Jack’s back! Time to score a keg and pass out on the bathroom floor after not one, but TWO glorious Bauer Power Hours!
Or, alternatively: fire up the crockpot, cook a damn fine kielbasa, and then pound several spoonfuls of glorious unbaked goodness from a bucket of Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. That shit is evil.
Either way, by now you have hopefully recovered from any alcohol and/or dough-induced comas. Enjoy this recap of 24: Redemption, and be sure to read all the way to the end for a Very Special Announcement.We begin with a dizzying aerial shot of the fictional African nation of Sangala (but you Wikipedia’d it anyway, didn’t you? Don’t kid yourself), where Jack has been summering for the past year or so. A truckful of young boys are being shuttled somewhere, watched by a tough young man whose facial expression implies a nasty bout with constipation. They arrive at a camp run by a man whose name, IMDB is informing me, is Colonel Ike Dubaku. I like Ike! He instructs the boys that their parents are idiots and that they only way to get anywhere in the world is by lobbing off other people’s heads with a machete. He chooses a random kid from the crowd and urges him to “kill the cockroach”, which the rest of the boys start chanting because, let’s face it, it’s a really fun thing to chant. He raises high the machete, aims for the poor guy’s head, and very obviously misses, though judging by the crowd’s reaction I take it we’re supposed to believe that he cracked it open like a cantaloupe instead of gently caressing the dude’s shoulder.
Nice aim, kid.
After a brief intro by Jack informing us that events take place in real time, as if after seven years we STILL haven’t gotten the gimmick of the show, we are introduced to his new home. It’s an American school for African boys, and I really hope that Kim has gotten a chance to visit, given her penchant for attracting local man-eating wildlife. A grumpy little boy – who I’m going to nickname Charlie Brown because he’s always pouting and will soon be the source of a lot of death and other shenanigans – argues with his brother about going into town, because it’s too dangerous. Desmond, the brother, does so anyway. For some reason, this prompts Charlie Brown to run off to Jack’s room and start pawing through his things. Luckily, Jack shows up, sans SWAT team, to dispense some firm but gentle scolding.
Okay, I didn’t mean for that last line to sound as dirty as it does. Meh, I’m leaving it anyway.
We learn that Jack has been to India, and scored a nice silk there that he plans to one day give to Kim. After bludgeoning Barry Landis to death, of course. But the kid asks a lot of questions, and Jack, worn down by the painful burning of a child’s voice, just gives it to him, in the hopes that he’ll shut up. He won’t. And the silk will make a delightful reappearance later on!
Suddenly, a greasy, balding man sporting a pair of novelty nerd glasses appears! Huzzah! He’s the ambassador’s chief something or other, and is introduced to Jack by the man who runs the school, Mr. Benton, who very sadly is no longer sporting his bitchin’ ‘stashe from Trainspotting. He hands Jack a federal subpoena, as he is wanted for questioning about some illegal torture and whatnot, which, really? Is there really any question as to whether Jack has illegally tortured people? Is the sky blue? Are Doritos delicious? Comical Glasses continues to be Comically Evil, going so far as to almost hit Jack and then threatening to close down the school. Then he swishes his cape and disappears into a cloud of black smoke.
Holds world record for most wedgies ever received
Colonel Ike confers with his brother, who looks for all the world like the African version of Justin Timberlake. He promises that he will bring more little soldiers (and sexy) back.
Step one: Cut a hole in the box.
Ike then gets a call from Jon Voight, an event we all dream about every so often. He offers Ike the use of some soldiers, in addition to the weapons he has already given him. Ike refuses, but hey, it’s his country. Voight leaves some man’s office, taking a moment to sneer at the jumpy, pill-popping young minion that has been given the task of destroying the incriminating files, a task that we all know will soon cause him to see the inside of a body bag. Let’s watch his journey!
