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'Jericho' Recap: Decline and Fall of the First Republic

February 20th, 2008 9:44am EST
JerichoWeek two of the "Jericho" revival (one that looks to be short-lived if last week's ratings are any indication) starts off with another riveting recap of the story so far. That's all well and good, but unfortunately it seems that the only people watching the series are the diehard fans from last year, so it doesn't serve much of a purpose. Still cool, though.

Meet the new government

Things start out nice and serene, as Stanley (Brad Beyer) and Mimi (Alicia Coppola) enjoy a quaint breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes (yum-yum) and comment about how calm life has become. Uh-oh. They should have knocked on wood because at that moment a helicopter touches down in the front yard, and they discover that President Tomarchio (George Newbern) will be making a speech from their porch.

The town is abuzz and awaiting the president's arrival. Beck (Esai Morales) has Jake (Skeet Ulrich) working extra hard in his new role as sheriff in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Big surprise, it doesn't. Hawkins (Lennie James) and Chavez (Chris Kramer) are working on a little plan to steal encrypted data from the Allied States computers in order to expose the massive conspiracy. All-work-and-no-play Hawkins is at it again.

Meanwhile, the president arrives and greets Gray (Michael Gaston) and Eric (Kenneth Mitchell). He expresses his condolences for their losses and praises their work. He then tells Gray that he will be invited to represent the region at the upcoming constitutional convention. Gray seems enamored, while Eric quietly sulks about the forthcoming changes in school textbooks. Apparently, he has a problem with the post-World War II era being renamed "The Decline and Fall of the First Republic." The president comes off as an affable and charismatic guy. Like someone you would want to have a beer with. Wait, that sounds a little familiar...

Hawkins successfully copies the computer data and uncovers hard evidence that the Allied States lied about the source of the attacks. Well, duh. He packs up Chavez with the info (and a sack lunch) and sends him on his way to Texas. There, Chavez will share the intelligence with the independent Texas government and hope that they decide to join up with the Eastern States. Because those are the good guys.

Speeches and such

The president gives a rousing speech. He commends the people of Jericho, bashes his political rivals to the east, and manages to piss off all of the regulars. Oh well, at least the extras all loved it. The speech was decent, but it couldn't compare to T-Bag's (Robert Knepper) rousing "All Cons Are Equal" speech from this week's "Prison Break" finale. T-Bag for president? Now we're getting somewhere.

The episode ends on an ominous note as the mysterious Valente (Daniel Benzali), the man apparently in charge of the conspiracy, expresses his distaste in the way that Beck is running Jericho. So he decides to send reinforcements. Those reinforcements are Ravenwood, the violent mercenary group which had several conflicts with our friends from Jericho last season. The return of Ravenwood also means the return of D.B. Sweeney to "Jericho." He will once again resume his quest to prove that he did not peak in the 90s. Go D.B.!

Well done

This second episode of "Jericho" was tight, well written, suspenseful and exciting. There was more important exposition, but it was weaved in nicely with the action, resulting in an episode that was more balanced than last week's. The potential for a new civil war is quite intriguing as is the spread of the superflu, which was hinted at and looks to play a larger part in next week's episode. It is compelling television, even more so than last year. Too bad that there is still nobody watching.

What did you think about last night's episode? Any new viewers out there who just picked things up this season? Thoughts and predictions for the future? Comment below!

Story by Derek Krebs
Starpulse contributing writer