Look how far we’ve come in the last 18 hours. Many people thought Jack was dead, and have since learned that he was alive. Many people also thought that Logan was a nincompoop, but not that he could actually be behind such dire and dreadful events as Palmer’s death and killing canisters on the loose. We also thought that the term “protocol” was something a bit old fashioned, a polite code of behavior, archaic, if you will. Now we know that protocols are today’s widgets. They make our lives better. They serve in the Armed Forces; we see them in school, at work. Everywhere, protocols are there.
Speaking of Logan, he checks in with Homeland Karen Hayes to find out how close they are to catching Jack, and she casually mentions that both searches are still in progress for Jack and Robocop. Logan tells her to put all her eggs in one basket and LOOK REALLY HARD FOR JACK, and perhaps send one little sentry out to find Robocop. Karen is quite puzzled at this, mentions it to Miles who shrugs it off. He has more ideas on how to mess with his arch nemesis, Chloe, by using her to find Audrey, who in turn will lead them to Jack.
He sets up a fake meeting and keeps Chloe from attending by sending her off doing busy work. When she finds out that she was kept out of a meeting, she corners Shari for the dirt. Shari crosses her fingers behind her back and feeds Chloe some false info that causes her to call up Audrey – warning her of a TAC team descending imminently. Miles traces her call to the lone phone booth at pokey little Van Nuys airport. ‘Course, Chloe realizes that she was set up when she sees the real TAC team on their way to corral Audrey and Jack. Damn! Then the White Shirts arrive.
White Shirt: “Miss O’Brien, come with us please.”
Chloe: (Oh jeez you gotta LOVE this girl) “Where are we going?”
At this point many of us wondered, “Hey, I wondered what ever became of good old Bill Buchanan?” Well, wonder no more. Jack calls on him for help. Bill drives to meet Jack and Wayne Brady, who sings a greeting for Bill. Bill agrees to keep Wayne safe until the whole mess is cleared up. Good to see Bill again, he seemed so sad the last time we saw him as he left CTU.
At the airport Audrey greets her father on the tarmac. Boy, oh boy, does she have big news for Dad. She doesn’t want to spoil the surprise though, and wants to wait until Jack shows up. As she begins to lay the groundwork, asking Heller how well he can trust his own men and so forth, Jack tears in on two wheels in the stolen cop car. Way to impress the dad, Jack. Sure you used to work for him, another lifetime ago (literally!). But now, he’s just another Important Father to impress. Which will be hard, seeing as you’re wanted for the murder of the former President.
And that’s just what Jim Heller starts with soon as he sees Jack. No, “hey, thought you were dead, glad to see you”. Soon enough though, Jack brings Heller into an empty building (just how he knew the building was empty and unlocked – well that’s best left unasked). He plays the incriminating recording of Logan and Robocop’s telephone conversation. Heller was a bit skeptical, but shortly he’s totally on board, and prepares to take the recording to the Attorney General.
Jack wants Audrey to go with DearOldDad, but as she leaves to join him outside, the door opens and Heller comes back in. What’s this? Has he had a change of heart? It would seem so as he suddenly knocks Jack on his ass with a neat and swift strike to the throat. Way cool. Wasn’t a spear-hand, must have been a straight punch, or perhaps a leopard’s paw.
But cool hand strikes aside — don’t tell me, don’t fucking tell me that Heller is a baddie. I can’t bear it if he too, is slime. I mean, I know that these things happen. But still, my little optimistic heart won’t bear it. Okay, I shut up and listen to the man. Apparently, the Secretary of Defense has a different way to handle this whole thing.
Tie Jack up and give the recording to a security dude. Then proceed to go to see Logan and try to reason with him. Heller fears that if the whole country knows the truth, the swirling vortex of reality will swallow up the beltway just like Dorothy’s house heading for Oz. Who knows who that house will fall on. So, Jack and Audrey both get tied up with freaky black tie wraps and Heller departs for the retreat. Very strange, very surreal.
Speaking of surreal, when Karen informs Prez that they’ve located Jack and Audrey, and that a CTU TAC team is on the way – Prez says: “Naw, screw that. I’m going to send the military. Patton can come on the ground, Maverick, Goose, and Iceman will approach by air and we’ll let
collateral loss, ah, I mean – Private Ryan handle the beach invasion, cuz, like, (eye roll) he’s SO good at that”
Now this bit if info has poor Karen Hayes scratching her head SO much, poor gal is losing her hair! Miles’ response, “He’s the president!” Still, Karen is flummoxed and then calls Mike Novick for clarification. Yeah, you read right – our old friend Mike. Golly, getting to be like Old Home Week on the set of 24. All we need is Curtis and Bierko (Snakehead) to appear and there’ll be a grand party.
Karen’s news gets Mike curious, and he goes to see his current best bud (and former rival for Logan’s affections) the Veep, who downplays the importance of Logan’s actions, but you know he realizes this development is significant, and tucks it away in corner of his brain. Mike has still got the curiosity bug, so he calls General Patton to inquire about the upcoming invasion of pokey little Van Nuys Airport. Although General Patton is riding in a military convoy, obviously going somewhere important, he confirms Mike’s doubts, “Invasion? I don’t know nothing ‘bout no stinkin’ invasion”
Of course, Mike can’t keep this to himself, and he practically does a jig on his way into Logan’s office. But wait, this is the new Prez. A smarter Prez. A meaner Prez. When Mike wonders why Logan claimed to use the military, but isn’t really using the military to go arrest Jack, Prez snaps at him. Sheesh, just a few episodes ago they were praying together.
