Season 1 Episode 23

Why We Fight

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 09, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
694 votes

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Episode Summary


The residents of Jericho have survived the attack on their town but there is a lot more in store for them.

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  • Maybe in the 5 top episodes of Jericho.

    Maybe in the 5 top episodes of Jericho. It's clear that now the series will go to another level with conspiracy and trying to find the bomb. Good season finale with promises for next season.

    The only bad thing is that Jericho lost one of its greatest characters and that's a clue that it will move on further than just "trying to survive against other cities".

    Now with the military in charge, no one can harm Jericho and next season will have the series finale. That's my opinion even though I believe that they should have available some extra budget. They can sell very well next season.moreless
  • My personal favorite...

    Of all the episodes of Jericho that I have watched, I'd have to rank Why We Fight as one of my favorites, mainly because of how the previous episodes lead the way to the conclusion of a good season.

    Some of the things that I really enjoyed about the episode were how Jack and some of the other members of his family were remembering a happier time in their lives when they were flashing back to Eric's wedding to April while preparing to fight their war with New Bern. It was during one of their flashbacks that I also enjoyed hearing the peanut story Jake's grandfather told Stanley before the wedding started when they were sitting in the bar.

    One scene that I thought was priceless was when Stanley and Bonnie brought Mimi to visit their parents' graves. While it was kind of somber the way he was telling them that it might be a while before they come back to visit their graves, I thought Stanley's description of Mimi when he introduced her to them to be priceless.

    After the war started, I thought it was pretty comical the way Johnston reacted to finding out about Hawkins' satellite computer by saying he was about to bomb the town that had the closest Costco. It was also neat the way Hawkins was willing to help Jericho after being found by the bad guys.

    With that said, there were also a few parts that I didn't like: such as Johnston dying and the way New Bern was bringing in so many reinforcements that Jericho was more outnumbered than before. Another part that I didn't like was when Constantino told Jake that Jericho should give up the next wave of attacks while expressing his condolences about what happened to Johnston. Jake's response of "Nuts" to him was absolutely priceless.

    Despite Johnston's death in this episode, Why We Fight is one of my favorite episodes.moreless
  • This was the best episode of the first season

    I am sooooooooooooooooooo happy that this is renewed for another 7 episodes. I have absolutely no doubt with the tremendous fan support that this will go for several more years. This episode introduced the Government officials who set off the Nukes as now coming to find the last bomb.

    In the process, they will support Jericho, but this opens a whole new avenue of how Jericho will interact with the Government which will be fascinating. It may be a way for surrounding towns to bond back together against the Govt.

    There is also the leadership issues with conflicts among many key characters. Superb cliff-hanger episode.

    I love this show.moreless
  • Good episode, but falls short compared to the last few.

    Ever since Jericho came back from it's midseason hiatus it's been throwing more and more intense episodes at the viewers than the entire first half of the season altogether. The show's soap aspect has been reduced to minimum, and in the last couple of episodes the action became an important element of the show.

    It was also great to finally learn about Hawkins. Once his character's motivations were revealed, his character didn't feel all 2 dimensional anymore, like in most early episodes where you knew he's up to something mysterious, but he's been over-mystified: after the 50th mysterious laptop-browsing it just became dull and laughable. But, as I said, it was great to finally learn more about him.

    The problem is, this finale feels more like a finale of the first half of the season rather than the second half.

    The stage was set for an explosive and adrelain pumping finale, but instead the show goes off on an emotional stage. Which isn't bad... unless there's a gigantic build up like here.

    The first mistake the writers did in this episode was keeping Heather alive. It's not that I dislike her, but I thought her death was a really good shocker. A cold and sudden shocker. This show could use more of that. But revealing she's alive... well, okay. But why now? It felt really out of place. In fact most of her scenes were out of place, expect maybe for the last one.

    Another mistake was the flashbacks. It's a very common things nowadays to have flashbacks in season or series finales. And oh, I do love flashbacks... when they add depth or help understanding the storyline. But in this case, they were way too long, and way too "deconcecrated". Most of the flashbacks didn't add anything to the story.

    So if we remove the useless flashbacks and useless Heather scenes, we get around 25 minutes out of the full 40. Almost half of the episode's a filler, and nothing helps that. Even though the non filler part is alot of fun.

    The fight between New Bern and Jericho isn't as spectacular as you might expect. In my opinion there were more explosive stand offs in the last 2 episodes. However, Johnston's death was really well done, even if I could say that it was useless. It didn't add to the story but it definitely set up some future plot threads and motivation for certain characters. And it was, of course, pretty touching. Well done. To make it more emotional, the flashbacks helped, although as I previously said, only a very little.

