[Nope. Not above a groan-worthy pun.]
This week brought the second episodes of Believe and Resurrection. While a series can take several episodes to find its groove (*cough*Brooklyn Nine-Nine*cough*), two episodes each is still 100% more to go on than last week.
After the pilot episodes, I found Believe more entertaining than Resurrection. I couldn’t have told you why, it was something I felt. Now that the second episodes have aired, my verdict of Believe over Resurrection still stands. At least now I know why. Not that Believe‘s second episode didn’t have problems. It did. But I’m willing to forgo them in the interest of the longer run.
Resurrection is generating more positive buzz, what with better ratings, more coverage, message-board enthusiasm, and critical acclaim. Heck, Resurrection even has its own listing at Television Without Pity. It’s also being covered at TV Fanatic and io9, two sites that don’t even acknowledge Believe exists. Why is that? Alfonso Cuarón is hot property now. Did NBC just drop the ball promoting it?
Resurrection: Unearthed (102)
The second week brought more questions than answers. Some questions were purposeful, others just sprang up randomly in my mind.
- Who is the bald guy, the guy at the scene of Jacob’s drowning, and who says he isn’t Doctor Maggie’s father? Who’s he in cahoots with? (My guess—and io9’s—is it’s Maggie’s long dead mother.)
- The second person to be resurrected, Caleb, isn’t a good guy. What was he digging up in the woods? Why doesn’t he remember dying? Could it be someone killed him, even though it’s said he died of a heart attack? Who’s his partner, the guy he attacked with a hammer to the head? (We have to tune in next week to find out if the guy is dead.) This leads me to ask, can a dead guy be tried for murder?
- What did Customs and Immigration agent J. Marty and Doctor Maggie find when they opened Jacob’s coffin? And what’s Marty’s deep, dark secret? Will he and Maggie hook up?
- Why are the Langston brothers, Jacob’s father Henry and Sheriff Fred, such jerks?
The purposeful questions are cheap shots at making us want to tune in next week. It reminds me of Lost, which exhausted my patience around episode 3.
“Unearthed” did have a couple golden moments. One was of Jacob being accepted by the other kids after their parents had previously shunned him. The highlight of the episode, though, was the scene of Jacob and Pastor Tom, Jacob’s old best friend, reminiscing about school and bonding over video games. If the show had more scenes like these than the sinister, soap-opera tropes, I might be more enthused. As it is, I just don’t care very much about these characters.
Believe: Beginner’s Luck (102)
Even with a slightly sloppy second episode, Believe has me hooked. “Beginner’s Luck” consisted mostly of Tate (which turns out ot be his surname) and Bo running a lot, being chased. Not much new was established with their relationship, other than Tate finally allowing Bo to fall asleep on him. Even without a lot of character growth, though, I care about these people.
What made”Beginner’s Luck” truly appealing was its focus on Roman Skouras (Kyle MacLaughlan). Had I not watched last week, I would not have pegged him as the bad guy. He seems to genuinely care about Bo on a personal level. The episode gave him some depth that was lacking last week. Was I pulled into a charade? I’m not sure, because even in his moments alone, he seemed vulnerable.
After a brief mention last week that Milton Winter (Delroy Lindo) and Skouras had been partners, this week revealed what their relationship was. But it also raises many, many questions and hints at Something Mysterious. While it might not have been intentional, theirs may be the more intriguing relationship of the show, and I look forward to it being further explored.
Believe‘s biggest failure lies in its inability, or unwillingness, to give us a reasonable explanation of Bo’s significance. Simply saying obliquely that she must be a force for Good rather than Evil isn’t going to cut it. At least not for long.