Season 1 Episode 5

Federal Response

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Oct 18, 2006 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (35)

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out of 10
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  • While slow at points, this episode revealed some tantalizing hints about the attack on the United States and ended on a high note.

    Of all the episodes to date, I would say this was the best.

    To me, "Jericho" is a somewhat ponderous character drama welded to a gripping mystery. The character drama holds little interest for me, but the mystery draws me in. There is something inherently fascinating about the nuclear-war scenario. It is the subject of some of the best science fiction writing and of some memorable television and movies ("On the Beach," "The Day After").

    I liked this episode because it advanced the nuclear-way mystery in an interesting direction. The uninformative "reverse 911" call from the Department of Homeland Security was a nice touch, as was the broadcast image of the empty podium bearing a federal seal (perhaps the seal of the State Department). The tango between Hawkins and Jake was especially good. As the episode began, it seemed fairly certain that Hawkins was the bad guy and Jake the hero. But after Hawkins accessed the State Department database and discovered that Jake carried a "flagged passport," all of that was cast into doubt. (Although the fact that Hawkins accessed the State Department database via an Internet page written in Russian leads one to wonder to whom he owes his ultimate allegiance.) And, of course, the launch of what appeared to be ICBMs at the end was thrilling. It almost perfectly echoed a scene out of "The Day After," another post-apocalyptic thriller set in Kansas.

    This episode ensured that I will keep watching, if only to find out the story behind the attack on America.