Jack assures Benton that he’ll be gone in the morning. Unfortunately, Jack has also been struck with the always-irritating Whispering Disease. It quickly spreads to Benton, rendering their entire conversation inaudible. I’ll just assume they’re planning a surprise Spongebob appearance for Charlie Brown’s birthday party. Benton waxes philosophical for a while and makes sure we all know that he’s at peace with his life. I wonder why? He begs Jack to stay, but Jack knows that he can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some sort of trouble or government agent or nuclear football, and so they say goodbye.
Some guy – teacher, maybe? old, dumb student? – fights with the local UN supply deliveryman over whether Juma the General is a bad guy or not. Well, his name is halfway to Jumangi, so he’ll be fun and whimsical at first, then deadly and full of spiders. Charlie Brown tells Benton that his brother went into town, so Benton takes off to rescue the boys because, as he casually quips, “This is Sangala. I’m not taking any chances.” I imagine this could lead to a nice tourism campaign for Sangala, should it one day exist.
Take a chance on Sangala!
Meanwhile, the boys’ innocent game of soccer suddenly erupts in a kidnapping, as so many innocent games of soccer eventually do. J. Timbo rounds them up and informs them that they are now soldiers. This doesn’t sit well with Desmond and his crony, who attempt to make a break for it while J.Timbo takes some valuable time to berate one kid for peeing his pants. They are soon pursued by J.Timbo and his inept colleague, who shoots down the two kids. So, maybe not the best method of escape, but better than the other kids’ ideas:
“Quick! Into the net!”
Oh, did we mention it’s Inauguration Day? A scantily-clad woman and her chiseled beefcake try to get some tongue wrestling in before they head over to the Capitol, but Chris the Jumpy Guy calls and ruins all their fun. He tells informs the beefcake that he’s gotten his grubby little hands on something big, and they need to meet up so that he can – HALT THE PROCEEDINGS! NINJA HYUNDAI COMMERCIAL!
Man, look at all those features. GPS and shit. Wow. Oh, um, right, beefcake, evidence, imminent death of jumpy guy. Right. Roger says he doesn’t have time, but Chris promises to be there in twenty minutes, and thank the good Lord all of this boring talking is accompanied by a split screen of scantily clad girlfriend posing in her bra. Cars and boobies trump African coups any day of the week! She gets mad that rotten hooligan Chris is coming over, as they’re now going to be late for – gird your loins – his MOTHER’S inauguration! Lady president? That means more boobies!
“So, tanning just my face – bad idea?”
Madame President-Elect is escorted by her tweedy husband down the hall, so that they may engage in a little West Wingery. And suddenly, Christmas comes early! Popping up from under a proverbial bridge is the little troll Tom Lennox, who you may remember from last season as the hilariously snide Chief of Staff. He pulls her away from Mr. Tweedy to inform her of the imminent coup, but sadly does not congratulate her on not tripping over her own ineptitude.
And bam – there’s Jowls! I mean, Daniels! So I guess he’s President, which means that Wayne Palmer is…what? Dead? Still in a coma? Bumbling incompetently as the head of some other nation? Anyway, Daniels is video conferencing with Sangala’s Prime Minister with the help of CISCO TELEPRESENCE, which is almost as exciting as cars and sweater kittens. The PM wants military assistance from the US, which Daniels says he can’t give. Tom barges in to inform him that Taylor, the new president, wants to weigh in.
Daniels takes Taylor into the Oval Office, leaving her husband to tweedy up the hall. She disagrees with Daniels’ decision not to send military aid, so he punches in the face and hurls her out the window. Well, no, but they have a heated discussion about Sangala and genocides and all that fun stuff, and he says that he has ordered the evacuation of all US nationals. Well, this doesn’t sit well with Mama President, but we’ll just let it rest for now so we can cut back to Africa.
Benton easily finds the body of one of the boys, and thusly concludes that he is dead. I wonder how?
“Larry, stop! You’re just perpetuating the stereotype!”
