All right, it’s 10:00 AM and no one has had a mid-morning nosh yet? Don’t tell me that the Beltway is devoid of coffee and bagel shops? Ah, the non-existent nourishment… a staple of 24. That and the lack of exciting costume changes. I’m already getting tired of seeing Jack in that trench coat. But if I wanted fun clothes I’d watch Sex and the City (which I do – in case there was a bet going or something).
And on with the show.
Taylor’s Secretary of State comes to see her with the unfortunate news of Colonel Dubaku’s demands. As we expected, he’s threatening more disastrous events like planes crashing and whatnot if Taylor does not move the US troops out of Sangala. And we’ve noticed that at every turn, her Chief of Staff Ethan Kanan suggests that a U.S. military presence in Sangala might not be so peachy. And now, with the line clearly drawn in the sand, Kanan keeps pushing for withdrawal. I’d agree with him, except for his most interesting and disturbing conversation with poor First Gentleman Henry Taylor.
Ethan told Henry that he needs to forget this conspiracy theory regarding his son’s death. According to Ethan, Roger was about to be investigated by the SEC for some unsavory money dealings. Again, this goes back to what we’ve learned earlier during Redemption — it was Chris, Roger’s friend who was involved in something troublesome. Roger was ready to try and help Chris before Nichols (Chris’s boss) and baddie Jon Voight’s “Jonah Hodges” had Chris killed. And we knew there was a connection between Nichols, Hodges, and Dubaku as well.
So, can we, and more importantly Taylor, trust Hodges? More questions of trust and betrayal come up when Jack gets the chance to interrogate Tony. Stoic Jack must still be struggling to understand that Tony is not only still alive, but not a very nice guy. Certainly Boss Moss (that does just roll off the tongue nicely, doesn’t’ it?) is not thrilled to have Jack anywhere near Tony, but Renee convinces him that it just might work. Oh, and it does work, just not the way that anyone expected, least of all Jack.
Tony really does not say much at first, but he finally talks about how he became embittered after Michelle died, and held the government responsible. Although he didn’t use words like “embittered.” And he hopes Jack will commiserate, so he reminds him about Audrey, Kim, Teri – that his personal life has been all kinds of f**ked up since working for the government. Jack gets appropriately pissed and does a trademark slam-against-the-wall move on his old pal. Just what Tony was hoping for.
No, he didn’t work a fancy self defense technique, instead he mutters, “I really can’t lie”, or maybe it was “eat more pie.” But when Moss and Renee burst into the interrogation room, Jack leaves and makes a phone call. Ah, it was “deep sky”, an old CTU code phrase. So, Jack responded the way he was trained by punching in a number and giving the code.
And this was a sweet moment; Jack is connected to Bill! I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until I heard Bill’s voice. Didn’t know exactly when he and Chloe were due back, just that they would be part of the show. Nice that they didn’t keep us waiting for too long. So, the thing is, Tony has actually been working undercover. Now he’s not all sweetness and light and puppy dogs, he actually was recruited by Emerson, and partook in some nasty deeds, because of his deep-seated resentments. But when he realized what Emerson was planning do with the CIP, he decided to contact Bill Buchanan and “turn.”
Elsewhere in the FBI office, Renee had put Janis on a security task. She told her about the suspected breach, and while Janis is working computer magic, she finds Sean Hillinger’s name come up where it didn’t belong. Cue dramatic music! But this, for now, is one of 24’s famous red herrings; we think Sean is bad because he poised his eyebrows just so, stared for a fraction longer at someone, or stabbed his computer keys with too much vigor.
But this vigor – as it turns out – was induced because his wife is actually on board one of the many planes that have been put in holding patterns in the sky. Sean has been trying to get more information on the flight’s status. Come on, wouldn't you?
And rounding up the hour is the exciting escape from the building, Jack has to temporarily knock out Renee with a sleeper hold, and he purloins the key-card. Poor Renee is all confused now, she thought she really could trust Jack. (Psst, Renee, you can – but you’re not supposed to know that yet). Anyway, Bill picks them up and brings them back to his lair – I mean his headquarters. (Did I hear right that it was an old, closed branch of CTU?)
And on we continue, back to the Oval Office. Poor President Taylor. She certainly does seem to have a good sense of command, and she’s got a fierceness tempered with humanity. She’s got to make an impossible decision, but even in her indecision she’s got a lot more class than Charles Logan did when he was faced with the choice of letting US citizens die from Sentox gas poisoning, or let his important ally – the Russian President Subarov – die from assassination. Allison Taylor thankfully does not express herself with those old nasty grimaces.
And Ethan is still pushing for withdrawal. What’s the matter Ethan, do you own a diamond company over there or something? Taylor meets again with the former Sangalan Prime Minister, Matobo and explains the situation. He empathizes but has to push for the end of Juma’s regime, with American aid of course.
After Jack dutifully admires Bill and Chloe’s setup, Bill explains that they don’t report to anyone. They’ve found evidence of corruption very, VERY high up in the government (no shit Sherlock!) and need to bypass certain folk in order to bring down Dubaku – and then Juma. They also need to get Tony back into Emerson’s group, and decide to bring Jack along as a bonus spy.
Emerson is no fool though, he initially welcomes Jack, but then decides that he’s not necessary. Jack, who has been waiting down in the rumpus room with a couple of goons, senses that things might not go well, and brings down both goons. Emerson then decides that Jack just might be someone to have on your side in a tight spot. He also gives them the next part of the plan. Kidnap Matobo. Cue dramatic music again.
While they head to nap Matobo, Renee and Janis have gone to the hospital. Our old pal Tanner (the sniper) has regained consciousness. My goodness it’s like watching Jack and Chloe. Renee is a quick study, and soon enough she’s waving her gun around, pointing it at Tanner, pointing it at the mirror, at bad art on the wall… No, of course, not, but she does threaten Tanner with her gun and then she blocks his ventilator. Meanwhile Janis is outside trying to stall Tanner’s lawyers with a song and dance. No Chloe scowling, but she does make geek girls proud everywhere.
Before Jack, Tony and Emerson reach Matobo, the FBI has been able to warn him of trouble. He and his wife are hustled off to a safe room, with Jack and Co. close behind. Luckily no Chinese consulates were harmed during the filming of that scene. Next week could be another story though. Stay tuned.
"Who ever it is, they're good!" (Janis Gold, referring to Chloe's busting in on the FBI's surveillance systems)