The returned

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By Regina May Cajucom

Serendipity Couch

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WHILE watching the History channel a few months ago, Hubby and I came across the trailer of "Resurrection", an ABC family drama with a very interesting plot: an eight-year-old American boy Jacob, woke up in the middle of a rice field in China, with no recollection whatsoever of how he ended up there, millions of miles away from home.

A US immigration officer was assigned to get him for repatriation, and before the flight learned that Jacob is from Arcadia, Missouri. When they got to his hometown, Jacob led the police officer to his home, where an old couple lives: they lost their son Jacob 32 years ago when he died by drowning in a nearby river. Jacob has not aged, and although his parents recognized him, only his mother was willing to accept that the “resurrected” boy was Jacob.

At first, we thought it would be just one of those body-thief, alien-invasion plots but as soon as we watched the first episode, we were hooked. The re-appearance of Jacob stirred the lazy, sleepy town of Arcadia, where his uncle is Sheriff whose young wife died (presumed to be in the act of saving Jacob but proven otherwise), his cousin (who was a baby when he died) is now the town’s Chief Medical Officer and his best friend is the town church’s Pastor. Soon after Jacob comes back, several “resurrections” of dead (former) residents were noted in the same town.


First off, and this I need to let out: the setting is breathtakingly beautiful (Arcadia, Google confirmed, is a real town in Missouri). The homes look like they came straight out of those Town and Country magazines, which make my heart soar. More notably, the dilemma of each character, especially that of Jacob’s parents, is so wonderfully presented one could almost feel the pain and struggle they go through.

I’ll have to say it presents a very delicate theme for those who lost their loved ones and have not exactly moved on, whether they admit it or don’t. As a parent how would you react to the reappearance of a son you lost 32 years ago, looking exactly the same as when you buried him? How would a daughter feel if her father who died of a heart attack years ago and whose ashes in an urn now in their living room suddenly appeared alive in their storage room, as though he just came from out of town?

Skeptics would probably cringe, shout, run away, call 911 – scared that these “returnees” are just inhabiting the bodies of their dead loved ones or demonic beings trying to lure the (living) characters into thinking they were actually resurrected from the dead. I’m wonderfully lost, and probably not wanting to raise too many questions I (or the brilliant writers) refuse to address just yet. All I want to do while watching is revel in the grandeur of having that extra day, or week, or month with that person you love, who you have lost years ago. Which brings me to the next question: what would you have done differently? And then after that bonus time, would it hurt more if you lose them again? Will it be like starting over again, going through stages f grief? See, “no questions” is a whole lot better.

("Resurrection" is based on a 2013 novel, "The Returned", by Jason Mott.)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 21, 2014.


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