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Congratulations to Sandrine Holt. Who’s that, you ask? Why, she’s the doe-eyed young actress who plays Evelyn on 24. Just when we thought her small character had been all but forgotten, the mercurial writers dragged her right back into the spotlight for her biggest episode yet. Unfortunately, if there’s anything we know about bit characters on this show, it’s that they rarely survive their moment in the limelight, especially if they happen to know any valuable information. Well, Evelyn knew QUITE a bit of information, and she just so happened to get stuck with the ever so fun task of duping an international terrorist and his fourteen armed guards and snipers. That’s a lot to handle, especially if your day-to-day activities center around doing the First Lady’s makeup. But on the upside, at least she’ll have a great story to tell someday… if she survives.But before we get to Evelyn, we need to take care of some loose ends. Some loose, fiery ends. At the end of last week’s episode, Jack and Bierko were forced into a molten embrace as a fireball exploded all around them. Would they survive the blast? Of course. This is 24, not real life. A little fire’s nothing to Jack. It’s like flicking his ear or tussling his hair. Unfortunately, Jack’s friends don’t know him as well as we do, and so they were all very, very concerned — especially Audrey who was look might refreshed for someone who’s just emerged from a little evening torture session.
Anyway, as everyone waited with baited breath for Jack to reappear, we at least heard some good news: all the gas had been incinerated. Yay! But Edgar’s still dead. Boo! But Kim’s gone. Yay!
With this wonderful news, Karen excused herself to brief the White House of the news. “Miles…” she said, summoning her main gay. The two headed upstairs while out on the field, Curtis saw a bird… no, a plane! No, Jack Bauer! Yes, through the smoke and haze, Jack emerged triumphantly with Bierko flung over his shoulder. He survived! Who would have thought? And not an ounce of smoke inhalation! Well done!
“Jack’s OK!” Curtis yelled out to the team. He then ran up to Jack and asked, “You OK?” Uh, Curtis. You just said he was OK. Maybe next time you should relax with the grandiose announcements. Luckily, Jack really was OK, so Curtis didn’t have to recall his previous statement, but in the bad news department, Bierko was kind of strugglin’ for life. You know what this means: he’ll get a few key words out of his mouth until he painfully expires in the CTU infirmary. Speaking of which, that’s exactly where Bierko’s unconscious body was headed, and just like that Curtis quietly dispatched for the rest of the episode, a growing trend that I do not approve of, by the way.
Anyway, Jack then called Bill and told him that there was something big going on. Henderson was working for someone — someone he didn’t want to give up. But who?? “Bill, I’m scared,” Jack said, showing some rare and disturbingly out of place vulnerability. He then added, “When I get back to CTU, promise me one thing: hold me. Hold me and tell me everything will be okay.”
All right, he didn’t actually say that, but what the hell was Jack so scared about? Did he not just go running through an exploding gas substation? Isn’t this the same man that once parachuted out of plane with a nuclear bomb in the overhead compartment? And didn’t this guy just brave exposure to the centox gas just two or three hours ago? Please, Jack. We know you’re not scared. You’re physically incapable.
Nevertheless, we were still left to wonder who this next nefarious baddie would be. Well, we then cut to Vice President Hal, looking menacing as always. Of course. The VP is behind it all. Kind of feels derivative of season two, but I’ll go along with it. Nevertheless, Hal was on the phone with Karen, and even though CTU was in the middle of an investigation, and even though Karen thought that maybe then wasn’t the best time to absorb the department, the vice prez still insisted that Homeland Security take over.
“I guess we should get started,” Miles said in his best effeminately smarmy voice. He then added, “For this takeover, I have some wonderful ideas of what we can do with the decor. I’m thinking salmon trim on all the doors, and there are these lovely drapes at Pottery Barn that are on sale now. Why don’t we check them out. And then get lattés!”
