Is it just me or does 24 really help you get through Mondays? You could have a shitty job, but going through Monday is so much easier knowing that Jack will be kicking the ass that you didn’t get a chance to because you let people walk all over you during the day. And even if you love your awesome job, Jack gives you the inspiration to take out the weaker people at the office and make them cower like a terrorist cowers before Jack’s mighty presences. While Jack uses a glock and you use well-placed rumors and gossip, it is nonetheless just as exciting. If you don’t believe me, just ask Lynn McGill, who can barely function knowing people might find out his sister beat him up and took his key card. And we get all of this under the calming backdrop of the possible death of the First Lady of the Untied States.Yes, that’s right. Following my suggestion from last week, the terrorists decided to buy a laptop to help them coordinate their attack. Our boy Bierko is quite happy that he was able to paralyze the president with his assassination plan. President Logan loves his wife, but he doesn’t to kill a couple of hundred thousand Americans to get her back. I know what you can do Mr. President! Try and talk some sense into your wife. Get her to get out of the limousine, preferably in a way that doesn’t cause any suspicion. It’s a nice theory, and the President does put in a call for the First Lady, but it would be easier to get Mary Kate to eat a steak than it would be to talk sense into Martha. She gets the call, but is not going to leave. Looks like the President Pussy was going to have to make a decision, because time is running out.
For as weak and helpless as Audrey was last year, she seems to have it all together this year. She wants Edgar to meet her in the back room. Lynn sees their conversation, and is worried that somebody ordered Chinese without first asking him if he wanted the lunch special with an egg roll or small side of wonton soup. Edgar tells him they were just going over some DOD protocols, which seems to calm Lynn down for a little bit, but McGill knows that something is going on behind his back, which is bad, but nobody has been able to come up with a lead on the nerve gas, which is worse.
As all of us know, there is a lead on the nerve gas, but since the person following up the gas lead has a warrant out for his arrest, he is not going to be able to receive the help he needs. That person is Jack and he is counting on his friends in CTU to help him get into Omicron without being noticed. That’s where Audrey and her plan come in. She is going to need Chloe to break into some systems for Jack, but she needs Edgar to know what’s going on and to cover for Chloe with McGill. Edgar is not happy about breaking the law, but with Spenser out of the picture, he needs to start working on endearing himself to the woman of his dreams. He agrees to cover for Chloe, and heads back to his station.
Jack mentioned a Christopher Henderson at Omicron, and said that he used to know him. It made it sound like they were acquaintances and had lunch at the same hot dog stand, but it was Henderson that recruited Jack to CTU. Jack was part of an investigation that implicated Henderson with conspiring to sell classified documents to defense contractors. He swore he was innocent, never admitted his guilt, and held a grudge against Jack ever since. Henderson’s history at CTU was not the reason that Jack was heading to Omicron, but it when Chloe confirmed that Omicron made the centox for the military; Jack knew that Henderson would be a good place to start.
Remember, Jack’s job would be a lot easier if it weren’t for Lynn McGill, who is coming closer and closer to a break down with each passing minute. I mean, those guys from Division are always on a power trip, but Lynn is really starting to go nuts. He sees Carrie, our female random CTU employee for this season. Things never end well for these types, and when Lynn finds out that she was doing something as silly as sharing critical security information with Homeland Security, he decides to fire her. He wants everybody working on centox, even if it means that other threats are neglected. You feel bad for Carrie, but at least she wasn’t killed in an explosion or inadvertently tortured because they thought she was a terrorist. Edgar did try to defend her, but backs down when Lynn says that his job is on the line. Although Edgar is smart and could easily get a job, he really needs a health plan where they have surgery facilities in the building. As the saying goes, this guy sees more Ho-Hos and Ding-Dongs than a Hostess factory, and even though the track record for the infirmary isn’t stellar, at least it gives him a fighting chance.
