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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jericho: Reconstruction

Season 2, Episode 1: Reconstruction
Morse code: "WE'RE BAAACK"

Hm. Okay.

Do any of you watch Lost? You know that feeling you got about midway through the first episode of Season 2 when you realized that the show's premise had changed from "Crash survivors on a mysterious island" to "There's a lot of really weird shit on this island"?

Yeah. It's kind of like that. Where Season 1 of Jericho was about "Small Kansas town struggles to survive in the wake of nuclear holocaust," Season 2 seems to be about the rebuilding of America, the upcoming civil war between the Allied States (those west of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean) and the Eastern Block, politics and conspiracies and "the smoking gun behind the greatest crime in the history of the world".

Don't get me wrong, I liked the episode, and I generally approve of where the series is going... it just felt rather abrupt, is all. I would have preferred that the premise had evolved organically over time, much like how Babylon 5 went from "A story about a space station" to a sweeping epic which spanned the galaxy

I'd like to assume the writers did it this way because they were only given 7 episodes in this season to potentially resolve everything, but watching last year's season finale makes me wonder if this was planned all along.

Other random thoughts:
  • I'm a bit annoyed that the war with New Bern was ended so quickly, but getting to see an A-10 Warthog (it's so ugly, it's cute!) drop a napalm strike was rather nice.
  • Oh, Jake. Emily is so wrong for you. Can't you see that you're meant to be with Heather?
  • Martial Law is always interesting. Gotta love that mandatory death penalty for pissing off the Major.
  • Allied States of America? A different flag? Texas as the swing state? This is all very interesting...
  • Is it just me, or is there a definite "Bleeding Kansas" vibe going on here? What with the seemingly inevitable civil war in the making, a divided union -- hell, even the episode's name is a direct antebellum reference -- and of course, the title location being smack in the middle of it all, I think things are going to get much, much worse before they get better.

So in short, it seems like Jericho has gone from "postholocaust survival" to "geopolitical thriller." Which is not a bad thing, really, as I love dark futures, and the prospect of a second American Civil War is pretty darn dark, even before you factor in the possibility that it was all engineered from inside the government so that certain elements could rise to power.

I look forward to more episodes.

PS: If you missed the episode, you can watch it online here.

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