RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Jericho: Every Freakin’ Spoiler Ever

Kevin Long
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Now that I’ve actually reviewed the show in an uncharacteristically restrained fashion, I’ll tell anyone interested – but not interested enough to watch it – what happened. I find it’s easiest and most coherent to do this in chronological order, not the order things are revealed in the show.
• 1876 – The Town of Jericho, Kansas is founded.
• 1942-1945 – “Grandpa” Green (First name never given) is an Army Ranger during World War II
• 1947 – Johnston Green born. His father is the unnamed “Grandpa” Green.
• 1965-1971-ish – Exact dates unknown, but Johnston Green served in Vietnam as an Army Ranger, and saw combat. He appears to have been to college somewhere in there, too.
• 1973 – Jake Green born to Johnston and Gail Green.
• 1974 or 1975-ish – Eric Green born to Johnston and Gail Green
• 1991 – Jake Green graduates high school. He runs with a bad crowd, in a juvenile delinquent, and is (Apparently) involved the daughter of the local crime boss, Jonah. It’s mentioned that he went to Embry Riddle and got a degree in aeronautics but he never seems to do anything with it, and he appears to move back to town.
• 1991/1992 – The US Government starts a program to acquire and dispose of nuclear weapons from the former soviet republics. A company called a company called “Jennings and Roll” (Pronounced “Rawl) oversees some aspects of this program.
• 1992-94-ish, Eric Green graduates high school, goes away to college, and gets a law degree that he never used. He, too, appears to move back to town.
• 1993 – “Jennings and Roll” is commissioned to do a study on the best way to most effectively decapitate the US Government using domestic terrorism. An Unnamed Man heads the survey, and concludes that if several disgruntled groups (Survivalists, political extremists, religious fanatics, etc.) could be induced to work together against their common foe, 25 well-placed nukes would topple the government while still leaving most of America’s economic assets in place. Convinced this is a pretty unlikely scenario, the US files it away, and never looks at it again.
• 2000/2001 – Eric Green marries the local doctor, Amy, who’s very pretty, but can’t act her way out of a wet paper bag. Jake is DEFINITELY hooked up with Emily Sullivan at this point.
• 2001 – Jake is running some kind of robbery for Jonah Sullivan. He takes Jonah’s son, with him, and the boy is killed. Jake blows town and ends up working for various “Private Security” companies in Afghanistan.
• 2001/2002 – The Unnamed Man who headed the 1993 survey becomes extremely disgruntled at Jennings and Roll for some reason. This is never adequately explained, however it appears it was because J&R was extremely corrupt, and the US Government was extremely corrupt, and gave J&R unfair power, while J&R gave unfair funding to various politicians. He decides to implement the plan he detailed in 1993
• 2002 – a shipment of old Soviet Nukes goes missing, thanks to An Unnamed Man. The CIA notices this, of course, and they start a program to find ‘em and get ‘em back. Richard Hawkins is taken away from his family (In Washington DC) and goes into deep cover for four years, during which time he becomes involved with his handler, Sarah. His team answers directly to Valente, the director of the Department of Homeland Security.
• 2003-2006 – at some point in here, Emily Sullivan hooks up with a guy named “Roger.” They fall in love, shack up, and are engaged to be married.
• 2005/2006 – Eric Green starts having an affair with Mary Bailey, the woman who runs the only bar in town (I think the name must be some kind of sick joke). He also knocks up his wife.
• 2006 (September) – The CIA has tabs on 30 to 50% of the bombs, but are in no hurry to bring them in because the terrorists are still quite a way from implementing their plans. Something spooks them, however, and they move up their timetable.
• Richard Hawkins is supposed to drive his bomb to Columbus, and take it out. He’s able to identify the licence plate of a truck headed for New York City, and several others as well. Sarah is evidently kidnapped or killed by The Bad Guys.
• Emily’s fiancé, Roger, is in a flight on the way home from Chicago.
• Jake Green returns home to Jericho to get some money left him when “Grandpa” died. He only intends to stay a few hours, a day at best.
• Richard Hawkins drives to DC and kidnaps his family, which wants nothing to do with him. He heads to Jericho, which was selected as the rally point for the CIA agents in a worst-case situation as it’s more-or-less out of all fallout patterns.
