Anyone catch Kiefer Sutherland on Leno the other night? He talked about the infamous Jack Bauer action figure prototype melting incident, which is always a good time. Though I am quite partial to the Christmas tree tackle story. That guy is crazy! He also showed a clip of he and Chloe guest starring on The Simpsons, and I proceeded to cream my pants. It’s as if everything I love came together in one moment of awesome singularity. Now Homer just needs to make a cameo on Friday Night Lights as a drunken fan and I can die in piece. But until then, I guess I should start this 24 recap.
The CTU agents are clearing out the building that Jack was all set to blow up, and he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddlin’ kids. Mike “I like lollipops” Doyle questions Audrey about where Cheng had been holding her, but the woman is still completely out of it. He presses further, but all she can say is “Help me Jack. Don’t let them do this to me.” Aww. Audrey has been replaced by a robot! Robot Audrey and Zombie Palmer…this season may turn out alright after all. (But probably not.) Nadia is in her office, yelling at someone to set up perimeters. Looks like she picked up the job pretty fast! She’ll be letting the terrorists slip through her fingers in no time! Morris drops in and Nadia informs him that his request for a transfer is being denied, she needs him where he is and his petty scuffles with Chloe shouldn’t be affecting his work. Morris puts on his very best I-armed-a-nuclear-bomb-give-me-a-break! look but it doesn’t work and Nadia refuses once again, even though Bill had been considering it. And all the while some very Battlestar-like notes plink away on the soundtrack. Nadia = Cylon? Perhaps. She certainly is hot enough.
Mike calls up Nadia and informs her that Audrey has become a vegetable, so she says that she’ll arrange for a specialist to come in and help deal with her. Oh, PLEASE not Barry Landes. If I ever have to see stupid Kim’s face again I’ll C4 my television myself. Mike whines for a while about how the component wouldn’t have been lost if he hadn’t intervened. Come on, Mike. Grow a pair. Whining doesn’t get nuclear circuit boards back.
The agents lead Audrey out of the building and Jack of course plows through like a Mack truck to try and talk to her. Mike stops him, but Jack tries to reason with him, saying that he’s the only one who knows what she’s been through and he’s sure that he can get through to her. Mike tells him he’s under arrest and they’re all coptering back to CTU for some punch and pie.
“Let go of me! I’ll tackle your Christmas tree!”
Karen is busy reassuring Daniels that they’re doing everything in their power to stop Cheng from getting the component out of the country. He asks her about the whole Bill situation, and says that he appreciates her sacrifice. And then he gropes her. Well, no, but with Daniels I wouldn’t really have been surprised. Tom scampers in to say that the Russian president is on the horn and he wants to talk to Daniels face to face. Gulp.
Meanwhile, Lisa, the robotic strumpet, returns to an apartment and affirms her mole status, just as we knew she would as soon as she said last week that she was going home to “shower”. Moles always say they need to take time off to shower. That’s their schemin’ time. She starts making out with a rather attractive man, and informs him that Daniels is now acting president, which is good for both of them. She’s rather vague, but before she can go into more detail for our benefit, the guy tells her to stop talking and shoves her into the bedroom. He throws her upon the bed and deftly opens up her blouse. I have to say, it’s very smooth.
Daniels, Karen, and Tom are now in a video conference with our old pal Suvarov. Seriously, someday this guy’s just going to throw his hands up in the air and proclaim that he’s finished with the U.S. They’re always screwing him over! He tells Daniels that he knows what’s going on with the component, and if Daniels lets Cheng get it out of the country, the Russians are prepared to initiate an “appropriate response”. Then he hangs up. Hehe. I’m hopeful because Suvarov means Mrs. Suvarov, and Mrs. Suvarov means more Crazy Martha!! I mean, probably not, but that would be awesome. Daniels growls to Tom and Karen about how the Russians could have found out, and they all conclude that since only the White House staff and CTU knew about it, there must be a mole. To the MoleMobile!
“How could you turn on me, Cisco?! You’re the human network!”
Daniels asks Tom how serious this is, presumably hoping for him to say it’s no big deal, but Tom puts on a hilarious grave look and says that it’s very serious. I LOVE TOM. He and Karen then bombard Daniels with all sorts of harrowing possibilities, and Daniels just massages his temples and tells them to give CTU whatever it needs to find Cheng. Now the shoes on the other hand, EH DANIELS?!
Cheng, meanwhile, is having a grand old time off-roading with his buddies. He takes out the circuit board, admires it, then downloads its data and sends it to some hipster buddy of his. Weird. Hipster informs him that the circuit board is damaged, and they can’t fix it until they get the security override. Cheng insists they don’t have that information, so Hipster tells him that he needs to find someone with the necessary expertise. Good thing Cheng has Morris’s number programmed into his phone!
