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There's A New Sheriff in Town

After the nuclear blast clears the title card, we focus on a television report telling us that it's now six months after the blast -- or, as the reporter would have it: six months "since the day that changed the course of human history." Okay, they're getting a little ahead of themselves, even when considering how scary the new Prez is. Changing the course of human history? U.S. history, yes; humankind? Not so much. In the U.S., 15 million are dead or dying, and over 40 million are homeless. The report shows images of destruction, a cell-phone movie of a bomb going off in a city, and other skirmishes being broken up. The crawl at the bottom reads, "HHS confirms; Hudson River Virus still contained East of Mississippi...EU Chief Close to Pact With--" and then it disappears. They're tuned into the NTSN channel. Hm, the National Tomarchio Supreme Network? (I'll bet Oprah's behind it.)

Meanwhile, we're in Jericho's medical clinic, where Jimmy chills in a hospital bed, watching the report. Dumbo Bill is at Jimmy's side, because they will soon become the Heckle and Jeckle of this show. The report goes on to say that the "remaining elements of the federal government" are "scattered to the winds." We now learn that it's four weeks after the New Bern war. The television report goes on: "Soon, evidence began to mount that the financing and bombs used in the attacks had been supplied by elements within the Iranian and North Korean government." Dude! Lying liars who LIE! Hawkins told Jake that the bombs are Cold War Soviet-Era! This is getting creepy, fast. Bill reaches over to Jimmy's bedside table and grabs a handful of SHOUT-OUT peanuts. Hee. Very cute. Since, the report continues, the scattered federal government was "paralyzed by indecision," and since the international community wouldn't do anything either, "so began the rise of a national hero." George Newbern's face smarms across the screen on a backdrop of the new flag. "The junior senator from Wyoming, John Tomarchio, rallied the country..." Jake walks into Jimmy's room and blocks the TV. Jimmy protests, "Hey, what the hell man?!" Jake apologizes and sits next to Bill, who babbles that he doesn't understand why Jimmy's been watching the same story for a week: "What is it you think you're going to miss?" Jimmy slowly says, "I'm waiting for them to explain what happened with the flag." Bill blusters that they have explained it about four hundred times, but here it is again for the viewers (and because Jimmy's still on pain meds from the butt stitches he got when he sat on the copier). "They're putting the country back together, but not everyone is on board yet -- just the states west of the Mississippi." So, uh, what does that mean for Minnesota, which is both east and north of the Mississippi as well as west? Moving on to more tragic matters, Jake tells Bill and Jimmy that they've lost another Jerichoian. This brings Jericho's death toll to sixty-five. Bill shakes his head and says he wants to be there when Beck's punishment for New Bern comes down.

In the town square, Old Glory is lowered, saluted, and discarded. Jake glares and walks over to Emily, who drapes herself across him and says, "Hey, babe." Ick, ick, and MORE ICK! Jake nods that she's doing business with Jennings & Rall, the outfit that has tents and tables set up -- possibly offering free stress tests --outside a brand-new tarp-draped building. Aw, the tarp reads, "Helping to rebuild America. Pardon our mess!" Evil is so polite. Emily explains that J&R is helping her to organize a community service program for the high school. Jake makes a face, saying it's strange having them in town. Emily explains, "Army can't do everything, J and R just does the day-to-day stuff -- help deliver supplies and getting people back to work." "I've seen what they do," says Jake ominously. *cough*Halliburton*cough* Jake watches a random guy off to the side. Emily, staring at Jake's face, nutshells their eminently healthy relationship: "You know how hot it gets me when you tune me out?" Clearly, Jake needs to tune Emily out more. Which he does by tackling the random guy off to the side, who has now pulled a gun on a Jerichoian. The gun goes off, and people scream and duck. Luckily, the army is on hand. While they didn't stop the gun from being pulled, they do get to run over and kick it out of the way once Jake has already incapacitated the scum. Helpful! A bit stunned, Jake remains on the ground while the soldiers wrestle the miscreant off him. Emily pulls Jake to his feet, and we get a shot of a van painted with Jennings & Rall's name. Ooh, evil always comes in a logo-painted van! Jake mutters that he thinks the miscreant is from New Bern, and we get a good view of the new flag now being raised over Jericho. Jake and Emily stop in their tracks; even Emily has the perspicacity to look alarmed.

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