Now that Jericho is taking a well-deserved vacation, we can pause for a moment to take a little trip down Painful Memory Lane. I’ve been asked to do a quick recap of the major characters and “plot”lines from the season so far, so you might want to just bookmark this right now so you can refer to it often. You know what, better be safe and just make it your home page.The Plot Thus Far: Nuclear bombs have gone off all over the country. Jericho, a small town in West Bumblefuck, Kansas, has been cut off from most communication from the outside world, except for the occasional satellite transmission to the one and only television located in the local bar, which is where most people spend their time. They do know that several cities have been hit, including but not limited to Denver, Washington, D.C,. Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Hawkins, the mysterious stranger, has a map in his basement indicating even more cities, but we don’t know how he knows this information or who he’s connected to or anything about him really, other than the fact that he hates football and seemingly his family.
Every week we get a new piece of cryptic information, usually having something to do with the government’s (very limited) response to the attacks. So far we’ve gotten an F-16 flyover, a tank sighting, a Homeland Security recorded telephone call, an Emergency Alert System alert that led to nothing, a couple warnings from FEMA, and an airdrop of supplies from the Chinese government. There have also been a couple of fairly reliable reports of FEMA operating refugee camps in other towns, and the makeshift Jericho police squad has had a few run-ins with Ravenwood, a group of mercenaries allegedly sent by Homeland Security. Why no one from Jericho ever tries to actively seek assistance from any of these fine institutions is anyone’s guess.
The town is being run more or less by Mayor Green and his family. The two boys run around making all the decisions and then report back to Daddy, who usually disapproves. In the last episode’s election, he was defeated by Gray Anderson, who is going to have an awfully big hat to fill in the upcoming half of the season.
The Jericho Community Players
Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) – Oh, Jake. What can I say. The heart and soul (and maker of many a confused face) of Jericho, Jake has a Very Mysterious Past that is revealed in tiny, tiny slivers of information each week. Kind of like Lost, except not at all. He returned to Jericho right before the bombs went off and has henceforth dispensed all sorts of random information and heroics at exactly the right time in exactly the right place. Other than that, he’s a pretty big idiot.
Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney) – The father of the Green clan and former Mayor McCheese. Papa Green just lost the election to his nemesis, Gray Anderson, and God only knows what he’s going to be doing with himself now. He spent the better part of the first season dying from a bad flu, and was only saved at the last minute by the valiant and ridiculous efforts of his sons.
Gail Green (Pamela Reed) – The unofficial Mother of the entire town. Sometimes creepy but always fun to watch, Mama Green usually spends her time threatening her boys and providing a shoulder to cry on to many various citizens of Jericho. She’s the queen of making seemingly innocuous bits of dialogue seem outrageously sinister. It’s great.
Eric Green (Kenneth Mitchell) – The other Green brother. Eric is both a whiner AND a major pussy. Every time Jake comes up with another wacky plan to blow shit up, Eric pouts as hard as he can. He’s married to April (a weepy waif and apparently the only nurse in Jericho), but he is currently in love with another woman (Mary Bailey, owner of the local bar and temptress extraordinaire). Oh, and April’s pregnant. Good luck, Eric.
Rod Hawkins (Lennie James) – Head of the only black family in Jericho, Hawkins moved his family to our favorite little burg under suspicious circumstances right before the bombs went off. He has a Laptop of Doom in his basement lair which he uses to communicate with the outside world, unbeknownst to the rest of the Jericho citizenry. He also has a lot of random knowledge about how to survive a nuclear apocalypse, but his is probably grounded in some sort of solid training, whereas Jake’s is more likely the result of fancy guesswork. We don’t know how much Hawkins has to do with the bombs, but we do know that he’s involved…somehow.
Stanley Richmond (Brad Beyer) – Jake’s best friend and Jericho’s village idiot. Stanley’s just a simple farmer who lives on the other side of town with his deaf sister, Bonnie. Their parents died in, oh I don’t know, a horrible science accident let’s say. Also currently living with Stanley is Mimi, an IRS agent who came to audit his farm and consequently got stuck there when the bombs went off. They have fallen in love, much to the dismay of Bonnie, and they’re also our go-to people for amusing dialogue. I heart Stanley.
Emily Sullivan (Ashley Scott) – Jake’s high school sweetheart and current object of lust. She was engaged to a boring guy named Roger, but he was out of town when the bombs went off and has been presumed dead. Now that he’s out of the way, Emily has had time to fall in love with Jake all over again. That is, until the recent cliffhanger, wherein Roger returned to…avenge…something.
Gray Andersons (Michael Gaston) – The newly elected mayor. Gray is a crusty, middle-aged chap who finds fault with every single thing anyone ever does or says. The only reason he won the election is because his platform was based around harsh punishments towards the criminals that attack Jericho on a weekly basis (conveniently enough). No one likes this guy.
Jonah Proust (James Remar) – We’ve been led to believe that we’ve seen the last of Jonah, but I don’t think that will be the case. He’s a local hoodlum who lives on the outskirts of town and returns every once and a while to make some trouble for Jericho’s fine inhabitants. He’s also Emily’s father, so there’s a slight conflict of interest there. It’s spellbinding, really.
Heather Lisinski (Sprague Grayden) – Emily’s best friend, Jake’s not-so-secret admirer, and official Crazy Person. Heather is a total spazz and I for one expect nothing but pure comedy gold to come out of her mouth every week, or at least whenever she feels like showing up.
Dale Turner (Erik Knudsen) – Jericho’s resident brooding teenager. He does have something legitimate to brood about though, as his parents were both killed in the attacks. Up until the fall finale, he was under the care of Gracie Leigh, a cranky witch who owned the general store. But then she was stabbed and killed, and now the store is his. Huzzah!
And there we have it. Who knows what treasures are in store for us next year? All we know for certain is that Jake will continue to make ridiculous faces. See you in February!