Now that’s more like it! In my last recap of 24 from a few weeks ago, I lamented at how little violence there was. Some people commented that I did not properly appreciate how interpersonal relationships within CTU contribute to the series, but I have to disagree. If we didn’t have that stuff every once and awhile, it would make it much more difficult to get our wives, grilfriends, sisters, moms, aunts, etc., to watch the show. Yes, 24 will always have moments were people put their hearts out there, and relational bonds will continue to play a role in the show. But let’s be honest with ourselves, 24 keeps us coming back because their are lives on the line, and we want Jack to be in there playing commando, not Dr. Ruth. This week, we had a perfect example of how both of these aspects of the show play an important role.If you have been watching the show for a while, you know that one of the fun things to do is to watch the “Previously on 24″ section. The people that they choose to highlight often play a big role in the upcoming episode, and so when I saw that Spenser got his own highlight, I was hoping that he would die. Only time would tell if my dream would come true.
We start out this episode where we left off last week. President Pussy sort of watched in horror as Jack threatened to make give Walt Cummings a reason to wear an eye patch for reasons other than Halloween and his wife’s pirate fetish. Walt continued to give up more information on what he knew about the plan. He was originally contacted by James Nathanson, formerly of the CIA, and who I am guessing is the mastermind we keep seeing with all of the Minority Report plasma screens roaming around his head.
For most of us, it is impossible to sort of understand Walt’s thinking. To aid in the procurement of a deadly nerve gas, knowing that it was intended for civilian targets, imagining there would be little collateral damage, and on top of it, thinking that it was all in the best interest of our nation and its citizens? I know that he said the goal wasn’t to kill Americans, but aren’t you kind of putting your faith in the wrong people? This was not letting your neighbor borrow your John Deere so he could mow his lawn, but he messed up and bent your mulching blade going over a tree stump. Walt gave terrorist nerve gas, didn’t follow through with the plan properly, and now millions could be dead. And all of this after he ordered the deaths of four people, with three dying, including a former President of the United Sates! But at least he isn’t advising the President anymore, so we won’t have to deal with him for long.
The last thing Walt is asked to do is to place a call into Nathanson, but if CTU could have simply placed a trace on his call, things would be too easy. Nathanson disconnected his phone, which meant Walt knew nothing, which meant that they had to assume that the terrorists were acting on their own. I am not sure that anybody believed it, but Jack kept on saying that he would disappear once he wasn’t needed anymore. CTU is more than qualified to search for the remaining canisters, so it is time for him to really disappear. He should marry a slightly mannish gypsy and rent Vespas to tourists on the Peloponnesian coast. That way, nobody will find him, even an annoyingly resourceful Julia Stiles.
I have given President Logan shit for a lot of things, but he seemed to at least gain some conviction after the whole Cummings incident (by the way, I have decided it was a crime not to have named this guy Richard. Dick Cummings jokes would have RULED. Hopefully, they’ll also introduce an army officer, Major Wood). He trusted Walt, and got burned, and now he’s learning that if you’re going to gamble, always bet on JACK! Logan promises Jack full status, and as soon as the canisters are found, he is free to do whatever he wants to do. Jack has no allegiance to Logan, and the president knew it, but he is so committed to helping the people of this country that he can’t say no.
There are a few things working in favor of CTU and stopping the nerve gas before it kills lots of people. Like Walt said, the detonators had been changed, so the only way that the nerve gas was going to be weaponized was by satellite detonation, and we have the codes. When we get a little peek at what yellow tie man, also known as Ivan Erwich, and his crew are doing, their technician confirms that they circuitry has been tampered with, and they will have to repair those mechanisms or their will be no big boom.
Now just because I went off a little about CTU soap operas at the beginning of this recap doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love them. In fact, our boy Lynn introduces us to our first crazy relative threatening to derail national security by causing problems for the people trying to get work done. There have been many girlfriends and boyfriends that have done this job, and it seemed like Kim Bauer’s only purpose was to piss us off by getting stuck in anything, whether it be a bear trap or the drive thru at Wendy’s, she would somehow divert Jack’s attention from where it really should be. Lynn gets a call from Jenny, who I though was his girlfriend, but is really his sister. Jenny is clearly stung out, and asks her brother for some money. She says that if she doesn’t get it, she’s going to hurt herself. I wonder if she will somehow find a way to interfere with Lynn’s job. Just imagine! We have had blondes in distress, we have had girls named Jenny in distress, we have had blonde family members threaten to hurt themselves, but I don’t think we have had blonde female family members in distress named Jenny threatening to hurt themselves. This is new ground folks, and the reason we love 24.