“Circuit board! Mistah Bauah!”
Lisa and Mystery Guy are engaging in some post-coital kissing. Ew. She goes off to take that much-lauded shower, leaving Guy alone to sneak into the other room and download all the information off of her phone. He calls a man with an accent and tells him they’re all set, and assures him that Lisa doesn’t know a thing about this.
Chloe corners Morris and asks what’s going on. He tells her that he asked for a transfer, and she gets all weird, but not the usual quirky Chloe weird. It’s emotional Chloe weird, and it’s, well, weird. Also weird is the fact that they’re both staring off into space as they’re talking to each other. He tells her that she crossed a line and that it’s over between them, and although she pleads with him and even squeezes out a tear or two, he finally looks her in the eye and says that they’re done. He walks away, leaving Chloe to cry against the wall. Well. I think it’s safe to say that Morris will be dead by the end of the day.
“What are we looking at?”
Karen calls Nadia and tells her that the Russians know about the component, then makes it abundantly clear that CTU needs to do whatever it can to get it back. Nadia informs Karen that what they really need is Bill Buchanan. Karen becomes squirrelly and avoids the question. Great. Nadia hangs up and greets the psychiatrist that has just arrived. Thankfully it’s not Barry Landes, however it is some sort of weird robot guy. What is it with 24 and cyborgs this season? They’re totally in cahoots with Galactica.
Dr. Bradley goes in to examine Audrey, who is in restraints. Yeah, don’t want her to wander off and start twitching around Morris. He’d request another transfer. And if she started to twitch around Nadia, Milo would start planning her demise. Audrey continues to stare vaguely into space, perhaps reminiscing about the time she and her father were kidnapped and she had to kick through a pipe in order to leak a toxin into the air and nearly kill them both. Ah, memories.
Jack is being led down a hallway in handcuffs, and yelling, as he is wont to do. He is screaming for Mike to stop the briefing, as he knows that the methods they’re going to use aren’t going to work and will only make her worse. Mike seems to ignore this and puts him in a very mood-lit holding room. Jack pleads with him to take care of Audrey. Mike says nothing and leaves. Look on the bright side, Jack, at least he didn’t lock you up in the room where your wife died, right? Silver lining?
Dr. Bradley is still with Audrey, staring at her and asking “You alright?” Haha. Anyone bother to check “Dr.” Bradley’s credentials? I hope that he goes on to ask her why she’s acting like this or if something is bothering her, but alas, he just starts poking around instead. Audrey, by the way, has scars all over her arms and legs. Oh man, I can’t wait to watch the wrath Jack is going to dispense over all of this.
Nadia goes in and asks Dr. Bradley if he has a diagnosis yet. “Oh, I’m not a doctor,” he fails to say. Instead, he says she’s a Type 3 catatonic, capable of following simple commands and repeating basic phrases, but “otherwise utterly unresponsive.” To YOU perhaps, Dr. HarshTone. He says that the only way to get answers out of her is with intervention. Huh? He goes on to say that she has been injected with pharmacological agents, as evidenced by over a hundred injection sites on her arms, feet, and groin. Ugh. Poor Audrey. He says the only way to overcome the shock is to give her different drugs, although there are certain risks, one of which is possible death.
Mike isn’t comfortable with this, and tells Nadia that he thinks Jack can help instead. She turns to Dr. Bradley and asks if this would be possible. “Yeah, I know who Jack Bauer is. I read Ms. Raines’ file on the way over.” Ooh, snarky. I sort of like that. But he goes on to say that he thinks Jack will hurt more than he will help, and he loses me there. Jack always helps. But the doctor has more to say, but he says it with outrageous speed and in a giant run-on sentence so it’s totally hilarious. “With all due respect it’s not your call Ms. Yasser District has formally placed Ms. Raines in my custody and granted me authority to determine appropriate treatment I’m going to begin preparing for a treatment shortly I’ll let you know what the results are Good day.” Hmm. Maybe Dr. Bradley is a little awesome.
“I like what you’ve done with the place I love the glass walls They really liven up the room I’m a doctor by the way”
Nadia informs Mike that he was out of line, but he counters that since she’s acting director, she needs to call the shots, no matter what they may be. He says she can’t be afraid of stepping on toes, but she says that she has to respect the chain of command and blah blah blah…I’m sure we’ll all learn a very important lesson about this by the end of the episode.
Daniels calls up Lisa and tells her to come back right away. There’s a crisis and he needs her. He doesn’t know yet that she IS the crisis, but we all know it’ll be so sweet when he finds out. I hope Tom informs him through interpretive dance. She says she’ll be right there, then kisses Mystery Guy and leaves the apartment. As soon as she does, he calls up his contact and asks what his next move is. I know what it should be: The Lawnmower.
