This show is becoming a cry for help. Please, if there are any professional psychologists reading this, contact Fox and help their writers in any way you can. Lives may be at stake.
Tony starts us off by telling us “multiple trackers” were planted on Beiruts. Well, yeah, I guess *2* counts as multiple. (Why haven’t the terrorists checked anybody else for tracking devices? Like Dina, Jack himself, etc…)
El Presidente tells us he has been flying for 20 hours! Later he also says he had been on a low-level state visit to Mexico. Well, Mexico is a long ways from the US. Takes time to fly back.
But why is he going to LA? Just an incredible stroke of luck for the terrorists? But then, how could they have planned the Mr. Anndderrson operation if they didn’t know where the President was going? So, LA must have been the original destination. But there are two problems with that. First, with the terrorist attacks of the day, why would the President continue on to his original destination after the attacks? You’d think the President would go quickly to the White House, or a very secure location. Worse, if LA was the President’s original destination, he would’ve been originally scheduled to get there hours ago. So why was Mr. Andderrrson planning his flight to leave at 10 pm? He couldn’t have known the President was going to arrive in LA at that time. Sigh.
The President said that in LA he wants to address the nation before the 11 o’clock news. Um, El Presidente? On the East Coast it’s already 1 am. I think you’ve already missed most of the nation’s 11 pm news.
Paul is out of surgery. Will he be ok? Jack calls in and wants to talk to Audrey. Ms. Raines is very distant with Jack. Jack has got be thinking of those lines from the late Renaissance school of poets, Motley Crue, who wrote “Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away.”
CTU big cheeses talk to Chloe about the raid on the warehouse where Jack was held. Chloe said the IR picked up 8 hostiles. But just minutes before, she had told Jack they hadn’t seen any activity. Well, which is it Chloe? I know she’s been out of the game for hours now, so she’s a bit rusty.
Mr. Annderrson is flying around in the Stealth fighter. When they first showed the plane in the hanger, it looked more like an F-14. I’m sure this show wouldn’t make such a dumb mistake as to use footage of the wrong plane. Naaah.
Turns out Anderson shared an apartment with another terrorist named Aziz. Aziz has been killed, but probably had backup data on a hard drive that could prove damaging. Marwan wants it, and so calls Anderson on his cell phone, up in the Stealth fighter, up in the air, flying around, to ask him about it. (I forget who Aziz is, and I don’t really want to go find out.) Marwan also talked to some dame who is searching the Anderson/Aziz apartment for the hard drive.
A question just occured to me. How did Anderson get off the ground? Was this a regularly scheduled flight? Was Dead Air Force Guy supposed to do the flight? If so, why was he with some dame in a hotel room a short time before his flight? How did Anderson, a complete stranger to the air unit, get by everyone? Nobody matched a name to id, or something like that? I know, never mind.
Marwan just “happens” to notice the sparking wires that Jack stuck together in his Macgyver moment. (The krazy kaptions said the wires were “fizzing”. Ha.)
Anderson says he is not trying to get himself killed. Um, then one wonders what he thinks he was signing onto. He wants Marwan to make sure his cover story is in place, that people have to think Anderson is dead. I think ol’ Mitch overlooked the easiest way for the terrorists to make people think Anderson is dead is to make sure Anderson *is*, in fact, dead.
Marwan, suspicious over the phone wires, opens up some case with red blinky lights and pulls out what looks like some kind of remote. NNNNNOOOOOOO! Marwan has the building wired to blow!! Goodness, this is the most prepared team in bad guy history. Marwan slips away from the main group of baddies, and is walking…somewhere. In some part of the building.
Jack and his team raid the warehouse. We heard a bad guy stealing a line from the good guys. The terrorist says “Go! Go! Move! Move! Move!”. Ha. Bodies are everywhere. Jack looks around, finds the computers, says he can’t stop them from deleting. Ok, Jack. Guess just unplugging them wouldn’t help. But Jack’s Spidey-sense kicks in, and he says “This doesn’t make sense.” Not clear exactly what doesn’t make sense. Then, Jack just happens to see the bomb, which is under a desk, complete with red blinky light AND it beeps! It blows, destroys computers, makes a mess of the building.
