The basic premise is that people from Arcadia, Missouri are coming back to life. Things kick off with Jacob Langston, an eight-year-old boy who drowned 32 years ago before he wakes up in China. He falls into the hands of Marty, an Immigrations officer played by Omar Epps, who takes him home to Missouri. His parents, Lucille and Henry, are now thirty years older than they used to be, and they're understandably freaked out. Lucille accepts the situation right away, but Henry takes almost the whole episode because he's a crusty gentleman played by Kurtwood Smith.
Other characters in town are Sheriff Fred Langston and his daughter Maggie, who seems like she might be the only doctor in town. Fred is Henry's brother, which means that Maggie is Jacob's cousin, and they're particularly bothered because Fred's wife (and Maggie's mother) Barbara drowned along with Jacob. Then there's Tom, a reverend of some sort that used to be Jacob's best friend. And Maggie has a friend named Elaine and Elaine has a brother named Ray. And there are probably more people in Arcadia, but there are only so many names and relationships you can pack into a pilot episode. I didn't even mention Marty's assistant, who spends most of the episode calling Marty and asking why exactly he took this kid to Missouri instead of Health and Human Services.
Dealing with Jacob is surprisingly straightforward. Practically everyone he talks to is pretty sure he is who he seems to be, no matter how impossible that sounds. And they even test his DNA, which also says he's the child of Henry and Lucille Langston. So while there might still be a few scenes of people saying that this is impossible (which it clearly is), it seems like everyone is just moving on with their lives. Sheriff Fred has to deal with the news that his wife was cheating on him, which comes out as a result of Jacob's memories of drowning not matching the story everyone was told.
At the end of the episode, when everyone's taking a breath and wondering what's going to happen next, a mysterious drifter is cornered in a shed. He turns out to be Ray and Elaine's father, who died when Elaine was nineteen. So there will probably be more dead people showing up in the future, right?
Welcome to Resurrection! To make sure there's no confusion, Resurrection is based on a book called The Returned, not the French show The Returned, and even though the premise of this show and the French show are the same when you boil it down to one sentence. Also, this first episode is called "The Returned." I hope that makes everything clear. Let's do this.
The camera moves through some grass. A boy is lying in a few inches of water on his back with his eyes closed. He has a Mansfield Panthers shirt, if you're planning to whip up some cosplay. Then sits up and pants. He seems confused at the sight of a musk ox. The musk ox is pretty relaxed about the whole thing. The kid looks up for no obvious reason other than to let the camera look straight down on him. A wide shot suggests that this is a rice paddy.
The boy trudges along a dirt road and eventually arrives at a mildly busy area where there are people selling suspicious lumps of food on sticks. Everybody ignores him, although he's the only non-Asian person. An elderly couple finally talks to him, but he doesn't understand them. He says, "Is she dead" and then collapses. Now people are paying attention to him, because a random person wandering up and fainting is always entertaining.
There's a title screen and brief music, but not a full opening credits sequence. Here's a look behind the scenes: recappers prefer long credits because it's more screentime that we don't have to recap.
Hey, it's Omar Epps, from House! Hi, Omar! We had some good times when I was recapping that show, huh? He's bouncing a rubber ball against a wall, which sounds somehow familiar. The ball breaks a picture of Omar and a woman, which prompts his assistant (I'm assuming; it's not just because he's a man and she's a woman.) to come in, and he helpfully explains that he broke up with the woman in his picture because she wanted someone with more money. She says a kid needs a ride from the airport to achieve repatriation, and he's willing to take two hours to handle it even though it's a Saturday.
Airport. A blurry banner in the background of one shot says that it's Chicago. Omar learns that the boy showed up in a village in rural China and hasn't said a thing. The official diagnosis is "Traumatized, I guess." They don't know who the boy is or why he was in the middle of China, but maybe it was human trafficking. Although you'd think that human traffickers would be more of an urban enterprise. And from what I understand, they tend to keep pretty good track of the humans they're trafficking. There are no missing person's reports that match the boy, but his shirt is for a Missouri baseball team, and the name "Jacob" is written on his jersey. Searching for recent Visa applications didn't turn up anything. I don't know who decided the boy must be from the United States, if he hasn't said anything. He's got a shirt from Missouri, but if they don't think he goes with the shirt, that doesn't mean anything. There are a lot of white kids in Australia and Europe.