Last night was more of a bunch of loosely connected vignettes than an episode, but Pastor Tom had the best one of the bunch.
Spoilers ahead. . .
I'll freely admit that it could just be that the other show I recap is Intelligence, but I'm actually enjoying Resurrection. There's a deliberateness that's very refreshing — if worrying, since we're so early in the story that there's ample opportunity to prove that the deliberateness is actually hiding a plot too thin to sustain an entire season.
Last night's episode didn't do a lot in terms of plot, but what there was could divided into 1) Caleb's return, 2) Jacob's reintegration into the town, and 3) Maggie and Marty's investigation. The first was interesting, the second had some great moments and some bad ones, and the third is still the weakest part.
Caleb is the father of Elaine and Ray, and is the one who returned at the end of the pilot. With the pilot focused on Jacob, he becomes the archetype for the returned. In the second episode, Caleb parallels Jacob's journey in the first episode, in a number of interesting ways.
While Jacob was a returned child, Caleb is a returned parent. So Elaine and Ray act as parallels for Lucille and Henry. Like Lucille, it's Elaine who accepts that Caleb is who he says he is. But where Lucille sees a chance for a future with a child who died young, Elaine sees a chance to reconcile with her father. And like Henry, Ray is the one questioning the situation. But while Henry seems to distrust the situation, rather than Jacob himself, Ray is convinced that Caleb isn't his father. He follows Caleb, telling Elaine that Caleb's "up to something."
Where Jacob's been largely guileless, Caleb is full of guile. When he talks to Elaine, saying he wants to make the most of his second chance and apologizes for the past, there's a hint that he's just saying what she wants to hear. This is especially true when Elaine has to leave for work, and Caleb says she's an "important woman now" and Elaine responds that she's just an assistant manager. Caleb's "That's more than enough to be proud of you" sounds like he's laying it on a little too thick. But Elaine glows with pride. This is why, when Maggie asks her what she think happened, she responds "Does it matter? All I know is my dad's back, and he's different. He's really trying."
Ray, on the other hand, gets a faceful of creepy Caleb. A Caleb who disappears in his truck during the day. A Caleb who finds him in his room and somewhat menacingly says that they should stay out of each other's rooms.
And where Jacob remembers his death and something of what happened after – and is fully willing to answer questions about it – Caleb claims to remember nothing. He doesn't remember having a heart attack at his cabin, just driving in his truck and then waking up three days later in Seattle. And like Jacob, being asked about it seems to provoke some kind of physical reaction.
There's also a visual parallel to last week: Jacob ran to a tree where he hid his GI Joe, triggering flashbacks to his previous life. Caleb also goes searching for something he hid, digging a hole next to his cabin. In his case, this triggers a memory of his heart attack. That, plus an encounter with Jacob, implies that he's lying about what he remembers.
Caleb's part of the episode ends with him barging into a man's house yelling "Everything's gone, isn't it? Tell me it's all gone!" and then swinging a hammer. We don't see him kill that guy, but that's definitely the implication.
Henry stills sees the returned Jacob as separate from his Jacob. He's clearly more protective of his memory of his son, over the child in front of him. Henry spends this episode trying to keep Maggie and Marty-the-disaffected-ICE-agent from disinterring Jacob's body.
Lucille's plot (while a little too clunkily spelled out) is about whether or not to keep Jacob's identity hidden. But first, she has to get Jacob new clothes. He asks after his things, and Lucille pulls out a box of them that she's kept in excellent condition all this time. Her reaction is stunningly sad, and she puts it all away, and bravely tells Jacob they're going shopping. Frances Fisher knocked this out of the park, which is great because, after that, she's reduced to having the same conversation three times.
She takes Jacob to the park to play with other children, but all the parents call their kids and leave. It's not that they don't want their kids playing with the creepy undead kid – realistically, they haven't made that leap – it's that they don't want to deal with what they see as the poor deluded woman who's projecting her dead son onto some other child.
