ABC’s 9 p.m. television premiere last Sunday of “Resurrection,” called “The Return,” was a beautiful and heart-stopping story with enough twists and turns to make the commercials excruciatingly long. The story would interest a wide variety of people, despite how the series’ title, concept and Sunday schedule suggests that it is geared towards Christians.
Eight-year-old Jacob Langston (Landon Gimenez) wakes up in the middle of a paddy field in China. He is found by immigrations agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps,“House”), who returns him to his home in beautiful Arcadia, Mo. When elderly Harold Langston (Kurtwood Smith, “That ‘70s Show”) answers the door, Bellamy tells him that he found his son, but Harold tells him he is mistaken; Jacob died 32 years ago.
The characters of the show must then quickly solve this mystery and discover the truth behind Jacob’s return before the outside world discovers what is happening in Arcadia.
While the show’s trailers already revealed the majority of the premiere’s plot, the characters’ reactions to the bizarre events and their conflicted emotions are still enthralling and suspenseful, keeping viewers wondering how they will act next. Smith’s acting is convincing. Pastor Tom Hale’s (Mark Hildreth; V) struggle to come to terms with the return of his old childhood friend, Jacob, is perhaps the most poignant conflict in the show. Faced with Jacob’s miraculous and unexplainable return, Hale questions himself and his ability to preach about God’s mystery when he cannot even comprehend how or why this marvel occurred.
The completely white church is the only problem in the show, since the demographics make the church feel too artificial, interrupting the show’s sincerity. However, the overall cinematography is wonderfully gorgeous and clean, and the soundtrack is beautiful and simple, adding just enough tension without overdoing it.
Some great questions arise: What should someone do when faced with what seems to be a great miracle? should he or she believe it? or more importantly, should he or she even want to believe it?
Even without such thought-provoking questions, Jacob is not quite the normal eight-year-old child they knew. He easily recovers from a seizure that would keep most children in bed for days, for some unknown reason, and returns home, where he sees a mysterious hitchhiker (Sam Hazeldine, The Monuments Men) slowly walking by, whistling almost menacingly and staring knowingly at him.
Due to his age, Jacob cannot clearly understand what has happened to him, but at the end of the episode, the mysterious hitchhiker from before reveals him to the town, and everyone realizes the man is another person who has returned from the dead — a man who is probably capable of explaining what happened to him.
Considering how the people of Arcadia have a long history of distrusting outsiders and how Bellamy is rushing to solve what is happening before the outside world catches on, viewers can undoubtedly expect the next episode to be even more thrilling and action-packed.