"The Day Before" is the twelfth episode of season one of the CBS drama Jericho.
A flashback through the 36 hours before the bombs exploded sheds light on the actions of Jake and Hawkins, and reveals Hawkins' complicity in the events.
Robert Hawkins meets a group of people. They are each assigned a truck and told that they are the people who will change the world. The cargo of a few of the trucks is seen with a 55-gallon metal drum suspended by straps with a wrapped package on the top of the drum. A person is shown 'arming' one of the bombs. Hawkins receives an envelope containing a map, money, keys, and his intended target, Columbus, Ohio. Hawkins kidnaps Darcy and his kids despite his restraining order and tells them that everything will be different and he is only trying to protect them. He drives to his residence to pick up his gear and Darcy calls the police with her son's cellphone. On the way out two police officers confront Hawkins at gunpoint and tell him to open his truck and let them see its contents. When he opens the back they see the bomb and don't know what it is. All of the sudden Darcy honks the horn, sending the officers running to the front. Robert subdues (possibly killing) the two officers. Robert continues to elude the police and takes Darcy and the kids to a house in Jericho. He tells them that it is their new home. A while later Robert hears glass shattering. He investigates and finds Darcy pointing a gun at him. The children suddenly cry that something is happening. The Hawkins' go outside and see the mushroom cloud.
In the meantime, Jake Green had been trying to get a job and has failed when his true friend he knew from Afghanistan and Iraq asks him to join him in a cargo run operation. Jake refuses, but later gives in only to find his friend shot and killed by Ravenwood. Listening to his friend's wish that he run away with the friend's girlfriend, he immediately sets out to avoid a similar fate. He takes the bus and drops the girl off at New Mexico to transfer to Houston. She asks Jake to come with her but Jake decides to return to Jericho.
In Jericho, the election is coming, and Johnston Green is told to drop out of the race by Gail (his wife). Emily's fiancé, Roger, asks Emily to come to Chicago with him where he has a job interview. Emily loves Jericho and decides to stay, calling him selfish. Roger takes a plane to Chicago but calls her and tells her that he has declined the job interview and is flying back to Jericho.
The time goes to 8 weeks after the bombs. Robert tells Darcy that he has some things to settle and that he is doing all he can to protect them. The ending scene in episode 11 when the refugees walk down main street is shown. Roger was among them. Also among them is a person with ties to Robert Hawkins, who had been seen being held at gunpoint during an online video chat Hawkins had with her right before the bombs went off.