Why We Fight (Jericho episode)
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|"Why We Fight"|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Sanford Bookstaver|
|Written by||Carol Barbee
Jonathan E. Steinberg
|Original air date||May 9, 2007|
"Why We Fight" is the twenty-second episode of season one of the CBS drama Jericho. It was broadcast as the season finale; after the broadcast, CBS announced that the series had been cancelled, a decision they reversed on June 6 when they picked it up for seven more episodes. Why We Fight is also the title of a series of US World War II-era propaganda films directed by Frank Capra.
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|Translation||TO THE FLAG|
The episode begins with Jericho residents in the town hall as Jake Green returns from a scouting mission; he tells the gathered crowd that they are both greatly outnumbered and outgunned by opposing forces from New Bern. Robert Hawkins tells Jake and Johnston Green that he has access to a satellite he can use to track New Bern forces. The Jericho troops decide to make their defense on the Richmond farm. Jake and Hawkins realize that the only way to defend themselves is to use the M1 Abrams tank taken from the fake US Marines. They use the tank to successfully defend the farm from New Bern's initial attack, destroying a truck and forcing New Bern's advance force to retreat.
However, any joy at this early success is swiftly tempered with the discovery that Johnston Green was shot as he followed the tank. Despite his sons' best efforts, he dies on the farmhouse's kitchen table, but not before apologizing to Jake for pushing him away, declaring his love for Eric, and wishing his wife Gail was there with him.
Hawkins discovers that his connection to the satellite is being traced. He tells his wife Darcy that he can stay connected for some time before the trace is completed. Amidst their growing fears, Darcy, remembering that she was told that every nuclear bomb has a uranium signature that provides enough information to deduce its location of origin, speculates that the man who wants the bomb wants it not as a weapon, but because it is evidence.
Throughout the episode, we view a flashback of Eric's wedding six years before, with the episode sometimes moving between this past (which is given a very bright aura by relatively intense sunlight) and the present day (which, in contrast, appears dim with a grey, overcast sky) without a cut. Jake is Eric's best man, although Eric makes it clear that he gave Jake the role only under pressure from their mother. Before Jake's arrival at the reception, he is shown drinking with Emily, Stanley, and Jake's grandfather. His grandfather recalls the story of the World War II Battle of the Bulge, in which US Army forces under the command of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe were outgunned and outnumbered by Nazis who surrounded them at the town of Bastogne. When Gen. McAuliffe was offered the option to surrender, his response was simply "Nuts," which Jake's grandfather said meant "Go to Hell."
Despite tension in his relationship with Eric—and the lack of confidence both his brother and his mother showed by writing speeches for him—Jake succeeds in giving a relatively successful toast, although he later admits to his father that it was mostly his mother's words he used.
Back in the present day, Hawkins' satellite is being tracked by an individual he believes to be the corrupt Thomas Valente. He risks being tracked to his exact location until his wife breaks the satellite communications. Just before the signal is broken, Hawkins notices that several hundred New Bern men are headed to Jericho along with a large train carrying several hundred more men.
Meanwhile Heather Lisinski is shown to be alive, contrary to what Eric Green had heard while imprisoned in New Bern. She is found in a car wreck by a military patrol. She wakes up in a hospital tent at Camp Liberty in southwest Nebraska. She urges Col. Hoffman, the commander of the base, to intervene in the battle between New Bern and Jericho. Initially he says that he must carry out his current mission of securing roads in the area. However, after passing on Heather's report to his superior, who is revealed to be Valente, Hoffman is told that a high priority terrorist has been located within 200 miles of Jericho. He is ordered to immediately mobilize to crush the skirmish before searching for the fugitive.
Earlier, Hoffman told Heather that a federal government had been restored with the capital in Cheyenne, Wyoming, although Texas and "a bloc in the east" were apparently disputing this new authority. Valente later mentions that the new president is Senator Tomarchio, as mentioned in "Black Jack". It is not known if Tomarchio was part of the conspiracy behind the attacks. While watching the troops leave for Kansas, Heather notices something different about the troop's arm patches. looking up she sees that a heavily altered version of the Stars and Stripes is flying over the base. These alterations include vertical strips, thirteen in total, seven red and six white, as well as a total of only 21 stars. The flag bears a passing resemblance to the U.S. Coast Guard Ensign.
Back in Jericho, Jake gets word from Hawkins about the approaching train and prepares his men for the impending battle. Stanley Richmond reveals to Jake that he's planning to ask Mimi Clark to marry him. Hawkins says he is going to use the tank to stop the train even though they have no ammunition for it, before wishing Jake luck and driving away on his own. Jake then receives a radio message from Constantino, who apologizes for Johnston Green's death. However, he still insists that Jericho surrender, claiming that New Bern is too desperate to cancel their offensive. Jake's response is "Nuts" followed by "You can go straight to Hell." Jake also makes clear he holds Constantino personally responsible for his father's death and intends to exact revenge himself.
The episode ends in a cliffhanger. The men of Jericho see a cloud from smoke grenades blocking their view of who is coming up the road. Jake orders the defenders, who include Jimmy Taylor, Stanley Richmond, Bill Kohler, Eric Green, and Emily, not to fire. Hawkins is sitting on the tank on a hill over the railroad and notices several military helicopters flying overhead. As Jake orders the town's defenders to start firing, the credits begin to roll with the sounds of the firefight in the background.
When Hawkins accesses the satellite imagery, he inputs the coordinates 39°06'38.38" N and 99°27'17.38" W. The co-ordinates are the location of the road that the New Bern fighters take to the Richmond farm. This location is "miles" from the Jericho town hall.
Like "Crossroads" and "A.K.A.", this episode uses a flashback format for some scenes. The flashbacks show events on the day of Eric's and April's wedding, subtitled as "six years ago." These flashbacks include the first scenes featuring Darby Stanchfield since her character's death in the sixteenth episode, "Winter's End."
At the time "Why We Fight" was broadcast with its cliffhanger ending, CBS had not yet announced whether the series had been renewed for a second year. The show was cancelled the following week, but that decision was reversed by CBS on June 6, 2007, when it was announced the show had been picked up for seven episodes. The show returned on February 12, 2008.
- Listings – JERICHO on CBS | TheFutonCritic.com
- Chargers.com – News » Headlines » Osgood to appear on CBS’s ‘Jericho’
- Lynn Elber (2007-06-06). "CBS reverses decision to ax 'Jericho'". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-06-06.