~March 2, 2009. The day "24" officially made everything in the entire history of James Bond movies look more realistic in comparison.
~Why do they give away such a major plot development like attacking the White House in previews? Granted, as soon as we saw Jobu looking out over the Potomac, we knew what would be happening, but it is an annoying habit they have of airing too much in the way of spoilers.
Stay tuned next week, when I'll bitch about them being too obtuse ("what's that mean?", asks Bob Gunton) on the previews and using them as Red Herrings.
6 PM - 7 PM
The FBI is watching the comatose Col. Debaucle. Which means that Gary Coleman could swoop in on a Big Wheel and drag him off without them noticing. Close...but instead of Gary, it's just someone slipping in and injecting him with enough chemicals to kill him. Or to allow him to hit as many home runs as [Bonds, Maguire, Palmeiro, A-Rod, whoever]...I'm not sure. Not that this bothers me a bit. I would have hated to see the guy that I had at 1,000 to 1 odds against living through the day actually make it. And face it; it's all about me.
President Taylor and Ethan watch the "war" going on...which is about as much of a contest as a Browns game with Bruce Gradkowski (or Ken Dorsey) under center. General F.U. Jobu, in his snappy Hero Beret, is looking very much like Baghdad Bob with his declarations of "beating back the Americans". Those geniuses in the White House realize that Jobu's comments must have been taped, and that he "could be anywhere"...yeah...like within a 5-wood distance from them all.
Tony is driving Jack to ...I'm not really sure where, since Tony stated last week that they didn't know what the target was going to be. Maybe they're heading out for pizza (which must be eaten in the five minutes that Jack is not on camera). Jack calls Chloe, and tells her to delete cRyan Burnett, the weasely chief of staff to Senator Red Meyer, off the arrest list, so that Jack can make sure he doesn't "lawyer up".
Oops. Now we know where they are driving. To the White House, to intercept cRyan and take him to the George W. Bush Torture Room, which is three doors down from the Lincoln Bedroom, and directly above the Nixon Conspiracy Room. That will put Jack at the White House "Just In Case" Jobu decides to attack the White House. What are the odds of that happening, though?
Janis comes into Chloe's Fishbowl, and the universe almost explodes by having those two bits of Personality Dark Matter and Personality Anti-Matter making contact. I'm not really sure what they were talking about, as I was too busy suppressing my gag reflex after looking at Janis' hideous purple hose/tights that matched her ugly purple blouse. And next week on "Snarky Eye for the Talentless Girl", we'll be discussing Paula Abdul's 100 bracelets on each arm. Or not.
Ethan meets up with Sen. Red, who is actually doing a good impression of a real Senator; by not caring a bit about anything but his own agenda. That fact that he's being such an obnoxious jerk means only one of two things: Jack saves him, or he gets killed. I'm really hoping for the latter, because if it's the former, we'll still have to put up with his snarling hatred of Jack.
Speaking of Jack, he's led in by a soldier to meet Bill, and he says "how DO you do?" by knocking out the guard and pulling a gun on Bill. Bill won't go along with Jack, so he gets tied up...and then Jack gives him the Famous Sleeper Hold. He's doing that often enough this year that maybe this should replace the Jack Bauer "DAMMIT!" Drinking Game.
With Janis closing in on Chloe's deletion, Jack finds cRyan and tasers him. Meanwhile, Janis has figured out Chloe's trick, and she gets Empty Suit Larry to "detain" her. Things are not looking good for our heroes.
Talk about bad timing. Right when the President is trying to convince Sen. Red that Jack is really a swell guy who is just misunderstood, Moss calls them up and lets them know that Jack's attempting an "off-book interrogation". Which currently consists of Jack shooting 1,000 volts at a time through cRyan's wimpy body. When that doesn't work, he sets the stun gun to "brain fry". Which finally gets cRyan to tell him that he knows about the attack, but the doors are blown and Jack is captured JUST before cRyan blurts out the location. What an original twist!
