Last week, I had a hard time falling asleep after hour 14. I felt the unease — the doubt growing in my mind — wondering if our Audrey was a mole, a Nasty Girl, a Nina. Sure it’s very possible, but man, what a friggin disappointment this could be. I’m thinking this would have left a little hole inside me, the same way Edgar’s death affected me.
Let’s think about this for a moment. OK I’ll think – you read. We start off Day Five with David Palmer’s murder. I sort of did not expect that, but since we didn’t see him since Day Four (save the odd Allstate commercial now and again) there wasn’t the same emotional investment in place. Was a bummer to be sure, but what a way to start the day! Then within minutes, Michelle Dessler was down for the big dirt nap. That was sad; she was an adorable cast member, but there was so much action there wasn’t time for anyone to really process her death. With Tony banged up in ICU, we didn’t have the chance to see him all verklempt over things. So, we didn’t dwell on it much either.
Then you have your turncoats, moles, spies — 24 always has a few that are shown to us in the beginning — this year Walt Cummings was one. Last year we had Marianne Taylor, (Aisha Tyler). And of course you need the red herrings usually shown as some oddballs that might be basically OK. But they act so weird and squinchy that you just don’t know. Perfect example for this year was Lynn McGill, or Samwise as we lovingly called his crazy paranoid ass. Yeah, Sam was a bit fucked up, more of a Sméagol than a Sam — either on account of spending too much time near the Ring, or borrowed too much of sis’s drugs — or whatever. But in the end, he was noble Sam again, and his death was only mildly sad.
And of course, you have those folk who were born to be bad, and also born to look good. As in ‘good guy, or girl’. There was Nina, of course, and remember Marie Warner from Day Two? Yeah – exactly. So, I was hoping that Audrey wasn’t going to be another Nina or Marie, though it could be a nice twist.
And after all this build-up – was she or wasn’t she? Lets find out.
We pretty much start things off with Bill bringing the
Red, hey — wait a minute — White Shirts? When did the uniforms change? Sheesh, am I that unobservant? A nice change though. Thank you 24! Anyway, Bill has a couple CTU security guards in tow, and they take Audrey into custody. She’s acting all confused and innocent, but is this all an act? As she sits in an interrogation room, they wheel in The Machine, and damn if she doesn’t look scared. Hell, I’m scared and I know I’m innocent.
While she waits, much discussion ensues between Jack, Bill and Karen Hayes (the big wig from Homeland Security). Jack, though he ultimately just wants the truth, really doesn’t want to hurt Audrey, and doesn’t want to believe she could be evil. So, Karen questions his ability to be objective. You can’t blame her doubt. They agree that Jack will have 10 minutes to talk with Audrey before the Burke-meister has a go.
Jack had asked Chloe to look for links ‘tween Audrey and Robocop, or Walt Cummings. Boy did Chloe hit the mother lode of intel. She’s got all kinds of information putting Audrey in a hotel room with Walt. Ouch! So, Jack isn’t feeling all the love at the moment and proceeds to visit Audrey and coldly ask her questions about her involvement with either of the aforementioned dudes. She lies about the Walt/hotel thing, and you can see Jack’s anger building. He asks her to look in the folder with all the incriminating evidence – and of course she comes clean. But why oh why Audrey dear – did you keep this a secret?
Ah, shame. Shame she felt, knowing that she bedded a spy. Shame that she shacked up while Jack was still alive. Jack was quick to point out that that part was OK — since she didn’t know he was still alive. But still, Jack has all this pent up angst — all the death and bad guys getting away — and you name it. Well he has to do something with this – so he shoves the desk out of the way, and slams our little Audrey up against the wall. Evidently this must be the litmus test for truth or something. Jack’s been doing this a lot lately. Anyway, Audrey squeaks out that she’s innocent, and its good enough for Jack. Whew. I’ll have to remember this technique when I quiz my kids on who took the last Dove Bar from the freezer.
I was going to note how I rather enjoyed this episode because there were no scenes at the Prez’s retreat. But wait, what about poor Wayne Brady who was forced off the access road and shot at? Aaron got to wondering too, and decided to set out looking for his pal. Evidently they weren’t all that close, because as Aaron got in closer proximity to Wayne, Wayne didn’t recognize him and aims a nasty looking weapon at Aaron’s poor bandaged head. Finally Aaron’s like: “Whoa dude, it’s me” And Wayne’s like: “Whoa, sorry dude!” And I’m like, whoa, wicked relieved.
This really can’t be an all CTU show though, and of course, we need to check in on our pal Snakehead and crew. Their storyline is enhanced this week with a nice fake fight intended to lure a couple of uniform cops to the scene. Some baddies/hostiles are whaling on each other, cops show up, ask bad guys to make nice and stop fighting when – wow, other bad guys pop out of nowhere and start attacking the cops. So this wasn’t Jets Vs. Sharks – and officer Krupke is down. He and his partner are dead, and the hostiles take their uniforms and squad car so they can act as a fake police escort for the Truck ‘O Death – and be able to pass freely through any roadblocks in place due to the whole Martial Law/curfew problem. But where oh where is this crew headed?
