Will You Return For More Resurrection?

Resurrection Series PremiereWhen a young Missouri native named Jacob Langston (played by Landon Gimenez) suddenly wakes up in rural China in tonight’s Resurrection premiere (9/8c, ABC), no one has a clue how he got there — or how he’s even alive, considering he died 32 years ago.

RELATED | Exclusive: James Tupper Joins ABC’s Midseason Drama Resurrection For Multi-Episode Arc

And no one is more surprised to see Jacob alive and well-ish than his parents, Henry (That ’70s Show‘s Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille (Touch‘s Frances Fisher). The process of the now-elderly couple coming to terms with Jacob’s return — he drowned, along with his aunt, more than three decades earlier — is actually a high point of the premiere, as both actors bring a believable mix of doubt and emotion to their performances.

The rest of the hour is mostly a parade of “How is this possible”s and “I don’t believe it”s, courtesy of the Langstons’ friends and extended family members, who struggle to accept Jacob’s return on both a medical and spiritual level. Jacob’s childhood friend Tom (Mark Hildreth), now an adult pastor, has a particularly difficult time understanding how it’s all possible.

RELATED | Exclusive: CSI: NY Alum Joins ABC’s Midseason Drama Resurrection in Recurring Role

That’s when viewers are treated to a surprising reveal: When Jacob and his aunt died 32 years ago, there was a third man with them at the river — and Jacob’s aunt had been sleeping with him! Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether this man has any connection to Jacob’s resurrection.

That relative ambiguity is actually a common issue running throughout the episode. While Resurrection‘s premiere does a solid job of establishing the who, what and where of it all, viewers will likely be frustrated by its complete lack of how and why. (My biggest question: How did this kid, who’s been M.I.A. for 32 years, know how to use a smartphone?)

If the series hopes to keep viewers interested, it needs to start rolling out some answers — and fast. The small-town family drama simply isn’t gripping enough on its own.

Grade Resurrection‘s first episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your selection.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joey says:

    I think it holds a lot of promise. I’ll keep tuning in.

    • Audree says:

      Kind of Freaked me out a little, deep down hoping it could possibly come true and I might see and hug my husband and daughter again
      Waited a long to see Dr. Foreman, (House) back on the tv. He is great

    • Erin says:

      The review doesn’t mention this is based on a book, The Returned, by Jason Mott. Some of the characters were the same, but the pilot definitely took certain characters’ stories in a new direction.

    • raha says:

      Entirely toooooo many commercials and you know when they are going to come on. What is causing the people to come back from the dead?? Thats all I want to know.

  2. Matt M. says:

    GREAT piece of television. I thought the pilot revealed just enough, but I think later episodes will reveal even more. Just gripping/intriguing enough for me, IMO.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I will definitely be tuning in next week!

  4. schu says:

    Why didn’t they ever get that kid a new set of clean clothes?

    • LuvYaAL says:

      That was my thought – he hasn’t changed out of that red sweater. Give him a bath and clean clothes! But I bawled my eyes out thinking…what if my mom (died when I was 8) came back. I definitely want to keep watching.

      • James says:

        Anyone else notice the significance of the color red?

        • sanchopanza says:

          When Jacob and his mom entered the church, they stuck out like a sore thumb. Everybody else was wearing dark colors and they were the only ones wearing red.

      • Steve Ungrey says:

        I lost my mom a few years ago and a good friend/classmate of mine just lost her daughter to bone cancer. I can see where some people may think this show is a bit too hopeful about the return of the dead, or maybe a bit too chilling. But this show had me hooked. ABC better not mess this one up.

    • AC says:

      Pretty sure that it was an intentional thing……. ie Bruce Willis in 6th Sense never changing from his suit shirt

    • Same thing I thought, especially by the time they went to church

  5. Ericka says:

    I enjoyed it and hope it continues to spark my interest. I will be watching next week.

  6. missvci says:

    I enjoyed the performances by most actors and the story is intriguing but yes why wasn’t this kid more freaked out or confused by the modern world and his aged parents. That bugged me throughout. He should have asked “what is this thing” instead of instantly being able to play donkey kong.

