Note: This is an in-depth review of a television series that has just aired. The article will reveal major plot points of the episode. Read at your own discretion!
ABC’s newest sci-fi show in their television line-up is Ressurection, which premiered tonight on ABC in the USA, and CityTv here in Canada. It tells the tales of people who have died mysteriously coming back to life. The show has some big names in television, such as Omar Epps, who played Dr. Eric Foreman on House , and Kurtwood Smith, who played Red Forman in That 70s show.
The first episode opens with a young boy named Jacob waking up in a paddy field in a rural Chinese community, who simply mutters “is he dead?” before falling unconscious. He is taken by an immigration agent named J. Martin Bellamy to his home in the small town of Arcadia Missouri, though is told by its owners, Henry and Lucille Langston, that their son died thirty years before. Jacob and his Aunt Margaret died when Jacob fell into the river and his aunt tried to save him. However, with the boy on the doorstep, they both confirm that it is does indeed seem to be their son who has returned to them. After a few hours at home, Jacob ends up suffering a seizure and is taken to the hospital. Once he comes around, he is asked questions about how he ended up in Arcadia. This Jacob says that his aunt was in the river, and he tried to save her but couldn’t, contradicting the story everyone else knew. He also says there was a man there as well, though this was never reported.
His appearance baffles and upsets the people around him. His childhood friends and the family members who grew up with him don’t know what to do with his presence, and his knowledge of everything that happened before he died. Many believe that he’s an impersonator, excluding his mother. After a few days of investigation, it turns out that there is the strong possibility that Jacob is telling the truth, and after a DNA test, it proves that he is indeed the Langston’s son. At the end of the episode, another citizen of Arcadia discovers their deceased loved one return, looking exactly as they did before they died.
While the episode was intriguing, the pacing was a bit too slow. Upon reflection, not much happened in the episode, compared to many shows on air today. However, each scene felt important, creating moments that built upon one another to reach the episode’s climax. The show doesn’t make the view feel stupid, feeding every plot point to the viewer. Like a good science fiction show, the writers created suspense in scenes that would lend themselves to seemingly obvious conclusions, then went in the opposite direction. The best examples of this were when Jacob’s cousin, a doctor named Maggie Langston, is listening to his heartbeat, but hears nothing. As it turns out, she simply did not have the diaphragm of the stethoscope opened to allow her to hear anything from it. The other major point where this happens involves there being a number of scenes showing a shady man in a red hat and hoodie obscuring his face, whom Jacob runs away from. This man is at first believed to be the man Jacob was talking about being there when his aunt drowned. As it turns out, the man he was talking about was not a malicious figure, and was actually trying to save his aunt. He had been in an affair with the woman, which is why his presence was never reported. This man is not the same man Jacob ran from. The hooded man was actually another person who had been resurrected, revealed at the end of the episode.
The show also unobtrusively references what seem to be minor occurrences throughout, but viewers quickly realize that nothing placed in this show is random or meaningless. When Jacob has a passes out and later has a seizure, it seems that this has something to do with his dying and coming back to life, but in the background of one scene, his parents are discussing how they used to have to deal with Jacob’s seizures, implying that he’s an epileptic. In one of the first scenes in the episode, when agent Bellamy hands Jacob his phone, he remarks on Jacob choosing to play the original Donkey Kong from all the games he had to choose from, which would be unusual for a young boy in this day and age. This was a hint that he was from an earlier era. There is also a conversation between Maggie and one of her friends, who mentions how her father passed away. He is the man who returns at the end of the episode. It makes one curious as to what the meaning behind Jacob’s ravenous appetite is about, as his mother discards the crusts of what looks like many grilled cheese sandwiches as Jacob asks for another, and also what will happen when the immigration agency finally decides to use its power to interfere.
For the pilot episode in this series, it seems to be an intelligent and intriguing show, and while a little slow paced, should speed up once the plot moves forward. If it plays its cards right, it might turn into a hit. Definitely a show to check out for anyone who likes science fiction or is looking for something a little different, but not too out of this world.
Photo credits: deadline.com, tv.com, citytv.com
Christina Beharry is a Mental Health Studies student at the University of Toronto. She has a passion for writing, gaming, and music, and enjoys sharing her ideas with others.