Saturday, May 5, 2007

Jericho—Coalition of the Willing

While I do enjoy this show, it frustrates me, too. More on that later...

Jake, Eric, Hawkins and Heather return to Jericho with news of what happened in New Bern. At the same time, a mysterious figure approaches the borders of Jericho. He's come from New Bern with a message from Constantino. You know, if some mysterious guy wandered in and didn't say anything (and what was up with that? Could they not pay him to say, "Hi, I'm from New Bern, here's a radio?"), under the circumstances I'd probably shoot him, or at least incapacitate him. I thought that radio was going to blow up and take half the cast with it. Anyway, Constantino wants Jericho to surrender to New Bern.

As usual, Gray and Johnston have a difference of opinion about how this should be handled. The deadline is allowed to run down, and New Bern starts dropping mortars on Jericho. Gail is injured in the first blast. New Bern gives them a new deadline to hand over the 7 farms they want, and says they'll continue to shell Jericho until the town gives in. Stanley and some others go out to find the source of the mortars. Another altercation ensues regarding how to handle the reconnaissance. Gray orders them to take out the men guarding the mortars, against Johnston's recommendations. Stanley's end of the radio connection goes quiet just in time for a commercial break.

After the break, Stanley returns, the only survivor of the reconnaissance expedition. The timeframe here isn't clear, nor is it clear how Stanley could get back when nobody else did. But it of course shows us once again that Gray is the less competent of the two mayors. You know, just in case we forgot.

Jake and Emily go out on horseback to follow up on the unsuccessful reconnaissance. Eric catches up with them--there's a truck on the way to Jericho from New Bern. The boys catch up with the truck--yes, they're still on horseback--while Hawkins takes potshots at it. A motorcycle gang shows up, then a guy in a car. It's Emily's dad, whom we haven't seen for quite some time, this time coming to the rescue. Or maybe not, because he's not pleased with the way Jericho treated him earlier in the season. He does want Emily to go with him, though. She refuses, then bargains with him to get him to help them.

Hawkins takes his family into his super secret basement room. He and Darcy reconcile and smooch in the safe room while the kids are in the less safe room. This bugged me. A lot. They should have had their chat in the less safe room and left the kids in the safe room under the circumstances.

Dale offers to defend a local's farm in return for the farm itself. He recruits an army of refugees to help him out. If they successfully defend the farm, it'll belong to all of them, giving them a permanent stake in Jericho. Johnston approaches them, asking them to help defend the entire town. Dale bargains for more territory in Jericho, but Johnston walks off before that little conversation is finished. Apparently assuming, as usual, that everyone will eventually agree with him.

Jake and Emily return with their newly recruited army of miscreants. At the same time, Gray has arranged to turn over the farms New Bern demanded. Eric confronts Gray. Weapons are drawn on both sides, resulting in a standoff. Gray seems to be having a bit of a breakdown. Eric convinces him to negotiate to buy some time for Johnston and the others.

Johnston arrives in the commandeered truck, Jake and Hawkins and the others in the back of it. It's a Trojan Truck. The New Bern guy driving blows the deal for Johnston, who was stupidly looking out the window instead of keeping an eye on him. A big gun battle ensues, with Jonas' men coming in to mow down everybody in charge of the mortars. Jonas cold-bloodedly kills the wounded driver. And then changes the deal he made with Emily, basically taking all the guns and supplies and leaving the Jericho men with nothing. Well, except for Hawkins' giganamous gun stash. Did we know about this, or is this a big deux ex machina (gun)? Also, what happened to the tank they commandeered a couple of weeks ago? Seems like it'd be useful. Maybe it'll save the day next week?

Back at Jericho, Constantino comes back on the radio. All deals are off, and New Bern is on the way. There's a-goin' to be a war. Just in time for the season finale! Gray asks Johnston for help. They shake hands on that deal. Johnston gathers the town and gives a stirring, heroic speech. Jake and Hawkins pass out the guns.

While the tension and the overall sense of paranoia are escalating, so are the plot holes. Most of this episode hung together fairly well in spite of them, but the time lapse during the commercial break after Stanley's moment of Dramatic Radio Silence really didn't work for me. And I know the thing about Darcy and Hawkins and the kids is probably a personal pet peeve, but it really made me want to hit them with a stick.

Anyway, the season finale promises to be explosive (literally...), and so far it looks like there's a renewal in the offing--all good things.

Foo Fighters--Times Like These
Foo Fighters - One by One - Times Like These