In the never-ending saga of Things Going Horribly Wrong With My House, I came home yesterday to find that the screen door previously attached to the front of my dwelling has mysteriously gone missing. Now, there has been caution tape set up around the perimeter of the front porch for about a week now, though I have been hard-pressed to find out any reason why this should be. Or who put it there. I simply thought that a grisly murder had been committed right outside my room, but now it looks like the answer is slightly more complicated. Also, there was a gas leak scare last night. Furthermore, this morning I awoke to find that the ceiling in my bathroom is leaking a mysterious orange substance. In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that my problems far outweigh any of the situations developing on 24.
So Milo was shot in the head last week. We begin this episode (after a paltry two minute and fifteen second recap) with Morris covering the body, which for some reason sends me into hysterics. I don’t know why it strikes me as funny, it just does. My viewing companions give me horrified looks. I shrug and wipe away a laughter tear or two. Moving on. Asian Mike tells his men to take Josh back into the tunnel. Marilyn pitches a fit and Jack tries to calm her down until someone kicks him in the ribs. Jack’s ribs have really taken a beating today. By my count he’s broken a total of 35.
He died as he lived…staring at Nadia’s crotch.
Marilyn keeps screaming and Jack tells Asian Mike that he can calm her down, if they’ll let him. Still got a stash hidden away from Season 3, Jack? That’s my boy. Asian Mike, sick of listening to Marilyn’s sobbing, allows Jack to go hug her and she apparently shuts up. Hey, thanks Asian Mike! He informs the rest of the crowd that his team will be moving them into a secure room, and then they will leave. “Do what I tell you to do, and no one will be hurt,” says Asian Mike. “Milo was kinda ugly, so we made an exception for him. You understand,” he forgets to mention.
Team Cheng leads Josh through the sewer system. Droplets of water are incorporated into the soundtrack. It’s mildly interesting. Though it reminds me of how there is not a giant river of evil goo flowing beneath them, which saddens me. (I just watched Ghostbusters II again.)(Hence my even more profound love for Peter MacNicol.)
Asian Mike has started to move the CTUers by dividing them up into two groups. Jack, who has already hatched a cockamamie plan to get themselves out of this pickle, tells Marilyn that she needs to be at the front of her group if she wants to get Josh back. He sends her away, then falls back to talk to Nadia. He tells her that they’ll never get the circuit board back if they’re locked in holding, so they’re going to have to do something risky, though there’s a good chance they won’t survive. He says all this with his lips tightly clenched together, presumably so that no one will notice they’re talking. But I prefer to think he’s rehearsing a ventriloquist act.
Chloe also tries to get in on this, but Jack shoos her away. Then he and Nadia punch a couple of Team Cheng guys in the face. Chaos ensues. A couple more guys with guns show up and Jack yet again uses an only partially dead man as a shield, thus ensuring the poor guy’s demise. Morris grabs some random dude and starts choking him. Hehe. A+ for effort, Morris. Team Cheng appears to be losing, despite the fact that THEY HAVE GUNS. Man, they suck. They deserve to die. Jack almost chokes another guy to death, sans the use of a chain, but then decides at the last minute to snap his neck instead. Points for style, Jack! At last it seems as if CTU has, well, won. However, Mike “Where’s My Blanky” Doyle and his crew show up to officially put a stop to the whole thing.
“Isn’t this FUN?”
Jack fills Mike in on the situation with Josh and tells him what he needs in order to find him. Nadia then pulls out an oldie but a goodie: “But you’re still under arrest.” Ah, Nadia. Many before you have uttered that same sentence, but it still remains completely useless. In a moment of clarity, Nadia decides that Jack was never meant to be caged (his feathers are far too bright) and releases him, as long as Mike remains in charge. At this point I really hope for a shot of Morris still choking that guy, but alas, he’s probably been kidnapped again and is being power drilled by now. Nadia tells Mike that Milo is dead, and Mike asks if she’s okay. She says no. Mike looks mildly annoyed at the fact that he and Milo never got to have their big blowout over What Happened In Denver. Looks like now we’ll never find out. Oh well! Off to save L’il Kim!
We then get like a solid minute of Jack and Mike running through the sewer. And then we cut to commercial. As if the editors were like, “Yep. They’re in the sewer. Sneaking around under the sewer. You think about THAT whilst the Aflac duck shouts at you. We’ll be back in a few.”
