Last night’s episode was definitive in terms of where this season is going for a number of reasons. Mostly, Jack has no time to mourn the loss of his good friend Tony A. As in seasons past, Jack is hit with yet another life defining moment that he can’t process because of the business at hand. The toll is starting to become visible, and it is a credit to Kiefer Sutherland (who is way under appreciated in his role as Agent Bauer) that he is undoing the layers of this onion-like meltdown in such a subtle way. Sooner or later Jack is going to blow (sooner judging by the preview scenes from next week when he has Audrey in a stranglehold), and it isn’t going to be pretty.
We saw Edgar die last week and now Tony is dead. The old gang is getting knocked off one by one, and we really only have Chloe and Curtis left (though Bill is mostly in Jack’s corner when he’s not being pushed around by that Homeland Security woman who reminds me of all those high school teachers who didn’t have a clue). Jack’s daughter Kim was there for a couple of hours, her lip gloss shining perfectly during the crisis when half of CTU bit the dust. In fact, I am just surprised that Kim wasn’t in more danger, but it seems someone at 24 has learned that we can only take too much of Kimmy Poo before insulin shock sets in. Thank goodness Ponyboy took her off to some kind of conference (no doubt about how to resurrect one’s career by guest starring on TV’s hottest show).
Jack gets dirty with the German terrorist Stoller, who it turns out is actually a member of German intelligence (quick, think Hogan’s Heroes ), but this longhaired dude happens to have feelings for the long-legged Stenger babe who happens to keep schematics of the sensitive kind on memory sticks in her purse (oh, and a cute little pistol on her leg). Stoller is willing to give Pistol Girl up for a “wet list,” but if I were him I’d have insisted on a wet bar instead. Nevertheless, Jack and Stoller strike a deal, but Jack is not about to give up anything to some foreign dude (he got burned by those Chinese once after all).