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October 10, 2015

Jericho: Four Horsemen

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 4th 2006 10:04PM
Jericho(S01E03) "18 Hours After The Bombs."

That's sort of an odd phrase to use as an opening, "after the bombs." But I guess we know they were definitely bombs, and there were more than one. Sometimes I think we might be overthinking this show. Maybe we're supposed to understand that these were nuclear bombs directed at our cities, a war, and not (take your choice) an accident, aliens, a conspiracy, or something similar. I guess the mystery is in who did it, why, and how this small town will survive.

The whole town is underground hiding from the rain that might be carrying radioactivity from Denver. Jake and some others are in the basement of a house after killing the fake cops. Good tension here: one guy freaks out from the claustrophobia; Bonnie's brother Stanley comes in from the rain and has to take iodine because he's soaked; Johnston (Gerald McRaney) has heart problems but is trying to control things via phone; and Dale is stuck at the girl's house. They've both lost (possibly) their parents in the blasts. You know they're gonna hook up.

Several people are taken to the hospital, including Stanley, who throws up a couple of times ("that's what happens when you drink a bottle of iodine.") Scott Rennie (sp?) dies of a heart attack, and Gray blames Johnston, who isn't too sick to punch him in the stomach and yell at him because the town needs them to stick together. In a note to Heather, Shep discloses that he feels it was his fault that Rennie died, he didn't watch over him like Johnson wanted to.

The rain stops so the people come up, but Jake thinks the next thing to do is to get out of town and see what the hell is going. But should they? Gail doesn't think it's a good idea, but Johnston thinks Jake's right. Before he got back to the house, Stanley saw a bunch of tanks outside of town. Jake gets a team of volunteers together. Hawkins volunteers, but Jake says he wants people who don't have families. Shep drives off after leaving the note, and radios back that "he's sorry" to his family.

There's some good stuff building here. There's a great scene at the town bar, where everyone has gathered for food and drink, when a TV station signal comes in for about 10 seconds or so. It's an Asian newsanchor, reporting on several bombs that went off in the U.S. The feed is lost quickly however. That's an effective little scene. You wonder who is doing this, what countries have/haven't been effected, and just what is going on in the outside world. Was it Korean? Chinese? Are they reporting on it, or are they behind it?

Emily is upset because Roger was in Wichita. And she thinks she saw that Wichita was one of the cities on the map on TV that was hit. So of course she's mad at Jake. Yeah, they're gonna hook up too.

Jake, in a car alone, comes across several planes that tried to land on the road and crashed. He doesn't see any people, but he takes the black box back to Jericho so they can listen to it. It has the last moments of the pilot's conversation. No air traffic control. 10,000 planes in the air, circling, running low on fuel. But in the background, Jake hears the pilot from one certain airplane has touched down in a field...the plane carrying Roger.

Dale finds a train full of food for the town. Dinty Moore stew! Uncle Sam cereal!

This was the best episode yet, the one that made me say, "yeah, this is going some place and I want to see the outcome," even if I don't believe that the town would have a big cookout at the end, along with a pop song soundtrack, but it gives the director a good scene to show different people talking to each other or staring at each other for various reasons. I still think this has a one season feel to it (unless the entire focus of the show changes in the second season, a la Prison Break), but it looks like I'm in for the long haul.

Still not sure what Hawkins is up to though.


First woman (black goop on her hands): "What's this black stuff?"
Second woman: "That used to be Denver."

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Unlike most viewers above,I find the show way too slow (as with too many soap opera subplots" comment and disjointed. It seems a remake of "Lost" with a different twist .... both stranded and without a clue as to why ... shady characters .. and nothing revealed about what the heck is gojng on and why. I think they may be hinting of extraterrestials after the St Louis famnily is shown to nbe no family at all, etc.

Years ago I went thru a messy divorce and lost my kids to my ex who lived a few hundred miloes away. As I traveled back and forth to see them I wondered how I could get to them in an emergency .. where would they be, how could I get there without autos and roads, etc. In real life someone in Jerhico must be just as anxious to get to loved ones.

As sort of a weird aside, when "The Day After" was made the company producing the movie tried to get my ex's family to sell their home to be destroyed in the movie ... that was the one with thre farm family, cellar, etc. They refused to sell it.