And, surprisingly, they’re still sloshing around the damn sewer when we come back. Team Cheng surfaces and brings Josh to Cheng, who sadly does not greet him with a “Little Mistah Bauah!!” Cheng gets Daddy Bauer on the horn, who then asks to speak with Josh. Cheng hands him the phone and tells him who’s on the other line, and Josh becomes so confused at this point it’s almost funny. Cheng happily chirps, “TAKE THE PHONE!” Haha. He’s such a DELIGHT! Josh does so and the conversation becomes awkward, to say the least. Josh points out that good ole Grandpa almost killed him a few hours ago. Grandpa tells him that was all a ruse and that he would never hurt him. He goes on to say he wants to protect Josh from his father’s mistakes; that people will never let him forget what Graem did and that he’s going to take Josh away from this “ungrateful country”. Josh wants to know where they’d go. “China,” says Grandpa. Oh, Jesus.
He continues, saying that in ten years China is going to surpass the U.S in every way and that he should be a part of it, blah blah blah. Josh, speaking for every one of us, says, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” Word. You and me both, kid. Grandpa says that he’ll explain everything later, and that for now Josh should just keep an open mind. He hangs up, Cheng TAKES THE PHONE back, and they all move out, Josh protesting the whole way.
“Delivery in an HOUR?! What the fuck? I’m hungry NOW!”
At long last, Jack and Mike emerge from their hour-long sewer trek just in time to see Cheng and Josh driving away. Jack starts shooting and stops the car. A massive firefight ensues. Dude, I’ve typed that sentence so many times I’ve started seeing it in my sleep. Cheng pulls Josh out of the car and runs away, using him as a shield. Jack yells at everyone to hold their fire, while hiding behind one of those giant red tool chests that always reminds me of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, when Marv pulls on a doorknob that’s attached to said tool chest and it falls down the stairs and squishes him. Oh, that Kevin McCallister! Always up to such mischief!
Jack takes off to pursue Cheng and Josh. He does a little badass slide on his ass across the floor, and I fall in love with him all over again.
Jack Bauer: Terrorist Hunter, Floor Buffer.
He chases them through the building, shooting at bad guys the whole way, then follows them up to the roof. Ah, the roof. Cite of all final showdowns. I will enjoy this. Josh manages to kick Cheng in the FACE and seemingly disappears. Jack catches up and corners Cheng, whose previously plastic-like hair has been tousled. Cheng runs out of bullets and Jack demands to know where Josh is. Or, to be more specific, Jack screams, “TELL ME WHERE THE BOY IS!!!” Awww! I’m thrilled to see that old chestnut dusted off, even if bomb has been changed to boy. It’s all good. As it turns out, THE BOY is hanging underneath the strange little bridge Jack and Cheng are standing on, and while Jack looks down at him and tries to figure out what to do, Cheng vanishes.
“You’ve mussed my coif! For this you die! MISTAH BAUAH!”
Jack manages to pull up and rescue THE BOY with no small amount of constipation-like grunting. He radios down to Mike that he has Josh but Cheng has escaped, so Mike tells him they’ll set up a perimeter. So enjoy the flight back to China, Cheng. Don’t get too hammered on the plane.
Jack asks Josh what Cheng said to him, and Josh mentions that he made him talk to Grandpa. Jack looks surprised, as we hear that little ghost-like shrieky noise that they always play in the background whenever something shocking is revealed on this show. I wish this happened to me in real life. (“Hey, we’re out of milk.” *Shrieky noise* “WHAT.”) Josh tells him a little more about Grandpa’s crazy ramblings, then Jack asks him if he could hear anything else in the background of the call. Josh can’t remember. Jack more or less tells him to remember harder, but Josh continues to be useless. Hmm. Sounds like this is a job for our old friend Mr. Floor Lamp.
It is at this point that my friend Allison brings up the increasingly obvious point that if L.A. were to just do away with all of its abandoned factories, terrorism would cease to exist. And it’s true. They’d have no where to go for all of their evil scheming. They’d have to relocate to, like, a park or a playground or something. Anyway, Mike arrives on the roof and Jack tells him to inform his team that Grandpa is still involved. Mike, confused, asks why he would be working with the Chinese. “I don’t know,” says Jack. “I’ll ask him when I find him.” DUN DUN. Cut to commercial.
Okay, seriously? THAT’S Jack’s badass line of the night? That part where he slid around on his ass was cooler than that. I’ve read a couple interviews wherein the producers have admitted that this season has sucked balls, and they promise they’re planning to retool the show and even go so far as too “reinvent” it come next season. And after that line, I say bring it on.
Alright. Rant over. Karen enters the Oval Office to inform Daniels that there has been an increase in Russian troops near the U.S. base, then asks him where Tom Lennox is. Daniels finally explains to her the entire situation with Lisa. Okay, we already knew about all this. Total waste of a scene. He goes on to apologize for keeping her out of the loop, with the reason being that he was romantically involved with Lisa. Again, they totally could have just spliced reaction shots of Karen in with Daniel’s confessional scene last week and it would be the same damn thing. I’m shaking my fists at YOU, producers! Feel my wrath!
