And we bid a fond adieu to Season Seven of "24". I will readily admit that I was very, very apprehensive going into this final episode, as I was worried that they'd spend most of it dealing with Olivia's "problem", and Kim being a victim (again). Luckily, those two plot devices didn't dominate the episode at all, and in the case of Kim the Victim, didn't really happened at all.
Thanks again to Gary Benz, Tony Lastoria, and Rich Swerbinsky, who all joined me last night for a roundtable wrap-up on Blog Talk Radio. The podcast of the show can be found here.
6 AM - 7 AM
Let's start right out with a major product placement for Cisco. Cisco...routing everything on the planet to wherever the hell we want. And right now, I wish they'd route this television signal to anywhere else other than watching First Slut Olivia lying under oath. Someone lying under oath? In Washington? I'm shocked! Shocked!
President Taylor is briefing her staff about what all has went down over the past few hours, and something she says really strikes me as interesting. She talks about the Blue Man Conspiracy Group as "a group of private military firms". Now I have to ask...how many "private military firms" actually operate in the U.S.? Can it really be so many that you'd not know who might be involved? Given that there were 10 - 12 people on that teleconference, my thoughts about which "private military firms" might be involved might be the equivalent of the old question "how many people are dead in this graveyard?" Answer? All of them.
She also utters the line, "we don't have much actual intelligence"...hehehehe...no shite, Sherlock.
Jack is riding in a van with Renee, Tony, and Tony's extremely bloody and snarky face. FakeTricia is talking to Jack, telling him that they are coming up on "the I-70", and Jack must make sure they take that exit. Really? Would that be the I-70 that runs through the middle of Columbus and Indianapolis? The one that's not within 150 miles of Washington, D.C.? NOW I understand to whom Allison was referring when she was talking about a lack of actual intelligence...it is definitely the writers. Seriously...is it too much to expect these morons to do something as complex as going to Mapquest and possibly looking to see what the names are for the major highways in city that you're writing a series about?
Kim, who is vying with Janis and Olivia for Most Aggravating Character even with only 1/10th of the screen time, is sitting with The Cougar and her greasy haired husband at the airport. Kim notices that GHH's neck is bleeding (from the scuffle in killing Kim's "watchdog" last week), which is two screw-ups on their part, as GHH also had to shut off the laptop that was sending pictures of Kim to FakeTricia and Jack. GHH looks a bit nervous.
In the van, Jack decides it's time to commit some more crimes, and shooting an FBI agent in the leg is a good start. Tony's smirk may have to get its own billing on the credits, and right now, I'm just looking forward to the time very soon when it gets blown off (hopefully). Despite being told not to, Jack tells Renee what's going on with the BMCG putting Kim in danger, and asks her to see to her safety...once Tony escapes and Jack is sent to jail. However, Tony takes Jack with them. Which really only astonishes Jack and FakeTricia, as I doubt very seriously if anyone else was even remotely surprised by this turn of events. The reason? Tony wants to harvest Jack for the pathogen so that they can make more bioweapons. Who knew that Tony had a little Dr. Mengele in him?
At the White House, Aaron has brought Ethan in so that he can check to see if there are recordings of the First Slut playing Let's Make A Hit Deal! And guess what? Ethan's thumbprint still works on the biometric devices securing the recording equipment in his old office. Yeah...it's only been 12 - 14 hours since Ethan quit. I'm sure they wouldn't have thought of doing anything so outlandish as...say...disabling his user access to top secret stuff? When it comes to this group, I've seen better organized riots.
FSO gets done with her deposition/lying like a dog, and goes back into her office, here she smugly admonishes Ethan for being there, now confident that she's beaten the rap. But she really throws a hissy fit when she realizes that there was a recording device in the office and that Ethan probably has the goods on her. She has him detained, and I'm already totally fed up with how much time is being wasted on this entire plot line.
Kim gets called to the check-in at the gate, where Renee tells her What's Up. Kim realizes that Mrs. Cougar and GHH are bad, bad people, but she can't finish her conversation because GHH is standing right next to her (the man is a 10-point-10 in the creepy factor). Kim tries to distract the Cougars from noticing the airport security personnel moving in with all the stealth of Shaun Rogers at a buffet table by showing pictures of her daughter, which is usually enough to put anyone to sleep. But in this case, it worked about as well as we'd expect, which means that GHH is soon shooting Airport Security like the proverbial fish in a barrel and Kim has a knife at her throat, courtesy of Mrs. Cougar. But Kim has a pen in her pocket! (how many women actually carry pens in their pockets? I'm guessing somewhere around...none?). In any case, Kim stabs The Cougar in the leg, and when she drops Kim, she gets a case of lead poisoning from the only airport security officer GHH didn't already shoot.