    • Dan C says:

      Donkey Kong came out in the early 80s, so it is possible the boy knew about it.

      • missvci says:

        oh i know that, thats why omar epps was like a fan of classics, but i have difficulty using a smart phone at times, and he didnt seem confused by the device at all and knew it was touch screen and all that

      • exactly. i think that is WHY he picked donkey Kong :)

        • subfive says:

          It’s not that he was able to play Donkey Kong on the smart phone, but he navigated to a notepad on the smartphone and used his finger to write “Arcadia” — he would not have known how to do that, or that it was even a possibility!

    • W. says:

      They had games in the early 1980 that looked similar to smartphones.
      I can buy that part.

      I don’ know how they will explain the resurrections.
      I hope they don’t go overboard with religion.
      That would end things for me.

  7. john b says:

    kid knows what a cell phone is??
    tree holding toy has not grown?
    toy and toy clothing,looks brand new??

    after 32 years?

    show has too many loopholes….pptthh..lol

    • Dan C says:

      The tree was a mistake. After 32 years it would likely have been dead. Let’s give them that one.

    • Tress grow through their branch tips and not through the ground that’s why the toy is still there., Know your botany people. Trees can survive more than 32 years.

      • David4 says:

        Yeah trees can live thousands of years, humans are what kills them.

        However you think only the branches grow? It’s been 32 years and the trunk and roots will grow, but it’s possible.

        I’m not too hung about little things.


      There is a tree on the south end of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, just 20 miles west of Toronto that is older than Jesus. It sticks out through the rocks on a cliff edge, growing in the southern sunlight. That reminds me, i should go down there when all the snow melts and take some pictures with my good Blackberry Z30. It takes great videos as well, so i will do that too and let my friend in New Jersey post them on her business Facebook page for her horse riding school. If i find some bark from the tree sitting on the rocky ledge, i will grab it and take it to the University of Toronto, where they can carbon date it. Carbon dating is only good back for 2,500 years, so that will cover the time before Jesus for a couple of hundred years.

      • Yvonne says:

        The tree in South Niagara Escarpment in Ontario is in No way Older then Jesus, Because Jesus Created this whole earth and all that exsist on earth and in our sky’s. Look just get to know Jesus by reading His Word and Crying out to Him.

    • Bob Smith says:

      Part of the mystery?

    • Emma says:

      I can suspend disbelief if the acting and writing and story is good so I’m in, for now. I liked it and am intrigued so I will keep watching.

  8. Liz says:

    The trailers made it look incredibly religious looking – which is fine, but just not something for me.

    • Brad says:

      Way trailer were you watching? Just because a character is a priest doesn’t make the show about religion lol

      • Liz says:

        It was one of the early ones; and the music, the frequent use of the world miracle. It wasn’t clear whether this was a supernatural mystery show or a ‘if we have faith’ type God inspired show. It came off to me as being the latter

    • David4 says:

      I’m incredibly anti-religious, but there isn’t a person on Earth who isn’t interested in death and having loved ones come back.

      • Liz says:

        Did you enjoy it then, being anti religious? Cause if you did I might check it out. And that is true, regardless of affiliation or world view, we are all interested in that concept

        • Joey says:

          For the record, I’m an atheist and I thought it was really intriguing.

          • I’m an atheist and I am on the fence about it in general. If it gets too God-y, I will tune out, but given that it takes place in a small town in the midwest and it’s about presumed dead people coming back to life, I am willing to tolerate a reasonable amount of religious questioning. I think it is fair to assume that churchgoing is a regular, routine part of life for these folks and as long as it is merely one aspect of trying to make sense of what is happening here as opposed to it being a religiously themed show, I’m okay with it. Overall, I don’t know if the show is good or not, but I will watch the second episode before I give it up. There are some fine actors in it. I don’t think Frances Fisher would sign on for a series that didn’t give her something more to do than make grilled cheese sandwiches.

    • arianeb says:

      I got the same impression with the previews, but upon watching, this show is more “fantasy mystery” show than “family inspirational” show. Those two genres are practically mutually exclusive (not a lot of “Lost” fans watched “The Ghost Whisperer” and vice versa) but it looks like the producers are going for the golden ring and trying to get and keep both audiences. Let’s see how it goes.

