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24 Day 5: 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Aw, dang, the graphic violence warning won the NCAA tourney. I had Language and Suggestive Dialogue in the office pool.

The recaps show us Bierko trying to deal with customer service in the gas plant. We see Jack terrorizing Audrey. And lots of booms and fireworks as the Death Star explodes.

As we pop open a can of fresh, vacuum-packed episode this week, Bill is staring at Google Earth.

Audrey has forgotten all about that whole torture thing and is the voice of authority as she asks Curtis about Jack. Her hair and makeup are also remarkably composed considering she looked like Carrie at the prom just a short time ago.

The fire and rescue team is already at the gas plant. Sigh. It’s been no more than four minutes since the fireworks. I stopped being surprised by these things years ago.

Jack and Curtis rejoice that the gas was incinerated in the blast. Which makes me wonder, was this the smartest plan for the terrorists? I mean, if the gas was going into homes, wouldn’t it get burned up in the water heater, the stove, the fireplace, whatever? Well, it was a back-up plan after all. Perhaps Sgt. Bierko overlooked this in his haste.

What’s this? Who could it be striding out of the mist like a legend? Why, it’s Jack! And he’s got a sack of Bierko slung over his shoulder.

Audrey drops her head when she hears Jack is alive. Considering the way he just roughed her up, it’s not clear if she’s relieved or ticked off to hear that Jack survived.

Jack tells Curtis to get Bierko to CTU Medical. Well, Bierko’s a dead man. The only question is how. Perhaps Old Doc Besson will accidentally knock a toaster into Bierko’s bath.

Jack calls in. He says Henderson could not have planned all this. Henderson must be protecting someone important. Jack says, “I’m scared.”

We then cut to BOB. I suppose the juxtaposition is on purpose, to make us think BOB is the one Henderson is protecting.

Back at CTU, or should we start calling it HS, Karen is almost salivating at the prospect of taking over CTU. Why is she in such a hurry?

Miles, as unctuous as they come, suggests they smear Bill in an attempt to hurry things along.

Cut to who knows where. Henderson is there, talking to one of the bad guys. Bad Guy admits to letting Palmer escape. Buckaroo says they’re going to a fall back position. Considering how elaborate the current back-up plan is, this means they’ll activate the agents put in place in government positions years ago. These agents, raised in the mountains of Idaho and hypnotically trained to bark like seals when a secret code word is uttered, will gather outside the White House and then be activated. As crowds gather to watch the strange sight, an agent will slip into the White House unseen and steal the nuclear launch codes. Henderson will launch a missile, but will detonate it at its highest point, thereby destroying a Russian TV satellite. The Russian people, unable to watch reruns of Seinfeld, will riot and topple their government.

Aaron arrives at the presidential retreat. He has a trunk full of Palmer. Comes in handy if you’re stuck in ice and snow. A little Palmer under the wheels, and presto, instant traction and you can get out.

Wayne, shaking off all those explosions, concussions, and bullets, tells Aaron that David had a source in the White House. It was… dum dumm dummmmmmmmm… Evelyn.

At this point, Evelyn walks in to talk to Martha, who apparently is hard at work performing her Chief Speechwriter duties. Evelyn says she drafted a letter to the families of the victims at the mall. Hmmm? I thought the cover story was that the mall was an accident.

And huh? Evelyn says she has to go home. Home? In L.A.? If she’s the First Lady’s assistant, isn’t her home in Washington? So where is she going in L.A.?

(And recall, Walt Cummings’s wife is also there. Is this White House wasting taxpayer’s dollars by flying family members all over creation on these business trips?)

Aaron and Wayne enter the retreat and confront Evelyn. Wayne seems unnecessarily harsh with her. Wayne says he knows she was emailing David, and he traced the IP address to Evelyn’s address. (Her home in L.A.? erp.) But, he also says the content of the messages was deleted. I’m not sure how you preserve the IPs emails came from, but still delete the email messages.

Evelyn then reveals this week’s plot. Baddies have kidnapped her little girl. (So they brought Evelyn’s daughter on this trip out to the West Coast too?) Evelyn will divulge what she knows about who is behind this plot, but only if they help her rescue her daughter. Aaron helpfully points out these baddies will kill them both once they get the information Evelyn has.

