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October 31, 2014

Jericho: Red Flag

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 22nd 2006 9:33PM

Gerald McRaney(S01E10) Great to see that even an episode of a series about nuclear war and small town isolation can have a Thanksgiving episode! But it's not a "Very Special Episode" of Jericho, where everyone has a bake sale and learn a valuable lesson about...I don't know, bake sales or something, it's actually a rather fascinating episode about what the people of Jericho should do when boxes and boxes of food, medicine, fuel, and supplies are dropped from airplanes. Do you trust them? Are they poisoned? Is everything safe to touch? Confusing matters more is that the labels are in Chinese, and the planes were Russian.

At first I thought, yay, Chinese Food! That's what everyone eats when they're alone on the holidays, right? But then you have to think about who sent it (if they really did) and why.

Most of the officials, including Jake, Hawkins, and the Mayor, want to hold off on eating it, because it might be poisoned as a second wave of some attack. Many of the townspeople and Gray want to eat it. Gray even tests a cracker and seems to be OK. No one reads Chinese so they don't know what the packages say, though there are several flyers in each box that say "Don't Fight." Is this a way of helping the citizens? Is it a test? Hmmm...

Gray is carrying a voting box, because he wants to have some sort of election against Johnston. I don't think I'd want to be Mayor of a town right in the middle of some mysterious war and chaos.

Jonah's back at the store, taking stuff, but the Mayor stops him. The Mayor still plans on going ahead with the annual Green family Thanksgiving football game. I guess there are no games or parades on TV this year. I guess one good thing about the possible end of the world is that there are no Dallas Cowboys games on.

Jonah's men are starting to get impatient with him.

Mimi tells Jake about the generator that dropped on Stanley's farm. But Stanley was beat up by some of Jonah's guys and it looks like they took the generator (Mimi fixes Stanley up, and then they finally make out - woo hoo!). The Mayor, Jake, Hawkins and others go to Jonah's HQ and demand the generator back. He refuses, but before they can do anything, a mysterious figure knocks out the guy guarding the truck with the generator. They drive right through the gate. It's Emily! I guess she really is pissed at her dad.

Johnston tells Eric about the baby, and Eric tells him he never loved April. Ouch. Eric tells April he's sorry.

The generator is turned on and it works!

A new twist comes to the foreground: Jake finds a microchip in one of the packages dropped from the air. They take it to Hawkins, who knows what it is (of course). He says it's American technology, to track things. So they sum it up by saying that Vietnam-era Russian planes using American technology are dropping food with Chinese labels. WTF? (If that wasn't enough, someone - they don't show who - attacks the old lady who runs the store, and from the previews of next week's fall finale, she's either badly injured or dead).

You know what's good about this show? The mystery is good and the whole "what's going on and how will they survive" stuff it good, but it's the characters that have surprised me. There's a lot of human drama here, away from the big mystery. Good show.

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Arthur Wolf

This is a show that is an event that downplays the struggle and horror of a terrorist type war. Small town survive? Not likely.

The push of survivors would overcome them. The stores of big cities would have more supplies than any government. The reduction is those alive would extend the available goods to feed those left for 6 mo or more. Will you be a survivor? It will depend more on your brains than your muscules. Money will not make any one person or group more powerful. It is the planning that wins. Will you survive? Let me know, I would like to have a foursome for cards.

Rock Wolf

November 27 2006 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deadly Friend

New York City may have power restored by now since it could have been outside the area affected by the high altitude EMP bomb. This would also apply to coastal areas.

On TV.com, it was pointed out the US has its own small fleet of Cold War era MiG's based in places like Area 51/Groom Lake that were used to train US fighter pilots to fight against Soviet era jets popular with 3rd world countries and the middle east. They could be flying escort missions for international aid planes sent via Alaska and Hawaii while US carriers could be handling things on coastal/border areas. The Russian AN-12 planes dropping the Chinese supplies with American parachutes could have been packaged in Hawaii or Alaska which is being used as a staging area for relief missions. It would be in Chinas interest to get America back on its feet so it can start buying all those Chinese goods piling up on shipping docks. Chinas biggest customer is America. The Russians would want to help too as they dont want China taking all the credit for helping out the poor Americans.

They would not have to supply every town of 3,000 - the would likely distribute the drops evenly across central parts of the country. Coastal areas and those bordering Mexico and Canada might be assisted by land relief efforts.

As far as newer cars still running - all the ones still running after "9:02" are early 80s or older. Flashback/dream scenes from "Crossroads" doesnt count. Neither do parked ones in the background shots. The Ravenwood vehicles are military type Humvees - they are designed to resist EMPs and are not loaded with computer chips.

As for "Karen" - yes people in rural areas tend to be behind the times - they seem to be stuck in 80s cold war mentality when it comes to suspecting invasion/poisoned food. Not at all unusual for people in Jericho like towns to suspect something might be wrong with the food. Using generator to power strings of light? Easiest way to test the generator before deciding what to use it for longer term. The lights were likely meant to lift the spirits of the people on Thanksgiving Day who were losing hope and ready to fight each other over access to the food drop. Which could be what the Chinese flyers were refering too. I imagine people all over America are fighting each other over dwindling food supplies. Karen should go over to LOST and pick that one apart - that should keep her busy for the next 100 years.