Back at CTU Jack and Chloe feverishly search for more info that would connect Colette Stenger with Robocop. Yes! They find records of eight phone calls between the two, and that supposedly trumps over any silly immunity agreement that Colette babe had with the U.S. Government. There’s the little matter that this fact has to be communicated with the Prez so he can rescind the immunity deal. But our Jack waits for no bureaucratic nonsense while he can instead be strong-arming anyone who gives him crap, and so he heads over to holding to visit Colette the Broker Babe.
I don’t know why they showed her trying to break the chains that bound her, unless that was some sort of art-house attempt at metaphor. Anyway Jack does his version of shoving her up against the wall, or back into her chair, or something. Actually he just shoves a gun in her face – but it felt like he was shoving her up against a wall. When she learns that the jig is up, meaning that they know all about the eight phone calls and all – she pretty much gives up the rest of the information. “Oui, Snakehead and crew are taking the party to a natural gas distribution plant.” Bingo! ‘Course, there has to be more than one of these plants around – so to find which one. Hmm. Chloe and company work on that problem while Jack remembers that Audrey is in trouble.
He races towards the interrogation room. Whoa, talk about feverish; Audrey is one sweaty chick right about now. Burke is working his best Marquis de Sade mojo, and I’m not sure exactly what is IN that IV she’s hooked up to, it seems pretty icky. She’s whining and sweating, and moaning and groaning. Burke asks her what she had for breakfast:
Audrey: “I’m on a very freaky TV show that doesn’t show any of us eating, let alone going to the bathroom – how would I even accomplish the feat of a simple breakfast – how?
Burke: “Listen wench – you’re going to tell me, and tell me now – bagel or cereal?”
Audrey: (gasping) “Oh God, I’m lactose-intolerant – there’s NO WAY I would have had – cereal.”
Burke: (switching gears) “Walt Cummings, boxers or briefs”
Audrey: “Oh God – why are you doing this to me? He wore – he…wha…wore…”
Burke: “Tell me NOW, damnit!”
Audrey: “A th…a tho… he wore a fucking thong! – Oh I’m gonna hurl”
Luckily Jack didn’t hear that part, but he burst into the room right after, and disconnects her from the awful Machine. They hug for a second until Bill or someone calls Jack back onto ‘the floor.’ Audrey tells him to go, she’s fine, just sweaty.
Sweaty too, is Sam our poor gas plant manager. Snakehead and company just showed up shooting first and asking questions second, and then shooting some more, and some more still. Finally when they ask Sam to “take them to the control room,” one of the other co-workers tries to intervene – and gets killed, right in front of Sam. Snakehead asks again:
Snakehead: “Take us to the control room!”
Sam: “Sure, just let me change my shorts first”
They proceed to tell Sam the master plan, and of course he’s supposed to manipulate the controls to reduce the pressure – all with the requisite shaking hands and trembling jaw. Poor Sam!
Meanwhile the CTU smarty-pants find the location of all the gas plants – but don’t know where to start. Newbie smarty-pants Shari Rothenberg remembers something from college chemistry – that the nerve agent will be rendered inert while the gas is at 100% psi. So therefore, the bad guys need to reduce the psi by 50%. Quickly Chloe scans her computer for any plant that shows a reduction in pressure in the lines and finds one. Cool!
While Jack and the strangely silent Curtis and other TAC team-ers go off to stop Snakehead – let me fill you in on Shari. She’s this chick from ‘downstairs’ that was sent up to replace Edgar. Chloe really wants to treat her with her usual warmth and compassion, but is strangely intrigued of Shari’s tales of a previous bad encounter involving a sexual harassment suit with the oily Miles (Homeland Security tag-along) Yes, Miles – the James Woods-wannabe is still hovering, ever the sour-puss. As he confronts Shari with some minor work issue, Chloe steps up and in his face. It’s quite the beautiful moment actually. Gurl Power – yeah! But things get pretty strange, pretty fast.
Right after Shari dazzles Bill and Chloe with her chemistry wizardry, Bill thanks Shari with a casual pat on the back. The movement was so casual and brief I wouldn’t have even noticed it – except for Shari’s previous mention of sexual harassment. So, I’m starting to have fun with the moment, providing my own dialogue and all, when Shari ACTUALLY SAYS: “Did you see the way his arm brushed across my shoulder as he walked by? He should not have done that. That was wrong.”
Oh MY GAWD. What a whack job! You know what Chloe is thinking, No fucking way, she did NOT just say that!
While Shari continues her descent into madness, Jack, Curtis and gang start their descent from their soundless chopper. (Yes, the plant noise did mask the chopper sounds). They pretty quickly find most of the hostiles, and realize that they have to detonate just about the whole gas plant so the Sentox – fill in your own suffix here – will not reach the population of greater Los Angeles. CTU TAC team makes it out of the plant, along with whatever plant personnel are still alive, and we wait anxiously to see if Jack makes it out. Whew – he does, but wait, he goes back for Snakehead. Well, that’s what makes Jack Jack. They scuffle about and Jack tries to get him the police car to drive out of the mess, when the explosions are too close, and the cop car seems to actually blow up as the clock ticks down the final seconds.
Come on people – not to worry. We’re talking about Jack Bauer – sleep well.