Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jericho Season 1

"Nuts! You can go to Hell!" Yup! I completely get it now! I just finished the dynamite season finale of Jericho and not a moment too soon. Season 2 begins Tuesday [10:00 pm]! FIND IT! WATCH IT! LIVE IT! Join the Jericho train and together we can rule the galaxy! Okay, maybe a bit too dramatic, but all I can say is "Holy mackerel Andy!" Season 1 of Jericho is just pure, damn explosive perfection!

Jericho's been one helluva ride since the arrival of those God-forsaken mushroom clouds. The action, the intrigue, the paranoia, the mistrust, the deceptions. This is an exciting television experience to be sure.

I can't say enough good things about Jericho to get you to check it out. It's an intense, involving story in the same vein as Lost from concept to casting. The pacing is relentless and filled with the emotion of powerful performances. You won't be disappointed. We are gripped by the journey these characters are on in the new world that is Jericho, Kansas. The problems, the mysteries and the sheer need to survive plague interpersonal relations here in much the same way we find people scrambling on Lost. Still, they are different. The ties are much closer as there is a bond between the folks of Jericho. These people knew one another before the blasts or do they? The pressures of a new order are shaping decisions and behavior and its fascinating to see who rises and falls amidst the ensuing chaos. Smalltown communities are rarely on display in television and its fascinating to see this kind of intimacy played out.

A scene from Winter's End and the dramatic struggles within Jericho.

The cast is a deliciously assembled ensemble:

  • Skeet Ulrich [Jake Green]
  • Lennie James [Robert Hawkins]
  • Kenneth Mitchell [Eric Green]
  • Gerald McRaney [Johnston Green]
  • Ashley Scott [Emily Sullivan]
  • Brad Beyer [Stanley Richmond]
  • Alicia Coppola [Mimi Clark]
  • Sprague Grayden [Heather Lisinski]
  • Michael Gaston [Gray Anderson]
  • Shoshannah Stern [Bonnie Richmond]
  • Erik Knudsen [Dale Turner]

Here's a run down of Jericho Season 1 and how the episodes shakedown. I essentially rate on my own visceral reaction combined with the pacing of action and drama that propels the story forward and whether or not I felt it successfully delivered. All in all, there really isn't a bad apple in the bunch here.

Pilot: The First Seventeen Hours [A] The title about says it all as we are introduced to the cast of characters of Jericho, Kansas. Following the bombs the town does what it can to come to grips with a reality they know little about.

Fallout [A] The town runs for cover from the potentially fatal fallout following the nuclear attack.

Four Horsemen [A] The town begins to understand the scope of the event and seek to search for more answers through search parties.

Walls Of Jericho [A] A stranger comes to town dying from radiation poisoning.

Federal Response [C+] Mayhem from power spikes has the town reeling and a recorded message from Homeland Security keeps the town on edge in terms of the realities of their fate.

9:02 [B] EMP [electromagnetic pulse] weapons are launched and plunge the town into darkness literally as if being in the dark about their circumstances wasn't enough.

Long Live The Mayor [B] Gray Anderson, a rival to the town mayor, returns from an earlier search for survivors and is horrified by what he has seen.

Rogue River [A] With the mayor out of commission from illness, his two sons, Jake and Eric Green, must travel to a dangerous area to obtain the medicine needed to save their father Johnston Green's life. This is the first appearance of Ravenwood led by actor D.B. Sweeney

Crossroads [A] Jericho's residents secure the borders in an effort to prevent the arrival of Ravenwood.

Red Flag [B+] Aid relief arrives falling from the skies but from who?

Vox Populi [B] A murder. An election. Gray Anderson becomes the new mayor. They must determine who is behind the death as the town of Jericho continues to hold it together.

The Day Before [B-] The past of Jake and Robert Hawkins is revealed in this episode dedicated to the hours before the nuclear attack.

Black Jack [B] Jake, Johnston, Dale and Heather head to a trading post outside of town for resources.

Heart Of Winter [B] Jake, Stanley and Mimi are pursued by a vehicle and unknown occupants. Forced off the road, their truck crashes and Jake is pinned underneath the overturned truck in the dead of winter. Stanley stays by his side to comfort him as Mimi journeys for help into the unknown.

Semper Fidelis [B] The US Marines arrive to help the townspeople or are they marines? The tank is convincing, but Jake and Johnston are on to something. Hawkins meanwhile deals with his family and the arrival of an old comrade in Sarah.

Winter's End [B] This one is a right tearjerker. Have the Kleenix ready. April struggles to stay alive and Kenchy does his best to save her.

One Man's Terrorist [B-] Roger, Emily's fiance, goes bananas when the town's mayor decides the town's refugees must leave due to lack of resources. Roger holds Gray Anderson hostage and Jake mediates to prevent the situation from escalating.

A.K.A [A] Jake holds Robert Hawkins at gunpoint to determine if he is a terrorist or not. Much of Hawkins' backstory is revealed here and it is a mesmerizing episode.

Casus Belli [B+] Eric never returns from rival town New Bern. Jake and Hawkins head out to find him and Heather. The two uncover a plot of weapons manufacturing that may result in Jericho as the target.

One If By Land [A] Johnston learns his sons are being held captive in New Bern. Hawkins schemes a plan to rescue Eric and Jake. One of the most intense action sequences of the season.

Coalition Of The Willing [A-] Johnston, Jake, Eric, Hawkins all head to the outskirts of town and form a temporary partnership with Emily's father to take out New Bern's men and mortars that are shelling Jericho. A war is brewing between the two towns.

Why We Fight [A] Everyone in Jericho walks the streets of Jericho armed. It's like the Wild West. New Bern is coming and the town of Jericho must make a stand to protect itself. This is as good as season finale's get.

Ordinary America quickly collapsing into the Wild West?

I think what makes Jericho so damn gripping is the way in which it portrays the country's devolution following the attacks from episode 1. It literally is a regression backward for the town of Jericho and others around them and how the regular folks deal with it all. There are loads of competing factions and it manages to inject topical global issues straight into the story to keep it compelling. It's a bit like the wild, wild west when all is said and done. Any and all attempts to maintain civilization seem thwarted at every turn by the evil of men in desperate times. It's a sincere and powerfully written story with an amazing cast!

Fans of this show, including me, certainly have their fingers crossed to see it renewed for Season 3. I suspect we'll know more in oh... 7 weeks. Support Season 2 and if you don't... well you're nuts!

No comments: