Jericho rocks. The end (TV review)

After a series full of twists and drama, Jericho wrapped up on Sunday night with an absolute ripper of a final.

This was the episode that was behind the Nuts for Jericho campaign, launched after the shortsighted CBS executives announced the planned cancellation of Jericho back in May.

The episode featured Jake remembering a story about the Battle of Bastonge, told to him by his grandfather. The Bastonge story prompted the defiant battle cry (well, it was more of a murmur really, but it was certainly defiant) of nuts from Jake and the Jericho crew in Sunday’s final.

That, in turn, became the battle cry of the army of fans who sent the network more than 8 million nuts and eventually managed to convince the CBS execs to give Jericho another chance.

And you know what? Sunday’s final was further proof that those execs have rocks in their heads.

The storyline about the not-so-good folk of neighbouring New Bern had been building for a few weeks with lots of sinister undertones. By the penultimate episode we knew the formerly friendly New Bern townspeople planned to attack Jericho and take over the farms and salt mine, and that they had the mortar rounds to do it.

The final rocked. From the tense negotiations and power struggle between Jericho’s mayor-elect Gray Anderson and Green family patriarch Johnston Green, to the shock death of Johnston, it rocked.

In fact, that’s one of the best things about Jericho, that it manages to shock and surprise. I doubt anyone expected it when April died earlier in the series and I know I certainly didn’t expect Johnston to die, especially since he’d already survived assorted health dramas throughout the series. He appeared to be the bulletproof character, the one who survives everything. Imagine my surprise when he up and died after being shot during the battle for Stanley’s farm.

And they finally broke out the tank they had stashed in Stanley’s barn. I’ve been waiting for that to happen for weeks. I mean, seriously, if you had a tank tucked away in your barn, wouldn’t you be keen to take it out for a spin?

We were left with a cracker of a cliffhanger: Hawkins’ satellite connection was traced by the bad guys, the military contingent heading for Jericho looked more than a bit dodgy, a train full of nasty New Bern-ites was heading for the battle, Hawkins spotted military helicopters flying overhead and as the defenders of Jericho prepared to do their thing, smoke grenades blocked their view (and ours) of who is coming up the road. As the first shots were fired, the credits rolled. It was so good I regret watching it because now, the wait for the next series will seem like an eternity.

It seems like it’s the final of everything lately: Jericho and ER last week; The Apprentice, House, Boston Legal and CSI: New York this week. Oh, and me. Yes folks, normal programming will resume next Saturday with the return of your regularly scheduled TV columnist Maree Field, also known as Patrick’s mum.

>> This was one of a short series of TV reviews I wrote while our regular reviewer was on maternity leave.

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