In the past I have mentioned that there are sometimes echoes of Bruce Willisâ€™s John McClane from the Die Hard films to be found in Jack Bauer, and last night was a good example of that. The writers even borrowed a very familiar scene and one memorable line from those movies in Jackâ€™s final confrontation with bad guy Abu (Mr. Clean) Fayed. There is nothing wrong with this homage to good old Bruce, and it did in fact fit in contextually and felt new in an odd way.
How Jack got to that moment with Clean is a little murky, and it goes back to the incredulous events in Episode 16 when Fayed cuts off Gredenkoâ€™s arm (here, borrowing from Season 3 when Jack cut off Chaseâ€™s arm) and they flee into a bar. Why people are sitting around drinking in a bar after a nuclear attack earlier in the day seems as strange as the idea that someone would let someone else cut off his arm to escape from anyone. Gredenko ends up bleeding to death under the Santa Monica pier, and Fayed is caught by those bar patrons, and this allows Jack the chance to get him. Got all that?
Meanwhile, back at the White House everyone is nervous about the nuclear missile launched by the USA under orders from President Wayne Palmer. This missile is directed at Fayedâ€™s â€śhome countryâ€ť which is still unnamed. The ambassador of this country knows the nuke is on its way and will flatten the minarets of his capital city, so suddenly he remembers that they have some guy named Habib in custody who is a rogue general. Prez Wayne has correctly assumed that the ambassador was lying to him, and Tom (Twitchy) Lennox is impressed with Wayneâ€™s machinations.
Prez orders the ambassador back to the White House for the duration of the crisis. He also calls off the missile strike (the Joint Chiefs arrange for it to crash into the gulf, which we assume is the Persian one). Wayne tells Twitchy that the nuke was never armed because, unlike Vice President Noah (Jim Jones) Daniels, he was not going to risk innocent lives but had to do something dramatic enough to get the ambassador to cooperate. Nice going, Prez Wayne!
Twitchy and Karen (Hillary) Hayes have formed some sort of alliance that allows the former foes to work together. They realize that Wayne is still weak from his brush with death earlier that day. Prez wants another shot of adrenaline, but Doc Welton is not going to risk Wayneâ€™s life. Obviously, this guy should crawl back into bed and get hooked up to an IV, but with Jones waiting in the wings that scenario is unlikely.