There’s zero subtlety about this show. This episode starts with the Stars and Stripes still flying over city hall and the whole series is pervaded with a sense of gung-ho “we will overcome all obstacles to survive” bullshit. There have been at least two nuclear detonations in major cities, yet there’s no feeling of the terror that would surely ensue from this kind of scenario.
Fallout’s coming to Jericho, and while the message of the episode seems to be that small town America isn’t ready for this kind of event, it’s lost in its celebration of good ol’ American ingenuity.
There isn’t enough room in the town's one working shelter for everyone, yet we never feel any sense of urgency. We don’t doubt for a second that they will come up with a solution. Last week's hero, Jake Green, once again saves the day with his clever idea of using the local mine shaft. Instead of asking ourselves if they'll make it in time, we’re wondering if we care.
Jake’s brother's confrontation with a bunch of morons in a bar was clearly only written to allow him to expound on the effect fallout will have if they don’t find shelter.
The characters need fleshing out into real people instead of the cardboard cut-outs we have so far. Jake doing a bit of bonding with the schoolteacher from last week is about as much character development as we get.
Jake’s last minute rescue of Emily, who’s being held hostage by a couple of escaped cons, provides a brief moment of action and even a slight feeling of urgency. It doesn’t last long, though, and when it’s over, the potential threat provided by the criminals is over for good.
Big city cop Robert Hawkins is keeping a radio broadcast he picked up to himself, but the final scene lets us in on the secret. He’s putting pins in a map and it’s clear what those pins signify. As well as Denver and Atlanta, we now know Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Diego have been hit. We see him pick up several more pins, although where he puts them is still unknown.
This should really be a horror series. Instead, it’s a feel good drama. I’ll give it one more week in the hopes things pick up and because I’m mildly intrigued by why Hawkins is keeping the extent of the devastation to himself.