'The Returned' recap: 'Victor'
Victor's stay with Julie ends.
Victor has a voice! And he’s been dead for 29 years. But more importantly: He has a voice!
Twenty-nine years ago, Victor was just a little boy reading bedtime stories with his mom. Cut to a bit later, and he wakes up to screaming and gunshots. And you thought waking up to your iPhone alarm was painful.
Victor hides in his closet, but it’s too late: One of the invaders finds him and speaks to him through the closet. He’s on Victor’s side though, and orders him to sing a song inside his head to distract himself from what’s going on. But then the nice invader’s accomplice comes in, sees that there’s someone in the closet, and shoots. Victor’s dead.
In the present day though, he’s very alive—and just witnessed (or perhaps played a part in) something traumatizing.
Last week ended with Victor visiting Nosy Neighbor while Julie was at the store grabbing something for dinner. There was something eerie about the situation—why would lil’ Vic go hang out with this neighbor who’s so obviously trying to take him away from Julie, his one ally?
As it turns out, the two’s visit probably didn’t last long: Nosy Neighbor died. Julie walks into her apartment after hearing screams only to find the neighbor dead on the floor, her stomach cut into, and (warning: disgusting image incoming) cats eating her insides. The tunnel attacker is back, Julie assumes.
Nikki, the cop who Julie hooked up with years ago, enters Julie’s apartment to talk about it—then, surprise, Victor pops out, scared silly after the lights go off in the bathroom. Julie handles the situation calmly, simply telling Nikki that Victor was lost and she’s been watching over him. Of all the people to tell, Nikki is not the person to go to about this if Julie wants to keep Victor. She finds this out later when Nikki insists on taking Victor to the Caldwell Community Center.
Before Victor leaves though, things get pretty disturbing. Julie comes across some drawings of cats eating the dead neighbor’s guts that Victor drew, and then finds him hiding in the closet. Although it seems like the tunnel attacker killed her due to the way she died, I’m also a bit suspicious of Victor. He was the one who we last saw her with, after all.
Julie doesn’t have much time to try to coax answers out of Victor though, as Nikki soon picks him up to take to CCC—where Helen, George’s widow, is also hanging out. Victor continues not speaking, but Peter tries to comfort him by telling him what he used to do when he was afraid: sing a song inside his head. This is just what the nice invader told Victor to do 29 years ago. Peter is the nice invader. And he probably has no idea that he’s talking to the kid he once tried to save.
Episode highlight: Camille, looking at her Facebook page, says, “People write the nicest stuff about me.” She says it with such delighted surprise, and it’s an interesting comment on social media and how it lives on past us. She might not be able to attend her own funeral, but Camille looking at the comments people left on her Facebook page once they thought she was dead is about the closet she can get to it.
Her Facebook time gets cut short though when Lena falls down the stairs, passed out from the deepening gash on her back. It’s bleeding through her tank top, and it’s bad—so bad that they have to take her to the hospital, where Lena gets mad at Camille. The gash appeared as soon as Camille returned, so Lena blames it on her undead sister. But there’s more to it than just that baseless teenage angst.
In a flashback, Lena visits the morgue right after Camille’s death to see her sister one last time. She lifts her sister up to hug her cold body, which reveals a deep gash—just like Lena’s—on Camille’s back. A metal part of the bus went through her back, Lena’s friend explains. Lena and Camille shared an orgasm, and now they’re sharing a crash injury. Now that‘s a bond.
Although their daughter is sick with an unexplainable ailment, Claire and Jack get sidetracked after Jack gets called into the police station. Tommy thinks Jack might have killed Lucy since they had a relationship, and since Jack deposited $20,000 into Lucy’s bank account (as we know, this was payment for her sex-slash-supernatural services). Jack says he didn’t hurt her and returns to the hospital, where he has to face Claire—who Peter informed already about Jack being a suspect.
Jack tells Claire about how he had sex with Lucy because she claimed she could talk to Camille. She’s shocked, and he’s apologetic but not totally: “I was a mess,” he shrugs. The two seemed like they might be reuniting earlier in the episode, but that’s over now. Claire’s done.
NEXT: Rowan finds out the truth about some things.
“There’s a monster in the attic,” Chloe tells her mom and dad. Actually, it’s just Simon.
Rowan’s stowing Simon in their attic, and she seems to be realizing that he’s real and not just a figment of her imagination. They makeout a bit, they chat, Rowan shows him their daughter’s bedroom. Simon asks about Tommy and finds out that Rowan’s been with him basically ever since she found out Simon was dead. That makes Simon a little mad, but then they have sex and all is resolved… until Rowan discovers the cameras Tony’s installed in each of the house’s rooms. Uh oh.
She’s pissed, and Simon uses this as an opportunity to suggest they just leave together. Rowan needs to know why Tommy’s been spying on her though, so she stays to confront him. Tommy’s explanation is that he was worried about Rowan after she “hurt herself” and wanted to make sure she was okay. That’s nice that he cares and all, but… still creepy.
Their discussion isn’t all that exciting until Tommy confesses that Simon’s death wasn’t an accident—he stepped in front of an 18-wheeler, killing himself. He never told Rowan the truth, again, because he was worried about her and wanted to protect her. This is an even bigger bomb to drop on Rowan: Her almost-husband ditched her right after he found out they were going to have a baby and right before they were supposed to get married. Runaway grooms are a real thing, I guess.
Grieving a dead loved one is hard enough, but finding out he killed himself adds a whole new layer of sadness to it. He (if what Tommy says is correct) intentionally left her. He ran.
Of course, suicide is more complicated than that, and this just shows Simon was in a difficult state that even Rowan, his true love, couldn’t improve. But Rowan is crushed nonetheless. Her soon-to-be-husband has been spying on her and her one-time soon-to-be-husband killed himself before they had a chance to wed. There’s nowhere for Rowan to go.
In other news, the black liquid is back: Helen was using a sink when the dark water bubbled up and filled the sink. Although its appearance is confined to one short scene, it’s clear it will eventually play a big part in the show as a whole—and probably has something to do with the dam burst that killed Helen.
Helen herself is also a mystery. She has a conversation with Pastor Wright about faith, which turns into a conversation about Lazarus. Helen’s thoughts on Lazarus are basically a promo for the show within the show: “We all know he rose from the dead, right? But what happened after that? They never say, and I would like to know. I mean, that’s the interesting story, isn’t it?” For Helen, at least, what happens is she returns to earth and is upset about it. “How do you organize life with no death to define it?” she cries. Pastor Wright doesn’t respond well: He just tries to sell her on taking a bed at the Caldwell Community Center.
Peter, though, is a much better listener. He’s been understanding and patient throughout the show so far, but knowing that he was involved in Victor’s death makes me suspicious of him and anything he says. Maybe he has something to do with the Returned returning—he did, after all, tell Simon in a previous episode that he’s known someone who returned before this wave. Or maybe he’s simply a sketchy guy. Either way, something’s up with Peter—and Helen, and the water, and, well, everyone.
The Returned (A+E)