Carrie never stood a chance
Lynn notices that Chloe is missing, and although Edgar was supposed to cover, let’s admit it, he isn’t very good at lying. He says that he doesn’t know where she is, but I wish the producers had him say something like “I pwetty sure it’s her time of the momf”, even if the only result was bizarre looks on all of the faces of CTU. Lynn finds Chloe working in the back with Audrey. Audrey and Chloe are actually working on Jack’s cover to get into Omicron, but Audrey lies about Chloe needing to patch the server, which is not really a lie, because she is patching Omicron’s server so it recognizes Jack as a contractor. They pull it off in time, but Lynn wants again screams how he is in control of CTU and even though DOD requests might have priority, Chloe is his employee and HE gets to decide when she patches a server or not.
Like I said, Chloe was working on Jack’s cover for Omicron. She was able to insert a record of Jack, with the name John Berrie, who had a meeting with somebody in Omicron, and place the fake credentials on the server. This was all great, but Jack was still in the Slightly Faded But Nevertheless Useful Extreme Hoodie of Infiltration. It’s muted colors may make Jack a hard target for terrorists to hit with their bullets, but it’s not the typical executive garb for a meeting with a client, unless you were working on a oil rig or something. Luckily, the security guard doesn’t really care that jack has his hoodie on, and that Omicron has decided that you don’t need to walk through a metal detector to get inside.
Jack moseys through Omicron headquarters, and even though Chloe didn’t have time to send him any schematics, he seems to know his way around. He walks into an office, and asks this hot receptionist where the bathroom was. Man, that’s the oldest trick in the book! Jack has barely had time to take a leak in five seasons, but he does have time to flirt. Actually it turns out that she was the receptionist to Henderson’s office, and after he leaves to find the bathroom, he calls Audrey and says that he needs help getting rid of her. Audrey calls Joanna and says that she is from accounting and needs Joanna to look at some invoices. They are having some problems with some of the figures, and since Joanna’s figure is so nice, she thought they could help them out. Ba dum ching! Don’t everybody laugh at once, I got plenty more where that came from.
With Joanna out of the way, Jack moves into Henderson’s office. He is about to be his bad ass self, but forgot that it was Henderson who helped turn Jack into his bad ass self. Maybe if he had been wearing the Aviator Glasses of Badness would have helped, but Jack was ambushed when he got inside and Henderson used the stun gun on him. When Jack came to, Henderson has a gun pointed at his head, and starts to ask a few questions of his own, so Jack gives him the details about the centox nerve gas problems they are having. Henderson, played by Peter Weller, who probably is regretting his is missing out on all of the royalties he lost by opting out of Robocop 3, admits that Omicron made centox for the DOD, but that every drop was accounted for, and the DOD destroyed all of it anyway.
Now quite obviously, there was a problem with what Henderson was saying, because Jack saw the centox give herpes to 11 people and kill them. He just can’t take Henderson’s word on this, so Henderson decides to show Jack the bunker where they coordinated the centox project. I can see it now. Jack makes a call to CTU. “Oh yeah, Henderson’s helpful, we are going to walk across Omicron campus and take a look at his fortified bunker”. Sounds like something that would send Drew Lachey running for his cowboy hat. Nevertheless, this bunker is the only lead that we have on the nerve gas, so Jack is forced to follow up on it.
Although Lynn told everybody to work on nerve gas exclusively, some of the filters that Edgar was running on NSA chatter, which is a nice way of saying that they wiretapped the hell out of everybody and are sorting through the results, show people repeating a set of numbers like 5, 110, and 10. No, the terrorists aren’t talking about Lost, they are talking about some of the freeways in Los Angeles, and the three they are talking about all converge downtown. Edgar is smart enough to realize that this is close to Suvarov’s motorcade. He relays the information to Chloe and they take the information to Lynn. I know that the nerve gas is a huge problem, but if you have a threat that something may happen to the motorcade of a visiting head of state, it is probably worth your time to at least check and make sure that it is not false information, and at the very least you should pass the info on to Secret Service.
