Bill Buchanan’s death last night was unexpected. That makes good TV. But yet last week (which I am still writing about!), when he was running through the White House, brandishing President Taylor’s tracking band, I thought perhaps that was going to be the end for him. And then when Aaron Pierce was shot, I thought the same thing about our favorite Secret Service Agent. And yet this week he was doing pretty well, despite the GSW.
Oh, but Bill. Hard to take, this one. Here’s the set up.
The hour opened with the Veep watching the news, interrupted from a phone call from Moss, with the plea for invading the White House, but Veep says no, using the “P” word again. “It wouldn’t be prudent.” Hmm, where have we heard that before?
So, Larry and Renee stew and fume out in the Rose Garden (or wherever the FBI van is parked), while Allison and Olivia cry together as captives. Among the other hostages, Jack and Bill form a quick plan. Before Jack and President Taylor left the lockdown, they had opened cans of CH4 (methane gas) which will be highly combustible – and should cause an explosion if there’s gunfire close enough. Jack plans to make a move towards the still-open lockdown room, to draw gunfire to the waiting gas.
While he and Bill are hashing out the details in whispers, Senator “Red” Mayer affects a prairie dog look while trying to get information from Jack and Bill. He pops his head up, “psst, what are you guys talking about? Is there a plan?” The other two just glare at him, he pops back down again. Seconds later he’s popping up, “tell me – tell me!” More glaring and popping, “I’m so gonna tell Juma on you!”
Meanwhile Juma wants Taylor to read a statement that will damn the U.S.’s “invasion” of Sangala. She tries to bargain – asking that hostages be released first. Juma seems to agree, and in what he calls a “sign of good faith,” takes a random male hostage away from the group as if he will set him free. Oh, he sets him free all right; one gunshot releases the man from his earthly bounds as he sinks to the floor, blood spilling.
And now a quietly horrified President Taylor reads the prepared propaganda against the backdrop of a Sangalan National flag – a flag soiled with the invisible stain of tyranny and inequity. The Vice President, the FBI, and the rest of the nation hear her words in disbelief. No one can stop the live feed, not even the FBI. But this is the chance Jack has been waiting for. Allison is also ready to react, even as she is still reading her statement. But Bill tells Jack that he had earlier overheard a conversation between Juma and someone on the outside who appears to be helping Juma. Bill says that Jack that is the best man for the job of finding the mystery co-conspirator – and he instantly gets up and charges to the lockdown room.