“Jack Bauer could get Urkel and Skreech laid."…
The plot thickens. Or at least develops a consistency slightly more dense than tap water. But since last week’s episode was so totally lame, it really had nowhere to go but up.
As we open, Jack is in custody (again) and Doyle is trying to coax some information out of Audrey, who still keeps repeating the phrase “help me, Obi-Jack-Kenobi”. Doyle calls Nadia, blaming himself for allowing Those Chinese Bastards!!!® to get the component, and tells her that Audrey seems to be in some post-traumatic catatonic state. I then paused my DVR, and popped in a DVD from Season 4…and I must admit that Doyle is a farkin’ medical genius to make that determination, because I can’t tell one bit of difference between Kim Raver’s “acting” when she was “normal” to what she’s doing now.
Nadia has problems of her own in attempting to get control of things in the Buchanan-less CTU. First is dealing with Morris’ hissy fit after Chloe hurt his little feelings. She calls him in, and lets him know that his request for transfer is denied. Morris complains (again), but Nadia pretty much shuts him up with her best line of the year “I won’t indulge your personal melodrama in the middle of a national crisis!” Wow! Someone in 24Land actually puts the country ahead of their personal agendas?
Back in Washington, the writers start the process of de-creepifying VP Noah Daniels…not an easy task when he’s played by King Creepy himself, Powers Boothe. Daniels offers an olive branch to Karen Hayes, telling her that he appreciates her “sacrifice” in firing Bill for no reason other than to cover other people’s asses. Before it gets too gooey, they are informed that Suvarov, the Russian President, wants an immediate teleconference. Daniels and Hayes give each other a “does he KNOW?” look.
We then flash over to Lisa’s apartment, where she’s supposed to be picking up a change of clothes when, in a “twist” that I’m sure surprised no one, she first chooses a quicky with some morally bankrupt GQ level model, after she gripes some about Daniels. So we now have the Acting President and the Acting First Slut.
At the teleconference, Suvarov indeed knows that Cheng has the component, and threatens an “appropriate response” if they allow Cheng to escape. Sure. An official within the Chinese Government captures something in America, and the Russians response is to threaten a US military base “in the Central Asia Theater?” (isn’t there one of those in the theater district of downtown Cleveland?) What the hell is that all about? You just think that maybe because it’s the Chinese that are trying to steal Russian secrets, they just might want to call up the Chinese Premier and threaten him instead? I know…when following the plots of “24” you must remember that the writers have headed the words of the great David Byrne to “Stop Making Sense”.
Since the details about the component were only known to a few people, Lennox plays Sherlock Holmes and deduces the leak came from either the White House or CTU. Oo! Oo! Mr. Lennox! I know! And sure enough, back at the No-tell Motel, when Lisa runs off for a post coital shower, lover-boy snags the Ice Princess’s PDA and downloads Some Stuff. He then calls some member of the Russian Blue Man Conspiracy Group and asks for further instructions.
Meanwhile, there is a little problem with Cheng, as he realizes that the component is damaged…but not THAT damaged. Meaning that it’s worthless unless they can “get someone” with the expertise to repair it. And over at CTU, Morris should be getting some cold shivers and a nagging ache in the shoulder blade Fayed drilled…assuming he can feel it through the pain of having been figuratively kicked in the nads by both Chloe and Nadia.
But since Morris can’t get away from Chloe, he can at least find the time to tell a sobbing Chloe that “we’re done”. Nice to see that Cheng isn’t really that important, and the only two people that seem capable of finding him have all kinds of time to slip off and have all these heart tugging (or stomach turning, take your pick) conversations.
Now that Audrey and Jack are back at CTU, they can get to work figuring out what’s wrong with her (nothing that acting lessons couldn’t cure). And although it may take “a couple of hours” to find a new CTU head, finding a Dr. Mengele level psychiatrist only takes fifteen minutes. Dr. Quackley makes a quick diagnosis, and determines that he can “extract” the information from Audrey pharmaceutically, with only a 25% or so chance that he’ll kill the patient in the process…a no brainer, as far as he’s concerned. Hey, Doc…good luck in that AMA board review coming up.
Doyle wants to let Jack try, but Nadia wimps out when Dr. Quackley says that he’s allowed to do anything he wants to the patient. So Doyle shows why he’s the perfect complement to Jack, as he uncuffs the prisoner, and allows him to put Jack’s famous Vulcan Sleeper Hold on him so that Jack can rescue Audrey. Which was a much gentler method of subduing CTU people than he used on everyone else that was between Audrey and himself…bashing their faces in with his fists. He takes Audrey away from the lab and heads towards the basement to try to get any information out of her.
