Well, now that they’ve gotten the flashback episode out of the way, “Jericho” has gotten back into that whole “Little House on the Prairie” mindset a little bit, a tendency that made so many earlier episodes less than thrilling…but while not every major character in town got a decent amount of screen time this week, the ones who did appear tended to have some pretty good stuff in their respective scenes.
Winter’s bad in Jericho, and after Gray Anderson paints the bleakest possible picture of what things will be like over the course of the next couple of months (“Where are the dancing girls?” asked an annoyed Johnston), the townfolk are looking for fuel alternatives…and it’s interesting that when the time comes to send out an exploratory party to a trading post of sorts at a nearby fairground, everyone literally turns to look at Jake. The fact that Jake’s group ends up consisting of his dad as well as Heather and Dale makes for an interesting dynamic that we haven’t seen before, and their expedition was easily the most interesting thing going on in this episode. It’s a decidedly dark moment when the gang realizes that they ain’t kidding around at the trading post about stringin’ up folks who misbehave. Heather finds someone she knew back in the day, and they give them a tour of the joint. The news tower is a cool concept, as are the various constantly-updated lists of what items are most in demand. They’re realizing that the suspects on the list of who bombed the US are shrinking…even as, apparently, the number of US Presidents is growing. (We’re up to six now, it seems.) There seems to be some sort of slavery operation going on at the place, but we didn’t get much of a look at it before Dale pulled his jackass stunt of stealing the machinery they’d been trying to work out a deal for. At first, it struck me as a bit odd that this friend of Heather’s would leap to the cause of our team as quickly as they did…but, then, it WAS a pretty shady operation; maybe they were just waiting for an opportunity, and it finally presented itself. Heather’s departure with her friends led to a decidedly schmaltzy speech – followed, of course, by a sweet embrace between her and Jake – but it was, at least, surprising that she opted to leave like she did.
In other news, Robert Hawkins is dealing with the sudden reappearance of his old partner, who’s observed that Hawkins is in possession of a package of some sort; it seems as though the two of them are on approximately the same wavelength as to their feelings on the organization to which they formerly belonged. Fortunately, we get a surprisingly successful division between the emotional turmoil on Hawkins’ family and the drama with the goings-on with their former employer. Gail Green is still royally pissed off at her son’s new lady friend, Mary, but they finally sit down and talk…which, surprisingly for a show that so often leans toward sentimentality, doesn’t immediately result in a happy ending; the reveal of Gail’s note at the end of the episode was actually rather a sweet moment. Emily Sullivan and her husband got just enough time in the episode to make me twitch; I have absolutely no idea what the hell to make of this revelation that her husband claims to have been taken by a light during his absence.
Still interested. Still coming back next week.