There’s a practice in action filmmaking that really grates on me. Characters get beaten up; suffer falls, burns, stabbings and shootings. They limp and wince and bleed, sure. But their suffering seems to last only until the next scene. At some point, a modicum of first aid is proffered. And that does the trick. Don’t get me started. Anyway, what is Jack’s injury this time? We see him getting an injection “to help with the pain”, but the CTU medic type person advises him to get to a hospital. Ha, that’d be the day.
Doyle informs Jack that the Marines are going to take over the final securing and transport of the suitcase nukes. He also takes a minute to tell Jack how he appreciates Jack’s actions of the day. Then Jack goes away to make a surreptitious phone call to Audrey’s captor, the mean ole Cheng Zhi, former security head of the Chinese Consulate. Remember from last week, Jack got that call after knocking off Fayed and securing the nukes.
Cheng goes into a long explanation of his nefarious plan, explaining how the component from the triggering mechanism contains a prototype algorithm that has no encryption safeguards – or something like that. His explanation goes on and on, eventually he resorts to a whole power point presentation, with hostage Audrey making like Carol Merrill, gesturing with shackled grace, to the bullet points of interest.
OK, the only problem with bad guys explaining a whole lot of stuff, is that it tends to imply that the audience will not live to repeat anything, much less fill out a survey or take a test on the evil subject matter. When will anyone figure this out?
Tom stops by to see a sweaty Prez Wayne. He gently nags Wayne again about taking a load off in Medical. Wayne winces of course, but wants to stay the course. But because Tom nagged Wayne about his health, he decides to pester Tom about what he might possibly have over Daniels. Tom decides to come clean and explains about the recorded conversation between the Veep and Lisa.
Before Tom can go break out the boom box and play the tape, Karen skips in with the good news about Fayed and the nukes. Confetti falls, streamers stream, and a marching band is heard in the corridor. Wayne announces that it’s time to get out of the bunker and head back up to the Oval Office.
While Bill is giving a congratulatory speech at CTU, Jack calls in to Chloe to beg her for schematics for the nukes. After the appropriate amount of scowling, she manages to sneak onto Morris’s ‘puter and finds the Secret Squirrel files she needs. She uploads the stuff to his swiped cell phone, just in time for the commercial break! Whew!
Now that Wayne is ensconced back into the Oval Office, he calls in Veep Daniels to break up with him:
“It’s always been a marriage of convenience. Now that the crisis is over, I’m asking you for
a divorce your resignation.”
Daniels flat out refuses but Wayne won’t back down. He tells the Veep that he’s learned from him – sometimes brute force is effective. Touché Mr. President!
And sometimes sneaking around is not effective, as Chloe finds out. Morris had installed a logging program on his computer to detect if anyone had tried to access his hard drive. Chloe turns a bit purplish, and has to admit she was the one, and explains the whole Jack/Nukes/Audrey/Cheng plan to Morris. He tells her she must report to Principal Buchanan’s office. Reluctantly she scuffs her way up to Bill and spills the beans.
Meanwhile Jack’s sneaking around the warehouse where the Marines are guarding the nukes. He ends up trying to bluff the guards – telling them he has a Presidential order to obtain a circuit board out of one of the nuclear weapons. He’s pretty convincing too, if we didn’t know any better, we’d think that it was all true. He’s busy working on one of the nukes when suddenly Mike Doyle comes out of nowhere. “Stand down Jack!”
Now it’s some sort of Mexican Standoff, or in this case, Russian/Chinese Standoff. Guns are drawn, everyone’s yelling, but finally one of the Marines knocks Jack to the ground unconscious. When he wakes up, he talks to Bill on the phone. Bill understands the importance of trying to get Audrey back, but he can’t let Jack follow his current plan. He pleads for a chance to make a phone call to President Wayne Palmer. Bill tells him he’ll work on it.
When the call comes thru on Doyle’ cell he snarls out, “It’s the President.” Somehow, Jack convinces Wayne to let him make the trade of the circuit board to the Chinese for Audrey. Of course, as Jack has to keep explaining to everyone, he never actually intends to let Cheng have the device. Wayne is dismayed when he realizes that Jack will possibly sacrifice himself when he destroys the circuit board.
Chloe is mad that Morris made her tell all. Personally, I think she should just get over herself. I mean, I love the girl, but… well; maybe we’ll just chalk it up to the long hours.
So, now that Jack has CTU’s full backing, he calls Cheng to find out where to “make the drop” or whatever Important Phrasing they’re using. Audrey is clearly worn out from her smiling and gesturing during Cheng’s earlier presentation; she looks pretty catatonic. Anyway, Doyle and Jack prepare to leave to Extract Audrey (New Important Phrasing), but Doyle stresses to Jack that the whole thing is nuts, and this woman better be important.
Veep has to resign. Lisa feels bad. She also seems a mite creeped out when Daniels caresses her face and comments that now they’ll have more time to spend together. If it were me, I’d be throwing up in my mouth.
After the nausea has passed, Wayne is holding his press conference to announce that the crisis has passed. The Veep hovers in the background, holding his letter of resignation. Everyone is smiling and Wayne is doing great until he starts to take questions:
“What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
This is pretty much his undoing, and down goes the President. Oh, and the cerebral hemorrhage that Dr. Weld diagnosed has a little something to do with his collapse too. And this brings us back to Veep In Charge. Little Lisa Loose Lips doesn’t waste a minute waving around an official notice regarding Wayne’s permission for Jack to exchange verboten technology for Audrey’s life. Veep Daniels immediately rescinds the deal and instructs CTU to halt Jacks’ plan.
We pretty much don’t need to see the last few minutes. Bill calls Doyle on the QT, tells him the jig is up, but Jack is having none of that. He manages to get Doyle out of the vehicle, takes his phone and reminds him that he already killed his partner earlier in the day, and snuffing out Doyle wouldn’t be such a big deal, if it’s what it’d take to get things done. And off he goes, just Jack being Jack.