Resurrection is a new series from ABC that revolves around the reappearance of dead loved ones in the town of Arcadia, Missouri. The show starts off with a young man, of what turns out to be eight years old, awakening in a rice field in China. After passing out in a sleepy little village, this boy is brought to the United States and handed over to Agent Marty Bellamy (Omar Epps). This young man is mostly catatonic and says nothing but, via smartphone, says that he is from the sleepy Missouri town. Once Marty returns little Jacob (his name was written on the inside of his shirt) to what he claims is his house, the inhabitants are in their mid-sixties and state that their son has been dead for over thirty years. This is when little Jacob asks a joke, his father answers accordingly, and then a tearful reunion takes place. This sets up the mysteries that Resurrection are shrouded in and sets the tone for the rest of the initial episodes.
The first episode of Resurrection starts off with a bang. With Jacob returning home to his parents Henry (Kurtwood Smith, That 70’s Show) and Lucille (Frances Fischer, Unforgiven) the mysteries come fast and often. Little Jacob is not the only member of the deceased who has come back to Arcadia with no signs of aging. Caleb Richards, father of Elaine and Ray, passed away from a heart attack several years prior but has only the memory of blacking out while driving (even though he was found dead near his cabin…hmmm). Even more mysteries abound whenever Jacob reveals that Barbara Langston, Henry’s sister-in-law, did not die trying to save Jacob but it was the other way around. The following episode is revolved mostly around exhuming the tomb of Jacob and Barbara to find out if the DNA test results, which proved Jacob is related to his parents, were accurate. The Sheriff doesn’t want his dead wife (who is discovered to have been having an affair) to be desecrated and stops the court order before it begins. Bellamy won’t be deterred, however, and gets the order through his Federal contacts. Caleb continues to be a loving father to his children, but stalks Jacob and is carrying on suspicious activities away from his house. The episode ends with Caleb…well, I won’t spoil it for you here. It’s very intriguing, though.
The acting up to this point has been pretty solid. The leads, in particular, are great. Omar Epps does an excellent job portraying the determined yet confused immigration agent Bellamy. His sense of determination in figuring out what is going on while having the notion of protecting Jacob at all costs is admirable and he sells it well. Kurtwood Smith is excellent as the stunned yet hopeful father and Frances Fisher is superb as the overly exuberant, supremely happy mother. The two are a nice juxtaposition to each other and it plays well into the show. Sheriff Fred Langston (Matt Craven), Henry’s brother and husband of the aforementioned Barbara, is the most standoffish of the bunch and poses a threat to Bellamy’s investigation. He is mostly an a-hole but he’s supposed to be, so it works out. Also, the young actor playing Jacob (Landon Giminez) has done an outstanding job up to this point. It’s not easy being a child actor that is the focal point of a show; this is a daunting task for even the most experienced of actors and Giminez pulls this off in a convincing fashion. I would lastly like to point out Caleb (Sam Hazeldine); his aloofness around his family belays the fact that he is a very creepy person and is absolutely hiding something more than just coming back to life. The end of the second episode shows a very dark aspect of Caleb that I am looking forward to delving more deeply in to.
Another thing that I would like to point out is something that isn’t done exceptionally well in most television shows: music. The music in this show is exceptional! Something that shows have yet to figure out that most movies do is that music has the innate ability to capture human emotion like nothing else. A well placed musical score can evoke surprise, anger and, especially in the case of Resurrection, tears. The entire show knows exactly when to swell the music to capture that special moment the director wants to emphasize and Resurrection should be commended on that notion.
I am afraid that the one thing Resurrection does really well (wrapping emotional reunions in a shroud of mystery) will also be it’s ultimate undoing. The show is based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott and, from all accounts, has captured the essence of the novel. However, I am afraid that the show will draw the mysteries out to fill up a show schedule. Yes, this has been announced as a limited run series but if it takes off then there could be another season in the works…and that could spell disaster for the series and the fans. Lets hope that the show runners won’t do this and keep the mysteries of this show fresh and compelling throughout at least this season.This show is very compelling. The mystery of the returning deceased is just the appetizer for some other potential heavy plot points. I am also man enough to admit that I teared up on several different occasions and that was in just two shows. Being a father myself, I cannot help but to put myself into that situation and the solid acting helps to capture that emotion. I am really looking forward to what this season can bring and what answers will be revealed. Stay tuned for a full review, but in the meantime (if you need convincing) check out this trailer and see if Resurrection is something you would enjoy.
Special thanks to IGN for the trailer!