  9. Kelly says:

    Good show

  10. Daniel.safe.35 says:

    I loved it, they got an 8 year old actor to play a 40 year old

  11. connerc says:

    Enjoyed it. Will definitely be back. I don’t agree with the article that they need to start rolling out answers and fast. That’s the mistake other shows have made – see FlashForward and Invasion – which both got bogged down in science and government secrets – all at the expense of character development. Make us care about the characters first, with just enough hints to keep us glued. More like the way Lost started.

  12. Dan C says:

    If you read the book that Resurrection is based on, Jason Mott’s The Returned, you might be like me and appreciate the explanation of Jacob’s drowning, which I found to be better than the book’s. But after 32 years, why was that old tree still standing, and why was the hiding place still at a child’s level. Either the tree would have grown, or it would have died. I think the writers didn’t think that one out. Otherwise, a good start, and if it is like the book, it will get even better.

    • The growth of trees happen at the branch tips, it doesn’t occur in the ground. Meristems found at the branch tips are ones responsible for the growth so I guess even after 32 years, the hiding place is still the same. You

  13. D Buck says:

    so far, shows a lot of promise. yeah, the smartphone thing was probably an “oops” moment (by 30-something writers who didn’t know that smartphones weren’t available back then??) but still holds a lot of promise. now that the storyline has been laid out in a nice, slow, easy to follow manner, picking up a little bit more speed would be okay. I’ll keep watching, but mostly because all the other “supernatural” stuff is such a crock and evil that I won’t ever tune into junk like that.

    • Travis says:

      I think the smartphone bit was probably more along the lines of you give a kid an electronic device and they can figure it out very quickly unlike an adult.

      • tp says:

        Exactly. I’ve seen babies know how to use a tablet and a 2 yr old work a phone better than an adult. It is totally possible.

    • BJK says:

      The kid knows how the phone works because it resembles a hand held game from the 80s (when he was alive)

  14. The show was very good but of course the regular TV stations just have to ruin everyone’s viewing experience by shoving commercials down our throats every ten minutes.

  15. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give Resurrection an A. I looked at the series as an emotionally charged drama.

  16. Estela says:

    I love the show! Cant wait till next week. I already have it set to record just in case im not home. Loved the story. I think the pilot episode was great. The acting was good too.

  17. Michael says:

    I thought that his ability to use technology and not be freaked out buy it may be part of the plot. It felt to obvious to be a mistake.

  18. Mary says:

    I will definitely watch it….seeing the preview the first time when the little boy hugs his dad,i was overwhelm with strong emotions..i wanted to cry, cuz it gave a message of hope. My son doesn’t live with me right now cuz of certain situations that happen with me. n even seeing him is such a big deal with his dad.so even though i loose hope at times,that the situation will not change, it gave me hope that i would be able to hold my son n tuck him in at bed,take him to school or even do homework with which is something that i have not yet been given the chance to do still….

  19. Dave Reason says:

    He “knows how to use a smart phone” because he isn’t using it as a phone. He is playing Donkey Kong which was a common video game 32 years ago.
    Get with it man!

    • Michael says:

      He was playing Donkey Kong, but then he switched to another app to write Arcadia.

      • Mike says:

        Exactly. That’s needs some explaining.

      • Just Me says:

        Etch-a sketch? LOL

        • herman1959 says:

          He would still have had to be familiar with the concept of the touch-mouse in order to use an Etch-a-Sketch app – the “knobs” don’t turn. Also, it is true that an adult tree would maintain the same height for the hole, but the fabric that GI Joe was wrapped in would have rotted. But so what, I like the show and I’m willing to give it a try. Hopefully, they’ll employ some older fact-checkers.

  20. Name This Tune says:

    I enjoyed it and will watch next week.

  21. Lisa says:

    I think this show has the promise of keeping the audience intrigued to keep tuning in every week, like The Killing or Lost. I hope it answers some questions weekly, as it keeps adding questions. Will it all be known by the end of the season???

  22. 24 Fan! says:


    The Premise, the acting, the writing! I’m instantly hooked, and the suspense of it all.

