A red heifer, modern day Jerusalem and a high priest's breastplate.
A story revolving around these things probably sound pretty out there, right? Well, it's not. While DIG is centered on Peter Connelly, an FBI agent who took off across the world to escape the grief of losing his daughter, the mystery that will be unfolding around him is all too real to many people.
There is little I enjoy more than an end of world or a broad sweeping religious scenario, and when you get right down to it, that's what we're introduced to in DIG Season 1 Episode 1.
Full disclosure: I've had the benefit of seeing the first three episodes so I have a leg up on you. I'm not telling you that to brag and I won't give you any information beyond the pilot in this review, but I want you to know continuing on with DIG is most definitely worth it.
Normally, I'm far more interested in a character driven plot. Until you throw in religious connotations and groovy subplots about power hungry groups wanting to use it to change the world. Then, I can give a little, as I do with DIG. The characters are a little overwhelmed as events unfold, as you would be in a similar, surreal situation. I'll allow it. Whether you will because you enjoy similar subject matter is your call.
Carrying on! The pilot is super-sized and runs longer than a normal episode. Thank goodness, because to break it off any earlier than Golan catching up with Peter after one hell of a day wouldn't have done that day justice.
And what a day it was!
The way all of the stories intermingled worked really well. It was impossible to know how Yussef Khalid, fleeing justice for a murder in the US, would be connected to a robbery Golan was investigating in Jerusalem, let alone how the red haired girl, looking so much like Peter's dead daughter, would tie into the picture.
Then, the red heifer miles out of Antarctica connected with Josh and the freaky religious folks in New Mexico who connected back to Yussef because of the breastplate (did you notice Josh 1.0 was coloring one in his book?). The connections were seamless and as each unfolded, I found myself awaiting the next "aha!" moment eagerly.
The pilot was filmed in Jerusalem, although following installments will not have the same setting. It's unfortunate, because it was always the plan for Jerusalem to be as much of a character as any of the actors. Fighting over the city scuttled those plans and the team ultimately settled upon New Mexico and Croatia for interior and exterior shots. From what I understand, they had a lot of exterior shots filmed in Jerusalem to be used throughout, however.
Because I'm a Googler, here's what I know. A red heifer without defect is needed in order to build the Third Temple in Jerusalem. Its ashes will be used in a purification ceremony to initiate the beginning of the ritual. Such a heifer has not been born in Jerusalem in over 2000 years. Incidentally, one was born in an undisclosed location in January 2014 and is being prepped for this ritual and to be shipped to Jerusalem right now. No, really.
Building the Third Temple must happen on the Temple Mount, which is where Emma and Peter stumbled upon the sacrifice in Tunnel 7 where she thought they were looking for the Ark of the Covenant. Or did she? Since she had one of the stones for the breastplate, she knew a lot. It's highly doubtful they're looking for the Ark at all, but somehow involved in the rest of the rest of the plans.
It appears to me we're in for a hell of a mystery. Peter needs to read the notebook he kept from Emma's place immediately. It may hold a lot of information he needs. Wouldn't your curiosity have driven you there immediately? He should probably start checking his pockets more often, too. The breastplate means someone wants to communicate with God. But who? And why? They must be associated with the boys in New Mexico.
Are the boys clones of Jesus? Josh is a form of Yeshua which was a form a Jesus. The boys were obviously cloned. From the Shroud of Turin? Why couldn't his feet touch the ground? Why was he killed so easily and how many more Joshuas are hidden there? The other fun bit about the Third Temple is that there is an antichrist who may come before the true messiah. That New Mexican bunch seems skeevy. I'm voting evil, perhaps antichrist. Armageddon!
Speaking of skeevy, did it bother anyone else that Peter wound up kissing Emma, who we later learned reminded him of his dead daughter, Vickie? That's a little off. There's nothing wrong with Lynn, and she cares about him as a boss, friend and lover. Talk about a triple play!
There is so much to mine with this series and the mystery was set up beautifully. Yussef, the bad guy, wasn't even easy to dislike when he took only the stone. Who is he working with? Why is he taking the path of least resistance? Golan finally found something in common with Peter. Will Peter come clean with him and can they work together to solve a larger mystery?
Are we in a next coming of Christ scenario or bringing forth the antichrist? While this is the kind of show that would be fun to binge watch, there is so much you can research online that I'm satisfied doing that between installments. What about you?
Hit the comments and let me know what you think. Are you all in? For me, the mystery is fascinating I can't help but want to DIG deeper and find out what's next!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.