Going into the first commercial break, the clocks are at :12 to :12. But coming back, the clocks are at :16 to :15. Our universe is hanging in there by its fingernails.

In the split screens, Jack towels off. Getting blown up in a huge gas fireball is dirty business.

Chloe will start data mining. Ah, it’s been weeks since we’ve heard that phrase, an early season favorite. I was beginning to miss it.

Karen says they are implementing a unit-wide backslash protocol, and Henderson remains an open protocol. Oooh, talk jargon to me, baby.

Wayne calls Jack (and has his cell number how?) and tells him about Evelyn. They arrange to meet in a barn off Service Road 19 in twenty minutes.

Miles pulls Audrey aside and has her read the letter he drafted blaming all of the world’s problems on Bill. Miles is practically dripping petroleum he is so oily.

I have a theory about acting. My theory is that except in rare cases, actors end up playing themselves. So in real life, the actor playing Miles must be a real beaut.

Miles says if Audrey signs, she can save herself and the DoD a lot of embarrassment. Audrey essentially says, “Frak you, you frakkin frak frakker.”

Jack calls in and tells Audrey about Evelyn. The baddies want to trade evidence for the girl. Jack thinks VP BOB might be involved. So, he needs a satellite retasked. Audrey tells Jack that HS is shutting CTU down, and she doesn’t know how she can arrange that. Jack barks at her, “Just figure it out!” Oh, ok. If it’s that easy…

And so Audrey launches Operation Dezinformatsiya. She goes to Karen and says she’ll sign the document, but on one condition. She wants Chloe assigned to her.

Cut over to Buckaroo in this industrial plant whatever it is. He has Evelyn’s girl there. Now, just when was all this set up? Buckaroo only escaped CTU in the last hour or two. He’s been busy stealing cars and cell phones. Was the meeting with Evelyn set up after he escaped? He had no idea he was going to be free at this time ’til a short time ago.

Clocks are at :29 to :27. We’re slipping back into the void.

In the retreat, Wayne and Aaron are strolling through the hallway and bump into BOB. Eek, even when he is standing perfectly still saying nothing, Ray Wise can look downright terrifying. BOB gets all teary-eyed about David. Is this acting? Well, of course it is, but I mean, is BOB acting? Wayne says he has a plane to catch. Um, are planes still flying, what with terrorist attacks and martial law and curfews and everything? How are passengers getting to the airport if no one can drive anywhere?

Chloe marches over to Bill and pleads with him to stop the madness. Bill’s fatherly advice is to stay focused.

Miles comes by. He says to Chloe, “You got a pass.” Chloe asks, “I did?” Oh, we love Chloe. Then, Miles waves Audrey in Bill’s face, saying she sold him up the river, ha ha neener neener neener. Audrey happens by at that moment, and coldly says, “I did it. I did it and I’m proud.” Bill is hurt, betrayed by a trusted confidante.

Evelyn and Wayne are in a car heading for the barn. Evelyn says she called David because she trusted him. The baddies call, and Wayne patches in Jack. Uh, just how does he do that?

It’s Henderson. He wonders why Evelyn took so long to answer. Evelyn lies and says she was going through security.

He already knows Palmer was at the retreat. Evelyn lies again and says she never saw him. Boy, Evelyn’s next confession is going to be a lengthy session.

Buckaroo tells her to come to 4615 Tarpin Street. (Just for fun I put that address in Google Maps. It asked, “Do you mean 16800 Tribune St?”)

Bill is on his way out, doing the walk of shame. He takes one last pained look at Audrey. Audrey goes and grabs Chloe, and Chloe wants nothing to do with Audrey. Audrey explains she had to sign the document to help Jack. Chloe is understandably confused.

Clocks are at :41 to :39.

Palmer and Evelyn are standing around the middle of a barn. Are there a lot of barns in LA? A car drives up. They keep standing there. I don’t know, I think I might hide till I knew who it was. At last, Wayne’s Spidey Sense kicks in and they duck behind a horse stall, but it’s just Jack. (How did Jack get through all the roadblocks?)

