As the final episodes of 24 have been unraveling, I find there is a great deal of sub-textual information being thrown at us in a very deliberate and intriguing manner. One of the pleasures of this series is always knowing Jack is stuck within a structured time frame, and it has never allowed the use of flashbacks, which would obviously, as it does on ABC’s show Lost, allow for deepening and enriching character development. 24 has always relied on the action to dictate the reaction, thus we get to do a good deal of work ourselves making connections and remembering moments in seasons past that correlate with what is happening now. As the frenetic pace of show continues to accelerate, I have been doing that a lot lately as I watch while fidgeting in my seat every week.
Planes have always figured into the plotline: think Season 2 when a dying George Mason takes the nuke out into the desert or Season 4 when President Keeler’s jet is shot down. Now in Season 5, we have Jack basically hijacking a plane to get a tape that will implicate the President of the United States in the biggest scandal in American history. Appropriately, the flight hits turbulence along the way that references what is not only happening on the plane itself but also the country: smooth sailing is something that is not possible or even imminent. Perhaps, it foreshadows the anarchy that possibly awaits in Season 6.
This episode starts off with Chloe and Bill at mini-CTU in Bill’s humble abode, but Karen (Cruella Now Sweet to Bill) warns them that Homeland Security agents will be there momentarily, so Bill sends Chloe off to a hotel on Ventura Boulevard where she heads to the bar and sets up shop. Of course, in keeping with 24 tradition, there must be some obstacle in her way; in this case, it is an annoying Bar Jerk who is drunk and looking to score. Chloe ignores him and gets to work, quickly calling Jack and letting him know where the air marshal is sitting on the plane.
Good old Jack ambles down the aisle, sits next to Air Cop, and quickly renders him unconscious. Man, do I feel safe about flying when I see how quickly an air marshal can be taken out of the equation. Jack then procures Air Cop’s gun and badge, then proceeds to the back of the plane to await Chloe’s call. It turns out there is a guy from Omnicreeps aboard sitting in another seat, so Jack proceeds to gently persuade this German fellow to follow him into the bowels of the ship for a little Q&A.