This is a rather exciting edition of the J.R.R.: this is the first Jericho rerun that I’ve watched that I haven’t already seen! I missed last week’s episodes, but I caught up on them through Wikipedia recaps so I’d be ready to partake in this episode. I’ve heard some positive things bandied about, so I went in with some expectations to be sure.
And I think it met them. This episode brought a lot of things that I found were missing after the pilot: action, some level of intrigue, and a slight sense of humour that is really charming. Perhaps most importantly, however, the threats have become more real. Winter is not something like short term food shortages, it is a true threat that could cripple this community. Combine this with the amounts of peril found in the remainder of the episode, and you have a powerful hour of television.
Compared to the last time I watched the series, it feels as if things really matter. The relationship between Stanley and Mimi doesn’t seem like a contrived plot device, it seems like an organic partnership. Jake’s relationship with those around him doesn’t feel like an outsider interacting with others, but rather like a townsperson they’re willing to fight for. Hawkins isn’t just “Mysterious Guy”, but rather a fully featured character with motivations and concerns.
And that’s a huge improvement: I really feel as if all of this matters now. Jake, in peril underneath the flipped truck, is freezing to death and we care deeply about whether he lives or dies. The episode is at its core is a very simple story of survival and friendship. Jake is forced to question everything he’s done, trapped in the cold with only Stanley to comfort him. It is when Johnston and Gail arrive, his parents, that everything comes full circle.
It doesn’t matter that it was a waste of the town’s small gas supply, or that they could have brought more help with them initially; this is a story that defeats all attempts at tearing apart its logic. It is the story of a father and his son coming together in a moment of realization: a moment where Jake reveals that he killed a small girl in Iraq, and the moment where Johnston can only comfort him. It is something that Jake wants forgotten, but it can’t be: we know it, Johnston knows it, and it’s out there.
This wasn’t an episode that advanced the plot, or changed the course of events. Rather, it changed the relationships between these people, these Jericho citizens who were once one-dimensional and now seem somewhat more whole. It was really impressive.
– The scene with Jake, Stanley and Mimi out in the fields was a very powerful one for me. The impending threat of winter was clearly evoked in an obvious and clear fashion.
The scene with Johnston and Gail and the liquor from Jake’s closet? So cute.
– I must admit, the entire Roger/Emily situation makes me like her somewhat more than I did earlier, where she was kind of annoying. Roger, however, seems like a bit of a brat; I don’t really know why, though.
– The Sarah and Hawkins situation is really quite intriguing; from the recaps, she is clearly evil. I just wish she were a better actress, she is honestly quite dull.
– Roger just said “That hangover was epic.” I don’t know what to think of this: I like the use of the word epic, but he sounded like a real tool saying it. I blame the actor, as written the line could be geeky and cool.
– Mimi really should have picked up that flashlight again, considering that it could be of use. (YAY! Johnston and Gail to the rescue! This development is very good)
– Heh. Johnston pulling out the gun on the oncoming truck was cute.
– Mimi’s right: that was one of the worst lines ever. That being said, these two are quite charming and engaging. The Season Two spoilers are putting me in an anticipatory mood.
– Sarah got my attention at episode’s end, I’ll give her that; it was weird to end on that note when the episode was really abouot Jake’s story. An odd editing choice, I must say.