Marty-the-dogged-ICE-agent tells her she should probably not go around telling people that Jacob's her son. His point, and it's a good one, is that being shunned is actually the most mild reaction they could have. If they start believing Lucille, it'll be pitchforks and torches time. Lucille has the same conversation with Pastor Tom. Except his ends with Lucille reminding him that he was Jacob's best friend once, and, hey, doesn't he want to come over and see him? Awesomely, Pastor Tom's all "Um, I have a thing. A phone call. About church finances? Yeah, a phone call about church finances which sounds a lot more fun that coming over to hang with my undead best-friend from elementary school who has not aged in 30 years."
Later, Lucille and Marty-the-beleaguered-ICE-agent have the exact same conversation for the third time. Lucille's still not willing to make her son lie about who he is, which is immediately contradicted by her statement that all he wants to do is be a boy. Letting him tell everyone about the time he died seems unlikely to lead to a normal life, is all I'm saying. And Caleb agrees, since he shows up at the park, and stares at Jacob through the fence. He runs off before Marty-the-understanding-ICE-agent can get to him, but Jacob says that he told him to lie.
The best thing that happens in this part of the plot involves, yet again, Pastor Tom. Oh, Pastor Tom. I think you're my favorite. Pastor Tom gives in to Lucille, comes over, and is roped into setting up a game console for Jacob. Jacob wins Pastor Tom over by remembering that the child Tom used to be an AV geek. And then they play video games, at such a volume that Lucille comes running in fear. Pastor Tom's going to have a rough time once his congregation has its inevitable meltdown over the returned. Until then, I will happily watch him play video games.
Maggie and Marty's "Investigation"
Marty-the-clichéd-ICE-agent and Maggie renew their partnership. Maggie examines Caleb, and discovers that his body has all the signs of having had a heart attack three days ago. So, as far as Caleb's body is concerned, the heart attack that killed him years ago happened three days ago, which is when he woke up in Seattle. No idea what that means, but file that clue away for later.
Maggie and Marty-the-determined-ICE-agent spend this episode working to open up the Langston family tomb, which holds both Jacob and her mother. They want to compare current-Jacob with old-Jacob. I'm not sure what it will tell them other than if Henry and Lucille managed to have a nearly identical child eight years ago who has been coached on Jacob's memories. If the tomb's empty, Marty-the-droll-ICE-agent says he will assume zombies and book it out of town.
Before they can do that, though, Maggie has to fight with her father about it. He says that her mother had postpartum depression, and that anything her mother did was his fault for not understanding. Maggie says she still needs to investigate, because their family never talked about anything, so all she knew about her mother was that she "died a hero saving Jacob," and now that's in doubt. Fred seems to think that the postpartum thing is all she needs to know, but, yeah, that's not actually the same as telling her about her mother. Marty-the-ICE-agent-with-a-past shows up, so Fred rants that he's just a desk jockey, and has been for five years ever since something bad happened.
Fred's also figured out who his wife had an affair with, confirms it with Henry, and then Maggie goes to visit him. He's not her father, but he does tell her that he stayed with baby her after her mom and Jacob drowned, until someone came for her. He then goes inside and tells someone that "She found us." It's totally Maggie's mother returned from the dead, isn't it?
Finally, despite the Langston brothers' attempts to stop it, they get a court order to unseal the tomb, and we cut to black on Maggie and Marty-the-oh-god-give-him-a-personality-ICE-agent's barely there reactions.
Here's my list of things I'm taking bets on before next week:
- What was Caleb digging for by the cabin he died at? Is it the same thing he was yelling about being gone? I assume so, and I think it was the loot from a heist, and the guy he hammered was an accomplice. But if you have a different theory, let me know.
- What's Marty's mysterious past incident that put him behind a desk? We know he used to be a cop and switched to ICE, so I'm sure it's one of the law enforcement clichés: dead partner, child he failed to protect, bad guy got away, shot someone by mistake and it sent him into a downward spiral, got shot and it sent him into a downward spiral, botched a case and a bad guy got away, etc.
- And what was in the tomb? Ashes, like Jacob's been dreaming about? Nothing, like Marty's been afraid of? A perfectly preserved body?
Make guesses! Winners get bragging rights.