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‘Resurrection’: Symbolism adds unique twist

Symbolism in 'Resurrection'
Symbolism in 'Resurrection'
ABC Media Images

ABC’s new series “Resurrection” debuted last week and ran the second episode on March 16. While this episode introduced more questions for the viewer, it continued to use symbolism intermittently throughout the show.

The premiere episode used the color red to signal to the viewer that something was not as it seems. When 8-year-old Jacob returned from the dead, he was wearing a red baseball jersey from his hometown. He wore the same shirt throughout the entire first episode, despite the episode covering several days and a stay in the hospital.

When a mysterious stranger hitches into town, he is wearing a hoodie with a red baseball cap. He is seen lurking in the background watching Jacob. Viewers later learn the mysterious man is long-dead Caleb who has also returned from the dead. Eerie whistling accompanies the scene, yet it is unclear whether Caleb is whistling.

In last night’s episode, the whistling occurred twice to alert the viewer. Although the use of the color red was discrete, it continued to surface as a clue to the viewer. The opening scene shows Jacob –dressed in his red jersey - visiting a gravesite. Suddenly, the eerie whistling begins and the camera pans to the outside and shows Caleb lurking in the background, walking slowing around Jacob as he observes Jacob. Caleb is wearing the hoodie and his red baseball cap.

As Jacob watches, Caleb’s skin and flesh darkens, turns to ash and falls from the body. When Jacob turns his attention to his own hands, they too turn to ash and crumble. As Jacob screams, the viewer becomes aware that he has been dreaming, or at least that’s what the writers want viewers to believe. Although Caleb lurked in the background watching Caleb in the first episode, there is no indication that Jacob and Caleb have met or that Jacob is aware of Caleb. How then did Jacob dream of Caleb in his red baseball cap?

Jacob does change his red jersey in the second episode as his mother takes him shopping for new clothes, but we haven’t seen the last of the use of red or the mysterious whistling.

When Caleb grabs a red toolbox and heads out in the woods with his truck, the strange whistling accompanies the scene. Again, it is unclear whether Caleb is whistling.

Red reappears after Caleb is unable to find what he is digging for. He then walks up to a red door and knocks. He encounters someone out of sight of the camera, yells, “Tell me it isn’t all gone!” and appears to attack the person.

Is the use of red and the mysterious whistling used to alert the viewer to pay attention, or is there a more sinister connection?

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