Nice moral threesome argument between Jack, the President, and Red...who Jack calls "weak" (I was really wanting him to call him "worthless and weak", and order him to "drop down and give me 20!"). The President pulls Ethan into the hallway, and gets told by him that he's sure Jack's intel is correct...so she marches back into the room and has Jack arrested. Huh? I am so tempted to write something about "female prerogative" here...but I'm sure either my wife or Jennifer Blanchard would kick my ass if I did.
Wild Tim Guarnere goes over the precautions that are being taken now that they know that "something's going to happen". OK...so why isn't "Getting the President into some big-assed concrete bunker 300 feet underground" on the top of the list? They know it's a "high profile target"...but they are too dumb to think that maybe the HIGHEST profile target in D.C. just might be the White House? These must have been the children of the people on watch on December 7, 1941. "Don't be silly. They'll be no attack today! It's Sunday!"
The President decides to interrogate cRyan herself, and the little weasel responds by totally dissing her and demanding to see his lawyer. So Ethan comes in and offers immunity. Still no dice. Damn...and I was so wishing that she would have just picked up the taser and stuck it to his crotch. Now THAT would have been some great entertainment. Harrison Ford would have done it.
Renee, totally lacking any form of backup, tracks down the "orderly" who killed Debaucle, and runs right into the staging area for the White House invasion. She alerts Larry, who gets things rolling with D.C. Police. She also hears Jobu telling Debaucle's son that he needs to "stay on the perimeter, and disrupt any rescue attempts". Does that mean he'll be captured and then turn on Jobu once he's told that his father is dead, and Jobu lied to him? (or will it just get him to drop his guard long enough for Renee to take a shovel to his head, giving Larry enough time to get there and blow him away? I love creative editing.)
We now have something more incredulous than the CIP-36 Exploding Country Module...and that is the idea that 10 armed men can storm the White House and capture/kill the President. But they're off in their boat, with Renee deciding to do some bumper skiing, and jumping onto the back...where she loses her gun and fries her cell phone in the water. How Inconvenient!
They say they are 100 Meters from "the target" when they all jump in for a little swim. OK...I'm pretty sure that the White House is at least a half mile from the Potomac, but what do I know? Or Mapquest for that matter? Renee sneaks inside, looks at the plans, and sees that the W.H. is the target, and then executes a perfect swan dive off the boat as she swims for help. And may I take this moment to express my undying gratitude to the director for giving a couple of great cleavage shots of Renee as she bent over the table to look at the plans. In the words of my friend Borat, "that's-a-nice!"
So after swimming for 60 seconds, Jobu and Crew are now going to drill into one of the 1,000 secret passages into the White House, you know...the ones that fiction writers and conspiracy nuts have been dreaming up for years.
Somewhere in an astral plane, Timothy Leary is saying "I couldn't cook up anything that outrageous if I ate a pound of LSD"
7 PM - 8 PM
Five minutes after they started drilling, Jobu has opened up a hole four feet in diameter. Through three feet of rock. With a ¾ inch drill. A perfect metaphor for the plot holes we're now seeing, and how quickly they are expanding.
Wonderful! The FirstSpoiledPrincess is at the White House, making life miserable for Aaron Pearce. I do believe that a couple of weeks ago I predicted her becoming TheFirstHostage. Please spare us that drama, and just have Aaron shoot her now.
And as the opening credits roll, we see that we are finally going to see Jon Voight! Which immediately tells us that this "crisis" will end in the next hour or two, leading to the Jon Voight Conspiracy Group portion of our season! (Wild applause from the Peanut Gallery).
