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TV Review: 24 Day 5, 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Midnight! And the graphic violence warning just turned into a pumpkin.

The recaps show us Evelyn and Jack in the car. It’s really not clear if Henderson killed Evelyn and Amy. Though, hard to believe Henderson would leave them alive.

We hear Logan’s inspiring “None of this should have happened speech.” And, Logan telling Karen to apprehend Jack, top priority.

Again, this whole bit smells of the writers making this up midstream. If Logan really was dirty from the beginning, why did he reinstate Jack? Jack was going to go after Palmer’s killers. If Logan knew what was going on, why let Jack even get that close to the truth? And in his conversation with Henderson, Cummings was mentioned. Did Cummings know that Logan was behind his mission?

Apparently not, because in their scenes together before he hanged himself, Walt sure was convincing in acting like a guy who had no idea Logan was part of the deal. And Logan sure did a convincing job of acting like a guy who was terrified of the operation. And Itzin most likely had no idea at the time he really was the bad guy. If Walt knew about Logan, you’d think he’d have left a note before he killed himself saying “That rat fink Logan was part of this too.”

Another thing I’m puzzled about is why Henderson, I assume, also went after Tony and Michelle and Chloe. Who knew that they knew Jack was alive? And if the point of killing Palmer was because he knew about the nerve gas, why did Henderson think these three also knew? Why those three and not others? Cummings and Logan knew that Palmer called Martha, so why aren’t they worried that Martha knows? At the time it was played up that the three CTU agents knew Jack was alive. (and explained nothing about what that had to do with Palmer’s knowledge.) But when Henderson first saw Jack in his office, he seemed to not know that Jack was alive before that moment. Me no get it.

And so, as Day 5 turns into Day 6, or Day 5a, or something, a TV talking head is saying that martial law is in effect even though Logan just said there was no terrorist threat. Which is a pretty darn good point.

Logan is once again on the phone with Henderson, who is still driving around. Henderson says Bauer is not dead. What is this, the third time he’s relayed this happy news to Logan? Henderson says the city is locked down tight *snort* and CTU will find Bauer, and Logan should make sure he’s the first to know, so Henderson’s men can intercept.

Henderson’s men?! His brand new team is lying in dead, bloody heaps back at the bank. Has he recruited yet another team in the last two minutes? Chris Henderson: Master Recruiter.

So, Logan dutifully calls up Karen and chews her out, telling her to call him the instant they have something on Bauer. Miles is just popping out of his buttons he is so eager to nail Audrey’s hide to the wall.

We cut to Jack and Wayne crouching behind a car somewhere. And… Bill Buchanan shows up! What?! How?! When?! Did Jack call him? If so, when? After they escaped the bank? So Bill happened to only be two minutes away? Whew, that sure was fortunate. Yeesh.

As is abundantly clear, then, this city is not exactly “locked down.” People zip around with no trouble at all. Bill had no trouble getting to this location. Henderson’s army had no trouble getting to the bank. And so on and so forth. Wayne will go with Bill.

Jack tells us that Heller will take the tape to the Attorney General. Oh. That’s the first we’ve heard of this wrinkle to the plan. When did they work that out? Again, in the retreat from the bank? Jack has been busy on the phone these last couple minutes. Wonder if he remembered to call someone to go untie the bank manager’s wife.

Audrey is at Hangar 112, near the emergency runway. Just what is an emergency runway, anyway? If your plane is in trouble, isn’t pretty much any runway an emergency runway?

Dad’s plane arrives. I’m no expert (oops, suppose I should do some research), but that looks like a smallish plane to be flying all the way from Japan.

Audrey thanks Dad, but Heller glibly says “I don’t know what it is I’m doing, so don’t thank me yet.” Heller says he doesn’t like being kept in the dark. Which is pretty funny, considering it’s 12:07 AM, and they’re outside, and it’s, you know, dark and all.

At this point Jack comes roaring up in his purloined cop car. I wonder if the dead bank manager is still in the back seat. Considering what happens at the end of this episode, I think Mr. Mussman was just left there. I hope poor Mrs. Mussman gets her husband’s body back at some point.

