For me, 24 is not just a TV show, it is almost a ritual. I don’t just casually wait until the show airs on Mondays, I have to prepare. From the opening credits you have to prepare yourself. It starts with the warning about graphic violence, then proceeds to the opening credits with the names of featured players popping up on screen. It is a subtle way to tell us who some of the main players are going to be throughout the episode. It can be a new name, like we had with “Audrey Raines” this week, or it could be a standard “The Arnaz Family” that we get seemingly every episode. Some have said that 24 became a farce, especially in seasons 2 and 3, but it is now safe to say that it is once again great television.If there was one thing that always happened on 24, it was the mid-season slump. It seemed as if the writers believed the audience was too bored, so they start to stray a little bit during hours 11 and 12. I am happy to say that it seems this is not the case this year, as the writers have actually consolidated story lines and with good results.
Nobody could forget how the show ended last week. Navi Arnaz had just taken his son hostage, hit Jack with his car, and then escaped down a staircase. A lot of people say that Behrooz is a pussy and almost deserves to be shot, but give the kid a break. He had no clue what he was getting into. His parents are on this secret mission, but he really doesn’t care. He’s in the US and dating a nice blonde honey from California. As long as his parents’ master plan doesn’t interfere with that, he won’t mind throwing around a hearty “Death to the Infidels!” every now and then for show.
Then it turns out that his parents are a little more serious. They are involved in train bombings and the kidnappings of cabinet members. Still, that doesn’t seem like it will get in his way, so why should he care? Because his parents want him to kill his girlfriend, and then his mother shoots her when he won’t. His dad is so disappointed that he orders him killed. Behrooz is resourceful enough to kill his assassin, but when he asks his mother for help, his dad shoots his mother. To top it off, you learn that your parents, despite all of this other stuff, are taking great joy in an impending nuclear holocaust.
It’s a lot to take in for any human being, correct? Soon, you just can’t take anymore, including Behrooz. As his dad is dragging him down the corridors, he finally shouts “Dad, you’re choking me.” What an odd time to choose to speak. You would have thought it would have been something like “Dad, you’re holding a gun to my head.” or “Dad, you sent an assassin after me.” I hear that “Dad, Mom shot my girlfriend” is also a contender.
Poor Navi, if he can’t get his own son to help him kill a few million innocent people, who can he trust? He calls in his boss and lets him know the news. The friendly terrorists have even given him a special cell phone scrambler that works by plugging it into the charger. This little green device might have also been a signal booster since I know of no cell phone that penetrates thirty feet of basement. Anyway, he is going to stall CTU as long as he can, then kill go down in blazes once the reactors are down. All that is left is to wait it out and score some virgins for his trouble.
Why haven’t the terrorists been able to meltdown more reactors? CTU is on the job, and especially Edgar. The last hour was really rough on him, and he seems to be taking the loss of his mother pretty hard. Driscoll, who has proven herself quite the smart and practical bureaucrat while on the show, lets Edgar know he is needed, and even apologizes for being a little too rough with him while he was mourning.
There will be no such kid gloves with Marianne. Continuing with this year’s theme of capture, torture and ask questions later, Curtis is told to get information out of his ex-lover any way possible. If that means getting a little messy, then so be it. You can be sure that the ineffective sensory deprivation has been shelved, so what is Curtis to do now? Some jumper cables and a car battery? Perhaps some less invasive methods like force feeding a person saltines and denying them any water? Maybe he’ll just be cruel and make her listen to Maroon 5 on repeat ALL DAY.
Despite all of our wishes, Curtis’ preferred mehtod was decidedly more rational. He told Marianne that if he helped her, she would live. If she refused, she would die, and not necessarily at the hands of the government. To prove this, he wheeled in Powell’s dead body. Marianne didn’t know any information, but she would be able to access information from his personal computer at his office. Marianne would have to be present at the office because the computer required a fingerprint to decrypt the information, and the only prints that would work are hers and Powell’s. It beats me why bringing the computer would have been so much of a hassle, but maybe they wanted to save time. In that case, why didn’t they just cut off one of Powell’s hands and do it all without Marianne. As Chase proved last year, CTU is not afraid to chop off a limb in the interest of national security. Marianne, Curtis, and two other anonymous CTU members left to get this information. Since this is the first time we have seen these two characters, there is nothing that could possible happen to them while they are gone.
At the hospital, Jack and his team know that they are going to have to go in and get Behrooz if they have any hope of getting information from Dina. As a bonus, if they can pull of the operation and capture Navi alive, they have another person they can interrogate. Navi is a smart guy, but apparently he had no idea that the laundry room where he decided to seek refuge may have other ways of access besides the door. Therefore, he conveniently has no idea that there is a laundry chute that people can use to enter one side of the room (which happens to be hidden by another wall). Jack must have realized that this would be the case, because he used that laundry chute to enter the room Mission Impossible style. Thank God Kiefer Sutherland is so short, because it was a tight fit.
