Synopsis of 01×03: The story of Julie’s scars is revealed. Simon and Rowan reunite, while Camille and Lena face something more menacing than sibling rivalry.
This week’s episode not only starts collecting secrets of each of the characters, both living and returned, but also puts more focus on Dr. Julie Han, who left us with a bomb last week revealing the horrific scars across her belly. Here’s how she acquired them …
Seven years ago on the night of Halloween, a younger Julie was dressed in a skintight suit, an outrageous Marie Antoinette wig and a Mexican calabras mask (worn for the Day of the Dead). She struts down the street to a generic eighty’s beat surging in the background (even though it’s the 2000s) and encounters her girlfriend in the neighborhood, also masked. After some bickering between kisses, Julie skips out on her lover’s entreaties – she’s got work in the morning. It’s unfortunate she misses the party only to be stabbed brutally in the stomach in that same Tunnel of Death.
Cut to the present day funeral of Mr. Goddard, Julie’s octogenarian patient who committed suicide in the pilot episode. Half the town is there, including Julie and one of the returned. In the eulogy, it’s revealed that 29 years ago, a dam burst and killed many people in town, including George’s wife Helen Goddard – who looks on from behind the trees and walks away when it is said that George has reunited with his wife in heaven. How wrong the churchman is.
As they’re leaving the funeral, Julie’s nosy ginger neighbor from last week tells her about the waitress who was stabbed in the tunnel; it summons up some traumatic memories for Julie.
Like a knife twisting in the wound of her memory and her physical scars, it’s revealed that Deputy Nikki Barnes was Julie’s lover from seven years ago. She comes knocking on her door, having spied Julie at George Goddard’s funeral. She brings news of her attacker from seven years ago. Julie refuses to talk, with the excuse that she’s bitter that Nikki had not visited her once in seven years. Symptomatic of this series, the door slams in the face of the one trying to reach out.
Towards the end of the episode, Julie’s ginger neighbor threatens to call the police on her for “illegally” adopting Victor just because she’s lonely and desperate; things she learned from one of those crime shows. Julie tells the crazy bitch to just die… and it seems like Victor takes her wishes quite seriously. The show closes on Victor very clearly making a crayon drawing of the neighbor getting stabbed to death, and welcoming himself into her apartment.
New Returned Fella
We are introduced to another of the returned: A rather handsome young ruffian is seen stalking through the forest to an old tin shack of a home. He looks dazed, calling for his mother. Strange, that he has to break into his own home. Strange, that once he’s inside, everything is abandoned and desolate.
Tony Darrow comes snooping around the dilapidation. Inside, there are eviscerated animal carcasses of owls and wolves hanging from the roof. Creepy.
So he starts digging a grave to bury the wolf. The young ruffian approaches Tony asking him why he’s burying his wolf. Tony, so shocked and disturbed to see him alive, he knocks him unconscious with his shovel. He seems to appear to die and come back to life, but you really can’t tell for sure. After the confrontation heats up to the point of brandishing shotguns and the sweat is sopping up on Tony’s shirt, it’s revealed that they’re brothers and their mother died two years ago. Tony let the house go, he explains, “Because you weren’t here.” “Where was I?” his brother asks. “With her.”
“Can I have a cigarette? What, afraid I’ll get cancer?”
Camille and daddy Jack bond over some cigarettes, during which she asks if he’s divorced from Claire. “After the accident, it was hard,” he says. “Being together just made it worse.” Later, Jack starts hinting to his estranged wife that he wants to repair the family and get a fresh start in a city like Paris; but Claire isn’t ready. She has Peter, after all.
Lena took Camille’s death harder than anyone else, with added abuse from her father through it all. Her only reaction at Camille’s return has been anger and guilt. And Camille is struggling to navigate her new dynamic with her older twin: once they were equal and shared everything. Now that rare, precious balance has been broken in the strangest and most transcendent of ways.
In a scene between the sisters, they almost reach a semblance of reconciliation, but it’s fraught. Lena strips down in front of an envious, but benign Camille. She breaks the sisterly sex pact, and assures Lena not to feel guilty: they’re free to do whatever they want now. Then, Camille notices a rather nasty scar on Lena’s back. Lena hits her hand off before anything can be explored or explained – which is how most of the drama moves forward in this series.
Whilst Lena’s away at school, Camille tries out her older twin’s lingerie. Her mother suggests she find some her size; Camille uses this as an opportunity to go to the mall with her mother. There, Kris from the support group is the first to discover Camille alive. Camille acts fast and tries to lie that she’s Lena’s cousin “Alice,” but Kris doesn’t believe her and she scuttles away.
Camille tries out her new alias, with all of her makeup and new clothes she scored at the mall on who else but Ben, the boy in contention between the twins. Ben is kind of dumb and pretty, and it’s interesting they’ve kept him this way for so long.
She forces Lena to play along in the bar, but when she doesn’t, Camille retaliates viciously: “You just want Ben and your friends all to yourself.” Lena crumbles and tells her to get lost, struggling with the guilt she’s felt all those years. She makes the decision to make out with Ben and have sex with him in the tavern’s bathroom. Alright! But before they can do the deed, Ben notices Lena’s mysterious wound festering pretty badly. She runs off.
Simon and Peter
Turns out that Peter the Psychologist has encountered the dead recalled to life before! Peter finds Simon, legally declared a transient, at the police station and takes him to the Caldwell Community Center for some clean clothes, food and counseling. But on the drive to the center, Peter lets on that he knows Simon came back from the dead, and he knows someone else other than Camille that came back. Simon, who doesn’t seem to know that he’s returned from the dead, storms out of the car denial.
Later, Simon returns and apologizes to Peter; it’s because he is used to people offering help expecting him to do something for them in return. Peter quotes Emerson, like a dreamboat: “It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Their interaction in this episode feels refreshingly optimistic. Simon has wanted to be a teacher since he was a kid. “What are you gonna be now?” Peter asks.
Sheriff Tommy’s Creepy Stalking Habits
Back at the police station, Sheriff Tommy is checking security camera feeds he’s wired all over the home he shares with Rowan. He watches, like a ghost from the ceiling, as Rowan dresses for work.
When he finds out that Simon’s been released as a transient to Peter, which is something that’s done all the time, he drives all the way to the community center to demand that Peter calls him if he sees Simon. Not the station, but him. Tommy. The Sheriff.
Rowan and Simon Try to Say Goodbye
Simon shows up at Rowan’s workplace, the public library, to say goodbye and tells her to forget him. Before he leaves forever, Rowan takes him to see their daughter for the first time playing soccer, and it’s yet another optimistic moment for Simon and Rowan.
Lena shows up at Rowan’s house and tells her that she met Simon and told him where to find her. Rowan goes through a rush of emotions when this confirms that Simon is no longer a delusion, but is actually real and alive.
Later that night, after Rowan puts her daughter to bed, she finds Simon waiting outside the window behind some curtains. They physically reunite with a kiss, and Tommy sees this kiss on the security camera feed.
And he’s livid, betrayed and heartbroken.
Lots of good development for the living characters this episode, though it opens up many more mysteries and leaves the others unsolved. It’s still playing out like a dramatic soap parade of two-shots each scene, but it’s interesting enough to keep me tuning in every week.