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Series / Jericho (2006)
aka: Jericho

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A small town in Kansas struggles to survive After the End once several major US cities are destroyed in terrorist attacks with nuclear bombs. Features a sprawling cast of townsfolk from the mayor on down, and centers on the Green family. Not quite as fatalistic as The Day After, which also centred on a small Kansas town surviving a nuclear war, and which drew comparisons in early episodes.

The show is on the hard end of science fiction, with radiation poisoning, the effects of an EMP and shortages of such goods as salt given a realistic treatment. Major themes include family and heredity, redemption, the struggle to preserve American values and how normal people react when faced with the most difficult circumstances. Some become heroes, some become looters and some, including major characters, die.

The first season, which premiered in 2006, focuses on the mystery behind the bombing, represented by Robert Hawkins, a mysterious newcomer to the town who knows more than he should, and also on the personal relationships, issues and problems implicit in surviving. The second season focuses on the towns folk's attempt to rebuild Jericho while under the thumb of the corrupt new federal government and powerful corporate interests.

The show was canceled by CBS due to low ratings, but was brought back by a fan campaign. A second season was shown in 2008, detailing the rise of an oppressive new government based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but the show was again canceled due to low ratings. (Although the last episode tied up most of the immediately-dangling plot-threads.) There was talk of a feature film that went nowhere, but in 2011 there was a six-comic series called Jericho Season 3: Civil War. Jericho: Season Four with five issues followed, completing things. Writers from the series wrote the comics as well.

Not to be confused with the 1966 TV series, which also ran on CBS, the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, the British series Jericho of Scotland Yard, or the video game Clive Barker's Jericho.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Alison and Bonnie.
  • After the End: The end is actually the end of the United States (as we know it, at least). The old country has been split three ways between Texas, the United States-states East of the Mississippi River, also known as the "Columbus" government because it's in Columbus, Ohio-and the Allied States of America, the states west of the Mississippi based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • The Alleged Car: Heather's pickup.
  • The Alcoholic: Dr. Kenchy.
  • Anyone Can Die: And we mean anyone. And that includes Gracie Leigh, Mitchell Cafferty, Victor Miller, Maggie, Sarah Mason, April Green, Johnston Green, Bonnie Richmond, and Goetz.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 1 within Jericho and many of the other towns and cities of the US, whereas many other areas are described as being Class 2. North Korea and Iran get hit with a Class 2, if not Class 3, to cover up the conspiracy.
  • Artistic License – Military: Deconstructed with that trope being few of many reasons for the fake marines' ruse being found. From using Hooah (US Army term) to addressing Sergeant as "sir". Also help out that Johnston Green was former Army Ranger.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics – The fallout from Denver seems to only last about 4 hours, then washes away in the rain. Once the townspeople come out from the shelter, the radiation has magically disappeared. In Real Life the radiation from nuclear fallout can last up to 6 weeks before fading to safe levels. Most fallout shelters have supplies for a minimum of two weeks. While having the first season take place entirely in a shelter might be boring, the show itself lampshades this fact. Robert Hawkins states clearly that “surfaces will need to be scrubbed and the top 18 inches of topsoil will have to be removed. These are both real jobs that would need to be done before it would be safe to be outside. None of these actions are taken. Then, Mimi places her hand in wet ash, and has a mini-freak out that she is going to get radiation poisoning. Unfortunately, she is right. Having that amount of fallout ash touching the skin would result in beta radiation burns at the least. To take this even further, look at the fallout prediction maps the show itself uses. Robert intentionally chose Jericho as it was outside of this fallout pattern.
    • Also the young kid on the roof watching the mushroom cloud and the whole town should have been destroyed. The general rule of thumb is that if you have line of sight to a nuclear explosion, you will die. If not from the initial blast and shockwave, then from the huge burst of gamma radiation you just absorbed.
      • If he saw the blast as it happened (the initial flash), he'd have gone blind. Not clear if he saw the initial flash though.
