Jericho S1E11/12: Vox Populi/The Day Before

by thethreepennyguignol

Hello, fellow Jericheads (I’m workshopping our fandom name, bear with me). Sorry for the delay between recaps – I’ve been moving house and painting my eyebrows purple and writing Halloween article upon Halloween article for No But Listen.

But I’m back, and I would like to talk to you about Robert Hawkins.

Well, first, I’d like to talk to you about Lennie James, who is just consistently one of the best parts of this show – he’s a proper thesp and has been for his entire career, and he manages to ground a character as out-there as Hawkins into something that feels like reality and consistency. He pretty much brings out the best in everyone he shares the screen with, and honestly, it’s his involvement in this show that attracted me to it in the first place. I don’t think there are any stand-out weak performances in Jericho, but Lennie James is a capital-a fucking Ac-tor.

I think this is a really interesting duo of episodes (look, actually, not really – I had to skip an episode because it was just flashbacks, hence the slightly awkward title this week) for Hawkins. Arguably, his arc on the season so far has been about his shift from his focus on his shady-ass work back towards earning his place in his family once more. The first episode ends with him, playing football in the yard with his son, holding his wife’s hand, and apparently closing off his involvement with whoever he’s been working with all this time. It’s downright idyllic, especially for as show as chaotic as this one.

And then, the episode that follows takes us back to the thirty-six hours before the bombs hit. We open on Robert with his extra-marital girlfriend, far removed from his family, back in Washington DC. Once he realizes that DC itself is a target, he decides that he has to get his family out of the city, and quite literally violently kidnaps them against their will. While we know he’s doing it for a pretty justifiable reason, the fear he instills in his unwilling family and the measures he is instantly willing to take to get what he wants are more than a little shocking, especially contrasted with the version of him the show has been cultivating the last dozen or so episodes.

But that’s what the show should be doing right now – we’ve spent the first ten episodes or so getting used to the new status quo, and, with these episodes, Jericho is out to remind us that we don’t know half as much as we think we do. The town as a whole is starting to shift – from the murder of Gracie, to the brand-new mayor, to the arrival in town of Emily’s fiance, change is everywhere. And I love that; watching the denizens of Jericho just working politely towards a new life is all well and good, but frankly, I want to see things get fucked up just when everyone feels as though they have a grasp on what’s going on.

Things are changing in Jericho – the town and the show. Now, we’re into the juicy stuff, as the focus shifts from just surviving to actually uncovering the truths that have remained buried for far too long now. And I’m so ready to be reminded of everything that’s on it’s way.

If you liked this recap, and want to see more stuff like it, please feel free to jump into some of my other recapping projects – the Fifty Shades of Grey book series, the first Harry Potter book, Doctor WhoGame of Thrones, and American Horror Story, to name a few. I also write about movies with my brilliant co-editor over at No But Listen. If you’d like to support my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or buying my books!

(header image via IGN)