Tom flits in to bring Daniels the happy news. He tells him that a staffer made several phone calls to one Mark Bishop (Mystery Guy), a lobbyist who was flagged two years ago as being in likely contact with Russian intelligence agents, but the issue wasn’t pursued due to “lack of resources”. Well. I certainly hope Bill Buchanan will be fired for that. Daniels asks which staffer, and Tom, barely able to suppress his glee, tells him that it’s Lisa. Daniels gapes, while Tom further explains that she probably isn’t helping the Russians willingly, as she called Mark with her own phone, and Tom was able to find evidence that they’ve stayed in the same hotel room on the same night. They’ve been doing it for a year, and Tom chirps that “if we dig a little deeper, I’m sure we will find more evidence that these two were sleeping together.” High fives all around!
“Oh, yeah. They’re doing it, sir. Hard core.”
Daniels then tells Tom that there may be a bigger problem than they thought. He confesses that he’s been sleeping with her too, and the look on Tom’s face and his subsequent expressions are PRICELESS.
Just give the guy an Emmy.
Seriously, it’s now like top five in my 24 Favorite Faces list. (Also on the list: after Paul Raines died and Chloe asked Jack if he wanted to “talk about it” – best incredulous Jack expression ever.) Daniels tells him a sordid tale of how, when his wife died, he didn’t think he’d ever love again. But Lisa’s fembot ways apparently won him over. Tom, still collecting his jaw up from the ground, begins to get that scheming look back and tells Daniels that they may be able to use this to their advantage. Just shoot him in the face, Tom! Claim the presidency that is rightfully yours!
Mike bursts into Jack’s holding cell and fills him in on the situation with Dr. SnarkBot. He says that he’s going to use drugs on Audrey, and Jack gets that KILL look in his eyes and we all know what’s going to happen now. Mike takes off the handcuffs and allows Jack to render him unconscious. Jack takes Mike’s gun and keycard, then flees the room to save his one true love. (Actually, she’s more like true love number 5 or 6 by now, but who’s counting? (Me.))
Best buds FOREVER.
He knocks out the guard in the hall, then makes his way down to the infirmary. As soon as he bursts in, someone yells “Sir, you’re not supposed to be here!” Haha. I wonder how many anonymous guards and henchmen have died by the hand of Jack right after yelling that line. Of course, they’re wrong. Jack is ALWAYS supposed to be here. He asks Dr. Monotone if he’s done anything to her yet, and when he says no Jack throws him to the ground and tells him to consider himself lucky. HA. The good doctor starts to speak, which is such a delight: “Jack Bauer I recognize you from your file You shouldn’t be here Seeing you will only make things worse.” Jack correctly screams at him to SHUT UP, then undoes Audrey’s restraints and leads her out of the room, as the doctor pulls the alarm.
Morris pulls up a video feed of Audrey’s empty bed and then Jack’s empty holding cell. Nadia initiates a lockdown. Milo, oddly vitriolic, sneers that if Jack had been allowed to talk to Audrey none of this would have happened. Then, since he got caught talking to Nadia, Milo starts to plan his own death.
“I NEED A DRINK!”
Morris is able to narrow down Jack’s location to somewhere in the lower levels. Nadia points to Chloe’s empty chair and asks where she is, but Morris doesn’t know. Huh? Wait, where is she? No time to look on the roof, because now Nadia is badgering Mike about how she finds it hard to believe that Jack overpowered him. Well, Nadia, now you’re just being stupid. Jack can rip telephone books with his mind, surely he can bonk little Mikey on the head. Mike half-heartedly denies everything, but Nadia suspects everything correctly, and Mike eventually says that he did what he thought was right.
Morris tracks Jack down and Nadia scampers off to “talk” to him. Jack, meanwhile, drags Audrey down the hall and locks them in a room by dismantling the security keypad. He then pulls her close and tells her that he’s going to protect her and take care of her. Audrey seems not to hear any of this and busies herself with admiring the exposed piping. He tries to get her to remember, then lists all sorts of things about her life, like that her father was the Secretary of Defense, she was born in Albany, NY (yeah Upstate!), and her mother died when she was nine. She shows a slight bit of recognition at this last fact, but still nothing.
Morris notices that Jack has sealed himself in that room and informs Nadia, who comes barreling down the hall. She tries to swipe her way into the room, but since Jack killed the box she can’t do a damn thing except yell through the wall. Effective. Jack has moved on from Audrey’s Precious Memories and is now trying to get her to remember anything about Cheng and the place that he was holding her. But Audrey just continues to stare, perhaps thinking something along the lines of “Aren’t you that guy who tackled a Christmas Tree?”