    • Additionally, the nukes in the show are described as having a yield of 20 kilotons each. Given that the nukes were aboard trucks and detonated at ground level, the actual damage they would cause would likely be insufficient to shut down society, and the actual amount of fallout produced wouldn't be nearly enough to blanket huge portions of the country as is depicted on screen, even if they were "dirty" bombs.
  • The Atoner: Jake shows aspects of this, for stuff he did in Iraq.
  • Back Story: Most of the characters have a backstory which is never really expanded upon. For example, Johnston and Gail's relationship started as an affair, Jake 'got involved with the wrong people' and ended up shipping things in Iraq for J&R, and Stanley raised Bonny after their parents died. Hawkins' back story is the only one which directly affects the plot, all the others merely affect a few character's decisions and choices (as they should).
  • Big Brother Instinct: Stanley, all the way. Also an interesting inversion with Eric (older brother, not a bad guy but mostly selfish and has no protective instinct) and Jake (younger brother, fiercely protective of all his friends). Roger toward his fellow refugees.
    • Technically, according to the documents we see on screen (Jake's passport and Eric's driver's license), Jake is the older brother, having been born January 21, 1977, while Eric was born September 21, 1977.
      • Which also means that even if their mom got pregnant as soon as she could after giving birth, Eric was still born at least a month prematurely.
      • Or one of them is adopted (Jake could have been adopted before Johnston and Gail knew they were having Eric).
  • Big Damn Heroes: This show lives and breathes this trope, most notably the Texas Air National Guard saving Jake Green and Robert Hawkins from a pair of AS Air Force interceptors in the final episode.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Morse code at the start of each episode gives a hint/spoiler for the episode.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Mrs. Green going to see Jake.
  • Blood from the Mouth: The driver who crashed into Jake's car in the pilot.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, somewhat rare for a post-apocalyptic setting, by giving at least some attention to the scarcity of ammunition.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Stanley.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: The first episode had Jake rescue a school bus full of kids. The second has him using a different school bus to ferry hospital patients to a mine being used as an improvised fallout shelter.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Emily and her delinquent father.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tank. Heavily lampshaded.
    Jake: So what are we going to do now?
    Johnston: We'll keep this from the town. No need to get them worked up. Other than that, I guess...just keep on living.
    Jake: No, I mean what are we going to do about that?
    Johnston: Oh, that. Stanley, you got room in your barn?
    Stanley: Seriously?
    Johnston: Sure, why not? Never know when you might need a tank...
  • Chekhov's Skill: Robert spends time teaching Allison how to shoot for self defense. Not only does the effort help mitigate years of Parental Abandonment, but it even saves his life.
    • After two seasons of hearing about how great of a pilot Jake was, we finally get to see him fly when it really matters.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A handful of smaller characters, along with their subplots were dropped and went unmentioned during the second season, due to the significantly shortened season length. Whatever happened to Bonnie's boyfriend anyways, and did Mary ever get back together with Eric?
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The town more often than not pulls through together, but they still struggle to avoid becoming a Scavenger World.
    • The entire trope could be simplified to just this conversation from the show:
    "Does your family still play football before Thanksgiving Dinner?"
    "Of course! There's some things even the apocalypse can't change!"
    • Episodes where the characters leave town and explore the outside even further underlines how easy the citizens of Jericho have it. Pretty much everywhere else has fallen to violence, anarchy, and complete collapse of order. While Jericho has energy, a salt mine, farm land, and is out of reach of radiation zones, all while maintaining diplomacy and law. It positively enrages all the other towns nearby.
  • Could Say It, But...: Jake does a subtle one in season 2. "Dale, as sheriff it's my job to tell you that even though the vaccines are on a J&R transport out to be destroyed in Cheyenne, it'd be a big mistake to hijack that truck...the only way someone could do it would be to remove the contents of the boxes without being detected and leave the barcoded containers in the truck. You know what I'm saying?" The next time we see Dale, he's returning triumphantly with the vaccines.
  • Dark Action Girl: Sarah Mason, who's also part of The Conspiracy.
  • Decapitation Strike: In Jericho, the President is addressing a joint session of Congress when the Nuclear attack that kicks off the story happens. A succession crisis ensues and results in a Divided States of America.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Mimi.
