JERICHO is a drama about what happens when a uclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive. But in this time of crisis, as sensible people become paranoid, personal agendas take over and well-kept secrets threaten to be revealed, some people will find an inner strength they never knew they had and the most unlikely heroes will emerge.
The second season of the cult favorite Jericho shows in gritty, emotional detail why fans adore this show. It's intelligently written, and manages to make its out-there concept not only believable, but mesmerizing. Part post-apocalyptic sci-fi, part Western, part conspiracy thriller, and part juicy human drama, Jericho in its second season explores how the citizens of wee Jericho, Kansas, are coping six months after a nuclear bomb destroyed most of the town--and the fabric of the country. The layers of character and plot development, rare on network TV, continue to surprise and develop. Our hero, Jake (Skeet Ulrich), is helping put the pieces of his town and life back together, while hostile forces from neighboring towns plan attacks. And the mysterious Robert Hawkins (Lennie James) is hiding in town with a literal smoking gun--a nuclear warhead that may prove the attacks were carried out not by Iran and North Korea, but by internal forces. Hawkins is on the run, and Jake is in on his secret. Amid all this chaos arrives Major Beck (the charismatic Esai Morales), who's been sent by the acting Western government to instill order in Jericho. "The nightmare is over," he intones to the shaken townsfolk. "Order will be restored."
The nightmare is far from over, however, which accounts for Jericho's intense drama and creative storytelling. The viewer is never totally sure whom to believe, keeping the viewer just off kilter just enough to want to watch another episode, and then another. Extras on the boxed set include terrific audio commentaries on virtually every episode, which lend even greater appreciation to the set designers and cinematographers. There's a featurette, "Rebuilding Jericho," giving fans insight to the conception of a post-apocalyptic America, and deleted scenes, and perhaps most interesting to devoted fans, an alternate unaired ending to the season finale--worth watching just to see where the creators imaginations can take them. --A.T. Hurley