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TV Review: 24 Season Six, Hour 13 – Martha the Knife

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“Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack-knife has Martha dear
And she keeps it out of sight.”

This hour opens with Logan waiting in a room at CTU. Chloe walks in “to do some work on this computer”. But she carried a laptop in the room with her. So, what she really meant was:

 “I need carry this Mac laptop around, 1) for product placement, and 2) to create a chance for me to exchange some witty repartee with you, the former President of the United States. The fans will eat this up, don’t you think? No, don’t answer that, I’m feeling too ambivalent to continue this dialogue right now. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, that cutie from Silver Spoons is here, he’s all grown up and knows how to handle a gun – if you get my meaning.”

And so we get to meet Mike Doyle, fresh from Ft. Bragg. Bill lets the room know that Doyle will be running the maneuver to invade the Russian Consulate, not to rescue Jack – but to take Markov. Jack is now chopped liver (with a little Russian Beluga 000 Malossol on the side). Milo expresses his concerns about this and that, but Doyle isn’t listening. And we are let in on the fact that the two know each other And Don’t Get Along.

So, what of our chopped liver Jack? He’s taken a tumble for a fallen Russian guy. He even wants his belt as a souvenir. Aww, that’s sweet. Oh wait, he hears Vasili on the phone, discusses his pending execution with Markov. Of course, they are conveniently speaking in English. I guess they figured since Jack knows Russian, why bother?

But check this out, Jack sneakily snakes the dead man’s belt out of his trousers, and when Vasili is aiming what was meant to be a lethal shot at him, he whips the belt out, it wraps around Vasili’s forearms, and he neatly disarms him, and sends him flying on the ground. Jack then picks up the Vasili’s dropped gun and uses it to shoot him.

This is great, but Markov himself has a front row seat, courtesy of his surveillance computer thingy. He alerts his crew, “The American is on the loose and armed with a Cole Haan leather belt, size 36. Oh, and he has a gun and knife too. But for the love of Peter the Great, watch out for that belt!”

Jack hides out in a supply closet, good thing – he went to the Dana Carvey Master of Disguise training seminar, and has transformed himself into a shelf of dusty Xerox paper. Don’t worry, if he sneezes, he’ll sneeze in Russian – no one will be wiser. The guards leave the closet, and Jack quickly dials a wall phone to call CTU. Luckily Morris, who is fluent in Sneezy, answers the phone. “Jack? Timmy is in the well? What? Bless you. What? Gredenko is where? Hello, hello?”

The phone goes dead. “По-русски!” (Russian for ‘Damnit!’). For spite, and because it’s a good tactical move, Jack shoots out the circuit box to cut power in the building. “Ha, they take away my phone call; I’ll take away their lights. So there!”

But this tidbit of Intel is just what CTU needs to Save Jack’s Ass. Milo informs Bill that Jack has some good info, and should be upgraded from chopped liver to field agent again. Bill agrees and stops by Logan’s cell room. “Look, I hope you are getting the point by now Logan, Macs really are better than Dells. See? I place this one down, and pick it right up! Now, how easy is that?” Logan admires the sleekness of the Mac’s design for a moment and then offers his help to solve the current crisis.

If CTU storms the consulate, it would be an act of war. But they need to get the information from Jack and/or take Markov for interrogation. Logan wonders if they have tried getting President Subarov to help. He thinks he knows a way to get Yuri Subarov really involved:

“Martha and Anya really bonded during that joyride they took around LA with Yuri. My goodness you should have seen the shipments of Stoli that flew back and forth over the Atlantic months after that. Anyway, although Martha is nuts and can’t stand the sight of me, I know I can get her to call her gal pal Anya who will in turn tell Yuri to step up and make Markov behave”

Bill: “Done.”

Meanwhile Popeye Doyle is bossing everyone around, and doesn’t take to well to Morris’s biting sarcasm. He actually lunges at Morris and begins to choke him. Okay, so we’re clearly establishing that Doyle is a tough guy, and Morris knows his clothing maintenance. Cool.

We get a glimpse into doings at the White House; Veep Daniels is quite comfy in the Bunker Oval office as he discusses the assassination “cover story” with Tom Lennox.

“So, you’ll look the other way?”

“Sure, but it’ll be a bit hard to type on my product placement Mac. Oh, and I won’t lie about Al-Assad.”

Steam comes out of Daniels’ ears. “Now listen here, you little %*$ punk. If you think for one $^*#ing minute that I’m going to #&%($ let you… Oh, sorry, wrong show.” And Daniels softens a little, even tries the fatherly arm around the shoulder thing, “Now, let’s count our blessings and remember that now we get to impose all sorts of questionable denial of civil rights type rules. Cool, huh?”