Jack tells Heller he has something to show him, and they retire to a nearby building. But instead of showing Heller something, Jack plays the tape of the phone call.

Jack says he trusts the source. Which, considering it came from a flunky Jack had never met before today, indicates Jack is a very trusting soul. He must have discounted the great difficulty involved in taping a phone call of the President of the United States, and assumed a First Lady’s aide could’ve pulled it off.

Heller says he was terrified when Logan took the oath. Too bad we don’t live in some banana republic. DaD could’ve used the military at his disposal and staged a coup and we wouldn’t be in this drippy mess. DaD will take the tape to the AG, and Audrey will go with.

Jack says he will go dark until the AG acts. (I wonder why it is “go” dark, and not “become” dark, or “turn” dark, or… ok, I’m done now.)

But, suddenly Heller returns and…what’s this? A bit of SecDef-fu! Heller chops Jack and puts him on the ground! Jack is getting rusty, if an old man can surprise him and put him down.

Heller says the truth will destroy the Presidency. He will go and talk to Logan and get him to resign quietly. Jack and Audrey will be held at the airport till Heller talks to Logan.

Oh, very bad Heller. Very bad.

Going into the first commercial break, the clocks are at :11 to :11, but coming back, the clocks are at :16 to :14. *blink*

Midnight! And the graphic violence warning just turned into a pumpkin.

The recaps show us Evelyn and Jack in the car… Oh dear, we seem to be in some kind of time loop.

Chloe is all miffed at not being invited to a Level 3 briefing. Shari won’t say what it is about, so Chloe pumps her for information. Oh, and Miles is listening in on this little conversation. They bugged Shari? Shari lets slip that they are on to Chloe.

Chloe scampers back to her command post and immediately calls…a pay phone? Huh? Why isn’t she calling Audrey’s cell phone? How does Chloe even know to call this pay phone? She got the number when?

Miles immediately traces the untraceable call to the Van Nuys airport. Some goons walk through CTU, and Chloe realizes Shari set her up. Shari whines “You’re working against us!” Oh, suddenly Shari is part of “us” now. (You’ll recall Shari said she came up from the apparently gas-free downstairs, so wasn’t part of this HS takeover effort.) Logan is informed that CTU has a bead on Jack and Audrey.

Logan calls up Karen and has her call off her tac team. Logan says he’ll use a military team to bring in Bauer. (Apparently Posse Comitatus doesn’t apply here?)

Logan then immediately calls Henderson and informs him of Jack’s location.

Jack and Audrey are tied to a post. I suppose if Heller sanctioned the torture of his son, Stoner, he has no qualms about having his daughter tied to a post.

Back at the presidential retreat, we see Mike Novick again! He hasn’t been around for awhile.

Karen calls him, and Mike says he was “on other things.” I hope these other things aren’t as kooky as what’s going on today. Karen is wondering why Logan wants to use the military. Mike says the “military has its hands full.” I don’t know with what. Their checkpoints sure haven’t stopped a dang thing so far.

Mike calls up General Warren. Someone named Beth says “You’re connected,” but the krazy kaptions say “You’re on.”

General Warren says he received no call from Logan, and is not on any kind of Jack retrieval mission.

Mike thinks to himself “hmmmm”, and goes to see Logan.

Ah, finally. Logan brings up the situation with China. You’d think someone would’ve thought of that this morning, when Jack was running all over town leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

Logan says “I’ve done a pretty good job of leading this country today.” Uh, er, right, Chuckles. Whatever you say. (For rebuttal, see all previous rants.)

Clocks are at :30 to :28

Miles confronts Chloe. Chloe gives him the standard cliché, “You have no idea what you’re dealing with.” Miles is extra special smarmy when he says “You think the rules don’t apply to you because you’re smarter than the rest of us. Well, they do and you’re not.” Miles sounds like a whiny kid in junior high school band who’s been told the cool kids don’t want him to sit with them on the bus.

