Resurrection: Review: Series 1 Episodes 4-8

MARK HILDRETH, KURTWOOD SMITH, LANDON GIMENEZ, FRANCES FISHER, OMAR EPPS, DEVIN KELLEY, MATT CRAVEN, SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG, SAM HAZELDINEThe arrival of Rachel, a third Returnee, complicates the situation – particularly as she’s pregnant – but then when Caleb disappears, and Rachel is killed but then is resurrected, it’s clear that things are getting out of hand. And that’s before whole realms of Returnees appear in Arcadia…

The second half of the initial season of Resurrection continues the slow burn of the early episodes, as we watch the various characters try to come to terms with the concept of the Returned – and note as attitudes change considerably when the situation comes closer to home. Henry’s disbelief that it could be his son back from the dead slowly turns into a love and acceptance, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to protect him. His brother, Sheriff Fred, tries to do the right thing, until he realises how much he’s been fooling himself over the years, and then makes a move which will have devastating repercussions.

The show has managed not to have too much small-world syndrome – where characters who shouldn’t have any connection to each other discover that they do for the purposes of the plot – but the final reveal regarding Agent Bellamy threatens a case of that in the second season. He’s often been more reactive than I’d have expected, but he steps up in episode 7, and again in the finale; his relationship with Maggie has been similarly understated, but has progressed at a credible level against the more incredible elements of the scenario.

Pastor Tom has been a lightning rod for a lot of the debate about the problems involved with the Returned. Returnee Rachel was his girlfriend before she committed suicide, and it looks as if he’s going to be a father – albeit 12 years later than he should have been. It provokes a crisis of faith among his congregation, handled, it has to be said, in a way that will feel extremely familiar to those of us who have become seen the not-so-Christian way that Christians in organised churches often behave.

One of the aspects of the show that has been consistent has been the casting and acting; with only a couple of minor role exceptions, this has been excellent, particularly given how much of the story has rested on the young shoulders of Landon Gimenez, one of a number of good young actors currently in US genre shows – Millie Brown in Intruders and Camren Bicondova in Gotham both come to mind. The age gaps between characters is deceptive in this show, and the fact that none of them feels unbelievable (a mother looking younger than her daughter, for instance) is a testament to this.

The story has deviated quite considerably from Jason Mott’s novel, but elements of it remain in play (although there’s an aspect of the finale I expected to go differently because of memories from the book). It’s been an interesting series to date; hopefully the second season won’t expand the canvas too wide and lose the small-town feel that was so important to this first year.

Verdict: An engrossing drama with some deeper questions underlying it than many genre shows. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

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