Continuing it's nonlinear look at the before and after consequences of a nuclear terrorist attack, we were provided with an early glimpse of the next episode of Jericho. Titled "The Day Before," it was quite interesting how so many story lines were juggled into less than an hour of television airtime. Even more interesting was the intertwining of these story lines. We open with Robert Hawkins (Lennie James) kidnapping his family with a truck that contains a nuclear bomb. At the same time we see Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich) have second thoughts about trading arms with some of America's enemies. In addition to this we see Emily Sullivan's (Ashley Scott) relationship with her husband go through some highs and lows. There are a bunch of other story lines, all of which center around the characters in this small town. We are able to easily get into everybody's lives and then the unthinkable happens.

Mushroom clouds rise up from the ground and the world is forever altered. When we next see these characters, Emily and Jake have taken up with one another, Hawkins and his family are prisoners in their own home, and we also get to see the arcs of other character's story lines evolve. Most interestingly, is the scene when a bunch of nuclear blast survivors show up almost zombie-like at the town bar. Among them are Emily's husband (who was thought to be dead), in addition to a woman who Hawkins has been talking with throughout the entire show, and seemed to be on the same side as him.

While one would seem to have to follow Jericho almost in a religious manner due to it's many characters, this is honestly one of the more ambitious TV shows that has been on in awhile. There is no ruse here. We know precisely where these characters are, and so it makes seeing how they got there that much more compelling. While I wonder if this show can sustain it's viewership with so many characters coming in and out of play, the subject matter is such that that will certainly keep people watching. It seems like the main question is will things get back to normal? Will the people in Jericho find a way to somehow get passed their situation and find out what happened to the rest of the world?

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There are also other issues like that of Emily taking up with Jake just two months after her husband has seemingly been obliterated by a nuclear holocaust. Or, the overwrought cinematic way that our characters seem to be left hanging emotionally right before the blast occurs. However, these are minor character issues and ones that might even enhance the story as Jericho continues.

Jericho airs Wednesday nights at 8pm ET/PT on CBS.

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Evan Jacobs