Faithful watchers of Resurrection, by now you will have learned the big reveal of the season two premiere: Agent Bellamy (Omar Epps) is now a “Returned.” After being taken from Arcadia and held for questioning by the mysterious woman and the government entity she represents, he receives a fatal gunshot wound to the chest during his interrogation.
In the last scene of the season two premiere, when Agent Bellamy’s body is wheeled into its drawer in the morgue, his toe tag reads “Returned.” This was a flashback scene, before Bellamy turns up back in Arcadia. Does this mean, if Bellamy was pre-tagged to “Return,” that this government entity has some way of knowing who will come back and who won’t?
It seems that all of the “Returned”—or at least the overwhelming majority—have had some contact with Arcadia’s river, doesn’t it? Also, when will the Thompsons (the 1950s African-American family that “Returned” in last season’s finale) discover that Agent Bellamy’s crescent-shaped birthmark on the back of his neck bears a striking resemblance to the birthmark on the back of their missing son Robert’s neck? This question—leading us to believe that Agent Bellamy was actually already a “Returned” at the beginning of the series—might be this season’s biggest question, as well as the reason that Agent Bellamy’s new job (which we will discuss soon) is of such high importance.
Moving on to “Echoes,” Jacob takes to collecting dead crows that fall from the sky and, later on, cremates them at the behest of his grandmother, Margaret (Michelle Fairley). Margaret admits to Jacob (Landon Jimenez), off-screen, that she was cremated and this not only seems to become an obsession for Jacob, but the removal of the corporeal state by fire is an undertone of the entire episode. (Jacob also reveals later on that he knows Marty is a “Returned” but he doesn’t specify if he knew it at the beginning of the series, or just this season.)
Sherriff Fred (Matt Craven) has turned over a new leaf after his mother intervened on his burgeoning suicide attempt; he removes his wedding ring and dumps out all of the liquor in his house. Seeing Fred show remorse for the things he’s done and try to mend some fences was nice, knowing that his wrongdoings don’t come from a place of evil, but a place of confusion and lack of faith. Matt Craven has done a bang-up job of displaying the human side of Sheriff Fred in the first two episodes of this season, and often with few lines of dialogue.
The dynamic between Rachael (Kathleen Munroe) and Pastor Tom (Mark Hildreth) is intriguing; a pastor whose faith is shaken to its core, who learns that death may not bring the afterlife he believed, has also realized that he’s going to be a father to a child he conceived decades earlier—unbeknownst to them—with his girlfriend who committed suicide while she was pregnant.
The fact that Rachael “Returned” after committing suicide (seemingly the only “Returned” to have done so) is a faith-shaker enough on its own. That she was unwittingly pregnant, that the baby has “Returned” as well, and that Pastor Tom deservedly feels an obligation to Rachael and the child even though he’s married to Janine (Lori Beth Sikes), that Janine doesn’t know her place due to Tom not having been unfaithful, that Rachael and Tom have feelings for each other that seem determined to resurface… this is a love triangle that is anything but clichéd; it is an endlessly intriguing tightrope act, and one in which each character’s sanity is clinging by the merest thread. In “Echoes” Janine decides to move back in at the urging of a friend—a move which could tip the balance.
Bellamy’s afterlife occupation is one of Resurrection’s most intriguing draws: the mysterious government woman has tabbed Bellamy—wielding her authority over Sherriff Fred—as the authority on the “Returned” in Arcadia and now Agent Bellamy has an office in the Arcadia Police Station. Bellamy is tasked with reporting on all Arcadian “Returned” matters, which seems like a pretty hefty job. However, if Bellamy is the Thompsons’ Robert, this would mean that Bellamy was a “Returned” at the beginning of the series, and he would have been the first to come back.
Suddenly, his “intuition” to bring Jacob back home would make sense, as would his being pre-tagged as a “Returned” and being given such an important job. The budding will-they-won’t-they romance between Agent Bellamy and Maggie (Devin Kelley) is given a forceful shove this week, as both characters are told that life is meaningless without a family; it does feel strained, but I’ll let it slide. Agent Bellamy and Fred get a call about a “Returned” taking up residence in Caleb Richards’ old shed; they scramble to get there—thinking Caleb has come back—but the “Returned” is a sickly 1930s man, who Bellamy rushes to Maggie.
When Agent Bellamy speaks to Margaret, her disposition is suddenly much more standoffish than in “Revelation.” When Bellamy remarks that if she needs anything to come to him, she adopts a stern face and spits, “I have everything I need right here,” before surmising that she feels she and Marty have met before, even though it “would be impossible” (which only reinforces the notion of Marty actually being Robert Thompson).
Margaret gets examined by Maggie—meeting her grandmother for the first time—who reveals that the cancer that killed Margaret is nowhere to be found. Soon after Bellamy rushes in the 1930s “Returned” man, named Arthur Holmes (Scott Michael Campbell, Push) Margaret demands to see the Langston Furniture factory, which has been ruined by decades of neglect. Margaret becomes irate with the downfall of the family legacy; her anger seems to be about much more than just the family business, though.
Arthur Holmes is the first “Returned” who’s come back sick and claims to have died in a fire (again, the removal of the corporeal form by flame). When Margaret visits Arthur Holmes, the light fixture begins to flicker despite Maggie’s attempts to correct it; if you’ll remember, the jail’s light fixture flickered in Season One when Caleb Richards disappeared from his cell. Margaret visits Mr. Holmes because she remembers he worked at the factory when she was a child, and tells Maggie that she hopes she “eased the poor man’s suffering,” which seems kind at first. When Bellamy finds that Mr. Holmes is gone, the lights ominously flicker yet again, and Margaret’s sentiments take on a whole new meaning. Bellamy calls his mystery government boss, pointing the finger at her for taking Mr. Holmes away, but she knows nothing of him. Margaret tells Jacob that his parents love him, but they will never understand the two of them because they’re “Returned” and, therefore, different.
It’s this type of conversation that often seems to be the seed-planting of rebellion. The final scene of the episode shows Margaret digging furiously in the factory, a task that reveals the skeletons of at least four people. The disappearance of Mr. Holmes is now on Margaret’s hands, and suddenly she becomes a villain—or at least a character with tremendous secrets. She seems to be a looming evil over the entire show, an evil that demands retribution of some sort.
Overall, “Echoes” builds on the intrigue of a well-managed season premiere. Though the numbers are down in season two, this season’s plot is well on its way and is building on the intrigue of season one. Sure, the answers aren’t coming, and Resurrection’s Jenga block tower of mystery could tumble down at any moment, but it’s an enjoyable ride and the optimist in me hopes that when the answers do come, they’ll be satisfying and worth the wait.