Sunday, September 28, 2014

REVIEW: 'Resurrection' - Bellamy Receives Life-Changing News as Henry and Fred's Mother Returns to Arcadia in 'Revelation'

ABC's Resurrection - Episode 2.01 "Revelation"

Bellamy awakens alone and abandoned at Arcadia's outskirts, missing a week of his life. As his memory returns, he has a shocking revelation. Meanwhile, Arcadia welcomes one more returned, Margaret Langston (Michelle Fairley), the powerful matriarch of the Langston family, dead for over three decades.

The first season of Resurrection was all about establishing mood and this world. With an expanded second season of 13 episodes, the series is now trying to have a closer look at the big picture. Maggie's speech to Bellamy about a third of the way through the premiere is excellent at explaining the series' new purposes of having everyone question the government, science and faith now that their dead relatives are returning. Moreover, the high ratings the series brought in earlier this year has allowed the series to hire both Michelle Fairley and Donna Murphy to significantly raise its acting credibility. Omar Epps, Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher did that for the first season. But the additions of both Fairley and Murphy seem like a major step up. They both add separate textures to the series - something it has desperately needed since its first minute. They're still in the same wheelhouse of blandness as the rest of the cast. However, I do think both are doing interesting work - as opposed to everyone else who can barely elevate the material to mildly watchable.

I like the twist confirmed here that Bellamy too is capable of returning to life because it finally gives the character meaning. There was no reason why he should have been in Arcadia for the entirety of the first season. I laugh every time he mentions that he works for Immigration and Customs. It's just not a position that would keep him stationed in this small town. With the potential of being an informant for the shadowy government agency, it's tension that actually feels like it could be something substantial. However, the show seems a bit more focused on trying to appeal to Bellamy and Maggie shippers. To me, they work best as an investigative pairing. Not a romantic one. But now, they are living together and learning more about each other. We finally get an answer to what tragic thing happened in his past. It really is information we should have had in the first few episodes last season. It's so simple as well.

Even more bizarre is the pairing of a drunken Fred and Elaine. She is trying to be the reasonable and responsible adult by driving him home. And yet, she sure was enabling him to drink especially considering she is friends with Maggie and knows how much the drinking has disrupted his life. That doesn't make any sense. But then she decides to listen to the drunk guy and go attack a building on the outskirts of town. It's just so perplexing why anyone thought this was a good idea. Their entire conversation is creepy when the show thinks it's being thought-provoking by pairing two people who've lost someone who's returned. It doesn't work because they just make the sexual subtext into text. How are we suppose to react to this? It's a detour the show really should not have made.

Lastly, I want to know why Jacob can sense things about other people who've returned but no one else seems to share that quality? It makes him seem too important to the overall mythology of the series. It allows for him to mysteriously wake up in the middle of the night to go meet his grandmother. But there hasn't really ever been big benefits to this particular character trait. It distinguishes him in a way that isn't necessary. Margaret is right to tell him not to share that with many people. Speaking of Margaret Langston, it is a little odd and disappointing to not hear Fairley in her native accent. Her American accent isn't horrible. Some words do stand out. I just love her natural accent so much. But it didn't fit into the character she was playing which forces her to be American but just as commanding of the screen. So, it's a give-and-take relationship.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Revelation" was written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Christopher Misiano.
  • The title card still doesn't make any sense to me.
  • I love that Margaret refers to Fred as Frederick. Didn't really need that the story about her being in a coma and her sons visiting her though. 
  • There seems to be a chilly dynamic between Lucille and Margaret, right?
  • Rachel's having a baby boy. That side of the narrative continues to not interest me at all. Perhaps it will become relevant if the series ever decides to take faith and spirituality seriously.
  • I really enjoyed the ding at The Walking Dead in the newspaper article about the town. Mostly because soon the two series will be going head-to-head in this time slot.
  • I kinda wish that Fred pulled the trigger just so he would later return to life and have to deal with that crisis of identity.