First off, apologies for the lateness of this here 24 recap. You’ll never guess what happened to me. I was abducted by a terrorist, power drilled in the shoulder, then forced to arm several nuclear weapons. What a week! I need a drink!
But let’s not waste any more time. In the aftermath of the Shootout At The Ole Russian Consulate, a medic tells Jack that he has some floating rib fragments (which sound delicious) and that he needs to be stabilized. Jack protests but Mike “Hi Ricky! Wave to mommy!” Doyle tells him that CTU is running the show now, and it’s out of his hands. And by the way, the sky is totally dark. I guess twelve years in the future we just do away with that whole “gradual sunset” thing and just build a giant light switch.
Bill and Daniels get in touch for the purpose of exposition. Bill explains that the terrorists are launching unmanned stealth aircraft that can be remotely controlled from anywhere. Which narrows their location down to “somewhere on earth”. Great news, Bill!
Gredenko is getting antsy and starts shouting and clapping at his minions, telling them to launch the bomb right now. Fayed puts on his “something’s wrong with my sweetie pie” face and asks the fiesty Russian what’s getting his panties in a twist. Gredenko doesn’t go into details but tells him that CTU knows where they are and that they have to leave now. Fayed immediately snarks about how it was ALLL the Arabs fault when they lost the suitcase nukes, but now that it’s the RUSSIANS’ fault he’s all close-lipped. Listen kids, let’s not go into who-lost-what-nuclear-bomb. No one will emerge as a winner, I can tell you that.
Santa’s pissed. Christmas is cancelled.
Gredenko calls his Drone Dude to tell him to launch the drone. In fact, he says “laaaunch drooone” and he sounds pretty bored. I bet Gredenko is kinda getting sick of the whole terrorism business, probably wishing he had gone to law school like his father wanted or followed his dream of becoming an Olympic figure skater. Oh well, he’s stuck now. Drone Dude, who as we all remember could be ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, says some stuff about how it will be difficult to launch on such short notice but, with the help of a “Hang In There” kitty poster, he just may be able to pull it off.
Aaaand he does! Gredenko and Fayed watch as the drone, which is cute as a button, flies down the runway and into the air.
Nadia is explaining to someone that they’ll be getting new info as soon as they reposition their satellites. Guy on the phone tells her that lives are at stake. Do CTU employees really need to be reminded of that? Honestly, it’s probably their motto. It should be embossed in big letters on every surface of the office. Milo sidles over and asks if she’s okay. They share A Moment until Old Lady O’Brien arrives to ruin the fun. She tells them that she found out that Nadia is using Milo’s clearance code, and that that is a FELONY. Milo makes some half-assed excuse but Chloe sees through the bullshit. Milo tells her to keep her trap shut or else they’ll both be fired and that won’t help save the LIVES THAT ARE AT STAKE. She says duh, if she wanted to tattle she would have done it already, she’s just warning them to be careful. Milo and Nadia simmer awkwardly as she stalks away.
Bill puts an end to this silliness with a phone call informing Nadia that Morris has a visual on Shadow Valley and that it appears that they have launched a single drone. I’m starting to love that word. Drooone. I especially like how Bill says it. I’m going to use it more often in my daily life. (“Hey, pass me that drone.” “What?”) Bill gets General Walsh on the horn and tells him that they’ve made visual contact and they’re tracking the drone on satellite. Its nearest target is Los Angeles, which it would impact in four minutes. Walsh, looking at the specs, says that the drooone is almost impossible to track with radar, therefore it is imperative that they keep the visual link. So Morris immediately loses the visual link.
Gredenko, meanwhile, is chilling in his getaway truck. He gets a call from Drone Dude, who tells him that he has disabled CTU’s detecting ability, so the drone is now impossible to track. Gredenko says he’ll contact him later and then hangs up the phone.
