You know when your useless bully of a brother keeps harassing you and then tries to make you eat the dinner you made him off the ground, so you shoot him a in the back? A bunch of times? And then, as you're just getting to burying his body in the basement, he shows back up, demanding that you make him dinner again? Man, does that suck.
There were two developments last night that were super-awesome and a bunch that are clearly important, but not nearly as entertaining.
First, Marty is adjusting very poorly to being a returned. And, under some advice from Pastor Tom, he decides that he needs to see the dead body that's being kept in the morgue of that secret base he died in. To do that, he calls in a fake Returned, takes the guy sent to meet hostage, and then gets to see his boss, a woman I only just realized is also Juliette from Center Stage. (And Anij from Star Trek Insurrection. But, fuck that movie and that character. Juliette, on the other hand, was awesome.)
Marty demands to see his body, and is bitched out by Juliette for having brought them nothing on the Returned in the five days he's been back. Juliette is new, and therefore has to learn that Marty is the most useless person in all of Arcadia. Whatever, he has to trade information for his body. Which he does, and it just freaks him out. Should have just left it alone, Marty.
Meanwhile, Dr. Maggie has realized that, to be a Returned, you need a body. No body, no Returning. Also, Jacob's going to school! Because grandma says so. Man, she and Lucille do not get along. And Grandma also flat out says to Dr. Maggie not to trust the Returned. At the very least, don't trust her! I'm 100% positive she's the one who dumped the bones from the factory into the River. In case you were wondering whether these were the bodies from last week or not, Sheriff Fred actually does something and matches a scrap with the bones to the fabric in the factory.
It looks like Arcadia's got a cyclical "dead rising" problem. The bones from the river/factory are from the 1930s and also, according to Dr. Maggie, from some vintage Returned. There are six skeletons, but it's two people who died three times. Shit got real in that factory 80 years ago, it looks like. And Grandma either knew about it or participated. Sheriff Fred's figured it out, but Henry's looking to re-open the factory o' death. I bet nothing horrible comes of that.
The information about the bodies is what Marty traded for his body, so the bones are carted away from Dr. Maggie as she yells at the men in black doing it.
Here are the two best things about last night:
Pastor Tom, Leader of an Unkillable Congregation
All I want from this plot is for Pastor Tom, who resigned from the Arcadia Church last week to lead a congregation accepting of the Returned, to become a cult leader. I do not care about his love triangle with his wife and the pregnant Returned fiancee. I do not care that he said not to call him Pastor anymore. HE WILL ALWAYS BE PASTOR TOM TO ME.
I care that we started this episode with Pastor Tom re-Baptizing some Returned in the Arcadia River. Even without the trailer showing the outcome, I knew this was a disaster waiting to happen. Arcadia's river as the source of problems has been pretty consistent. Just stay away. But I still laughed that the very first baptism results in a skull being found. Of course it was a skull and not any of the other bones. The River is nothing if not dramatic. Do you think the River and the Dome from Under the Dome have a bet about who can mess with their residents more?
I'm not even kind of joking when I say I want this to turn into a weird resurrection cult. Pastor Tom, desperate to find purpose, preaching to the Returned and those who believe they, too, will be Returned. And the group of people desperate for acceptance and guidance, getting it from Pastor Tom. I could totally see this happening, and I want it so bad.
Deputy Carl and Mikey
I'm not sure at all what these scenes had to do with the larger plot, but I found them supremely distressing. Full credit to both of the actors playing the Enders boys, they were great. I'm sure Glenn Fleshler is a lovely person in real life, but he's dead-on the worst fucking brother ever.
Deputy Carl's just been chugging along with his life, doing his best. He comes home to change, and is literally confronted with his pants down by Mikey, his brother. Mikey, like the other Returned (most notably Jacob and Caleb) has been eating everything in sight. Of course, he doesn't have a job nor is he in anyway helpful. Instead, Carl's paying for all this food on his meager deputy's salary. He can't even try to say anything about it, before the much larger Mikey looms above his brother, talking about how Carl used to be bullied as a kid and how they were right that his chin looked like an ass. Mikey's a real charmer. The little moment, after Mikey leaves and Carl pulls his pants up, small and lonely in the laundry room was really depressing.
And yet, maybe this is a hell of Carl's own making. Later, after Carl makes dinner, Mikey references "Took care of our little problem" and "what happened to dear old Mom and Pop, god rest their souls." Which has got to be what Mikey's holding over Carl's head that keeps him doing everything Mikey asks. Then comes the aforementioned making Carl eat off the floor and the shooting in the back. Leaving his brother's body on the floor, a contented Carl sits down at the table to eat his own dinner. With Mikey's cartoons still playing in the background.
But the respite is short-lived. As Carl buries Mikey in the basement, Mikey Returns. He complains about waking up by the side of the road and the damage done to his chair. From the bullets Carl put into him. Which he does not remember. There's every chance that they've done this dance before — that Mikey bullies Carl, using whatever happened to their parents as a shield, until Carl snaps, kills him, gets maybe an hour's freedom, and then Mikey returns. That's a living hell that seems tailored specifically for Carl. God, can Marty turn Mikey over to Juliette? I'm so worn down by the thought of there being no way for Carl to escape Mikey. This shit is straight out of Sartre.
Guys, if there's no resolution to Mikey and Carl that sets Carl free I will be devastated. Whatever happened to their parents — unless they were saints that Carl straight-up murdered for no reason (and given Mikey's behavior, I doubt it) — Carl does not deserve to be treated this way. I did not expect this added story, and it was the best thing we've seen this season. But make it stop.