Jack calls Chloe and says a couple three times he’ll send her the address Evelyn got. Ok, Jack, no need to keep repeating it. Just send the address already. Jack needs her to check the place out with the satellite and start counting bad guy noses.

Wayne wants to come along, but Jack is not crazy about the idea. But, Wayne says he was a Marine. Jack replies, “You never saw combat.” Oh man, that takes guts saying that to a Marine. Hey, if you make it through Marine training, you’re a Marine.

But Wayne zeroes in for the kill. He says David died in his arms that morning and he is going. Period. Jack gives in. On the way out, Jack says, “Ya know, I was in the Marine Corps, too. Ran into some trouble when I served at Gitmo. Had a real psycho for a Colonel. Hey, how about we go give Henderson a Code Red!”

Back at the retreat (an appropriately named place for President Logan), BOB tells Logan Wayne was there. Logan says he didn’t see Palmer.

Jack and Wayne get out of a car somewhere. Evelyn isn’t sure she can go through with the plan. Jack says she can do it, all the way making sure he doesn’t tell us, the viewers, what the plan is.

Jack talks into a mike he got from somewhere. Perhaps he bought it at a roadside stand. “Testing 1-2-3.”

Chloe says there is a tunnel ahead. Okay, she sees this tunnel how?

Clocks are at :52 to :49.

Henderson checks in with Bravo. No visual on the mark. (Get set, go!)

Jack has his techno-magic device which allows him to see where the baddies are in real time. Jack terminates a couple of them with extreme prejudice. Wayne waltzes off to do the same, but freezes momentarily before dispatching a baddie.

Bravo is up in a sniper’s nest. Jack comes up some metal stairs, apparently unheard by Bravo only a few feet away. Jack knifes him. Eeewww. Jack then uses Ye Olde Garbled Radio trick to fool Henderson into thinking he’s Bravo and that all is well.

Evelyn arrives, and Jack mans the sniper rifle, which is about the size of a howitzer.

Henderson calls Daughter Amy “sweetheart”, which just gives me the creeps.

Henderson tells Evelyn to open all the doors and drop the keys on the ground in front of the car. Jack has a visual on Henderson and the girl. (Note to self: next year track how many times someone has a visual.)

And then the man in the back said everyone attack and it turned into a barroom blitz. There is a hail of bullets as Jack and Wayne open fire.

Incredibly, or perhaps credibly given this is 24, Henderson escapes in the car. Jack is. The. Worst. Shot. Ever.

Jack wants Chloe to follow Henderson with the satellite, but she endearingly says they’re scanning the plant, not the whole neighborhood. Jack helpfully tells her to reprogram it. Perhaps they should just call Fire and Rescue. They’ll be there in seconds and they can follow Henderson.

Evelyn took a bullet, and will need some attention but is expected to survive.

And now, she reveals the Big Secret. She says BOB has nothing to do with the plot.

We cut to Henderson. He’s talking to someone on the phone. He says he’ll put together another team and take care of the mess.

The person he is talking to is…President Logan.

Hmm. Hmmm. What does this mean? Logan wanted all these terrorist attacks to happen? This raises a whole lot of questions. Logan was apparently a wonderful actor earlier in the day, as he acted all flustered and scared and indecisive over the events of the day. How did Logan know Palmer was at the retreat and how did he contact Henderson so quickly? I think a number of things might not add up if we dig a little, but I don’t have the stomach for it.

The episode ends with the clocks at :60 to :56. Even our universe is in shock at this revelation.

Guest critic Paul won’t be joining us this week again. He was so shocked that his mentor, hero, and friend, Chuck Logan, is apparently a traitor, that he barricaded himself in his room and won’t come out. I’ve been trying to coax him out with Scooby Snacks, but so far no luck.

Number of times Jack says “Now!”: 17
Number of times Jack says “No!”: 8
Number of times a “protocol” is mentioned: 33
Number of times someone says a variation of “Go!”: 23
Number of moles: 4
Approximate Body Count: 73 (plus three rats, plus one human nerve gas guinea pig, plus 11 in the mall food court (and no, not from food poisoning), plus one security camera, plus 56 in CTU)

About Jeff Kouba

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Jeff, love these creative recaps. There is no question that Ray Wise has that strange look about him, almost weird even when he’s trying to be nice (about Palmer). That was “wise” casting to throw us all off on Logan.

