Because of a technical error (ie. me accidentally erasing THE ENTIRE POST), this recap is dreadfully late. Apologies!
On 24, when it comes to being a Palmer in the White House, you’ve always got to go through some freshman hazing before you can be taken seriously. And by “freshman hazing,” I mean several brushes with death. I’m proud to announce that Lil’ Wayne Palmer has now officially faced his first physical setback in the form of a bomb, but truthfully, he has a ways to go before he comes even close to the craziness his late brother put up with. Let’s not forget that David also endured an explosion (in his own hotel room) season one, not to mention several close calls with bullets, a weird bacteria, and, of course, Sherry Palmer — an assault to any man. So would this latest attempt on a Palmer life make or break Wayne? Too early to say. But if it’s any consolation, former President Logan’s found Jesus, and that’s gotta be worth something, right?This week’s episode began with Gredenko kindly filling us in on the his bomb-making timetable. It was gonna take about two hours to charge the flux capacitor and another hour to harness all the gigawatts. Basically, we had three hours (ie. two episodes after this one) before total destruction ensued. As far as Gredenko was concerned, the sooner the better. He absolutely hated working with the Arabs, saying they lived in the dark ages — as opposed to Gredenko who was the height of civilisation. Anyway, if all worked out well (which it surely wouldn’t because Jack Bauer was on the case), after today, the West and the Arabs would be spending the rest of their days killing each other off. Ah, it makes so much sense now! 9/11 was the work of disgruntled Russian nationalists, playing us all like fiddles! We should have known. Bring back the Cold War!
Meanwhile, over at the Presidential bunker, Wayne was getting antsy without his dearest Tom by his side. Where oh where could he be? (If you answered tied up to a pipe in the boiler room, you’d be receiving a gold star right about now). Anyway, before Wayne could get too concerned about Tom, the ambassador from The Unnamed Country arrived, glowered at Assad, and then announced he’d like to leave, thank you very much. Turns out this guy was not a big fan of Assad’s, on account of Assad’s whole “terrorist” past. The two men exchanged vitriolic words, thus confirming that this was possibly the worst blind date ever.
Anyway, as you may remember, Assad was to address the world on American TV and appeal to extremists everywhere. Wayne wanted a political endorsement from the ambassador’s Prime Minister, but this ambassador was not about to oblige (see the whole Intense Hatred thing above). Out of nowhere, Wayne grew some temporary cojones and pretty much threatened the ambassador to play ball, otherwise he’d bomb the hell out of The Country That Shalt Not Be Named (clearly Malta).
Back at CTU, Morris was wasting his time with his is-he-or-isn’t-he sobriety. He was trying to check the landlines at Gredenko’s vacated house, but he just couldn’t get any records. Was it because he was on the sauce? No, probably he was just suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, thanks to all that mid-afternoon torture he was privy to. Nevertheless, while Morris tried to get it together, Bill called up Jack and asked what was going on with him. This warranted the trademark Jack brush-off (“It’s complicated…”), and then the next thing we knew, CTU was setting up a perimeter to try to catch Philip Bauer. Needless to say, this was as useless as it ever was — so much so that we never heard even one update as to whether they had caught the old man. Usually we get a perfunctory, “He got away, Jack. He had a chopper waiting, and we just didn’t see it.” (And this, of course, would be followed by a pointed “DAMMIT!” from Jack).
Anyway, Jack informed Bill that he needed to visit with Logan, which was convenient since Logan was under house arrest at his ranch. This totally confounding our star super agent, who just assumed Logan would be locked up in a facility two miles under the earth’s surface. Quite the contrary. Logan’s arrest was handled internally, and the public didn’t even know he’d been involved with the assassinations. INJUSTICE! Personally, I just wanted to know where Martha was. I hoped for her sake she wasn’t in that murky pit of existential suffering that was “VERMONT.”
Well, Jack got off the phone with Bill and came face to face with Marilyn and his secret lovechild, Josh. The poor kid looked grouchier than ever; so Jack told him, “Josh, I know there’s a lot to explain, and I promise you that when this is over, you and I are going to sit down, and I will talk you through what happened.” He then added, “Starting with the fact that I’m your dad. Too much too soon?”
