Resurrection Season Finale 2014 Review “Torn Apart”

Resurrection (ABC) Episode 8 Torn Apart (3)

Unless ABC President Paul Lee decides to cancel all the things, Resurrection will be back next season. In fact, the strange tale of Arcadia was the closest thing ABC had to a hit series this season. It didn’t take over the cultural conversation, but it was a solid performer in a season full of struggling shows. What made Resurrection work? Did it actually work?

The finale left us with a cascade of new questions and no answers in sight. Lost has made viewers cautious of going all in on mythology heavy series, but the one thing I know I took away from Lost is that if a series can make me invest in the characters I’m willing to go on a journey even if it has no real destination in mind. Resurrection is not teaming with interesting characters in the way Lost was, but its core five– Henry, Bellamy, Lucille, Jacob and Maggie –are worth investing in. Add in Rachael who is an interesting oddity in that she is on her third body (and undead fetus), and we have a series that is not cohesive, but is captivating in its own completely nonsensical way.

In the season’s final hour more than 200 people returned to Arcadia. Even Helen, who so enjoyed preaching fire and brimstone, embraced a loved one who was back from the dead. Unfortunately for the returned, they were placed in the hands of a bitter man. Fred’s instability has been right in front of us all season long. He never let his anger loose, but it occasionally bubbled to the surface, as in the chilling scene where he demanded Jacob tell him what he was. Discovering Fred was cruel to his wife does not seem farfetched in retrospect. He watches videos of her smiling and happy, and we suddenly see the way he has built his own reality in his head. He places his wedding ring back on as a sign of defiance. If Barbara does not want to be with him, then obviously the returned are not who they say they are. With this justification in place, Fred lets the government in on the secret that all of the nice people they have been called in to help are formerly deceased.

The panicked government angle was an expected way to go. On discovering the truth they went into total lock down mode, carted Maggie away for destroying the list of the returned and quarantined the entire town. Fred lost total control of the situation about as quickly as I would expect him to.

With the government discovering the nature of the returned, the writers bought themselves more time to ignore questions of why this phenomenon is happening in the first place. The emphasis was shifted away from discovery toward keeping everyone safe, beginning with Jacob. In the episode’s highlight, Henry was forced to go back on his promise to never let Jacob go again by forcing him to go with Bellamy to keep him out of the hands of the government. I know Kurtwood Smith will not be able to crack the crowded Emmy field, but his performance this season has consistently elevated Resurrection. Even when everything around him dissolved into hokiness, Smith brought a powerful performance to the screen.

So what of the mystery then? To be honest, there is no reason or logic behind anything that is happening. Even the good doctor’s overly complicated theory about pinpointing where the returned would show up was debunked. What we did get were locusts (I think, sorry guys, I am not good with bugs, but locusts would make sense– if you identified the bugs, please chime in below) and a Bellamy twist that was telegraphed in the first act, but again it made very little sense in the grand scheme of things. Forget it Jake, it’s Arcadia.

It turns out the nice family Jacob met last week are missing their son who has a crescent moon birthmark on the back of his neck. You get no points for deducing Bellamy has a crescent shaped birthmark on the back of his neck. What is curious is how he could be the son of people who were killed during the town’s flood. Their clothes dated somewhere between the ’40s and the ’60s and Bellamy can’t possibly be over 40, and that is me being generous, he is much more likely to be in his early to mid thirties. That means one of two things: either he came back quite some time ago with no knowledge of his past (if he was an actual baby when the flood swept him away that at least makes sense) and grew up naturally before being drawn to Arcadia by this case, or he is a descendant of the family. Option one seems the most likely, but again…why are these people coming back, what does it have to do with the water and is Bellamy patient X? I have no clue, and the writers probably are not sure either, but you know what, it is too late to turn back now because I’m hooked. Bring on season two, and hit me with your best theories in the comments.

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