‘Resurrection’ Finale Doesn’t Bode Well for Second Season (SPOILERS)

Resurrection ABC Season Finale Review

Resurrectionstarted with enviable promise, but there was also a nagging sense the series couldn’t sustain its most delicate qualities. The final episodes have made clear those fears were well founded, leaving a show that once looked like a no-brainer renewal as a real question mark in terms of whether it can creatively capitalize on a second shot at life.  (UPDATE: ABC did in fact renew the series, as expected.)

For starters, the program’s initial focus on a small boy who returns from the dead 30-some-odd years later, his confused parents and the federal agent trying to help them began to go off the rails as the ABC series introduced more and more members of “The Returned,” without the same emotional heft. Ditto for the extended group of living characters trying to cope as the soapier elements began to overwhelm the underlying mystery.

By Sunday (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched), the U.S. Military had descended on the town, the local sheriff (Matt Craven) had spitefully pushed to have all the returnees rounded up, and every indication was season two might as well be subtitled “Resurrection: The Internment.” Or worse, “Under the Dome.”

In some respects, the gradual arc of the season magnified the program’s similarities to Sundance Channel’s French-language import, “The Returned” (a.k.a. “Les Revenants”), which will be adapted into an A&E series.

Yet watching the two side by side, almost every judgment goes in favor of that earlier show, which was much more understated and creepy. Moreover, while the newly returned are ravenously hungry in both, only one (the French being the French) makes them equally randy as well.

Both programs do share the same glaring flaws: First, there are no rules, spelled out or even implied, regarding why this might be happening; and neither offers anything in the way of an ending – in the case of “Resurrection,” giving the deflating impression a second season would be simply more kicking the can from one manufactured crisis to the next. (A final twist at the end of Sunday’s episode involving Omar Epps’ character, immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy, seemed fleetingly clever, but based on everything else that’s occurred, made little sense.)

ABC, of course, has been in this predicament before – betting on ambitious concepts like “Flash Forward” and then facing tough calls when the series don’t develop along compelling lines. In a season filled with so many first-year drama casualties on the Alphabet network (“Killer Women” and “Lucky 7,” we hardly knew ye), one suspects “Resurrection” will be back, even if that means becoming as confounding as “Revenge” has long before next Easter rolls around. (Can’t wait for the crossover episode, where Emily Thorne finally gets revenge, and they just come right back.)

It’s a shame, really, since the show’s big issues of life and death are so fraught with emotion and so inherently provocative. And there was real power, albeit more sporadically as the season wore on, in Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith’s performances as their characters grappled with the crippling confusion associated with losing a child and then, inexplicably, seeing him again.

“This thing can go one of two ways,” Bellamy says near the end, before the government intrudes. “Let’s make sure it goes the right way.”

If only things had. But for “Resurrection,” like so many serialized dramas that fail to deliver on a big premise, it feels like that ship has sailed – offering a grim forecast, no matter how many lives the show has, for getting it back on course.

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  1. darrell says:

    This is about typical a good series comes along that has a 7.8 rating on IMDb and most episode have a 8+ rating and ABC cancels it. Yet they continue with junk like DWTS 4.7 rating,The Bachelor 2.9 rating Bachelor in Paradise 4.1,Extreme Weight Loss 5.9 rating, and the worst one yet BLACKISH 5.1 rating. I’ve got a blackish load for ABC & they can pick the corn out of it.

  2. Barbara says:

    Cannot understand why TV 10 gets these good shows on that so many people love and all of a sudden they are cancelled, and right in the middle and it leaves you hanging. This happened with Alcatraz. It was on and all of a sudden you never saw it again. Can’t you guys get it right?

  3. deborah finney says:

    dose this boring drama have an ending or are we going to be inflicted with series 3

  4. bobbi says:

    is there a second series for “Resurrection” and if so when does it start?