Well, even though the VP wanted the takeover right then, Karen knew that Bill Buchanan wouldn’t take this lying down. She and Miles had to get some sort of dirt on him. They needed someone to go on record to say that Bill led CTU poorly that day and should be taken out of office. I instantly assumed this would be where wee Shari Rothenberg would shine, as she’s already proven herself to be quite the office whistle-blower when it comes to sexual harassment. But no, Miles had someone else in mind: Audrey Raines!
There was no way Audrey would sign anything against Bill. That was obvious. But hey, it couldn’t hurt to try. Meanwhile, back at the Presidential retreat, Aaron pulled up in his SUV — a lovely vehicle which featured dual side airbags, heated seats, and plenty of trunk space to store golf clubs, groceries, or the former President’s brother, if need be. Yes, Wayne was all stuffed and scrunched in the trunk, and even though he looked like he’d just been run over by an errant snowplow, he revealed that he was doing just fine, thank you very much. Once he dusted off his lapel a bit, he then told Aaron that David Palmer had been receiving information from within the White House. Evelyn Martin — Martha Logan’s assistant — was his source. And it was because of the info Evelyn gave him that Palmer was killed. Dunh dunh DUNH!
At that very moment, we then found a jittery Evelyn preparing to pack up for the day. Martha noticed how nervous her assistant seemed to be, and when she asked if anything was wrong, Evelyn merely replied that she was just tired.
“It’s been a long day,” Martha then replied. “I’m surprised any of us got through it.” Yeah, try explaining that to Walt Cummings. Oh that’s right. You can’t. BECAUSE HE’S DEAD.
Meanwhile, Agent Aaron Pierce entered the building with Wayne, who was looking quite clean and refreshed all of a sudden — he and Audrey must have the same beauty kit. The two guys soon ran into Evelyn and pressed her for information. After some general Wayne grunting and seething, she finally admitted that she had proof about who’s behind everything today. Unfortunately… “they” kidnapped her little girl. If she didn’t turn the proof over to the bad guys soon, they’d kill her little girl. Uh oh spaghetti-o. The way I see it, she should let them kill her daughter, and then she can just adopt Behrooz, wherever he may be. That way she has a child, and he has a mother. Nifty, eh?
Anyway, Evelyn was reticent to spill the beans about anything to Agent Pierce or Wayne Palmer because she just wanted her child back. One problem with that. I’ll let Aaron explain: “You know too much. They’ll kill you both.” Great. Way to be a buzzkill, AARON.
So here’s the deal. Evelyn said she’d turn over the evidence to them if they helped her get her daughter back. Not a bad deal. Kind of tricky though. Luckily, they’d have the assistance of CTU, right? Not so much. At that very moment, an army of stuffy Homeland Security drones entered CTU to take over the facility. This meant that all our old buddies were fired (assuming they hadn’t already died from nerve gas) and sent home packing.
“These men and women are from homeland security,” Karen Hayes announced to the floor, adding, “I’ve just authorized a unit-wide backslash protocol.” Oh. OKAY. Whatever that means. You know, there’s no real need to take over CTU. Someone just needs to train the field officers how to implement a proper hard perimeter. Step one: DON’T LET ANYONE THROUGH.
As the fresh faces began to take over the work stations, Miles told Audrey that he wanted to see her in the Situation Room.
“Why?” asked Audrey. Duh. There’s a situation. They don’t call it a Situation Room for nothin’.
Meanwhile, back at the retreat, Wayne called up Jack on his cell phone and informed him of the Evelyn situation. The two guys devised a quick plan on the fly: they’d both meet up in about twenty minutes from now with Evelyn. Got it. With that, Evelyn and Wayne split up, hoping to avoid detection as they both left the compound.
Back at CTU, Audrey was unsurprisingly resistant to signing Miles’ document, but that sneaky man had quite the trick up his sleeve. Because Audrey had been part of the day’s decision-making processes, Miles was going to pin all the CTU mistakes on her as well, therefore implicating the DOD and her father. Oh, so smarmy. Can’t wait ’till he gets offed with some nerve gas. Luckily, Audrey is a woman of principle. “I’m proud of what we did here today. The people of CTU are heroes, especially Bill Buchanan!” she said. And no, an American flag did not unfurl behind her.
