September 29, 2014

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “Resurrection”



American viewers have a seemingly endless fascination with the undead in all their various forms, and that extended to last season’s instant midseason hit RESURRECTION (although its ratings steadily declined throughout its run).  The show returned tonight for its second season, and as is often the case with it, not much happened until the final minute of the hour.

Resurrection punted on the expensive military invasion of Arcadia, Missouri that was promised in May’s Season 1 finale, as well as the greatly expanded number of resurrected extras who had turned up.  Instead, the Season 2 premiere, written by series creator Aaron Zelman and directed by Christopher Misiano, picked up a week later, when the troops and additional undead had already left town.  In an echo of the opening of the series pilot, the premiere began with ICE agent Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps) waking up abruptly in a field and making his way back to Arcadia.  That echo was just the first of some heavy foreshadowing that worked its way through the hour (Marty kept feeling an ache in his chest, even though there was nothing apparently wrong with his heart).  He’d been taken into custody by some super-secret government unit led by creepy Donna Murphy, but most of the events of the week that followed were a blank to him, until Murphy showed up in his hotel room for the climactic scene and he realized that he had been shot fatally in the chest while in custody, and was now, in fact, one of the returned himself, albeit at a far more accelerated rate than anyone else we’ve seen so far.  (Epps’ performance didn’t vary much from living to undead.)

Maybe that development will make things more interesting going forward, but it’s not clear why it would.  The other major development of the premiere was the return from the dead of Margaret Langston (Michelle Fairley, busy since her departure from Game of Thrones), grandmother of original returned Jacob (Langston Giminez), and mother of still-living Henry (Kurtwood Smith) and Fred (Matt Craven).  Her major accomplishment was turning up just when the latter was ready to put his service revolver in his mouth, and convincing him that she really was his mother and not some replica.  (Which might have made him commit suicide anyway, but didn’t.)  Apart from that, we learned that an old horror movie pregnancy trope was in play when the fetus of pregnant returned Rachael (Kathleen Munroe) was found to be growing far faster than normal, and Marty (pre-discovery of his death) moved in as a platonic–for now–roomie with Dr. Maggie (Devin Kelley).

All of this was very seriously presented and rather dull, as back-from-the-dead fantasies go.  The directions the show is taking–the government conspiracy, the potentially mutant baby–are painfully familiar, and even though our main protagonist is now himself one of the undead, it hasn’t enlarged our understanding of what’s going on or the experience of having returned.

Resurrection gave a lift to ABC’s Sunday night when it started airing in March, and although it had dipped below a 2.0 rating in 18-49s by May, that was more than enough to push Revenge out of its 9PM slot.  With so many supernatural tales available on any number of platforms these days, Resurrection is far from the best, but perhaps its somber, semi-spiritual approach to its fantasy will continue to hold an appeal.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."