Renee must be the sister of Michael Phelps, as she swam faster than Mini-Debaucle was able to pilot his Mini-Zodiac. She runs up a hill, and spots a ranger who just happened to be parked right there. She tells him that she needs him to call in the fact that there is about to be an attack on the White House. And if ANY of you were surprised to see the cop immediately shot by Mini-D, please go ahead and just slap yourself right now. I'm also wondering why he had an automatic machine gun, but just chose single shot mode to take out Mr. Ranger, allowing Renee to escape, instead of just spraying down both of them. (There you go again, Mitch...using that "Logic Thing". Please stop it, or you're going to give yourself a migraine).
Bill visits Jack in his holding cell, where Jack tries to cajole Bill into getting up close and personal with cRyan in order to beat that last bit of information out of him. Bill is a bit reluctant, however. "DAMMIT, Bill, that's not good enough!" Everybody DRINK! Bill still states that he "can't do it"...and I'm pretty sure right now that Bill will do "whatever it takes" by the end...and will probably pay for it all with his life. Or maybe just his hair will get mussed up.
Well, at least the security staff at the White House evidently knew all about all of these secret tunnels. But instead of doing something intelligent with them...like pouring Hoover Dam levels of concrete in them, they just simply put a few motion detectors in them that can be bypassed by your average high school freshman with $8 worth of equipment from Radio Shack. Oh...but they did manage to put a semi-heavy metal cabinet in front of a gapping hole in the wall with only a few loose bricks...the type that always look cool when being kicked out. Brilliant!
From there, it's a simple waltz in the park for 10 heavily armed men to just stroll wherever they want in the White House. Right. But...they do take one little break to kill the President's Press Secretary...just to show how evil they truly are. I guess they didn't have time to find a baby seal to club.
Outside, Mini-Debaucle has caught up to Renee...who tells him about his father being murdered on orders from Jobu...and Mini-D doesn't believe her (guess I was wrong back in the last hour), so we get a brief fight, but Mini-D is too strong, and just before he chokes her to death...Larry kills him. Larry then calls up Bill, and tells him the plan...which also has just eliminated the need to torture cRyan any more. DAMMIT! Bill frees Jack, because if there are a bunch of bad guys to kill (and there are), Jack's the best man in the country for doing so.
Bill learns that other agents have been killed, and realizes that the bad guys are tracking the President, so he takes her tracking device to lead them off in the wrong direction. Nice knowing you, Bill! Say hi to Mason for me, will you?
Maybe not. When they finally track Bill down, they don't shoot him...stating that they "may need hostages". So let me get this straight. You kill the woman on the phone who was doing nothing threatening...but keep alive the guy who screwed up your plans? I guess that's what having a higher billing in the credits will get you.
Jobu finds the President just as she's going into the lockdown room, and Jack only gets to kill one bad-guy before the door is closed (and another three secret service agents go down. They are dropping as quickly as we used to see CTU security agents in seasons past). Jobu then plays Chicken with the Secret Service, saying that he has the President, when of course, he doesn't. That will give Jobu the chance to threaten to execute hostages if the President doesn't come out. How original!
Now that we've gotten the idiots in the Secret Service out of the way, it clears it for Larry and Renee to take over and solve everything, with Jack's help. And they better hurry, because the bad guys have the access codes to the panic room, and will soon be inside...until Jack shorts out the door lock. Time to go to Plan B: Calling Jon Voight for help! And we get a quick read onto the near-future plot, as Jon and the guy whose career has been in the toilet since he left CSI:Miami a few years ago argue about a shipment from Jobu that was supposed to arrive in 2 hours. Jon gives up the goods of the FirstSpoiledPrincess being in the building, and available as a bargaining chip...something totally unexpected!
We get the first scene of the Vice President, who, as usual, is a spineless louse who disagrees with Larry's plan to storm the building...which plays as phony as his "Southern accent". Looks like it's up to Jack, Bill, and Aaron to save the day.
Maybe not so much Aaron, as he's hit. Good thing it didn't hit his abdomen, or else he'd be dead before he could write some Morse Code on FSP's hand to allow her to send off a signal with a flashlight...because it might have been just a little too much to hope for that maybe ONE of them might have had a cell phone on them, allowing them to make a call out. Yeah...right. I've watched almost two hours of this tonight and NOW I'm expecting something that would make sense?
