In season two, "Jericho" has fulfilled the promise of an uneven first year and become possibly the most gripping and action-packed hour of prime time television. Of course barely anyone knows that because only about 6 million people are watching. Guess the allure of "Primetime: What Would You Do?" is a little too much.

Sad music = sad times

This week's episode begins with the aftermath of an epic shootout at the Richmond farm that left Bonnie (Shoshannah Stern) dead and Mimi (Alicia Coppola) badly wounded. The mood around town is quite somber, and not even an appearance by the portly and lovable deputy Jimmy (Bob Stephenson) brightens the day. But it certainly helps.

Beck (Esai Morales) and his men leave town in order to investigate a bombing in the neighboring New Bern, and thus leave Jericho in the hands of Ravenwood. Goetz (D.B. Sweeney) and Jake (Skeet Ulrich) are left alone together? This cannot end well.

Once Jake discovers that Goetz was the one who killed Bonnie and that Goetz was actually looking to kill Mimi, he orders all of his loyal followers to barricade themselves in the hospital. There, drunken doc Kenji (Aasif Mandvi) continues his amazingly unprecedented sober streak and saves Mimi's life.

Stanley (Brad Beyer) who just days before was a big supporter of Jennings & Rall (the evil company for those of you who have forgotten) spends his time worrying about Mimi and brooding over his little sister's death. Eric (Kenneth Mitchell) tries to console him and does a truly horrible job, making things much worse. Mercifully, he seems to realize that and quickly departs, leaving Stanley alone with Bonnie. What follows is a touching yet somewhat morbid scene where Stanley signs his final thoughts to Bonnie's corpse. The look of rage in Stanny Boy's eyes ensures that someone is going to get a good old country whuppin' before the episode is through.

Obligatory Dan Hedaya reference

Meanwhile, Jake and Goetz are embroiled in a standoff. Goetz wants to "talk" to Mimi, but that is not happening. At least not while deputy Jimmy is standing guard! The standoff continues until Hawkins (Lennie James) arrives on the scene, killing three Ravenwood members in the process. It is a nice return to form for Hawkins, who seemingly hasn't killed anyone in weeks.

Jake and Hawkins come up with a plan to trick Ravenwood and escape. In the process of putting the plan into action, they have a "Commando" style gunfight with a Ravenwood member who made it inside. For those of you who are unenlightened, a "Commando" style gunfight is where two or more people spend a few minutes taking turns shooting at each other, only firing when the other person is safely behind a barricade, thus accomplishing nothing. It is so dubbed for the scene in the movie "Commando" where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dan Hedaya take turns shooting at each other for what feels like a good five minutes. Now if only Dan Hedaya had a role on "Jericho."

More Goetz bashing

Meanwhile, Heather (Sprague Grayden) is greeted by some old friends from New Bern. Seems like things are even rougher over there, and the New Bern resistance has sent a few folks over to kill Goetz. Man, Goetz just can't catch a break. Heather refuses to help them in their efforts and effectively shuns all of her former friends. Harsh.

Mimi wakes up and explains that Goetz wants to kill her because she discovered that he was embezzling funds from Jennings & Rall. She calls the one trustworthy J&R employee she knows, Trish, in order to explain what Goetz has been doing. So where is all of this headed?

This is where. Jake and company lead Ravenwood out into an open field. Soon enough, Goetz's commanding officer comes rolling up in his fuel inefficient hummer along with the aforementioned Trish. She ratted out Goetz to the high command and he gets handed his pink slip. Ravenwood departs, leaving Goetz and a few loyalists stranded and without a vehicle. Jake and friends take the opportunity to try and capture Goetz, who opens fire.

A firefight ensues, and the New Bern folks conveniently happen by and join in. Goetz eventually surrenders, but Jake does not let the New Bern resistance kill him. He wants to deliver Goetz alive to Major Beck, thus maintaining law and order. Then Stanley pulls up in his trusty pickup truck, lumbers over to Goetz, points a gun at his head, and...holds it there for a few seconds. Usually in television, when a guy (or gal) is holding a gun to someone else's head for a few seconds, they end up not firing. This is not one of those times. Stanley's rage gets the best of him and he pulls the trigger, killing Goetz. Major Beck is not going to like that.

This week in the conspiracy

Hawkins learns (from his phone buddy of course) that the corruption in the Cheyenne government goes all the way to the top. Seems that the Prez and his closest advisors all worked for Jennings & Rall, and they were all most likely involved in the attacks. That means that Bizarro Lawrence Tierney (a.k.a. Valente) is not the top dog, but little more than a foot soldier. Hmmm.

Two more

This was yet another solid episode in "Jericho's" superb sophomore year. Goetz has been neutralized (and D.B. Sweeney will be missed), but now Jericho will be facing the wrath of Major Beck, who still is not a 100 percent believer of the conspiracy theories. The second season finale was designed to also serve as a series finale, and it is obvious that all of the storylines will not be suitably wrapped up by the end of the season. If this is indeed it for the show, it will be interesting to see how things are left in the end. Veeerrrry interesting.

Happy to see Goetz go? What do you think will be in store for the beleaguered citizens of Jericho next? Comment!

Story by Derek Krebs
Starpulse contributing writer