As Miles is leaving, Master Pickpocket Chloe bumps him and takes his key card. Miles says through clenched smarmy teeth, “Don’t touch me.” Chloe gets off another zinger when she says “I don’t think you’re as big a jerk as you pretend to be.” I really don’t think Miles is pretending.

So, Chloe uses the key card to get out, and she takes a laptop that just happens to be sitting near by. She heads out into one of CTU’s many deserted concrete hallways, only to run into Shari. Who knows why Shari is back there.

She is about to turn Chloe in, but Chloe says she knows Shari lied about Miles, and that she’ll turn Shari in for a psych eval. Since Chloe knows she is talking to a complete nutter, it’s not clear then why she tells Shari all about Logan. Shari relents and Chloe leaves.

Back at the ranch, Martha wonders if Logan is coming to bed. Heller calls at that moment, asking to see Logan. Heller insists, and Logan once again gets all huffy about how people should address the President.

Logan tells another quick lie to Martha. He’s pathological, I tell you.

Logan again immediately calls Henderson, who is, good grief, at some helo pad! How did he arrange this? Who are these men with him? Once again, the military did a bang up job of preventing these guys from driving to wherever it is they are.

And how is Henderson, Master Recruiter, finding all these guys? Are they sitting at home, their harridan wives in curlers and ratty robe nagging them about fixing the faucet, kids screaming, when Henderson calls, and they just leap up, throw the Uzi in the trunk and head out?

Henderson says he’s ten minutes away from the airport. He believes Jack still has the tape, as Heller wouldn’t be dumb enough to bring it to Logan. (It’s not clear why they assume Jack is still at the airport if Heller is going to Logan. Couldn’t Jack have gone anywhere?)

Clocks are at :40 to :37.

Martha, like some nosy neighbor, is looking through some window blinds as Heller enters the retreat. Not sure what she is worried about, or why.

She goes to see Aaron, who is saying “completely unacceptable” as Martha rounds the corner. She asks Aaron about why Heller is there. He won’t say. But, he tells her to meet him by the south stable in a few minutes. (The stable is where Aaron first found Martha this morning. She was hiding there after another of her bbtty-bbbttyy episodes.)

Logan offers a handshake to Heller, but Heller just stands there like a statue. Heller says “I know what you did, I know what you’re doing, and I’m here to put a stop to it.”

Logan tries ye olde “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” but Heller says “You’re responsible for the murder of David Palmer!” (Why do they keep focusing on Palmer? Why is that more important than causing all the terrorist attacks today?)

Logan says he’d like to hear the tape. Heller says “Why? You know exactly what you said.” Hah! It’s good to have you back, SecDef.

Logan squawks that Heller shouldn’t judge him. He admits that the original plan was to control the oil supply in Central Asia. Not sure how that was going to work. Were we just going to back up our tankers and fill them up?

Heller wants Logan to leave Jack and Audrey alone, and resign in the morning.

Oh, some more of that cool James Bond-y/Peter Gunn-y music as Chloe pulls up to some house. (Again, completely unmolested by the military checkpoints.)

Hmm, is this Bill’s house? Bill is there.

Back by the stables, Martha is alone. She calls Aaron’s cell, and hears something ringing. She finds Aaron’s phone on the ground. Huh? Aaron has been aaron-napped? By whom? Did someone follow him? Did they suspect Aaron? Why?

Back at the post, Jack sees some pipes. Chilled Return and Hot Return. He scampers up and melts his restraining band on the pipe. That must be some hot hot water. he frees Audrey, and Jack-fus the guard outside the door.

Clocks are at :52 to :48.

Out on the tarmac, the other agent is wondering where Wexler is. Jack gets the drop on him and gets the tape back. However, just at that moment, a helicopter shows up with guns blazing.

Jack and Other Agent take cover behind the plane wheels, and Jack acknowledges they’ll have to work together. He tosses the guy’s gun back.

A gun battle ensues. Lots of baddies killed. Good Guy agent goes down. Jack blows up a couple by shooting a fuel tank.

All the while, Henderson is running for the building, completely impervious to bullets. (Lucky guess on Henderson’s part, assuming Audrey and/or the tape might be in that building, and not anywhere else at the airport.)

