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While the Green boys are off on their road trip, Heather and Emily kill time by trying to make ice. Eventually, they succeed, and then I guess they save Dad's life by cooling him off, but that part happens offscreen, because this show is completely insane. Also, Gray visits the Hawkins family and spends the day being weird with them until, after some scripted dramatics from Allison, Hawkins says that he's with the FBI. Gray is such a sucker. Hawkins claims that he came to town to investigate some suspicious goings-on in Jericho. Eric and Jake set out for the excitingly named Rogue River. They find that the town has been cleared out by FEMA. Except not, because at the hospital, they run into a wounded soldier, and a doctor. Jake bonds with the soldier, Payton, by identifying him as belonging to something called "Ravenwood," and then sharing his own tales of adventure as a subcontractor in Iraq. Payton says that he and his pals came in to help with the evacuation. When they got to the hospital, they "helped" by shooting anyone who was too sick to be moved. Payton takes Jake and Eric to meet the last remaining doctor, and then the Ravenwood team returns, led by D.B. Sweeney. Payton immediately starts shooting at them, and then there's a lot of running around, and Eric pretends to be a doctor to distract the bad guys. Eventually, the Greens, and the doctor, escape, while Payton stays behind to martyr himself. Yay? They return to Jericho with the drugs to save Dad, plus a new guy for Gray to question incompetently. It's like Christmas! But at the end of the show Eric realizes that he left his jacket behind in Rogue River. And in his jacket was his wallet, which he naturally took with him in case he needed to stop at an ATM. And in his wallet was his ID, so now the Ravenwood guys can track them down in Jericho and ask what the hell all that shooting was about.
Previously: Mom coordinated a massive terrorist attack, poisoned Dad, sent her sons off into zombie territory, and then distracted Gray from her evil deeds by suggesting he investigate Hawkins.
The increasingly questionable captions tell us that it's now one month after the bombs. Interesting. So apparently ten days passed in between "Walls of Jericho" and "Federal Response." We open where we left off last time, with Eric and Jake driving. They've reached the part of Kansas that is actually flat, and are zooming along a two-lane road. Well, that's where the car is. Then we cut to Jake and Eric sitting in the car and golly, it looks like someone's trying to revive rear-projection. Maybe it's greenscreen, but if so they've done a tremendous job of making it look like much crappier technology, so well done. Eric tells Jake to slow down, maybe because the lanes on the road just vanished. Or maybe because they're approaching a car that's crashed near what looks like an orchard. Jake says, "I'm not stopping 'til we get to Rogue River." As they pass, we're treated to a view of the wreckage of the overturned car. A woman's body is artfully draped next to it. Eric moans that they can't leave her lying "in the middle of the road." Which she wasn't. Jake says that there was a second set of skid marks. I didn't even notice a first set. He says, "Someone forced her off the road, and probably robbed her and killed her. Johanna suggests that maybe Jake recognizes the tell-tale signs because this is something he used to do himself. Personally, I think it was just a giant Gila monster. Jake says that the miscreants could still be lurking nearby. Yo, Jake, look around. See all that nothing? Unless you think these Mad Max fans you're worried about hid their car in one of those trees, there's nobody around for miles. Jake concludes, "This is the world we live in now." And these are the giant, irradiated hands we're given.
Hawkins Homestead. Darcy opens her oven and reveals a cloud of smoke, and also a pie. Samuel, who's been let out of the basement for good behavior, boggles as Allison enters to gasp that "it worked." Darcy says, "Your father is a very smart man." Comparatively. There's a knock at the door, and Darcy goes to find Gray asking if Hawkins can come out and play.