A.D. The Bible Continues aired its final episode of the first season this past Sunday 6/21/15. In my last post review of this series (after episode # 5) I noted that I would only post once more on the show after the season finale. Therefore in this post I will provide a brief review of the remainder of the season, i.e. episodes 6-12.
In the episodes that proceeded my previous review we meet Saul of Tarsus. We watch as he persecuted the early Church, then converts and becomes one of the Apostles. We also witness the fascinating interactions of Saul with Peter and the other Apostles, who are naturally skeptical at first. In addition, we are introduced to James, who although the series does not directly state is Jesus’s brother, strongly implies it. Watching the interactions and discussions on how to proceed between Peter, James, John, Barnabas, Simon, Thomas and Saul (Paul) were among the highlights of these episodes. We also are given more background on the barely mentioned Tabitha and Joanna, whom interact often with Mary Magdalene, and Mary (the mother of Jesus) all but disappears from the series. Meanwhile Pilate and Claudia appeared set to leave Judea and return to Rome by orders of Emperor Tiberius, only to be torn up by the new Emperor Caligula, whom is appropriately portrayed as the wicked and mad man that he really was. Pilate’s ruthlessness also continues to further alienate Claudia. The High Priest Caiaphas also manages to survive attempts to remove him as High Priest by his father in law, and watching the scheming between Pilate, Herod and Caiaphas, their wives, the Zealots and the Ethiopians, was equally just as entertaining to watch, even if not exactly biblical.
This brings us to the climax of the season, as the golden statue of Caligula arrives and the Romans (under orders) attempt to place it in the center of the Jewish Temple. Of course this is not from the Bible, but did more or less really occur. However, in reality the statue only got as far as Syria, and the governor there, Petronius, delayed shipping it onward to Jerusalem in fear of rioting. The emperor’s friend, Herod Agrippa, eventually persuaded him to retract the order, and it never arrived in Judea. However, this naturally would not have made for as great a climax and drama, so we are treated to a confrontation at the Temple instead. To that end, in an interesting turn of events, the Christians decide to stand with Caiaphas in obstructing the Romans from entering the Temple with the statue. Cornelius, who also converts in the finale, does nothing. Nevertheless, the Zealots fight against the Romans, and the statue is destroyed in the process. One of the interesting side stories in this finale is who murdered Caiaphas’s wife. After she betrayed him, he no longer sought her confidence (advice), and she began to plot to have him killed. The series implies three possible corporates: her father and brother (whom she betrayed), the zealots (whom she betrayed), or her husband (whom she betrayed). We are only left at this point to speculate, as the episode wraps up with Peter’s arrest by Cornelius’s number two, who seems to suspect his conversion and baptism by Peter.
In conclusion, I have said all along this was not the best biblical adaptation I have seen, but it was also certainly not the worst. The series is a mixture of biblical history, non-biblical history and some fiction, and in my view worthy of a second season. However, as noted in prior posts, the ratings since the premiere have continued to drop, and although it finally stabilized at about 4 million viewers each week, the finale ended with a season low in ratings at 3.49 million. Therefore, I find it unlikely that NBC will renew the series for a second season – which is a little frustrating considering it ended on a cliff hanger. Although we know how the real story ends. Nevertheless, even if it is cancelled we only have ourselves to blame for not watching in mass. I am just grateful that a major television network, mainly due to the strong conviction and faith of producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, decided to air and portray the Christian faith and our biblical stories in a positive light.
That concludes this post thread on A.D. unless, or until, they have a second season. Thank you for reading.