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TV Review: 24 Day 5: 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM

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A Jack-ku
The graphic violence
warning is among the clouds.
My mood is tender.

And I ask again, what was violent about this episode, let alone graphic?

When the recaps started, I thought I was watching the wrong episode, because it went back to Bierko blowing up the gas distribution plant. That happened hours ago. We see the assault on the plant. We see Jack hibauering the plane. And Logan wants Bauer. The copilot tells Jack they will be on the ground in 15 minutes. Huh? The plane was flying for much longer than that. How is it faster going back to Van Nuys than going out? Maybe they are going downhill.

And now, we are go for main engine rant.

As we begin, we see a model of a plane hanging from a thread. I mean, we see the hijacked plane, and underneath it, the credits say “Kiefer Sutherland.” So, the plane is Kiefer Sutherland?

The copilot says to Jack “I think you broke my nose.” But, he only has a small microdot of blood by his nose. If his nose was really broken, it would be like Old Faithful.

Now, the copilot says they’ll be on the ground in 21 minutes. So, despite the fact several minutes have passed since the copilot first said they’d be down in 15, they’ve lost time and now it’s 21 minutes? Are they going back uphill?

We see Bill being uncuffed. Apparently, his interrogation with Karen went well.

Jack is having a long chat with Karen. He wants a safe escort back to CTU. Karen tells him Audrey is in CTU Medical, and that she’ll be ok. She doesn’t know CTU Medical very well yet, does she?

Curtis goes in to see Audrey and… va va voom! Audrey is in the hospital bed in a nice teddy! Rowwrrr! CTU does their female patients up right.

Holy hit the reset button, Batman! Curtis tells Audrey that SecDef Heller is alive! A team fished him out of the drink 30 minutes ago. (So Heller held his breath for 30 minutes?) Oh man. What a cheat.

I can imagine the scene with the rescue team at the top of the cliff where Heller went over. “Ok, you get one share for being a person in the ambulance, one share for being a person who pulled Heller out, and one share for being a person at the scene. You, you get one share for …” “Hey, wait, Now look! We’ve figured it seventeen different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody didn’t like the way we figured it! So now, there’s only one way to figure it. And that is, every man, including the old SecDef, for himself!”

Karen calls Curtis and orders him take a team and get Jack back before anyone else can get to him. I do give credit to CTU for matching Henderson team for team. I don’t know where CTU is getting all their agents, since a good chunk of them must have been killed in the gas attack. Some are apparently out on meaningless tac teams near places like Bill’s house. Yet, there are still enough left over to be sitting around the locker room ready to leave immediately with Curtis.

At the presidential retreat, Logan is standing in…a desert mirage? What’s with all the wavy lights and Forbidden Planet music?

Graham is on the phone. He’s figuring out a way to shoot down the plane. He’ll gin up a VCI distress signal. Apparently this is a signal that a plane is being hibauered and that the baddies plan to use the plane as a weapon. I’m not sure how a pilot would ascertain that a hijacker planned to use the plane as a weapon, yet still be in control of the plane to send the signal. Would the terrorist be banging on the cockpit door yelling, “Hey, open up in there! I want to crash this thing into something on the ground!”

Logan is agreeable to this plan. But Graham says, “You sound reluctant.” He’s starting to sound like Logan’s boyfriend. Logan just hangs up. People do that on this show a lot. Doesn’t anyone have the courtesy to say “goodbye,” as a signal that the conversation is complete?

Bill wants to bring Chloe in. At this point, I’m wondering if Jack has even listened to the tape yet. Is he sure he has what he thinks he has?

Miles is pouting, wondering why Bill is free. Miles is working on getting transfer orders for Bierko.

And now, Logan is talking to Admiral Kirkland of Point Mugu. Oh, oh, which way to go. Admiral Kirk versus Point Magoo. “I AM KIROK!” versus “Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again!” I think you know what you must do.

Admiral Kirk launches into a long diatribe about how 20 million in L.A. are now a target of this rogue plane hibauered by Jack. (I’m not sure how Admiral Kirk knows about Bauer being accused of killing David Palmer.) He says, “These terrorists have been killing 3 million people a year. An actual attack won’t kill any more people, but it would end their ability to make war. The fighting will be over permanently. But you didn’t know it won’t work. No. It will be a calculated risk. Corbomite! Yes, Corbomite. We’ll tell Bauer that F-18 is packed to the gills with Corbomite.”

