinner. For a moment, it seems like he’s going to stay put and continue drawing. But then he leaves the apartment and shows up at Nosy Neighbor’s apartment, which he enters once she invites him in. Either Victor’s about to bond with her, or Nosy Neighbor’s going to suffer some consequences of her constant nagging. Seeing as Victor doesn’t seem to be one to gab, it’s most likely the latter.


The best part of Camille’s plotline this entire episode is when she smokes a cigarette with her dad and then gets all pouty while smoking the cigarette when he explains that he and her mom have been taking a break. Yes, that must be devastating news to a teenage girl who’s already dealing with some pretty heavy stuff—you know, being dead—but she just looks so damned ridiculous smoking that cigarette and putting on an exaggerated sulky expression.

The sulking doesn’t last for too long though: Camille ends up apologizing to Lena for destroying her room, and ends up noticing a strange mark on her sister’s back. It appears to be a deep wound, but Lena hasn’t noticed it before—and suddenly is confused about where it came from.

This scar grows throughout the episode, but—in typical The Returned fashion—isn’t explained, at all. I’m wondering if it has something to do with that supernatural connection between Lena and Camille the show hinted at back in the pilot when they both climaxed at the same time. 

Camille doesn’t appear to have the same mark on her back though, and is busy shopping with her mom—who runs into a friend, someone whose daughter also died in the bus crash. This friend is shocked when Camille comes out of the dressing room, but Camille makes a quick save: “Hi, I’m Alice. Lena’s cousin,” she says while Claire looks on, also in shock. 

Now she has her alter ego, and now she’s free to frolick around town—which she does, first making a stop at the bar and introducing herself to Ben. Lena’s also at the bar though and is pissed to see her sister there, so makes a scene and sends Camille running. Best Big Sister Award of the Year goes to… anyone but Lena.

While their kids are off being teenage brats, Jack and Claire are trying to figure out what to do next. Jack wants to move; Claire thinks Camille is getting her bearings and doesn’t want to yank her away. Because living under a fake identity and constantly fighting with your moody sister really sounds like what happens when you get your bearings. Parents, right?

NEXT: Simon tries to say goodbye to Rowan.