Coalition Of The Willing

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Keckler: A | Grade It Now!
Guns Are Easy

Town Hall basement. Gray frets next to a silent radio. Stanley and Eric wonder why Connie hasn't bombed them and whether Jake and Dad were successful. Bill, ever the dumb-ass, negates this, saying, "He would have come back on the radio." Not if it takes awhile for Connie to figure out why his guys at the mortar site aren't responding. Unseen by the room, Dad stands in the doorway, bows his head, and sighs, "We took out the mortars." Eric and Jimmy look elated. Bill stands up, breathing, "Hell yeah." Shut UP, Bill. Connie crackles back on the walkie-talkie, asking if Gray is there. Gray pauses then grabs the walkie-talkie and says shortly, "Yeah." Connie announces, "Now you've brought this on yourself." Um, I'll give you a big, fat, hairy WHATEVER, since all Jericho was doing was freakin' defending itself. Connie goes on that there will be no deals and no mercy, "This means war." I think he means "conflict." Or "police action." Gray doesn't say anything. "Do you hear me, Gray?" Connie menaces. I wanted Gray to bark back, "Bring. It. On." But instead, he snaps off the walkie-talkie for good. He leans on the table and looks down. "Johnston," he says finally, looking up at Dad, "I need your help." Dad continues to stand silently in the doorway. After a moment, he walks decisively into the room and locks his determined gaze on Gray's pleading one. Finally, he tells Stanley to get every possible runner out to the patrols with orders. The Fife Of Righteous War plays -- there's always a fife -- and Dad tips back his hat and sticks his hand out to Gray. They shake.

Night has fallen, and the townspeople are gathered in the darkness to watch a truck pull into their midst. Jake and Hawkins get out and silently walk to the back of the truck, where they pull down the tailgate. Dad slowly walks up to the truck and stands up on the tailgate. I guess it's speech time. The town draws closer, not wanting to miss one inspirational word. Dad tells them that this isn't a fight about land. Frodale and his minions arrive to hear all this. "This is a fight for our very existence," Dad continues. Gray catches sight of Frodale, who has the grace to look somewhat ashamed of himself. Bet it won't last. "Pray for each other," Dad says, "While you're at it, pray for the men and women of New Bern. Pray that God forgives us." Hawkins gives Jake a boost up to the tailgate, and he stands in his father's place to deliver a speech of his own. "Every able-bodied person [he chokes a bit over that word, which makes me tear up rather annoyingly], who needs a gun, sixteen years of age or older, line up," Jake says, his eyes now glassy with tears. He gets down, and Hawkins snaps back the tarp to reveal a whole mess of guns. As the Foo Fighters earnestly want to tell us about "Times Like These," we go into a montage of Jericho readying for war. Jake starts handing out guns. I'm sorry, but it's such an odd choice for a band. It makes me think Jericho will be fighting foo. Whatever the hell that is.

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