Meanwhile Jack is still skulking around the consulate, trying to find his way out. He finds a couple of Russian clerks, canoodling in another room in the basement. He threatens them, and gets the man to go get the satellite phone elsewhere in the building. Once the man is gone, he reassures the female that she’ll be fine. Question is, will Jack be fine? He’s wincing in pain and constantly grabbing his side.

For someone who is under house arrest, Logan has been taking in quite a bit of LA scenery. He’s now at Martha’s “bungalow”. (Pleasant euphemism for nuthouse for the very rich), and they exchange pleasantries:

“You’ve lost weight”

“You’re beautiful”

“You haven’t changed”

“You’re nuts, but only you can save the free world”

Martha isn’t sure, but Aaron Pierce – yes, that Aaron Pierce – agrees that she should call Anya and plead America’s case.

Now, back at the White House bunker, Daniels, Tom Lennox, and the Ambassador of Unnamed Country have a sit-down. Maybe it’s just me, but Daniels seems to belong more and more on his Deadwood set then in modern government. He reminds me of Jimmy Cagney or someone. “Now see here, this is how things are going to go, see?” There are ships off the coast of your Unnamed Country, see? And unless you stop those stagecoaches, we’re going to blow you into smithereens, see?” Well, the Ambassador does see, and he doesn’t like it one bit.

Popeye Doyle and his Merry Men are in place at the Consulate, just waiting to hear from Bill.

Martha and Logan are having their own standoff.

“Does it bother you to see me with other men?”

“Yes, it does.”

“How do you like that pole I had installed in the living room? [smirks] Aaron looves it.”

This sort of thing goes on for a few more minutes while they wait for Anya’s call to come through. Martha seems to become more and more agitated. She inexplicably cuts up some kiwi, brings it over to where they were all sitting, gets more agitated, (and the freaky violin chords in the background accompany her emotional roller coaster ride) and decides to clean up. On her way to the kitchen, she almost trips over something on the floor. “Hey, who left this shark lying around?

No one answers, so she neatly jumps over it, and continues to the kitchen. But wait, she stops, thinks for a moment, and then turns and plunges her paring knife into Logan’s shoulder.

Hmm. What’s up with that?

Anya does call, and Martha is lucid and coherent and does her best. We then see President Subarov ordering Markov to surrender and release Jack unharmed. Markov basically tells him to screw off and hangs up. Then Subarov tells Bill that he approves of the impending attack on the Consulate, and so the green light is lit.

Popeye Doyle and crew advance, firing their weapons with glee. Or if not with glee, than with precision. Jack’s new accomplice/hostage comes back with the phone. I can’t believe Jack asked if anyone would notice it missing. Just as he’s about to get it unlocked to use it, Russians come in firing. Hostage friend is hit, but not the girl. Moments later Doyle and CTUers enter, and assist Jack. Other TAC Teamers have already downed Markov, but not before he called Gredenko to tell him to go ahead and launch a nuke or two.

Logan is en route to a local hospital when he starts to moan.

“Martha, Martha”

“Hang on sir!”

“Martha, she… she…”

“What sir? What is it?”

“She… she… Martha jumped the shark… uugghhhh…

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About MaryKay

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

    Martha the Knife? I love it. If you look at the story arc since last season, it’s all been coming to this anyway. Charles was too wimpy to hurt her, but she had it in her and then some.

    I wonder what kind of punishment she’ll get for this. Perhaps she will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Hmmm.

  • pw mooney

    Since we’re on the “stsabbing” episode I thought I’d send along a comment about a rather large mistake in that show.

    Monday’s episode was from 6 to 7PM. At 6:30PM, when the former First Lady Martha Logan was talking with the Soviet Premier’s wife in
    Moscow the sun was shining and there were shadows in the room. It would have been 4:30AM in Moscow.

    Which also brings up the point that they weren’t able to get thru to the Russian wife quickly because she was giving a speech. At 4:30 in the morning? Seems someone dropped the ball.

    BTW, the other item that is always bothering us is to see the “Fox Players”. It seems Fox rotates a number of actors from “24” to
    “Prison Break” to “Bones” and even “Rescue”, etc.

    Ex: the former chief of staff for Logan becomes the Senator in the short season show… can’t recall the name (the Senator’s wife went missing)

    We even see former “24” actors come back after a season or two. We believe the Vice President’s female assistant was the bride-to-be two season ago.

    It is bothersome because when it happens in the show we all loose track of the plot and try to recall where or what show or what season the actor was in before.

    Hope this isn’t boring to you. If so let me know and I won’t bother you in the future.

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

    PW, no – not boring. You raise some good points…especially the time difference between L.A. and Russia. I have seen this brought up since last week elsewhere too.

    Ah, but we love the show, no matter how much fun we poke at it.

    We do need to hear some more snarkiness from Chloe though, there hasn’t been enough this season.