A little later, Jack called Audrey and told her about the whole Wayne/Evelyn situation. The two deduced that Vice President Gardner was behind everything (they used some basic logic and circumstantial evidence), and then Jack said that he needed Chloe’s help with the whole Operation: Get Evelyn’s Baby Back (Ribs). Sorry, I couldn’t help but indulge my pun impulses. Of course, there was a huge problem with this plan: Chloe had been relieved of her post, thanks to Homeland Security. Aud and Jack needed her back on the team. But how? Time for a little secret scheming!
Well, Audrey walked back into Karen Hayes’ office and announced that she would sign the statement after all… on one condition. Chloe O’Brien must be kept on and assigned to her. Miles gave Karen the “I don’t trust this bitch. And look at her highlights!” eyes, but after a little hemming and hawing, Karen reluctantly said yes and approved the deal.
Later, we caught up with Henderson who was sitting in some industrial complex with Evelyn’s daughter, an eight year old girl of questionable acting talent. The baddie then called up Evie and asked her where she was. “I’m at my car. No one’s around,” she said. I half expected about three men to jump her at that moment, but shockingly, she really was alone.
Wayne, on the other hand, was still in the retreat with Aaron when he bumped into that snaky Hal Gardener. The veep looked shocked to see Wayne still alive, and when he asked what he was doing at the retreat, Aaron covered and said that Wayne had given him a memento from David Palmer. Likely excuse. For whatever reason, Hal actually bought this load of crap and walked away. Close one, fellas.
Back at CTU, Miles happily sassed Bill, telling him he was no longer in power. This led to confused stares of betrayal as Bill and Chloe could not believe that Audrey had signed those papers. Oh, if they only knew! Meanwhile, Wayne and Evelyn were now in the same SUV, driving to their rendez-vous with Jack. The two shared some words about David, with Evelyn crying, “I have your brother’s blood on my hands, and for that, I’ll never forgive myself!” And some writer has a cliché’s blood on his hands, and for that, he should never forgive himself either.
As for Henderson, he found out that Wayne Palmer had been hangin’ around the Presidential retreat and that immediately made him suspicious. “He was there for a reason,” Henderson said. “And it wasn’t to drop off his resume.” Actually, funny story. He was dropping off his resume. There’s this really great internship program that they just started and, well, okay, I’m lying.
Elsewhere, Jack called Audrey again to get an update on the satellite maps he needed. Aud tried to help him, but she was distracted by Bill who gave her an unhappy (but not totally accusatory — he knows something’s up!) glance. Chloe, on the other hand, was totally pissed at Audrey, but once she learned that she was needed to help Jack, she dropped her ‘tude. The two women headed off to the back server room, a.k.a. the place where people NEVER walk in when there’s a bad guy but always snoop around when good people are trying to do good things.
As the two women got to work opening up sockets and the like, we then found Evelyn and Wayne standing in a dark, deserted barn. This was an ambush waiting to happen if I ever saw one. I was really hoping Wayne would go somewhere and hide. As a 24 character, he was really working on borrowed time. His death could come at any second. Suddenly, the two heard a car pull up, but then… silence. Wayne’s spidey sense went off like crazy, and so he grabbed Evelyn and the two hid. And by “hid,” I mean, took a few steps to the left and stood behind a partial barrier. Not quite the height of “covert.”
Luckily, all this fear was over nothing. It was only Jack wandering in to meet up with his new pals. Once everyone’s heart rates came back down to normal, Jack called up Chloe to get schematics on Evelyn’s rendez-vous with Henderson. The bad news: there were men everywhere. Ten, specifically. The good news: uh, Jack just saved a bunch of money on his car insurance?
Well, Jack needed backup, and Wayne was just the man… at least, according to Wayne. “I was a Marine, Jack,” he said.
