Take a back seat, mystery of why people are returning, we have got to sit through a dinner that is the exact opposite of getting "closure." Plus, Grandma? Knows a lot and reveals it in the scariest possible way.
Things to know: Rachael's pregnancy is proceeding at twice the normal rate. And Pastor Tom's wife is being accepting and also talking about all her miscarriages. We're so headed for a baby theft.
Man, I forgot how great spending time with the Langstons used to be. Back when Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith regularly used to devastate me with a single look. They used to be the heart and soul of this show. Even Omar Epps' plotlines used to be tolerable because he had decent chemistry with the kid.
On the other hand, last week gave us Resurrection's take on No Exit, which was great if also the least happy I've been watching something good on this show. There was another set of powerhouse performances last night, but this time it was two women who ran away with the show. Fisher and Michelle Fairley.
Grandma Langston decides that there should be a family dinner, and she invites Sheriff Fred (hey, remember how he's a miserable drunk who also nearly got Jacob taken away?) over to Lucille's house. Fairley is walking a line between supportive/horrible that is unnerving in every way. The episode starts with Lucille near tears because it's the anniversary of Jacob's death. Grandma's understanding, even when Lucille says they've never gotten along.
So we get some maneuvering. Grandma invites Maggie and Sheriff Fred over, even though father and daughter aren't exactly in a great place. And even though Lucille's still pissed at Sheriff Fred. Grandma, on the other side of the equation, hates Barbara, Maggie's mom. She seems to think that Sheriff Fred used to be perfectly awesome until Barbara came along. But Jacob wants to apologize for not saving her, so Henry invites her to the dinner as well. Oh, and Fred still thinks that his mother and the factory have something to do with the bodies from last week. So everyone's primed for an explosive night of pork chops and hatred.
Lucille deals with the tension the way I would: she drains a bottle of wine and goes to get more. Lucille drinks just, like, all the wine to cope with the woman who got her son killed, the man who nearly took him away, and her manipulative mother-in-law all at her table, none of them by her invitation.
Oddly, Maggie, Barbara, and Fred are the only ones carrying on an even semi-normal conversation. Maggie finally gets to hear her parents talk like parents, about how she laughed all the time as a baby. The reminiscing about the old days finally causes Lucille to snap that she should be talking with her grown son now, but can't because Barbara got him killed. And that if she had stopped having an affair when Henry told her to, none of this wouldn't happened. And Barbara may have apologized to Jacob, but not to her.
Seriously, Fisher is great throughout this whole episode. She's hiding her mourning, trying to connect to her mother-in-law, trying to make it through a dinner, before finally snapping once her son isn't in the room.
But shit hasn't even begun to get real, because we've still got Grandma's bedtime story. We actually started the episode with a flashback to a mob hunting down and killing a 1930s Returned. That flashback has a young girl in pigtails who is clearly Grandma. That is confirmed when Grandma tells her story about demons who couldn't be killed by hanging, fire, anything. The demons just kept coming, until a group of heroes figured out how to kill them for good. Including a little girl, who was eventually the only one left who remembered how to kill them. And she would make sure to do so, even when she was a demon herself.
CONGRATS GRANDMA! YOU WIN THE CREEPY AWARD! Also, I think we know where Sheriff Fred gets his sterling attitude from.
And, we kind of know what she's talking about. A bunch of the Returned are showing up to the hospital sick. None of the main Returned, of course, but everyone else. Grandma knows something, and she's fanatically devoted to both her family and her mission.
You know who I missed not at all this week? Marty and his controllers. This show is so much better when it focuses on the characters and how the Returned upend their family dynamics. It was true last year and it's still true. It's even more true now that they've added more family members. Michelle Fairley's character works well within the mystery and she aptly fills the "conspiracy" role. Marty and his plot is so superfluous. Back when they hinted he was connected to another Returned family, that was interesting. Maybe we'll get back to that some time, but this bullshit with the government or whatever is just distracting.