  • Depopulation Bomb: 20+ US cities are outright nuked off the map. New York is unexploded, not to say "intact".
  • Developing Doomed Characters
  • Disaster Democracy
  • Disaster Scavengers: Everyone, by default, is at least a little of a scavenger. Some reaching truly depraved levels of opportunism.
  • Divided States of America: In season 1, there are six federal governments. By season 2, there are only two contenders: the Allied States of America (capital in Cheyenne, Wyoming), of which Jericho is geographically a part, and what's left of the original United States government (capital in Columbus, Ohio).
    • Texas is still an independent nation, but the government in San Antonio doesn't claim to be a successor government of the old United States like the other two do.
  • Due to the Dead: The soldiers allow Stanley time to give his sister a proper burial before they arrest him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The incident that resulted in the nuclear annihilation of 23 American cities is often refereed to throughout the series in 9/11-like vocabulary such as "The September Attacks " and "The worst terrorist attack in history". The first episode of Season 2 even went as far as showing a post nuclear news broadcast on a TV in Jericho's hospital depicting found footage of two large skyscrapers collapsing the moment a nuclear bomb went off, followed by more recent footage during the aftermath depicting urban areas in rubble.
    • The immense grief and fear felt by survivors throughout the country; and scenes within Jericho depicting local emergency services being stretched thin, may also be interpreted as having 9/11 style undertones. 9/11 itself is also mentioned directly a few times throughout the show.
    • Some fans believe that the series's depiction of America's destruction being planned and carried out at the hands of renegade Americans is a reference to conspiracy theories of 9/11 being an inside job. Fans have also drawn comparisons between Allied States of America (the new, post event government) and the Neoconservative political climate of the early 2000s. Allied States Army Major Beck from Season 2 at one point compares his peacekeeping duties in post apocalyptic Kansas to his experience in Counter-Insurgency during the War in Afghanistan.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: When Gray Anderson visits the constitutional convention in Cheyenne, he hears rumours from a man he was talking to in an elevator that the Allied States of America (The new, post nuclear totalitarian government) is considering proposals to repeal the Second Amendment. Gray himself seems fairly disapproving of this, sarcastically remarking how simpler it would be to pacify the population when nobody can shoot back.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Bonnie going down shooting.
  • The End of the Beginning: In the last episode...
    Chavez: Now comes the main event.
    Jake: The next American Civil War.
  • Expy: The Allied States of America are notably similar to the Enclave from Fallout as they are a post nuclear revival of the federal government that comes into conflict with new institutions that have taken it's place, with a tendency to being cruel towards survivors it sees as getting in their way. The Republic of Texas may draw comparisons with the NCR, being a now independent American state with it's own government and armed forces that doesn't get along with the remnants of the old government.
  • Elite Army: Ravenwood mercenaries. Especially when a group of less than ten are able to almost conquer all of Jericho on their own.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Jake picks up a doll that used to belong to a child in a group of refugees fleeing Denver in "Walls of Jericho"
  • Enhance Button: A spy satellite somehow zooms all the way in on Hawkins and his son with their football. In wonderfully photorealistic detail. Also, later scenes with Valente.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: You would think that eventually the supplies of toothpaste and toothbrushes would reduce people's tooth care. You'd think. Hawkins' family is shown to be using homemade toothpaste bought off of a Mr. Daley, much to his son's confusion.