    Probably one of the finer pilots I’ve seen!

    The Kid, Jacob he’s giving me chills!

    A+ I’m wondering where they are going with this CRAZY Show as seen in next week’s previews.

  23. KCC says:

    The look on the parents’ face when they recognize Jacob… amazing!! I will be back for more.

  24. Butterfly says:

    Very good show. Many of my friends who lost children and loved ones were touched. I hope the next episodes are as fantastic as the first. Good story and actors. Loved it!

    • murley says:

      Really? I have the opposite experience. I lost my mother when I was younger and a close friend just before her 30th birthday. And I can’t and won’t watch this show because manipulating that hopeless longing for our loved ones to return is just too painful to expose myself to. My friend who recently lost her 6 year old girl finds the premise down right offensive and I know quite a few others who share that opinion.

      • To each their own, right? I lost both my parents when I was 12 and 21. Then I lost an aunt who basically raised me like her own son. I was 43 at the time. It’s fiction. Every show will play to everyone’s emotions. I’m sorry for your loss by the way.

        • murley says:

          Yes, I know. I find this a little manipulatie for my tastes and was curious to read others’ opinions. I was also curious to see if it was “done well” given the subject matter. I still know that I don’t want to go there personally but I agree, to each his own and definitely meant no offense.
          I am very sorry for your losses as well.

      • Laura says:

        I lost my father suddenly not long ago. The show definitely plays into my feelings of “wouldn’t it be wonderful if…” but as a rational adult and know that it’s a TV show and will sadly never come true.

      • Mike Brown says:

        who cares if you and your friends don’t like it,Millions of other people do!

  25. People who are complaining about the tree, trees grow through their branch tips not through the ground. That’s why the hiding place is still there. Know your botany before you complain. And, trees can survive more than 32 years. Duh.

  26. Ed says:

    Dr. Cameron and Dr. Foreman taking up 2 hours of TV on ABC

  27. Danielle says:

    It’s been ONE episode. Give it more of a chance, jeez.

  28. Tahonia says:

    Somebody compared it to lost, so is everybody going to be dead?

    • connerc says:

      That’s not true of Lost.

    • DYS says:

      Everything that we saw, with the exception of the flash sideways happened while they were alive. Of all of the things not explained on the show that was absolutely not one of them. Christian Shepard flat out said that all of it was real and explained what the sideways were.

  29. LB says:

    Ready to enjoy it, hoping there will be more content next week. Could get bored if it doesn’t develop more substance.

  30. Brad says:

    So the writer of this recap would like the answers in the pilot? How did this guy get a job writing about television shows lol. I have never commented about the writers but that was pretty inane. Did anyone think maybe the tree was full grown 32 years ago? I’m 46 and my childhood home has trees in the yard that are the same size as when I was a kid so not sure why the hang up on the tree.

    • Cory says:

      I agree I found the statement insinuating that the show had to give answers immediately a bit confusing and ridiculous. And they obviously dislike serialized mysteries so they shouldn’t be recapping if they don’t even like the format. Just my opinion.

  31. Bob M. says:

    Fantastic show. I’m hooked and will tune in again next week.

  32. BlackPlastic says:

    Yeah, no – the writer of the article (Andy Swift) wants answers asap? Man, it was the PILOT episode!! If it was a season finale, yeah, we’d want answers – but in the very first episode? Yo, Andy! Not everything has to be ‘swift’, hmmm, ‘k?

  33. K Johnson says:

    Outside of knowing how to seamlessly switch apps, the cellphone scene was simple enough… he had to be told how to use the toggles… the rest of the game involving a giant ape and barrels was pretty intuitive, I think. I was more intrigued about the ominous scene where both returnees waringly acknowledged each other. Clearly they would have known one another before their Resurrections.

    • Tom 027 says:

      Wouldn’t the other returnee be the only one to look close to the same to the boy? If he died at about the same time. The other people have aged 32 years.

      • mary says:

        If you’re talking about the father at the end-he looks the same as when he died as well. His daughter was 19-I am assuming she is late 20’s now. So maybe he would be in his early 40’s.

