|Due to the writers' strike, the first season was seriously foreshortened with only nine episodes instead of the standard 20-22.|
The first few episodes establish the show's basic premise: Nate discovered he had the ability to raise the dead, discovered there were limits, accidentally brought his mother back to life and killed her by touching her, his father abandoned him, he fell in love with young neighboring girl Chuck, later he brought her back to life after she was murdered on a cruise, and the two fell back in love.
Also established is that Ned works with detective Emerson Cod, who discovers Ned's ability. Emerson makes a highly profitable living by having Ned bring back murder victims so they can find out who killed them, and then solve the cases. Although it's rarely that easy...
A continuing theme through season one is secrets. One such secret is the unrequited and secret love of waitress Olive Snook for Ned.
Another is that Ned inadvertently killed Chuck's father, Charles Charles, by keeping his mother alive for more than a minute.
Another secret is the fact that Chuck's existence must be kept a secret, particularly from her aunts, retired performing mermaid swimmers Lily and Vivian. Simpler said then done, since Chuck wants her aunts to be happy and secretly gives them mood-altering drugs in pies which Olive delivers, unaware of their effects.
The season ends with the revelation of two secrets: Ned reveals his role in Chuck's death to her, forcing her to flee into the night. And Lily is actually Chuck's mother. Of course, only Olive learns that secret, leading to issues in season 2.
The gang needs to conceal Chuck's existence from more than just her aunts. Scent expert Oscar Vibenius learns of Chuck's unique scent and takes an interest in her. Fortunately for her, he refuses to dig too deeply, inspiring her to go back to Ned.
It's hard to tell what the season would have been like if it had had run a full slate of episodes. Other than secrets, there's no overarching theme and the nine episodes shown basically are an introduction to the series and the set up of plot lines that were cut off when the season prematurely ended.