  • Evil Counterpart: New Bern to Jericho. Early on, Grey is something of this to Johnston, then Grey becomes mayor and Constantino becomes his Evil Counterpart.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: The prisoners disguised as police men step out of the car to discuss something so that Emily can listen to the police report and learn about the missing deputies. The report stops exactly by the time the guys come back, so they would not suspect anything.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A rare good example is played straight with Dale. Before the bombs he was a passive and socially unpopular teenage shop assistant and a frequent victim of bullying, but after his parents were killed by a nuclear bomb whilst out of town, Dale's personality becomes hardened, an evolution which evolves further after his substitute mother figure and shop owner Gracie Leigh, is murdered. Dale becomes a respected merchant who's new acquired domineering personality intimidates business partners who break their agreements, and a vigilante who kills the man who killed Gracie (and threatened to kill him) and gets away with it. Dale even gains the respect of his former crush (and bully), Skylar who enters a relationship with him. Despite his personality changing in a more violent and cold direction, Dale remains a fundamentally good person as best exhibited when he rallied fellow Jericho residents to defend the town from raiders from New Bern and puts his freedom (and possibly his life) on the line to help smuggle illegal Hudson River Virus vaccines into town, which were normally not given to anyone other than Jennings & Raw employees and ASA government officials.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Downplayed with Kenchy, the Doctor from Rogue River, is initially introduced as a heroic opponent of Goetz, having first volunteered for the emergency response teams and then working hard to save the victims of his massacre. While he remains sympathetic, later episodes show that he was a plastic surgeon who only volunteered to get out of Las Vegas after it descended into anarchy without power or water, he fails to save the life of April or her baby. during an operation and when confronted again by Goetz in the second season he does fold and tell him what he needs to know. He's never a bad character, and never pretends to be more than he is, but he doesn't quite live up to his initial impression, which may have been part of the point of his character.
  • Fallen Princess: Skylar, though around the middle of the first season she begins to rise again. Now that she's got ownership of 50 percent of the town's salt mines, she isn't just popular, she's capable of being powerful, and tries to turn Dale's store into their empire.
  • Fallen States of America: The US is no longer the superpower it once was after the bombs fell.
  • Farm Boy: Stanley.
  • Fish out of Water: Big city girl Mimi stuck in small town Jericho.
  • Genre Savvy: Played for Laughs when Heather tells Jake to watch out for the giant irradiated ants.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: "Dad, is he a bad man or a good man?" "There's no such thing."
  • Happily Married: Johnston and Gail Green.
  • Happy Flashback
  • Hero Antagonist: Beck.
  • Heroic Bystander: A major focus of the series.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in the last episode when Robert tries to pull one off, but Jake refuses to let him, and by that point he's too weak from being shot to resist being pulled to safety.
    • Played straight in the Alternate Ending available on the DVD: Had the show been picked up for another season, Robert would have been captured while buying time for Jake to get away, and ends up held by ASA forces in Loomer Ridge Prison in Colorado. The season then ends with Jake and Chavez about to mount a rescue.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jake and Stanley.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Jericho's inhabitants very much want to make their town a Hidden Elf Village out of fear of outside threats like Ravenwood.
  • Hot Teacher: Two of them - Heather teaches science; Emily teaches history.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: In Black Jack, Heather approaches Jake, while he and his father are loading the car, to talk about a shared kiss.
    Johnston: I'm just gonna... (points vaguely) know. (Hesitates, walks away.)
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: On three occasions: When Mayor Green exposes the fake Marines and runs them out of town; when Goetz is fired from Ravenwood; and finally when Major Beck and his troops defect from the Allied States.
  • In Space: Battlestar Galactica (2003) on Earth.
  • Inspector Javert: Beck became this after the killing of Goetz.
  • Ironic Echo: "I think this will go a lot smoother if you just sat there and listened to what I have to say".
  • It's All About Me: Emily in spades. In early series one, she constantly complains that her fiance's dead. Thousands of Americans are slowly dying from radiation poisoning and society is crumbling due to the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse, yet everything clearly should be about her, right?
    • Case in point: In the episode where Ravenwood is hours away from invading their town, murdering everyone in their path, and looting the burnt wreckage of whats left, Emily spends literally the entire time getting drunk on a girl's night out and complaining about how this was supposed to be her wedding day.
    • Mimi is a case of this as well. Millions are dead, millions more are dying and/or homeless, and all she can do is bitch about not being able to stroll down to the local Starbucks for a macchiato.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Subverted
  • Karma Houdini: The bandits in "Heart of Winter".
  • La Résistance: Develops in New Bern and Jericho over the course of season 2.
  • Law Enforcement, Inc.: Ravenwood in season 2.
