“Art thee not, fatal vision, sensible / To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but / a dagger of the mind, a false creation / Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” Fans of Shakespeare’s Macbeth will recognize these lines (and the title) as some of the most insightful words a fictional character ever uttered. While these lines highlight Macbeth’s struggle with his murderous tendencies, they also apply quite nicely to last night’s episode for, if anyone read my reviews of Season 5, he or she would know I frequently referenced Macbeth in discussing the Charles Logan-Martha Logan marriage and quest for power. I even used to jokingly refer to Martha as Lady MacDeath, and it seems in retrospect there was a great deal of foreshadowing in that.
Last night it all came to fruition when old Chucky went to visit the Lady and her new beau, stalwart former Secret Service Agent Aaron (Hawkeye) Pierce. It seems old Hawk is now devoted to the Lady, dutifully bringing her home fruit from her favorite store. The Lady is on the wagon now, so no more narcotics and cocktails for her. Fresh raspberries and grapes will have to suffice. It seems she is content with Hawk, until Chucky arrives on her doorstep looking for a favor. Admittedly, this seems a contrivance, but no more so than the evil Graem turning out to be Jack’s long lost brother. In the world of 24, we have grown used to these things and move on.
Our hero Jack Bauer is still locked away in the Russian Embassy. He takes a sweet Russian couple hostage after breaking free and killing the crumb who killed the guy who tried to warn Bill about the nukes in the desert. Got that? Well, now Jack holds the girl and sends the guy off to get a phone. It must be a Russian thing, because nothing seems to work very well in this building.
Back at CTU, a new sheriff named Mike (Clint Eastwood) Doyle strides into town. Apparently, he is the head of Field Ops now and this ruffles Milo’s feathers. It seems clear that Milo is permanently on the list for Mr. Personality, for he has a history with Clint that goes back to Denver. Either Milo can’t play nice or he just has issues. Clint struts around CTU and lets everyone know he’s taking charge. Bill skulks off to his office; Milo tells Nadia that he doesn’t like the guy but that he knows what he is doing; and Chloe and Morris exchange knowing glances, as if to say things just got much worse.
Chucky comes to CTU and talks Bill into letting him go to see Lady MacDeath, hoping she will broker a deal with Russian President Subaru’s wife to allow an attack on the embassy. The Lady and Mrs. Subaru shared a defining moment in a limousine in Season 5 when they survived an assault that was engineered by husband Charles. No wonder she is so miffed at the guy. Bill seems to have lost his way and lets Chucky get a helicopter without even thinking through the ramifications. Maybe he is pining for Karen (Hillary) Hayes, who is in Washington where the stakes are getting even higher.
At the White House, President Noah (Jim Jones) Daniels is setting up a deal with Tom (Twitchy) Lennox concerning his involvement in the assassination attempt that has left Prez Wayne Palmer on hiatus (actually he is with Curtis and Karen having cocktails in some dark saloon). Twitchy agrees to implicate the now dead Assad in the attempt, although one can see that this goes against his grain (he actually does have a spine after all). Twitchy is bothered by the fact that Reed and Carson will seemingly get away with it, but Twitchy may not be done yet. The ambassador (lots of diplomats in these episodes by the way) from Assad’s country denounces the assassination attempt, but Jones is not buying it. He has a carrier group off the coast of this man’s country and an itchy trigger finger.
Chucky goes to see Lady MacDeath, who won’t come out of the bedroom to see him. He and Hawkeye exchange something less than pleasantries (Chucky did try to have Hawkeye killed in Season 5), but it is a small triumph for the former president when his wife does appear to talk with him. Appropriately dressed all in black, Lady MacDeath berates her ex-husband and then throws kibble and bits at him. Chucky does ask her to call Mrs. Subaru in hopes she will intervene with her husband concerning the embassy.
Before you can say “Psycho,” the Lady has grabbed a knife and is plunging it into Chucky. It’s a shocking and devastating blow. Hawkeye, without the aide of a martini or Trapper John, tries to apply pressure to the wound as he calls for an ambulance. Imagine in one day an assassination attempt on a sitting president and an ex-president? Just what the country needs after a nuclear explosion, right?
MacDeath gets herself together enough after the bloodletting to speak to Mrs. Subaru, who does talk to her husband. Subaru calls Markhov at the embassy and orders him to let Jack Bauer go and surrender to the Americans. Markhov, who is in cahoots with Fayed (Mr. Clean) and Gredenko (Mr. Dirty), declines his boss’s edict, thus giving Subaru no alternative but to authorize the U.S. assault on the embassy. Thankfully, we shouldn’t have any of the same minutiae that the assault on the Chinese consulate in Season 4 caused.
Clint leads the strike team’s attack on the embassy. Apparently, he enjoys wielding a machine gun as much as Jack does. He takes out guys left and right and eventually finds Jack in the basement. Jack finally tells Clint about the nukes in the desert, and he relays this message to CTU.
We get a glimpse of Mr. Clean and Mr. Dirty with a drone that is all ready to drop another nice payload somewhere on Americans. At the same time Chucky is in the ambulance mumbling “Martha” under his oxygen mask. This dramatic irony becomes even more poignant as the medic starts working on him and says, “We’re losing him.” It doesn’t look too promising for old Chuck.
Will CTU be able to stop the drone? Will Lady MacDeath be sent back to the funny farm? Will Jack be able to find Clean and Dirty and, with Clint’s help, neutralize the threat? What about Hillary? Will she be able to stop Jim Jones from wiping out a Middle Eastern nation with something a lot worse than Kool-aid? And, finally, will Chucky make it to the hospital or will he join David Palmer, Edgar, Tony, and Michelle at that great CTU set in the sky?
Until next week, Klaatu barada nikto!