Instead of being happy that Edgar and Chloe picked up on this threat, Lynn is pissed. He has been embarrassed by incompetence enough today, and he doesn’t want it to happen again. Besides, how could the nerve gas possibly relate to the Russian president? Uh, maybe because the terrorists originally wanted to release the canisters in Moscow? Seriously Lynn, how many groups of Russian terrorists in Los Angeles do you think are trying to kill Suvarov? The last time a terrorist made demands about Suvarov, you found out about the canisters. If somebody was still trying to kill Suvarov, you may want some more information. There is always a chance that they are the same people, and even if they aren’t, maybe this group trying to kill Suvarov gets their kabobs at the same place the nerve gas terrorists go to eat. You never know, but there is enough of an overlap that you should at least check.
At this point, Audrey is absolutely livid. She calls another secret meeting with Edgar and Chloe. She wants Chloe to fake a message from Lynn’s account to Secret Service authorizing to study the threat assessment to Suvarov. She needs Edgar to run interference for Chloe so Lynn doesn’t pick up on what is going on. Audrey also catches up with Curtis. Lynn was going absolutely nuts this episode, and although he does have to show that he is in power, his tactics of staying in control were detrimental to CTU’s ability to get its job done. I knew there had to be some sort of protocol for relieving somebody of their command, and I learned that it was called section 112. With Buchanan locked up, Curtis is now the most senior person at CTU, and he would be the one who would have to make the call. Hey, taking out a Hobbit won’t make up for all of the terrorists he hasn’t killed today, but it is a start.
I have skipped over a lot of details about what was happening with the motorcade. Basically, whenever they wanted to cut away from action at CTU, they would show the President and Mike fretting over what to do about the motorcade. He can save Martha and the terrorists will release the gas, or he can sacrifice Martha and the terrorists will not release the gas. We would then have a shot of Martha looking nervous riding in the limousine, with Mrs. Suvarov chatting away, and Aaron looking stern sitting shotgun. This was repeated several times, and I am sure they did it to try and build up the suspense, but listen, I understand that it is a tough choice. Reminding me every five minutes isn’t going to make the episode any more dramatic. President Pussy decides that he can’t[thanks for the correction, livemusicjunkie] risk hundreds of thousands of lives, even if it will mean saving his wife. With nothing left to do, he kneels down and he asks Mike to pray with him. While he’s down there, I hope he also prays that someday he’ll grow a spine
Time for an intervention!
There is hope for the First Lady, because CTU is on the case. That hope is fading because Lynn realizes that Chloe and Edgar are up to, and decides to have them both fired. At this point, Curtis has had enough. He tells Lynn that he is being removed of his command by authority of section 112. Lynn tries to play tough and tells the CTU security guards to detail Mr. Manning, but Curtis warns that if he tries to carry out that command, he will draw his weapon. For those of you who might forget, Curtis’ weapon is big, black, and when he’s done with you, you won’t be coming back. You know, Curtis may not have all of the kills that Jack does this season, and his coolest move was his little skitch on the side of the CTU Expedition as it raced around Ontario’s airport, but he is still a bad ass. Seriously, those CTU rent a cops don’t want any part of Curtis. Maybe they will be fired for insubordination, but at least they will still be living long enough to apply for another job. They take Lynn into custody, which means that they can bring back Bill Buchanan, which means that finally some shit will get done around here!
When Bill arrives and hears about the threat to the motorcade, he immediately authorizes the call to Secret Service, and makes his own call to the President. It was a phone call that the President didn’t want to hear. If CTU already told Secret Service, and the route was changed at all, Bierko is going to release the nerve gas. Aaron does get the call in the motorcade, and starts screaming about protocol red, but it is too late. They have already driven into the ambush zone, and the terrorists are ready with machine guns, rocket launchers, and a flamethrower. The escort cops vehicles are taken out, and a rocket disables the Suvarov limo. Aaron is down, and there is nothing that the Suvarov’s and Martha can do except cower in the back seat and hope the tinted windows are bullet proof.
Well, not only are the windows bulletproof, but the door is jammed, so the terrorists aren’t able to get any shots into the limousine. They are about to get to work with the flamethrower, but by this time Aaron has woken up, and he is able to take out two guys with machine guns and the guy with the flame thrower with precision that would make Jack jealous. He may not be the cold killer like Jack, or the smooth assassin like Curtis, but I have to give Aaron some props. The president gets the call that his wife is OK, and this would normally make him happy, but he knows that the terrorists will be pissed, and he is going to have to prepare for the blowback that will result from all of this.
