So yeah, that white coat – egad is that nasty looking or what? I know, I keep going on about Audrey’s coat. Who knew a person could bleed that much and yet keep her composure? I guess that tourniquet job of Jack’s did the trick, yet it sure doesn’t look very, constricting? I just had blood work done today, and that ole plastic strappy thing they used on me was way more uncomfortable than the forklift cable appears to be.
Anyway – remember last week, Prez was confronted by Defense Secretary Heller, but soon as he got the crucial phone call from Robocop, he turned the tables, and demanded that Heller tender his resignation. So, Heller left in a huff, and is now calling the security staff he left at pokey little Van Nuys Airport. Well his staff is now stiff, meaning his guys are dead – and Jack answers the security guy’s cell phone.
After getting over his surprise at hearing Jack answer, Heller relays the problem of Logan not resigning. Jack is not all that sympathetic towards Heller, and hangs up on him. He then calls Chloe, and asks her for yet another satellite feed. What would we do without satellites? Satellites and protocols -can’t live without them. Oh, and cell phones. And PDA’s. Um, yeah, that’s about it.
So, Chloe — who is at Bill Buchanan’s house — starts hooking up her laptop to synch up with his PC, and Bill pretty much lets her run the show.
Chloe: “I hope you don’t mind me bossing you around.”
Bill: (bowing deeply, over and over) “I am not worthy.”
I have to say, Bill has really been super laid back for most of this whole horrific day. Not quite like Curtis, but still, he’s pretty calm. I think he’s gellin’.
Logan however, is NOT gellin’, not when Robocop tells him that, damn it, Jack is still alive. They discuss the incriminating recording, and Robocop lets Prez know that he needs to keep it safe for an insurance policy. He brings up Walt Cummings. (You remember him – dead guy, hanging in the hallway?) Robocop doesn’t want to end up like that.
Of course, this conversation happens while Robocop is what – Anyone? Anyone? Driving around. It was mentioned last week in our 24 Blogcritics series that the man sure has been spending an inordinate amount of time behind the wheel. And now Chloe has zeroed in on him with her satellite. She gives his position to Jack and Audrey who are following in a police car. Audrey begs Jack to make the siren go ‘Wooo-Wooo’ but he won’t. Spoilsport. But wait, they can still have fun and make like an episode from Cops.
They are actually quite close to Robocop’s car, and as they approach, they turn off their headlights. Closer and closer they creep, inch by inch – and suddenly, without warning THEY PUT ON THE HEADLIGHTS! Flash! Crash! Robocop is so surprised; he drives right off the road. Audrey claps her hands in delight. Then she remembers she’s supposed to be hurt, she goes back to holding onto her arm.
They corner Robocop in this nursery building — no, not the kind with babies — the kind with plants and flowers. Anyway, Jack approaches with his gun drawn, asking for the recording. Naturally, Robocop doesn’t have it. Jack is itching to pull the trigger, but Robocop hits them with the info about Heller. The henchmen have been ‘shadowing’ Heller, and will kill him if Robocop doesn’t make contact periodically. He consults his watch – “And that would be in about…5, 4, 3…” Audrey is beside her self. (Which is a neat trick in itself, considering the blood loss and all — there’s barely enough blood left for one Audrey, not to mention the one beside her — but I digress)
Jack calls his Girl Friday, (Chloe) and they get Heller on the phone. He too is driving around. I guess gas prices in the metro LA area are like — oh I don’t know — a dollar a gallon? Heller confirms that there is a chopper chopping above him, and he quickly realizes why. Especially when he sees that little red laser dot of death on his chest – he senses he’s a dead man driving. Because he wants to set things right, and not to mention fuck up Logan and Robocop’s plan – he decides to drive his car right off the road, into a lake. Audrey is having quite the freak out by now, poor thing.
OK, I have a bit of an issue with this. Besides that it’s pretty lousy for Audrey, now that Heller is dead – or at least presumed dead – won’t this only fuel Logan’s lies about his impending resignation? I don’t know, it just doesn’t sit well with me. Jack saw the whole ghastly thing on his PDA, and is just about at his breaking point. He lunges at Henderson, Audrey yells for him to kill the SOB, but instead, Jack punches him, knocking him out.
As for the bad guy who is still conscious, Prez Logan – he’s got another secret cell phone call going on. It can’t be with Robocop, we know he’s out cold. Oh no. You have to be kidding me, right? Another bossy bitchy bad guy? Oh please! Sure enough, Prez is on the phone with Dr. Romano? Oh great, he was a prick in ER, and he’s a super-prick here on 24. Yes, this week Paul McCrane* (of Fame fame – and the aforementioned ER) joins the cast of 24 as Graham. Not sure exactly who he is, and how he fits into the scheme of things, but its clear that he makes Logan nervous. Dr. Romano wants him to keep a lid on Mad Martha. Prez promises he will handle things.
Martha however, has her own agenda. She’s trying to solve the Pierce Puzzle. Sort of like Where’s Waldo, but without the stripes. She’s been asking the other Secret Service guys about Aaron, but they are either all dumb or playing one on TV. All anyone can say is that Aaron got transferred. Martha isn’t buying. “At one o’clock in the morning?” Damn if she doesn’t have a very good point there.
But those questions really get her nowhere but locked up. Yeah, after a few too many questions, she is brought to a room and locked in – under the pretext of being able to meet with her husband. The room is empty and the phones don’t work. Now, if she wasn’t paranoid before, this ought to do the trick. Eventually though, Prez stops by for a visit. He tries to explain the events of the day, as only he can spin it – but he actually tells her more truth than she can handle. This is one tough truth pill to swallow. Jean Smart did well here, portraying a woman who just found out that she’s married to a monstrous stranger. Sounds trite, but I really could feel her pain. I am not sure I could share her resolve to keep quiet though. We’ll see how that goes.
