After learning that his father is really behind the terrible events of this day, Jack Bauer utters the line, “How could I have been so stupid?” Actually, it is a relief to hear him say this because, for a moment, it does seem like Jack is coming unraveled and not seeing things clearly at all. When his ex-girlfriend Marilyn (now his brother’s widow) informs him of this horror, Jack shakes with the realization and then becomes resolute about dealing with things. It’s about time!
The 24 writers have really thrown a neat little curve with this introduction of the Bauer clan. As any Star Wars fan can attest, it is difficult not to like the twist that Darth Vader is Luke’s father, but it is also annoying because in the context of the original film there is not even an inkling of this.
Fans of 24 might feel similarly shortchanged by the notion that Graem, an evil character from season five, suddenly becomes a Bauer this year and the whole motivation for the series becomes questionable. If Graem and Phillip Bauer (the old man admitted being behind the events of season five last night) were truly orchestrating that, could it be feasible that they have been behind the scenes all along? What if Nina Meyers was really working for the Bauer Boys back in season one? If you recall, she spoke German at that critical moment when Jack‘s wife Teri overheard her (which cost Teri her life), and Bauer is a German name. Hmmm?
Last night’s action was solid as usual. Milo (Computer Geek turned Gladiator) has grown a pair and is dragging Marilyn (Graem’s Trophy Wife) around trying to keep her safe. He gets her into a precarious and seemingly fatal situation soon enough, but hey, he’s a
only an administrator and not a field operative (as he reminds us). Okay, but he can’t even fire a gun half as well as Chloe. This is proof of what I’ve been saying all along: we need more Chloe!
Just as the terrorists are going to make Milo toast, Jack comes in and blows two of them away, saving the third as go between with the bad guys. When he learns that the bad guys include his father, Jack is more angry with himself. Stupid? Perhaps, but it seems more that Jack has a blind spot when it comes to dear old Darth Bauer. There is some residual guilt about leaving the silver spoon behind, but we’ve all got baggage to deal with in one form or another.
Jack has the captured terrorist call Darth and then makes it seem as if Marilyn won’t give up the info unless she sees her son Josh. Josh is trapped in a hotel room with Darth, and he now knows that Grandpa is not such a nice guy after all. Down the road, it would be great for him to give Jack’s daughter Kim a call. As first cousins, they could commiserate on the slings and arrows of being Bauer.
The rendezvous at the hotel is arranged, and Jack and Marilyn have a moment. There have been a few previous ones, but this is rather tender especially considering Jack earlier grabbed Marilyn by the neck and slammed her against a wall (reminding loyal viewers of what he has done previously to Audrey). He gives her a bulletproof vest to wear under her clothes, providing a convenient interlude for Marilyn to partially disrobe and Jack to gallantly turn away (hey, presumably he’s seen the goods before). Jack does touch her face softly and Marilyn once again reminds him that she only stayed with Graem for her son. If there were even just a few minutes, these two could get busy, but Jack is always on the clock and there isn’t a moment to spare.
Meanwhile, back at the underground bunker, Tom (Twitchy) Lennox has another meeting with Reed (Rob Lowe’s Little Bro). It becomes clear to Twitchy that Little Bro is setting up the assassination of Prez Wayne. Twitchy is not comfortable with this, and after a meeting with Prez confirms Wayne’s respect and trust in Twitchy, the latter goes back to meet with Little Bro and obfuscates matters briefly. After Little Bro leaves, Twitchy tries to set up a meeting with the Secret Service (where’s Aaron Pierce when we need him most?), but Little Bro is back with a convenient truncheon in hand, whacking the crap out of Twitchy. Later on Twitchy is bound and gagged. If only Karen (Hillary) Hayes could see him now.
At CTU there is more drama concerning Milo-Morris-Chloe, with Nadia seemingly less important as Chloe rises to the occasion. Milo gets to take his shirt off to get his wound bandaged, making him the second character of the night to show skin. Morris (Yul Brenner) O’Brian has just had a moment of crisis. In a convenience store he sees the horror unfolding on TV (talk about the cleanup of the nuke dominates) and gets a bottle of booze and a box of Altoids (the breakfast of chumps?) because he continues to blame himself for arming the nukes. Outside, he tries to drink the booze but spits it up right away.
Back at CTU Yul comes in and sees the shirtless Milo looking rather heroic. Yul goes into the medical unit (just stepping in there seems risky since it‘s the place many have perished) and congratulates Milo on growing a pair (insinuating that Yul is emasculated by his experience with Abu [Mr. Clean] Fayed). Unfortunately, the Altoids don‘t mask the booze and both Chloe and Milo smell it on Yul, but he swears he is sober as a judge and gets back to work. Now we know Yul is a recovering alcoholic, and we just thought he was a recovering ex-husband of Chloe.
Jack finally makes his way to the hotel room but it is empty, proving he is an apple that hasn’t fallen too far from the old man’s tree. Darth has Josh across the way on the roof, so Jack has to agree to once again (for the record, I don’t know how many times Jack has “sacrificed” himself, but it’s getting redundant at this point) exchange himself for a hostage. Jack goes unarmed to the other building and Josh gets to run free and escape.
It would seem that Darth Bauer is ready to kill his second son that day. Jack kneels down and the moment is reminiscent of when Jack had to execute Chappelle in season three. The difference is Jack is not afraid. Despite the aforementioned redundancy, it is possible that this moment is fleshing out his character, for Jack’s mea culpa to his father is rather heartfelt. He explains that he is sorry for leaving but that he had to go his own way. Darth Bauer doesn’t pull the trigger or even ask Jack to join the dark side; instead, he runs off and leaves his PDA behind.
Now Jack is a bit bewildered (and man, that Darth can run fast for an old codger), but the PDA has a number on it for Jack to call. Jack calls it and what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a blast from the past: disgraced former President Charles Logan. Logan has sprouted a beard and looks longingly at a picture of his ex-wife (Lady MacDeath) and tells Jack that they need to meet.
This last scene provides an incredibly nice jolt and sets up what should be a rather interesting sit-down between Jack and his former tormenter. Will Jack get the full story, not just behind last season, but all the years of torture that he has endured?
Until next week, Klaatu barada nikto!