• Nuclear weapons destroy Boston, Mass; Hartford, CT; Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; New Orleans, LA; Cincinatti, OH; Detroit, Mich; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Saint Louis, MO; Houston and Dallas, TX; Lawrence, KS; Denver, CO; St. George, UT; Tuscon, AZ; Seattle, WA; and San Francisco, Lost Angeles and San Diego, CA. Hawkins never delivered his bomb to Columbus, and police were able to intercept the NYC bomb in time. Despite Denver being about 300 miles away, people see the bomb go off with their own eyes, even though this is freakin’ impossible. (A recurring theme in this show is that the writers know nothing about the Midwest, and don’t really care)
• The Federal Government more-or-less ceases to exist, and there’s a period of total anarchy. We’re told 15 million people died instantly, and perhaps 30 million more were injured. Airliners quickly start making emergency landings on highways.
• Cut off from the outside world, Johnston Green maintains the calm, though he’s sniped at by a man named Grey, who’s rich and wants to be mayor, and is kind of a jackass. Jake saves a bus full of kids, some prisoners escape and kill the sheriff, uhm….oh, and some mean kids don’t like a blonde kid named “Dale” for some reason. A woman named Heather falls in love with Jake. Uhm, I think that’s about it. Oh, yes, and Emily is convinced Roger must be dead, as he was in Chicago.
• As far as anyone knows, it was just a nuclear accident, and Denver was the only city destroyed. Unpopular “Dale” discovers Atlanta got blown up, too, and everyone freaks out again.
• Fallout from Boulder hits the town, while Hawkins gets a message from someone, and realizes 23 of the 25 targets were destroyed.
• Jericho sends out scouts in all four cardinal directions to find out what’s going on. One doesn’t ever return, but appears to use the mission as a kind of assisted suicide. Another returns without finding anything except refugees. Jake finds airliners parked on the highway, but no people. Grey the jackass does not return. He is captured by someone and put in a FEMA camp which is apparently pretty nightmarish.
• The Electricity shuts down, a fire takes out the trailer park leaving a lot of people homeless, and “Dale” moves in to the only store in town, run by Gracie, a not-entirely-nice old lady.
• One of the CIA Moles – Victor – makes it to town, but he’s got radiation sickness and doesn’t last long enough to really give Hawkins any info of note.
• Grey Anderson escapes from the FEMA camp and starts heading back to Jericho on foot.
• Such parts of the Federal Government as are still functioning – presumably mostly just the military and the highest surviving member in the Line of Succession to the President – gets word that the attack was launched by North Korea, and finance by Iran. We’re told there’s some proof, but never what it is.
• Power comes back on, and everyone gets a phone call from the Department of Homeland Security (Recorded) telling them to sit tight and appropriate federal responses will be made
• Two ICBMs are launched close enough to Jericho to be seen from the ground. One of ‘em goes off setting off an EMP which fries nearly every electronic item in town, excepting Hawkin’s computer and (When called for by the plot) The satellite TV in the bar. These launches must have been part of the US Counterattack against Iran and North Korea, which, we’re told, nuked both countries into nothing but glass. This appears to have been the dying breath of the US as a functioning, cohesive government.
• The United States collapses
• Jennings and Roll appear to figure, “Well, why don’t we just rebuild the country as a corporate dictatorship?”
• Without power, and running out of gas, and with food being hard to come by, apart from what they can grow (Which, being as we’re in late September or early October now, isn’t much), there’s more crime than a town of 5000 normally has.
• Emily’s dad, Jonah, runs a gang outside of town, and one of them is busted stealing horses. He’s arrested, and vows revenge on Jake. I don’t remember his name, let’s call him “Jimbob.”
• Stanley the loveable farmer doofus (Who has a deaf sister he’s raising as their parents died when he was 18) agrees to give some of his crop to the town in exchange for the pesticides that Gracie is hoarding.
• Various rival governments spring up in various regions of the country, some claiming to run the whole nation, some claiming simply to run certain areas. The number of these organizations is unclear and apparently pretty flexible. The authority of any of them is dubious.
• Rogue River’s water supply is tainted by radiation, the town is ordered abandoned and everyone moved into FEMA camps. A Ravenwood group headed by “Goetz” is put in charge.
• Johnston Green is dying of a flu that’s gotten out of control, owing to the lack of any medical supplies.
• Goetz’ Ravenwood Private Military Security group kills all the civilians in Rogue River that are too sick or inconvenient to move.
• A doctor, Kenchy, escapes them, stays behind, and tries to save people. He’s a little crazy.
