Is it a rule that any episode that has a Latin title is destined to come, see, and conquer? Or tell the truth only when drunk? If not, I'm making one right now, because this episode? A glut of awesomeness. Thirty minutes in, and we had already rewound the same scene eight times. Why? Oh, no reason, really, just to revel in the awesomeness that is Jake and the Black Man. So, the New Bern peeps return most of the Jericho men to Jericho along with the new turbines. Eric, however, is missing. Finding this cause for concern (rather than celebration, as in my case), Jake presses Hawkins into service, and the two of them -- with a few guns, I believe -- take off for New Bern. Back at home, Mary and Mayor Dad bond over sand, a wonky still, and stories about how much of a dork Eric was when he was growing up. (There's a story about Eric getting "drunk" on a beer and a half that does nothing to endear him to me and instead makes me fill out a change of address form hereby directing all his lameness to New Bern.) Stanley settles back into his farm life but chafes at Sean's presence in his house and sister's bed. Thankfully, Mimi is there to instruct him on the ways of the teenager, and all is as well as it can be when you have to accept that some punk-ass is sleeping with your little sister, who, for all intents and purposes, is still ten years old in your mind. In New Bern, Jake and Hawkins are fed lie after lie about Heather and Eric's whereabouts, culminating in an awesome trailer-park scene where Hawkins pulls out random kitchen tools and a bottle of Drano and prepares to torture the sheriff-mayor's second-in-command. Hawkins even says oddly threatening and slightly hysterical things, like "Hold his knees." Because in torture scenes, knees are both freakishly worrying and quite funny to think about. Later, Jake and Hawkins snoop around and discover that New Bern is making masses of munitions in preparation for an attack on Jericho. After Jake gets thrown in jail for the aforementioned snooping, he finds Eric in the next cell and learns that Heather is dead; a fact I stoutly refuse to believe until they show us her decomposing body. Hawkins, who is still wonderfully, thankfully, sniperly at large, witnesses Phil Costantino -- the sheriff-mayor -- dangling a cuffed Eric and Jake before his torch and tar-wielding town, ramping up Morlock mob rule against the trusting, simple-minded Eloi of Jericho. And that, folks, is where we are left at the conclusion of the Best! Episode! Ever! of Jericho. Sigh. I freakin' LOVE THIS SHOW!
Four flatbed trucks with fabric-covered poles caravan to Jericho. And why do we know they are going to Jericho? Because they pass a green mileage sign that tells us they are twelve miles from Jericho, even though we had every reason to believe they yanked up all the Jericho signs when Ravenwood was ranging around. A fully healed Gray meets the trucks and says, "I didn't expect to see you till spring, Russell." Isn't it spring now? Russell lifts off the tented fabric and says that he thought they might be needing these: the wind turbines. A bunch of randoms jump out of the trucks, and we don't actually know who they are until Gray says, "It's good to see our guys back, but it's going to take some time for me to find some guys to replace them." Russell says that they don't need Jericho's men anymore: "Constantino called it an act of good faith." I wonder if Constantino's definition of "good faith" is the same as the rest of the world's. Gray is puzzled but happy to get his men back along with the turbines. Mary runs at Stanley and asks where Eric is. Totally lying, Stanley says that Eric wasn't ready to come home. A bit stunned and sad, Mary thanks him and backs off. Jake trots up and gives Stanley a happy hug, saying he didn't know that they were coming back today. Well, he would have called, but the can was busy. "None of us did," Stanley mutters, grim eyes looking over Jake's shoulder.
When Jake asks about Eric, Stanley pulls him aside and tells a very different story from the one Mary got. It's true that Eric told Stanley that he wasn't ready to come home because he was still messed up over April's death, but then Eric didn't come in to work one day, and Stanley hasn't seen him since. Going on, Stanley says that he doesn't know what's happening in New Bern: "When I asked about Eric, they couldn't tell me anything. Then the cops started escorting us wherever we went. Then today -- today, out of nowhere, Russell says pack it up, we're going home, like it wasn't safe for us there anymore." Jake's been looking steely and determined this entire time, and when Stanley finishes, he makes the most awesome face. Dude, he doesn't even LOOK back at Stanley. His face fixed and resolute, Jake snaps an upward nod -- looking off into the distance that is TOTALLY in the direction of Hawkins's house -- and you just know, you KNOW that he has made up his mind to mount a mission to New Bern. We seriously rewound that scene five times. Just because of Jake's face.
Jake walks away with Stanley trailing behind. Cornering Russell, Jake demands answers about his brother's whereabouts. Russell can't provide them. Finally Jake demands, "What the hell is going on over there, Russell? Should I be worried about him?" When Russell pauses, Jake grabs him by his woolly lapels and throws him back against the truck, repeating, "Should I be worried?" Russell nods: "I would be." Jake's release of Russell is just as violent as the initial grab. He stalks away, shaking his head irritably. You know what is awesome about Jake? Okay, what else is awesome about Jake? His pulled-up hoodie and scars make him look every inch the bad-ass, but he pulls the look off with a sort of unconsciousness that is incredibly hot. Stanley falls into step with him and tries to persuade Jake to let him come along. Jake's having none of it and orders Stanley to go home. He'll find Heather as soon as he gets there; she knows her way around New Bern. Jake pauses briefly to casually lift a can of gasoline out of the back of a truck. Even that move was awesome! Stanley argues, "Look, it's not safe out there -- you can't go by yourself." The Jericho music pulses up, and Jake says, "I'm not." Okay, it's only five minute into the episode, and we're already screaming. Really, really, loud. The saddest part is that we KNEW Jake was bringing Hawkins, and we KNEW they were teaming up to go to New Bern, and yet all hell STILL broke loose. It was as if we hadn't even seen the previews. Which, like, we HAD!