A 24 episode wouldn’t be complete without a peek in at CTU activities. Miles stops by Karen’s office to report that they are a whole two hours ahead of schedule in the transition of HS taking over CTU. Whoopee! Miles is throwing confetti, Karen wants to curl up and make it all go away. They also get word that Bierko is waking up. Karen responds with blank stare. “You know, Bierko? The guy who almost got blown up at the natural gas facility? The guy who was running around with the Sentox? The guy they keep calling Snakehead?”
Oh, that guy, right. Her head reels even more when Shari explains the reason for letting Chloe leave confinement. “I mean, really – some silly prattle about President Logan being like – some kind of bad guy? And people think I’m crazy?” After she leaves, you know that Karen is hearing that perennial Star Wars line in her head, “I have a bad feeling about this.” Miles’ only feelings are glee, as he swiftly traces Chloe’s position via some sort of technical method, which I cannot understand nor reproduce here.
Jack regretfully leaves Audrey alone with the unconscious Robocop. He needs to find the car that Robocop rendezvoused with a few minutes earlier, which Chloe has told him returned to the other side of the airport. Time, as always, is of the essence, as the plane appears to be preparing to depart. He leaves a cell phone and a gun. (Right, forgot above that guns come in handy too, at least in Jack’s World). While he’s off to the other side of the airport, Robocop wakes up. Immediately he begins to plant all kinds of doubt seeds in Audrey’s mind. Hey, it’s a nursery, its appropriate.
Robocop: “You know your dad could be alive, it could happen. Pockets of air and all that.”
Audrey: (Brief hopeful look)
Robocop: “Listen, girlfriend, are you nuts? The dad-ster could be alive!”
Audrey: (Steely grimace) “Do you think I’m stupid? Besides the fact that I wore this impossible white coat? All I have to do is make one phone call, and your henchmen will zoom in.”
Robocop: “My henchmen are like, seconds away dude. You are toast.”
Audrey: “Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up…”
CUT TO COMMERCIAL
“Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up…”
Finally, Jack calls the cell, Audrey answers, and Robocop mouths the words, ‘Thank YOU, Jack’. Jack is warning that baddies are closing in fast, but so is Curtis. Audrey doesn’t want to leave Robocop alive, she moves to him and levels the gun inches away. Poor thing bursts a few blood vessels in her face as she tries to shoot him, but can’t. The sound of choppers reminds her that she really ought to get the fuck out of there.
She tries to hide elsewhere, while Robocop is telling his men to find Audrey and kill her. Tension mounts, nails are bitten, breath is held. She finds a hiding place behind some bags of soil or fertilizer or some such. Oh, no! Suddenly a hand covers her mouth, but – whew, it’s Curtis. Awesome! We’d forgotten what the man looked like. Oh, and Audrey is safe too. Bonus! Oh, and they capture Robocop. Gravy!
Audrey calls Jack and fills him in. He’s got to stay and to try to figure out who the ‘drop’ was for the recording. He assumes that whoever that person was, they are now on the plane. He keeps pestering Chloe for the passenger list. “Jack, you’re an idiot – I can’t just whip this up out of nowhere. You know how hard it is to break into the State Department’s database.” Jack holds the phone away from his ear. In the background he can hear Bill’s voice, “Yeah, what she said!”
Karen Hayes meanwhile, is listening to her inner voice. Too bad she didn’t listen when the inner voice told her that her hairstyle was far too severe for her coloring. But anyway, she calls Mike Novick. Mike has had similar internal rumblings and doubts. He cannot answer Karen’s questions about why Prez took the Jack situation away from the Veep, or what the damn evidence was to go after Jack in the first place. In one of the best lines of the hour, maybe even the season – Mike says, “It’s been a strange night.”
All right, that seals it for Karen. Quick as she can, she hunts up Bill’s phone number and calls him.
Karen: “You have to get Chloe out of there!”
Bill: “Chloe who?”
Karen: “Damn it Bill, I can see you both in my magic mirror! Tell Chloe that Miles used XYZ computer tracing tool.” Chloe nods.
Bill: “Karen, why change your tune now?”
Karen: “I screwed up, OK? There I said it!”
Immediately Bill begins to unplug computers and other incriminating high tech stuff. He tries to give Chloe the boot. “No, Jack needs me, I must do this for Jack.” Bill makes a face behind her back, with the inner dialogue in his head ‘Aw forget Jack, he’s not here. I’m a real flesh and blood man right in front, ah… behind you. I can make you happy in ways Jack has never heard of – not even counting his time spent with those wild and crazy guys in Latin America’. No, not really, but allow me a moment. OK, done.
Chloe is still glued to her laptop, desperately trying to get the passenger list for that soon to be departing plane.
At the airport, Jack decides to climb aboard a tractor-trailer truck, hides on the trailer roof until he can get close enough to the plane. He spies some lonely luggage, climbs down off of the truck’s roof, puts on his hood – wait, he what? What is UP with that hood? I mean, Jack no disrespect here, but seriously. You thought that hood could protect you from the nerve gas.
OK I guess that worked. But now you look like the Uni-Bomber. Dude, not the best look, especially when trying to board a plane. Oh, and that satchel/European carryall? Just can’t take that thing off, can you. And now you’re grabbing more luggage. OK, whatever, at least you had the good sense not to wear white.
*Fun Trivia – McCrane also appeared in a past film project with someone else in Season Five. I hope you’re driven to find the answer. At least try to guess for a few minutes before you cheat with the Internet.