‘The Returned’ 1.08 Recap: “You Can’t Keep a Secret Like This”

‘The Returned’ is a very frustrating show. Just when the story seems like it’s making big forward progress, it pulls back and stalls for a bit longer. This week’s episode has scenes where several characters who each individually know about the returning dead interact with each other yet continue to keep the secret hidden, even amongst themselves. I’m ready for this phase of the series to move on already.

Claire

This week actually brings us two flashbacks. The first takes us back five years, where we discover that Claire started her affair with Peter long before the bus accident. They have a day out at the lake and make love on the beach, then Claire returns home to her family (both twins still alive and the same age as each other) and pretends that everything is hunky-dory.

In the present day, Lena returns home after her ordeal with Tony and Adam at the cabin. She hugs and makes peace with her sister. The next morning, she tells Camille, her parents and Peter about what happened to her, but neglects to mention Adam. She blames everything on Tony, suggesting that he’s the serial killer. Hotheaded Jack hops in his car and races to the cabin. Peter follows behind in his own car while Claire calls the police.

When they hear cars coming, Tony insists that Adam run. He’ll take the fall for his brother’s crimes. Jack charges out of his car and, without hesitation, proceeds to beat the crap out of Tony. Peter arrives right behind, but stands back to watch for a few seconds before finally picking up a big stick and knocking Jack to the ground. He stops him just short of killing Tony.

At home, Lena’s wound is healing. She believes that it was brought on by her feelings of guilt for not being on the bus the day of the accident.

Camille tells her mother that she’d like to bring a care package to a couple of the parents who learned her secret the other night. Claire goes with her, but when they arrive at the house, they find the couple hanging from the rafters in a double suicide. Camille feels responsible. If she hadn’t lied to them about seeing their dead son in heaven, they wouldn’t have tried to join him. Later, Lena consoles her sister that the family was a bunch of weirdos anyway.

Claire didn’t call the police about the suicides because she didn’t want to bring attention to Camille. Peter offers to make a show of going to the house and finding the bodies, so that he can be the one to report about it to the police. Claire and Jack are both mad at him for convincing them to lie to the other parents in the first place. As Jack yells at him, Peter shows him up by telling him how early his affair with Claire actually started.

Julie

Nikki pulls the 1986 police file about the double-murder of Henry (or Victor, whatever you want to call him) and his mother. She brings this to Julie to show her, but Julie doesn’t want to know about whatever awful things happened to the boy in the past. Nikki warns her that, “You’re not the first.”

Our second flashback of the episode goes back four years, to the boy’s first reappearance (that we know of). Going by “Zack,” he’s latched onto a schoolteacher as a new surrogate mommy, but she eventually can’t deal with how creepy he is and tries to leave him on the side of the road, imploring him to go back where he came from. The next we see the teacher, she’s on the doomed school bus that Henry/Victor/Zack causes to crash to punish her for abandoning him.

In the present again, Nikki is obviously freaked out by Victor, who’s pretending to be asleep on the couch. After Nikki leaves, Julie tells him that she knows he’s listening, and promises not to go anywhere.

Adam

After Tony is arrested, Tommy and Nikki question him while Peter looks on. As mentioned, all of these people know about the revenants, but nobody wants to say anything. Tony confesses to all of Adam’s murders. Nikki calls Julie again and asks her to come to the police station. Julie has to bring Victor with her. She pretends that he’s her nephew and leaves him for a few minutes with the friendly receptionist at the front desk.

Tommy questions Julie about her stabbing attack. She claims that she never saw the stabber, and insists that (unlike the other victims) none of her jewelry was stolen. Viewers know that this is because Tony interrupted his brother before he could finish, but Tommy is concerned about the stories not lining up.

Back at the cabin, Adam loses his shit when he realizes that Tony is gone. He goes into town to the police station. This doesn’t seem like a good idea for him. As he makes a scene at the front desk, Victor slips away and heads for the observation room where he can see Tony sitting chained to an interrogation desk.

Similar to what he’d done to Peter previously, Victor causes Tony to hallucinate a vision of his shrewish mother berating him about being too dumb to keep such an important secret. Overcome with some weird mania, Tony repeatedly bashes his head against the table, causing a bloody mess. The commotion draws the attention of Tommy and another officer, who forgets to disarm before entering the room. Tony grabs his gun and waves it around. Still hearing his mother cajoling him to “Make it right,” Tony shoots himself in the head.

In the lobby, Adam hears the shot and realizes what’s happened. As everyone else is distracted, he bolts from the station, distraught that his brother is dead. (Considering that he came back from the dead himself, is this really such a terrible thing?)

Julie finds Victor staring through the one-way mirror at the scene around Tony’s body, smiling. She drags him away, aware that he’s responsible.

Rowan

After the police haul Simon’s body out of Rowan’s house, she and Tommy tell a story about how he was a violent stalker pretending to be her dead fianc√©. Rowan claims that he broke into the house to threaten her with a knife, until Tommy fortunately came home just in time to save her. I would think that fingerprint or DNA evidence might poke some holes in that story, but I suppose Tommy intends to cover the whole thing up.

Afterwards, Rowan is in a disturbingly good mood. Murdering her ex-boyfriend has made her horny. That’s creepy. This girl is messed up.

When her daughter Chloe returns, Rowan tells her that the angel had to go back to heaven. Chloe doesn’t believe her and demands to see her real daddy again.

That night, Simon awakens in the police morgue. I guess killing a guy twice isn’t enough.

At some point, the truth about the revenant will need to come out in order for this show to continue. I hope the writers aren’t saving that for the season finale, but I suspect that they are. I just hope that whatever happens next is handled well.

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