Resurrection – The Complete First Season
(2014 – ABC Home Video)
On March 9th, 2014, ABC premiered Resurrection, a drama-filled hour that has turned out some interesting and intriguingly good television on Sunday nights at 9:00. Based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott, the producers have taken an unlikely subject that the average adult knows technically to be unbelievable, but made the idea enjoyable by adding mystery, suspense and curiosity.
Resurrection‘s premise brings up interesting questions. Let’s face it… anyone who has ever lost a loved one is bound to think, “Wow, what if that could really happen?” If someone you’ve loved, lost and mourned came back many years later, is it always a blessing? This show introduces several different answers to that all-important question.
The premise revolves around the quiet little town of Arcadia, Missouri. This quaint “normal” town is about to be turned upside down as an eight-year-old American boy is found in a remote village in China. After being returned to the US, it is quickly learned that he could possibly be Jacob Langston (Landon Giminez), a young boy who had drowned 32 years earlier in the river behind his home. The bizarre part of Langston’s discovery is that he is still eight years old and has not aged since 1982. He’s even dressed in the same shirt he was buried in over three decades earlier.
The talented cast is led by Omar Epps, who does an excellent job of portraying the compassionate and determined US Customs and Immigration agent, Martin “Marty” Bellamy. From the first moment Epps walks on set, you can’t help to like his character and be drawn to him. This is because of for his kindness to Jacob, his parents Lucille and Henry Langston (played by Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith), and others in the town who are struggling to make sense of Jacob’s strange reappearance.
Just as Agent Bellamy, local doctor Maggie Langston (Devin Kelley) and her father, Sheriff Fred Langston (Matt Craven) are all trying to figure out if the child is actually Jacob, other deceased loved ones are mysteriously starting to return to Arcadia. As emotions run high throughout the town, so does the skepticism of some townsfolk which leaves everyone reeling with more unanswered questions including how and who’s next?
You’d think the return of your son after 32 years would be the most wonderful thing in the world for Lucille and Henry Langston, but it is not necessarily the case. Jacob’s return brings a divide between the married couple who have already been through so much. As an older Lucille jumps right back in to the role of Mom to still eight year old Jacob, her husband Henry is struggling with the guilt of loving this new Jacob when he still loves his son they buried years before, with all of his heart. The struggle for these two parents is both sad and believable and you can feel empathy for them both.
So many of the characters are inter-connected through family and storylines. The writers have done an excellent job of weaving a tangled web of relationships and deceit throughout the town, thus leaving no one unaffected in some way by the mysterious return of Jacob and the others. For example, now-grown Dr. Maggie Langston is Jacob’s little cousin who was an infant when he died. Her Mother, Barbara Langston (April Billingsley) drowned the same day as Jacob while it was thought she was trying to save her eight year old nephew in the river. But was she?
While Jacob remains eight years old, his best friend Tom Hale (Mark Hildreth) is now grown too and is the Pastor in the town’s church. Beyond the return of Jacob, Pastor Hale may have another mysterious loved one returning from his past that will prove to put a difficult rift in his marriage with Janice (Lori Beth Sikes.) Friends, fathers, aunts and fiancées all return throughout this freshman season of Resurrection, leaving turmoil and confusion in all of their paths.
Overall the show is really enjoyable and can become almost addictive if you get involved in the mystery and intrigue surrounding the lives of your favorite characters. Early on, the show definitely left you with a yearning to know more about the secrets causing the returns to Arcadia in the first place. That fascinating doubt does seem to get a bit lost in the relationship deceit and mysteries written in to the script in the season’s later episodes. I hope they get back to trying to figure out this important piece in season two which is due to start this September.
Towards the end of season one, the writers were going a bit overboard on the amount of people returning from the dead. This made it feel more like, “Oh here comes another one,” rather than the “oh, wow” moments that gave you chills early on in the season. Hopefully season two can keep the show fresh and not lose the exciting premise they started with early on.
Do not expect the theme of this drama to be reality based. The premise is definitely sci-fi-ish, but smartly the supernatural elements are pretty subtle so it won’t turn off the average viewer. The only reality in the premise may be some of the lies and deceit that start to appear. I do hope the whole show doesn’t become about that alone.
I recommend sitting down and enjoying Resurrection: The Complete First Season before the start on the new season. I believe the first season offered a compelling, interesting storyline that kept you coming back each week. Watching the episodes is definitely more enjoyable when binge-watching the eight episodes straight through minus the commercials. The two disc DVD set also includes some deleted scenes and some enjoyable bloopers.