To say that this season has been interesting so far is like saying the weather sucks in New England. But I can’t help but feel like we are deep into an alternative dimension here – a world where Jack, although still quick, terse, and always on the side of good, is not quite himself. He has not yet uttered a hearty “Dammit!” yet, instead we’ve heard Renee (more about her in a minute) say it, and in this fifth hour the honor went to Larry “The Boss” Moss.
Renee Walker must be Jack’s twin, right? She’s breaking protocols, not answering her boss’s phone calls, torturing suspects, and getting nice and angry. Although she seems a little too controlled and contained to have Jack’s sort of emotional baggage – she certainly seems to share his investigative methods.
And of course we’ve all picked up on the parallels between Janis and Chloe, the same mix of bossy submissiveness sprinkled liberally with Girl Geek sensibilities. Internet message boards anticipate a Gold/O’Brian showdown. Just imagine!
We last left off in Matobo’s safe room, where he and wife Alama are trying to remain calm, but now Alama realizes that if she’s captured, she’ll be used to get her husband to give up information, names of the Sangalese who are working with him in the hopes of restoring Matobo to power.
When Emerson realizes that the FBI are on their way, he is anxious to get things moving. And here’s where we slip off into that alternate universe – Jack starts to explain that with all the D.C. metro traffic, it’ll be a while before the Feds pop up. Oh sure, that’s all fine and good, but did this traffic algorithm ever apply back in L.A.? Ever?! What is going on here?
Jack prepares a mixture that produces a noxious gas that they introduce into the safe room’s ventilation system. Matobo is ready to succumb and tells Alama to just relax and let it happen. Poor woman though, she can’t bear it and crawls coughing and struggling to open the door.
Meanwhile, on the grounds of Matobo’s house, Renee is skulking around (of course defying Moss’s orders), but is shortly captured by an Emerson goon. Before you can say “Dammit” everyone (the coughing and sputtering Matobos and Renee) is hustled off into a non-descript bright yellow van. Right, tell me what’s wrong there.
And remember poor First Gentleman Henry Taylor, he’s commiserating with his Secret Service pal Gedge, tells him about the meeting with Sam and shows him the thumb drive (Sam’s proof that Roger was murdered). Agent Gedge tells Henry that a friend can help decode the drive. Henry is game and off they go to the friend’s apartment.
No, Henry, don’t do it. I don’t like the looks of your man Gedge! Go straight to Allison! (right, like the Oval Office is all kinds of safe). But Henry does not listen to me, and they end up at the friend’s penthouse apartment. Henry realizes that it’s Samantha’s place, and when he sees Gedge snap on some plastic gloves, he knows this is not a cleanliness inspection, nor a proctology exam. At the same time, he’s fallen, stricken on the floor. Nasty Gedge spiked his Starbucks with a neuromuscular paralytic agent so Henry is conscious but cannot move. He overhears Gedge telling someone (the Very Nasty Agent Vossler) that it’s time to bring Sam to the penthouse, and stage a murder suicide.
Tensions are escalating back at the FBI office, Moss is dammit-ing all over the place (OK, just once) and Janis and Sean are having a bit of a gossip, Janis conjectures that Moss must have more than a professional concern about Renee’s capture. And speaking of non-professional behavior, Sean – who is married – and Erika (some blonde chippy) are commenting on “last night” and how fun it was. Oops!
There’s no fun in the bright yellow van. Emerson reports that Renee must be killed, and tells Jack he’s the man for the job. They pull into an abandoned construction site. Jack sternly marches Renee to a ditch a distance away (and out of earshot). He gets a chance to whisper that she needs to trust him in order to stay alive, and proceeds to shoot her. Naturally he just grazes her, producing enough blood to look convincing. He then tosses her into the ditch and covers her with a plastic tarp.
He is rather pleased with himself until Emerson tells him and Tony to go back to the ditch and bury Renee. Of course Tony is not surprised to see that Renee is still alive, but there is not much that either can do to help her right then. So, they need to bury the girl to keep their own cover. At least she won’t have to rely on the one inch punch to get out of this fix, provided she does not bleed out before she can escape.