Gathering around the cubicle, reading TVgasm I’m sure.
After telling Jenny that he will get her the money in another 20 minutes, Lynn walks in just as CTU is being briefed on the nerve gas. The problems with the detonators bought them time, but the situation is still serious. They don’t know where the nerve gas is, so they can’t evacuate anybody, and with twenty canisters at their disposal, each with a one-mile coverage area, the casualties could be in the hundreds of thousands. They are going to need a break, like our boy Erwich making a phone call on his satellite phone for CTU to have any idea where they are going to start to look for this guys.
Luckily for them, Erwich isn’t worried about people listening in on his satellite conversations as he is about getting those canisters ready to explode. He gets a call from a man named Jacob Rossler, who says that he will be able to five Erwich new chips for the detonators, but he is going to have to get an identification number from the timing devices, which are sealed in the bottom of the canister. Because they don’t make a nerve gas canister opener that you can buy at Williams Sonoma, Erwich and his boys are going to have to find a place nearby that has precision cutting tools for metal. He finds his place at a motorcycle shop where everybody is out to lunch except the owner, who is more than happy to help Erwich, especially when yellow tie man puts a gun to his face. Luckily, there don’t appear to be any rats around, so nobody has to wear masks or gloves when handling the nerve gas canisters. Considering they have this shop owner about to open these things up, and for all we know he could be the shittiest metal cutter in the place, you would think these guys would be more careful.
Almost as soon as Erwich is done with his call, Chloe’s filters, and let’s be honest, that’s just a fancy name for a wiretap, pick up on it. The voice matching software puts it at a 95% chance that the person on the receiving end of the conversation was Erwich, Since he was using a satellite phone, it won’t help them pinpoint his location, but since the guy who made the call was using a simple land line, they are able to determine his exact location. Chloe calls Jack and lets him know that the building is at 22 North Figueroa, which is in downtown Los Angeles. When Jack hears this, he says that he is going to need a few things to make this work. The first is schematics for the building, the second is vectors on how to get in, and the third is Curtis with a small team to enter the building. That, my friends, is what we like to call a recipe for a beat down.
Chloe is preparing to get everything ready for Jack, but the building in question has a proprietary security system that could take hours to crack, which is hours more time than they can afford. She tells Buchanan that she will need Spenser to help, and despite Edgar’s protests, Buchanan agrees. The CTU fun doesn’t stop there though. Jack calls Audrey, who apparently loves her 1999 Nokia ringtone. Seriously, the people doing the sound effects have got to get some modern ringtones. By this time, Diane seems to be out of the picture. She saw the way that Jack looked at Audrey, and can sense the history. Anyway, Jack needs a favor from Audrey. Even when he came out of hiding to find who killed Palmer, he never expected to be around this long. He needs somebody to find Kim and bring her back to CTU, preferably before she gets kidnapped, chased by a mountain lion, or taken hostage in a convenience store. He doesn’t want Kim to find out that he is alive by reading the news or car bomb.
President Logan is continuing his little journey towards rehabilitating his image. When Martha comes to visit him, he basically begs for her forgiveness. She gives him plenty of forgiveness, with a slap to the face! Man, that was awesome. I had been wanting to do that all season, but was afraid of smudging my television. Logan didn’t really mind the slap, but it happened as Mike Novick was standing outside the door. Ouch! It’s tough to do you job when the chief of staff knows that your wife has you by the balls, but Logan doesn’t seem to mind. His first order of business to show the First Lady how much he loves her is to draft a statement admitting to the public about Walt Cummings and what he did. Mike wants to do it old school with a coverup, but Martha says that if the public found out, they would never forgive him for lying to them, so they go off to draft a statement.
I’m glad somebody finally slapped some sense into this guy.
Curtis meets up with Jack and the two of them are going inside by themselves with the others as support. Spenser is going to cut off the video feed in the lobby, but because of the way the security is set up in the building, they will only have sixty seconds to get to the elevator or the two guards in the penthouse will know that they are coming. People at CTU sounded worried, but apparently they aren’t quite aware of Jacktime, and how it works. I hope somebody does a remix for the new 24 dance beats they use, because I am thoroughly enjoying them whenever it’s time for people to kick ass. Curtis and Jack make their move, and get the elevator key card from the unarmed guard in the lobby. They get into the elevator, and although they knock out the guard in the lobby, the two people upstairs are suspicious after seeing the video go out. They have automatic weapons and are waiting for something to happen.