He then finds Desmond, who is still alive but bleeding heavily from the shoulder. What does this army have against shoulders, anyway? Meanwhile, Jack is packing for his little escape when Charlie Brown shows up to get in some last minute pestering. Okay, this is a long shot, but does this kid remind anyone else of the boy from the MST3K classic Pod People? Can I get an amen? Anyway, the kid asks if he can come with Jack, calls him a witch, and then starts talking about ghosts. Yeah, I don’t know.
Then they have a Special Moment. Jack, what? This isn’t you. Comforting children? Why aren’t you electrocuting someone with a floor lamp right now? I’m so confused. After goopily making Charlie Brown promise to protect the other boys followed by a – shudder – tender hug, Jack takes off, only to be stopped by the other teacher with an urgent call. Benton is on the other line, and conveniently enough, both men are on SPRINT PHONES!
“My GOD, this reception is CRYSTAL CLEAR!”
He fills Jack in on what’s happened, and tells him to round up the boys and hide them in the shelter. Jack follows these instructions to the letter, because he HEARD EVERY SINGLE WORD!
Sprint: Official cellular provider of the Sangala resistance movement
UN guy continues to be unhelpful, insisting that the UN remains neutral. Jack, always full of detestation for neutral parties, swears at him, and the guy continues to prissy up the place until – oh no! It’s the Lost smoke monster’s little brother!
“Hi, I’m here for the death and destruction?”
Once the boys (and UN pussy) are safely in their shelter, J.Timbo and his crew arrives, only to start getting blown up by a handful of Jack’s personal stash of explosives. Some classic 24 action commences, with much running, gunfire, stabbing, and…bazookas? Huh, that’s a new one. Unfamiliar with how the ratio of 20 bad guys to 1 Jack Bauer inexplicably fails to work in their favor, J.Timbo and his sexy crew continue to hunt for both Jack and the boys. Meanwhile, Jack is continuing his rampage, using skills he has apparently picked up from a flock of flying squirrels.
“Carl, do you hear something?”
Eventually, Jack is knocked out and taken prisoner by J.Timbo, a fate which I might actually welcome. Benton finally arrives with Desmond and immediately calls Evil Four Eyes, who has been quite busy at the embassy with refusing to let Sangalans (Sangalis? Sangalites?) evacuate. He tells Benton that the choppers are leaving in an hour, and that if he wants to get the kids out, he’s on his own. He then gets back to kicking puppies and eating babies.
J.Timbo attempts to extract information from Jack, which is sort of equivalent to Keanu Reeves giving acting lessons to Meryll Streep. He demands to know where the children are, but Jack stays quiet, even when a hot machete is tenderly placed upon his ear. What’s the matter, J.Timbo? Too scared to bust out a floor lamp or two?
“What is this, amateur hour?”
Benton signals to Jack from across the field using a mirror, so Jack pretends to confess the location of the children. Once J.Timbo’s henchmen run off like idiots and are shot by Benton, Jack grabs J.Timbo with his legs and breaks his neck, as he is wont to do. Benton unties Jack and retrieves the children, all of whom apparently have sponsorship papers. The UN pussy runs off while the kids hop onto the bus, and Jack informs Benton that he’s coming with them. Man, I really envy Jack’s work week. No long hours at the office, lots of travel. What’s not to love?
Chris shows up at Roger’s apartment and – holy crap, that guy is tiny! He’s a friggin’ Munchkin! On drugs! He jumpily fills in Roger on the nefarious deeds going down at his office, and says that he wants to show the evidence to his mother. That’s what she said! Or…something. Roger does a lot of dreamy eyerolling, but eventually caves and tells Chris to forward him the stuff. Chris thanks him and runs off, as he is late to a meeting with the Lollipop Guild.
“Dad, can I have a dollar?”
General Juma, sporting a nifty red hat, arrives at Ike’s camp. Bad timing though, as Ike is soon informed that his bro J.Timbo has been snapped like a twig by the mighty, tree-trunk-like gams of Jack Bauer. So Ike puts in a time-off request to avenge the death of his brother, and Juma, classy guy that he is, grants him permission. Jack and Benton, meanwhile, are listening in on their radios, and know now that they’re coming after the kids. So they gingerly crash the bus off the road and lead the kids into the jungle, where they are all eaten by zebras.