Once Josh was out of earshot, Marilyn then thanked Jack for saving her son. “He reminds me of you,” he said, adding, “And he reminds me of me. Because he’s my son.”
Over at the White House, the bad guy assassin arrived at the security checkpoint, claiming he was a policy analyst with some group. Oh, and even worse, he was there at the request of Tom Lennox. Vile! Framing a poor guy when he’s down!
Anyway, the security guards checked the bad guy’s briefcase, which appeared to be harmless — just some highlighters and a dictaphone really. He cleared easily and then quietly stepped into the boiler room with Reed where he found Tom bound and gagged. “Son of a bitch!” the bad guy said, not happy to see that human bondage had worked its way into the Evil Plot. He moved Tom to a corner and announced his intention to kill him (and make it look like a suicide — Walt Cummings style), but for some reason, Reed decided that he wanted to save Tom. He felt that once VP Noah Whatshisface was in power, Tom would see his policies put into action and would surely be so pleased that he would have no other recourse but to remain silent. Makes perfect sense. After all, who were they to slay Tom? “We’re not cold blooded murderers,” Reed contended. “We’re just trying to save our country.” …via cold blooded murder.
The goon was somewhat swayed by Reed’s call for amnesty, and so he got back to work on that bomb, which was only about twenty-five minutes away from being functional. Let the party begin!
After the break, we found Reed wandering the hallways of the Presidential bunker, clearly not ready for Wayne’s she-servant, Melinda, whose pert, Sandy-Duncan-Does-Asia pixie haircut belied a sleuthing sensibility which would soon be put to work. Melinda asked where Tom was, and Reed tried to make up some story, saying he was in a mysterious place known as “Conference B.”
“I just came from Conference B,” Melinda said, quietly suppressing the urge to add, “BUSTED!” Reed just shrugged and said that the plans must have changed, and since Melinda’s detective-work clearly prevented her from actually poking her head into rooms and looking around, she merely took Reed’s word at face value and retreated. If only she had Sherry Palmer’s McGruff trenchcoat. Then she’d be able to get to the bottom of this!
Back at CTU, Morris was having problems getting his vectors through. Don’t you just hate that. Sometimes I just want to rattle my fists at the heavens and yell, “LET MY VECTORS THROUGH!!!” Luckily, Chloe was there to fix the problem, dutifully noting that Morris had specified the wrong slot assignments. OF COURSE. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: always specify the proper slot before pushing your vectors. Amateurs.
Anyway, Chloe was rightfully concerned that this vector mishap might be an indication that Morris had taken a swig from the drinky-drinky. She pressured Morris about calling his Sponsor, but he claimed that he wasn’t drunk and that he had called his sponsor and blah blah blah. I truly hated this storyline. Please just kill off Morris. I just spoke with my dad who had several salient points on this topic. First, it seems as though the producers are setting up Morris to have some sort of triumphant vindication, which would be nice if we actually cared about him. Since we don’t, we don’t care if he winds up being a hero or not. He’s certainly no Edgar. Secondly, with all this Morris junk, the CTU shenanigans have focused entirely on him, and not Chloe — a tragic mistake. And lastly, Morris has totally defanged Chloe, and to me, that is the biggest injustice of all. Discuss.
Well, getting back to the story, Morris stepped away from his desk for two seconds, and Chloe immediately swooped in, took his phone and jotted down his sponsor’s number. This moment of brief subterfuge was interrupted, however, by Nadia, who was this week’s official Blowhard Who Doubts Morris. Chloe defended her ex, saying that he was still capable of doing a good job, but Nadia was unconvinced. “I’m keeping my eye on him. If I see anything else I don’t like, I’m going to Buchanan.” OOOH! Beware the stern reproach of Nadia!
Elsewhere in California, Jack arrived at Logan’s ranch of imprisonment where he came face to hairy face with the former Commander in Chief. The two shared some tense words, no doubt fueled by Jack’s regret over having shaved his Old Man Time beard, and then ultimately, Logan suggested that he wanted something in return for giving up Gredenko’s location. Did he want money? No. Freedom? No. A chance to vindicate himself in the eyes of Pat Robertson? Possibly. You see, Logan was all Born Again now, or at least, that’s what he was saying. Knowing him, he’d say anything to escape that rich, luxurious, sprawling, relaxing hellhole he called home.