Logan says “Admiral Kirk, my old friend. I want you to shoot down that plane.”

Admiral Kirk says, “Still ‘old friend.’ You’ve managed to kill just about everyone else. But like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target.”

At CTU, an interagency sub-net is ringing off the hook, and Very Important Piece of Paper comes in. Karen tells Jack that Logan has ordered the plane removed from the skies with force.

Jack says they need 5000 feet of runway to put the plane down, and wants CTU to figure out a suitable freeway. Then, Jack cuffs the copilot to the controls. I guess he still has questions about the copilot’s motivations.

I think Kiefer knows about our “Now!” counter, because he launches into a string of them that really sends the total up this episode. Thanks for the boost, Kiefer!

As we go into the first commercial break, the clocks are at :12 to :12. As we come back out, the clocks are at :16 to :15. I felt a great disturbance in the Force.

Miles sees Chloe coming in, and he about gives himself whiplash as his head snaps around.

Karen wants Chloe to open a socket to the ATC radar-tracking plot. What, Chloe is the only one who can do this? In the future, the US had better hope a national emergency doesn’t arise when Chloe isn’t on her shift.

On the plane, Jack tells the stewardess they’re going to do an emergency landing and that she should prepare the passengers. Then he says not to worry, it’ll be fine. Now, being an experienced flier, I’m sure the stewardess will be quite tempted to worry about why they need to do an emergency landing.

The stewardess then turns to the passengers and says “Assume crash positions.” Instantly, pandemonium breaks out, and passengers start throwing themselves across the seats, punching each other, falling in the aisle, etc…

Bill has found a suitable runway. Except it isn’t suitable. Jack distinctly said he needs 5000 feet. But, Bill comes up with a stretch only 4000 feet long, and it ends in an overpass. Good one, Bill. (The inadequate landing strip is the 118 freeway between mile markers 91 and 92.)

We see the F-18 roaring through the skies, and a glimpse of the pilot. I wondered if that was just a reuse of the footage from Season 4 as Mitch Anderson was trying to shoot down Air Farce One.

Now, if I read this map right, the 118 comes within three miles or so of the Van Nuys airport. Apparently they didn’t have enough time to go even that short distance and just land at the airport.

The F-18 is preparing to shoot, so Jack tells the copilot to descend. NOW! As the plane tips down, the oxygen masks deploy in the cabin. Now I’m sure the stewardess is worrying.

Jack says he can see the freeway, but all we see out the window is a mess of lights.

There’s a *whoop whoop* warning sounding in the cockpit. It’s a ground proximity warning. I wonder when that thing is designed to go off. I mean, planes are designed to get near the ground. Frequently. It’s called landing. It wouldn’t make sense to sound a warning every time a plane lands.

The F-18 has missile lock. At this point, I can’t remember if Jack knew that, or if CTU did. Do commercial jets have equipment to detect missile locks? Is this a big problem in commercial jets?

Experienced Pilot Jack wants the landing gear down. The copilot points out the dangers of lowering the landing gear too high and too fast. Experienced Pilot Jack barks “Lower it!”

Logan’s bloodlust is at a fever pitch. He barks at Admiral Kirk “Order your man to fire, now!” So, Admiral Kirk says “Khhaaaaaaan! Shoot the plane down! Khhaaaaaaan!” (Apparently the F-18 pilot was named Khan. Erp.)

Novick is quite puzzled as to why Logan still wants to shoot down a plane that is already in the process of going down, and hence threat over. Somehow, this logic gets through to Logan, and he aborts the strike. But, he orders the Marines to go in and get Jack.

Admiral Kirk is busy setting the self-destruct on his base. “Code: Zero, zero, zero. Destruct. Zero.” And then he says, “Anyone for a game of fizzbin?”

Curtis is driving along, singing a song, side by side with some anonymous CTU agent, and he sees the hibauered plane pass right in front of the windshield. Curtis orders some lights on the freeway, and a dump truck backs up and unloads a bunch of lamps.

