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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Jericho’ blogging: “Termination for Cause”

(previous: “Oversight”)

Holy crap. I mean: Ho. Ly. Crap. Stanley? I wouldn’t have expected this from Stanley. He’s so gentle. But maybe those are the guys who snap when the worst happens.

So — *deep breath* — Stanley shot Goetz. Executed him. For Bonnie’s murder. Wow.
Ups and downs like crazy in this episode Trish turns out to be on the side of the angels, but Jennings & Rall and the administration of the president of the United States — the old United States — were basically one and the same. So — wait a sec… what happened to that president? Is he still alive? Is he the one bringing together what’s left of the United States east of the Mississippi? If that’s the case, then it’s pretty much J&R on both sides of the Mississippi… so why the split? If Jericho manages to hang on for another season, does that mean we’re looking at a war between two factions of Jennings & Rall?

Whoa.

Or maybe a third season of the show will be about the war between whatever rises to take the place of J&R west of the Mississippi. Cuz it looks like we’re on the road to what had to be inevitable from the beginning: the Second American Revolution. I’ve been saying it for a while, and now our Jake is using the word, at least in the coming attractions for next week.

Which way will Beck swing — will he join Trish with the good guys? Or will he literally swing, like Goetz?

Sorry, I’m too overwhelmed by this episode to even think straight about it. There sure as hell had better be more than two episodes to come, though I suspect there won’t be, and this story that is so compelling and so important will never be finished. Damn TV, anyway…

(Next week: Imagine: the year is 1776, and the colonial farmers and merchants have a nuclear bomb. Oh dear…, it’s “Sedition”)

(Get a full recap or watch the entire episode at CBS’s official site for the show.)



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  • MaryAnn, I think you misunderstood what “Smith” told Hawkins. Tomarchio, the ex-Senator and now President of the ASA in Cheyenne, previously worked for J&R before he became a Senator. His Senate campaign was funded largely by J&R, and many of his staffers were also ex-J&R. No reference was made to the old President of the USA or the current President of the USA in Columbus.

    And I was a bit surprised that they went with the cliché of having Stanley avenge his sister. I was glad to see Mimi and Trish work together to expose Goetz, though… but surprised, again, that Ravenwood just cut Goetz loose, rather than taking him into custody.

    Looking forward to next week… they’re going to “move the bomb”. To where? Cheyenne, maybe?

  • The president they were referring to – Tomarchio – is the former Senator that now leads the ASA (the one that came through Jericho in the second episode this season.) So the J&R influence goes to the top of the West states, but not necessarily the old USA (and since the old US President was speaking in front of a joint session of Congress when the D.C. bomb went off, we can assume they’re all gone – the question is whether the Senator who’s running things out of Columbus is J*R material or not. Since he’s not seeing eye-to-eye with the ASA, probably not.)

  • By the way, I think it’s a mistake to automatically assume that the ASA (west of the Mississippi, less Texas) is stronger than the USA (east of the Mississippi).

    First, let’s look at the list of nuked cities:

    ASA TERRITORY (9 cities)
    Seattle
    San Francisco
    Los Angeles
    San Diego
    Salt Lake City
    Phoenix
    Denver
    St. Louis
    Minneapolis

    TEXAS (2 cities)
    Dallas
    Houston

    USA TERRITORY (12 cities)
    Chicago
    Indianapolis
    Detroit
    Atlanta
    Charlotte
    Miami
    Washington, DC
    Baltimore
    Pittsburgh
    Philadelphia
    Boston
    Hartford

    New York and Columbus were both spared, even though they were listed on the secret J&R document.

    Even though the USA lost more cities, the cities lost by the ASA represent a greater percentage of the ASA population. The ASA does control a much larger physical area, but this does not equate to power; in fact, it makes it more difficult for them to police the territory and get things reorganized.

    But the telling point for me is with respect to military bases, which would be the natural nucleus around which order would be restored in the event of a nuclear attack. When you look at that, the USA actually has a distinct advantage over the ASA: Military bases in North Carolina (Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Seymour-Johnson AFB, Cherry Point MCAS), Kentucky (Fort Campbell), Florida (multiple Air Force bases away from Miami), and Norfolk and Kings Bay, GA (US Navy) would be mostly unaffected by the attacks, and those forces would be in a good position to restore order fairly quickly. The ASA territory, on the other hand, has few military bases that are not near one of the attacked cities.