“Sir, a marriage proposal is hardly going to solve anything.”
Tom, meanwhile, is enjoying the distinctive pleasure of listening to the heavy breathing of Lisa and Mark Bishop’s romp in the treasonous hay, and I’m happy to report that he looks just as fed up as I am. Mark, um, finishes, and Tom is heard to remark, “Finally, we’re done.” I realize I proclaim my love for Tom so much that by now it has possibly lost all meaning, but I’d like to reiterate how truly real it is. I’m kidnapping Tom and forcing him to elope with me. In fact, as I’m walking down the aisle I will trip over my own ineptitude, just for him.
“My God, they’ve been going at it for hours. And is that – oh Jesus – Do I detect a Cleveland Steamer? That’s it, no amount of Karen zingers is worth this.”
What was I saying? Ah, yes. A post-coital Mark is wincing and breathing very hard, as if he’s fighting off a heart attack or something. Ew. He asks Lisa if she’s okay, since she appears to be out of it. She once again says that she’s tired, then gets up and runs off to the bathroom. Mark gets up from the bed, finds Lisa’s PDA, and gets out his little downloady doohickey and hooks it up. He’s just about to download when he suddenly stops and changes his mind. He puts her PDA away, very much to the dismay of Tom, who is truly pissed that he had to watch all that disgusting robot sex for nothing.
He yells to Lisa that he’s having a glass of wine, and would she like some? “00110110101001!” she replies in her native tongue. In English, she says she’ll have what he’s having. She joins him in the living room and he says that he can tell that something is up with her. Seriously, how? She’s acting slightly more wooden than usual? She denies once again but the jig is up, as he grabs her and demands to know what’s going on. Tom, fairly bored in the van, realizes that he should probably do something about this. But then doesn’t. Haha. Tom rocks. Lisa grabs a wine bottle and crashes it over Mark’s head, and only then does Tom give the signal for his men to run in and put a stop to this madness.
But it still continues for a few more moments, as Mark starts slapping Lisa around. She manages to wrestle him to the floor and then picks up…what is that…a lamp!! Not a floor lamp, mind you, but still a nice, solid table lamp! She starts beating him with it, and for the first time I think that maybe that Lisa chick is allll right. She’ll be electrocuting enemies in no time. Alas, my newfound affection is cut short by Tom’s men, who burst in and pull Mark off of Lisa, since he appears to be strangling her. Tom, barely able to suppress a yawn, tells his men to put Mark in the other room and to call an ambulance for Lisa, since she’s unconscious but still has a faint pulse.
The most amusing interrogation then takes place in Mark’s room, mostly because Tom seems to be so incredibly bored by this that it’s simply riveting. He sighs that they have a shitload of evidence against Mark, so it would be wise for him to comply with their needs and he just might get some leniency in his sentencing. He is to send the documents to his Russian contacts and follow up with a phone call to confirm their authenticity. Which begs the question: why the hell didn’t they just do this in the first place? That must be what’s depressing Tom so much, the fact that they could have just stormed in and demanded his cooperation instead of watching him dance the horizontal mambo for hours on end.
Cheng gives a jingle to Grandpa and informs him that he lost Josh. This greatly displeases Grandpa. He tells Cheng that since he failed to uphold his end of the deal, the circuit board is no longer his. This greatly displeases Cheng. He goes on to say that he’s not afraid of Cheng, and if he threatens him again the consequences will be serious. This greatly displeases me. I’m sick of idle threats from Grandpa. Last week he said he was going to destroy bingo night. But all he did was throw his mashed peas around and generally made a mess of the floor and himself.
To the Chengmobile!
Oh boy oh boy. Here it comes, a mysterious stranger walking through CTU with an air of superiority and a gaggle of bodyguards, it must be the replacement director sent from Division and its….some guy?!!! DAMMIT! Where’s the surprise appearance by a character from seasons past? Where’s Zombie Tony Almeida?! I demand my money back. This dillhole identifies himself as Ben Kram, and tells Nadia that he’s going to be investigating the security breach, starting right now. Nadia, who appears to have taken a brief time out to change into a fetching turtleneck, argues that this isn’t exactly the best time to be questioning her people, but Kram tells her he doesn’t give a shit what she thinks and that someone with her limited experience should never have been put in charge. Well, at least this is in keeping with tradition. Has there ever been a new Director from Division who HASN’T come storming into CTU like it’s Douchebag City and he’s the new mayor?
