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The Returned - Victor - Review

The Returned, “Victor,” was directed by Charles Martin with the teleplay by Regina Corrado. Martin also directed last week’s episode and Corrado’s impressive credits include Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, and The Strain. The episode shows us how Victor (Dylan Kingwell) died, but we also see how the other returned are faring. Annie (Jill Morrison) is murdered and we aren’t given any real evidence of who might have done it, though the last we saw Victor last week, he was entering her apartment.

As the episode begins, we see Victor and his mother, 29 years ago, and she’s reading to him about the Finding Fairy. She tells him that he’ll know her when he sees her. It’s clear that he thought Julie (Sandrine Holt) was his Finding Fairy based on the picture she finds at the end of the episode that he drew of her. After his mother puts him to bed, he’s woken by noises, including her screaming. He quickly hides in his closet – it’s an old but still really effective horror trope. The burglar comes in and is about to leave when Victor makes a small noise. The burglar comes to the closet and tells him to be quiet, to sing a song inside his head. He’s clearly trying to save Victor’s life and hide him from his partner. But, of course, the other burglar comes in and murders Victor.

In the present, we see Victor get into bed with Julie, just before there is screaming and Annie’s body is discovered. Gruesomely, her cat would appear to be nibbling on Annie’s tongue, giving a whole new spin on cat got your tongue. After all, Julie wanted Annie to stop talking about Victor. Nikki (Agnes Bruckner) comes to investigate, and Julie want to know if it’s the same guy as attacked her. Certainly the stab wounds to the stomach look similar. Once again, we see flickering lights, and this time Victor runs to Julie. Nikki obviously wants to know who he is and then whether Julie filed a police report. She tries to impress on her that she just can’t bring a kid home – it’s kidnapping!

Julie finds Victor drawing Annie’s death, and he runs to hide in the closet. She finally realizes that she is out of her depth and tells him she can’t help him. Julie lets Nikki take Victor to the Caldwell Community Center and Peter (Jeremy Sisto). It’s clear when Victor walks in that Helen (Michelle Forbes), who is also there now, recognizes him. After the lights are turned out, Victor is clearly freaked out. Peter tells him to sing a song inside his head to make himself feel better. This is a really nice way to bookend the episode, and Victor realizes that Peter is the one who said the same thing when he and his mother were murdered.

Jack (Mark Pellegrino) spends the night at home, and because she wakes up hopeful, Claire (Tandi Wright) is suddenly on board to move and try to start over. Camille (India Ennenga) doesn’t want to move. She’s somewhat morbidly and narcissistically reading what people said about her on her Facebook page after she died. As she and Claire are talking, Lena (Sophie Lowe) falls down the stairs because she’s become very sick from the mysterious wound on her back which is getting bigger. Meanwhile, Bao (Terry Chen) has come and taken Jack away to question him about Lucy (Leah Gibson).

Peter comes to the hospital to support Claire. Lena is convinced that Camille is causing the wound. Claire tells her it isn’t possible, but Lena is angry that even when Camille is killing her, Camille is all that Claire cares about or thinks about. It’s clear that this is how Lena’s felt the entire time since Camille’s death. The Doctor tells Claire that Lena’s wound looks like she was impaled. When the Doctor asks if Lena was in an accident, Claire says she doesn’t think so but that Lena doesn’t really talk to her. The Doctor asks if there is anything that Claire hasn’t told him, anything that could help Lena. Claire pauses but says no, protecting Camille secret even when doing so might be harming Lena, proving Lena’s previous statement about who Claire favors.

Peter finds Camille on her own. Camille asks if he thinks it’s her fault. Peter asks Camille why God would bring her back just to make the people who love her suffer. Camille also wonders why Lena hates her so much. Peter suggests it’s survivor’s guilt. Lena blames herself for not being there when Camille died because she was supposed to be. Peter points out that life forces you to keep living.
Mark Pellegrino is excellent in the interrogation scene. We find out that Jack paid Lucy $20,000. He is adamant that he actually cared about her and angry that they’d suggest he’d hurt her. He also admits that he can’t speak to how she might have really felt about him – which seemed reasonable. I loved Jack telling Tommy (Kevin Alejandro) that his “small town bad cop is embarrassing.” Jack also asserts that whether she was conning him or not, she saved his life by giving him hope. Tommy says, “The grief twists people up, makes monsters of them sometimes.” Of course, he’s basing part of what he’s saying on Rowan’s difficulty in dealing with Simon’s (Mat Vairo) death, but it’s also the second mention of monsters in the episode too. The scene ends with a beautiful shot of Tommy framed in the doorway and Jack in the foreground out of focus. As Jack comes into focus, we see a tear roll down his face as he quietly mourns for Lucy.