  34. Fortheloveofpugs says:

    So far I like it. For those who have lost a loved one, it could be a bit difficult to watch, and I say that because I’d love to see my brother again and this show has made me emotional. On the flip side I can see a story developing. Could Jacob be back to set the truth free? Did his Aunt go into the water to save him or was he saving her and from whom? His Uncle maybe???

  35. Lori says:

    Loved it!! Get over the Donkey Kong and tree thing folks.. My daughter works new age electronics faster than me sometimes lol and trees can live hundreds and hundreds of years. If you can watch the same old zombie apocalypse flicks over and over then this should be given a chance all the same… I mean come on.. Who wouldn’t love having one of their deceased loved ones coming back to life. Who cares how really believable it is, its TV and so far pretty hooked on it!!

  36. ben g says:

    I dont think anyone has mentioned the fact that the kid doesnt have a heartbeat… The doctor tapped on her stethoscope to see if it was working obvious indication that she could not hear anything………

    • connerc says:

      After tapping her stethoscope, she listened again and he had a heartbeat. May mean something. May not.

      • herman1959 says:

        Yes, it was confusing because at first, she couldn’t hear the heartbeat, but after she adjusted the stethoscope (made it louder?) she could which could mean it was faint. Also, the heartbeat didn’t sound like a normal, healthy one. I’m thinking that it was meant to sound like of a person who had nearly drowned. Whatever, I’ll watch next week.

      • Rhys says:

        She doesn’t even hold the bloody thing the right way! ‘Twas hilarious.

  37. nate says:

    i haven’t watched yet but is this show just a knockoff of the french show the returned

    • BTM says:

      1. If you haven’t watched it, how do you know?

      2. You also happen to be wrong. It’s a TV adaptation of a novel.

    • Mike says:

      Countries do this all of the time. If something is good overseas, no reason not to make one here. But… after one episode I don’t think this holds a candle to The Returned. I do not speak French so having to read the subtitles over the French dialog somehow added to the whole spookiness of The Returned. Here’s to hoping Resurrection gets better. :-)

      • Tenney says:

        I LOVED the creepiness of The Returned, which is kind of how it should be if people start coming back from the dead looking exactly the same as when they died. This one seems a little too sappy for me.

    • Scott says:

      It has a somewhat different tone to The Returned. That is a very dark show. Thankfully this is toned down a lot.

  38. yuka says:

    It was a ok and earned a second look. First show on Sunday that I’m watching this year!

  39. talon says:

    The french version “the returned” is way better than this. Resurrection was boring.

  40. It was decent. I’ll be tuning in.

  41. Forwardad says:

    Why does this recapper hate everything he writes about?

  42. Sue says:

    Very interesting! Yes, I like this show and will continue to watch it. Let’s realize it’s made for entertainment and I think it’s unfortunate people are upset by the subject matter, but to each their own. I respect their feelings. What I wouldn’t give to wrap me arms around my Mom and tell her how much I love and miss her. I like the “unknown” factors as they keep the show moving forward, keep me asking questions and certainly keep me guessing what will happen next. I don’t need all the answers…I like being able to fill in the blanks myself… but I am interested to see what will happen in future shows.

  43. JBC says:

    I will definitely give it a second week. I enjoyed the pilot and the acting was good. Easy to follow storyline which gave a good exposition of the characters so far.

  44. For sure…loved every minute of it. Wish it was a 2 hour premier.

  45. skrable2 says:

    It was well done, but I spent so much time asking “smartphone” type questions that my ability to buy into the premise suffered.

  46. greysfan says:

    Finally! ABC have delivered with a very very strong drama in Resurrection. I hope the numbers in the morning reflect how good the show was.

  47. I liked the 1st episode , and will come back next week, just hope that they have not rushed the story line

  48. arial2 says:

    Good start. But, for some reason, it kept reminding me of Under the Dome. Weird reaction. My main concern is remembering how many fantasy shows set in the present couldn’t pull off the final explanation. I’ll keep watching and hope the writers have something fascinating in mind.

  49. Craig Hansen says:

    I’m intrigued enough to check out episode 2.

  50. jack hart says:

    already saw the european version – “the returned” (it was better)