You may have been wondering what Jack and Robocop had been doing while all of this was going on. It turns out that the traffic in and around Omicron headquarters was worse than the traffic in and around Los Angeles. I guess the marvelous CTU travel speeds only happen when you are using CTU approved transportation, because the amount of time it took for him to get across the Omicron campus is the amount of time it normally takes him to drive across Los Angeles. On the way, Henderson is still complaining about being framed. Jack is sort of skeptical about the whole thing, until Henderson mentions that it might have been Nina Myers, and he sort of had to shut up because even if it was just a guess, Henderson did kind of have a point there.
Henderson is looking up the information on the centox project, but we learn that every engineer that was working on the project died some sort of mysterious death. Obviously there is somebody at Omicron that knows more than they are letting on, and that person is…you guessed it! Henderson! Henderson left in order to get some help from IT in order to find more people who worked on the centox project because he couldn’t access the mainframe. That left Jack alone in the bunker, where nobody could hear him scream. Jack notices that Henderson was gone a long time, and starts to get suspicious when, you know, he finds that he is locked inside the bunker. He looks in the clipboard left behind, and sees that there is a detonator and a couple of pounds of C4.
Eh, so what if there is enough explosives to incinerate the entire bunker? Jack would normally use those explosives to restart his heart should he have to fake his death out in the field. Since Jack’s heart was still going, he decided to use the plastic explosives for something a little more practical, like blowing the doors off of the bunker. Henderson probably should have detonated the charge right away. If he can cover up the release of 20 canisters of a deadly nerve agent, he could surely explain some random body parts strewn all over an IT bunker, but he needed to call his Secretary and tell her everything is OK. Besides, if he detonated the bomb right away, we would have missed the dramatic moment as he drove away, pulled out his Platinum Vibrator of Death (with ribbing for her pleasure, and a detonation button in the tip for his convenience) and with a drop of his thumb, blew Jack away!
What a dumbass! Jack underestimated Henderson earlier, but Henderson clearly underestimated Jack. After placing the explosives next to the outer door of the bunker, Jack closed the conveniently placed blast door. That wasn’t enough to save Jack from certain death, but he was able to find a loose floorboard, which gave him enough protection from shrapnel to survive the blast and maintain a very angry look of revenge the entire time. Henderson just bought himself a death warrant; he just doesn’t know it yet.
Jack can forgive somebody for blowing him up, but not for stealing the Aviator Glasses of Badness
I have to say, I was fooled by how sincere Henderson seemed about the framing and whatnot, but you know they weren’t going to have Peter Weller on for one episode. It would be awesome if the mail order bride that Rossler had is sleeping with Henderson, and decides to kill him too, but I think we all know that Henderson is going to have a fairly messy death, and I can’t wait. The main problem with my excitement towards Henderson’s death is that Jack is still going to have to stop Bierko from releasing those nerve gas canisters as well. The President got the call, and although it wasn’t his fault that he assassination attempt failed, Bierko is holding him responsible, and has no choice but to start releasing the nerve gas. If he can’t make Russia pay, the United States will pay with the lives of its citizens.
So, this was another great episode. I didn’t like how whiny President Pussy was about saving his wife, but the repercussions of his decision are going to really make it a mess for him. We see from a preview next week that Martha mentions to Aaron that the President didn’t take any action, and I am sure that she doesn’t stop there. I though Henderson’s character was a good addition and I like how they are making this nerve gas thing last awhile instead of making each week a bigger threat. That being said, I hope it doesn’t turn into the nerve gas canister scavenger hunt every week, because that will get annoying. And don’t forget, make a little extra time next week, because we’ll have two hours of 24 to enjoy.
What did you think of this episode? What is Henderson covering up? Will President Logan still be in office at the end of the day? Have we seen the last of Lynn McGill and his crazy access card-stealing sister?
PS – Don’t forget to check out the JackTracker on Gridskipper, where you can win your very own Jack Action Figure!