Jericho (2006): S01E05 – Federal Response


Introduction

Jericho is an American post-apocalyptic action drama television series, which centres on the residents of the fictional city of Jericho, Kansas, in the aftermath of a nuclear attack on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States.

Outline

As dawn breaks, Jake, Eric, Mimi, Stanley, and a deputy are gathered in Mary’s bar. They have been up all night playing cards. During some light conversation, Mimi notes the stillness of the town and how it unsettles her. Jake sympathizes, confessing that it was one reason for his leaving — but Jimmy chimes in, offering to reveal the actual reason Jake left. Jake stops him. Confident in her ability to read people, Mimi offers her own speculation of why Jake left — that he ran from the pressure of being a popular and athletic youth. The guys laugh knowingly and tell her she’s way off the mark, hinting that he was a notorious screw-up.

Mary steps aside with Eric to speak privately about the status of their plan. With their hands lingering in a subtle caress, Eric assures her that he’ll talk to April that evening about ending their marriage. Mimi and Jake observe their visible chemistry from afar.

Suddenly the electricity comes back on and telephones all over town start ringing. They deliver a recorded message from Assistant Secretary Walsh of the Department of Homeland Security telling everyone to remain calm and that help is on the way. The Emergency Alert System is put into place as televisions display a message ordering citizens to stand by for further instructions.

At an internet café, Skylar tries unsuccessfully to check her email for any messages from her parents. Allison assists her and discovers that the government has blocked all IP addresses on the internet.

Jake, weary from lack of sleep, checks in with his father and Eric. They decide to attempt telephone contact with the National Guard base in Great Bend as soon as the lines free up. With the situation pretty much stable for the time being, Jake decides to head home.

Allison’s increasing resentment toward her father brings out her rebellious side when, after she has showered, he tells her to clean the bathtub and fill it with water. She walks out on him as he sternly explains that they need to prepare for another power outage. Darcy, who was listening the entire time, thinks that he is being too hard on Allison and reminds him that she is his daughter and not an employee. With a sense of mysterious urgency in his voice, he replies, “I don’t know how long I’ll be here. So whatever I’ve got to teach her, it needs to happen now.”

Jake arrives at his parents’ house where he and his mother talk about what Jake will do next, suspecting that he will just leave again. The lights start flickering, and Jake recognizes it as a power spike. Meanwhile Heather and Emily watch their students playing in the fountain outside the town library. They comment on how normal everything is when another power spike blows up a transformer on the library’s roof, setting it ablaze and severing several power lines, one of which falls and severely shocks Emily. As firefighters, arrive, they are forced to divide their resources between the library and a fire at the trailer park. April and an EMS Team also arrive and she begins to work on Emily.

Hawkins sets up a portable satellite transceiver in his backyard, to which he connects his laptop. With the “EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM PLEASE STAND BY” message showing on his screen, he types a string of invisible characters to access a login prompt. He takes out his America Express charge card, turns it upside down, and apparently reads it as he types an ID into the prompt. This bypasses the IP block and accesses a web page written in Turkish. He then inputs what seems to be an IP address into another window.

With the fallen power lines a hazard, Mayor Green cuts the power to the electricity grid containing the library. However, this also stops the local water pump, and Jake and Stanley race to the pumping station to fix it. Meanwhile Heather enters the burning building to find a missing student. When she fails to come out, Eric dashes in and they take shelter in a room until the sprinklers start working again. Upon coming out safe, Eric notices his wife’s concern for him.

Meanwhile at the bar, Mimi tries to convince Mary that Eric will never leave April for her. Mary does not believe her.

Concerned about the other fires, Jake borrows the hunting scope from Stanley’s rifle to look around the town. He sees that the fires at the library and trailer park have been taken care of, but another threatens Eric’s home. He also spies Hawkins working on his computer outside.

Hawkins sees Jake watching him, and he later intimidates him into accepting his help. They eventually put out the fire, but much of Eric’s house is gutted. Hawkins later uses his laptop to browse a database of flagged passports. He brings up Jake’s details, revealing that Jake has visited several countries, including Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Qatar, Peru, and Guatemala.

Skylar and her friends go to Gracie’s store looking for a cellphone charger, hoping that her parents may have left her a voicemail message. Dale finds her one, and later she returns alone to check her messages. She becomes concerned when Dale confesses that he has nothing to go back to, his trailer having been destroyed in the fire, although he tries to convince her that he will be fine.

While sifting through the debris in his house, Eric finds a box containing divorce papers that April had intended to file before the bombs. She says she no longer wants a divorce and hopes to try to patch things up. Because their house is uninhabitable, Eric and April move in with Eric’s parents. In the evening the whole clan sits down to have dinner.

Towards the end of the episode, the TV at Bailey’s receives another ominous broadcast. It is an eerie shot of an unmanned lectern in a Press Briefing Room. The camera is obviously set up as if a televised press conference were about to begin, but there is no sign of activity in the picture. The location of this image is not known, but the seal on the lectern resembles the Seal of the US Department of State.

Suddenly, the image cuts to static and the patrons hear a deafening rumble that shakes the ground. They all step outside and stare dumbstruck into the evening sky as two scintillating flame trails of what appear to be ballistic missiles rise above Jericho.

Jericho Series

You can find a full index and overview of Jericho here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 18 October 2006.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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