Remember Kim bitching last week about the fact that her cell phone's battery was low? Well, it goes dead JUST before she's able to tell Renee where GHH limped off to. Which leads to Kim yelling out "Dammit" Her dad must be so proud! But lacking any way of communicating immediately with Renee, she could ask for help from Airport Security, but they are all strewn about the gate area with various bullet holes in them, so she must follow him herself.
Kim has actually manages to track down Greasy Haired Husband WITHOUT being discovered and captured. I'm not sure what to say here...I'm nearly in a state of shock. Oh, not so fast there, Mitch...GHH gets shot and crashes his car. Kim realizes that she must get some evidence, so she gets to the burning vehicle, reaches in to get the laptop, and promptly gets her wrist grabbed by the soon to be flambéed bad guy. Luckily for Kim, it wasn't much of a struggle, as the flames made it impossible for him to hold onto her. Hope you liked the fire, GHH...I get the feeling you'll need to be getting used to it.
Swerb brought up a good point last night on the radio show. He was saying that after she yelled "dammit", AND managed to not get captured, it would have been great if she would have totally channeled her father by yelling to GHH, "WHO ARE YOU AND WHO DO YOU WORK FOR!?!?!?"
As it was, that was a great look from Renee when she chastised her about risking herself for a laptop that probably couldn't be de-encrypted, and Kim fires back, "run a D11 inverse router we may able to backtrace the signal to the people that have my father. I used to be a CTU analyst". Which of course means that Kim is also better at this type of stuff than Janis. Then again, I'm sure Forest Gump would be as well.
At the White House, Olivia is exhibiting way too much hubris when it comes to Ethan, going totally Gestapo on him, and finally having an agent search him, which reveals the data card he took from his office security device. She smugly tells him to go now that she has the evidence in hand (which she destroys). Outside, Ethan walks next to Aaron Pierce, who slips the real data card out of his sling, which he gives to Ethan ("good thing I'm a paranoid sonuvabitch"...hah!). Ethan gets back to the car, and has to disconnect his iPod recording of Rage Against the Machine before putting in the Olivia card, and getting all the juicy details.
Across town, the BMCG has set up another one of 24's most over-used set pieces, the "quickly thrown together medical facility in a dilapidated warehouse. There, Jack gets slabbed, and Tony makes his pitch to FakeTricia to get larger role in the BMCG. He also asks to see "the Top Guy". Hmmm...is this a possible clue to one last turn for Tony?
At the end of the first hour, Jack is being prepared for Harvest, and FakeTricia is pushing for a meeting between Tony and the Chief Blue Man. The Chief agrees, but first says that if he doesn't like what he immediately sees in Tony's eyes, he'll have to kill him on the spot. He tells her that he'll be there in 30 minutes. Psst...here's some advice for ya', Bud...bend over and kiss your ass goodbye. And so, we're ready for the commercial break, right? I mean, it's almost 7 AM, and that's usually a sign to wrap things up before going into the Last Hour.
But we have one more little fun bit, and that would be Jack waking up as they are unstrapping him, grabing some surgical equipment, and conducting a couple of ear-to-ear tracheotomies of the lab techs, followed then by strangling the doctor with his handcuffs.
The Bauer Body Count is back, baby! And it stands now at 28.
7 AM - 8 AM
Jack manages to sneak into a building that just so happened to have a cab inside it...and a big-assed wrench so that Jack could smash the window so that he could have hot-wired his 15th car of the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, Tony showed up and put a couple of holes on the gas tank. Jack gets the garage door closed on him, but Tony finds a forklift and gets it back open. Too bad Jack didn't have that front loader he used on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Assassin, as that would have been a fun thing to watch. Without it, Jack was about to take care of the potential bioweapon growing inside him by lighting a flare and blowing both himself and Tony up...but we still have almost an hour left, so obviously, we couldn't have that now, could we?
Ethan and Aaron waltz into FSO's office, and DROP THE HAMMER!!! Her look was absolutely priceless, but I do need to get some anti-nausea meds in me, as once she picked her jaw up off the floor, Olivia's groveling is about twenty kinds of disgusting. Ethan's having none of it, but he does at least give Olivia the opportunity to tell her mother herself. And you think it was bad when you had to tell your parents that you scratched their car when you were 16?
With Jack being captured once again, he tries one more time to reason with Tony, pleading with him to prevent him from being used as a pathogen. And welcome to another episode of As Tony Turns, as he admits that he had no intention of allowing Jack to be used that way...he was just saying that to get up close and personal with Chief Blue Man.
And now we find out Why.