  5. Lisa says:

    Just watched the new series The Returned on A&E. I must first mention I had the same thoughts concerning “Resurrection” the writers didn’t take enough “creative opportunities” with the show. The plots were equally predictable as well as extremely long and never manifested a worthy conclusion for the time I’ve invested. while I have only viewed 2 episodes “The Returned” on A &E, so far has intrigued me just as the first few episodes of Resurrection I am hopeful ONCE AGAIN the series will survive, with such great actors as Jeremy Sisto and Mark Pellegrino all they need are writers with skill and imagination.

  6. StAr says:

    I AM NOT BRIAN– I don’t know why I keep getting his messages!

  7. Tom Aloisi says:

    Brian, did you continue to watch? The recent twist in Jan 2015 shocked me.

  8. momdbom9 says:

    I love it and want it to return for Season 2.

  9. alison.c says:

    Absolutely LOVE this series!!! Hope that the season finale is not the end. There are so many questions left unanwered and the ending definity leaves you hanging and wanting to see more!!

  10. Karen says:

    is it coming back to TV.? ABC ??

  11. Ruby says:

    Resurrection is a great show. It’s difficult these days to find great shows like this. I loved it from Day One and look forward to Sunday night on ABC. Please do not take it off the air. With so many characters surely there can be more stories created.

  12. nikki says:

    Only 1 more to goooooooooo :(…going to miss this weird show !!!..what about the baby? cant wait…

    • Bonnie Ferguson says:

      So intense. I love this show more than any other shows on TV. Hope it “Returns” next year. Going to miss it so much now.

  13. linda says:

    I love this show and hate to see it end. Maybe the return should show up in other cities. They could always have famous people return.

  14. barbara says:

    There will be no reason to watch TV on Sunday nights, especially ABC, if they cancel Resurrection!

  15. susan dunn says:

    Ok I will be honest I started watching Resurrection because it came on after Once Upon a Time. I thought ok I’ll give it a try. Like most shows I record it then watch it to avoid commercials. I love Resurrection! I have actually watched it before Once. I lost interest after the first few shows but for some reason gave it another try….
    then it picked up steam and just kept going! I love the twist and turns………..It’s a must watch!!!!!!!!!!!

    • toughcritic says:

      I watched Sunday’s finale (Dec.7th) and it was surely dramatic with so many unanswered questions. . I certainly hope it is renewed as it is well acted with good production values, real places not sets. As I have previously commented the plot ans story are totally unbelievable, but, since they have introduced the concept of the “returnees” and they do refer to God and Church in the series why has the question of “where have the returnees returned from and what did they experience there, maybe God and Heaven?” No one has asked that of them. Why?

  16. Morgie says:

    Love, love, love this show. So disappointed in last weeks rating. Dang The Walking Dead. This show does have a loyal fan base and does get good DVR/ON DEMAND/HULU playback. Too bad the ABC execs don’t seem to look at that.

  17. Joanne says:

    Resurrection is a great show, I can’t wait for Sunday nite. No gore just good entertainment. Leave it on abc or there will be another dumb reality show . Resurrection is interesting, suspenfull, let them get the factory up and running and. The baby born, more returns . Thanks. Joanne

  18. Story says:

    This series is Invasion of the Body Snatchers cloaked in Christian clothing. They may spin it to introduce aliens who join the humans, a civil war between aliens.

  19. StAr says:

    VARIETY: You are confusing me with someone else! You’ve been e-mailing me comments related to Brian Lowry’s negative comment about a “nagging” problem with Resurrection. THAT IS NOT ME!
    I am StAr and wrote a positive comment on May 19, saying that because everything that happens on a show is not what we hoped, that doesn’t make it a bad show.

  20. Carrie says:

    Some of the things you said are so not true! Resurrection did deliver a good show and should not be taking off television or abc. The show made a lot of sense if you would have paid attention from the very first episode. Its also sad how abc removed one of the best shows already which was the lying game that was up there with pretty little liars. It seems like abc remove all the good shows how about next time removing something like twisted or switched at birth or the fosters.

  21. Maryan says:

    Enjoy “Resurection” very much!