    What really disappointed me was Hawkins' storyline. Almost nothing new happened, and the whole him getting tracked down was lame. It was very unrealistic... it's a shame, because the show tends to try to be as realistic as possible. Now it all seems a bit negative. But it's not bad at all. In fact it's good. It's just not as great as the last few episodes.moreless
  • Why we survive!

    Writers have a way of taking what we think is a certain and promptly tossing our certainties out the window. Who saw April's baby dying? Who saw April dying? Who would have thought Johnston would have died? He did. Jake is livid at his father's death and decides to wage a war against the man whom he thinks is personally responsible, the mayor of New Bern. Jericho now has to fight for it's very survival or lose its salt mine, its land and its farms. With all the weaponry out there among the masses, the guns and ammunition in Jericho's possession and mortars in New Bern's, the order is given and the fight to survive begins. And to think CBS saw no future for this show!moreless
Titus Welliver

Titus Welliver

Colonel Robert Hoffman

Guest Star

Tripp Pickell

Tripp Pickell

New Bern Soldier

Guest Star

David Huddleston

David Huddleston

E.J. Green

Guest Star

Darby Stanchfield

Darby Stanchfield

April Green

Recurring Role

Bob Stephenson

Bob Stephenson


Recurring Role

Richard Speight Jr.

Richard Speight Jr.


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • In this episode there is a series of flashbacks of April and Eric's wedding titled "6 years ago". In one of the previous episodes Eric found divorce papers that said they got married on June 15, 2001. So, Jericho probably takes place in 2007 (6 years after 2001).

    • Goof: Rob uses his satellite to scout for the New Bern soldiers, however, when he types in the co-ordinates, the satellite is suddenly able to give him a side-on view! Satellites can't give oblique views.

    • Lennie James (who plays Robert Hawkins) gives away his British heritage in this episode; when he rides in on the horse, he is holding the reigns "English", as opposed to "Western", which is the way most American riders learn.

    • Goof: In the scene where Rob talks to Jake over the radio after Jake's father was shot, in one of the times where Jake talks back to him he talks before pressing the button, yet somehow Rob hears everything he says.

    • When Hawkins accesses the satellite imagery, he inputs the co-ordinates 39°06'38.38" N and 99°27'17.38" W. The co-ordinates are the location of the road that the New Bern fighters take to the Richmond farm. This location is "miles" from the Jericho Townhall.

    • The flag in the army compound where Heather is, is made up of only 21 stars with 13 vertical stripes as opposed to the more commonly known 50 stars and 13 horizontal stripes.

    • The Morse code message heard over the title is:

    • Nitpick: On their way into town in the opening teaser, the soldiers check the pulse of the victims to see if they are alive. Problem is, they're wearing gloves. You can't feel a person's pulse when you're wearing gloves.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Stanley (talking to his parents' graves): Remember I told you about that witch from the IRS, the one that wanted to take everything you've ever worked for? Mom, Dad, this is Mimi.

    • Mimi (talking to Stanley's parents' graves): I really love your son. And, of course, Bonnie is just wonderful and I've really enjoyed living with them…
      Stanley (under his breath): Great.
      Mimi: What?
      Stanley: I didn't say we were living together. We're not married!
      Mimi: Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I… (Bonnie starts laughing)

    • Jake: (at Eric's wedding) If I'm such a joke, why'd you want me as your best man? (Eric looks over at Gail) You didn't want me, did you?

    • Stanley: I'm gonna ask Mimi to marry me.
      Jake: Yeah?
      Stanley: Yeah. She can't cook, she's never seen nine innings of baseball in her life, she hates my clothes, but I love her, and I'm happy.

    • Johnston: Quite a speech you made in there. I had no idea you were such a sentimental fool.
      Jake: Mom wrote it.
      Johnston: You think?

    • Bill: Did you see what I just did? (referring to blowing up the car)
      Stanley: Holy crap.

    • Constantino: Jake, you're outmanned and you're outgunned. There's too many of us and we are too desperate to give up. You cannot win this. I'm giving you one last chance to walk away, to put your guns down and return to town, and no one else will be harmed. Jake, I need an answer. What's it gonna be?
      Jake: NUTS!

    • Johnston: Sometimes doin' what you feel like doin' and doin' what needs to be done are two different things.
      Jake: You don't have to worry about me, Dad. I'm fine.
      Johnston: I somehow get the feeling that my worrying days are far from over. But they will be one day. One day, I know you're gonna become the man I know you can be, the man you were born to be. My God, that day's gonna be something to see!

    • Stanley: The throttle's there on your left and the steer...
      Hawkins: This is not my first time. Jake, good luck out there.
      Jake: Yeah. You too.

    • Jake: Tell me you have a plan, a really good one.
      Hawkins: Hey, I need to borrow your tank.

    • Stanley: Jake, I don't want to die today.
      Jake: You're going to make it out of here. That I promise.

