My TV viewing schedule is getting awfully crowded lately, and I’ve found myself struggling to find time to watch, much less write about, all the shows that interest me. I didn’t want ‘The Returned’ to fall off the radar, however, because I’m still really into the series. Last-minute though it may be, let’s catch up with last week’s episode before the new one airs tonight.
We start, as usual, with a flashback. This one only goes back a year. We learn how Lucy, the waitress who faked being psychic and was eventually stabbed in the Tunnel o’ Death, got her job at the bar, met Jack and heard his sob story, and began her con of pretending to hear messages from his dead daughter… but only during sex.
This leads us to the present day, where Lucy flatlines while in the hospital and is declared dead, but recovers one minute later. She seems normal afterwards – so normal, in fact, that her stab wounds have miraculously healed. The doctor is freaked out by this. “I’ve never seen something like this. No one has,” he declares. And you know this guy must have seen some crazy stuff during his time with the DHARMA Initiative.
Obviously, this isn’t a simple near-death experience. Lucy actually did die, however briefly, and is now one of the returned. As a consequence, she starts hearing voices in her head for real. This scares her quite a bit. When Jack visits to tell her that he doesn’t hate her and can forgive her for deceiving him, Lucy channels what seems to be his dead father.
Peter and Henry
Peter spent most of the previous episode searching for young Henry (nee Victor) after the boy revealed who he is. After finding him, Peter takes him on a drive out of town. This seems ominous, like he’s planning to kill the kid again to keep his secret.
However, what Peter actually does is drive Henry to a cemetery to show him a grave belonging to Richard Finch, his former partner in crime. Peter confesses his involvement in the home invasion where Finch murdered Henry and his mother. He tells Henry that his killer eventually died a terrible, painful death of cancer.
Peter takes out a gun, but hands it to the boy. He begs for forgiveness but says that he will understand if Henry can’t do that and needs to take his life. Instead, something very weird and creepy happens. A man walks out of the woods. It’s Richard Finch. He takes the gun from Henry, puts it to Peter’s head and pulls the trigger, but it misfires. Suddenly, Finch vanishes and we realize that the whole thing has been a hallucination. Peter is actually holding the gun to his own head. He pulls it down and opens the chamber to find it fully loaded. Henry gives him an evil look to let Peter know that he caused this.
Claire and Jack
With Lena missing, her parents become very worried, as if they just remembered that they have another daughter. Camille dismissively assures them that Lena is still alive. She says that she can feel her sister, and that they’ve always had a psychic connection. She even goes so far as to inform them of what Lena was doing when she (Camille) died. Claire suddenly becomes scared of Camille and wonders if Lena was right about the girl.
Searching for her, Claire visits one of Lena’s friends. Although she doesn’t find her, she finally learns something that she’d been oblivious to for too long – that her daughter is a slut. She seems shocked by this. Her ex-husband Jack is not. He’d seen Lena at the bar plenty of times and knew her reputation. Claire gets very angry that he 1) allowed that to happen, and 2) never told her about it.
What this ultimately does is push Claire back to Peter. Just as he’s in the midst of his own crisis, she stops by, kisses him, and tells him that she wants to restart their relationship.
Meanwhile, Camille callously invites Lena’s boyfriend Ben over in order to seduce him. He asks who she really is, and she admits it. Ben freaks out and leaves. What he’ll do with this information isn’t clear yet, but at least we have one more person who knows about the dead returning.
Lena and Adam
The last we saw of Lena, she’d collapsed in the woods and psycho-killer Adam hovered over her. That looked like bad news, but it turns out that Adam is actually very nice to her. He brings her back to his cabin, tells her what happened, and applies a homebrewed herbal salve to the wound on her back that’s supposed to help it heal. I guess he sees no point in killing an animal that’s already wounded. He needs to hunt the strong ones.
When Lena starts feeling better, she finally calls her mother to inform her that she’s still alive, but is very bitchy about it.
Because he found her wearing only a ratty hospital gown, Adam lets Lena wear some of his mother’s old clothes. He appears to feel a momentary urge to kill her, but suppresses it.
A truck drives up to the cabin. Adam tells Lena to stay inside while he goes out to intercept. It’s his brother Tony, come to once again beg forgiveness. Tony spots a figure in the window and asks Adam about it. Adam lies and says that it’s their mother – that she’s returned from the dead like he has but is very upset at Tony (for killing Adam) and doesn’t ever want to talk to him. A despondent Tony gets back in his truck and drives away.
Once he’s gone, Adam goes back inside. Lena tells him that she recognized Tony. (She ought to considering how much time she spends at the bar.) Further, she knows that Tony’s only brother died a few years earlier. She quickly puts two and two together and realizes that he’s a returner, like Camille and Simon. Lena gets very turned on by this and kisses Adam, which quickly leads to sex. I’m thinking that’s got to be difficult with the giant open wound on her back.
Helen and Julie
Helen gets picked up by the police after pulling a dine-and-dash at a local restaurant. In custody, she’s doesn’t try to hide her identity when questioned. She tells Nikki that she’s the wife of George Goddard. Of course, her story seems incredulous. George Goddard’s wife died a couple decades ago.
Nikki brings in Julie, who was George’s doctor, to see what she makes of this. Also, I think Nikki already suspects that Victor/Henry came back from the dead, that Julie knows something about it, and that this woman must be connected. She lets Julie question Helen, and even leaves her alone in the room with her. Somehow, I doubt that’s normal police procedure.
Julie recognizes Helen from photos in George’s house and knows that her story is true. She mentions Victor, and Helen tells her the boy’s real name and story. Julie asks, “How do you know if you’re dead?” and Helen replies, “Only one way to find out.”
Concerned that she may have in fact died seven years ago when she was attacked in the tunnel, and feeling that her life (or undeath, whatever it is) is out of control, Julie walks out onto the ledge of her building’s roof later that night. She contemplates leaping, to either end her misery or find out what happens next. Before she can decide, Henry returns. Julie asks him if she’s dead like him. He tells her that she’s not, that she’s the good fairy from the stories his mother used to tell him, and that she’s supposed to protect him.
As much as I still find parts of this series frustrating, this episode had few issues that bothered me. I’m invested in the story and the mystery at this point, and am fascinated to see where the show goes with them.