Jack’s voice is so powerful that he could convince Alec Baldwin to reconcile with Kim Bassinger…so getting though to Audrey really wasn’t that difficult. Good thing, as Nadia and the CTU stormtroopers only take a couple of minutes to cut through the door. Just when they get through and are about to take Audrey again, she mutters “Rosebud”…er… “Bloomfield”. Dr. Quackley wants to go back to the dissecting lab, but Doyle and Jack convince Nadia that Audrey just gave them a clue, and to allow them to follow up on it first.
With the Russian Army ready to strike “within the hour” (again), the White House needs to act fast. And they do, as Sherlock Lennox has deduced that the leak came from Lisa via Mark Bishop, a slimy lobbyist (redundant) whose call to the Russian agent was detected. Lennox tell Daniels, who admits to sleeping with her as well, and they invoke a little sympathy by having Daniels reveal that it was something that “just happened” a few years after his dear, loving wife passed away. Sniff…I’m so touched. And so was Lisa. By about half of Washington, evidently.
Tom figures the best thing to do would be to use Lisa to feed false information to the Russians. Daniels confronts his two timing chief aid, who at first denies it (naturally) and then owns up to it after Daniels offers the proof, and threatens to have her declared an enemy combatant and locked away to be completely forgotten. The only “out” for her would be to go along with Tom’s plan and get back in touch with Bishop and tell him that the component has been recovered. Hmmm…prison or cooperate…prison or cooperate…what should she do?
Turns out that Audrey’s “Bloomfield” meant something after all…an old copper processing plant, and the likely Secret Hideout of TCB!!!®. The LAPD have been instructed to lock down the building, and Doyle is about to head on over there (where they will obviously not be).
It’s a William Devane sighting! James Heller is back, and he’s going to protect his baby girl. But he wants to see Jack first. Jack tells his former employer that he “will be there” for Audrey, to which Heller snarls “No, you won’t”. Seems Heller blames Jack for Audrey’s condition, ending the show with the best line, “You’re cursed, Jack. Everything you touch, one way or another, ends up dead.”
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Cheng needs “some expertise”, and is shown in the previews for next week planning an attack on “something”.
If that “something” is not CTU in an attempt to capture Morris, Milo, or Chloe, then it will be the biggest shock in the entire history of the series.
Looks like Marilyn finally comes off the milk carton next week for another attempt to get into Jack’s pants. This will happen in the first twenty minutes, as they’ll need some filler while Lisa gets back with Bishop, Doyle finds the empty Bloomfield plant, and Cheng gets his TCB!!!® into position.
Best Scene: Daniels scenes with Lennox and the Ice Princess. Incredible acting from Powers Boothe, and it’s great to seem him add some depth, as too often the characters he plays are such evil jerks that he can’t show the range he is capable of.
Jack Bauer Bad Guy Body Count: 26. No change this week (unless one of those guards he knocked out broke a neck when they fell). Next week should see a big increase when the Cheng attacks someplace (CTU).
Life Expectancy: Unscientific wild assed guesses on how much longer certain people will still be breathing and the chance they have of living through the day. 4 hours to go (three shows, so the last one will be a two hour special).
Mark Bishop – 1 more hour. Quite possibly he’ll just be joining Chad Lowe in lockup…but there is always a chance that the Russians take him out when they find that he’s been unmasked. Chance of living through the day? 25%
Milo – 2 more hours. Most likely victim of the TCB!!!® attack. Chance of living through the day? 15%
Morris – 2 more hours. This melodrama will end with him probably getting back to Chloe, who will announce she’s pregnant…a totally frightening concept. Chance of living through the day? 80%
CTU Agent Johnson – 2 more hours. Still a chance that he’s a mole, more than likely just the stupid idiot that has his back turned at the wrong time which allows the CTU breach to occur. Chance of living through the day? 10%
Phillip Bauer – 3 more hours. This would be the one person that would bother me the most if they don’t follow up with his character. Chance of living through the day? 50%.
Mike Doyle – 3 ½ more hours. I think Milo bites the dust, allowing Doyle and Nadia to hook up. And that exact same type of pairing worked so well for Tony and Michelle. Chance of living through the day? 80%.
Cheng Zhi – 3 hours, 45 minutes. Which will leave 15 minutes to have a “wrap up” and the inevitable end-of-season twist. Chance of living through the day? 0%
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