By the time Jack gets to the hospital, Peter has told Claire why Jack’s at the police station. She’s angry at Peter for prying into her business. When Jack gets back, he asks where Camille is and Claire says she’s in the cafeteria. “Eating. Again.” Clearly, Claire has noticed Camille’s voracious appetite. Claire has discovered that the $20,000 came from Camille’s college fund. Claire thinks Lucy is simply a hooker, but Jack tells her that Lucy said she could talk to the dead and he was desperate. In end, Claire admits that she knows Jack wouldn’t have hurt Lucy, but she’s not going anywhere with him. Given that she’s pretty clearly had a relationship with Peter, this seems a bit hypocritical.

Meanwhile, Lena’s wound is getting worse. At the end of the episode we have a flashback to four years ago, just after Camille was killed. Lena could still feel her sister, so she needed to see the body. She breaks in with her friends, and as she hugs her dead sister, we see the wound that killed Claire – the same wound that Lena now has on her back! Is this the price Camille must pay to live – the death of another? Or is this simply another manifestation of the twins sharing everything?

Chloe (Dakota Guppy) thinks there’s a monster in their attic, but it’s just Simon who Rowan (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is letting hide there – but is he, in fact, a monster? Rowan tells her that “sometimes houses creak. That’s called settling.” Is that what Rowan is doing with Tommy? Is she settling? Simon also dives into the food Rowan brings him like he’s starving. We also see that Rowan has kept all of his things – like they’ve kept Camille’s Facebook page. Rowan tells him that Chloe knows who her real dad is – Tommy wanted her to.

        Vairo and Winstead are excellent in this scene as the two rediscover each other. Simon tells her that he couldn’t have moved on to someone else so quickly. She admonishes him: “You don’t know anything. You’re still 25.” There really is a big difference in their ages based on life experience now that can’t help but affect their relationship going forward. Simon tells her, “I want to be grateful you had someone, but I’m not.” He’s hurt and jealous.

Meanwhile, we see that Tommy’s attention on Jack’s interrogation is split as he keeps checking the surveillance cameras. It’s hard not to think that he’s being punished by having to watch Rowan and Simon make love. Chloe finds the surveillance camera and shows Rowan. Chloe finds the two in the attic. Rowan tells her Simon is her father, and she wants to touch the angel. There’s a beautiful shot of her with her hand on his cheek. Simon is rightly creeped out by Tommy’s surveillance and wants Rowan to just come away with him, but she insists she owes it to Tommy to at least hear his explanation. It’s a little funny that the guy back from the dead thinks Tommy could be dangerous.

When Tommy comes home, she’s got all the cameras laid out on the table. He makes no attempt to deny it at all. He tells her that he was afraid she’d hurt herself again. He tells her that he hadn’t watched her for a long time. Kevin Alejandro is excellent in this scene. Rowan asks if he simply thinks she’s an animal in a cage. Tommy then drops the bombshell that Simon committed suicide. It’s the ultimate betrayal if Simon chose death over marrying her and raising their child together. Rowan refuses to let Tommy even touch her after that revelation.

Finally, we also get a bit more insight into Helen. She’s at the church, cleaning up, and we see the water come out of the pipes black again. Water is definitely involved in what’s going on. Helen has a really interesting exchange with the Pastor (Carl Lumbly). She tells him he seems like a very nice man, but asks how he could lie to everyone at the funeral about there being an afterlife. There’s no way to know, according to the Pastor, and he points out that she can’t know either. I loved Helen’s “Wanna bet” in reply.

She wants to know if he really thinks people can rise from the dead, and he points to Lazarus. She wants to know what happened afterwards though. She argues that neither Lazarus nor his sisters could have been happy about it. She says, “The finality’s for a reason.” She gets increasingly agitated and finally ponders, “How do you organize a life with no death to define it?” The Pastor finally has enough and simply announces that he’s taking her to the Caldwell Community Center – she can raise her existential crisis with Peter!

We also learn that Helen doesn’t sleep anymore – another thing to chalk up for the returned. It is becoming clear that things are not easy for either the returned or their loved ones.  What did you think of the episode? I'd love to hear from anyone who watched the original as to whether we've started to see new elements or if it's still following the original closely. Let me know in the comments below…

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.