Jack follows him into the building. Henderson says he has Audrey and wants the tape. Henderson says he is just protecting the integrity of the government. Jack says the government has no integrity with Emperor Logan sitting on the throne.

The krazy kaptions have Henderson saying “get up,” but we don’t hear anything. He comes out with Audrey, who is bleeding profusely from an arm wound.

Henderson says it’s the left brachial artery. Audrey has maybe three minutes to live.

Audrey urges Jack not to give up the tape. But, Jack is re-smitten with Audrey, so he tosses over the tape. (At least we assume it’s the tape and not some fake he conveniently had in his pocket.)

Henderson squeezes off a few shots and runs. Jack improvises a tourniquet.

At the retreat, Hal comes in. Heller says Logan has something to say. Just as Logan is about to say he’ll resign, Henderson calls. He says he has the tape.

Logan reassesses his position, and tells Hal that he wants Heller to resign. Hal is quite befuddled by all this.

Heller is dumbfounded, but quickly realizes what the phone call was all about. Logan asks security to escort Heller the heck out of there.

Henderson breaks a car window. Apparently he is going to do some *more* driving around. Completely unmolested by checkpoints, of course. I wonder if he took his Unrestricted sticker from Evelyn’s car, or if he has another one in his pocket.

The episode ends with the clocks at :60 to :56.

And now, once again, here is guest critic Paul Foth. He just flew in from Japan, and boy are his arms tired!

IN A WORLD WHERE VIOLENCE IS GRAPHIC, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

So, let me get this straight. In a few weeks, Jack is going undercover with the Secret Service in order to investigate Michael Douglas, who may or may not be a presidential assassin? And one of the desperate housewives is his sidekick?

Oh, wait. That’s The Sentinel.

So, Jack’s going to investigate the appearance of a mysterious black obelisk in the movie version of the Arthur C. Clarke short story that was (very loosely) the basis for 2001, only now they’re going back and sticking more closely to the source material? Are we going to see Jack go back in time and use a femur to beat the tar out of a caveman? “SHOW WHERE FOOD IS! NOW!!”

On to a few comments about the episode.

The writers haven’t forgotten about China! Logan used it as an excuse for why he used a “covert team” to go after Jack at the airport. I may be dreaming, but could they possibly be planting a seed for next season? It’d be great to see China and Germany mount Operation Whack-a-Jack. (Yes, that operation name is inspired by the favorite game at CTU HQ, Whack-a-Mole.) My suspicion is that we’ll never hear about this again, but it was nice to have that tiny bit of continuity slip in. I bet the intern who slipped it into the script is now cleaning toilets at the Fox affiliate in Topeka.

Jack asks Bill to take Wayne to a safe place. Bill agrees. The next thing we see is Jack closing the trunk of the police car. Bill was standing next to him, but Wayne wasn’t in the shot. So help me, for a second I thought Jack and Bill had put him in the trunk.

Where’s Aaron?! That was probably the best-handled bit of the episode, when Martha goes to look for him, and he’s just not there. I think it was a good choice to not show the viewers who grabbed him or where he is.

On the weaker side, I dig the new 007 music they’re using, but when they used it in conjunction with Chloe (Bond. Chloe Bond.), I thought she’d end up doing something a little sneakier than driving to Bill’s house and slinging some technobabble around, something more in keeping with her swiping Miles the Weasel’s (CTU HQ is just swarming with small woodland mammals, isn’t it?) key card.

The episode’s oogiest moment had to have been when Marwan — I mean, Henderson — cut Audrey. It really shows the difference between Jack and Christopher, because when Jack gets an enemy to do something by attacking an enemy’s loved one, he doesn’t open major arteries. So of course, Jack gives Christopher the recording, and, of course, Christopher escapes. Again.

But did Jack really give Christopher the recording? We never saw Christopher listen to it. I’m wondering if Jack engaged in more subterfuge and still has the recording with him. Still, this bit allowed Logan to get the upper hand against SecDef (and if you didn’t see that coming with the way the scene with Logan, SecDef, and BOB went on and on and on, as if the three actors were all thinking, “Come on, when’s that phone supposed to ring?”, well, then you’d be better off watching 24 instead of — oh, wait, never mind), demonstrating that perhaps SecDef is the new David Palmer in terms of his tactical decision making skills.

