Review of “Jericho”


I watched the last episode of Series 2 of “Jericho” on ITV4 on Wednesday night (5 November). Ended on a cliff-hanger again. If you’ve not watched it, brief summary of the story so far now follows:-

The people of Jericho, Kansas witness a mushroom cloud on the horizon. Phone system, TV, radio and internet goes down. The mushroom cloud turns out to be Denver going up in smoke. Numerous other major cities are destroyed by nuclear explosions (except New York, for reasons which become clear later in series 1. Some people find messages on their ansaphones, left as the bombs go off.

A newcomer to the town named Robert Hawkins warns the townspeople they need to prepare for fallout and seems rather knowledgable about what to do. When asked, he explains that he used to be a cop in St. Louis and they had all been briefed on such things after 9/11.

In reality he is a CIA agent, one of a number who had infiltrated the terrorist organisation responsible for the attacks. This is not Al-Qaida but a home-grown organisation. Hawkins had infiltrated the New York cell and prevented the New York bomb going off. For a period he had the bomb hidden in his cellar. Despite the fact that the USA effectively no longer exists, he continues to investigate the terrorists and finds evidence that his former boss is implicated. Just to add to the fun, said boss is now high up in one of the six factions that claim to be the legitimate government.

There is presumably fighting going on off-stage because later there are only three successor nations – The Allied States of America (capital Cheyanne) which consists of all the continental USA west of the Mississippi except Texas, the Independant Republic of Texas, and a rump USA (capital Columbus, Ohio) which consists of the remaining eastern states. Hawaii and Alaska are not mentioned.

Kansas itself seems to be on the brink of collapsing into warlordism. The citizens of Jericho and neighbouring towns encounter brutal mercenaries employed by Ravenwood – a military contractor and former employer of Jake – another Jericho citizen. Ravenwood are temporarily seen off but Jericho soon finds itself in skirmishes with neighbouring New Berrne over food supplies. These skirmishes are put to an end by the arrival of the Allied States military who, assisted by Ravenwood contractors, proceed to pacify the area.

Jake warns the townspeople what they can expect from Ravenwood and he is not wrong – they apply the same methods they used in Iraq to the American Mid-west. This is one of the series’ virtues – by doing this they are saying to the viewer “this is what life looks like to an Iraqi civilian these days”.

Hawkins decides to try to get his bomb to Texas to prove to the Texans that the ASA government is actually responsible for the attacks. He sets off at night but is intercepted. The bomb is captured but Hawkins escapes (the escape is a tad unlikely – the intercepting military unit is backed up by a helicopter. Since even police helicopters have infra-red cameras I would have thought military craft would be at least as well equipped but this is glossed over).

Meanwhile, Major Beck (the ASA military commander in Jericho) finds Hawkins’ laptop – and his evidence linking the ASA government to the nuclear attacks. He refuses to obey further orders from Cheyanne and shows the evidence to other ASA officers in Jericho. They decide to side with Beck and prepare a mutiny against their superiors. This may seem a little convenient and it obviously suits the plot but to my mind it would not take much to persuade officers who had presumably sworn loyalty to the USA not to support a faction that was overtly “going in a different direction”.

After a certain amount of gunplay (and the assistance of the Texan Embassy), Hawkins and Jake fly the bomb to Texas in a Texan Consular flight. They are intercepted by two AS Airfoce jets and are about to be shot down when their attackers are downed by the Texan Air Guard. This is a tad implausible. Texas does currently have its own mini Air Force (President Bush once served in it to avoid going to Vietnam) but one would asume that the ASAF pilots would have had combat experience both in Iraq and against the ASA’s rivals. I suppose inexperienced pilots could get lucky. Twice.

The stage is now set for a war between the ASA and Texas allied with the rump USA. Despite my criticisms, I’m looking forward to series 3.

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3 Responses to “Review of “Jericho””

  1. Gwen Says:

    The fight for a third season of Jericho is not over!

    The fans have already put ads in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, a billboard in Los Angeles, and have aired TV ads in the Los Angeles area. They’ve also brought attention to the inadequacy of the Nielsen rating system and have had various charitable activities.

    The fans are about to air a national ad on UniversalHD channel in the US.

    CBS Paramount is in talks with other parties to continue Jericho and they want to hear from the Jericho fans.

    Please write to: Ms. Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604-2190.

    For more information on how to help Save Jericho go to:

  2. MareCadTITANIC Says:

    Please some channel ANY channel, bring back JERCHO !!! I have SUCH JERICHO withdrawral pains it hurts.

    Long live us JERICHO RANGERS…N U T S !!!

  3. alternatiescorporation Says:

    Thanks for that info, Gwen. I hadn’t realised Jericho had been canned. If there are any developments in the campaign for a third series, please post them here.

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