And… need I tell you? Marwan escapes. Yes, sports fans, once again CTU does a pathetic job of surrounding the building. You’d think they would’ve learned after botching the perimeter at the MF building, but nooooooo.
Just as one of the terrorists cacks, he whispers to Jack one of the oldie but good cliches, “You can’t stop it.”
We find out Paul is paralyzed from the waist down. Doc tells Audrey his recovery could depend on his emotional state. Audrey has a touching bedside moment with Paul. Hard to tell if Audrey was trying to judge Paul’s, um, future prospects of vigor.
Tony says LAPD something something their “search parameter”. Whatever that is. Michelle tells Bill that Marwan “slipped through the perimeter”. (Zounds, he’s a slippery one!) Bill asks the right question. (At least someone does!) He asks them how they let that happen. And Tony immediately gets snippy with him and says it doesn’t matter how it happened. Well, Tony, it kinda does matter, if CTU is displaying such gross incompetence at such a time. Sadly, Bill from Division is finding out just what kind of team he has there.
Jack says they found an area in the warehouse used for forging documents, and some survived the explosion. Naturally. They found some photos and names. Naturally. They’ll send them over to CTU for identification. Naturally. CTU takes one, and identifies, who else, Mr. Anderson, complete with history, in minutes. Naturally. Please, please make this pain go away.
Michelle says the FBI has sent an agent over to Anderson’s apartment. Anderson was on some kind of watch list, and was moved up the list when CTU “raised the alert”. Wait a minute, what alert? And what is the FBI doing? Sending agents to anyone and everyone on any kind of list?
And right on cue, a skinny female FBI agent shows up at Anderson’s apartment. Alone, naturally. No answer, the terrorette waits inside. So, oblivious of all need for warrants, FBI Gal opens the door and goes inside. She draws her gun even. Is this how the FBI normally operates? The guy may just not be at home, but they go in with guns drawn anyway? Well, the terrorette kills FBI Gal, just as her phone is ringing. Jack is calling. Terrorette impersonates FBI Gal, who was named Agent Drake.
(Somewhere, someone has a list of names for characters, and to keep it all nice and simple, like NPCs in some roleplaying game, the names all start with a different letter. We’ve seen Bauer, Castle, Drake, Hart, etc… I wonder how many letters have been used on that list.)
Jack is heading to the apartment. Why? We don’t really know.
On Air Farce One, El Presidente gets all snippy with his speechwriters over what he’s going to say in LA. He clears them out, then has a touching Dad scene with his son, Kevin.
Jack gets to the apt, he enters with just one other anonymous CTU agent. Terrorette is waiting with gun drawn. They do the “wait wait, I’m CTU” dance, and they all identify themselves. Terrorette doesn’t actually produce a photo id. Jack is the trusting sort.
In fact, Jack notices the place is a bit of a mess, and he asks Terrorette if the place was like that when she got there. She said no, the FBI had intercepted a call about some information being there, and she was looking for it. Now, that should have set off warning klaxons in Jack’s head. He should have asked if she had a warrant. He should know the FBI cannot just waltz into apartments and start tearing the place up.
(Guest critic Paul Foth deftly juggles protocols and adds “Waltzing into apartments and tearing them up is part of Jack’s job description, not the average FBI agent’s.”)
At Gestapo HQ, Chloe has some bad news for Edgar. The authorites probably can’t get to the area where Edgar’s mom dies for weeks, maybe months. Chloe says the reason is “half-life, the radiation”. Um, if it really is the radiation, the half-life would be a wee bit longer than a few weeks. Chloe then has a Chloe Moment, and tells Edgar he’ll probably have to “have the funeral without the body. Of your mother”. Thanks, Chloe.
We now have a little scene with Tony and Michelle trying to outdo each other with their patented, trademark sideways glances. Turns out Michelle and Bill from Division have a thing going. Tony is not pleased.
Because he is now distracted, again, about his mother, Edgar makes a classic mistake. He mistakes Row-major for Column-major. Oh, I hate when I do that. But, Chloe covers for him. Who knows why.
