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The Returned recap: Claire

Caldwell’s full of more death than usual.

Posted on

Joseph Lederer/A&E

The Returned (A+E)

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Five years ago, Claire and Peter were kicking off their relationship—or, to be more, accurate, their affair: At that time, Claire was still married to Jack and Camille was still alive.

Their affair seems like pure bliss. They frolic in the water wearing only their underwear, then roll around on some blankets next to an elaborate picnic. Claire talks about how her dreams of being a photographer went away once she had two daughters; Peter tells her it’s not too late to change directions.

Claire goes home later that night to Jack, Lena, and Camille watching Twilight on the couch. She snuggles into Jack’s nook, and they look happy. But Jack has no idea what she was just doing—and he won’t know until five years later.


The last time we saw Lena, she was running away from Tony and Adam and hitching a ride with a truck driver. Luckily, that truck driver didn’t do anything creepy to her, and she got home safely—also luckily, she and Camille are done being mad at each other.

“Where were you?” Camille immediately asks, and Lena replies with a simple apology. Lena realized she’s happy to have Camille back, and she’s over being bitter about it—now she’s ready to appreciate that her once-dead sister is back in her arms. They spend most of the episode hanging out together and doing some sisterly bonding, which is sweet but also… boring.

In less boring news, Lena doesn’t remember how she got to Tony and Adam’s cabin. She blames it on the pain meds she was on, but my initial reaction was that she died on the way to Tony and Adam’s cabin, and she returned once she got there. It would make sense: We did see Adam hovering over her in the woods after she tripped, and the next time we saw her, she was in his bed. It’s possible Adam did what he usually does—stabbed her, ate her guts, etc.—only for her to miraculously come back. It’s also possible this is just a red herring and Lena really was too hopped up on pain meds to know what was going on.

Either way, Lena does remember finding Lucy’s necklace and Tony subsequently locking her up in the shed. Jack reacts as most overprotective dads would: by going to Tony and beating the shit out of him. Peter watches as this happens for a few moments, then hits Jack over the head with a branch to make it stop. “I’m not going to let you kill him,” Peter, ever the peacemaker, says.

Meanwhile, Camille’s picking fruit for Oliver’s parents. These were two of the people Camille talked to in the previous episode—and by talk to, I mean she lied to them about seeing their son on the other side. She asks Claire to take her over to their house so she can give them the fruit, but no one answers the door. Claire notices their cars are there, so they go inside anyway—and discover Paul and Rachel hanging, dead.

Camille’s ridden with guilt, because she’s the one who told them their son was waiting for them. Jack and Claire get pissed at Peter, because he’s the one who encouraged Camille to help the parents through their grief—even if it meant lying to them—and now Camille’s the one who has to suffer for it.

They have a point: Yes, it’s unproductive to try to explain someone’s suicide, and in any other situation, it’d be disrespectful to simplify their lives and say, “Yes, this one thing caused them to kill themselves.” But we’re talking about a TV show here, and it’s pretty clear they only did it because someone from that other realm said their son was waiting for them. Camille was trying to be helpful, and now she has to live with the feeling that her words caused two people to die.

Jack, already in a bad mood, confronts Peter about it. But Peter’s done being a diplomat: He tells Jack he and Claire were sleeping together a year before Camille died. “Claire didn’t fall into my bed out of grief,” he says. “She ran into it out of boredom.” Ouch.


Last week, Tommy shot Simon dead because he didn’t listen when Tommy said to back away from Rowan. The police come over to get the details, and Rowan lies by claiming Simon had a knife to her throat. She doesn’t look entirely comfortable with this line, and looks to Tommy for approval—something that will probably come back to bite her.

The next day, Tommy comes home to check on her, and the scene is eerily similar to the time he found her near-dead on the bed: She doesn’t respond to his yells, then he finds her lying on her back on the bed. Thankfully, the scene is just a tease though and she’s fine. Actually, better than fine—she’s listening to Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” on her iPod, and they begin reminiscing about their first date.

NEXT: Simon makes a comeback.