Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Returned recap: Esther

Both the living and the returned face old demons.

Posted on


The Returned

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Pierre Perrier, Yara Pilartz
Sundance Channel

Forgiveness is tough, especially when it comes to forgiving a guy who attacked you in a tunnel and ate your insides. This is something Serge discovers when Toni makes him face and apologize to Esther, one of his old victims whom Victor tried to warn. (Obviously, his attempt was futile.)

Toni thinks Serge got a second chance and should use it to redeem himself, which is actually a pretty nice way to look at this whole returning thing: “Would you have done anything differently?” is a common question for those closer to death, and here, the chosen get to die and, according to Toni’s perspective, start again. The flaw in that romantic idea though is that returning doesn’t erase what they did in their first life. Serge can apologize, but that’s not going to void all the trauma he caused multiple women. In fact, the reunion might cause even more trauma. 

While Toni forces Serge and Esther to reconcile, Jérôme arrives on the other side right as Léna is attempting to leave to go find him and bring him back. It is shockingly good timing, a rarity in a show built on things going wrong. Léna brings Jérôme — and constant third wheel Berg — back to their current home, where Camille is sitting with a scarily dazed Claire, who pulled some scissors on Virgil earlier in the episode when she caught him on top of her daughter. Jérôme’s presence wakes her up, and they embrace in a beautifully subtle moment that sees Jérôme hugging his wife and daughter for the first time in half a year.

Back to Claire: She pulled the scissors on Virgil and then hallucinated that he grabbed a knife and lunged toward her. In reality, he scrambled toward the window to leave, and she went to stab herself in the stomach with the scissors — just like last season when Toni saw Victor shooting him but it was really Toni holding the gun the entire time. Camille provides more context for this bizareness later on in the episode when she explains that, despite what Claire said, the others never attacked her. She believed they did, but it was really her hitting herself before Camille had to intervene and stop her before she killed herself. Claire is, quite simply, not OK.

And how would she be? Let’s recap her past year or so: Her dead daughter came back from the dead with no explanation. Cool, but unsettling. Then her dead daughter was taken away by a creepy horde of people who came in the night, and she made the difficult choice to go with her so she wouldn’t be all alone. Not cool, at all. So now, she’s been stuck in a terribly strange and seemingly unsafe place, separated from her family, and fighting with the rebellious teenage daughter she came to protect. To add to this all, there’s probably some supernatural thing happening to her that’s causing her to unknowingly self-harm.

NEXT: Lucy makes a visit