But at this late hour, Logan brings out the “you are not the boss of me’”mantra once again. I don’t know how many times in the last couple hours he’s had to keep reminding everyone, “Hey, see this pin on my lapel? See this pen? See my photo of the Oval Office? I am PREZ, hear me ROAR.” Still he does tell Mike that he’s handling the whole Jack Bauer thing ‘covertly’. ‘Course, he’s snickering the whole time.
Snickering too is Miles as he pays Chloe a visit while she’s in custody of the White Shirts. He pretty much sticks his tongue out and makes other assorted ‘nah-nah’ faces. After the belittling is over, he turns to leave. Chloe grabs him from behind, imploring him to listen to her. Miles recoils, “Don’t touch me”, he says in his most haughty voice. As she scrubs herself silly with anti-bacterial cleanser, Chloe silently rejoices in the stolen key card she just purloined from the jerk.
Soon as he’s out of the room, Chloe sneaks out another door. She happens to spy a lone laptop just hanging around, and snatches it up. She’s almost in the clear when big mouth Shari sees her. She tries to foil whatever Chloe’s plans may be, until Chloe reminds her with a bit of some of the best dialogue of the episode, “You’re crazy!” That and the reminder that the whole sexual harassment thing with Miles was bogus. It’s enough for Shari to let her go.
Another nutty lady is getting anxious for some quality time with her husband. First Lady Martha goes to see Logan to find out when he’s coming to bed. While she’s in the office, Prez gets a phone call from Heller. In a variation of “I know what you did last summer” Heller informs Logan that he will be there shortly. Of course, Martha overhears her husband’s end of the conversation, which Logan tries to explain away as problems with the Martial Law decision.
Martha is not appeased and shortly seeks out the counsel of Aaron Pierce. Aaron cannot resist her feminine wiles and agrees to meet her at the south stable to exchange notes on the events of the last few hours. Cool! But when Martha goes to meet him, Aaron is not there, just his cell phone. Did he plant it there? Or worse, did he lose it in a struggle? Oh no, I hope not. I have great plans for him. You see; Aaron Pierce, Curtis Manning, and a few others to be determined later will be running the country. Yes, you read it here. Mark my words.
Too much time has passed since we checked in on Jack and Audrey – remember they are confined with crazy black plastic tie wraps. Of course, Jack figures out how to burn his plastic tie wrap off his wrists, and in turn snips Audrey’s off with a handy, snipper thing that was just lying around. Planted obviously by the props elves and faeries that leave those things about, just like the laptop left out for Chloe a couple scenes back.
Anyway, Jack knocks out the security dude who was just coming to check on them, and makes a run for the outside. He finds the other security dude, gets his gun, and as he’s asking for the recording back, Robocop’s helicopter appears, complete with gunmen hanging off the side. They open fire on Jack and Security Dude, and Jack tells the Dude that they’ll need to cooperate if they’re going to fight the bad guys. (Sounds like Jack listens to his mother.) Security Dude asks Jack for his gun back, and as Jack tosses it back to Dude, Dude actually says “thank you”. Man, this guy must have listened to his mother, too! In the midst of a chaotic and deadly gun battle, he minds his manners! So excellent!
Naturally, in the midst of all this gunfire, Robocop makes it into the hangar type building. Jack follows shortly, but by the time he is inside, Robocop already has a peculiarly calm Audrey as a hostage. He proffers her release in exchange for the recording, and they do the old, “You first — no, YOU first — No, YOU”. Ten minutes later, Audrey is yawning and filing her nails while Robocop and Jack are now in a vicious match of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”
Now, Robocop, being a smart old SOB and all, has come up with an ingenious solution. He’ll let Audrey go, using the phrase, “I’ll meet you half way.” Jack is first puzzled, and then concerned when he hears Audrey whimpering from Robocop’s hiding place. Audrey comes into full view now, walking slowly, as if she might break. She is already broken, evident by the fast moving stream of blood flowing down her left arm and dripping on the floor.
And the coat! The beautiful white coat — it only lasted one and a half episodes — the coat is now torn with a bloody gash and stained with her blood. Robocop tells Jack that her left brachial artery has been severed, and she only has a precious few minutes before she’ll bleed to death. Of course, Jack gives up the evidence in a heartbeat (no pun intended) and Robocop takes off with the coveted recording.
Dr. Jack quickly tends to Audrey’s boo-boo. Did you know that a forklift cable makes a dandy tourniquet?
Applying a different kind of pressure is Heller in his visit with Prez.
Heller: You suck.
Prez: True, but you have no evidence.
Heller: Oh yes I do, well, not ON me, but never mind that. Here’s what you’re going to do – call off the dogs on Jack and Audrey and…wait – there’s one more thing – what was it…oh yes, give the Veep YOUR RESIGNATION!
A few minutes later in comes smiling Veep, “Yes, did you need me for something?” Just as Logan is stalling for time before Heller makes him spill the truth to Veep – he gets the phone call from Robocop. He then turns the tables on poor Heller, “He’s the bad guy, not me, and he is going to resign!” Oh, the quandary!