You can pick apart any show, even good ones like 24, CSI and dozens of others for those "isnt that convenient" or "they stopped them just in time" or "that missing piece of evidence just happened to be there".



November 27 2006 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sam

will someone please tell me - could i have missed this? whatever happened to the prisoners that were in the bus in one of the first episodes? they were skulking around and had emily in a car with them at one point - i don't remember ever seeing where they went - or are they still lurking in the shadows just waiting for a future episode?

November 25 2006 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rodney

Regarding the toilets, all that's required to flush a toilet is a certain volume of water. Pour a bucket of water into your toilet, and it will flush. Where the sewage goes is a separate question.

November 25 2006 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marty

Okay I know the TV stations are stuffed, however what about radios ? If the EMP destroyed the modern equipment, how then do the portable radios work ? then wouldn't normal radios work, then wouldn't you turn on your radio to hear what the f is going on ?

November 24 2006 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marty

If a strike was made against the USA, where is the NAVY ? Would they still be around ? What are they doing ? The US fleet would still be functioning !

November 24 2006 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

This episode highlighted for me a recurring aspect of this show: its emphasis on the xenophobia and paranoia of most Americans. Granted, there's been a nuclear holocaust, which tends to put people on edge. But JEEZ.

First they go postal on the Ravenwood folks, about whom they know virtually nothing. Jake was told that they killed the people in the hospital, but, as Sweeney's character noted last week, things had gotten a little out of control. Anyone who reads a newspaper today knows that even our own troops, under stress and fear, have acted in less than noble ways. So, despite the Ravenwood people being legitimate representatives of the government, for all the Jericho people know, they defend against them--and even kill one.

Then, the freakout over the food from China. God forbid they assume that China might be offering humanitarian aid. Yes, the "Don't Fight" flyers are weird, but they were already freaking before those flyers were even discovered. The seat of U.S. government was destroyed, they already know, but they're whining about why the food isn't from D.C., but from some damn furriners. Pathetic.

But what do I expect from the idiotic residents of Jericho? After all, when they get the generator hooked up, their first decision is to spark up Christmas lights on Main Street. God forbid they actually power, you know, their homes, businesses, or health care facilities. But they like to leave hundreds of candles burning in empty buildings, anyway, so I guess they figure they're OK on that score.

The question *I* want answered is: how are their toilets flushing? If they've got no power, how are the water stations operating?

God, I hate this show. I watch it just to enjoy reading the TWoP recapper and her trusty physics consultant rip it to shreds a few days later.

November 24 2006 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Draco_Red

As far as relief efforts go whoever is in charge will more than have their hands full with the northeaster seaboard.. Yeah, New York wasn't nuked, but that may be causing more chaos in the long run than if they had been nuked. Look at it, you have a city of 8.2 Million people without food, heat, running water, and many trapped in their buildings without elevators. Add to that the panic of fallout and the loss of contact with the rest of the nation. You have a recipe for waves of refugees spreading out into the countryside, taking anything they can just to survive. Then the people who's stuff just got looted will have to move on and take from the next town over, and so on. I'm just hoping that the writers recognize this and don't try to go the entire route of: "NYC is AOK, it the new national capital! And look over there, President Giuliani is jumping over a shark on water skies! Yeah!"

And as for the EMP it was most likely form a nuclear detonation in the upper stratosphere. And what it would wipe out and where depends on a number of conditions, such as the exact design on the devices, where it was located, if it was hooked up to a grounded outlet, and how far away the nuke was. Depending on the exact design of the cars, some wold probably survive. All that really matters is that the car's computer is encased in a grounded metal box (essentially a Faraday cage), and how the wires going to it are routed (also why you are generally safe if lightning strikes your car). If you were worried about a EMP strike and wanted to make a "battle hardened" storage area all you'd have to do is take a Microwave oven, snip all the prongs on the plug except the ground, and plug it into a grounded outlet. Generally you have to take Military InfoSec with a grain of salt, since the information is being fed into them by contractors who like to sell as many products at high markups as they can ("never ask a barber if you need a haircut"). They'll never tell the Army that a $5 part will better suit their needs than a $5,000,000 tactical support system. A lot of stuff would have survived a EMP blast, especially if it was plugged into a good surge protector.

November 24 2006 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gene

Wow.. how many generators do the Chinese have, anyway, if they could afford to drop one for a tiny little town like Jericho? If every town with, say, 3,000 residents were to be given a generator (and we're not talking about a tiny Honda generator here) that would pretty quickly grow into a logistical and financial nightmare, wouldn't it?

November 24 2006 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Stone

Has any one noticed how green everythig is this time of year in Kansas,especially the corn stalks? And also it doesn`t seem that cold and it`s always sunny. Oh well;just a thought.

November 24 2006 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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