Chief Blue Man, AKA Alan Wilson, was also the man behind Charles Logan, the assassination of David Palmer, the murder of Michelle, and the introduction of the Pontiac Aztec. I'm also suspecting that he's a close personal friend to Art Modell. Jack is not happy about Tony's means, but Tony doesn't give a rat's ass about the innocents that he's killed, further showing that he is what Jack would be without the grounding that he does have with Kim.
But Tony's not done being a total whacko, as he straps a bomb to Jack, so that Jack can be the one to kill Wilson.
Let's see how that will work out. Oops...not so good. Jack gets drug out to see Wilson, and Tony is fiddling with the cell phone he'll use to blow up the bomb...when who should appear but Renee in an FBI helicopter!? For the First Time this season, they actually brought around agents who could SHOOT!?!?! And here I thought that all they were good for was getting shot. Tony manages to do what Jack tried to do earlier, and that's to set off a gasoline explosion, which serves to help his escape into a warehouse. Renee gets to do some really bitchin' stunts, riding and shooting from the sideboard of the SUV until she does a perfect dive roll, shoots another two bad guys, and gets to Jack, quickly defusing the bomb. Have I mentioned lately that I'm totally in lust with her?
Before we go much further, let's take a second for a fond look back at FakeTricia, who came into this season as a cold, murdering bitch, and goes out as a cold, murdered bitch, as Tony gut shoots her...just because he can. And as we've seen all season, when someone gets shot in the abdomen, they are dead before they hit the ground. He then taps into his Inner Bond Villain, and instead of shooting Wilson right away, he holds a gun to his head while he talks, and talks, and then pistol whips Wilson, and then talks some more, and pistol whips some more, and then he evokes a little sympathy by telling Wilson that Michelle was pregnant with his son when she was murdered...which is the last piece of the puzzle as to why Tony went so far Over the Edge.
Yep...he talked just a little too long, as Renee plugs him in the shoulder (second time he's been shot there today). Jack gives him one in the forearm just for fun.
So Tony may be around for next season (once he breaks out of the maximum security psycho ward), and Wilson has been captured. Everything's good, eh?
Except for that little virus thing. And that little human leach thing whose mother is the President.
Renee goes in to have a little talk with Jack, asking about his secret torture techniques, as she's fully gone over to the Dark Side, and is ready to waterboard Wilson with some hydrochloric acid as he's refusing to cooperate. But Jack's gotten way too philosophical in his near-death state, and he talks her back down off the ledge. Good scene here as Jack has become the mentor to Renee when it comes to telling her how difficult of a balancing act it is to know what to do and when to do it; knowing full well what it might cost you personally and professionally.
Family meeting time at the White House. Olivia is still an obnoxious beyotch, keeping the same condescending tone with her parents as she's had all day as she tries to explain why she's about to bring down her mother's presidency just because she was a spoiled little princess who thinks she should always get her way. Now we know WHO gave her such a level of self-entitlement, as the First Old Man is almost as bad as his daughter, demanding that Allison protects her, while at the same time giving her part of the blame for their son's death. Nice.
What a Cute Moment between Chloe and Janis, as Chloe sort of compliments Janis, and Janis sort of acts like a real human being. Let's exchange recipes!
Enough of that. Jack's in the hospital...and it's iman Gohar...who Jack has requested to come for a bit of a last confession/absolution. Another excellent scene as the two men discuss forgiveness and acceptance of the inevitable. Gohar tells Jack "let us both forgive ourselves for all the wrongs that we have done". Jack tears up, and then simply says "it's time".
Allison comes back into the Dysfunctional Family Room...gives both her husband and her daughter a kiss, and then has Olivia arrested. Sweeeeeet! The First Scarecrow isn't happy at all. Buck it up, Henry...if Hilary didn't leave Bill after all the crap he pulled in the Oval Office, I somehow don't think you'll be divorcing Allison.
Wilson is in the interrogation room after smarmily denying any involvement in any conspiracy, and challenging Renee to find any evidence implicating him on anything. So Renee decides to channel Jack, pulling a gun on Janis, and enters the room in order to go medieval on him, getting the pipe wrenches and blowtorches ready, but the screen goes black before we see what she does.
At the hospital, Kim makes it over there just in time to do the stem cell treatment, saying that she's well aware of the risks. She goes into Jacks room and holds his unconscious hand while Dr. Hottie rushes for a surgical team.
And the clock hits 8:00 AM
Interesting last hour when they discussed, on many levels, What Things Cost. Not just Jack and Renee, and Jack and Gohar, but also the counter-point going on with Allison and the First Dysfunctional Family. You could also extend that into the quasi-debate between Jack and Tony.
