Things were going along pretty well on Jericho — you had your insurgency, your interrogation, your Molotov cocktails, your second American Revolution, the usual stuff — and then they threw us a curve ball that I’m still reeling from Where the hell did that come from?
Now is the time for all good spoilers to come to the aid of their country.
Last week, Stanley killed Goetz, even though Goetz left specific instructions that he was not to be harmed. This week, it’s time for that other shoe to drop. Jake, Stanley and the rest of the rangers are hiding out, and Beck and the army batter down doors and toss over places to look for them. Stanley thinks he should turn himself in, but Jake says no. He’ll take the rap. He surrenders to Beck, with these terms — take me, and give the rangers amnesty. I accept your surrender, Beck says, but the terms? Phooey.
Beck takes Jake to a secret location and does his best to break him, He knows that Stanley was the one who pulled the trigger. He just needs Jake to give up the location. Cue the bright lights, food withholding, no sleep, etc. Jake is not looking good.
Fortunately, he hallucinates himself some help — his grandfather, who survived World War II and inspired the shipments of peanuts with his brave defiance. Hallucinatory Grandpa tells Jake that he’s got to stay strong, protect his men, blah blah blah. To be honest, this bit kind of bored me. We know Jake wasn’t going to break.
Beck steps up the pressure. He declares Jericho an insurgent town and basically shuts it down-no power, no water, no businesses open, soldiers patrolling the streets. That’s just revolutionary catnip to the good folks of Jericho, who spend their off-hours firebombing the J&R headquarters. Finally, Beck brings Mama Green out of her hiatus to beg Jake to tell Beck what he wants. She goes through the motions, but she also whispers that Eric and the boys are mounting a rescue attempt. Go, Mama Green!
The rangers storm the interrogation center/hog farm and rescue Jake. Beck is having a very, very bad day.
Of course, it’s not quite as bad a day as Hawkins is having. Chavez calls from Texas — bring the bomb, let’s make our case! John Smith calls — we need the bomb, don’t go anywhere! Hawkins elects to head for Texas, wearing the Powder Blue Polo of Invincibility — a J&R shirt. He also stole a J&R truck, which in theory should get him through checkpoints without questions. He tells Darcy and the kids to hide out in the woods for a while.
But John Smith isn’t giving up that easily. He calls Beck and tells him about Hawkins, the bomb, and where it’s going. The military comes after Hawkins with many a humvee and helicopter, and eventually run him off the road. Here’s my question — if they know they’re chasing a guy with a nuclear bomb in his car, why the hell are they firing missiles or rocket propelled grenades or whatever the big booming things were at him? That seems counterproductive at best, suicidal at worst.
At any rate, Hawkins gets away, but the military gets the bomb. And here’s where things go completely off the rails for me. John Smith calls Hawkins, and Hawkins accuses him of being the guy who blew up the country. Yes! Smith admits! I did it! I did it to save the country, because J&R has become so intertwined with the government that I needed to do something radical to make it clear to people! That’s why I used a plan I wrote years ago to blowup 23 cities and… well, strengthen the ties between the government and J&RR, actually.
But wait! Smith says! Now the government and J&R are in one convenient location, so if I blow up Cheyenne with your bomb, the problem goes away! And that… makes no sense. It actually subtracts sense from the rest of the series retroactively. Things that I was willing to buy before now seem ludicrous because seriously? That’s what happened? Someone blew up a bunch of cities and killed millions because he was pissed at a company that is now even more in charge? I.. but… my head hurts.
Hawkins goes back to the newly liberated Jake and tells him the bad news — bomb gone, crazy guy gong to use it to blow up Cheyenne, we’ve got to stop it. And next week, I guess we find out if they do. But still — no sense. None. Not even TV sense. And maybe it’s just me, but I’m going to have a hard time caring what happens when I’m spending the whole episode saying "Yeah, but…" I’ve liked the show so far, but this just took it too far for me. What about you?