The plane is down, and is a cacophony of screeching brakes and reverse thrusters. I guess they didn’t need that extra 1000 feet after all. The plane comes to a stop right in front of the overpass. Jack tells CTU they’re on the ground and tells them to send a second team for the copilot. Then, the krazy kaptions say “and EMTs for the pilot”, but we don’t hear anything.

Jack deplanes (deplane! deplane!) and he runs off.

Clocks are at :27 to :26.

Graham is mad that Logan didn’t blow a bunch of international diplomats out of the sky. Logan says not to worry, two battalions of Marines are near the landing area. Wha…? Two battalions?! A Marine battalion can typically number between 800 and 1200. Logan sent 2000 Marines to the landing site? Wow, talk about overkill.

The 2000 Marines are setting up a perimeter, and do about as good a job as CTU, for Jack just trots across the freeway and over a fence and into the SUV with Team Curtis.

I wonder if Curtis is thinking of what happened at the beginning of this day when Jack and Curtis rode together in an SUV. Jack clobbered Curtis and left him on the boulevard like a sack of garbage.

They come up to a military roadblock, and Jack says Curtis will have to talk them through it. A Marine talks to Curtis, and Curtis gives him a song and dance about how they are all on the same team, time is a-wasting, blah blah. And, incredibly, even though he has orders to not let people through, the Marine lets him go. No no no. Marines follow orders, and let their superiors sort things out.

Curtis uses his Jedi mind tricks. “These are not the CTU agents you are looking for.” The Marine says “these are not the CTU agents we’re looking for.” and he orders the roadblock to stand down. Curtis says they’ll stick to back roads. They’re somewhere north of the Santa Monica Mts. Are there any “back roads” that go over the mountains to downtown LA?

Back at CTU, Miles is demanding answers from Karen. Karen tells Bill she’ll have to trust him, and she’ll let him in to their little gang. Miles huffily says “I don’t deserve this.” So, Karen takes Miles back into CTU’s miles (heh) of deserted concrete hallways. Karen tells him about Logan, and how they are trying to recover the tape. Miles says “Then what are you going to do?”

Some flunky (was that Valerie) suddenly appears and says Bierko is ready for transfer. And so, next we see some troops in full gear walking Bierko out in chains. He has a bandage on the side of his head. Looks like a Rorschach test. Hmm, I’d say it looks like a bunny.

They stuff Bierko into a van and…. what?!? Bierko nods at the driver who nods back?! What is this? Yet another mole? Argh. I’m not even going to try to figure out how the baddies arranged to have one of their moles driving this van.

Clocks are at :40 to :38.

Logan barks, “Where’s Novick?” Mike walks in seconds later. Oh, never mind. Mike tells him the bad news. Bauer apparently got away. We get an ominous “Logan in shadows” shot. His Grahamphone rings and rings. Logan doesn’t answer.

Jack arrives at CTU. Not bad. From the Valley to CTU, via back streets, in just a few minutes. He’s told the Attorney General will be ready in 10 minutes. What? The AG got a pardon for Collette in 5 minutes.

Jack tells Chloe to clean up the recording and to add a digital signature for chain of custody. However, since this is the most important evidence on the planet, and the White House has already had one mole in CTU today in the person of Spenser Wolff-ff-ff, you’d think Jack would’ve had two battalions of Marines protect Chloe while she’s working. But no. We still have three hours left in this season to fill.

Perhaps Jack was distracted by Audrey’s gazongas as he goes in to see her. Jack says he knows about the SecDef (aka Gill Man). How did Jack know? We didn’t see Jack being told.

Audrey says “I’m so glad to see you.” Jack says “Me, too.” Uh, so Jack is glad to see himself? It’s always about Jack, isn’t it. Then, ewww, Jack slides down the bed for a little massage action.

Back at the presidential retreat, Logan gets a case from the shelf. I can guess what’s in there. He talks to Graham, again. Graham knows that the AG got a phone call from CTU. How does he know this? I know, never mind. Logan still believes they were doing the right thing. (I guess if by “right thing” you mean giving deadly nerve gas to terrorists, allowing mall shoppers to be gassed, leaving a trail of bodies around L.A., trying to kill the Secretary of Defense, etc..)

Graham mentions how terrible a murder trial would be for the country, and all but says, “I think you know what you must do.” Logan agrees, and says he’s taken steps so Graham won’t be implicated. What steps could those be? I know, never mind. Then, Logan gets a pistol out of the case.