  • A Lighter Shade of Gray: Jericho tends to be this in any conflict, as many of their enemies have their nuances and symapthtic moments and Jericho can be ruthless, but not nearly as much.
  • Little Hero, Big War: A mayor in rural Colorado, his family, the town's teachers, a farmer, and their neighbors work hard to survive nuclear fallout and the following refugee crises, resource wars, and the Divided States of America political tension, while some of them end up in a position where they might be able to reveal information which could rightly discredit some of the key national players.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. Sometimes ManlyTears and sometimes more realistic puffy-eyed gut-wrenching sobbing. Played straight with Robert, though, who probably had his tear ducts surgically removed along with most of his soul.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: The number of trees in background is improbable for western Kansas, which is a semi-arid steppe.
  • Morality Pet: Heather to Major Beck in season 2.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: While the pilot was filmed in the Canadian prairie and thus looks flat and treeless enough to be Kansas, much of the show was filmed in southern California, and thus has mountains.
    • Played hilariously straight with the depiction of Cheyenne, Wyoming. In the show, Cheyenne is surrounded by green rolling hills, verdant forests and is at the base of a snow-covered peak. None of this is true. While there are nice areas of the state, including Yellowstone, Wyoming itself is mostly arid wasteland. To get a mental picture of what it looks like, consider Starship Troopers. The scenes on "Planet Klandathu" are all shot in Casper, Wyoming about 80 miles north. That's right, one of the larger cities in Wyoming is the bug planet. Also, the show lists Cheyenne's population as soaring as high as one million residents. Currently, the population of Cheyenne is about 60,000 residents. How on earth could that current infrastructure support an additional 994,000 people?!? The show certainly did not depict this as a gigantic tent city, which would be the only way this could happen.
  • Mr. Fixit: Heather and, to an extent, Jake.
  • Nice Guy: Stanley. Jake has anti-hero moments but usually falls into this category too.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: John Smith instigated the attacks in hopes of cleansing Jennings & Rall's influence over the United States government. Not only did it fail, it actually made things worse, with the company gaining total control over half the country and putting one of their pawns into the ASA's presidency.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Gail: You're going to stay here as long as it takes. Now, don't make me take your pants with me.
    Johnston: I can run this town without my pants.
    Gail: It wouldn't be the first time.
    Jake: All right. That's a story I never want to hear.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ravenwood is all but stated to be a fictionalized version of the notorious private military firm Blackwater, which has since rebranded itself as Academi due to negative press surrounding its morally dubious conduct during the Iraq War. It really isn't that much of a stretch that the Ravenwood mercs become roving bandits who terrorize the war-torn countryside, given that Blackwater behaved in much the same way...
  • No Theme Tune: Only a morse code beeping.
    • The morse code acts much like a Bilingual Bonus, as it offers clues beforehand about events in that episode
  • Oh, Crap!: Twice in the pilot, the townspeople seeing a mushroom cloud and when Dale implied there might have been another explosion in Atlanta.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Allied States of America is riddled with former employees of Jennings & Rall, from the new President on down. The company becomes integral and inseparable to the day-to-day operation of the government. According to John Smith, the pre-attack U.S. government had also been this for the company, which is why he instigated the attacks. He hoped they would help cleanse Jennings & Rall's influence.
  • Papa Wolf: Robert and Johnston.
  • Product Placement: Sprint maintained service through 20 or more American cities being nuked and the resulting remnants dissolving into squabbling factions. (Sprint was a major sponsor of the show.)
    • Surprising how ubiquitous Motorola communications devices are as well.
      • Truth in Television: Motorola, while vastly outsold by larger cell phone providers, actually leads the industry in non-cell phone communication devices such as walkie-talkies.
  • Private Military Contractors: Ravenwood
  • Put on a Bus (Subverted): Heather goes to New Bern to help design the wind turbines to help power the town. Afterwards she's reported dead shot trying to sabotage the mortar machine but is later seen again rescued by the army.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mayor Johnston Green, later Major Beck.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jake Green and Robert Hawkins.