Over in the bunker, Tom Lennox also hangs up his phone, which really makes it look like he was chatting it up with Gredenko. Oh, editors. How you slay me! He tells Daniels what Bill told him about losing the droooone they were tracking, and he actually just sounds really annoyed about the whole thing. Tom would love to run home and catch a quick nap right about now, maybe watch a little Grey’s and eat a pint of ice cream. Ah, what he wouldn’t give for the carefree days of droneless skies. Daniels is quite perturbed to hear about the drooone, and orders Lisa to call a meeting with the Joint Chiefs. I’m hoping she blows into a conch shell and yells “JOINT CHIEFS! ASSEMBLE!” but Tom keeps whining, so she doesn’t get a chance. Daniels reiterates that he can’t wait to blow the shit out of Iraqistan, and now is the time, dammit! Tom brings up the pesky fact that they have no evidence of the country supporting the terrorists, but Daniels is adamant. If the terrorists successfully detonate another nuclear bomb, the U.S. is going to respond…IN KIND!
“Heather Mills? You’re kidding! She doesn’t have a leg!”
Based on the speed of the droooone, Chloe eliminates Los Angeles as a target. For once. But the list of possibilities still contains fifteen cities, the most populous of which are San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. So yeah. There’s that. Bill looks up ominously to see Jack arriving, sans suit jacket but with tie. Sexy. He’s got that sniffy face on that always precedes terrible news. Bill tells him that Gredenko escaped, but not before launching a drone. Poor Jack must want to yell “But I STORMED the CONSULATE!” It must not be easy to be constantly surrounded by people who are a zillion times less awesome than you. Bill fills him in, then tells him to get to medical. Because apparently Bill wants to see Jack DEAD.
On the way to his DEATH, Jack catches Marilyn just chilling in a side room. Maybe she’s watching Wheel of Fortune? We just don’t know. Also, how did she get there? Last we saw her she was crying in some hotel room. Girl sure gets around. Sexually. She chooses this totally opportune time to express regret for things not working out between them. You know. Sexually. She goes to kiss him and Jack SHUNS her. He lovingly speaks of his love for the lovely Audrey. I nod with approval. But…Marilyn seems conflicted. What’s going on? She tells him that Audrey is…dead! BWAA? Apparently she died in a car accident in China. So I guess we’re referring to The Nine as an accident, now? Seems appropriate enough.
Jack, confused and heartbroken and really rocking the “MY LIFE IS SO HARD” face, storms out of the room and over to Chloe. She’s on the phone, so Jack hangs it up. Hehe, awesome. He demands to know why she never told him. Chloe immediately recognizes this as an awkward social interaction and gives him a robotic answer – that Bill didn’t want to tell him. You know, because he was only brought back to this country to be killed immediately upon arrival. Damn. HIS LIFE IS SO HARD. Chloe tells him that Audrey was the one who figured out he had been taken by the Chinese, and that she spent the year before she died trying to get him out. Jack demands/growls that he wants to see her file. NOW! Ehh, I’m not really buying that she’s dead. This is too big a Revelation to drop on us without taking a commercial break immediately after. And there isn’t one. Therefore, Audrey = alive.
“But death cannot stop true love! Westley says so!”
Over in the bunker, Lisa lists for Daniels the people who will be attending the meeting, and that list contains Karen Hayes. This displeases him. Out in the hall, Karen greets Tom with: “Hello, Tom. Did someone push you down the stairs?” His response: “No Karen, I tripped over your ineptitude.” WHAT? Did someone say Presidential Panic Bunker COMEDY HOUR? WE GOT A HOT ONE TONIGHT! Oh man, I’m still laughing. Okay. Karen gets down to business, telling Tom that they both need to focus and forget about everything that already happened. She goes to leave and he stops her, and I’m almost certain he’s going to bust out with something like “Don’t let the door of ineptitude hit you on the way out!” but instead says something about the president. Something that’s not as funny.
The meeting starts and Daniels immediately drops the bomb that he’s going to drop a bomb on Iraqistan, much to the dismay of Karen Hayes. The Joint Chiefs have already been instructed to research some sparsely populated areas. General Walsh happily pipes up that the best place would be an area near the northern border, where a bomb should result in around 2,000 deaths – but depending on fallout and the weather, that number could double. Daniels is willing to accept that. Fantastic. Karen finally pipes up with this isn’t going to work, you’re going to start another world war, and other such nonsense. Daniels is like, “Noted! Let’s do this.” And then he starts rubbing his hands together and laughing maniacally.
