From my "Final Thoughts" last week, I mentioned that I thought the way they had Janeane Garafalo and Carlos Bernard listed in the credits (listed as "with" at the end of them) might indicate that they weren't going to make it through the year. But I was informed that this is not the case...just something weird that they do. So for those of you pinning your hopes of the diminutive, no-discernable-acting-skills Janeane biting the dust...sorry. I mean, it may still happen...it's just not a guarantee.
Three of the people I had listed near the top of my Odds of Survival List bought the farm this week. Don't expect that type of Mo Williams-against-the-Kings amazement from me for the rest of the year...It won't happen. These three were just too damn obvious.
I was thinking very hard about going into my diatribe against the character of President Allison Taylor in this section...but I think it'll play better at the end. Needless to say, she quickly getting on my nerves.
All in all, this was probably the most action-packed episode they've had so far this season, but it's also the most frustrating, as every scene without Jack in it found me bitching about something.
So let's get to the bitch-fest.
Agent Ross delivers the weepy news of Renee's abduction, while Janis acts annoying and Sean the Snake acts annoyed. When Sean says that Renee WAS a good agent, Larry goes off. I don't know whether Larry was going to hit him or drown him with his tears.
Bill and Chloe quickly arrive on the scene to unearth Renee. I wonder if they waved "hi" to Jack as they passed the USS HulkingYellowVan? But I'm not sure why Renee just laid there and allowed herself to run out of air. She did have some air pockets to breath, and she wasn't buried under that much dirt, so you think she could have moved enough to get the dirt off from her face and rip open the plastic enough to let air in. But I guess that isn't quite as dramatic as having Bill rip open her shirt (but not enough. Dammit!), and then deftly stick a needle of adrenaline into her heart to revive her. Hey, I don't care how they did it, just as long as she's still alive.
On the ride to the rendezvous point, Jack goads Emerson into telling Tony how he "saved" him, and Emerson admits that Henderson (Peter Weller) intentionally juuussstttt missed his artery when he injected him, allowing Tony to appear dead...but not really. Yeah...two men in a death struggle with each other, and one of them manages to find enough touch to put a needle into someone and "just miss" an artery. But what do I know? I can't even find enough "touch" to avoid missing a two foot putt (that's why "gimmes" were invented, Mitch). Tony tears up while Emerson tells Jack about Tony turning to the Dark Side out of hatred of the government after the death of Michelle. Tony talks about caring for Emerson like a brother. Hmmm...this might make things a little dicey in a little while...assuming the previews weren't lies, and Tony might have to choose between Jack and Emerson.
The USS HulkingYellowVan pulls into an aircraft hanger (barely fitting inside...the hangar was only designed to accommodate 747s) and as Jack heads to the back to get the Dikembe Mutobos, Emerson grabs him and pulls a gun on him. The disposable member of the team is quickly shot by Tony, leading to the Mexican standoff "foreshadowed" just one paragraph earlier. Yes, my middle name is Kreskin.
"TAKE THE SHOT, TONY!"
OK..I think I will. One to the shoulder, and then another to the neck. Lots of neck shots early this season. I guess it's better than biting people's necks...but not near as much fun to recap.
Back at Redhead Burial Grounds, Chloe superglues Renee's neck back together, and Bill tells the FBI agent about The Plan, and how she has to stay dead in order to ensure that Jack's cover isn't blown. Renee gives a pouty look when complaining about not being able to tell Larry, proving that Bill has been chemically castrated, because if she gave ME that look, I'd be giving her the codes to the nuclear football.
For the time being, Emerson's still breathing. Jack tells Dikembe that the whole kidnapping thing was staged in order to get to Col. Debaucle, and that he needs his help to recover the CIP-36 Exploding Country Modulator. And when Jack asks for something using The Voice (the same one that makes my wife sigh Every. Stinking. Time), Dikembe and his wife are sure to be helpless to resist.
On a set that looks like it was borrowed from "The Hunt For Red October", Debaucle tells Nichols to Go Fetch, Boy!...oh...and while you're at it...kill Emerson, Tony, and Jack. Odds of that happening? About the same as Derek Anderson becoming the NFL's most accurate passer. Debaucle also decides that President Taylor is about as stupid as what I've already thought her to be, so it's time for that very time honored tradition on 24...Killing American Civilians! I wonder how they'll do it this time? We've had commercial airliners blown up (Season 1), nuclear bombs going off in America (Season 2 and Season 6), biological attacks (Season 3), train explosions (Season 4), sabotaged nuclear reactors (Season 4), and chemical attacks (Season 5).
