Season 1 Episode 14

Black Jack

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Feb 28, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

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out of 10
442 votes
  • Winter is coming, and Jericho is running out of fuel for the generator. If they don't figure out a way to get energy soon, people will no doubt die from the cold. Jake, Johnston, Dale and Heather set out to a trading city to get parts for a windmill.

    Despite my numerical review, I think that this show was pretty well done. We know what the problem is from the outset, and things seem to fall into place nicely.

    This episode focuses on the mission to Black Jack Fairgrounds and the current situation with Hawkins. There is also a smattering of Mary sparring with Mrs. Johnston, which wasn't as gross as I thought it was going to be.

    The story with Hawkins still has some huge holes in it. I'm glad that we were given some pieces in the recent filler episode, but I wish that the writers were a bit more forthcoming. Their secretiveness says that they are going to either drag this out, or that they are planning a twist. I just wish they weren't being so coy with it.

    The fairgrounds is a good device. I like the fact that the creators foresaw how things would work in a pretty detailed manner. I can't tell you if this is how things would really go down, but it sure seems plausible, and Black Jack Fairgrounds is a well conceived place. I didn't buy the serendipitous arrival of friends who came out of left field and were blood brothers within seconds of meeting. During the negotiations, one of the new friends vouches for Jake and the city of Jericho. The guy who vouches knows no one from Jericho, and has no reason to stick his neck out for anyone. A minute later (I'll get there), this same guy has to pull a gun on people to keep them from lynching Dale; guns are illegal in the Fairgrounds, so pulling one is a hangable offense. Then a little later, when things look like they are in trouble for these newfound brothers, they get in an army truck and blast through the gate so that Jake et al. can escape. This is sloppy, and it sells out whatever progress the writers made in regards to authenticity.

    It's a bleak world, and people have gotten ruthless and will kill you if you break their rules. Either that, or random strangers will risk their life and break all the rules to save you repeatedly. No. I don't care if their friend does know Heather, it does not make sense.

    Now. On to Dale. Ahhh, Dale. Early on in the episode, Roger says outright "'s not the thieves you gotta worry about, it's the guards. They've got a reputation of being really ruthless." Then, upon arrival at the Fairgrounds, there is a sign that says "Thieves will be strung up" (Heather reads it out loud at the gate). When they park Heather asks if they mean "strung up" literally and they whole group pans over to see someone dangling with a noose around their neck. Now... what do you think is going to happen in the story?

    That's right. And it's like watching a train wreck. You can see it coming, you know what is going to happen, but there isn't anything that you can do to stop it. The writers could have only made it more obvious if they named this episode "Dale steals some stuff despite being warned about it". It is with a heavy heart that I had to rate this episode a full point lower than I would have if the writers hadn't gotten so sloppy. It's a good episode, just watch out for the dumb parts.