Thursday, March 13, 2008
Jericho: Termination for Cause (2.5)
Jericho is the best show on television. It's true, I do go through some phases, and I have previously declared that XYZ show was the best, and before that UVW and so on... So, I have cycled, through 'Heroes' which severely disappointed through its sophomore season, 'Lost', which almost lost me (forgive the pun) during the end of the second season and beginning of the third season, and '24' which after a brilliant first season has almost fizzled. After all, how do you overcome the brilliance of that story? With more torture of course!
Then again there is always Babylon 5, quite simply, a glorious concoction of brilliance in television film-making. But I won't go there.
No, instead, I just want to discuss this brilliant episode of Jericho (Episode 2.5). For those who have not watched Jericho from the beginning, I have to tell you, you have missed the most frightening, the most prophetic, the most well written cautionary tale of television, EVER!
Good television should entertain, but should also instruct and educate. This is the reason I grew up watching cartoons, but I also grew-up watching all the Disney nature shows and all the documentaries. Documentary watching turned into historical and political and social documentaries and other educational shows, and my entertainment got more extreme! Very few shows however have managed to combine the intelligence of both.
Babylon 5, as I mentioned was one. It easily cautioned about the abuses of power and the extreme avarice it brings. Power begets the need for more power, and sometimes the protectors are very few and a line must be drawn. Those who state that they defend freedom might not be the true defenders of freedom, and in truth, they might me usurpers that must be defeated first. It is difficult to tell who is who. 'Wolf in sheep's clothing'. This is why Babylon 5 was such a great show.
Jericho has achieved that excellence in a lot less time that Babylon 5. It had to be, because the poor show was under the gun from the CBS network from the beginning. This great show about an attack on our nation (a Fifth Column if you will), from the inside has supposedly struggled for ratings since day one. Yet, people who have watched this show know, it's not about the ratings, it's about the story-- and the quality of the story. It's the story of some simple people caught in the literal and figurative cross-fire after a terrorist nuclear attack on our nation. Of course we retaliate. But that's not the point. The point is is this: How are the lives of these people affected?
Don't read beyond here if you don't want to be spoiled about this episode.
Episode 2.5 is Stanley's episode for me. At the end of episode 2.4, Bonnie is killed by 'Ravenwood' (aka Blackwater) while defending Mimi over the ledger that purports to show the $10,000 in stolen money by the 'Ravenwood' director Goetz. Goetz is of course responsible for the murder. And by the end of Episode 2.5 events reach a point where Goetz is fired from 'Ravenwood' AND Stanley exacts his revenge on Goetz by pulling the trigger and killing him.
When I watch such intense scenes on TV sometimes, I often ask myself, WHAT WOULD I DO in that person's place? To be honest, if my sister had been murdered like that by someone like Goetz, I am not sure, I would not have lost it like Stanley did--no matter how Christian I promote myself to be. Was that the right thing for Stanley to do? Of course not! That's not the point! But I can definitely understand where he came from. And I never actually promote capital punishment--I think it's an outmoded method of punishment. Yet, there are cases, such as this, where it it imperative, and the only step left.
But the real lesson of this episode was the "Boston Tea Party" moment of the episode as I called it. The moment when the 'Rangers' (so called Jericho protectors made up from the town volunteers) united to confront the 'Ravenwood' police presence threatening both Mimi's life and the town's security.
As I said before, sometimes the danger lurks within and does not come from without. If we're not prepared to defend our homes, our freedoms and our livelihoods against all comers it will be too late. The unfortunate part in all of this is that such a great cautionary tale has not been watched by a greater number of Americans, so that we'd all be prepared. Instead, I am afraid, we will be led, like sheep to slaughter, without protest as they take our country from us.
It might be soon....