If this show gets cancelled, I might have to stop watching television forever. Seriously, this episode left me short of breath -- in a good way! Just when we think all is lost and Mayor Gray is thinking about sending all of Roger's flock to fend for themselves instead of allowing them to be a constant drain on the town's resources, the Marines roll into town. Or do they? They tell Jericho that Iran and North Korea are to blame for the bombs, but all's okay, because the U.S. nuked the hell out of them, and now Columbus, Ohio is the seat of our new federal government. Meanwhile, the Marines are there to electrify Jericho and make everything shiny and happy again. Gray acts like a tool -- kissing up to the Marines and generally being a complete doofus -- until the Marines are suddenly called back to their base camp before they can actually get Jericho back on the grid. Jake gets suspicious when he gets on the Marines' radio and realizes that their "base camp" is one guy on the outskirts of Jericho. Dad gets suspicious when he makes a heartfelt toast at Gray's going-away dinner for the Marines and gets Army responses of "hooah" instead of "oorah." After Stanley nabs the faker on the perimeter, Dad, Jake, Eric, and Gray take down the "Marines," who have been going from town to town, getting supplies, lying about the war, and pretending to be Marines. Because Dad decides that learning of the "Marines"' fakery would purge the town of all hope, they send the "Marines" on their merry way and pretend that all is still fine and dandy. On the outskirts of town, Dad tsk-tsks the "Marines" some more, boots them out, and keeps their tank. Oh, hell, I nearly forgot about the Hawkins family! During all this hullabaloorah, Hawkins suddenly figures Sarah out, lifts her BlackOpsberry, and sees all her past conversations with her contact. Almost instantly, Sarah realizes that Hawkins is on to her, and takes Sam hostage while she proceeds to have a friendly chat with Hawkins. Darcy arrives on the scene and is taken hostage along with Allison, until Hawkins produces the package. He produces it -- and it's definitely a bomb -- but then Hawkins and Sarah tussle and ALLISON SHOOTS SARAH! Shoots! Dead! Sadly, Darcy's had enough of Hawkins's life, and leaves with the kids. Hawkins is left to pick up Sarah's BlackOpsberry and pretend to be Sarah in order to track down Sarah's contact.
The streets of Jericho -- or, the one street we ever see, which, of course, must be Main Street -- are wet with melted snow. Must not be too terribly cold, then. The trees and surfaces we can see are sprayed with snow. Except for one very deciduous-looking tree in the left hand side of the shot, still greenly and happily alive. I guess the EMP weatherproofed it. Lucky tree. Some neighing horses are hitched to a large pony trap -- or is it a stage, high-flier, or barouche? I need to consult my Jane Austen -- while a few good citizens of Jericho pack up their cars. Dad badgers one such citizen that leaving town with what little gas he has is foolhardy. I love recapping a show where "foolhardy" is part of the vernacular. (I can't promise you that Dad said the actual word right at that exact point, but he's said it before and you know he's going to say it again.)
In the town hall -- which keeps reminding me of the one-room church on Little House On The Prairie -- Stanley stands in front of the Blackboard of Doom and talks about how doomed they all are in their dwindling resources. Mimi stands next to him, her arms crossed, like some sort of East Coast Vanna White with serious attitude. Gray, with the briefest of shifty eyes, asks what happens to their resources if they don't factor in the refugees. "They're part of this town now," bleats Grand Prophet Roger. Next to him, Emily shrinks into her fur-lined hood and tries not to leap with happiness at Gray's suggestion. Grand Prophet Roger and Gray argue about the refugees. They use up more resources than they supply. Oh, but what about the quixotic windmills? Yeah, still just a glint in Heather's -- possibly dead -- eye. Dad interrupts the argument to say that they are losing good people of Jericho. Gray doesn't care; it's their choice to leave. Exactly, and they won't be a drain on the town's resources if they go away to die. If next year will be (in my dreams) "Season 2: The Blockade," will the following be "Season 3: Eat Thy Neighbor"? I think so. While the two nameless Jerichoians cower out of the camera, Gray stands up and demands, "What am I missing that's not on that board? You find it for me because I don't see it. Without some...X factor, we're not going to make it through the winter, not all of us. We've got to make some hard decisions, and I think the last ones in should be the first to go." Emily looks quietly ecstatic.
We go from town hall to a scarily intense close-up of Jake's face. His eyes bug open as a rumble fills the air. Jake looks over at his couch side table, where a glass of water, a blue Glade candle, and a really ornate stamped gold book with gilt edges rattle together. It's the little touches on this show that tickle me. Like, what do you suppose Jake was reading before he dropped into his post-frostbite sleep? Bulfinch's Mythology? Little Dorrit? The Anniversary Edition of Archie's Comics? Also, I think the blue Glade candle has an orange starfish on it, which probably means it's some sort of beachy, ocean-breeze scent. Because it's relaxing for him and his poor bruised face. Forget nuclear disaster: "Breath of the Sea," take me away! Before the glass can chitter off the table, Jake clamps his hand on it and looks around wildly.