About fifteen minutes into last night’s episode, which I watched very early this morning thanks to TiVo, I was thinking that I was in the middle of the worst episode of Jericho since it’s return. The plot seemed to be moving very slowly and there just seemed to be something off about the show. Well, I’m glad I stuck around because it may just have been the best episode of the season to date.
The episode picks up pretty much where last week’s episode left off. Hawkins is talking once again to his mysterious caller — who identifies himself as someone who knows what Hawkins is doing and wants to help him but doesn’t offer much else — and is warned that the Allied States government is within days of finding him thanks to an aerial radiation scan that will reveal the location of the bomb he’s hiding. Hawkins has to destroy that section of the report, or the jig is up.
Meanwhile, Jennings & Rall/Ravenwood are continuing to consolidate their control over the town. All goods entered the town are subject to their control, businesses are required to get J&R licenses to operate, and they are supervising the issuance of a new ASA currency.
The townsfolk are trying to find away around the restrictions, but not having a lot of luck. When Stanley Richman refuses to let them use his farm to smuggle goods into town, he says that things under the ASA aren’t any different than the way things were before the bombs. Other people, though, are talking about the Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party.
Meanwhile, in the midst of the currency exchange, Mimi notices that $ 10,000 in new currency is missing. When Goetz, the Ravenwood administrator, is made aware of the possible embezzlement, though, he seems more interested in getting control of the evidence than finding the perpetrator; perhaps because he is the embezzler.
Hawkins and Jake, meanwhile, do what they can to get the report out of Major Beck’s office, and end up recruiting Heather Lipinski, the only civilian with access to do it.
This is where the plot really started to take off from what seemed like a rut.
Hawkins tells Heather, mostly off camera, most of the story behind the bombs and it obviously convinces her enough to do the job while Hawkins gets Beck out of the office.
Oh, and about that……
Hawkins convinces Beck that he’s tracked Sarah Mason, who, of course, is dead, to a house across the Nebraska line but when they arrive there, the house has burned down but a hard-drive has mysteriously survived. When Beck looks at the data on that hard-drive, he begins to realize that the people he’s working for have lied to him, which is exactly what Hawkins wanted him to figure out.
Meanwhile, Dale Turner gets arrested by Ravenwood for smuggling and gets transferred, without trial, to a prison in Colorado. Only Jake’s intervention with Major Beck saves our intrepid smuggler from certain death.
Hawkins has one more conversation with “Smith” in the episode and we get more information about who may have been behind the attacks. Jennings and Rall, it seems, had drafted a Continuity of Government plan for the Defense Department back in 1993 that posited the destruction of 26 American cities. Someone, Smith explains, go their hands on the plan and put it into action, and he thinks J&R had something to do with it.
Remember that missing currency I mentioned ? Well, it comes up again in what comes close to being the most shocking part of the entire series outside of the detonation of the bombs.
Geotz follows Mimi back to the farm in an effort to get his hands on the evidence of the embezzlement. When Bonnie Richmond refuses to let him and the Ravenwood goons in, they come in anyway and Bonnie takes up a shotgun and starts firing.
It was a very effective scene. From the moment she picks up the gun, there’s really no sound, just the images of her shooting one Ravenwood guy after another. For a moment, it looked like she was going to succeed in stopping them. But then, Goetz walks through the door with his gun drawn. While the camera switches to an injured Mimi, we hear shotgun blasts and gunshots. And then silence.
As the episode ends, Jake arrives in a patrol car to find Mimi being taken away on a stretcher and Stanley holding his dead sister in his arms with a look in his eyes that speaks volumes. I don’t think he’ll be walking away from a fight anymore.
Four stars out of five for an episode I wasn’t too pleased about at the 15 minute mark.
Questions Asked/Lessons Learned
Thanks mostly to the information that “Smith” gave to Hawkins, we know a little bit more about who might have been behind the attacks. Jennings & Rall and Ravenwood, along with elements inside the United States Government.
The other interesting tidbit came in a conversation between Mary Bailey and one of the ASA soldiers. He mentions at one point that his wife is “back East” — in other words in the area controlled by the Columbus Government — and that communicating with her is difficult, and he talked about getting back to her when his tour is up. This gets back to the question I asked last week:
How/Why did the former U.S. military in the area controlled by Cheyenne so quickly transfer its loyalty to a new government led by the junior Senator from Wyoming ?
There’s an answer there, but I don’t know that we’ll get to it in the last three episodes.