Survey Sez....Season One, Redux! Let's kill everyone on an plane! Always a popular choice.
Chief of Staff Ethan argues once again (logically) that given the fact that Debaucle has them by the short hairs, they should back off a bit. But President Taylor doesn't care...she's going to go forward no matter how many Americans may die. Seriously, people...I know that we may have had some presidents in the last 40 years that many people didn't like for one reason or another, but if you go through the entire history of the U.S. you can't find as many complete effing MORONS as we've seen on 24...and this one is shaping up to be the second worst, right after Traitor Charles Logan. Where the hell is Jean Smart with that kitchen knife to take care of her?
At the hangar, as predicted, Mrs. Mutobo falls under the spell of Jack's Velvet Voice, and convinces her husband that she's willing to accept the risk to atone for the shame she feels for opening the door to the Not-So-SafeRoom. Actually, she's just hypnotized by Jack's voice, and she would have agreed to strip naked and sing "Friends In Low Places" had Jack requested it. While they talk through this...I'm seeing a Porsche sports car and two crotch rockets sitting around for no reason whatsoever. I'm sure they'll have no additional purpose in this show, as these are issued as standard equipment in most airplane hangars throughout the country.
Emerson's croaks, laying a heap of guilt on Tony for his final confession. But Tony looks quite stable about the whole thing, and I'm sure that nothing could go wrong...go wrogn...wo grong...
Debaucle calls up President Taylor, and tells her to look outside and watch the fireworks! Not just one, but TWO planes crash together (OK, it would be hard for one plane to crash together), to say nothing about the loss of life on the ground from the wreckage. And if I'm Senator Red Foreman from the first hour, I'm not worried about Jack's testimony tomorrow morning, because the first thing I'm doing is setting up impeachment proceedings to get this idiot out of office (Yes, Jennifer...I am aware that the House would initiate impeachment proceedings, not the Senate...but work with me here).
So what is Taylor's response? "Full speed ahead! I can't be wrong." Good Lord...it's George W. Bush with boobs! At least Secretary of State Stevens proves he has a little bit of integrity, and he resigns rather than go along with her idiocy (more on that in the Final Thoughts). Taylor gives a weepy speech to the Cabinet about ideals...and most of us are sitting in our living rooms doing the universal guy signal for jerking off while she's pontificating, because that's what we're getting.
While I've still not gotten my blood pressure back down from the White House screw-ups, I can at least be distracted now that Bill, Chloe, and Renee have pulled into the hangar. Jack and Renee have a ‘moment'...and I realize that I have no shot at her, because even though she's upset at Jack, she is ready to worship at the Shrine of Bauer. I also realize that Chloe must have hacked into The Gap's website and they swung by to pick up a new sized zero blouse for Renee, as the one she's wearing shows no dirt or blood stains. Either that, or that was one hellaciously fantastic Tide Stick they had in that van. In either case, Chloe quickly gets Dikembe wired up, which leads to the best line of the season.
Dikembe: "Are you with the FBI?"
Chloe: "No. I'm a stay-at-home mom".
I had to re-wind it twice just to revel in the awesomeness that is Chloe O'Brian.
Back at the White House, a new mole prospect comes into play in the form of Wild Tim Guanere (slightly obscure Band of Brothers reference), the senior NSA staffer that's hanging around the Oval Office. Ethan tells Wild Tim that perhaps the First Old Man could help convince Allison of the error of her ways.
Which means it's time to revisit to that stupid sub-plot, as it's back to the apartment of Soon-To -Be-Dead Samantha and the paralyzed FOM. What Agent Brian should have remembered is that Colm Feore can kill just with the power of his evil stare. OK...if not kill, at least make a hell of a career as a psycho bad guy (see also; "Chronicles of Riddick"...and if you do, you'll be one of maybe hundreds). Agent Brian gets a knife, and covers up his arms in plastic wrap in some sort of sad rip-off of Dexter. Brian, Brian, Brian. I know Dexter. Dexter is a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Dexter.
Samantha comes in, oblivious to what's going on, and proceeds to annoy us for at least ten minutes by staring at the frozen FOM, asking "are you OK?"...and then Brian performs the mercy killing and stabs her in the back. Who saw THAT coming? She gets ten more seconds to overact as she tries to crawl away, only to get rolled over and stabbed in the chest. Kewl sound effects! Right out of Psycho! With the knife still sticking out of her chest, Brian gets a call from Ethan, trying to find FOM. Uh...uh...uh...I don't know? (buh-bye, alibi!). Brian gets FOM's fingerprints on the knife, and as they cut away, we see that FOM is starting to regain the use of his hand. Wonderdweeb powers activate! Size of a scarecrow! Shape of a Stupid Plot Device!