Daniels, getting cozy in the Oval Office with Taylor, toasts to her administration. She says thank you, to which he replies, “Thank you, Mr. President.” Wow. So this guy’s, what, seven years old then? She humors him and attempts an escape, but he continues to drone on about why people thought he lost and that she needs to be careful and blah blah Wayne Palmer stole my bike. She finally escapes into the hall to consult with Tweedy about Daniels’ possibly nefarious activities, and Tweedy promises to dig up all he can.
Jumpy Chris returns home to his apartment. Sadly, it does not contain any floor lamps, which will only serve to make his imminent torture that much less exciting. Sure enough, a shady man in a suit shows up to take a gander at his computer. Jumpy tries to save his scrawny hide but mostly just ends up making an ass of himself and taking a shit right there in his short little pants. The shady character’s partner, who looks a lot like everyone’s grumpy uncle, thwacks Chris with a newspaper and opens up the patented Briefcase of Truth Serum and Pain.
Roger’s girlfriend, henceforth known as Gigantic Eyebrows, is not happy with all of these secrets her beefcake is keeping from her. No matter. They arrive at the Capitol, and as their limo driver is actually given the time of day, we know he’s up to something. Sure enough, he puts in a call to Shady Guy and Uncle Thwacky Newspaper. But we can rest easy knowing that security is tight, as the entire Capitol is being guarded by this man:
“I got this.”
Meanwhile, Jack is trying to shake this useless band of ragtag boys for like the seventh time, but is unsuccessful once again, as Ike chooses that exact moment to arrive in his Ikecopter. They evade him by running under the tree cover, and Jack leads them through the jungle to safety, until Charlie Brown decides to muck it all up real good. He loses the Indian silk that Jack gave him, and pitches a fit right there in the middle of the jungle. Nice. Real nice. He runs back to retrieve it, only to almost step on a land mine. Benton then attempts to bring him down with a flying tackle, but only ends up landing on the land mine himself. Great. Like Goofus and Gallant, these two.
Jack digs around the mine for a bit, but they’re both aware that it’s useless. Benton begs him to take the kids. Jack makes a few of his trademark “My life is SO HARD” faces, probably because he’s just inherited a troop of stupid silk-loving kids. Eventually, after a soulful goodbye, Jack leaves him behind, knowing it’s for the best. Benton urges the kids away, saying he’ll catch up, and Charlie Brown looks pretty guilt-ridden as he walks off, caressing his precious silk. Ike and his men eventually find Benton, who refuses to talk. They shoot him a couple times, but he manages to stay on the mine. I bet this guy has some serious Twister skills. Eventually he lures them in closer, tells them to go to hell, and blows them all up, as the noise from the blast wafts down to the band of confused but silk-hungry boys.
“Can I have another one, Jack?”
Now, this is a well done scene and all, even reminiscent of George Mason’s heroic dive into the desert in Season Two, but I can’t help but wish that this was like the fourteenth episode of the season. I only met this guy an hour ago, and he seems like a nice chap, but he has not yet commanded the undying love I had for George Mason. “What, you can’t make emotional connections to characters in under two hours? Haven’t you ever seen a movie?” the significant other quips without permission. Yes, I can with movies, but I like 24 for Jack’s badassness, crazy explosions, and heartwrenching heroic death scenes, and the latter just aren’t as soul crushing when they happen in the first hour or so.
Not even death can stop Benton from passing one last kidney stone.
Anyway, where were we? Africa? Really? Huh. Jack and the kids make it back into the city, where the teacher/big kid tells Charlie Brown that Benton is dead. As if attempting to fulfill some sort of troublemaking quota, Charlie Brown runs off in horror. Jack catches him and explains that he died to save you kids, yada yada, run away again and I’m putting you on a damn leash. Jack sure is cranky today.
“Ever hear of personal space, LADY?”