Anyway, Logan said the way to Gredenko was through the Russian consul, a man named Markoff. Jack barked that they had already asked him for information, but the guy had stonewalled. Well, of course he had stonewalled. He was covering for a terrorist! Logan insisted that he could work the back channels, get the guy to speak — after all, Markoff had been part of the whole Palmer conspiracy of two years ago, and if he didn’t cooperate, Logan would finger him (not in the sexual way. Gross!).
Well, Jack called up President Palmer 2.0 and told him he needed an executive order to grant a furlough to Logan so he could visit the Russian consul. As you can imagine, this led to lots of growling, especially when Logan noted that he wanted to help Wayne much as David had helped him back in season four. Palmer 2.0 immediately did the whole “And look at how you repaid him” comment, and I half expected Logan to reply, “Wow. I really set you up for that.”
No surprise here. Wayne granted the furlough, and after he got off the phone, Charles turned to Jack and asked, “This isn’t easy for you, is it, Jack?”
“What?” Jack replied.
“The possibility that I may not be the same man you hated for so long,” Logan answered, adding, “Have you noticed my beard yet? You haven’t said a word about it. You’re jealous, aren’t you?”
Over in the desert, one of Gredenko’s henchman arrived with a truck carrying some sort of evil device. I imagined it was a rocket, but it looked more like a giant, oversized pregnancy kit. Anyway, this device was going to pretty much destroy America as we knew it — or at least confirm whether or not the country was with child. Either way — dire consequences would be had!
We then headed back to CTU where Bill was debriefing the gang for the umpteenth time today. Just as he was detailing his plans for the com lockdown at the consulate, Morris bustled into the room, late and guilty looking as usual. Well. The parade of indignities continued for him as Bill requested that Morris hand over all his work to Chloe.
Morris addressed the whole room and said that he was fine, just fine. So he’d been tortured by terrorists and perhaps aided and abetted the potential deaths of millions of people, but honestly, he was just dandy. Every should stop worrying, thank you very much! Somehow this impassioned plea won over Bill (score one point for persuasive British accents); however, Nadia remained unconvinced that Morris was the man for the job. She officially dissented, but apparently women in suffocatingly high, laced necklines have no sway over Buchanan. Morris’s duties remained intact.
Over at the Presidential Bunker, Tom was still tied up in the boiler room, forced to listen to the bad guy seethe, “the President’s going to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” OH REALLY? We’ll see about that! Hey, wasn’t I advocating Wayne’s death like two episodes ago? I’m conflicted.
We then went to commercial break, and upon return, we head back to CTU where Nadia was fuming over the function prototypes on Morris’s report. When she failed to clearly articulate her problems, Chloe asked, “You mean the missing sectors?”
“YES the missing sectors,” Nadia snapped back. ALWAYS WITH THE MISSING SECTORS!!! WHEN WILL MORRIS LEARN???
Nadia then questioned Chloe about whether or not she was covering for her ex, and Chloe quietly responded, “I’m not.” What happened to the old Chloe bite? In past seasons, she would have bitten off Nadia’s head for daring to question her choices and reactions. Further proof that Morris has totally ruined Chloe.
Anyway, Morris eventually intruded on the scene and revealed that he never fills in the sectors until he’s done. Aaahhhhh. See, I knew there was a reasonable sector explanation. Now, if we could only get someone to take care of those pesky vectors and sockets!
Over at the Presidential Prison, Logan carefully laid out his “To The Consulate!” attire, quietly revisiting his former glory as leader of the free world. The simple act of gazing at pins and American flags immediately outshone all the acting poor D.B. Woodside’s been able to muster as Wayne this season.
Well, Logan glanced at a photo of Martha (come back, Marty!) and then began talking crazy to himself in the mirror. Mayhaps the Prezzy needs a visit to Vermont himself?
We then cut to Jack in the next room, suddenly looking sharp in a dark suit, which apparently are readily available at the Presidential prison ranch. Next time I’m going to a fancy event, I know where I’m stopping off first: Logan’s Discount Suit Factory. You’re gonna like the way you feel!