Seriously...270 Americans have just died, and we are supposed to give a rat's ass about this side-story?
Dikembe and his new dental work are ready. Bill and Chloe are ready. Jack is definitely ready. So as Tony faces Nichols and three armed guards alone...do you really think any of the backup goons are going to live to see the next minute?
Alright..a couple of them do live. Jack only takes out the one who was about to shoot Tony, while Tony incapacitates another, and shoots the third while Jack makes Nichols dance like Fred Astaire. Of course I wanted to see Jack splatter a few more brains about the place, but I guess it was necessary to leave Nichols and one of them alive, as they needed to keep up the charade with Dikembe Mutobo. "OK, then. Let's put that behind us," snarks Tony. Heh. Nichols takes off, while the good guys set the tracking mechanisms in order.
Finally, back at Now-Dead-Samantha's place, Brian is setting things up for FOM's "suicide" by hanging. Oops...looks like Brian misjudged his dosage on the magic paralyzing energy drink, and FOM's able to toss him over the balcony. Good thing N-D-S lived in a place with a big loft, and there was that table down there to (a) break their fall and (b) break Agent Brian's back. How Convenient!TM I'm sure 125 pounds of scarecrow FOM landing on his chest didn't help either...nor the choke hold to complete the trifecta.
Debaucle: "I think this President is not just stubborn, she's insane". Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner in the "No Shit, Sherlock" category! Next target? Kidron, Ohio. What? Now just wait a second there...that Wayne County location is damn close to the of the area where I grew up.
"Population? 30,000" Huh? Not unless you're counting cows and sheep.
Sure. Why not? Just one more crotch kick to NE Ohio. Am I gonna have fun with THIS sub-plot next week.
I'm not asking for the President in 24 to be a Washington, Jefferson, or a Lincoln (although David Palmer might have been portrayed as being that good), but could we at least stop having them ranked below Fillmore, Pierce, Harding, and Buchanan? To me, as I've harped upon MANY times already this season, this is the worst plot sequence/character development they've ever had on 24. Seriously, not only would a president be impeached for recklessly endangering Americans by not DELAYING the attack, she would probably also be tried for murder.
Could you imagine if this president had been in charge in WWII?
Ike: "Madam President, we are set to invade Normandy today, the 4th of June, but the weather is prohibitive as it would not allow for adequate air cover. We will go on June 6th, instead."
Taylor: "No you WON'T! We must show the American people that we won't negotiate with Hitler, and therefore we are going NOW!!"
As a result, the air force couldn't see who they were bombing, the invasion failed, and now, the Eastern United States speaks German, and west of the Mississippi, they all speak Japanese.
Bauer Body Count2. Tony is at 4. But Jack is now armed to the teeth (which are also lethal weapons), and it's time to kick this baby into gear.
Who Is The Mole?
Chief of Staff Warden Ethan Norton (odds - 2:1). I am thinking that there is just as much of a chance that his disapproval of the President's actions will make him a patsy for the real mole...who in that case would be...
Wild Tim Guarnere (odds - 2:1). Saw a lot more of him this episode, and he's exhibiting the type of surly behavior I'd expect from a mole.
Erica the Skank (odds - 3:1). Didn't spend much time at FBI headquarters this week, so we didn't see her at all. So there were a few good things that happened this week.
Janis Gold (odds - 5:1). Someone needs to order a huge cheese wheel to go with all of her whine. Chloe-Lite just needs to go away.
Agent Moss (odds - 6:1). His unmanly semi-weeping performance this week doesn't seem that mole-like...but maybe it's just another disguise.
Sean the Snake (odds - 8:1). Sean and Janis are evidently supposed to be the FBI answer to Edgar and Chloe. Yeah...and Caddyshack II was supposed to be like the original.
Odds of Survival
Col. Debaucle (1,000:1). Now that he's killed innocent civilians, it's just a matter of time before Jack tortures and kills him. Good.
Tony (20:1). I'm now thinking that the killing of Emerson is going to weigh on him, and that he'll crack at some point. And then redeem himself, right before dying.
White House Mole (10:1). Either WardenEthan or Wild Tim. Although turning State's Evidence is the usual fate for them.
Agent Ross (8:1). It may be at my hand, as I may just have to shoot him if he doesn't stop acting like such a wus.
Janis (4:1). I want to see Chloe gun her down with an AK-47.
Bill Buchanan (3:1). They gotta have a surprise "good guy" death in every season.
My Tolerance (5:1). It's getting close to Terminal at this point.
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