Did you know that Skeet Ulrich’s real name is Bryan Ray Trout? Seriously. BRYAN RAY TROUT. Isn’t that reason enough to watch him gallivant around like an idiot each and every week? I’d like to start a mini-campaign to get more viewers over to Jericho. It’s like watching a trainwreck. It’s fantastic. Trust me, the Troutster will not disappoint.
But first, a brief recap of last week. And by “brief”, I mean “lengthy”, and by “last week”, I mean “the entire series”. It’s pretty much the exact same thing each week. It’s almost as if this crack squad of a writing team is putting so much effort and thought into their carefully-crafted scripts that they don’t have any time left over for the recaps. But something tells me that isn’t the case. And that something is called “common sense”. Anyway, the Green brothers stole some medicine in order to save their father, and in the process invoked the wrath of the mysterious Ravenwood, a group of mercenaries led by the irrepressible D.B. Sweeney. Join me, won’t you?We begin tonight’s episode with a glimpse into the soul of the powerfully-eyebrowed Emily. She wakes up in a perfect, sun-drenched bed in a perfect, sun-drenched room with her perfect, sun-drenched fiancée walking about and getting dressed. He tells her that his parents aren’t thrilled with the accommodations of the one and only bed-and-breakfast in Jericho. Yes, Jericho has a bed-and-breakfast. You know, so if you’re sick of staying in a mansion overlooking Cape Cod, you can come out to Kansas and stay in a barn that overlooks, I don’t know, a cow. Emily starts an impromptu pillow fight, as the two lovebirds joke around about where they will be living after the wedding. Emily wants to live in Jericho because she doesn’t approve of the city, which is plagued by traffic, pollution, and crime. See, because in Jericho, there’s no traffic because the cars don’t work, no pollution because radiation kills everything, and no crime because – no wait, crime has tripled ever since the bombs. Great choice, EMILY. Roger, the fiancée, asks her about five times if she’s sure that’s what she wants, when suddenly – Emily wakes up to the real world in her cold, lonely, and painfully non-sun-drenched bedroom.
In another, shadier part of town, it looks like the boys from Ravenwood are loudly gathering outside someone’s house. This wakes up Bonnie, which means that… yes! Stanley is back! Our favorite village idiot comes stumbling out the front door with a shotgun, with Bonnie and Mimi following. He tells them to go back inside, and they listen, for some reason (well, Mimi listens, deaf Bonnie just…draws a conclusion, I guess). Deebee tells Stanley that Ravenwood is from the federal government and they’re just checking to make sure that people have everything they need. When he asks about Eric Green, Stanley plays dumb (real stretch there), and throws him off the trail. Deebee looks really sad for a moment and then mopes away.
“So, this gig plug a guest spot on House still constitutes an acting career, right? Right?”
Back at the Mayor’s Mansion, Jake is sleepy after having stayed up all night waiting for Ravenwood, or, more likely, Santa Claus. Jake asks Eric if he spilled the beans to April about all of the adultery yet, but Eric says it wasn’t the right time. Well, you know what Eric, it’s never going to be the right time. Then Jake says that it’s never…going to be the…right…time. Ah! Jake and I shared the same thought! Unclean! Unclean! Thankfully at this moment the Stanley family arrives to spread the word that some ruffians have arrived in town. Eric tells them it’s Ravenwood, and when they ask who that is, Jake weirdly says “Mercenaries” while looking down and furiously moving his hand. Wtf? Jake, this is neither the time nor the place. Satisfy your mercenary lust on your own time.
Back at the Jericho Police Headquarters Clubhouse, the ragtag team of “law enforcement” discusses the Ravenwood situation. They should look into getting a Situation Room installed. Jake informs them that the Ravenimps were sent by FEMA but have since gone into business for themselves, looting and killing like maniacs. And now they’ve set their sights on our fair Jericho. Well, Jake won’t let that happen. He decides that they should fortify the Tacoma Bridge on the east side of town. Stanley is not too keen on this idea, as he lives on the other side of the bridge along with about thirty other people. What will they do? They’ll come over to this side where it’s safe, demands Jake. So bossy.