    There are many things that don’t add up, but that’s the world of 24.

    ****Spoiler Alert:

    If my friend is right (says he has inside stuff), Tony will be on hand to get Jack out of trouble next week.

    Klaatu Barada Nikto!

  • http://www.jeffkouba.com/myblog/blogger.html Jeff

    Now that you mention Wise and Palmer, I’m kicking myself for missing it. BOB, confronting a Palmer!

    I admit, I was suckered into thinking the Veep was a bad guy. However, in last night’s episode, when they cut to the Veep right after Jack’s speech about Henderson protecting someone and he was scared, I got a little suspicious, thinking maybe that was a Clue Too Far. They seemed to be trying too hard to push that possibility.

    Hmm, about Tony, he’s gotta be dead. They couldn’t pull a cheap stunt like that and hope to get away with it, could they?

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Enjoyable rundown – one must indeed rethink the masterful strokes of that child-molestor Logan.

  • http://blogcritics.org Joanie

    congrats! This article was chosen for Advance.net

  • Paul

    Not only is BOB confronting a Palmer, BOB IS a Palmer. On another series, of course, but still.

    I can’t picture Tony still being alive either. He’d been living on borrowed time since he got shot in the neck back in season whatever-it-was. Nobody goes into CTU Medical with so much as a hangnail and lives, much less a bullet in the neck.

    So how many of you out there think that the writers knew Logan was Evil Incarnate from the beginning of the season, and how many think they dreamed it up after half the season had already been shot? I’m firmly in the latter camp.

  • http://www.jeffkouba.com/myblog/blogger.html Jeff

    Thanks, Joanie.

    And Paul, now I’m kicking myself for forgetting that BOB is a Palmer, too. I’m getting rusty in my old age.

  • Paul

    Speaking of the blurred line between 24 and Twin Peaks, we haven’t seen Mike for a few hours now, have we? Did the VP tear his arm off? Is he having an episode in a padded room because he’s running low on haloperidol?

    We should probably thrash ourselves with nettles for comparing 24 and Peaks. Then again, 24 now has two Peaks alums, Ray Wise and Kiefer. Hmmm, are the denizens of that sleepy logging town in Washington migrating south? Is it only a matter of time before Nadine Hurley shows up as Chloe’s mom and Dale Cooper takes over CTU to show them how it’s really done?

  • http://www.jeffkouba.com/myblog/blogger.html Jeff

    Good point. Perhaps Mike is out in a cabin, er, barn, in the woods, longing to see the magician.

    Ha, Nadine would be *perfect* as Chloe’s mom. I’d love to see those conversations around the dinner table.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Great fun Jeff.

    I’m not sure what to think about Logan. I’d say it was another red herring, like the Audrey thing of last week, but we did see Logan on the phone with Henderson, no?

    Eight more hours left to go!

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    I love Ray Wise being on this show, giving it just a little more over the edge feeling.

    As Paul noted, the earlier Logan is nothing like this Logan. Kiefer readily admits in interviews that the writers “make this stuff up as they go along.” That explains a lot, actually, but it also keeps us guessing.

    Another possibility: there are TWO Logans and the real one was switched for the fake. ANything can happen in the world of Bauer Power.

    *****SPOILER ALERT******

    Not only does my friend say that Tony will come to Jack’s rescue in Episode 17 (Monday night) but that good old President Keeler is coming back somehow and someway (to stop Logan?). I don’t know where he gets his spoiler stuff, but he says he has a “source” of some kind.

    We shall see.

  • Paul

    You’re right, Victor, it does keep us guessing, but as I said in one of my season four rants, there’s a big difference between the characters (and audience) not knowing what’s going to happen next, and the WRITERS not knowing what’s going to happen next. By pulling plot twists out of their, um, hats, they kneecap their ability to provide a real sense of cohesiveness over the twenty-four-hour span of a season, which to my mind means they’re pretty much ignoring what was supposed to make the show unique.