“I know that, WAYNE, and you never saw combat,” Jack retorted. Oooh! Marine DIS!
Still, Wayne managed to convince Jack to bring him along — you know, to sate his bloodlust and avenge a certain fratricide. Chances of Wayne dying by the end of the episode: 89%.
Back at the White House West, Hal popped into Logan’s office to say whattup and mention that oh by the way, Wayne Palmer dropped by the estate and didn’t pay his respects. When Logan just brushed it off by essentially saying, “Whatever,” Hal pressed on, saying how surprised he was that Wayne didn’t want to meet with him. Such a manipulator, that Hal. Always causing drama.
Anyway, time to buckle your seatbelts because the unlikely troika of Jack, Wayne, and Evelyn were approaching Henderson’s hideout. Of course, we knew how this would play out. Evelyn would probably die, and then we’d spend the next five episodes hunting down the evidence that she had. Classic 24 scenario. Anyway, at the outskirts of the Henderson meet, Jack and Wayne got out of the car and infiltrated the hideout. This meant the obligatory quick and amusing deaths of several anonymous henchmen. First, Jack shot a guy through the back twice. Of course, he was at point blank range, which meant we got to see the bullets go flying out of the poor sap’s chest. Haha, taste the Bauer justice!
Wayne then enjoyed his first murder as he gunned down a thug as well. The two guys then snooped around, hurrying to whatever strategic locations they had planned, occasionally checking Jack’s extra powerful PDA to find guard locations. It was all very videogame stealth mission.
Eventually, Jack made his way up a tower where he killed a bearded sniper. For this death, Jack eschewed his silencer for the more squish-tastic knife in the throat technique. We appreciated the switch-up. After all, when it comes to 24, we expect nothing less than blood-curdling subtlety. Unfortunately, just at that moment, Henderson paged the sniper on his walkie talkie. Uh oh. That would be a problem, considering the guy was, you know, dead. Thinking quickly, Jack tampered with the device to create disturbance and then told Henderson that everything was just fine. Hmm… will Robocop really be fooled by that? I don’t think so.
Anyway, Jack quickly manned the dead guy’s sniper rifle, and then we found Evelyn stepping out of her SUV in the middle of a wide-open area. Henderson had her open all her doors and trunk, and once he was satisfied that she was alone, he emerged from the depths of the structure with the little girl by his side. He and Evelyn then negotiated back and forth about swapping the girl for the evidence and whatnot. This was all made incredibly exciting by the nagging sense that either she or Wayne was about to bite it in about three seconds.
Well, Henderson handed over the girl, and once she was safely in her mother’s arms, Evelyn ducked down, and bang! The fun began! Jack and Wayne opened fire, Henderson ducked for cover, and full on chaos descended on the scene. Eventually, all the bad guys were killed off, but dammit if Henderson didn’t hop in Evelyn’s SUV and drive off! Jack tried to stop him by shooting at the car, but it was to no avail. Meanwhile, I was sitting on my couch screaming, “SHOOT OUT THE TIRES!! SHOOT OUT THE TIRES!” But Jack seemed to content to get the taillights, as if Henderson were suddenly to slam on the breaks and say, “My taillight is out! That’s an infraction. I better find a more suitable vehicle!”
Alas, Henderson got away, but in the meantime, there was Evelyn to deal with. And guess what? She’d been hit! Okay, before you die, tell us who’s behind this all. Tell us!
We then cut to Henderson as he spoke on the phone with his boss, a man with a deep, gravely voice. For a brief second, I thought this was Bill Buchanan’s doing, but then I couldn’t overlook that undeniable gullet — the same one that has flapped through so many international crises already that day. Yes, the man behind the entire plan was… President Pussy! Charles Logan!
Dunh dunh DUNH!! Okay, I’m all for a good 24 twist, but this seems a tad ridiculous. President Logan’s behind all this? How? My best guess was that he was in on Walt Cumming’s plans and had to distance himself when they came to light, but still… This was kind of a stretch.
What do you think?