October 16 2006 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Me Sa

For those wondering about the mysterious barrel in the storage locker, anyone see a strange resemblance to the nuclear weapon in Superman: The Movie (1978). The French terrorists in the Eiffel Tower have their hydrogen bomb in a 55 gallon drum in the elevator. Anyway a steel drum like that makes an innocuous and non-obvious bomb casing. It was obviously heavy when Hawkins rolled it up in the moving truck. Walling it up in his house makes it even more suspect. The brown bag on top could house the detonator/timing circuitry. I would not be surprised to find out that Hawkins is a sleeper agent tasked with waiting out the initial attacks only to strike a target of opportunity with his nuclear bomb when the nation tries to recoup and establish new centers of government. After tonights episode there is no doubt in my mind that he is with the attackers. Well, thats my theory on the steel drum anyway. Can't wait to find out more!!

October 11 2006 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have given up on LOST and I'm staying with JERICHO.

October 10 2006 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The whole thing is gov. plot to see how reg. joes would handle such event....hence the lack of radiation.

October 08 2006 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A great series! So many possibilities as to where they can go.

I mean was this an attack from the outside of the US? Was it an inside nuke attack and did the US thinking it was Russia or China fire nukes back and now the world is nuked??

The broadcast could have been old or delayed of just the US getting nuked and not the response.

Kind of interesting that this little town a sliver of civilization survives basically alone in the world.

October 08 2006 at 4:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We should just sit back and enjoy Jericho.

I like it cause its a lot less stressful to follow along than LOST is.


October 07 2006 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey, is invasion coming back? Love that show.. and what about surface? As to Jericho- lot of questions need answering.. give it a few more segments before turning off. Re-watched "the Day After" and realized how brainwashed I was in High school. Curing the meat.. great idea!!!!

October 07 2006 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ben said: "Also, China uses PAL video encoding, whereas we use NTSC, so the TV couldn't display it anyway."

Which has absolutely nothing to do with satellite broadcasts. With a "big ugly dish" you can most certainly pick up Asian TV broadcasts. We do it with our dish here all the time. We waste time at work watching movies (commercial free, too) broadcast from some middle eastern TV station with arabic subtitles. Plenty of free stuff from Germany (which uses PAL) too.
PAL vs NTSC has to do with video playback/encoding, not satellite broadcasting.
Most modern sat receivers would be multi-format anyway. So it's not unusual at all to be picking up a Chinese broadcast.

October 06 2006 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

About the satellite broadcast -- countries from all over the world rebroadcast to sats above north america.

If you have ever taken a dish and run it across the sky you can pick up all sorts of strange stuff.
And if it is being beamed down on north america, you can be sure it would be NTSC.

On a more sinister note, acording to wikipedia, the translation of the Chinese broadcast is just the names of major cities, and part of a manderin sentence that literally translates to: "Blood-sucking-insects he".

About the flight recorder, I am willing to suspend my disbelief.
It was a great plot device and I can't think of any easy way the writers could have incorporated it without bending the rules a little.

October 06 2006 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim hardy

my main problem with the whole thing is the soap opera subplots. There were 2 or 3 very intense moments which should have given viewers a sense of what it would really feel like for this to happen, but then they kill it with Days of our Lives-crap moments. To wit, when they find the downed planes and listen to reel-to-reel, you get a good idea of how it feels when the world falls apart in front of you, when these people learn that something that they took for granted, the ATC of the United States is completely gone, and that there's over 10,000 airplanes still in the air when this happened, you start to feel their panic and despair. Then, Skreet(or whateverhisnameis) hears a faint voice under the main pilots. When he isolates the sound, you might think that it might give a clue to what's really happened or where there are other survivors. But, no. It's all a plot device to give hope to ONE female that her boyfriend is still alive. THAT'S soap opera, when one person's worries are magnified to an nth degree over everyone else's simply because she's supposed to be a main character. There's millions of people dead! Who cares about the resentful little blonde? Since Skreet does, we're supposed to, also?

Overall, a good concept, but extremely flawed in its delivery. A waste of some good acting talent. The Day After didn't worry about who was sleeping with who or if some nerd got to hook up with a rich girl.

October 05 2006 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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