The Returned Series 1 (Channel 4) Review “Victor”

Considering what we’ve seen from young Victor over the course of The Returned so far, it’s a bit of a surprise to start this week’s episode with not just a flashback to normal life 35-years previously, but a flashback to a time when ‘Victor’ was frightened, rather than merely frightening. He has been the most sinister of the series’ horror elements so far but, over the course of one hour, he is a sympathetic figure deserving of our affections.

For in that brief look into Victor’s past, we see that his home was invaded by masked men who killed his mother, his brother and then, seemingly, Victor too. It’s a horrible image that goes some way towards explaining why the child living with Julie might be mute and eerily expressionless – dying that way and returning three and a half decades later would make anyone a bit weird. But we also know that Victor is probably dangerous, and possibly more in touch with his new abilities and desires than the other returnees, so viewing him as a helpless child might be going too far the other way.

Meanwhile, over at Lena and Camille’s house, things are getting seriously fraught. Though the family were quick to ingratiate Camille back into their lives, even considering moving away as a restored family unit, the wound on Lena’s back quickly destroys this dream. It’s gotten worse since we last saw her, and the sizeable and gruesome gash across her back lands her in hospital for baffled doctors to treat. They surmise that the reopening of an old wound, the discovery of which throws Jerome to the wolves when a previous violent incident with his daughter is revealed.

But Lena’s convinced, understandably, that it has something to do with Camille’s return and, in her drugged up state, she escapes from the hospital and tries to out Camille to a pub full of people. They’re reluctant to believe her, of course, but the rejection from her friends has led Lena into considerable danger. Collapsing in the underpass, she’s discovered by Serge. Will he kill her? I doubt it, since there’s far too much mystery surrounding the twins and their connection – what’s clear is that the characters are all becoming intertwined, and we have four more weeks for the rest to meet.

Adele and Simon’s relationship is developing to the point where she is keeping her zombie ex-fiancé in the attic of her home. The creep factor of this is over triumphed by Thomas’ own safety measures, as the security cameras he set up in the home years before come in quite handy. Already aware that Simon is alive, he watches him and Adele rekindle their romance before informing her of the real cause of death. Simon did not die in an accident, but in a suicide, and this has made Adele think twice about abandoning her life with Chloe and Thomas for a dream lost over ten years ago.

There are still so many questions to answer, but at least ‘Victor’ went some way to clarifying some things. With Victor, Simon and Mrs. Costa also in the same place, things must be gearing up for quite the ensemble finale. People are turning against the returnees, but are they a force for good or a force for evil?

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.