“The Returned” uh, returned tonight with its second episode, “Simon,” and it was a slight improvement over the pilot episode, if only because we got to know the characters a little bit better. We don’t get many more answers this week, but a few revelations are made as more and more people start to find out about the dead coming back to life. Lets get to the recap:
The episode begins with a flashback to six years ago, when Simon and Rowan were preparing to get married. We see a younger Lena playing the drums and Simon walks over to take a picture with Lena. We then cut to the wedding day, where Rowan tells Simon she is pregnant. He gives a look that suggests he isn’t thrilled by the news. At the church, Rowan is waiting for him to show up, but Tommy comes in to tell her that Simon has died. Cut to the present day and Rowan is sitting in the same church with Tommy preparing for their own wedding. Tommy gets called away to investigate Lucy’s stabbing. Meanwhile, Chloe notices a disturbing black sludge coming out of the sink drain. While talking to her priest, Rowan decides she has to accept her visions of Simon in order to move on and be happy with Tommy.
Simon goes to the bar and asks Tony the bartender where he can find Rowan and he tells her she works at the library. He leaves without paying. Tommy comes in and starts interrogating Lena’s friends and the Tony about Lucy. Lena remembers taking the picture with Simon six years before and finds it on the bulletin board. Tommy and Nikki take Tony to the station to interrogate him about Lucy. They believe he attacked her, just like “that woman seven years ago.” Apparently, one woman survived and many others died. They show him pictures of the stab/bite wounds of the previous victims and he looks visibly shocked. After asking Nikki to leave Tommy asks Tony if there is something he isn’t telling him. Tony hesitates.
Simon goes to the library and finds Rowan. She begins talking with him, thinking she is hallucinating. She tells him that she will always love him even though she is with Tommy. She touches him and is interrupted by children entering the library, then he leaves and is picked up by the police (for running out on his bar tab from earlier). In the interrogation room, Nikki tells him that he is supposed to have died six years ago. Tommy asks him about Rowan, and Simon gets defensive. Tommy orders Simon to be locked up.
In the middle of the night, Tommy is in bed with Rowan and walks to the basement and begins rummaging through boxes. He comes across a picture of Rowan and Simon, finally making the connection and realizing that Simon was telling the truth about his identity.
Camille finally realizes that she died four years ago.Lena starts a fight with her parents and runs out of the house. As Jack follows her she brings up the fact that he had hit her before. Camille goes into Lena’s room and begins looking through her things, noticing a picture of Lena and Ben. While Claire and Peter are talking downstairs, Camille comes down and asks Peter why she is here but none of the other kids from the bus are. Camille watches from Lena’s window as Peter kisses Claire when he leaves. She sneaks out of Lena’s window and Claire freaks out. Jack comes over, drunk, and she gets upset and leaves to go search for Camille.
Camille goes to the bar where Lena is at and speaks with Ben’s friend Hunter. Claire finds Camille crying about Hunter not recognizing her. She is upset that everyone forgot about her and moved on. After coming home, Lena asks Camille what she did to her room. Camille lets on that she knows about her and Ben’s relationship.
Julie is at the police station trying to see if there were any missing person’s posters of Victor. While trying to tell a policeman that she saw him at the bus stop (rather than just telling him that she took him home) she slips up and mentions the color of his eyes, which she couldn’t have possibly seen if she had just seen him while driving by. The cop, understandably, finds this odd so he takes her to the back for questioning. While following him, she makes awkward eye contact with Nikki (Agnes Bruckner) and they have a moment. Julie goes home and asks Victor why no one is looking for him. She interrogates him and he just hugs her.
Later, her across-the-hall neighbor Annie (feelings girl from Mean Girls) starts asking Julie about Victor. Lets her know that Mr. Goddard (so that’s his name) committed suicide by jumping off the dam (this would be Helen’s husband). Victor gives her an evil look. As Julie is putting Victor to bed, she tells him that she is afraid of the dark, just like him, so she leaves the night light on for him. She goes to the bathroom and begins crying. Rather than going to sleep, Victor begins drawing the town with a black hole in the center. As Julie undresses for her bath, the camera lingers on her stomach, where there are scars that match the stab/bite wounds Tommy showed Tony earlier in the episode. Looks like Julie is the survivor from the serial killings from years before!
Overall, I think that this episode was better than the pilot. If only because we weren’t bombarded with 10-12 characters to connect with immediately. Now that “The Returned” is settling into a groove, we get to spend time with the characters we’ve already been acquainted with. Sadly, there’s no Helen this week, but she’ll become more important in later episodes.
After only getting to spend two brief scenes with Mary Elizabeth Winstead last week, we get most of the episode spent with her and Simon. I’ve always thought Winstead was an underrated actress, and her acting in this episode only proves me right. She kills it in all of her scenes and it’s almost heartbreaking to watch her scene with Simon. I’m eagerly awaiting the scene where she realizes that Simon is actually back.
I’m still not completely involved with Jeremy Sisto’s Peter. As of now his character is kind of useless/annoying, and I’m hoping the show finds a better use for him soon. His scenes with Claire were probably the weakest part of the episode for me. I like Sisto and don’t want to see him wasted on the show. Camille and Lena’s dynamic is the most compelling to me. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more scene with them together this week but I’m guessing they’ll clash more next week since Lena knows that Camille knows about her and Ben.
I’m also excited for the inevitable episode about Tony, which will give us his backstory with the serial killer (I just looked it up, it’s episode 5). We weren’t really given a lot of information with that today, but that’s just how this show rolls.
While not much headway was made on the Victor front, we did get a major revelation about Julie: she was attacked by the person who was committing the murders years ago. Clearly, that murderer was dead and is one of the returned. I assume we will meet him/her soon. I thought that reveal of her stomach was a great way to end the episode though. Oh, and that look between her and Nikki has to mean something. This is going to be a show were the smallest detail could be important in the future so keep an eye out for things like that. Nevertheless, I’m sure we’ll find out more about that next week.
- In my review of last week’s episode, I referred to “Lucy” (played by Leah Gibson) as “Kris” (played by Chelah Horsdal). This was my mistake. Sorry about that!
- I don’t know about you guys, but I really miss the opening credits of the French version.
- I know I’ve already said it, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead did some fantastic work on this episode.
- Curious to know if anyone else called Julie being the lone survivor victim after Tommy mentioned that there was,in fact, a survivor. I don’t think I called it when watching “Les Revenants” so I’m intrigued by your reaction.
- The series is definitely moving at a much faster pace than “Les Revenants” did. Granted, that’s probably due to the shorter episodes, but since the remake has two more episodes than the French series, I’m curious to see what is added come the season’s end.
- That’s it for Simon’s episode! Check back here next week for episode 3: “Julie.” I’m guessing we’ll see more of what happened the night Julie was attacked by this mysterious killer (and probably learn more about their connection with Tony).