    It seems like the only advantage that the ASA has right now is that they’re not under total siege from the Hudson River Virus.

  • MaryAnn

    No reference was made to the old President of the USA or the current President of the USA in Columbus.

    Was the current ASA president named? It doesn’t seem like that would be such a surprise — I mean, *of course* J&R and and ASA government are almost one and the same. That’s perfectly obvious. It would be shocking, though, to learn that J&R was more in bed with the US government than that 1993 wargame project suggests.

    New York and Columbus were both spared, even though they were listed on the secret J&R document.

    New York was “spared,” at least not deliberately. The bombing of that city was thwarted by police made more alert after 9/11 — that’s stated explicitly in an early episode from last year.

    And of course, Hawkins was in on the Colmbus bomb and was responsible for thwarting that one.

  • Yeah, we learned that Tomarchio is President of the ASA (and even met him — he looks like he’s about 12 years old) back in the second episode of this season (Falcon). “Smith” named him as a former J&R employee who quit to run for the Senate, and whose campaign was funded by J&R and whose staff was mostly ex-J&R. We can assume that he was safely ensconced when the attacks occurred and then came out of hiding to “assume command”.

    The USA, we can assume, had a President who was not affiliated with J&R, and has a President now who is not affiliated with J&R.

    So what we have here is a coup d’état orchestrated by a corporation. It worked, but not completely: They’re only in control of half of the country, and they’ve got an insurgency starting up in the half that they do control. When the truth about J&R’s involvement in the attacks gets out (and you know it will), be prepared for a night of the long knives: J&R blood is gonna flow in the streets.

    The main question I have right now: Is Hawkins’ bomb going to serve as evidence of the J&R plot, or is it going to be used against J&R/the ASA government? This might be the “cliffhanger” plot point they get to use to decide if there’s going to be a 3rd season.

  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, we learned that Tomarchio is President of the ASA (and even met him — he looks like he’s about 12 years old)

    Yes, I remember that. I just don’t remember that name as the one “Smith” mentioned on the phone. And I’ve already deleted the episode from the DVR. :->

    Re Hawkins’ bomb: In the coming attractions for next week, there’s a snippet of Hawkins saying something like “If the bomb goes off, then we lose everything,” which suggests, perhaps, that if the bomb is used, it won’t be Hawkins who uses it.

  • My bad: The episode was called Condor.

  • bitchen frizzy

    “When the truth about J&R’s involvement in the attacks gets out (and you know it will), be prepared for a night of the long knives: J&R blood is gonna flow in the streets.”

    Much depends on what side the military takes. Beck’s building dilemma is a microcosm of that.

    “The main question I have right now: Is Hawkins’ bomb going to serve as evidence of the J&R plot, or is it going to be used against J&R/the ASA government? This might be the “cliffhanger” plot point they get to use to decide if there’s going to be a 3rd season.”

    Using the bomb would be pointless and stupid revenge, and would eliminate the only shred of hard evidence against the ASA.

    Why don’t the townspeople show Goetz’ pink slip to Beck? That could go a long way toward calming him down. He despised Goetz, and the dismissal letter proves Goetz’ killing wasn’t the murder of a J&R agent.

  • Much depends on what side the military takes. Beck’s building dilemma is a microcosm of that.

    I guarantee you that virtually everyone in the US, aside from people who just live out in the middle of nowhere, lost someone from their family in the attacks, or in the aftermath… this is true even for the soldiers. When they find out that J&R is directly responsible for the deaths of their loved ones and that they are now effectively working for J&R, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

  • MaryAnn

    Why don’t the townspeople show Goetz’ pink slip to Beck? That could go a long way toward calming him down. He despised Goetz, and the dismissal letter proves Goetz’ killing wasn’t the murder of a J&R agent.

    I don’t see how that’s any better. If Beck is the honorable man he seems to be, then he won’t take kindly to someone having executed, without benefit of a trial by a jury of his peers, an unarmed civilian in police custody.

    Hey, what am I talking about?! Trial by jury is so 20th century.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Well, the difference would be that it’s the murder of one private citizen by another, vs. an act of insurrection by townspeople against government employees. To a military officer enforcing martial law, there’s a big difference in how he’s obliged to respond. In the former case, he can leave it up to the local sheriff and stay out of it.

    But I’m being technical. It’s up to the screenwriters how he reacts.

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