Resurrection (ABC) Review “Two Rivers”

Resurrection (ABC) Episode 3 Two Rivers (2)

Kurtwood Smith is turning in one of the best performances on TV right now. While I find certain elements of Resurrection troubling, watching Smith’s Henry struggle to reconcile the Jacob that returns with the Jacob that he buried, who is still in his coffin, is as mesmerizing as it is shattering. His pain is visceral, as is his desire to embrace this Jacob as freely as Lucille has, but he cannot let go of the son he buried. The more he tries, the more his body rebels. He watches Jacob and Lucille play catch and gets a twinge in his hand. It happens again when he tries to bond with Jacob by building a boat. He is so filled with pain that he lashes out at Jacob, telling him, “you don’t belong here” and questioning how his wife can let go of their son so easily. Still, he tucks Jacob in while the little boy sleeps; torn between what he wants to believe and what he knows to be true: his Jacob is still buried.

Lucille can’t make that distinction. For her, Jacob is just Jacob– her son, a walking miracle returned to her. Watching her reaction compared to Henry’s gives Resurrection its strength. This is where the power of this story lies, with this family and how they are grappling with the impossible. Do you believe blindly or hold onto what you know? Jacob’s Uncle Fred is struggling with that question as well. He plays cops and robbers with Jacob, just like old times, but he turns on Jacob, questioning him about the man who was with his wife. Fred wants to believe the man killed his wife because then he could kill him and no one would second guess his decision. When Jacob doesn’t give Fred the answers he wants, he asks bluntly, “What are you?”

Fred isn’t the only person in town asking that question. Tom’s congregation is stopping just short of dousing the kid with holy water or erecting a stake. They actually stage a coup demanding Tom bar Lucille and Jacob from the church. Ah, what a lovely group of Christians. I don’t think there is anything in The Bible about how to treat the suddenly returned from the dead, but as long as they’re not trying to eat your flesh, it seems like allowing them to attend Sunday school would be the decent thing to do.

In other news, Bellamy and Maggie trekked through the woods and accomplished very little aside from confirming the townsfolk are all a little Deliverance-y and Caleb is up to no good. Maggie floats the idea that the resurrections are connected to the river somehow, which makes about as much sense as clones, aliens, miracles or mass hysteria. I’m just not that interested in the why of it all when the human element is playing out so compellingly.

Well, it is mostly compelling, minus Caleb, Elaine and Ray. Elaine’s reaction to her father’s return is ridiculous. I get Lucille rolling with the idea that her son is back in her life, but Elaine is not only completely unfazed by her father’s reappearance, she also seems to believe that he is no longer the deadbeat he once was. Ray sees through Caleb’s act and will likely pay the price for it, much like Dale Getheard did when he met a bloody end thanks to Caleb’s hammer. Bellamy finds Dale’s body at the end of the hour, and will surely return to questioning Caleb this Sunday.

As for this week’s twist, we get another dead person walking. This one’s name is Rachel and she is connected to Tom somehow. She shows up in the church, so if she knows what is good for her, she’ll run before the congregation decides to see if she floats like a duck or not.

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