This week on Jericho, we start to see who’s on the side of the angels, the bad guys get badder, and some old familiar faces return. Plus, I’m left with one overriding impression: Robert Hawkins has balls of steel. If anyone is going to be able to take down a vast government conspiracy that killed millions, he can do it.

Have you  heard of the Hudson River Spoiler?

Hey, look, it’s Dale! He’s been traveling the plains trading supplies for the Jericho store, and he knows a fishy situation when he sees it. In this case, he knows that a mysterious roadblock cordoning off a town isn’t because of potholes or a water main break — it’s because the Hudson River Virus, a diseases that is theoretically confined to east of the Mississippi, has jumped far into Missouri and is in striking range of Jericho. (The military guys in Hazmat suits was a tip-off.) He buys a bunch of vaccine on the black market, but it is almost immediately confiscated by the good folks at Ravenwood. Hey, we’re just protecting you from potentially faulty vaccines! It’s much more likely that Jennings & Rall likes being the sole legal source of the vaccine. Lovely.

Speaking of our favorite government contractors: Goetz is settling into being town administrator, and Jake and the rest of the town aren’t happy about it. Goetz prompts Jake to reveal some of his deep dark past to Eric — he was a transport driver for J&R/Ravenwood, and after his transport team lost a man under fire, they stormed a village and ended up killing both gunmen and civilians. Because of the way the rules work, there were no consequences. Ravenwood can’t be prosecuted or held accountable. It’s untouchable.

Eric refuses to believe this, so he goes to Trish, the friendly, helpful, perky, blond J&R flunky, to request a new administrator. Not going to happen, says Trish — officially, Ravenwood needs those protections to be able to do its job. Unofficially, she thinks it’s deplorable, and if it’s any consolation, they’re engaging in a lot less rape and pillage now that things are back under control. Eric doesn’t seem to find that comforting.

Jake basically tells Dale how to hijack the meds from Ravenwood transport, and it goes without a hitch — except that Goetz got suspicious about an order for 3,000 syringes that Dr. Kenchy placed. (Hi, Kenchy! I’ve missed you!) Kenchy holds out as long as he can under questioning, but he reveals that he knows what Goetz did in Rouge River, so Goetz feels free to get uncivilized on him. Kenchy caves and reveals the whole plan.

The Ravenwood goons storm the warehouse, and there’s a bit of a standoff with Jake, when Goetz gets the call — the folks in Cheyenne said they received and destroyed all the confiscated vaccine. Turns out Trish, who I’d been seeing as a J&R stooge, really does have a soul. She falsified records so the heft of the vaccine went officially unnoticed. Go Trish!

Meanwhile, Jimmy comes back to work and he recognizes the photo of Sarah mason — and links her to Hawkins. Darcy wants to run, but Hawkins must have icewater in his veins: He walks up to Major Beck, announces that he’s an FBI agent loyal to the Eastern government, and tells Beck he’s screwing up Hawkins’ investigation. Balls. Of. Steel.

There’s some back and forth with fingerprints and such, but eventually, beck gets the news that Sarah and the dead John Doe’s files have been locked. Hawkins tells him (truthfully) that Sarah and the dead guy were government spies, and the Cheyenne government knows something. Beck resists that, but when Valente denies all knowledge of Sarah being a spy and tells Beck to get on with the killing, he joins team Hawkins. Hooray!

Highlights, thoughts, and still more plot development

  • The Hudson River Virus is cutting a swath across the Midwest — Heather raises a quarantined town in Missouri on the radio, and discovers that more than 200 people have died there, with no help from the government. She confronts Beck, who doesn’t seem moved — but later, we learn he sent a military humvee with a medical officers to the town to help.
  • We also learn Beck has a wife who had been in Santa Fe when the bombs went off. He has no idea what happened to her.
  • I loved Trish asking the uncomfortable questions of Goetz — obviously, Hudson River Virus is a problem, since we’ve all been inoculated — and was thrilled to see her taking matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, that’s probably what prompted Goetz to notice the order for syringes at the medical center.
  • Trish asks Bonnie if she wants to come to Cheyenne with her. Bonnie at first demurs, but Stanley convinces her she can do anything she wants. It’s kind of sweet.
  • Indian River, Missouri, the first town where Dale encountered the quarantine, isn’t that far from where my mom’s family lives. Freaky.
  • Emily seems more and more pointless every episode. Why is she still there?
  • When Beck agrees to let Hawkins work with him to find Sarah, he announces that Sarah still has the bomb. Does that mean he’s starting to see things fall into place?
  • What appears to be a junk fax that comes through to Beck’s office is actually some sort of code that Hawkins’ team had set up. He looks a little terrified as he calls the number that code reveals. A voice on the phone says "I can’t talk now, but I know who you are, I know what you’re trying to do, and I want to help."
Posted by:Sarah Jersild