  22. Brenda says:

    We loved the show hoping for more.

  23. StAr says:

    Don’t know why some didn’t like the season finale. I didn’t like the returnees being rounded up, but it’s not a bad show just because I don’t agree with what they do–and logically, I could see that happening in a situation of fear.and confusion. This was likely a spiteful move by the sheriff, however, whose returning wife did not have a joyous homecoming. I’m confused by Bellamy, tho, because If he didn’t die with his family, he would be a lot older than he appears to be, and I look forward to finding out more about that…

  24. toughcritic says:

    The concept of the show grabbed me right away, even though it is totally implausible. What keeps me watching is how can they possibly give it any kind of plausible ending? The relationships are great. They keep you wondering “What if?” Good dramas always have a hint of reality and plausibility but this one keeps you wondering “what are they going to do with the story?” That is what keeps me watching.

  25. Donna says:

    I love love love this show. I did not miss one episode!!!! I didn’t realize it was a short series and was so disappointed when I went to watch it and it wasn’t on! I can’t wait for the next series to begin!!! Make it real soon please!!!!!!!

  26. Debra Simpson says:

    I really liked the show “ressurection” and I would love for it to come back. The idea that a person can come back as in ressurection is very intriguing and it leaves a person with a lot of questions because we are all told that we do come back in another form maybe in another lifetime. Some believe in ressurection and some do not. I like scifi and would like to see a season 2. I for one believe in ressurection. Let’s see a season 2!!! It had very great acting, something we don’t see much anymore.

  27. martha says:

    the show is great best one i have seen in a long time hope i comes backi know alot of people loved it great acting”

  28. I hate the negativity that has come from what was said. It has a great story behind it. My daughter who is 11 and myself watch this every Sunday. We look forward to it. I hope the second season starts soon.

  29. Denise says:

    I heard this was renewed for a second season. I have been glued to the TV every Sunday for this awesome show. I hope they start the second season soon.

  30. g warrick says:

    i hope they are going to keep this show…..i have been glued to it since it started. Was bummed it wasn’t on tonight what is going on?

  31. Tammy says:

    Love this show and hope it continues. My daughter and I get so excited every Sunday night. Its our bonding time.

  32. Mary Hooker says:

    I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! It’s farrrrrr more entertaining than 99% of those so called “Reality” shows that return year, after year, after year (moan, groan, yawn)…(sigh) .I do hope the TV network desides to return next year, for no other reason than for the delight and enjoyment of this 70ish year old Grandmother. As my grandson would say “ROCK ON RESURECTION” (or is it “YOU ROCK, RESURECTION” ?)

  33. AmyG says:

    Shows are never going to have the numbers they once had before the rise of cable series and Netflix series. I’d rather the networks commit to something and just see something out for a few seasons. If they capitalized on reruns like cable does, they’d get viewers.

  34. Melissa says:

    I love this show, if for no other reason than the fact that it gives the characters the chance to appreciate their loved ones that returned.. We live busy lives folks, and how many of us would give everything to spend even a few minutes more with those we have lost?

  35. I love the show. Slow pace little town. Like the characters & plot. Did move a little slow for 2 episodes. New series needs to pop every episode the first year. But I am definitely watching it next year

  36. Jacques Strappe says:

    LOST was my all time favorite show. It had its share of critics similar to Resurrection since many viewers have the patience of a 5 year old. Resurrection isn’t the new LOST for me but I find it very compelling, engaging and I love the conceit of the dead returning (with all their appendages attached and not eating their kinfolk for a change). Like LOST, I like the slower, meandering pacing of Resurrection. And Resurrection, like LOST feels very different from everything else on television which is populated by way too many cookie cutter cop procedurals and cheesy reality shows. I frequently agree with Brian Lowry’s reviews but I couldn’t disagree more on this one.

