Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'The Returned' recap: 'Tony and Adam'

“Dead people gotta stick together, right?”

Posted on


The Returned (A+E)

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Warning: This is not an episode to watch while you’re eating. Or thinking about eating. Basically, just avoid the idea of eating—some parts get nasty.

We’ve already had a taste of how gross The Returned can get in previous episodes, and the show reminds us that it’s not afraid to get graphic once again with some flashback scenes of Adam, the stomach-eater (gag).

Seven years ago, Tony and Adam’s mom wakes up and realizes that Adam is gone. Adam is a grown man, sure, but he’s also a grown man whose interests include killing women and noshing on their insides—so it’s not too surprising when his mom reacts to him missing by freaking out. “Your brother is sick, and no matter how hard we try to help, he’ll never get better,” she tells Tony, clearly at her wit’s end. So Tony tries to save the day and goes out looking for him.

He finds him—and this is the gross part—bent over Julie’s body, devouring her. It’s one thing to see a cat eating a person, as we did last week with the neighbor, but to see a human dining on another human? Chills.

Tony hits him over the head and carries him home, where he starts to bury his brother. But turns out Adam isn’t dead: He wakes up, says he’ll stop, and calls their mom for help. Tony, also at his wit’s end, hits him over the head with a shovel though. With that, Adam is dead for good (or rather, for seven years).

In the present day though, Adam doesn’t realize Tony’s the one who killed him—and he doesn’t realize why his brother killed him, either.


Last time we saw the brothers, they were taking turns hitting each other with shovels. Brotherhood, right? Now, though, they’re a bit more civilized, eating dinner together at a table. Adam’s being very attentive, making sure the meat he cooked isn’t too rare for Tony—but Tony’s dumbfounded. How the hell is his brother back, and what does he do about it now?

Tony uses their meal as an opportunity to ask what kind of sickness he had before he died. Tony doesn’t give him a response though: “You know what you were sick with,” he says coldly. With that, Adam’s gone.

Later, Tony comes home to find Adam covered in blood up to his elbows. He initially assumes the worst, but luckily, no women were harmed: Adam was just gutting a deer. But Tony doesn’t know that, and Adam figures out that his own brother was his killer. He reacts by first kicking him in the stomach (no shovel was involved this time though) and then putting a knife to his throat.

The whole time, Tony’s begging for Adam’s forgiveness and blaming it all on their mom. “Mom said you were sick,” he wails. “She said there was no way to help you.” Adam doesn’t buy it, but instead of slitting his brother’s throat, he runs off. Probably to eat someone’s stomach. Welcome back, Adam!


Rowan just found out that her fiancé’s been spying on her and that her one-time fiancé killed himself right before their wedding, so she’s drowning her sorrows in wine—lots of it. Tommy, though, thinks this is a good time to offer that he wants to move past everything—the lies, the spying, the fact that he saw Rowan having sex with Simon. Spoiler: It’s not.

He still tries to convince Rowan that Simon is dangerous though—not with any evidence, just by saying he’s dangerous. Not very convincing, Tommy. Especially because Simon spends most of the episode being a (mostly) good guy, bonding with Camille over being dead and going on about how happy he was the day of their wedding—but how, at the same time, he felt like he didn’t deserve all the joy he was experiencing.

I say mostly a good guy though because he does enlist Camille to deliver a message to Rowan, which is a bit strange. The message itself makes it all the stranger: Simon wants Rowan and Chloe to meet him at the train station at 6 o’clock so they can get out of there. Do your dirty work yourself, man.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s sorting through Simon’s things and finds a mixtape he made her titled For Rowan, Forever (a nod to Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago?). She puts it on, then throws his belongings in the trash. Is she done with him?

This question becomes even more pressing once Tommy gets home. Instead of downing a bottle of wine and scowling, she greets him with a smile and asks which flowers he prefers for their wedding. Tommy’s shocked by her apparent change of heart, but he goes along with it anyway. She chose him.

NEXT: Rowan might be up to something.