Aaron's plan didn't work, though, as Olivia is captured. Color me flabbergasted! I wonder what they would possibly do with her?
Put her right in front of a monitor, and threaten to torture her unless the President opens the door? Impossible, I say! No one would EVER think of something as diabolical as that!
Be that as it may, Jack first refuses to let the President open the door...until she orders him to do so...and now she's Jobu's prisoner, getting a fat lip after Jobu backhands her. And the Karma Fairy fires up her Harley Chopper while putting the spikes on the baseball bat she's about to take upside Jobu's head for that one.
And thus ends the most predictable, groan inducing two hours of the season.
~ Bill or Aaron will die next week. Mark it down. The previews pretty much give it away (unless it's the first major Red Herring of the year. But given the way this season has went so far, don't bet on it).
~ I can't look at Tony Todd, the actor playing General Juma (yes, every now and then I must spell it correctly), and NOT see "Captain Darrow" from the movie "The Rock". In fact, it's the exact same character, just adding an in-and-out African accent. I wonder if that was planned, or just lazy acting.
~ The halfway point has been achieved, and Jon Voight has finally been spotted. So unless Jobu makes an incredible escape next week, it looks like we'll finally make that big turn in another plot direction.
~ While this two hour episode had more action than we've seen in a long time, the ludicrous plot continually had me shaking my head. It's like the writers aren't even trying for an ounce of realism anymore. I keep thinking of the attack on the President's jet in Harrison Ford's "Air Force One", and while I'm sure it would be nearly impossible to pull off what they did, at least the writers made it look PLAUSIBLE. Even if you throw out the time constraint impossibilities from this episode (drilling a 4 foot diameter hole through 3 feet of rock in 5 minutes), there was NOTHING in the entire attack that was anywhere close to realistic.
~ When is Kiefer going to start acting? Jack has been an emotionless spy-bot for the last four hours, only breaking out of it for about five seconds while arguing with Renee at the hospital. I'm not blaming Kiefer...he's just not getting any material that allows him to show his talent. (Now if Bill really does bite the dust next week, we might finally see a lot more emotion).
Bauer Body Count 16. Jack just shot ONE of the baddies? I think that'll change next week.
Odds of Survival
Col. Debaucle was voted off the island.
Gen. Jobu (500:1). Maybe they can send him off on a rocket like Nicolas Cage did in "The Rock".
Bill Buchanan (100:1). I'm getting my memoriam all warmed up for next week.
Aaron Pearce (50:1). On the other hand...Glenn Morshower is the only actor left who has been on since Day One...so that fact alone may save him.
Tony (25:1). There is still some mystery going on with Tony. He may still be a bad guy at heart.
Janis (20:1). She should have died with the rest of the dwarves in the Mines of Moria (yeah...how Politically Incorrect...which makes it so appropriate, don't you think?)
Empty Suit Larry (10:1). Might get it in the cross fire of the rescue attempt at the White House. I still think he needs to get out of Jack and Renee's way.
Sean the Snake (8:1). I'm still banking on an attack on FBI Headquarters once we shift to the JVCG portion of the day.
First Old Man (5:1). The biggest highlight of tonight's show: We didn't see him.
Chief of Staff Ethan (4:1). Still my pick for collateral damage in the W.H. Attack.
Senator Red (3:1). Still my preference for collateral damage in the W.H. Attack.
President Allison Taylor (2:1). I still don't think they'll have this happen; not to the first woman to be President. But you can never tell for certain.
Spoiled Princess Olivia (1:1). Not going to happen...as predicted earlier, they aren't going to have both First Rugrats killed off.
Renee Walker (1:10). Annie Wersching is already announced as signed on for next season. THEN she'll die.
The Milk Carton
Appearances made by Wild Tim and Jon Voight this week. So we'll check back in on this feature in another week or two.
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