• Grey Anderson, meanwhile, FINALLY returns to town after several weeks away with the initial scouting expedition. He’s very different, very freaked out. He spent several weeks in a FEMA camp, which he said was terrible, escaped, and made his way back to town on foot. He says that the town doesn’t know how bad things are out there, and that Johnston isn’t up to running the place – particularly in his present condition.
• Jake and Eric make a run to Rogue River to get medical supplies from the hospital there for their dad. The town has been abandoned. They have a run in with Goetz/Ravenwood, kill a few people, and rescue Kenchy the doctor. The meds save their dad’s life.
• Ravenwood tracks Jake and Eric back to Jericho, but they’re turned away and don’t get their revenge. They head to the nearby town of New Bern, and take out their aggressions there.
• After consulting with his dad, Jake decides to start a team of “Rangers” to defend the town.
• Various countries begin making drops of supplies, food, medicine, fuel, etc, to the US. Jericho gets one from China. New Bern gets one from Germany.
• A generator was dropped, but Jonah stole that.
• Jimbob has been shaking down Gracie for a cut of her profits from gouging the townsfolk.
• Emily steals the generator back from her dad, which puts him in dutch with the mob.
• Jimbob kills Gracie, and blames it on Jonah, and takes over the gant.
• Grey leads a lynchmob to kill Jonah – there really isn’t a legal system anymore – but Johnston convinces them to let him be exiled.
• Dale kills Jimbob. Strangely, there are no repercussions from this.
• Dale inherits Gracie’s store. He also starts sleeping with the rich chick who couldn’t stand him. I’d say it’s the least charismatic relationship on TV, were it not for Eric and his wife…
• Grey is elected mayor ‘cuz Jericho doesn’t know how to lead if the mayor isn’t named after a color.
• Somewhere in Kansas, a FEMA camp of 10,000 refugees is run by a dozen or so Marines. The refugees revolt. Some of them take the Marine’s gear, and head from town to town, pretending to be Marines working for a new US Government. They take local supplies, promise the Army Corps of Engineers is coming, and leave.
• Jake, Dale, Heather, and some others make a run to Bartertown, basically, to buy or trade for stuff they need. There, they find out there are currently SIX rival governments, including a revived Republic of Texas, some sort of new Confederacy in the South (Which appears to still be in the drafting stages), some government based out of Monterey, California, one based out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, one operating out of Columbus, Ohio, and one other I couldn’t identify.
• While in Bartertown, things go badly, but folks from New Bern save their bacon. As New Bern has industrial facilities, Heather suggests they make wind generators, and heads off with the New Berners
• Sarah, Hawkin’s old handler, turns up in town, and leads him to conclude that Vincente of the DHS caused the nukings and is killing all the CIA moles who survived. He eventually figures she’s lying and kills her.
• Refugees led by Roger, Emily’s thought-dead fiancé, come to town. This causes romantic boredom and civil tension as they’re really not enough food to support 50 new people. His plane got out of Chicago a few hours before the bombs.
• The fake Marines turn up in Jericho, but the Family Green figures it out. They steal the Marine’s tank and put it in Stanley’s barn.
• April and her unborn baby die, making things much simpler for Eric.
• Kenchi is now the town doctor, but he’s still crazy and a drunk.
• New Bern delivers the first of the wind generators, and Mayor Grey puts in an order for more. Lassie from Psych! Agrees, in exchange for 15% of Jericho’s crops, and seven locals to help on construction. They’re starving in New Bern. Mayor Grey agrees, intending to simply stiff them in the spring.
• Eric leaves for New Bern with the others, which is good as he’s boring.
• Roger’s Refugees are really a nuisance, and Mayor Grey wants to force them to leave as there’s no food. Roger shoots the mayor, then brokers a deal: He’ll go if the refugees can stay.
• The men who went to New Bern return, sans Heather and Eric, which is ok as they’re dull. Her less than him, but still…
• Jake heads over to check it out, and it turns out that New Bern sent them home for their own safety. Many New Berners blame Jericho for the Ravenwood attack some months back. The story still doesn’t wash. They’re told Heather was killed trying to get away some time before.
• Lassie from Psych! Is building mortars to take over Jericho and steal their food. Jake and Hawkins combine to stop this. And fail. They do manage to rescue Eric.
• New Bern and Jericho are now at war, with New Bern winning, though there’s lots of fighting and mortar rounds and whatnot.
• Johnston Green is killed.
• Heather is rescued by an Army unit, and she explains the situation to the commander.
• The army flies in with helicopters and stops the fighting.