Ah, but Jack’s not done. He tells her he knows what she’s been through, that he’s been through it too. He knows what it’s like to feel as if it’s never going to end, and promises that they’re gone now and she doesn’t have to hide anymore. He then asks for some sort of signal that she understands, but she just continues to twitch. Jack, totally devastated (his life is SO HARD), gives her a hug and tells her that he loves her with all of his heart. His crushed, decimated heart. With this, Audrey grabs Jack’s scarred hand, and aww. This will lead to an interesting wedding.
However, it IS funny that right after Jack has told her that she’s safe and there’s nothing more to worry about, sparks start to fly from behind the door as Nadia and the team start to blowtorch their way in. Unsurprisingly, Audrey starts to freak out, and Jack isn’t really helping by telling her that he’s going to be taken away from her for a little while and they’re running out of time. But seriously, Audrey, everything is just fine! You’ll be back in the care of Dr. RoboKill in no time!
The door is breached and Nadia, Mike, and Dr. Bradley burst in. Jack of course draws his gun and tells them he’s not going to let them hurt Audrey. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Audrey whispers the word “Bloomfield”. Nadia radios this back to Morris so he can look it up, and finally tells the good doctor that he’s not going to touch Audrey because while Audrey may be his patient, she’s Nadia’s witness. Then she sends him away. I doubt he cares. Nadia promises Jack that she’s going to keep Audrey safe, so he finally lowers his weapon and surrenders himself. Mike takes Audrey away, and Jack thanks Nadia. So everyone’s happy!
So soothing. So peaceful.
Tom gets off the phone with someone and informs Daniels that Russian planes will be in the strike zone of an American base within the hour. Hello, next week’s plotline. Please, have a seat. Lisa enters the room, and Daniels sends Tom away. DAMMIT! I truly wish Tom could have stuck around for this conversation. For all we know he would have whipped out a box of sombreros and maracas and done some sort of mariachi dance whilst Daniels gave her the news. Ah well. Daniels does give her the news (sans a latin rhythm) and tells her that the Russians have been getting intelligence from a man named Mark Bishop. Lisa pretends not to recognize the name, but then Daniels plays a tape of a Russian-Mark phone conversation. She then says that he’s an acquaintance and nothing more, but Daniels, in full-on Sneering Mode, sneers about them being in bed together and it’s pretty much all over from then on. I celebrate, because I don’t think there will be any more Daniels tongue-groping from now on.
She swears that she had no idea Mark was double-crossing her like that, but Daniels says that it’s still treason. She is now to go back to Mark and make him believe that they have the component back. When she protests, Daniels tells her that she will do exactly what Tom tells her to do (perhaps the salsa) and that if she even thinks about exposing their affair, he’s going to throw her into solitary so she’ll never get to tell anyone anything with that robotic voice of hers. Truly a loss for the nation.
Audrey is settled back in the infirmary, while at her bedside sits…Secretary Heller! Holy crap! Back from his spectacular careening off the cliff and no worse for the wear, I see. He tells Audrey that he’s taking her home and that he’s going to look after her and help her to get better. Yeah, okay. Got an electroshock machine sitting around the attic?
He leaves the room and tells Nadia that he wants to see Jack, so she has someone escort him down the hall. Mike approaches Nadia and tells her that Bloomfield could actually refer to a copper refining facility, and they think that might be Cheng’s base of operations, so they’re checking it out now. Then they share A Moment and Mike voices his approval of Nadia’s actions in the end there. Lesson learned! Change your shoes, Mr. Rogers, it’s a wrap!
Ah yes. Time for the Fuck You. Heller enters Jack’s holding cell, and Jack starts babbling on about how he’s going to take care of Audrey and be there for her. “No you won’t, Jack,” snaps Heller. Damn. He goes on to explain that he doesn’t want Jack to come near Audrey ever again, and that what happened to her was his fault. DAMN. Jack tries to protest, but Heller just tells him to stay away. And then, the kicker: “You’re cursed, Jack. Everything you touch, one way or another, ends up dead.” DAAAMN!! Now that’s just hurtful.
“Why didn’t anyone watch Crumbs, Jack?! That was damned quality television!!”
So check it out dog, this episode was only okay for me. A little pitchy in some places. I did like the return of Heller at the end there, and I enjoyed his paraphrasing of the classic Charlie Brown line from the Christmas Special, where he puts the ornament on the tree and it falls down and he says that everything he touches gets ruined. It was JUST like that. In fact, you might say that Charlie Brown metaphorically TACKLED the Christmas tree. Aaand we’ve come full circle. Thoughts? Comments? Where the hell did Chloe run off to?