  • Returning War Vet: Jake, whose skills from the army make him an effective defender of the town, though it's stated he's not quite as capable as Robert Hawkins
    • Jake wasn't actually in the army, he was working for a "private contractor" (Jennings and Rall), but did experience the war through that. Since Hawkins was thoroughly trained for what he does, he is much more able to navigate the situations they face than Jake, who reacts emotionally to what happens more often than not.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The first few exchanges between Robert and Darcy gain a lot more meaning once you find out that Robert kidnapped Darcy and her children the day before the bombs.
  • Scary Black Man: Robert. Robert. Robert. He is actually the only black man in the show (though it is set in rural Kansas), and even by the time we know he's a good guy, he's still a scary-ass man.
    • There were a few other unnamed black guys (like the owner of that gas station), though mostly in the background.
  • Second American Civil War: By the end of Season 2, Jake and Hawkins have exposed the Cheyenne government's conspiracy and treason, causing Texas to rejoin the United States under the legitimate government. It is then flat out said by Chavez and Jake that a Second American Civil War is about to begin. And sure enough, the six-issue comic Sequel Series starts with the war's beginning.
  • Semper Fi: A band of Marines come through the town, offering reconstruction. It turns out they're actually civilians pretending to be Marines, having picked up their equipment after a food riot.
  • Shadow Government: There is a Shadow Government, and it's based in Columbus, Ohio of all places. Despite their attempts to manage and hold the country together after nuclear terrorist attacks, their is a Succession Crisis and eventually the country splits in two, with the Columbus government facing off against the ruthless Allied States regime in the west.
  • Shout-Out: The producers evidently read Alas, Babylon. At one point, Dale can't sell some metallic trinkets because there's a fear of irradiated metal (which is identical to a plot point in Alas, Babylon). Hawkins also suggests that Jericho is located away from projected fallout clouds and has access to useful resources, much like Fort Repose.
    • In a scene almost directly lifted from Alas, Babylon the townspeople hold a cookout to dispose of all of the meat in danger of spoiling in the local market. However, Jericho has access to a salt mine, unlike the small town in central Florida where the novel takes placenote  invokedHow come no one tries to salt down the meat?
  • Slow Electricity: We get the city power sequential failure sequence at The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Stealing from the Till: Goetz.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: In episode 2, when the deputy mayor describes the aftereffects of radiation poisoning to the billiard-playing gang.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: In "Termination for Cause" when Jake and Russell were arguing what to do with Goetz, then Stanley drove up and shot Goetz in the head for killing Bonnie
  • Take Our Word for It: The number of explosives in 20 cities would in reality be pretty meager for the effect it has in effectively shutting down the United States. Remember Tropes Are Tools, though.
  • Taking Over the Town: This is what the Ravenwood mercenaries do to a town they invade. They take all the supplies and shoot anyone who tries to stop them. Since the towns are isolated from the outside world, they do not have to worry about any outside authorities holding them accountable for their banditry. The people of Jericho try to preempt this by blowing the bridge into town themselves before Ravenwood crosses it.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Almost every action to save the town will be taken by Jake Green, the Green family, or Robert Hawkins. Gets to the point that in one episode, when asked for volunteers, the entire town hall turns to Jake, expecting him to volunteer.
  • Those Two Guys: Jimmy and Bill.
  • Too Dumb to Live: During the radioactive fallout, there's a bar full of people who would rather play pool, drink beer, and die of radiation poisoning than take shelter in the basement. They do start moving towards the shelter when they're informed of the actual symptoms of radiation poisoning (they seemed to be under the impression that they would be caught in a really slow explosion).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone. Johnston Green, a former US Army Ranger, trains most of the citizenry and organises them into an armed force to defend the town. The "Jericho Rangers" spend the next fifteen episodes kicking all kinds of ass.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Eric was having an affair with Mary and fully intended to leave his wife April for Mary. But when he finds out April had filed for divorce (which she later regretted) he acted self-righteously hurt and refused to talk to April about it.
  • Torture Always Works: Subverted and lampshaded by Hawkins, who says that the fear of torture is more effective, and that real torture only works in the movies.
