If this is indeed the final season of "24", then it is going out with a whimper and not a bang. Quite sad that two of my favorite shows are stinking it up so bad this year...and "24" isn't even the worst. Not after the ridiculous antics and plot devices going on this season on HBO with "Big Love".
The episode opens with Josef driving a big van with the words "Nuclear Rods R Us". No one will ever suspect. Vitaly Corleonovich calls his son, immediately telling him to "don't hang up...stay on the line". Yeah, he'll never suspect that they are tracing the call now. Josef mulls over the offer of immunity for a minute or two, and then decides that giving things up would be better than having a target painted on him for the rest of his life.
Which wasn't very long, as Fredo Hassan's goons HAD a target painted on him, and shoot him, making a clean getaway with the rods. Well, that made SOOOO much sense. Josef decided to screw his daddy over by killing a couple of associates and taking the rods, and then when he arrives near the drop-off point, he has a change of heart, but is killed for his efforts. I think David Andes, who played Josef, is probably now thinking that he was on a more realistic and intelligent show when he was playing the immortal Adam Monroe on "Heroes".
Jack calls up Renee and asks how she's doing. "Oh, let me think...I had to screw a guy that I absolutely loathed, and then he beat the crap out of me and then I took a knife to his eyeball before going totally Anthony Perkins on his ass...I'm fabulous!" Jack then assures her that his comment last week that she "had him" did mean that he wants her for the rest of her life. Which I'm now guessing would be no more than 15 hours and 50 minutes.
I'm also noticing that Renee's face has almost totally healed after being punched in the face less than thirty minutes ago. Just has Jack has not totally healed from being stabbed in the abdomen. Maybe Adam Monroe is related to these two.
Here is a first. Jack just said that he'd "be back in about 15 minutes". I thought it only took him five minutes to get anywhere.
Unfortunately, that means it's going to be 15 minutes of stupid subplots. In this case, it's Chief of Staff Rob Weiss telling BubbaHastings to scapegoat Renee. Why did he really need to do that right now? No idea...I'm beginning to think that the writers' meetings somewhat resemble bad moments on "Family Feud". You know...the times when the host asks "Name a city on the East Coast", and some genius spouts off "Seattle!"...and then the rest of his moronic klan respond, "Good answer!" Which is probably what the writers said when the Norman Einstein popped up with the idea that there is "someone from Justice" standing by and ready to go over to CTU within 5 minutes to frame...er...arrest someone.
It's time for my first drink of the evening.
Which will quickly be followed by just tipping the bottle straight up and chugging, since Cole has decided that tracking down Fredo Hassan can take a back seat to tracking down a cheating girlfriend. Who happens to be tracking down her hilljack ex-boyfriend, who is busy getting stoned in his van with JimRay and a couple of hookers.
Fredo's buddy Samir decides to hole up in a warehouse full of Samir's mercenaries since there is a concern that they won't be able to get the rods out of the country. So...in a move that was as shocking as finding out that water is wet, they plan to use the rods as a "radiological bomb" against America. Fredo wasn't initially too happy about it, but he agrees. I wonder where they will put it? I have absolutely no idea what target would be in New York that would appeal to some fanatical extremists.
The interrogation of Renee goes on, which still does not make one bit of sense. The Justice Department stooge Kristin is just another in the long line of characters introduced this year that is 100% unwatchable. Luckily, Jack shows up just in time to become an Enemy of the State again, knocking out the guard, and ending the interview by putting his hand around the throat of Kristin in what was my favorite bit of the evening. Very nice "have you no shame" comment from Jack...although he should be asking that question to the writers. As they head out the front door, however, Jack gets tazered.
Back at Terrorist Central, Fredo still looks about as comfortable as Tiger Woods at his "statement reading". Samir doesn't have a way of coming up with a detonator for his bomb, so Fredo says he'll call up a professor who can help...which is just a ruse for him to make his escape, as he never really was onboard with all of this. Since he didn't have a Bic pen this time, he had to make do with the big-assed-wrench that happened to be right there when he needed it most. How Convenient!TM
Jack gets taken into Bubba's office for the Big Pissing Contest, when they are interrupted by Fredo Hassan calling up. Good thing CTU is readily reachable by any cell phone dialing 9-1-1. I'm personally shocked that Bubba actually took the call, being that he was "busy" and this whole "terrorist catching thingy" is continually Priority 3 or lower with everyone there. Fredo gives up the info about Samir, and Bubba vows to rescue him...so cue up the funeral dirge...especially when Bubba finds out that Cole is nowhere to be seen. Jack could help, I'm sure, but Bubba dismisses him.