Jack and CTU Drone and Terrorette continue to search Anderson’s apartment. It’s been several minutes now, perhaps ten minutes or so. Which makes me think, where is the body of the real Agent Drake? How did Terrorette dispose of it? This “thorough” search of the apartment sure hasn’t stumbled across it. These terrorists sure are good at hiding things. Must have been part of their training. Like Beiruts hiding L’il Debbie’s car in a residential neighborhood earlier in the day.
CTU drone finds the hard drive behind an outlet. Terrorette stabs him in the neck, and takes the hard drive. Jack was upstairs and didn’t see this. But, instead of immediately leaving, Terrorette starts upstairs to apparently try and eliminate Jack. Why? You have the drive, just get out! Well, Jack’s Spidey-sense kicks in again, he goes out, sees Drone lying there, and gets in a gunfight with Terrorette. Jack shoots Terrorette through a post by the stairway, in a clever move. In the gunfight, Jack gets to utter one of his signature lines: “Drop the weapon!” Ah, the classics never go out of style.
Instead of checking out his Drone colleague, Jack immediately grabs a nearby convenient computer and checks out the hard drive. Access is restricted. (We see the terrorists have a UNIX group named “staff”. Ha! That’s hilarious. This terrorists are an organized bunch.)
Edgar gets Jack access in minutes with a little Magic. (part of which involves Edgar telling Jack to use “tab-arrow”. Edgar didn’t say *which* arrow, though. Jack must have made the one in four guess on the first try.) The hard drive contains flight simulator stuff involving Stealth fighters.
And, speaking of favorite cliches, after Edgar gets Jack access, Jack says the line favored by tv and movie hackers everywhere, “I’m in!”
So, Jack puts two and six together and gets eighteen, and realizes Anderson is probably trying to steal a Stealth fighter. CTU realizes that Air Farce One is the probably target.
El Presidente is warned. The Vice President is called, and told to be prepared.
(Air Farce One is just minutes from landing. Has Anderson just been flying around in circles this whole hour? How did he find the plane? Michelle mentions radar, but if Air Farce One was being painted with radar, they’d know it. This no makee sense!!!!)
Jack somehow Magically gets patched into communications on the Stealth, and talks to Anderson. Anderson doesn’t say anything. (Jack even calls him “Sir”. Ick.) Jack tries to talk him out of what he’s about to do. And, just as Magically, El Presidente is patched in and listens in on the conversation on Air Farce One.)
Jack says Anderson can stop this now, and he can proceed to land at Edwards Air Force Base. Jack does say “Edwards”, but the closed captioning says “Andrews”. Andrews AFB is on the other side of the country, outside Washington D.C. Oops. You just can’t find good transcriptionists these days. Edwards is about 100 miles north of LA, though. It’s not clear if Anderson left from Edwards. If so, that’s about an all time record for 24, for Anderson to get to Edwards from his apartment in under an hour.
Also, Jack tells Anderson he can get to Edwards by taking a *southeast* heading, something like heading 119. So, he and Air Farce One must be north to northwest of Edwards. Michelle says that Air Farce One could land in Palm Beach, to get on the ground quickly and avoid the threat Anderson poses. But, Palm Beach is in the southern part of the LA metro. If Air Farce One is north of Edwards, Edwards is by far the closer. Doesn’t anyone on this show ever pick up a map?
Let’s not bother with figuring out how CTU knows where the Stealth fighter is. Michelle had said, for the benefit of us dunce viewers who don’t know what a Stealth figher is, that it can’t be picked up on radar. So how can Jack give such a precise heading to Anderson if they don’t know where Anderson is exactly?
Anderson abruptly cuts off communications. He fires a missile at Air Farce One. On radar, we see an explosion. We are told that Air Farce One suffered an “indirect hit”.
And here the episode ends. The previews for next week give away what happens, but I won’t divulge that here. However, I will say that the previews show the storyline is spinning off into yet another insane crackplot.
Ground control to Major Tom. Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong.
Approximate Body Count: 120 (plus “many dead” near the nuclear plant)