So we’re all agreed. America does run on Dunkin.
Back at the Greenhouse, Mama tries to feed her ailing husband, but April launches into a flying tackle and stops her. Add another notch to the “April is evil” column. It appears as though the mayor’s blood pressure is stabilizing, and he should be fine. In the spirit of celebration, Mama offers April some mashed black-eyed peas. Huzzah! April declines because the morning sickness has started to kick in, but I think that’s just a cover-up for a head-spinning, projectile-pea-soup-vomiting episode. When April admits that she still hasn’t told Eric about the little bundle of terse hatred growing within her, Mama snaps a little and says “We’re talking about my first grandchild. NOW. TELL. HIM.” all with this very creepy smile on her face. Mama may be evil too.
The Dukes of Hazard are over at the Tacoma bridge, where Jake is yelling all sorts of nonsensical directions. Why are you people still listening to him?! He’s a frakin’ idiot! Hawkins is able to draw the conclusion that Jake has dealt with Ravenwood before, and then questions his motives. To his face. Oh no you di’in’t. They both engage in an intense brood-off, and everyone loses, especially the audience.
Back in the Fantasy Land of Puppy Dogs and Sunshine, Emily is admiring her wedding dress, that which she was supposed to be wearing on this, her wedding day. The soundtrack croons sadly. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door and oh no! It’s Heather the Schizo! She’s waving bags of fertilizer and screaming about ice! Actually, no, she’s wielding a bouquet of flowers, apparently the “closest she could find to a wedding bouquet”. This just further proves her insanity, as the flowers more closely resemble a diseased patch of weeds. And surprisingly, Heather was also supposed to be Emily’s maid of honor, which just confuses me more. I didn’t even realize that these two were friends. All this time I thought they were just barely tolerating each other because they were thrown together into an impossible situation. But no, they’re BFFS. To prove this, Heather, now thoroughly unglued, decides to kidnap Emily and take her on a day of fun. You know, to take her mind off the fact that her fiancée is missing and probably dead.
What the fuck is this?
At the Tacoma Bridge, Jake’s minions are barricading the road with…cars. And not fully functional cars. Broken down shit that they have to drag into place. Whatever. Jake guesses that Hawkins has dealt with Ravenwood before as well, which Hawkins neither confirms nor denies. He does, however, tell Jake he’s in over his head. Well, duh. He’s attempting to accomplish a simple task. Of course there’s the strong possibility of failure. Also, is Hawkins really threatened by the merry Ravenwood folk? They really don’t seem all that threatening to me. I mean, so far the scariest thing they’ve done is bring D.B. Sweeney back from the dead.
April finally gathers up the courage to corner Eric and drop the bomb (figuratively speaking). He agrees that they need to talk. She says that before the bombs hit (literally speaking), she didn’t see a future with him, but now she can. She takes his hand into hers, looks into his eyes, and proceeds to recoil in horror as he tells her that he’s in love with someone else. Ouch. She calls him a son of a bitch and runs up the stairs. To tell his father? To take a long hot bath? I would have just run out of the house, screaming and flailing. Now, this is still an awful show, but I have to admit that that scene was well done. It kinda got me. I mean, I don’t like April (she is the spawn of Satan, after all) but that’s really gotta hurt. And Eric just stands there like a buffoon, with a look on his face that says, “Should I go with a sandwich for lunch? Or maybe some pasta?”
You can actually pinpoint the second where her heart rips in half.
Jake and Eric wait on the bridge for something to happen. Nothing does. Then, a flurry of activity as the scouts (I guess) come running towards them, yelling and flapping. Directly behind them are a couple of Hummers. I don’t quite understand why they needed scouts. Kansas is flatter than a pancake, and those cars were very clearly coming towards them. And it’s not as if it resulted in any significant amount of warning time. Gah. Whatever.
