There are always those characters on 24 who seem to make a complete turnaround during the course of the season. Think Erin Driscoll in Season Four or Nina Meyers in Season One and you know what I mean. Since the writers and producers of the series have admitted many times to “making this stuff up” as the season progresses, then it’s no wonder why President Lowguns has gone from The Incredible Mr. Limpet to Bad-to-the-Bone Chief Executive during the course of Season 5.
Jack meets Bill to deposit Wayne Palmer for safekeeping. How and why Bill appears like this is not explained, but Jack must have called him during the commercial break. (Jack’s cell is still cranking out with no problems.) Bill looks old, like he’s aged since Karen Cruella Mean to Bill and her lackey Miles Touchy Feely threw him out of CTU (but we’re seeing him for the first time outside of that weird lighting on the CTU set). So Old Bill takes Wayne away and then Jack is free for his meeting with Audrey and her father.
Jack arrives at Van Nuys Airport in a police car just as Secretary of Defense Nuts Landing and Audrey are embracing (but with not that much emotion). It seems Nuts is kind of bothered by the whole mess, and when he sees Jack there’s no, “How are you buddy; thought you were dead” kind of thing. It’s more of Nuts getting angry, then listening to the tape implicating Lowguns, and getting Jack with a pretty nifty karate chop to the neck. (Jack was probably pissed he didn’t see that coming.)
Soon Jack and Audrey are handcuffed to a pole in a storeroom and Nuts is off for his big confrontation with Lowguns (leaving the tape with evidence of Lowguns’s guilt behind with one of his flunkies).
Meanwhile, back at CTU Cruella and Touchy are out to get Chloe Babe for helping Audrey help Jack. Touchy is really hot for Chloe now, wanting to get her in a holding room and well, we’re not sure yet. Twitchy Girl sets Chloe up (obviously forgetting that Touchy tried to Feely her) and then Chloe’s in that pen and Touchy is there too. The really nice twist is that Chloe touches Touchy (got that?) and takes his security card in the process.
Touchy gets all bent out of shape saying, “Don’t you touch me”, making Chloe realize that Twitchy Girl is truly Nutso Girl. She uses this to her advantage while escaping CTU (apparently it’s as easy to get out of CTU Headquarters as it is to get in), and Twitchy/Nutso lets her go into that good night. Chloe goes off to Bill’s place where she is ready to set up a mini-CTU no doubt to assist Jack’s every need.
At the ranch Lady MacDeath is desperate to get Lowguns into bed. It’s apparent that he and she are not making whoopee too often if at all. Lowguns is still adjusting to having that synthetic spine shoved into his back, so he’s not ready to stop quivering and get it on with the Lady. Then she hears that Nuts Landing wants to see him immediately, and that gets her all the more suspicious. To whom does she go but her Super Secret Serviceman Costner, and they get all close in the face like Whitney and Kevin ready to lip-lock, but Costner tells her he’ll meet her in the barn (MacDeath no doubt thinks “roll in the hay” and is all gushy about it).
When Lady MacDeath does go to the stable, Costner is not there. She calls him on her cell and hears it ringing; she finds Costner’s cell in the hay (alas, no passionate moment). Where the hell is Costner?
Lowguns and Nuts face-off in a scene that should make diehard 24 fans just drool, and during the heated confrontation Lowguns reveals the ultimate motivation for his acts of treason that day: oil. It’s not surprising to us now that oil has inched over $70 a barrel (thus making gas reach the $3 a gallon mark) that Lowguns would be concerned about oil topping $100 a barrel someday, but to secure the oil for the country he has allowed innocent Americans to be at risk, many to die from the Sentox gas, and the assassination of President Palmer. Talk about impeachable offenses!
Nuts tells Lowguns he wants his resignation and the search for Jack called off. Lowguns while sniveling in the presence of this manly-man is thinking about Robo Henderson, whom he has dispatched to the airport to secure the tape. He has lied to Homeland Security about sending a military unity to get Jack, and Mike The Grimace Novick suspects something is wrong here too. Mike questions the Prez and gets rebuffed, but now Mike knows the truth that something is wrong also.
Jack and Audrey are still handcuffed to the pole with no time for a quickie. Jack decides to rise to the occasion in a different way and somehow climbs the pole and burns the restraints on his hands to get free. Soon Audrey is also free, a lackey is down, and Jack is asking Audrey to secure him. This is another 24 staple: Jack separates from someone in a desperate situation and then that person gets in trouble.
Jack goes outside and takes down Nuts Landing’s other lackey on the tarmac, taking back the tape with evidence to incriminate Lowguns. At the same moment Robo Henderson arrives via helicopter with his new team (AKA: dispensable bad guys), but Robo slips off into the hangar while Jack (with lackey’s help) takes out the team.
How does Robo know enough to go into the hangar if he’s being engaged outside? This is stretching it, but now we start thinking Audrey’s white coat is going to get like Mr. Takagi’s suit in Die Hard. Jack knows Robo has gone in after Audrey, so he quickly dispatches the baddies, hops over the dead body of lackey (once again proving that any minor character who helps Jack dies), and is soon inside looking for his old Bud and his Babe.
Robo wants the tape and will exchange Audrey for it. He sends her out of hiding with blood dripping from her left hand (there goes the coat), and he tells Jack it’s some kind of artery and she has three minutes to live. Jack battles his inner conflict (maybe thinking about how he once told Tony to give up Michelle in a similar situation in Season 3), but he decides to make the switch and throws the tape to Robo, who promptly escapes. Jack ties off the artery and gets all snuggly with Audrey. He can’t lose her, man. No way can he lose another woman!
Lowguns temporary spine is almost popping out of his back as Nuts places a letter of resignation on the desk. Vice-President Potato Chip Garner just happens to saunter into the office and witness the moment. Lowguns is just about to tell Potato Chip the deal when his cell rings. Of course, Robo has the tape and now the temporary spine snaps back into place and Lowguns stops sniveling.
Nuts launches into a tirade in front of Potato Chip accusing Lowguns of his treason before the Secret Service escort him out of the house (why Lowguns doesn’t have Nuts locked up is surprising). Potato Chip stares at the Prez with his best Twin Peaks glare, and we know everything is place for more turmoil in the next episode.
Will Jack get back the tape? Will he ever kill Robo (who is escaping more frequently and annoyingly than Marwan last season)? Where is Costner? Will Mike and Potato Chip combine the power of their facial expressions to undo the Prez? Will Bill and Chloe be able to help Jack? Will Curtis ever get back to CTU with Jerko Bierko? And finally, and most importantly, will Audrey find a dry cleaner open at this hour to take care of that damned coat?
Until next week, Klaatu Barada Nikto!