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The Returned - Helen - Review

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The Returned, “Helen,” was directed Deran Sarafian with the teleplay by Graham Roland. Sarafian’s other credits include Hemlock Grove, CSI: NY, and House MD. As this is the second last episode of the season, some storylines seem to be wrapping up while we’re moving towards what appears to be a pretty big climax. So far there’s been no word on whether this version of the show will get a second season, but the French version should have a second season, so people might be able to get more of the show that way if this version isn’t renewed.

The episode begins with Helen’s (Michelle Forbes) backstory from 29 years ago. It quickly becomes apparent that her odd behavior isn’t a product of her coming back from the dead. We see that she was in a mental institution because she’d burned down City Hall. The warning alarm goes off, and instead of going to safety on the roof with the others, Helen heads outside, and we see the wall of black water – the water she described and that we’ve seen come out of the sinks and in Camille’s (India Ennenga) coffin – come over the hill before we cut to the present.

Helen is drinking with Craig (Kevin O’Grady) who she’s picked up at the Dog Star. She sleeps with him, apparently to get access to the dynamite he has access to because of his job with the mine. After cracking him over the head with a rock, Helen steals his keys and his car and ultimately his dynamite. Clearly, she’s out to destroy the dam again.

Victor (Dylan Kingwell) also seems to be escalating. Kingwell continues to impress. Julie (Sandrine Holt) promises not to be mad but asks if Victor hurt Tony (Aaron Douglas) for her – his only answer is a creepy smile. However, when Nikki (Agnes Bruckner) finds out that Victor, under the name Eric, set fire to a house in 2002, killing the woman who had taken him in and presumably himself, she goes to Julie to try to warn her. Somehow, Victor has Julie appear to Nikki – in reality Julie’s in the shower – and “Julie” pushes Nikki down the stairs. Did Victor use an illusion of Tony’s mother in the jail or conjure her ghost? Is Julie maybe actually dead? Still lots of questions here – including whether or not Nikki is dead.

Simon (Mat Vairo) returns from the dead and goes to Peter (Jeremy Sisto), who finally decides that he can’t help Simon any more because Tommy (Kevin Alejandro) is getting suspicious. There's a really interesting exchange between Peter and Tommy in which Tommy tells Peter he's beginning to realize what he is - does he know Peter is also one of the returned? - and Peter tells Tommy that he knows Tommy's been lying to Rowan - but doesn't specify what the lie is. Simon steals Peter’s van and kidnaps Chloe (Dakota Guppy). I have to say that I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for Rowan (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) after what she’d done to Simon. Rowan crashes her car chasing them and then proceeds to run down the center of the street – much like the shots of Adam and Victor last week.

However, Simon’s dream of being with Chloe and Chloe’s fantasy of going with the angel turn out to be very different from reality. I very much liked this storyline and how it didn’t play out in the expected way and even felt like it was the right decision. Simon tells Chloe that he didn’t want her to grow up the way he did without his real parents. Chloe asks why he went away, and he tells her he made a mistake. Pretty much as soon as Chloe says she wants to go home, Simon takes her to the church. He asks the Pastor (Carl Lumbly) if he’s in Hell because he has to watch everyone move on, and the closer he gets to them the more he hurts them.

Simon calls Rowan to come for Chloe – at the place where he left her. He tells Rowan to marry Tommy and that he’s been holding on to something that’s already gone. Chloe is upset that he’s going, but he tells her that she was right about him. That he is an angel and “the thing about angels is they’re always there watching over you.” Simon leaves even though the Pastor has called Tommy, and Rowena tells Tommy just to let him go. Has Simon done what he was meant to do by coming back? He’s reassured Chloe that he’s watching over her and allowed Rowena to move on.

I’m not sure if I missed something somewhere or this was supposed to be a surprise, but I was surprised that Jack (Mark Pellegrino) apparently owns the Dog Star. He’s getting rid of Tony’s things when Lucy (Leah Gibson) shows up at the bar. Lucy tells Jack that it wasn’t Tony who attacked her. She tells him it’s time for her to move on and that she hasn’t heard any more voices since she last saw him. Jack confesses that he was happier with her in the last year than he had been for some time. They make love, and suddenly, Lucy is hearing voices again and she sees the black water come out of the sink. I’m not sure how they are going to wrap up this part of the storyline or at least fold it into the rest.

Meanwhile, the big event is the dedication ceremony for the memorial installation that we saw the model of in the first episode. It’s as ugly as Jack said it would be. The other parents come to Peter and tell him they don’t want the Winships at the ceremony. I have to say, I had to wonder why Camille’s photo would still be on the memorial givens she appears to be alive.

Camille comes to Peter and he just wants her to go. She insists he help her and she’s angry that he said they’d accept her if she gave them hope – in the way Simon gave hope to Chloe and Rowan – though neither accepted him either. Peter tells her he failed her and was wrong and wonders if Jack were right about going away to start a new life. Camille insists that they can’t run and hide.

Peter gives a speech to dedicate the memorial, but he berates the other families for not accepting Claire. Kris (Chelah Horsdal) accuses Camille of not being Camille – body snatcher perhaps. Peter defends her vehemently. Rowan, however has warned Lena (Sophie Lowe) that Camille may be dangerous – though we’ve seen no evidence of that. When Kris asks how Peter could know that Camille was harmless, he confesses that he knows because he’s just like her – he died 29 years ago – presumably when the dam burst.

It would seem that each person has come back due to unfinished business and needing to make amends. So far, only Victor and Helen seem menacing, but I have to wonder if Adam (Rhys Ward) is going to go back to the way he was. We know that Peter keeps telling people they can turn their life around, as he did with his.

What did you think of the episode? Is Simon gone for good, and if he is, where has he gone? Do you think Helen is going to manage to destroy the dam and the town? Are Lucy’s new abilities going to be helpful? Let me know your thoughts 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.

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