Here's the Jericho I'm going to miss: a tough, thought-provoking drama where nobody's exactly right or wrong. And I didn't actually know what was going to happen after this scene in the cancelled post-nuclear war drama, or what Eric Green was going to decide. Alas, a lot of the rest of the series finale was as much of a pat resolution as I'd been dreading. It was satisfying, but not entirely believable. Spoilers and commentary after the jump.
First of all, the scene between Eric Green and Phil Constantino left me wondering if the two of them really were going to join forces. And whether that would make a good premise for a Jericho season three. When it comes down to it, Constantino is sort of right: when you're fighting a war against an enemy with superior numbers, you can't afford to be squeamish about taking lives. Jake and Hawkins definitely don't have any qualms about killing some Cheyenne soldiers in the course of seizing the bomb. And if "the next American Civil War" starts between the Cheyenne and Columbus governments, it will definitely involve killing American soldiers.
The fact that Eric decides not to go for the all-out guerilla warfare against Beck's soldiers makes it much easier for Beck to change sides a little while later, and bring his men with him. For whatever reason, I didn't quite believe Beck's change of heart, even though it had been built up for weeks. It just didn't quite ring true for me. And I couldn't help wondering: if it were that easy to convince him, why didn't Hawkins show him those papers before? The whole thing seemed a bit too convenient an ending, but then again miraculous changes of heart are a staple of television.
The other thing I couldn't quite make myself believe was the ease with which Hawkins, Jake and Convenient Cannon-Fodder Guy captured the nuke, and then got it out of the Allied States' capital and into Texas. The mid-air rescue by Texan fighter jets just felt a bit too well-timed.
A lot of my qualms about the finale probably stem from the rushed nature of the season. It was exciting and fun while it was going on, but it just didn't quite have time to lay the groundwork for everything that happened last night. A lot of the stuff that felt as if it came out of nowhere would have seemed a lot more logical with a bit more setup.
On the plus side: It was great to see Gray Anderson again. I still love Major Beck and would give a kidney to see him join the revolution against Cheyenne. The scenes with Stanley and Mimi were way, way more moving than I'd expected. And I was glad Eric got to step up and be a leader. All in all, a pretty good episode despite feeling a bit forced in places.