ABC’s “Resurrection” Enthralls Viewers with Mysterious Plot


Hiromi Kondo

"Resurrection" has captivated millions of viewers within the first four episodes.
“Resurrection” has captivated millions of viewers within the first four episodes.

In Arcadia, Missouri, where most people attend church, the return of the dead should appear like an act of God or something similar to Jesus’s return, but that’s not the case. Instead, these miracles are ostracized from society, while also struggling with their own problems.

ABC’s new hit television show, Resurrection, has interested millions of people with its unique storyline that suggests a successful future.

The show premiered on March 9, 2014, opening with the total confusion of a young American boy who wakes up soaking wet in a rice field in China. The boy, Jacob Langston, is then brought back to America and leads the man in charge of him, Agent Bellamy, to his old home in Arcadia. Henry Langston, an elderly man, answers the door and Bellamy asks if he is missing his son. Henry reveals that his son died 32 years ago, but catches sight of Jacob hiding behind a bush and calls out to him. Suddenly, Jacob asks the riddle, “What’s red and green and goes a million miles an hour?” to Henry and without thinking, Henry gives the answer, “Frog in a blender.” Henry is left with a clear expression of shock on his face as Jacob runs up and hugs him — a hug that confirms the boy’s identity.

Jacob not only knows details that the original Jacob knew — the riddle, where and how he and his aunt died, and where his old toy soldier is hidden — but he also looks exactly like Jacob when he died and even has on the exact same outfit. Everyone is baffled by his return and some people are scared, since no one can really figure out where this boy came from. The start of the show engages viewers with a suspenseful mood where the viewers sincerely care about the characters caught up in this supernatural event.

Jacob (Landon Gimenez) and Mrs. Langston (Frances Fisher) work well together on the show as they appear to pick up where they left off 32 years ago. Their mother-son relationship seems genuine and Jacob even has slightly odd characteristics that follow along with the peculiar story of the show.

Jacob and his mother are banned from the church because the church members fear Jacob; they believe he is an unnatural form of life that was not created by God. The church’s animosity towards Jacob — who is actually characterized as a sweet, innocent, confused boy — highlights an insensitive and ignorant outlook. This outlook may become controversial among viewers due to how the television portrays the church.

Caleb Richards soon joins Jacob when he comes back to life after dying from a heart attack and returns to his daughter, Elaine, and son, Ray. Unlike the innocent Jacob, Caleb has a much more mysterious and dark side to him — he constantly disappears and is caught digging holes in the place he first died. Caleb even murders someone, but who he is and why Caleb kills him is left a mystery that Bellamy begins to unravel at the end of episode three. Although Caleb (Sam Hazeldine) initially appears to be a boring character or maybe even a poor actor, his cryptic actions are making him a more complex character as his past unfolds.

The end of episode three, “Two Rivers,” also gives way to yet another resurrected person: Rachel. She creates a suspenseful ending to the episode when she asks Tom, “Did i really die?” The episode “Us Against the World”  finally unravels the identity of Rachel as Tom’s ex-fiance who committed suicide. Rachel is still in love with Tom, but Tom has moved on and now has a wife. Viewers will have to keep watching to see how their relationship plays out, since Tom’s wife tells him he has to cut ties with her, but are there too many characters and underlying plots?
Thus far, the show has brought in an astounding amount of viewers–17 million for its premiere– making it the first successful Sunday-night show since the ending of Lost. However, the first three episodes have introduced three resurrected people that are surrounded by so many questions and so few of them are answered that it might be too many to keep straight. Also, the first hint as to the source of the resurrections and connections between them has already been revealed. Is it possible that ABC gave too much away and has not left enough to the imagination of the viewer? Hopefully not, since Omar Epps, who plays Bellamy, has promised viewers that there are still plot twists to come and advised them to keep watching.

Thankfully, the fourth episode of “Resurrection” does a better job of cleaning up its messy plot. A bank robbery in Caleb’s past sheds light on Caleb’s mysterious activities and  a recent bank robbery. When Caleb disappears, the police search for him, but only find him after Jacob says he can feel them pass Caleb in an old factory. The police find Caleb, but there is one even larger question looming over the audience — what are Jacob’s powers, and does Caleb have them too?
Although Resurrection has only just begun, it has certainly captured viewers’ attention. Its widespread success looks like a promising start, but ABC will have to be careful with what they reveal and the amount of questions they leave unanswered to ensure the show’s success in the long run. Resurrection airs on Sunday nights at 9 pm on ABC.