Back in Jersey, the "party girls" decide they've had all the redneck they can stand, and take off. As it now stands, these girls rank as the most intelligent new characters we've seen all year. Their departure also gives Dana a chance to take her gun to go do some tar-neck shooting. But before she can get there, Cole pulls up, leading to "the big confrontation scene" I had been looking forward to as much as my next colonoscopy.
As Bubba tries to brief the backup Ops guy, who looks about as capable to taking over for Cole as Curtis Painter is to replace Peyton Manning, Jack snarks about how tits-up the whole operation is about to go, and then volunteers to go after Fredo in exchange for dropping charges against Renee. Bubba, knowing his neck is already on the chopping block for all of the other screw-ups, agrees to this, but forces Jack to commit "for the duration of this situation". Wow...glad he did that...I was worried there for a moment that Jack was going to not be involved for the rest of the show. I'm also worried about the Cavaliers not playing LeBron James against Boston tomorrow night.
So Cole gives the KevinBobsie Twins the option of leaving the country and leaving Dana alone or going to jail. Luckily for all of us, JimRay is so stoned/stupid that he thinks he can come up with another plan, so he stabs KevinBob in the gut. Being that KevinBob is NOT Jack Bauer, he dies...but not right away, as he shouts a warning out first, so Cole takes out JimRay by unloading a shotgun blast into him.
KevinBob chokes out a last few words to Dana before going to the big NASCAR race in the sky (or elsewhere...whatever). NOW it finally looks as if our long nightmare is over.
Looks like next week we once again have the worst president ever threatening to bomb another nation if rouge agents who may or not be citizens of said nation manage to explode their device.
The next time we see an original thought this season will be the first.
It also looks like Mr. By-the-Book Cole Ortiz has suddenly made a 180 degree turn, and will now spend even more time away from his duties to the country to bury the bodies to help his fiancĂ© cover up her crimes. Now I am no Constitutional Lawyer, although I may play one on TV, but I'm pretty sure this could be included in the definition of "treason".
Another little hint from the very brief scenes might indicate that there are some Americans involved with the bad guys. Here I thought we'd already dispatched with Philip Bauer's Blue Man Conspiracy Group and the entire Jon Voight Conspiracy Group. Looks like we have the possibility of another retread plot device. Color me shocked!
Bauer Body Count
9. Nothing this week, although I was hoping that he'd snap Kristin's neck on general principal. But it looks like things will pick up next week as he has a boatload of Arab terrorists to dispatch.
Expiration Dates / Chances of Survival
Escorted Feet First Off the Island
KevingBob and his Hilljack Friend JimRay - Both dead by 1 AM.
Josef - Had him lasting until 2 AM with a 10% chance of survival.
Anticipated Time of Remaining Life for Key 24 Characters, and the odds that they will survive the "day".
Fredo Hassan - Dead by 2 AM. He's not going to be allowed to live after all the other bad stuff he's done, no matter how much of a "help" he's now being. Chances of survival: 10%.
Vitaly Corleonovich - Dead by 3 AM. I actually doubt it. With the rods in the hands of the Kamistralians and his sons dead, I think he's just bound for the Milk Carton and will not be heard from again. Chances of survival: 90%
Samir - Dead by 7 AM. The newest, baddest Arab terrorist will survive the firefight next week and will get the rods close to the target. Chances of survival: 0%
Ethan Kanin - Dead by 9 AM. Actually, he may STILL be dead already for all we know. Chances of survival: 75%
Achmed the Dead President - Dead by 1 PM. Didn't see him at all today...and the show still sucked, so I guess it's not him. Chance of survival: 67%.
Dana Starbuck - Dead by 2 PM. Another one who is more than likely going to prison, but may commit suicide. Chances of survival: 50%
Cole Ortiz - Dead by 2 PM. Don't disregard the possibility of both Cole and Dana dying, with Arlo honoring their memory by continuing the cover-up. Chances of survival: 30%
BubbaHastings - Dead by 3 PM. Only moderately more useful than a sea-slug this week. Chances of survival: 75%
Renee Walker - Dead by 4 PM. I think she obviously gets back in the action at some point soon. Chances of survival: 25%
Chief of Staff Rob Weiss - Dead by 4 PM. With an attack coming against the President, they usually miss that target and take out a flunky. One can only hope. Chances of survival: 75%
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