    • Also averted at other points when it proves completely ineffective against Eric, Jake, and others.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: When an interrogation gets a bit too intense for Jake, Hawkins reveals he was bluffing about the extent to which he was willing to go because he knows from personal experience that real torture only works in movies.
    Jake: What were you gonna do?
    Hawkins: To get the truth? Less than you would have. You see, I've done—I've done enough, Jake, to know better. It's the fear of torture that gets results. Actual torture...only works in the movies.
  • Torture Technician: Double subverted with Robert Hawkins; the initial subversion is as explained above, however in his explanation as to why torture does not work, he indicates "I've done enough, Jake, to know better..." that he has done plenty of cold-blooded torture in the past and learned of its ineffectiveness through experience.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Robert Hawkins secret involvement in Project Red Bell seemed a completely separate story from the the whole survival of Jericho story arcs. The only link that brings the two stories together is Jake finding and keeping Hawkins' secret.
  • Unexpected Successor: Both of the main faction leaders in the Divided States of America. One (the Cabinet's designated survivor) is the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the other is the junior senator from Wyoming.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The mayor of New Bern for resigning (unless you subscribe to the theory it was a coup) in favor of Phil Constantino, which has disastrous consequences.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: After Stanley kills Goetz.
  • Western Terrorists
  • Wham Line: From the pilot, when Dale presents a recording of his parents' deaths during what is supposedly the Denver explosion:
    Dale: She wasn't in Denver. She was in Atlanta.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Maggie, fake Marine and Jake's love interest in Semper Fidelis, shows up out of nowhere in One if by Land to help our heroes and takes a bullet for her trouble. Last seen slung over Johnston's shoulders. Did she bleed out? Recover completely? Was she accepted by Jericho in spite of her role in Semper Fidelis? We never find out.
    • Ted Lewis also helps them out in One if by Land but pulls a Screw This, I'm Outta Here before the others retreat back to Jericho and is never seen or mentioned again.
    • The crew and passengers of the plane that pulled the emergency landing, whose tracks led in a direction away from town.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield??: The citizens were able to see the mushroom cloud from the bomb that hit Denver. It was suggested that Oakley, Kansas, was Jericho's stand in. However, Oakley is about 70 miles east of the Colorado state line (and roughly 250 miles from Denver itself). It's doubtful you could see the Denver mushroom cloud even if you were standing on the state line at the moment it detonated. You still have to drive well into Colorado before you see the mountains.
    • The mountains can't be the Rockies, otherwise the mushroom cloud would be in front of them rather than behind. They must be a closer, fictional mountain range near Jericho. In the third episode, Stanley says that he saw a line tanks driving "over the ridge".
    • In the episode Four Horsemen, one of the pilots on the flight recorder estimates that the mushroom clouds are 16 kilometers in height, which would be visible on the horizon from parts of western Kansas. Probably not with the fictional mountain range obscuring them, though.
    • A map of Jericho that was posted on the CBS website showed I-70 and state routes 40 and 83 intersecting in Jericho. If this map is canon, then Oakley is Jericho's real-life counterpart. In real-life Oakley, I-70, U.S. 40 and U.S. 83 intersect, but in different ways than the map indicates. For example, the "official" map of Jericho shows I-70 going through town. At Oakley, I-70 skirts the town to the north and east, only coming within 3 1/2 miles at its closest point. In fact, Oakley is snug in the northeast corner of Logan County, within three miles of Gove County to the east and spilling over into Thomas County on the north. The way I-70 is routed, it never even enters Logan County, much less Oakley itself.
  • A World Half Full: The series lives and breathes this trope. Every episode poses new challenges to overcome, yet the determined, all-American Jericho residents step up to the plate time and time again to ensure survival and perhaps even a sustainable future for themselves, their families, their community, and even their nation. There are no epic instant fixes, but rather small victories here and there, and solving one set of problems sometimes leads to others (~cough~ Ravenwood ~cough~).
  • Wrench Wench: Heather. It helps that she's also the science teacher at the elementary school.

Alternative Title(s): Jericho