Lately, it seems like almost every week Jericho gets better and better. When it first started out last fall, it was a decent show, but nothing spectacular. Over the course of the last few months (starting with the second half of the season), it’s gone from being a merely decent show to being a great one. And “Casus Belli” was the best episode yet.
But before I get to all the good stuff going on in this week’s episode, I figured I’d waste some time on a minor, but annoying, detail. When Constantino and Gray were originally brokering the deal for the ten windmills, and Gray was complaining about the harsh terms being set (primarily the large amount of food Constantino wanted), Constantino told Gray that Jericho could “starve next fall or freeze this winter.” Yet when Stanley and the others returned to Jericho with (some of) the windmills, Gray said they weren’t expecting to get the windmills until the spring.
Apparently Gray made a deal he didn’t like so that they would have a means to keep the town warm throughout the winter but then agreed on a timeline which promised delivery of the windmills after the winter had ended. Even with the windmills coming earlier than expected it seems they are no longer necessary to get Jericho through the winter. It’s not clear exactly what the date is right now, but it’s got to be pretty late in the winter as the weather seems to have warmed up quite a bit since “One Man’s Terrorist”.
Now it’s quite possible that Gray decided that getting the windmills was important for other reasons (like surviving the next winter), but it still didn’t make much sense for Constantino to apparently take advantage of the harsh weather in his bargaining with Gray if they were never going to have the windmills ready until the spring. And by including Constantino’s line about freezing in the ‘Previously on Jericho‘ footage they just called attention to how little sense it made.
As we pretty much all expected, Jake and Hawkins as a crime-fighting duo turned out pretty well. I quite enjoyed Hawkins outlook on torture. When he started threatening the deputy, I figured we were just going to get a scene with Hawkins doing a Jack Bauer impersonation. It was refreshing to see that he just kept building up the idea of the torture until the deputy decided to talk. Of course, Hawkins never really made it clear whether he approved of torture or not, he just found his method to be more effective; still, it was a nice change of pace.
Constantino blaming the people of Jericho for not warning New Bern about Ravenwood brings up some issues. It was implied that the attack happened fairly recently, which means that the people have Jericho had the opportunity to warn New Bern but apparently did not. Of course, given that New Bern had contact with the trading post in Black Jack, even if nobody from Jericho mentioned Ravenwood, they still should have heard something. I’m guessing that (if Ravenwood did show up and it wasn’t just a staged action to motivate the citizens of New Bern) they were aware of Ravenwood’s existence but were insufficiently prepared.
In other New Bern related developments, I don’t think Heather is really dead. While there is a bit of wiggle room in the “No Body, No Death” rule due to Heather’s extended absence from the show, I still she’s almost certainly still alive. Eric told Jake that Heather’s dead and while Eric would have no reason to deceive Jake, it’s quite possible that Constantino or one of his men could have lied to Eric about Heather’s demise as part of an interrogation.
When Hawkins and Jake were interrogating the deputy he claimed not to know where Heather and Eric were and asked them why he would be staking out Ted’s trailer if he did know. While he was apparently lying about Eric (or Eric was captured later in the day), his statement had a ring of truth to it. Another possibility is that Eric has been trying to protect Heather by telling his captors that she’s dead. If so, it wouldn’t have been very smart of him to tell Jake the truth with all those other people around.
Back in Jericho, I thought it was kind of nice to see the scenes with Johnston bonding with Mary. While Gail has been rather bitter towards Mary, and is even more so in light of April’s death, it’s nice to see that Johnston is more willing to accept Mary. I was wondering why Johnston was suddenly all cheerful again before we found out that the he hasn’t been moping over April’s death, but blaming Gail for Eric leaving town. Mary, Eric, Johnston and Gail certainly have themselves a nice blame rectangle on the go.
The other dysfunctional family in Jericho keeps dysfunctioning as well. Was I the only one who was thinking of The Simpsons episode about Bart’s first day of school when Jimmy showed Darcy Sam’s drawing?
Homer: Oh, it’s beautiful! Oh, oh, let’s put Bart’s beautiful drawing up on the fridge!
Marge: Homer, stop. Will you please look at the drawing?
Homer: Oh, all right. What… Ah! Burn it! Send it to hell!
This is the third episode in a row where Jimmy has come close to uncovering information on the Hawkins family. To her credit, Darcy seemed to be a lot better than her husband at not looking extremely suspicious whenever Jimmy started poking around. Even though Jimmy sucks at getting to the bottom of things and almost always leaps to the wrong conclusion, you can’t really dislike the guy. I don’t think Jimmy’s actually a bad investigator, he just has such an optimistic view of like that he always chooses to view evidence in the best possible light.
Things are going much better for the other major family unit in Jericho. A little too well, I fear. I’m starting to think that something bad is going to happen to at least one of Bonnie, Stanley or Mimi by the end of the season. While just about every other character has ongoing relationship issues (Darcy and the kids left Robert, Emily’s finance was exiled, there’s all kinds of tension in the Green family on account of April’s death and its aftermath, Dale and Skylar are descending into thugdom, etc), but all the Stanley/Mimi crew have got to worry about right now is the occasional domestic squabble between Bonnie and Stanley or Mimi. Their lives are going just a little too smoothly; something bad is bound to happen and soon.
On the subject of bad things on the way, Russell seems to be doing his best to broker peace between Jericho and New Bern, even though nobody in Jericho knows that is what he’s doing. I’m not sure if Russell is under orders from Constantino to secure ownership of the salt mine or if he’s doing things on his own initiative. In either case, I believe Russell was being sincere when he said the deal would be what is best for Jericho. If Russell is doing this on his own, however, and just hopes that he can quell Constantino’s ambition by handing him control of Jericho’s salt mines, I suspect he’ll be disappointed. It should be interesting to see just how far Russell is willing to go to protect Jericho when the inevitable attack from New Bern occurs.
From the sounds of the preview, that attack will be happening on next week’s show. If they can keep up the momentum from the past couple weeks, “One if by Land” should be even better than “Casus Belli.”
Sir Linksalot: Jericho