Milo still thinks Morris is a lousy drunk. He asks Chloe if she knows anything, and she hisses that as far as she knows, he’s fine. Milo keeps whining and insists that Chloe go check his breath. This should be good. She huffs her way over to Morris and plants a big one on him. Morris, surprised and a little aroused, asks what that was for. “Just checking your breath,” Chloe snaps matter-of-factly. Um, awesome.
Karen tracks down Tom in the hallway, somehow managing to walk all the way over to him without tripping over her own ineptitude. She tries to bring him over to her side of righteous indignation by insisting that this is not what Wayne Palmer would do. Tom points out that every decision Palmer made today was wrong. But we all know that’s because he didn’t listen to Jack. But Tom isn’t going to budge. Because if he tattles, Daniels is going to bring him down. All the way down. To Chinatown.
The Situation Room is abuzz with efforts to find the rogue drone. (Rogue Drone is a great name for a band.) Chloe interrupts to tell Bill that the satellite data is being rewired to the drone pilot through a workstation at CTU! MOLE! I yell. Chloe says it could take hours to find out whose computer it’s coming from, so Mike cuts to the chase and demands a trace on Nadia’s station. Milo gets all huffy and outraged, but Mike doesn’t care because she’s already been tagged, “and yeah, she’s a Mooooslem.” Oh, Ricky. Go play on your swingset. Milo and I call him a racist, so Mike asks if this is based on some sort of actual knowledge, or if Milo just wants to sleep with her. A valid point, Mike. Also, ew. That’s an image I would have been much happier without. Bill scolds them both, as Chloe finds out that it actually is Nadia. Oh. Well…oh.
Mike calls security and storms over to Nadia’s desk, ordering her to surrender her workstation and barking questions at her. Nadia is totally surprised and is dragged off to Holding, as Milo creepily watches her. Bill assigns Morris to go through her computer and find out where the leak is leading. My guess: Behrooz.
Not creepy at all.
Gredenko calls Drone Dude, who informs him that the bomb is 130 miles away from the target. Which happens to be San Francisco. And it’s going to be blown away in twenty minutes. Apparently Gredenko doesn’t care for sea lions, Rice-A-Roni, or dirty hippies.
Update on Comatose President: still comatose. The doctor says he’s worsened in the past fifteen minutes, but now he’s stabilized. The bad news? He’ll never dance again. Karen asks the doctor if there might be any sort of way to bring him back to consciousness long enough to stop Daniels from launching a nuclear attack on Iraqistan before stroking out. Okay, she’s not exactly that candid but it’s clearly what she’s planning. Doc says hell no, but she’s quite insistent and eventually beats out of him that the only way would be to get consent from his family. But it’s probably going to cause permanent brain damage. Like we’d be able to tell the difference, am I right people? Karen is left in a contemplative state as the doctor hurries off, narrowly avoiding giant puddles of ineptitude. Which, where the hell is he going? Does he have more patients? Other than the PRESIDENT?
Milo watches Nadia in the holding cell via computer and cries to Chloe about how insane it is. What’s really insane is how they’re recycling this plotline from Season 4, when Sarah was detained and tortured for allegedly leaking intelligence. I always liked the way she yelled the word “expunged”. But I digress. Morris is somehow able to figure out that Drone Dude is operating from three blocks away. HOW CONVENIENT!
Meanwhile, Mike is “interrogating” Nadia. And by interrogating I of course mean giving her one of his patented choke holds. He says he’ll do anything to get the information he needs. But oh ho! Nadia says she knows what he did in Denver, she knows he enjoys hurting people. And he gets off on it. Ooh. 24 has taken a sexy turn. He goes to smack her again but Milo interrupts and puts a stop to it, telling him that Morris was able to get the info and an address. I’m really enjoying the way everyone is so sinisterly sneering the delightful sounding “1530 Hillcrest”.
The Incredible Aging Woman.
Jack is in the infirmary (alive, strangely enough) and looking through Audrey’s file. Which has a nice big red DECEASED stamp on it. Ouch. He flips through some pictures of her body, which are extremely bloody but do not clearly show her face. Yeah, she’s totally still alive. He then sees some CTU henchmen scuffling about, and since guys running around in bulletproof vests is as distracting to Jack as shiny things are to Britney Spears, he asks them what’s going on. They tell him about Drone Dude. Jack is Intrigued.
