In the last hour, Jack’s plan to initiate a trade with a sub-circuit board for Audrey Raines’ life was nixed by Acting President Daniels. So, as it happens at least once a season, Jack is on the outs with CTU and of course, the U.S. government. Mike Doyle was ordered to take Jack into custody, but we all know that’s like trying to lasso the moon.
We rejoin Doyle while he’s trying to flag down a car, nearly getting himself run over. Finally he hauls a pony-tailed dude out of his car and commandeers it. Immediately he contacts CTU, and they’re up all set to track Jack. Bill told Chloe detention was over, and she could rejoin the other kids on the playground.
Now, CTU has a tracker embedded in the circuit board. But Jack is driving along a stretch of power lines that mask the tracker. Morris is the first to notice and figure out what Jack’s doing. While he briefs Bill on the development, Milo and Chloe ponder what Jack will do, how far will he go to save Audrey.
At the White House the Veep has big talk with Tom. They decide that they agree enough on policy to have a working arrangement. While they settle those matters for now, other buried issues come to the forefront. Karen is met in her office by a representative of the Department of Justice. He’s been questioning Reed Pollock who, in the course of fighting against a possible death penalty, has ratted out Karen and Bill and their involvement in the release of Fayed two years previous.
Of course, they didn’t do anything wrong, there was not enough evidence to hold Fayed. Karen and Bill followed normal procedure, but as the DOJ guy, Peter Hock points out, in light of all the events, a scapegoat is needed. Hock tells Karen bluntly it’ll be her or Bill.
Things are heating up elsewhere at the White House — Lisa and Veep started playing kissy face in the Oval Office. What a randy old goat Daniels is! He asks Lisa to spend the night with him, and she skips home to pack up her Victoria’s Secret unmentionables.
But wait, amidst all the sex and backstabbing we forgot all about poor Rogue Jack. He turned the tables a little bit on Cheng, deciding when and where the Audrey/Secret Squirrel Sub-Circuit Board Device swap will take place. They arrange to meet at an abandoned hotel. Jack says he’s changing the meeting place because he knows how CTU will try to follow him. So, evidently a rickety old hotel would not be on their radar, so to speak.
Now, is it just me, or does 24 seem to be using even more stereotyped conventions than usual? A few weeks back we saw Jack following Gredenko in a dark deserted amusement park. And this musty abandoned hotel thing, surely this venue has been used before in other tales? What’s next, a creepy mansion with a scary hunchbacked dude greeting Jack at the door? Perhaps sounds of “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” playing over an unseen sound system? (But this would only work if Jack had a field agent/terrorist/hostage nearby named Janet – so he could utter his ‘dammit’ to her as in “Dammit, Janet.”)
And meanwhile, Morris is thinking “Dammit, Chloe”. He’s either jealous, overtired (naw, really?), stressed out (not Morris!) or something because he and Chloe snipe at each other, and finally Chloe snaps out that Morris “should stop arming nukes for terrorists” or some such biting example of Chloe-Snark. She immediately apologizes, but too late, Morris goes to see Bill and asks for an immediate transfer away from Chloe.
Well, it’s official. Somebody went shopping at ACME and has stuck a large bull’s-eye on Bill’s back. (Karen had it FedExed there). She finally gets a chance to tell Bill about her conversation with DOJ Hock. Evidently “I can’t let this touch me” is an exact translation for “Sorry dear, you're f$cked.” Bill is pissed, and hangs up on Karen. He then talks to Nadia, tells her he’s about to get fired, and that she’s in charge.
Huh? Somebody who just a scant few hours ago was suspected of being a mole, a rat, maybe even a lemur? Well, rodent or not, Bill trusts her again, and she’s in charge. That is, of course, until somebody from Division can get their arse over there and run things. I’ll bet they have espresso machines and free bagels at Division. Or, perhaps Division is just a shell of a building with scores and scores of CTU-bots held in stasis until they are called to help out at the L.A. branch. Will we ever know? Maybe if they spin-off from 24, we can really get a peek.
Doyle is still on Jack’s trail, and because he could channel his inner Apache tracker, he arrives shortly at the rickety hotel. He hides while waiting for back up, and watches Cheng show up with his entourage that includes an unsteady dirty Audrey. Little do they know that inside Jack has planted some explosives! Clever, clever Jack!
Okay, not so clever. Cheng and Audrey and an extraneous henchman or two come inside. Jack greets them with a friendly revolver wave, and asks to let him take off Audrey’s gag. He removes it and has a bittersweet moment with her, where he tells her he’s sorry, and also to hurry her butt out of there and head to a nearby gas station. They’re giving away steak knives with every fill-up.
Audrey, with thoughts of shiny knives dancing in her head, makes her shaky way out of the rickety hotel. Jack hands over the Secret Squirrel Sub-Circuit Board Device to Cheng, who laughs evilly. The moment is interrupted when Doyle begins shooting stray Chinese outside. Dammit! Jack was just about to hit the detonator! Cheng escapes with the SSSCBD in a Capitalistic Hummer, and one of his henchmen is able to down a pursuing CTU chopper with a rocket launcher. Dammit!
So, once again Doyle is handcuffing Jack, Jack is chastising Doyle (“ I had it handled!”), and Audrey is brought back mumbling a broken record phrase that Jack recognized as her initial plea to him on the phone a couple episodes back. He realizes that she doesn’t even recognize him.
Is this a bad thing?