Everyone takes cover behind the big car barricade and inexplicably break out into “Do You Hear The People Sing?” (Les Miserables, starring Skeet Ulrich as Jean Valjean. HA!) Jake yells, “Nobody fires until I say so!” Again, why? Why are you in charge? WHYYY?! Deebee gets out of the car and demands that they move off the bridge. One of the slack-jawed locals accidentally fires his gun, and now we have a good old-fashioned shootout. Deebee puts a stop to this insanity by saying that they’re sent by the government to collect supplies, and their compliance is mandatory. Jake mutters “dammit” under his breath, which makes me giggle because it seems like he was just like, “Mandatory? Damn, he’s got us there!” Deebee n’ friends leave, giving the insurgency four hours to clear the bridge OR ELSE. This is the most non-threatening threat I’ve ever heard. Or seen. OR BOTH.
Jake, using his truly innate powers of bad decision-making, declares that he will take down the bridge. Okay. Good luck with that. He and his posse storm the town hall. All Jake has to say is “We need to talk” and immediately Eric starts whining and pleading for him to stop whatever he’s planning. The two sides bicker for a while. Eric claims that once the bridge is gone, it’s gone FOREVER. What about the farms on the other side? What will we do for food? Gray says we’ll use the farms on this side of the bridge. Oh really? Then what was up with that whole corn debacle a few weeks ago? When Stanley allegedly had the only sustainable crop in the whole town?? It’s times like these that make me think that the only tool the writers are armed with is a dartboard full of random plotlines. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole of Jericho is located in the middle of some mysterious island.
Well, Eric doesn’t care for any more of this foolishness. He demands that the explosives be locked up, and that the only bridge out of town stay standing. I’m confused about the balance of power here. First Jake is calling the shots, then Eric, then Officer Dave Coulier. Maybe they have a rotation thing going. I can’t wait until Heather is in charge. Fertilizer and ice and weeds for everyone!
Speaking of our favorite little asylum escapee, Heather has now dragged Emily to Gracie’s store in an attempt to gather supplies for – get this – hiking. Great idea, girls. Deadly mercenaries roaming the land, missiles flying everywhere. The best thing for you to do is leave the vicinity of the town without telling anyone. Don’t forget the trail mix! Heather makes Emily stay in the car while she runs in, telling her to watch that the gas needle doesn’t go into the red, because it’s about to explode. Why not just turn the car off? Is Heather trying to kill Emily? She does make her stay in the car, even when Emily begs to come in. Yeah, this is a murder waiting to happen. I can’t wait.
Alone in the car, Emily hears church bells ringing and immediately lapses into another delusional fantasy. She steps out of a lavish SUV wearing a wedding dress, and mmm girl, Heather is just a vision in fuchsia. She asks Emily if she’s ready, and starts to pull her across the street to…Gracie’s? Not a fan of church weddings, I guess. Emily looks around and sees all of the main characters living their happy lives, with no nuclear holocausts to bother them. Ah, isn’t life perfect. Finally a large truck beeps its horn into her subconscious and she snaps back to reality. Heather comes barreling out of the store, yelling at Emily to turn the car off because it’s about to explode. Whatever, Heather. I see right through your half-assed attempts at life-savery. Heather says they’re not going hiking because they’re supposed to stay indoors today. You know, because of the hoodlums. Angry that her plan to lure Emily into the woods and kill her has gone awry, Heather decides to move directly to “phase two”. Also known as: getting shitfaced
I’m this many!
Jake discovers that Gray and the gang are planning on blowing up the bridge anyway, despite the meager protests of Eric. Jake doesn’t really know what to do with this, since it requires the feat of holding more than two thoughts in his head at one time. Jake runs off to warn the people who live on the OTHER SIDE.