Bill is going over the details of the raid with everyone. Jack is walking by, eyeing him. Bill tells the CTU temp to have them seal off a perimeter. Yay perimeter! Enjoy your easy escape, bad guy! Chloe gives Jack some more details, then runs off to get him a phone and a PDA. Bill finally asks him what the hell he’s doing, so Jack asks why he didn’t tell him about Audrey. Bill stutters out an answer, saying that her death was an accident. But Jack thinks, nay, he KNOWS, that she was murdered. He doesn’t want her to have died saving him for nothing, so he plans to carry this raid out, and then go after the people who killed her. Oh Jack, it’s probably your long-lost stepsister or something. Siblings are just popping up out of the woodworks this season.
Over at the simply magical address of 1530 Hillcrest, things are humming. Once the droooone passes a set perimeter line, it will detonate, and it will reach the target in about three minutes. Drone Dude calls Gredenko to assure him that everything is all set and nothing can possibly go wrong. Then he realizes that he’s a terrorist on 24 and that everything will most definitely go wrong. Probably within the next few minutes. Those wacky Russians!
Jack is waiting outside. He coordinates with Bill and Chloe, formulates a plan, and prepares to move in. Mike sees that Jack is in pain and asks if he should take over, but Jack refuses and takes off. Mike utters the first smart thing he, or anyone for that matter, has said all day: “Whatever you say.” The only words you should ever need in the presence of Jack. Smart man, that Doyle fellow. Jack shoots an anonymous henchmen, then he and the team move into the building. They shoot Drone Buddy, then get into a shootout with Drone Dude himself. He fumbles in a bag for a grenade, but then gets shot and it falls on the floor. Sweet, free grenade!
Jack remembers that he’s not just here to shoot people and finally notices all the computers and radical looking joysticks. He radios Bill that the target is San Francisco and that the controls are for navigation only, not detonation. They figure out that he needs to steer it away from the perimeter, and Chloe says that he can’t do it too sharply or it will stall. And he has to do it within thirty seconds!! And there are killer bees attacking!! And a volcano just exploded outside!! Jack keeps his cool and manages to steer the droooone away from the perimeter. But it starts to stall, so he needs to land it somewhere. Somewhere UNPOPULATED, he blares. Chloe finds a runway type area (or as Milo says, “wunway”) and Jack is able to bring it in for a very rough landing. So rough, in fact, that the once adorable drooone is now smoldering in flames. That can’t exactly be good. The screen goes to static and everyone in CTU stares at it, thinking detonation.
Best video game ever.
Morris reports no detonation, and everyone breathes again. Drone Dude is alive, but barely. Jack demands they do whatever it takes to keep him alive, but we all know he’ll expire in the infirmary. See, this is what you get when you set up your super secret lair FIVE MINUTES away from CTU. Seriously, how could ANYONE on Team Bad Guy have thought that would be a good idea? They deserve to lose. Fire and rescue teams arrive at the drooone scene and whip out a Geiger counter, which more or less screams at them “YOU’LL BE DEAD WITHIN HOURS”.
Time for the big Fuck You! Bill calls Daniels and tells him what happened. Daniels deems the disabled drone a “dirty bomb” and declares that it is valid as a nuclear attack on American soil. Karen naturally freaks out, and even our little troll Tom objects. But Daniels sure is hellbent on the destruction of the world, so he decides to proceed with the nuclear attack on Iraqistan anyway. Walsh informs him that this can take place within the hour. You know what this bunker reeks of? INEPTITUDE.
So what’s going to happen? This is almost the exact opposite of the situation from season 2, wherein David Palmer did NOT want to bomb the THREE MYSTERIOUS COUNTRIES that were sort of responsible for terrorist attacks, but the rest of the government (or Mike Novack, that is), did. And then they had Palmer suspended from power. Could Karen and Tom pull off such a thing? And what’s the deal with Nadia? Could there be a brain transplant in Wayne Palmer’s future? Vote now!