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''Jericho'' finale recap: This means civil war!

In the series finale, Jake and Hawkins manage to deliver the bomb to Texas and start a new civil war, while Stanley stands up to Beck and buries his sister

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Jericho

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
09/20/06
performer:
Gerald McRaney, Skeet Ulrich, Sprague Grayden, Lennie James, Ashley Scott
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Drama

”Jericho” finale recap: This means civil war!

Maybe I haven’t seen enough series finales to understand how they’re supposed to work (most of my favorite shows got canceled midseason or with unresolved cliff-hangers), but this one seemed much too clean. Must we get a resolution for damn near every problem that was brought up? Maybe we do, but the final episode of Jericho left me screaming at my television, ”Are you kidding me?”

We’ll begin with the love story that was, is, and always will be Stanley and Mimi. It was obvious that they would become one hell of a couple, strengthened by Mimi’s taking a bullet. Though it may have seemed that Stanley was about to go off the deep end after offing Goetz at point-blank range, he didn’t. He freaked out a bit, as any sane person would, then accepted what he’d done. You can’t blame him for leaving the hideout in order to bury Bonnie. But I was a little creeped out by Stanley and Mimi’s makeshift nuptials next to Bonnie’s newly dug grave. Ultimately, it was sweet, and I cried a little, but really — near a grave?

With that package nicely tied up, off we went to deal with Gray Anderson, who was in Cheyenne for the Allied States of America Constitutional Convention, which was really a ”let’s listen to what J&R is going to put in the constitution” convention. I wasn’t expecting Jake and Hawkins to show up in his hotel room, but I’m sure Gray was a bit relieved to be leaving Cheyenne. Jake told him that Jericho needed him and he should head home. So without much ado, Gray returned to Jericho, to see Main Street a complete and total wreck.

We can’t write off Gray that easily. He was visibly distraught with the mayhem he saw, and then Johnston’s ”Don’t Tread on Me” flag caught his eye. He took it upon himself to raise it on Main Street’s flagpole, as a symbol of Johnston speaking to Jericho’s citizens when they needed him most.

Now let’s talk about Beck, who, after much flip-flopping, finally realized the error of his ways. Granted, this was only after he searched through Hawkins’ possessions to see if he was telling the truth. Behind his tough demeanor, I think Beck knew all along that something wasn’t right, but he wasn’t sure who to believe. Good for him for getting smart and standing up to his commanders. I can’t say that I was shocked that he told his superiors that he would no longer be following orders. His character was always one to weigh the pros and cons of a situation before acting — well, except for the whole interrogating-Jake thing.

So even though he was forced to almost put Jericho under the dreaded ”phase 3” plan, he came to his senses. He apologized to Heather for not believing her. (I loved when she told him he was a ”coward.”) He went up to the Richmond farm to let the insurgents know they were free to go. And what do you know, the soldiers who were going to arrest him for potential treason ripped the ASA flags off their uniforms and asked him what they should do next. Brilliant.

NEXT: This means war!

Now to dissect what Jake and Hawkins did this episode, which was extremely cut-and-dried and only a bit exciting. In simple terms, they went to Cheyenne, killed some people, obtained the bomb, drove into the Texas embassy, flew a plane, landed a plane, the end. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but to me it seemed choppy and rote.

Let me explain what I mean. Who would have guessed that there would be a shootout when they hijacked the ambulance? I mean, shocking, right? Um…no. Who would have guessed the Texas-embassy folks would grant them amnesty and save them from Cheyenne? And what do you know, they got to the airport and took off with no problems whatsoever! Shocking! (Uh, not really.) I don’t mean to downplay the central action of the episode, but most of these scenes played out like the most boring episodes of The Amazing Race, where you think the teams are seconds apart from one another racing to the pit stop, only to find they were really an hour apart. I mean, the army guys didn’t even try to shoot at Jake’s plane as it took off.

Granted, I whooped and hollered when the Texas National Guard planes blew the ASA planes out of the sky. (My folks live in Texas. Must be a pride thing.) And I jumped a little when Hawkins got shot, but that was about it. I guess Chung died, but who really knows? Smith just vanished into the darkness…ooh, creepy. And Hawkins and Jake basically started the next American Civil War. Okay, I guess.

So that’s it. That’s all we have. There were resolutions, neatly packaged for us. There are some open questions, which are good for any series finale to have. What is Smith going to do now? How would the battle play out? What would Constantino do now that it’s all-out war? What role would Beck play? Realistically, the way the show ended, the third season would have to veer even further away from what made the first season great.

Ultimately, I don’t know how to react to Jericho‘s final episode. Was it good? Was it bad? For me, it was neither. It was simply ”meh,” and I’m glad the misery is over. Does this mean I hated the series? Absolutely not, but as I’ve said before, something was off this whole season.

But what did you think? Will you miss Jericho? Did the finale satisfy you?