    • Darcy: So there were dozens of these things used in the attacks, right? And now you have the last one.
      Hawkins: Yeah.
      Darcy: I don't, I don't think these people are looking at this thing as a weapon. It's more than that. It's...
      Hawkins: Evidence.
      Darcy: It's the smoking gun behind the greatest crime in the history of the world.

    • Hawkins: This satellite must remain a secret.
      Johnston: (pauses briefly) Sounds good.
      Jake: What, that's it?
      Johnston: What do you want me to say? I get it, man has a satellite, doesn't want anyone to know.
      Jake: Yeah, but...
      Johnston: I am about to go to war with New Bern, Kansas, the home of the nearest Costco - today is already just about as weird as I can handle. I'm not asking any more questions.

    • Col. Hoffman: I've also been told by a patient in our medical unit to expect a significant skirmish between two towns in northwest Kansas, New Bern and Jericho.
      Valente: What is the location of those towns?
      Col. Hoffman: CZ-12, Quadrant 4.
      Valente: We've tracked the terror suspect to within 200 miles of that area. Capture of this suspect is a top priority for President Tomarchio and the administration, do you understand?
      Col. Hoffman: Should I re-prioritize, sir?
      Valente: Immediately. Go to Jericho and crush the skirmish. Once the area is clear, we will begin our search for the terrorist.

    • Darcy: Where are you going?
      Hawkins: I have to stop a train.

    • Hawkins: You've got a very large train coming from New Bern. They've got three cargo cars.
      Jake: What's in them?
      Hawkins: I think it's men and there's hundreds of 'em and there's a whole set of reinforcements.

    • Jake: My Father's dead. We'll get through.

    • Johnston (to Jake): I was hard on you. I pushed you away. I'm glad you came home. I'm proud of you.

    • Johnston: I guess I zigged when I should have zagged out there, huh?

    • Col. Hoffman: The new federal government has been restored in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

    • Heather: Excuse me, sir.
      Col. Hoffman: You don't have to call me 'sir', not unless you intend to enlist.
      Heather: There's a city called New Bern. It has a munitions factory. It's planning to overrun the town of Jericho. People are going to get killed. They tried to kill me, but I got away. You've got to help these people.
      Col. Hoffman: Where is this?
      Heather: Kansas, not far from the Colorado border.

    • Jake (to Constantino): You can go straight to hell.

    • Jake (to Constantino): About my father... you're the one I'm coming for.

    • Jake: He's been shot.
      Hawkins: I'm sorry. OK. You know what to do, right? Keep pressure on the wound. And there should be some morphine curettes in the supplies I gave you.
      Jake: Yeah, we've got it.
      Hawkins: Listen, Jake, people are gonna be looking to you now. You know what I mean?
      Jake: Yeah.

    • Jake Green: My father expected us to make a stand here, to defend our home, and that's what we're going to do.

  • NOTES (5)


    • "Why We Fight" was also the name of a series of propaganda films created by famous director Frank Capra during World War II.

    • The Army camp, of the forces loyal to the Tomarchio Administration in Cheyenne, that Heather is taken to is "Camp Liberty". Which is also the name of one of the US bases in Iraq (which also happens to contain the infamous prison Abu Ghurayb.

    • US Army General Anthony McAuliffe:

      McAuliffe commanded elements of the 101st Airborne who were surrounded in the town of Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, the German Wehrmacht's last desperate offensive of World War II. Utterly surrounded, he was given the choice to surrender and avoid further casualties. He sent back a one word response to the German commander, "Nuts!" The General needed the help of American POWs to translate the colloquial phrase.
      In an interview given in 1954, Gen. McAuliffe stated that his actual one-word reply to the German commander had been "S***"; and that this was sanitized for release to the press.

    • The flag shown at the US military post where Heather was taken is similar in design to the "Civil Flag". Proponents of the flag say it is for use by the US military and is the true flag of the US, while opponents say the flag is a hoax.
      The flag with vertical stripes was proposed in the XVIII century for use where civilian authority was in place; the canton was proposed to have blue stars over a white field, in opposition to the military flag with white stars over a blue field. US Customs and the Cost Guard actually use the flag originating from this proposition, with the service insignia replacing the stars.
      The disposition of the stars forming a diamond were never used. When the 21st State (Illinois) was admitted to the Union, the stars were disposed in 4 lines (with 5, 4, 6 and 6 stars).
      Public Law 829 (1942 - now in USC Title 4 Chapter 1) describes the Flag of the United States with thirteen horizontal stripes, but leaves to the President to rule over the disposition of the stars.

    • The title of this episode "Why We Fight" is also the name of a book by conservative author William J. Bennett to justify the fight against terrorism and the invasion of Iraq.