• The army places a Major Beck in charge of the region, who won’t let revenge killings take place. He’s a bit draconian, but means well.
• There are now three rival governments: The USA, based out of Columbus, Ohio, which has the highest ranking member of the line of Presidential Succession in charge; The Republic of Texas; and The Allied States of America, based out of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Which just happens to be the headquarters of Jennings and Roll. The president is a former US Senator. Valentino is involved in some high, nonspecific capacity, probably head of everything connected to covert intelligence.
• Goetz and Ravenwood are brought in to provide “Additional Security” in town.
• Goetz is embezzling from J&R.
• ASA President Tomarchio visits Jericho, and asks Mayor Grey to be a delegate to the new Constitutional Convention. Grey agrees because he’s actually not so much of a jackass anymore, and he wants to find out what the hell is going on.
• Another of the CIA moles – Chavez – reaches Jericho and contacts Hawkins, explaining the Jennings and Roll situation.
• Things are worse in the USA than the ASA. The USA got nuked far worse: 12 cities in a much smaller area than the 13 that went off out west. UN Peacekeepers maintain “The Blue Line” at the Mississippi, which is the de facto international border. Texas doesn’t want to be an independent government, they’ve simply been trying to maintain order, and are looking for a side to join. They’re edging towards the ASA.
• Hawkin’s bomb could prove that the ASA government was complicit in the nukings, and that the Iran/North Korea thing was all just a ruse.
• Mimi, a character so annoying that I’ve been avoiding talking about her until now, discovers Goetz’ embezzlement, so he tries to kill her, but kills Doofus Stanley’s deaf sister instead.
• Goetz is fired by the company for misappropriations.
• Goetz is killed by Stanley, and backed up by the Rangers.
• Hawkins is in contact with “The Guy Who Did The Study Back in ‘93” who reveals he set off the bombs and did everything. He’s steals Hawkin’s bomb to blow up Cheyenne.
• Jake is under arrest for protecting the identity of Goetz killer. Hawkins breaks him out, and they make a mad dash to Cheyenne with Chavez to get the bomb.
• Beck is made aware of Hawkin’s damning evidence against the Cheyenne government.
• In Cheyenne, Mayor Grey is pretty disgusted with the Cheyenne government and notes “The Second Ammendment is now gone.” Jake tells him to get the hell out of there, as Jericho needs him, and the situation is about to get much worse. He leaves.
• Beck refuses to take orders from his superiors anymore, considering them invalid. He turns the evidence over to his subordinates, and says he’ll abide by whatever they decided.
• “The Guy Who Did The Study” gets away, and Hawkins is shot badly, but they get the bomb, and manage to make it to the Embassy of the Republic of Texas.
• They give Jake a plane, and he flies Hawkins and the Bomb to Texas, or try to.
• The Cheyenne government find out, and try to shoot down the plane.
• The Texas Air National Guard sends out F-16s to protect Jake’s flight, and they shoot down the ASAF fighters. “I hope you’re worth it, I think I just declared war,” a pilot says.
• Beck’s subordinates agree to back his play, whatever it is.
• Safely in Texas, Hawkins – dying – says that Texas will now throw in with the USA against the ASA. “And then comes the Second American Civil War,” Jake says. Hawkins says the war was always unavoidable, but now they’ve at least given the USA a chance.
• Hawkins then drops dead.

THE END

A number of elements in the show don’t make sense.
• The EMP appears to have been an accident, but this is never expressly explained.
• Exactly who is behind the bombings is kinda’ flexible from episode to episode. The strong implication is that it’s Valente, the DHS director. In season 2 it’s suggested that J&R planned it all along. Later on we’re told it’s “The guy who wrote the report.” None of these are entirely adequate answers.
• Given the size of the cities destroyed, 15,000,000 seems unreasonably low casualties
• The sites seem rather random. What’s the point of bombing southwest Utah? Why did Pennsylvania get 2 nukes? Miami has no strategic or industrial importance, so why? (Conversely, Tampa is the HQ of the USAFCENTCOM, which is a major target) Lawrence, Kansas was obviously nuked as an in-joke reference to “The Day After.” Also, if the point was to behead the US while doing the least damage to infrastructure, taking out major industrial centers like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta seems counterproductive.
• What’s the international reaction to all this? Obviously China and Germany support the US, and I’m sure nobody really misses Iran and North Korea, but how are they paying for these aid drops? The international economy must have collapsed.
• What wars arose overseas from this? Is there still an Israel?

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