Now, how did that pistol get there? Did Logan carry it with him from DC? Does he always leave it there? Does the Secret Service now about this? You’d think they would get nervous about leaving loaded weapons around the President. So didn’t their security sweeps find it?

Clocks are at :51 to :49.

The split screens show a news story that says “Earlier today: Mourners remember David Palmer.” Well, nice to know that in spite of the terrorist attacks and curfew and martial law, some fans of David Palmer still found time today to have a little candle ceremony.

Martha is on a couch staring like a zombie. I guess those pills she wanted so badly, and the wine, didn’t help her get to sleep.

Logan goes in to see Martha. At first I think he’s going to shoot her. But, he just wants to apologize for hurting her. Martha is not in a receptive mood though. She says “I had no idea you were such a good liar. If I weren’t so horrified by the fact I’m married to you, I might actually be impressed.”

Ouch. Those two need a weekend getaway in Vermont or something. No, no, not Vermont as in the dribbly bin, Vermont as in bucolic lakes, forest hiking, Parcheesi on the patio, etc.

Logan goes back to his desert mirage and pours himself a drink. He pulls out the gun. The phone rings. Logan still feels duty bound to answer it. Hey, Miles is calling. That slimy ratfink.

Miles tattles about the recording and the AG. Miles says he feels compelled to intervene. Logan approves of such intervention, and says he won’t forget this act of kindness. He’ll give Miles his private number so Miles can keep Logan informed. Miles is drooling over the prospects of presidential favors.

Clocks are at :60 to :56. The split screens show Graham pouring himself a drink. What, is Graham going to shoot himself?

Miles goes in to see unprotected Chloe. He was some red blinky device concealed in his hand. That slimeball. He’s going to erase the tape.

“The tape is climbing the ropes. He’s up against the turnbuckle, raising his arms in triumph to the cheering crowd. He thinks the president is defeated! But, he doesn’t see Miles behind him and… Oh, there is a foreign object in his hand! There is a foreign object in his hand! The tape is down! The tape is down! There’s blood everywhere!”

This episode comes to an end. There’s still three hours to go. Courage.

Guest critic Paul Foth won’t be joining us this week. He had to check into the hospital for a quick nip and tuck, where the nurse dressed him in a red negligee, and he’s too embarrassed to come out. Plus, he’s cursing the fact Blogger has been down all morning.

Number of times Jack says “Now!”: 32
Number of times Jack says “No!”: 8
Number of times a “protocol” is mentioned: 42
Number of times someone says a variation of “Go!”: 29
Number of moles: 5
Approximate Body Count: 94 (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).

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About Jeff Kouba

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

    So Audrey was wearing a “teddy” in that bed? Whatever, can’t get that scene out of my mind. Jack is so tender. They’ve both forgotten when he choked her earlier that day. Oh well, that’s all in the past!

  • Paul

    I’m wondering whether Logan will get dead by the end of the season. Way back before the season started, Kiefer was on the Charlie Rose show and pointed out that last season they never got around to pointing out that President Keelover was actually dead. Maybe this was just an oversight by the writers (though I know that’s hard to swallow), but he explained it in terms of them not wanting to explicitly, officially mention the death of a president. Given the writers’ willingness to kill everyone else at the drop of a whim, this seems an odd reservation. We’ll see if they let this last inhibition go in a couple of weeks.

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

    We have to face some cold, hard facts: there have been presidents who got away with stuff. Lots of stuff. Probably a lot more than we’ll ever know. This could be what they’re heading for here, (and as mentioned by Heller during their confrontation).

    Logan could be forced to resign QUIETLY, especially if Martha blows her brains out or overdoses. It could be very interesting. I think that they could even be preparing Heller to run for office and be president in the next season.

    Anything goes this year it seems.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Congrats! This article has been placed on Advance.net

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

    Thanks, Joan.

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

    Lot of good stuff here Jeff. I swear I did not read yours before i wrote mine, but I see we picked up on a few of the same things.

    I did not mention those wavy flickering lights though but I did notice them. Weird! To me,it looked like either firelight, or reflected water light (as if he were poolside)

    Curtis orders some lights on the freeway, and a dump truck backs up and unloads a bunch of lamps

    Excellent! Loved it!

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