Jack made it inside the room without tipping off Navi (thanks to the nifty little dentist mirror SWAT teams use) but as the harness he was using to descend was pulled back, it hit the side of the chute with a nice little clang. Navi comes to investigate, and Jack hits him straight in the face with a force that would have knocked most people out. But this is 24 so, things can’t be that easy. Jack and Navi do a little fighting, and eventually Navi is subdued, his hands up. Good job Jack, you saved the boy, and got your witness. Now just call in the….BANG! Oh shit, Behrooz just shot his dad. Obviously the kid didn’t refuse to kill his girlfriend because he didn’t have the skill. He is is a surprisingly effective killer. I wonder what his dad was thinking when he died. I bet it went like “Wow, he may be helping the Great Satan, but at least he is still a good shot.”
With her son now safe and her husband pretty incapable of stopping her, Dina is now free to tell CTU everything she knows. She made quite the gamble, because it turns out that she really doesn’t know that much, just an address where they got instructions. Tony Almeida, who has effectively become a CTU agent, is officially reinstated by Jack. He is kind of hesitant at first, and I know how tough it is to go back to an employer after you parted ways. But once you saw how much Tony loved getting out of the house, you know that he really wouldn’t mind going back. It was sure to be a little awkward after his whole “treason” fiasco, but you know how those interoffice politics go. So Agent Almeida and Agent Bauer head to the address Dina gave them, and it is some empty house in the Valley.
That’s right. Zero. The place was completely cleared out. In fact, I was surprised that it wasn’t trip wired to explode when somebody opened the door. You don’t want to have to leave any sort of evidence around, right? Besides not destroying the place when they were done with it, the terrorists seemed to be really sloppy. He notices a power cord plugged into the wall that leads down to some floor boards, which leads down to a hidden basement, which reveals pretty much the entire planning of the terrorists. Jack must have been lucky and shot whoever was on cleanup duty for the house while he was doing his Splinter Cell impersonation saving Audrey and Secretary Heller earlier in the day.
CTU is quickly working to get background info on the building to see if they can follow a paper trail and get more information. Sarah is now back at her desk. Driscoll was forced to ask her to come back to action since they were a little short handed with all of their field agents getting picked off and Curtis busy escorting Marianne to Powell’s computer. After checking out some of the shell companies that have had a piece in the purchase of the house, they come across an interesting name – Galaxy Financial. It means nothing other than its CFO is none other than Paul Raines, Audrey’s ex-husband. Oh man, this guy has got some explaining to do.
When Jack hears Paul’s name, he calls Audrey right away to get some more information. Actually, he has CTU patch him through to her number, because it must have been erased from his speed dial in all of the craziness that was going on during the day. Audrey has never heard of Galaxy Financial, and she doesn’t believe that Paul would have anything to do with a Terrorist organization. Even so, she decides that she is going to help Jack and try and figure out where Paul is so he can question him.
Now I had always believed that it was just a little too convenient that Paul just happened to be in Los Angeles when all of the shit was going down. It is really no surprise to me that his name came up, and when you think about the time he spent at CTU, some interesting scenarios start to form. When Audrey gets into contact with him, he is about to check out. In order to get him to stay, she tells him she wants to talk about their marriage. He agrees, but when Audrey tell Jack about her plan, he is very upset. Nevertheless, she decides to drive to the hotel anyway.
Jack had sent Tony back with Dina and Behrooz. If there isn’t an A-list actor accompanying you, you are sure to get killed, so we were all happy to see them make it back to CTU safely. Driscoll sends Behrooz and his mother to get some medical attention, and then hands Tony his badge and gun. It’s not going to be weird having him around at all she says, but just to make sure, she tells Sarah to spy on him. I hope she learned from her shitty job keeping tabs on Chloe and does a better job this time doing her surveillance without getting caught.
Curtis and his team have arrived to Powell’s office. I know there is lots of shit going down in the world, but you think that somebody would have been there doing something. There is absolutely nobody around. It makes you think like it is a perfect setup for an ambush. Marianne gets to Powell’s computer, uses her fingerprint to gain access, but the file also has a password protection. Just as she is about to enter the password, some armed men take out the “security team” and tell them to stop what they are doing. Marianne begs for her life, but the men don’t care. In fact, one of them probably senses that she talks a lot and so he shoots her in the chest and she dies. Damn! I thought she was a great villian and added a lot to the show. She is also very hot. She is going to be missed.
The guys who came in then start asking Curtis some questions about what he was doing there. It seems that they have something to do with the defense contractor. Curtis doesn’t answer their questions, and so they knock him out, and drag him away. I refrained from calling these guys terrorists, and no it wasn’t because of Kiefer’s public service announcement. My hunch is that they are from another government agency. It’s probably why they didn’t just kill Curtis in the first place. In any case, I hope he gets sensory deprivation torture and not a bullet in the leg.
Audrey has made it to the hotel, and is trying to stall Paul until Jack and the backup team get there. It is obvious that she is a horrible liar. As the minutes go by, she is getting more and more antsy. Paul has been patient, but he thinks he actually has a shot of saving his marriage. When it’s obvious that is not the reason she was there, he loses his temper, and she throws some accusations his way. Audrey tries to leave, but he stops her. Before he can lay a hand on her, Jack rushes in to save the day. He has a gun to Paul’s head, and he REALLY wants some answers this time. There is only another hour or so before another reactor goes down, and if he knows anything about the override, intentionally or not, Jack is going to find out.