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TV Review: ‘Resurrection’

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A boy (Landon Gimenez) awakens in a field halfway across the world from his hometown. Picked up by immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps, House), the boy, Jacob, is practically mute, but indicates he is from a place called Arcadia, Missouri. Thus begins the pilot episode of ABC’s new series Resurrection, which airs Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET, following Once Upon a Time.

When Bellamy arrives at the boy’s home, an older man, Henry (Kurtwood Smith, That ’70s Show) answers the door, furious that the agent would harass him about Jacob, his son, who died 30 years earlier. But soon, the fact of Jacob standing on the porch hugging his father cannot be denied by either Henry or Jacob’s mother Lucille (Frances Langton, Titanic). Unlike Henry, Lucille is overcome with emotion and joy at having her son back, not a day aged from the moment he drown in a nearby river. She cannot explain it, and doesn’t really care to. MARK HILDRETH, KURTWOOD SMITH, LANDON GIMENEZ, FRANCES FISHER, OMAR EPPS, DEVIN KELLEY, MATT CRAVEN, SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG, SAM HAZELDINE

Of course the overriding question posed by the first episode (and the second) is: how is it possible that this boy (and he’s not the only one, actually) has come back to life some three decades after his death. The corollary question is “why?”

The series occasionally stretches my ability to suspend my disbelief, but the townsfolk and Jacob’s relatives are as skeptical as I am. But Jacob seems too accepting of the fact that everyone in his life looks a lot older (a LOT older), waving it all off with a “You look different.” That bothered me a little bit, taking me out of the narrative for brief moments as Jacob reconnected with people he knew as a young boy.

There are, of course, religious overtones to the series (how could there not be?), represented by Jacob’s now-grown-up best friend (Mark Hildreth), who is the town pastor. Is this a miracle or something much more sinister? For much of the premiere, Jacob appears to be stalked by a hooded man. Who is he? And why is he following Jacob? It can get a bit heavy handed, but as the series is trying to establish the series’ unusual premise, I can accept that for now.

I liked the first two episodes. The young actor playing Jacob is edgy and skittish enough to instill a bit of creepiness into the otherwise “normal” boy. The rest of the cast is good within the scope of a series just beginning to unfold. We shall see where the story takes each of their characters, which I assume will embark on individual journeys of discovery. Resurrection, based on Jason Mott’s book The Returned, and developed by Aaron Zelman (Damages) is off to a good start. I am curious to see where it’s headed. 

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics. Her first Historical Fantasy novel, The Apothecary's Curse is due out from Prometheus Books (Pyr Imprint) October 2016. A noted entertainment writer, Barbara is author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D.. She has contributed short stories to two anthologies, and chapters in a non-fiction book on spirituality and pregnancy. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality.