Unfortunately, there always comes a time during a season of "24" when you shift the plots, and because of that, you have a relatively boring episode as they start putting the pieces together for the next big rush.
Monday night was that night. With the exception of a cool fight at the end.
Jack needs to get away as quickly as possible, so he hotwires the first hot car he sees. And guess what? It just so happens to have a Mac notebook in the front seat! How ConvenientTM!
It's going to take Jack at least three minutes to get 30 miles to the other side of DC, so let's check on someone else...and that Someone Else is Morris O'Brian, at FBI Headquarters, truly pissed that he can't find his wife. He's having to deal with Janis, which is probably already enough to make him want to go all Gen. Thomas Gage on some rebellious Yankees.
As I said, it was a good thing that Jack broke into a really fast car that just happened to have a laptop sitting in the front seat, so that he could check out the DVD from the security camera, and get an ID on Dr. Assassin. What a stroke of good luck for Jack. What were the odds? Jack sends the picture of DocAss to the newly suspended Renee, who gets to work finding out who the baddie really is...because evidently they didn't bother suspending her accounts.
JonVoight and Chief Weasel Seaton are back at StarkRavingWood Enterprises, where JV delivers a line that I'm predicting won't be beaten all night for laugh-out-loud scene chewing; "Mr. Seaton, I get no pleasure from the knowledge that people will DIE at our hands!" Nah...he doesn't get pleasure...it's more like a four hour Viagra Boner that he's getting out of this.
So now we find out what StarkRavingWood Enterprises really is...it's a nasty cross between Haliburton and Blackwater. The worst of both worlds. Sure. Why not? Let's go ahead and keep up with the tradition of taking a Litmus Test and coming up with a really bad "boo!hiss!" villain, and what could be more deserving right now than a rich defense contractor/private army with no accountability to the American People? (Answer: how about some Wall Street cretins taking billions of taxpayer dollars with no accountability to the American People? But that can wait until next season. Maybe that can be the role for Robin Williams, as the head of an AIG type financial institute selling out the country).
And only ONE person in Washington knows enough about StarkRavingWood to put them out of business. And if you guessed Senator Red Mayer, you win the Captain Obvious Award for this evening. That was almost as easy to predict as was Renee's agreement to help Jack.
FirstSpoiledPrincess Olivia already has her mother twisted around her little finger, and me looking for a couple of tablets of No-Doz. Ethan walks in, and she gives him the same look that my 12 year old niece gives her mother when she's told that it's time to turn off that damn Jonas Brothers music. If I weren't doing recaps for this show, I would fast forward through every single scene she is in, pausing only when it's clear that she's finally getting what she deserves. But for now, I will suffer for my art. (end of martyr sounding whinefest).
Senator Red has had a really long day, and he was looking forward to getting home, kicking his shoes off, and relaxing by putting Rage Against the Machine on his stereo at full blast while slamming down a fifth of Jack Daniels (better than the other Congressional method of relaxation...slamming a Page. And yes, I did go there. See that line we shouldn't cross? I like long jumping it). Instead of a fifth of JD, he finds five fifths off Jack Bauer. Red doesn't believe that StarkRavingWood would have anything to do with terrorism...even though he DOES believe that they'd do anything else they felt like, which is why he is investigating them.
But we can't stick around for this stuff...because it's time to go back to the mundane AND the ridiculous. During the President's condescending and totally boring speech, this year's version of the Slimy Reporter leaves after 20 seconds to corner Ethan, and asks him about Jack Bauer. Gee...I wonder who snuck him that little nugget of information in order to win a power play? Right about now, I'm really wishing Gen. F.U. Jobu had carved her face up. Later, she denies it, setting up Ethan perfectly as she continues her selfish plot to bore me to tears.
At FBI Semi-Regional Headquarters, Renee's phone conversations with Jack have been discovered, as ESL didn't trust her (with reason...but he's still a dillweed). Howver, Renee won't give up the goods on The Object of Her Desire, earning her a timeout in the suite next to Sean the Snake. Janis admits her ineptitude in comparison to the Great Chloe (no duh) in being unable to unencrypt the message that Renee sent to Jack, so Empty Suit Larry decides to pressure Morris into helping them, threatening imprisonment for Chloe. Morris caves, and gets to work, quickly gets into his normal personality. "Will this take long?", asks Larry? "Of course not," sniffs Morris in that perfect British snobbery that makes the Irish hate them so damn much. After all, Morris has Mad Blowfish Skillz. Chloe is gonna be soooo pissed when she finds out what her husband did. "Hi there, boys and girls. Can you spell c-u-t-o-f-f? I thought you could."
Now knowing Jack's location, the Empty Suit gives has SWAT Team the same pep talk that Romeo Crennel probably gave the Browns every time they were about to face the Squealers. "Jack Bauer is better than you...better than me...better than Chuck Norris...and we're probably all about to die. Good luck."
Speaking of "good luck", Chloe's out of her holding cell, and it doesn't go well for Morris. Sorry, bloke...only one thing is going to get you out of this one: Diamonds. Or given that it's Chloe; maybe a Cray Supercomputer. Actually, Morris was pretty smooth on the whole thing; making it all about baby Prescott suffering if Mommy was locked up for 15 years. Given how screwed this kid is anyway with Morris and Chloe as parents, I'm not sure if jail time would make things any worse.
I will now totally avoid snark for this next paragraph. That was actually a very good scene with Jack and Sen. Mayer, as Jack discussed the regrets that he did have, and the Senator dropped his sneer, listened, and gave a lucid response. It was a much better mini-debate over ideals vs. reality than anything we've seen from the talking heads in the last two years. The best line in the exchange came from Jack when he said, "But you know what I regret most? It's that the world even needs people like me." It also made me regret what I knew was about to happen to Red, as this little scene showed so much promise, that I was wishing to find a way to keep Red in the storyline as a new kind of mentor to Jack.
Jack and Red go through the files, and Jack figures out that the JVCG is after Weapons of Mass Destruction, this time bio-weapons that cause "dementia, paralysis, and then death". Wait...that's not a WMD...that's American Idol (with death in this case meaning the death of decency and taste).
With this news, it will complete the WMD trifecta for "24". We've already had nuclear (twice)...we've already had chemical attacks...so now it's time to go biological. At least we get a little something new here. I'm not sure where they will go after this. I'm kind of hoping for sharks. With frickin' laser beams attached to their heads.
One more nice little speech...this time from Red to Jack, telling him that he needs to trust him, and that he'll help Jack get to the bottom of everything. Amazing how quickly he changed his tune after finding out that Jack was right. But we know what happens to anyone who happens to fill the role of "mentor" for Jack, don't we? So as Red is going down the hall to respond to the "DC Metro Police" knocking on his door, I'm already writing his obituary. Because guess who's coming to dinner? Say hello to DocAss and his Leetle Freend! Damn...that's the lowest odds I've had on the Odds of Survival for some time when a character got bumped off, as Red was only at 3:1. In any case, guess who will get blamed for this murder?
As DocAss was chasing Jack down the street, I was thinking; "he has a machine gun, and Jack has a knife. This guy doesn't stand a chance".
Once again, I find myself completely thankful to the makers of "24" for teaching me so many new things about geography, and politics. I would have never thought that there would be a dilapidated junkyard less than a quarter mile away from a multi-million dollar house owned by a U.S. Senator, but I was obviously mistaken as that's where Jack ended up a minute after crashing through DeadRed's patio door. I guess Red really was a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, to live so close to the bad side of town. I was going to then make some comment about the Senator dying-and-laying-on-the-wool...but that just seemed to be a little too much...so I won't.
Jack fakes out DocAss with the old "Red Herring Blood On The Door Knob To Make The Bad Guy Go Inside The Trailer So Jack Can Take A Bulldozer To Him" Trick. I always LOVE that one! Lots of Kung Fu Madness commences, including the obligatory groin kicks and head butts, which ends when Jack finds a long screwdriver, throws it into DocAss's chest, and then drives it in to the hilt by hammering it with a 2 x 4. Jack tries to find out WHEN the weapons are getting here. The Bad Doc does get to answer his last request. "They're already here." And then he's off to Jobu-ville; aka the 3rd Ring of Hell
Uhh...Jack? I hate to back seat drive here (right...snorts the sarcastic blonde next to me)...but maybe with your one question, you should have asked WHERE the weapons were going.
No need to fret, Mitch...DocAss had the exact location saved right on his phone...just like any good idiot would have. The weapons are coming into the Port of Alexandria. Hell...that's going to take Jack a long time to get to Egypt to intercept that.
What? You're telling me that it's the Port of Alexandria, Virginia...which will only be a five minute run from the junkyard? How Convenient!TM
Shall I start my Rant now over the fact that Washington D.C. is NOT a seaport, and that there is no such thing as a Port of Alexandria due to the fact that the Potomac as it runs through DC isn't a quarter of the width or depth as even the Ohio River?
Nah. I'll save it for next week. I want to warm up to this one.
Finally, we get a Tony appearance, as Jack calls him up as the only other person he can trust now, asking him to meet him at the non-existent port, and to bring lots and lots of ordinance. Tony was trying to tell Jack something, but Jack wasn't listening. Maybe it was about the "Shoot to Kill" order Empty Suit Larry gave...maybe he was just asking what Jack wanted on the pizza Tony planned to pick up on the way to the Port. I'm sure it wasn't important, either way...but I better not hear Jack bitch when Tony shows up with a large anchovies and angry onion Dominos special.
Olivia. Must. Go. Away. I'm almost wistfully wishing for those wonderful times when we had First Old Man going out and about looking for A Clue. The worst thing about this plot line is that there is no real character behind Olivia, and no motivation for her to be such as selfish little beyotch...except for doing it out of a sense of pure entitlement. Whatever the case, she's taken over the tiara from Kim Bauer for the title of Princess StupidPainInTheAss.
Gotta give some special props for Jack's MacGyver resourcefulness in pulling the screwdriver out of DocAss's chest so that he could use it to hotwire his second vehicle of the night.
Bauer Body Count
22. Given that StarkRavingWood and the JVCG have their own private army, I'm betting Jack's going to be in a "target-rich" environment soon.
Odds of Survival
Off the Island: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Assassin and Senator Red Mayer.
No changes to the odds...just changes to the snarky comments.
Greg Seaton (50:1) - I'm needing someone for the top of the list, other than the obvious faceless/nameless "Private Army" flunkies that are going to die in droves next week.
Jon Voight (30:1) - The best thing about one of the worst movies ever made, "Anaconda" was seeing JV eaten by the big evil snake, spit back out several minutes later...and then winking at Jennifer Lopez before going back to the being the main entrée. PLEASE let there be a giant snake somewhere in this show (other than Sean).
Empty Suit Larry (25:1). Topic: Bigger Tool! Candidates: Empty Suit Larry and the Big Assed Killing and Carjacking Screwdriver! Debate!
Tony (20:1) - Not next week, though.
Janis (15:1) - I like to consider myself a well rounded, equal rights kind of guy. So why is it that I'd take the most pleasure in having two women knocked off? (Answer: Because Janis and Olivia suck).
Chief of Staff Ethan (10:1). I get the feeling that once he "resigns" next week, he'll play the White House version of Bill Buchanan later on, sacrificing himself for the lives of the Prez and her obnoxious offspring, who will respond with the same sadness she reserves for the memory of all the bunny rabbits killed in testing the cosmetics she overuses.
Sean the Snake (8:1). Maybe he'll help Renee escape next week.
First Old Man (3:1) - Who?
President Allison Taylor (1:1). We've got to have one more attempt on the White House this season. It's Tradition.
Spoiled Princess Olivia (1:1). Someone really needs to resurrect Kim's cougar to handle this.
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