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The Chosen Season 2

The Chosen Season 2 Episode 1 Review

After the brutal and choresome first season of The Chosen, I have not been eager to pick back up with my episodic review of the series. To summarize, the first season of The Chosen is a both unfaithful as an adaption of the Bible and is also bad television from an entertainment and quality standpoint. Having heard that season two is superior to its predecessor, I finally embarked on its first episode, “Thunder.”

The episode begins by explaining that the ironically nicknamed, Big James, has been recast. Then we get a mockumentary style opening of John interviewing the other disciples as he’s working on his book. The 64 minute episode feels as long as its runtime and it delves into three slice of life plots as Jesus and his 8 disciples are in Samaria.

The first slice of life plot is about Thomas. Thomas arrives with his girlfriend Rama and her father to Samaria, to follow Jesus. Ramah and Thomas intend to join the ranks of Jesus’ disciples, and as the last season established, Ramah clearly wears the pants in the relationship. Her father has misgivings about having his daughter travel with her boyfriend and a bunch of strangers and tells Jesus he doesn’t believe in the miracle at the wedding in Cana, before ultimately acquiescing out of a sense of debt to Jesus for saving his vineyard’s reputation.

This plot is simply not believable. First of all, the hosts of the wedding at Cana would have suffered shame for running out of wine, not the caterers and farmers. Secondly, letting your daughter go on an indefinite road trip with her boyfriend sounds like bad parenting in any century, especially the first century.

The second plot focuses on Jesus and a Not-So-Good Samaritan. In the beginning of the episode, we see John and James tasked with sowing seeds into a field. The owner of that field has Jesus and the disciples over for dinner. The Not-So-Good Samaritan has a broken leg from when he attempted to rob a Jew and left him for dead. Jesus reassures him that the Jew on the side of the road was not dead and a “Good Samaritan” came to his rescue. The Not-So-Good Samaritan’s leg is healed and he is the focal point for the Good Shepherd parable theme throughout the episode.

The Chosen portrays the Good Samaritan as a true story, as opposed to a parable, and uses this premise to leverage an emotional payoff. But the premise of the Good Samaritan parable actually happening and meeting a villain of that story distracts from the emotional sensation that the show was going for. Instead of feeling powerful, it feels cheap.

About forty four minutes in, the slice of life plotlines were rather boring, but the final act of the episode is where things begin to change for the better. After arguing with the other eight disciples (including Mary Magdelene and Ramah), Big James and John storm off after Jesus and get into an altercation with Samaritans when they find him. Jesus urges them to let it go, and James and John insist that Jesus smite the Samaritans who spit on them. Jesus then admonishes James and John for not seeing the bigger picture of salvation and states that they are just a unworthy as the Samaritans.

Jesus then lifts them back up and gives them the nickname Sons of Thunder. This was easily the show’s best moment since season one episode three, if not better. Additionally, the humor the show was attempting finally clicked in these scenes, complementing the slice of life plot.

Jesus is then invited to read at the synagogue and John suggests that Jesus read the creation account in Genesis, citing the Greek nuances of form. John’s love of the creation account and this moment are used to tell the story of how John 1 came to be inspired. This part is a little ironic as the Gospel of John is written in a much more rudimentary Greek than his other letters and Revelation, but this is one inaccuracy I won’t hold against the writers.

The Chosen has struggled to have compelling plots stretching across multiple episodes, so a self-contained plot was definitely the right call for the second season’s first episode. The problem is even when they do something rather good, there was a lot of time wasted trying to get there.

Being generous, this was the show’s second best episode at the point of its release.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve seen maybe 3.5 episodes, and when I try to take a non-Christian perspective I find it’s not bad, it’s entertaining. I don’t watch much network TV dramas, but from what I’ve seen this is better than most. But, the ridiculous accents are killing me! It’s torturous at points. Thanks Ray for the reviews

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