Bailey’s bar is suspiciously empty. Oh, I see why. Emily and Heather have entered. Bailey pulls out the last bottle of single-malt scotch in all of Kansas. And the three decide to kill it. This just seems kind of redundant to me. They already act like they’re intoxicated 95% of the time. Emily suffers from hallucinations. Heather plays with fertilizer. Mary Bailey is attracted to Eric. These three do not need the aid of refreshments. The doctor from Rogue River, however, does. He’s over in the corner drinking himself into a stupor. And good for him, I say. He was almost able to escape this monstrosity of a show, but now he’s stuck in the mire like the rest of us. Bottoms up, dude.
Jake arrives to collect Stanley and his sister. Oh, and Mimi, whose shrill voice we haven’t been treated to very much in the past couple weeks. Stanley orders Bonnie to go into town, but he isn’t going anywhere. Know why? Because his grandfather built his house, and his whole family has grown up there. Aww. Three generations of nincompoopery.
Eric tells Jake to get his ugly mug off his property and go warn the others, because he’s wasting time with him. Can’t waste a single, precious moment of Jake’s time. Maybe Stanley is just irked because his house has been relocated to the Rockies. That must be quite the bridge they’re about to blow up if it spans across a good chunk of the country.
Kansas: The Mountain State
Stanley furiously signs at Bonnie that she should leave, but Bonnie just won’t hear of it. (ha HA!) Mimi informs him that by staying he’s RISKING BOTH OF THEIR LIVES. Does this bridge extend over the fiery chasms of hell? Surely there must be some back road, or perhaps a DIFFERENT bridge that might help these poor folks in their time of strife? Perhaps the founders of Jericho foresaw the stupidity of their descendants and decided to create an easy way to cut them off from the rest of society in case anything like this ever happened.
Heather and Emily are still getting plastered. Heather, stumbling off the bar stool, slurs out my favorite line of the night: “This is your captain speaking. We are experiencing minor turbulence. I am awesome.” Ah, Heather. Your wit is surpassed only by your sanity. As she leaves, presumably to vomit, she forces the rogue Rogue River doctor to keep an eye on Emily. They celebrate their new friendship with an impromptu pity party.
This is just not Eric’s day. He finds out that the boys are blowing the bridge up against his orders, and he runs home to Daddy to make them stooooop iiiiiiit. But first he has to deal with Mama, who attacks him like a feral dog, screaming about how could you do this to April and what were you thinking and what is up with that hideous beard of yours, etc. Eric wisely blows her off and tattles on Jake to his father, who is currently sporting a bitchin’ robe. He tells Eric to do whatever it takes to stop his brother, including, I’m guessing by his tone of voice, MURDER. Which won’t happen. We all know Jake is going to die choking on something, or possibly caked in something.
Gray shepherds the Other-Siders over the bridge to the correct side of town while Hawkins, apparently experienced in blowing shit up, wires the bridge. Eric swaggers through, steals a truck, and drives off into enemy territory, leaving poor Jake to just stand there sporting his Very Upset Face. After an excruciatingly suspenseful commercial break, a flare is fired off in the distance, which means that Ravenwood is on its way. Jake flips the fuck out and runs around, flailing wildly. He gathers up some plastic explosives while yelling at everyone else to get off the bridge. He switches over to Doomed Hero Face (see also: Very Upset Face).
Unfortunately we have to take a break from all this excitement to see what’s up at the Bar of Broken Dreams. We find out that the doctor was stuck in Las Vegas when the bombs went off. He hooked up with the Red Cross while there and eventually got sent to Kansas for some reason. Emily tells him that she was supposed to be married today. In fact, she was supposed to be sitting in a booth right over there, “feet kicked up, having a drink.” Is Jericho so small a town that it doesn’t have a decent party facility? Do all wedding receptions take place in this bar? Perhaps this explains the origins of the Eric-Mary Bailey scandal.
