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The Returned (US) – S1E8 – Claire

Previously on The Returned, ‘Rowan’

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Okay, now shit is really getting interesting.

I confess that the last two episodes left me feeling like, “If I hadn’t agreed to cover this show for Project Fandom, I wouldn’t watch anymore.” And that’s just a shitty way to feel, because there’s got to be a reason why the show got so much attention when it first aired in France. While I know they’re taking things in some different directions in the American version, I have to believe that it’s not totally different to the point of being ruined, right? Right?

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I really am glad that Lena has finally come to her senses concerning her sister, and that she’s not acting like a raging bitch-monster anymore. Also, her wound is almost completely healed, and she is guessing the same thing I was wondering: the wound was a result of the internalized guilt she felt over what happened to her sister.

Lena also does the first smart thing she’s done practically all season, and she doesn’t keep Adam’s secret. Except that she thinks (for some reason, despite Adam saying ‘Please don’t tell anyone about me’) that it has been Tony committing these murders the whole time. Peter manages to keep Jack from killing Tony himself, but it doesn’t really matter in the end, because Tony winds up dead anyway.

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Speaking of which, holy shit. HOLY SHIT. That was so terrifying. That was one of the few moments in the show where I felt truly, genuinely freaked out. Victor is convinced that Tony is the “Bad Guy” who hurt Julie, and he conjures a hallucination of Tony’s mother, who convinces him to kill himself. Here’s my question: does Victor really think that it was Tony, or does he know that Tony helped to cover it up and is still holding him responsible? I wouldn’t put anything past Victor; he always seems to know more than he should. And if he does know that it was really Adam, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for punishment for him. Because apparently re-killing him isn’t an option.

Yeah, that’s right, the undead can’t die. I’m so glad that I included the little caveat in the last review, even though Simon doesn’t just leap back to his feet immediately after being shot. This is interesting, because not only does he come back, he clearly remembers who killed him. He remembers his whole second death, but not the first one. Why is that? And what the fuck is he going to do to Rowan and Tommy?

Rowan backs up Tommy’s killshot, saying that Simon was impersonating her ex and held a knife to her throat. I can’t say that I had a problem with her lying, because honestly I see why Tommy did what he did and I think that Simon should have stopped walking towards her the second guns were drawn. I mean, Tommy is trained and everything, but it could easily have been Rowan who was shot by accident, so Simon is risking her life just as much as his. (More, evidently, since he can’t die.) Rowan is completely recommited to Tommy, and they reminisce about her going into labor on their first date and then have sex. It was nice to see them being a more-or-less normal couple for a second, even though it will probably only last one episode.

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While we’re on the subject of normal couples, I love the fact that the show fooled me into thinking that Peter and Claire only started hooking up after Camille’s death, so that I was on the exact same page as Jack this whole time. I thought last episode was the first time they’d slept together! When the scene five years ago started, I obviously saw chemistry between her and Peter, but I didn’t think she was having an affair; she just didn’t seem like the type, plus we had heard that Jack’s drinking problem hadn’t started until after the accident, so what reason would she have? But Peter tells us: boredom. Ouch, Jack. I guess watching Twilight with your daughters isn’t sexy.

It’s obviously not cool for Peter to tell Jack the truth, but damn did I understand why he did. I mean, Jack was accusing him of preying on vulnerable women, and that’s just a dirty thing to throw at someone, PLUS he blames him for that couple killing themselves. I can’t blame Peter for wanting to defend himself, especially since he was probably pissed at Claire for taking Jack’s side when Peter got in his face. It sucks to be reminded that you’re the second in line.

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We learn a hell of a thing about Victor this episode. He was already skulking around town, years ago, long before Julie found him, and a woman took him in. She was a teacher, and apparently she came to regret the decision, because the next time we see her she’s dropping Victor off in the woods and telling him that there’s something “not right” about all of this. I don’t know what the fuck she expected him to do, just keep wandering around alone in the woods? Whatever she expected, I’m sure that it wasn’t for him to send a bus of thirty people flying off a cliff with her inside.

Nikki guesses at exactly what happened to that teacher, but Julie insists that there is a reason that she and Victor were brought together. Despite the doubts she has, she goes to him and reassures him that she’s not going anywhere, which was a huge relief because I don’t want to see her get some kind of creepy hallucination-suicide death. However, I have to imagine that she’s aware there’s something up with this kid after what happened to her neighbor, and then after the creepy smile he gives her when Tony blows his own brains out. Jesus Christ. (But maybe if she really believes that Tony is the murderer, she’s kind of okay with it?)

So right now, what I’m assuming is that Victor is some kind of weird vengeance demon. Everyone that he’s killed so far (that we know of) has been a threat to his own safety, at least in his eyes. The teacher refused to take care of him, the neighbor was going to report Julie, Tony had tried to murder Julie and she was still having panic attacks over it…it all sort of makes sense. But why is he back? And how does he have the power to create these illusions?

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It’s really weird that Camille sort of makes a couple commit suicide this episode too, considering she’s undead…granted, it’s not a physical hallucination that she caused, but she does create an illusion for Oliver’s parents that makes them take that leap, literally. It was a really unexpected moment, and super creepy with the little shrine that they’re created on their coffee table under their dangling feet. I wonder if Claire sees how close she could have come to doing the same thing when she sees that; she does tell Peter “I would have done anything to see my daughter’s face again.”

Later, Lena tells Camille that the couple never recovered from their son’s death, and there were a lot of red flags before she ever told them her little fairy tale, but Camille is worried that she’s turning into something bad, and describes a “hunger” that she feels inside herself all the time. Is that what Victor feels? A hunger for his mother, so he’s now trying to replace her?

I have to say this and just get it out: I don’t like the actress playing Camille. Or perhaps Camille is supposed to seem vaguely bratty and full of shit, in which case I don’t like Camille. But I get the feeling we’re supposed to sympathize with her at least a little bit, and instead all I see is that Mean Girl that the other girl’s mother was describing. Camille doesn’t seem like a particularly good or genuine person, and I kind of wish that the show wasn’t as focused on her and her family as it is.

What I want to know is, where the fuck is Lucy?

 

Score | 8.5/10Funniest Moment: When Julie asks Nikki why she keeps pushing the issue about Victor: “Because he freaks me out!”

Saddest Moment: When Tony’s mom says, “You can’t keep this secret. You’re too stupid.” The way he gasps at that just broke my heart.

Scariest Moment: Tony bashing against the table. I have no doubt he would have continued until he split his head open. Uuuuuuuuuugh.

Stupidest Moment: Adam at the station telling the receptionist, “I have to talk to Tommy about some stuff I know, about crimes.” Alright buddy, way to sound legit.

About Natasha Kingston (12 Articles)
Natasha is the author of the Bearing Gifts urban paranormal adventure series, and Bite-Sized Erotica, a collection of steamy short stories guaranteed to raise your heart rate. In addition to writing, Natasha is the co-creator of the podcast "UNspoiled!", which reviews books chapter by chapter, and television shows episode by episode. The first series covered was A Song Of Ice And Fire, by George RR Martin, and the current program being covered is Breaking Bad. Soon she will be covering The Wire and True Detective. Natasha also has her own solo podcast series called "Natasha's Spoiler Hour", where she reviews Scandal and The Walking Dead, complete with a lot of swearing and ranting. Natasha loves bright colors, cooking, holiday decorating, lipstick, sex, red wine, and talking. She is a devout follower of Beyonce, and would one day like to attend San Diego Comic Con as a VIP so that she can meet Peter Dinklage and have a drink with Norman Reedus.

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