Nadia murmurs that he has her cooperation and she’ll give him whatever she needs. I am wary of this guy, since when he first came in Nadia said she hadn’t received the memo about his arrival because their systems were down, but I could be wrong on that. File it under “Possible Terrorist Activity”. Then destroy the file and fire me a couple years down the line when he turns evil because someone has to take the fall. (I miss you, Bill!) Morris, in full-on Dr. Phil mode, approaches Nadia and tells her not to let the Divisioners get to her. But she says that she was responsible, and that “people are dead” because of her. Well, “person” is dead. Morris assures her that there was nothing she could have done, and he should know (whirr whirr). He tells her to stay strong and keep the faith and before you dress caress and whatnot.
Obey the floating head of Nadia!
Tom calls up Daniels to update him on the results of the stakeout, and recommends that he video conference with Suvarov just to lend a little bit more credibility to the fake documents. He also tells him that Lisa was injured – she suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain, but they won’t know how extensive the damage is until she regains consciousness. Man, the Federal Government’s Brain Damage Ward is crowded tonight! Daniels growls for a while about how could this happen and such, but there’s really no time for whining because it’s showtime with Suvarov.
Jack calls Marilyn to reassure her that Josh is safe. He tells her that Grandpa wanted to take Josh back to China because he is his legacy. Marilyn is obviously confused, although what she says right after hearing this (“That’s it? That’s all he said?”) sounds a little suspicious to me. What does she care what else he said? I don’t know, ever since the days of Nina I have come to suspect anyone and everyone. I’m pretty sure Chloe is a terrorist too, as well as Bill Buchanan and the entire LAPD. Jack puts Josh on the phone with his mother and they share a Nice Moment.
After a rousing “Let’s do this!” from Daniels, Suvarov appears via video conference and Daniels tells him that the circuit board has been destroyed, and that they would be happy to supply the evidence that proves this. Suvarov snidely asks if this is the same fake evidence that Bishop sent to his Russian contacts. Ashton Kutcher appears behind Suvarov to inform Daniels that he has, in fact, been punk’d. Suvarov says that Bishop, as one of his operatives, was under surveillance at his apartment and that’s how they know about what happened. He promises that if they do not provide real evidence of the destruction of the circuit board within two episodes, er, hours, he will have no choice but to authorize the attack on the U.S. base.
Daniels is back in the Oval Office with his minions, making the preparations for an escalation. Tom, who has just gotten a strange phone call out in the hallway, pops in and kicks out everyone but Daniels and Karen. He tells Daniels that Grandpa is on the other line, and he just so happens to be in cahoots with the Chinese, so it might be a good idea to listen to what he has to say.
“Sir, I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. If you don’t text in the answer to the Idol Challenge, you’ll never get tickets to the finale.”
Grandpa demands his grandson and clear passage to the country of his choice, in exchange for the circuit board. He gives them the serial number to prove that he has it, which Tom is able to verify. He says that he will be sending encrypted instructions, then hangs up. Karen of course starts arguing that there’s no way they can negotiate with him, it would be wrong to give up the life of an innocent boy like that, and they certainly can’t trust him because the man is a sociopath. Daniels looks at Tom. “He’s a sociopath, she’s right about that,” Tom sighs, but otherwise thinks that it’s a risk worth taking. Daniels takes a time out to think about this, insisting that Suvarov wouldn’t normally risk military engagement. The three of them work out that Suvarov is probably being pressured by anti-American generals left over from the old Soviet regime. Which means that they definitely have to get back the circuit board. Which we’ve already established a hundred times by now!!! GAHH!
Jack is readying Josh for a trip back to CTU. And since it’s time for the Fuck You, this means that he almost certainly will not make it. A random guy tells Jack that he has an urgent call, and while Jack is momentarily distracted, Mike swoops in and shoves Josh into a waiting helicopter. Jack immediately wises up and starts chasing after them, but other agents restrain him. He and Josh yell back and forth to each other as the helicopter swoops him away. You know what, this is probably all a huge misunderstanding. Grandpa was probably just trying to tell Josh that managed to get him a spot on Survivor:China.
“JOSH!! IF YOU DON’T GET BACK TO WORK THE TOYS WON’T BE READY IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!!”
“BUT I WANT TO BE A DENTIST!!”
I’m not gonna lie. This episode wasn’t all that great. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, and it kills me because I am such a giant fan of this show it’s ridiculous. I hate that it has sucked so much recently, and while there are certainly a few gems to be treasured (Tom Lennox, chain hanging, and…uh…did I say Tom Lennox already?) it’s certainly not what it used to be. But with the producers’ promise that it will get better, I am, dare I say it, hopeful.
Be sure to tune in to The Simpsons this Sunday night, as it is going to be 24-themed and Jack and Chloe will be making a special appearance in honor of its 400th episode. It is my hope that Jack Bauer and Max Power will face off in a fight to the death. Though I’m not sure that would be a fair fight. I mean, let’s face it, Max Power’s got the name you’d love to touch. BUT YOU MUSTN’T TOOOOUUUUCH.