Wait a minute. There haven’t been any gunfights in a while. You can almost see the lightbulb go off over Jack’s head as he realizes this. He tells the boys to duck for cover, then begins shooting at some random dude. A gunfight erupts (yay!) and Jack takes refuge behind a refrigerator.
This is hardly the time for a Hot Pocket, Jack.
He runs into a little boy who is holding a gun and chanting “Kill the cockroach”, and I gotta tell ya, it’s still damn catchy. For some reason, the kid listens to the strange white man pointing a gun at him, and eventually drops his own weapon and flees. Jack, furious with rage at not being able to save every boy in Africa, continues on to the embassy.
Meanwhile, Roger is mildly concerned that Chris hasn’t gotten back to him, but probably chalks it up to a late-running Elf Conference. Taylor is met by everyone’s favorite Secretary of Defense, the Warden from Shawshank Redemption, which is in no way affiliated with 24: Redemption, neither of which are affiliated with my own soon-to-be-released masterpiece: Redemption: The Redemptioning. Roger and his skank meet his parents, while Jon Voight and the Limo Driver watch and discuss the destruction of evidence, the neutralization of Chris, and the fact that they’ll have to keep their eye on Roger, not only because he can muck up their plans, but also because the guy’s got an ass that won’t quit.
Cut back to the Sangalian (Sangalese? Sangalish?) embassy, where hundreds of civilians are banging on the fence. Jack fights his way to the front and shouts his name at a guard, who amusingly runs off to fetch the big guns. And by big guns we of course mean Mister Peabody, the Evil Nerd. Jack yells that he has some kids – one needs medical care, and one is in urgent need of more fancy silks – and that he has the paperwork for them to be granted entry into the US. Evil Nerd casually looks them over, as if he were in perhaps a cubicle and not a rapidly collapsing fictional country. Using his best DMV voice, he sighs that they appear to be in order. But they need a legal guardian, and seeing as how Benton is dead, it has to be Jack. He has to surrender himself to the subpoena, or else Evil Nerd will release the boys back into the streets, where they will be free to join whatever armies or silk fan clubs they so please. Jack makes a few anguished faces, and then relents. The gate is opened, Jack is arrested, and the boys are let in and loaded onto the Freedomcopter.
Meanwhile, Taylor is sworn in as President, and gives a flowery speech that, shockingly, contains neither the words “Yes we can”, nor Oprah. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was so distracted that I almost missed the best part of the whole two hours: a split screen of our little imp buddy Chris being turned into a sidewalk!
He died as he lived: with people walking all over him.
And we close out with a shot of the helicopter and some wailing music, with Charlie Brown getting in one last act of annoyance.
“Touch me again and you die, kid.”
Verdict: I liked it. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing new. But an interesting way to kill a couple hours, it sets up the action for Season 7 nicely, and it helped meet my weekly quota of silk-related jokes. I still don’t enjoy watching Jack speak tenderly to children – it enrages me, as do Kiefer Sutherland’s sickeningly schmaltzy voiceovers for the Bank of America commercials – but I guess the producers sometimes feel the need to show his more human side, as opposed to the clearly more overwhelming sociopath side. But I say, why deny it? As Kiefer would say, (schmaltzily), “This is America. We need our badass killing machines, now more than ever.”
And now for some sad news. After three years of recapping a handful of shows, including 24, Friday Night Lights, The Apprentice, Jericho, and The Mole, dispensing countless floor lamp electrocution jokes, and suffering three and a half aneurysms, I am hanging up my TVGasm hat (which is a sombrero, by the way) to pursue a writing career, if such a thing exists. It’s fitting that 24 is my last one, as this was the show that brought me to this bitchin’ site in the first place, and it has been an honor to be a part of it. I’ve absolutely loved my time here, and want to genuinely thank each and every one of you for faithfully reading the pointless drivel that I throw up onto the page every week. You guys rock, and I will sincerely miss you. All seven of you. Thanks also to Flipit, J-Unit, and B-Side, who adopted me in the first place, and also to chocolate Teddy Grahams, which are consistently delicious.
Goodbye my looooove!