Well, that’s it for me. I’m going off the grid AND dark for the next five weeks, so if the finale is a two-hour episode, I probably won’t be back for the end of the season. As you know, though, Jeff is more than capable of carrying this little rant fest by himself.

IN A WORLD WHERE PLOTLINES ARE THIN, A CHAMPION ARISES TO BLOW RASPBERRIES AT THEM.

Number of times Jack says “Now!”: 19
Number of times Jack says “No!”: 8
Number of times a “protocol” is mentioned: 37
Number of times someone says a variation of “Go!”: 29
Number of moles: 4
Approximate Body Count: 90 (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://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    arrgh – fighting the pull to read this
    Yes, I’m just commenting w/o reading. I never read yours or Victor’s until I write my own. And that will be hours away, sadly.

    But yes, about the coat..funny huh? I mean, not that the blood was funny – that was kind of creepy. But seriously, that white coat was sitting up and begging for it.

    Anyway, I’m sure this was wonderful as always, and I’ll look forward to reading it when mine is in the can.

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

    Jeff, I too am amazed at Henderson’s prowess at all things. He is starting to annoy me more than Steven Saunders, Habib Marwan, and Victor Drazen put together. Jack has to dispense some serious beating to this &^%$&** before he puts a bullet in his head.

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog Mark Sahm

    Jeff, great summary and pointing of the plot holes as always. I’ve come to realize that all of the obvious errors are as enjoyable to see each week as the actual show material itself.

    It’s becoming 24′s secret weapon: on the surface, the show portrays itself as an ultra-realistic drama filled with graphic violence. Yet anyone who follows it closely knows there must be a tremendous comic book-esque willing of disbelief involved. Which makes for an interesting dynamic.

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

    Mary, it must take a female to be attuned to fashion dangers in this show. I wouldn’t have thought of it.

    Victor, so true. Have we seen Henderson even slowed down a bit? The drug torture session was a mere inconvenience. He has a seemingly infinite supply of men and equipment.

    And thanks, Mark. Indeed, you’re one of the first to hit on it. The plot holes are like Easter Eggs in software programs. You know they’re there, the fun is in hunting for them.

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Great rant – wasn’t it odd that Palmer and Bill Buchanan would introduce themselves to each other formally – you’d think they would have met before

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

    Hey, Aaman. Hmm, about Bill. He first showed up last season in the 9-10 PM hour. He came from Division to replace Erin Driscoll.

    So, perhaps he and Wayne never crossed paths before. David Palmer had left the White House by this point.

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

    on the phone with Henderson, who is still driving around

    See Jeff – there you have it. Henderson is trying to use up all the gasoline in the greater Los Angeles area – doing his part to create more demand for crude.

    ya think?

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

    That’s brilliant! This whole crazy plan started with a desire to secure our oil supply.

    What better way to create demand for oil, and thus highlight the need for this kind of operations, than to drive around and burn up our gasoline inventory.

    Henderson is just doing his part. What a team player.

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

    Oh sure, he’s the man. I mean, he can’t be ALL bad, can he? Can he?

    Oh, another thing… you (or Paul) ought to add to your count – ‘the number of times that Logan has to insist that HE IS THE PRESIDENT. The dude is seriously suffering from some sort of inferiority complex, no?

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

    oh btw – mine is up!

  • Paul

    Yes, a brilliant theory, Mary. No wonder Henderson left his wife bleeding on the couch; that way, she won’t go running around the house, turning all the lights off. He’s probably got three or four generators out back, running like mad and not hooked up to a blame thing.

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

    Heh, yes, the Logan counter would be a good one. I’ll have to remember that one for next year along with the Gone Dark counter, and the Wives Shot counter.

  • ghk

    henderson is not dead .he will be in sixth or seventh season what do u say .he cut a deal with jack that he doesnt want immunity but he wants to disappear like jack .and then he obliged to help