But wait! Ah yes, all questions will be answered in another Delusional Fantasy Of What Might Have Been. Emily and the rest of the townsfolk are PREGAMING THE WEDDING at the bar. Now, I’ve been to several weddings and I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting hammered before the ceremony. Apparently the town of Jericho is just stifling enough to warrant constant intoxication, up to and during major life events. It’s not a bad idea, actually. I’ll have to remember this. Mary Bailey, who appears to be serving alcohol to a little girl, yells at Stanley to get dressed because the wedding starts in a half hour. Because, you know, they don’t have to be at the church or anything. You can just do weddings via drive-thru these days. Heather makes a toast to Emily, getting in a few digs at her fiancée. It gets weirder and weirder, culminating in the fantastic “May they live happily together in eternal blandness”. AMEN! Maybe Heather ain’t so bad after all!! Emily comes to her senses, correctly realizes that her fiancée was a total dud, and that this marriage was probably going to suck anyway.
Ravenwood arrives at the bridge. Jake, having turned himself into a human bomb, threatens to blow the bridge while everyone is on it. Note that no one on Jake’s team really objects to this. Deebee makes some half-assed demands (God, he really looks exhausted), but Jake does not relent. A laser beam appears on Jake’s chest. Dare! Suddenly one of the Ravenfairies is snipered! Double dare! A laser beam appears on Deebee’s chest! Physical challenge! I’m really hoping this means that Jack Bauer is nigh, but sadly he does not appear (he’s invisible). Yet another ragingly intense stare-off threatens to consume us all, but it’s finally broken up when Eric arrives with Big Bad Jonah. This is all too much for Ravenwood, who finally pussies out and leaves, but not before making a few more idle threats.
An awkward exchange takes place between Jake and Jonah, who is pissed that they were about to blow up his only road into town. And just like that, Heather is dethroned by Jonah for having the best line of the night: “If Eric hadn’t come to get me you’d all be burying Jake in a shoebox tomorrow”. OH SNAP! Jake = hamster!
Back at the bar, Heather and Mary have decided that darts and alcohol are a great mix, while Emily hallucinates in one of the bar’s many living rooms. She asks Fantasy Roger if he’s dead, but he evades the question. He asks what it is that keeps her so tied to Jericho. I think it’s the lovely mountain scenery, but Roger thinks it’s Jake.
At the town hall, an angry mob has gathered. People are confused, Gray still wants to blow shit up, and Jake hits his whining quota for the night. This is all setup for the triumphant return of… Mayor McCheese! He makes a stirring speech, not unlike that of President Thomas J. Whitmore in Independence Day (damn STRAIGHT I know his name). He won’t destroy the bridge, because apparently the “whole world” is on the other side. Gray insinuates that maybe the people don’t want him to be mayor anymore. Plaintive piano music plays.
Back at the Greenhouse, Jake apologizes to his father for putting him into such a bad situation. He also requests that the Mayor create a security force. Um, doesn’t that already exist? Whatever. Papa more or less puts Jake in charge of said force. Yeah, maybe he really shouldn’t be mayor anymore.
Eric tells Mama he won’t be coming home tonight, and Mama shoots back that April will be staying as long as she needs to. Good, because this subplot needs to be stretched out a little more.
Jake enters the neighborhood church to find Emily crying in a pew. They have a nice little talk about Roger. And we find out that oh ho! Jake had proposed to Emily with a bottle of malt liquor in a parking lot when they were teenagers! Class act, Jake. I knew I liked something about you. Emily asks why Jake came back, why he didn’t just stay away. He asks if that’s what she really wanted. She’s all horrified, but The Jake is all-knowing. Aw, they’re in love. Oh wait, no. It’s all just the product of another one of Emily’s “visions”, further cementing her descent into dementia. Join the club. Heather’s already here. We do punch and pie every Friday night.
And with that, another episode in the Jericho saga comes to a close. I don’t know, this show is still awful but I actually thought this episode was halfway decent. The bridge stuff was ridiculous of course, but the Emily stuff and the heartbreaking April confession were actually somewhat good, if badly acted. Maybe it’s just all the plaintive piano music, which I’m slowly starting to become a big fan of. Next week: supplies are, uh, supplied, by…the Chinese! Huh? Also, someone will DIE! My money’s on Stanley getting trapped under a rogue tractor.
What did you think? Does anyone watch this show? Hello? Echooo?