  37. rob says:

    Very disapointed in the last episode. Thought the finale was just that, a conclusion to what I believed was a mnmi series. Can’t believe that they got me hooked on such a sensative subject of life after death but only to leave me with a sense of nonsensical no ending.abc and to the writers, bad mistake. I won’t watch a weekly series next year. There will never be an answer or ending to why and how they re being resurrected. Bad move abc

    • Danielle says:

      I think it was a great finale.. The writers were actually very smart to leave so many questions unanswered, that’s what cliffhangers are for.. They gave us clues like with the cicadas.. What do they have to do with the returns? Is agent Bellamy really a return? Why doesn’t he know it? Personally I can’t wait for next season!!

      • Gino says:

        I really liked the show like you in the beginning but the last couple episodes weren’t all that good. Definitely a lot of action but the ending was just too flat.

      • Agent Bellamy is not a Returned. The black family that returned are his parents and sister. When they died in the flood, their son (Bellamy) survived and they don’t yet know it.

  38. Jane Rose says:

    The end made sense with Agent Bellamy because it showed his crescent shaped birthmark which Jenny’s parents said their son had that birthmark. That only means he never died and he grew up or he died and came back way before them and grew up. That’s why he is so involved in the cases of the returned because he is one of them.

  39. Jack Scott says:

    I haven’t been this excited about prime time television in a VERY long time! Over the last few years my Sunday nights have been dedicated to the lineup of cartoon shows on the “other” major network but Resurrection is the show that hits it out of the ball park for me! This is the one show where everything else has to stop so I can see it. Please DO NOT CANCEL THIS SHOW.

    • Dick Bobnick says:

      I agree with most of your comments as there has to have some mildly plausible explanation as to what has happened in this small town.  Granted, the entire premise is fairy tale but the way it has been handled so far it takes on a kind of realism about it.  I liked it until they brought in the U.S. Army and then it took on a form of “Godzilla” type plot.  Give it another season to explain the what, why and wherefoe of the story.

  40. Melinda says:

    I was very upset on how resurrection ended. If there is a season 2 or not I will not watch it. I hope others will agree. This was poor excuse for a final finally.

  41. Maggie says:

    This was my favorite show, I was hooked! I even read the book it was based on. Please bring back season two. The last thing we need is another reality show, or some inappropriate nonsense.
    Resurrection is truly refreshing, bravo!!!!! I think it will be back:)

  42. Trudy Hamilton says:

    Our whole family loves this show

  43. Scott Reid says:

    The shows ratings were fine it has had a 10% increase each week in it demo and ABC has made no mention on it being cancelled. This gentleman is just a another ass who needs to put something out there to justify his paycheck.

  44. mary says:

    it was nice to watch something that wasen’t all about drugs, sex. and so on.
    the show was great and kept you on the edge of your seat? Its really to bad, that you at ABC cant see that. It always happens this way you get all of us hooked and than cancel the show.
    sham on you?

  45. DeeDee says:

    I like this show…it’s DIFFERENT. Tired of reality crap and primetime shows where someone gets murdered by a lunatic, or there is sex, murder, etc going on in the plotlines! I was looking for something new to watch and this is it! :)

  46. Miriam says:

    This was a great show and I’m sure the second season will be better than ever!

  47. Denise says:

    I love this show. With science-fiction, you have many questions. I know there will be a Season 2 and it’ll be just as good or better. Resurrection was well done.

  48. Christina says:

    Please don’t cancel the show…I look forward to it every Sunday evening…word of advice; if resurrection didn’t air at the same time as the show “Believe” there would be more viewers…think about that! But pls let there be a second season…you can’t just end the show with the last scene of the government aiming a gun at Bellamy and Jacob…what the hell?! At least give us a good happy ending if you’re planning on stopping the show..sheesh!

  49. Sue says:

    I love this show!! I can’t wait until it returns. I think Maggie And Bellamy May get involved at some point.

  50. gina says:

    I too disagree with the commentary above. This show has been one of the first shows that our entire family has enjoyed together. It seems to offer something for everyone, without being too racy or too scary for younger audiences. I certainly hope the show returns, as it is something I’m really looking forward to

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