We know Jack is coming back for season 8...but will Kim still be alive? Could be interesting if she died during the procedure, but then Jack learns about his granddaughter. As mentioned earlier, it can be argued that only thing that separated Jack from Tony was the fact that Jack did have that grounding that came with a family while Tony didn't. Losing Kim would push Jack near the edge, but the responsibilities of being a grandfather should pull him back...maybe even giving him a "do-over" from where he failed Kim.
Is Renee maybe working for Wilson? I doubt it, but someone had to put it out there.
As noted, "24" will return next January for Season 8. We don't know much, but here it is.
•· It is supposed to pick up "shortly" after the end of season 7. By "shortly", it's probably between one to six months, based upon other factors.
•· It will be based in New York City, as CTU has been resurrected.
•· Renee Walker will be back, and it is speculated that she will be working with CTU. My guess? The torturing of Wilson got her canned from the FBI, but Jack pulled the strings to get her into CTU.
•· Chloe will be back.
•· No Janis!!!!!
•· Anil Kapoor, the Bollywood superstar who played the game show host in "Slumdog Millionaire", will play a middle eastern Interpol type agent.
•· (hopefully this gets started filming when it should, and isn't interrupted by Kiefer going to jail over that head-butt).
Our speculation from last night's radio show? Wilson wasn't the Top Chief, and the rabbit holes gets a lot deeper. With NYC as a backdrop, this could bring a lot more International intrigue into the equation, possibly serving as a set up to the 24 Movie, which Kiefer has stated would take place in Europe.
Gone, and for the most part, forgotten. Named characters now sleeping with the fishes (in other words, we don't care about the normal hundreds of nameless CTU/FBI/Police/assorted thugs, whose only purpose is to get shot, and whose only lines are "arrghh".
Gabriel Schector - Jack was about to take a pic pen to his ear canal, when he decided to give up the goods on Tony Almeida's location. Two seconds before he was to squeal, an assassin took him out from across the street. Bad timing...but he was our first victim.
David Emerson - Tony's early partner in crime was like a brother to him. A brother named Abel.
Samantha Roth - Former girlfriend of the DeadFirstSon...she paid the price for covering up his murder, being stabbed by Agent Brian right in front of the First Old Man
Agent Brian Gedge - Should have checked the dosage of that paralyzer you gave FOM
John Brunner - The Plant Manager at the chemical plant near the Kidron Kows. I miss his banter in putting Janis in her place.
Nichols - No other name for Col. Debaucle's flunky liaison to the JonVoight Conspiracy Group. Blown away by Renee (and I don't mean in the same manner that I'm blown away by Renee).
Michael Latham - Head geek who started all of this by being coerced into creating the CIP-36 Exploding Country Modulator. Exploded into a few thousand pieces himself to give Debaucle a diversion.
Agent Edward Vossler - His Special Forces skilz were no match for Jack's Extra Special Forces skilz. Stabbed in the gut, died in two seconds.
Marika Donoso - Stupidly believed the story Debaucle told her...bravely sacrificed herself to take him out. Her death caused Renee's eyes to first expand to the size of tangerines.
Erika the Skank - Traitor to her country, and boning the slimiest creep in the FBI, Sean the Snake. Shot by her lover in the gut, died two seconds later.
Col. Debaucle - Sadly disappointed that he was taken out by JV's friendly Dr. Assassin, and not Jack.
Mini-Debaucle - One of Larry's best moments, shooting the son of the Colonel just before he strangled Renee.
Bill Buchanan - Another former head of CTU bites the big one. The most depressing death of this season.
General F.U. Jobu - Didn't quite get fired off on a rocket and then impaled on a re-bar like he did in "The Rock", but Jack putting five holes in him was nice.
cRyan Burnett - Might have been the season's biggest weasel after Sean the Snake.
Senator Red Mayer - Knew it was coming once he had the "I'll be your mentor, Jack" speech.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Assassin - The fight in the junkyard was the best mano-y-mano event of the year. Especially when Jack took a front-loader to him.
BoardRoom Dougie - Most laughable death of the season as JV beat him with an empty decanter and threw him over the railing.
Empty Suit Larry Moss - Total ping-pong character as he bounced back and forth from being a help or a hindrance to Jack. In the end, it was the Good Larry that was killed by Tony.
Galvez - Shouldn't have tried to cheat Tony about the location of the canister.
Jonas Hodges - Was dead to me five seconds after Jon Voight did his first bit of over-acting...which was the first time he opened his mouth.
Sarah the Cougar - In season 2, Kim at least let the cougar live. But killing this one won't result in getting the ASPCA upset.
Bob, the Greasy Haired Husband - barbequed in the airport parking garage.
FakeTricia - Shot in the gut by Tony, died in two seconds.
It's been a fun year, everyone! Thanks for tuning into this surreal slice of life every week.
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