Anyway, watching Jack and Logan was far too entertaining; so the producers dragged us back to CTU for some more dumb Morris drama. Just when she was about to open a corridor from the Logan estate to the Russian consulate, Chloe suddenly received a call from Morris’s frumpy sponsor, Jeannie. She had some frightening news: she hadn’t spoken to Morris at all that afternoon. In fact, she hadn’t spoken to him… IN THREE YEARS!!! Wow, what a stunning turn of events! I always wondered what the Alcoholics Anonymous take on 24 would be like…
Well, with her world collapsing around her, Chloe ran through the CTU hallways, searching for Morris. She finally found him taking a dump in the bathroom, which was fairly exciting since it was the first time in six seasons that anyone’s had a bowel movement on the show. Anyway, Chloe confronted him about Jeannie, but he merely brushed it off, saying that he had a new sponsor: Ted. You know? Ted with the hair? Of course. Ted with the hair. Wait, who? Didn’t matter. Morris berated Chloe for being paranoid, and after she left, he pulled out his flask and dumped the remaining booze out. Consider this bad habit kicked! Now, onto the sectors and vectors!
“I’m trying to take a Brad in the WC, luv! Now, give us a kiss!”
Back at the bunker, Wayne reluctantly signed the furlough for Logan’s release. We then learned that the on-camera rehearsal for the big address would be in five minutes. Before that happened though, Wayne wanted to speak to Tom. Too bad he was still stuck in the boiler room, probably still pining for the days when he was subservient to Vigo the Carpathian, not Chad Lowe.
Anyway, for whatever reason, Reed decided to tend to a cut on Tom’s head, which gave Tom the chance to hiss some angry comments about how Reed was just as bad as Fayed etc. etc. The biggest slight, however, came when he told his petulant underling, “I was against you from the start.” He then added, “Why can’t you be more like your brother Rob? No wonder Hilary left you!”
Meanwhile, as Reed and Tom had their heart to heart, the bad guy stood off in the corner and extracted chemicals from his highlighters and applied them in pen caps, ultimately hiding the whole contraption in that dictaphone. Very sneaky… Turns out that dictaphone was the actual bomb, and now it was ready and armed. Reed would just have to enter 624 in a remote, and then 15 seconds later, the thing would explode. Oh, but it only had a kill radius of ten feet; so Palmer and Assad had to be really close to each other when it happened. Hmmm… I wonder where this plan might fail….
Well, with beads of sweat flowing off his forehead as if he’d just gone running through sprinklers, Reed not so smoothly approached the podium from which Wayne and Assad would be addressing the world. Ever so awkwardly, he managed to place the dictaphone on the shelf and move away nervously. I had to admit, my heart was kind of racing. Would Assad get killed instead by accident? Or would he survive and take the blame for Wayne’s death? Or might this all mean an untimely end for Melinda, the resident brunette Tinkerbell of the Oval Office???
Anyway, Wayne pulled Reed aside and asked where the hell Tom was. Reed tried to make some story, but Wayne was having a hard time buying it. If he were any sort of smart President, he would have requested Reed take him to Tom right away. But instead, he just sat there and believed the latest batch of wretched lies. Sigh. Meanwhile, Tom started to get an idea. In front of him were several pressure gauges. He quietly reached his legs forward and turned them, hoping that some terrible explosion might ensue and stop the whole assassination. Of course, Tom would probably wind up with critical burns all over his body, but hey, it was worth it!
Too bad the bad guy totally caught all the Tom-foolery, if you will. He restored the pressure gauges to normal, duct taped Tom’s feet together, and threatened to kill him… but he didn’t.
Meanwhile, with Assad and Palmer 2.0 standing in close range of the podium, Reed decided to make his move. He dialed in the numbers on his remote, thus starting the 15 second countdown to death.
But of course, since this is 24, crazy things happen. For whatever reason, Assad noticed liquid dripping from the dictaphone, which was hidden out of sight. He stared at the contraption for several seconds, wondering why the tape recorder would ever be leaking, and then suddenly, all the information he’d learned from the “How To Make A Bomb From Things At Staples” class came back to him. At the last second, he jumped out of the way, yelling “BOMB!” There was a flurry of jumping bodies, followed by an explosion, and, of course, confusion. Was Assad dead? Was Wayne dead? Was Sandra the new president?
I guess we’ll find out tonight!
What did you think about this episode?