Those poor guards, they didn’t know what hit them. I am sad that Jack seems to have lost his Aviator Glasses of Badness, but now he has what I call the “Slightly Faded But Nevertheless Useful Extreme Hoodie of Infiltration”. It doesn’t really make sense, but I like the name. The two guards are shot, and I almost scream when I see that Curtis went down. Nooooo! Luckily, Curtis was shot in his bulletproof vest, and wasn’t hurt. Thanks to the motion sensors that Spenser is monitoring, CTU can tell Jack when people are on the movie, and Jack bursts through the door of Rossler’s office in just enough time to shoot him in the leg. But wait, there is another person in the building. Jack makes his way into the bedroom, and I was just ready for Mandy to show up or something. I mean, I know she is supposed to be in jail, but you can’t trust her. I also think it would have been hilarious if it was Behrooz Araz, since we STILL don’t know what happened to him last year.
When the person behind the bed got up we didn’t see the terrorist-fro of Behrooz, but the emaciated figure of what looked to be Rossler’s girlfriend. She said her name was Inessa, and she looked like Rossler had been beating her up. Wow, this guy Rossler is not only aiding terrorists, but he has been beating up a 105-pound girl in his spare time, and obviously making her do many other things against her will. This is only going to make it tougher on Rossler when it comes time for Jack to ask him questions. Jack tells CTU he needs a full background check on the girl, and he instructs the medics not to give Rossler any medication for the pain.
And then the questioning begins. Yay!
Right away, we can tell that Rossler is going to have to adjust his attitude. He starts the interrogation by telling Jack that Jack has a problem? What’s that? Jack has a problem? No, I don’t think so. Jack tells him how it’s *really* going to be. Rossler was working with known terrorists, and the Republicans are in power, so Jack is going to hold him as long as he likes. Once again, Rossler makes a bad move. He tells Jack to go to hell, which Jack answers with a backhand to the face that would have made Martha Logan proud. “You like hurting girls?” says Jack? “By the time I am finished with you, you are going to wish you felt this good again.”
This whole time, Curtis was standing by. I love how calmly Jack gave Curtis the signal to start the torture. I couldn’t tell if Jack was interrogating a terrorist, or just wanted a little more water to wash down some scallops. Jack decided to order up a little pain, in the form of Curtis stepping on Rossler’s gunshot wound to his leg. It sort of makes me cringe as I hear the blood and the bone sort of grinding together, but Rossler is holding up pretty well. I mean, he is screaming in pain, but he still has the presence of mind to ask for a deal from the attorney general. Jack laughs at him. Ha! This is going to be fun. Like Jack is ever going to let this guy ever take a deal. Before he found the girl, maybe, but not now. There’s nothing that can save Rossler now! I start to giggle in anticipation as to what Jack will do next, but sadly that tingly feeling I get when Jack is about to torture somebody goes away.
Insert your own caption here
During the time that Jack was interrogating Rossler, he had the phone in Rossler’s office on speaker. Yes, it was a conference call torture for CTU, and Lynn decided that he had enough. He tells Jack that he has no time to do this and instructs Jack to make the deal. Oh Dios mios! I literally smacked my forehead when I heard this. It’s not so much that Lynn wants Jack to deal, it’s that you know he wants Jack to make the deal because he needs to take a break to help his crazy sister. He was too embarrassed to meet her in the building, which is just dumb. He should have told her to come into the office. Then Lynn could have sent her to the infirmary where she probably would have died and he wouldn’t have to worry about her. Instead, he’s making a deal. Bollocks.
At this time, Jack is seething. CTU begins drafting an immunity deal with the Attorney General. The worst part about this deal? First is that Rossler insisted that he be allowed to take Inessa, second he doesn’t know shit about Erwich. He’s never seen him, talked to him the first time just thirty minutes ago, and has no clue where he is. Rossler does say that Erwich is going to send him a set of numbers after opening the canisters, and he will have to set up a meeting pace to get the microchips in Erwich’s hands. The fact that Rossler has so little information on Erwich is disturbing enough, but then Jack gets that background information on Inessa. Not only was she being beaten. Not only was she kidnapped. Not only was she sold into sex slavery, but she was also just fifteen years old. And some asshole from Division just sold her down the river.
While Jack is waiting for Erwich to call Rossler with those serial numbers he’s been waiting for, let us check in on the President. I like that PP is sort of standing up for what he believes in, and is trying to make it up to his wife, but come on! She’s still fairly crazy. Maybe she doesn’t need to be institutionalized, but couldn’t they find something better for her to do besides making policy? Tell her that she needs to be briefed, dump a few thousand pages of memos in her lap, and have Evelyn crush up some ambien and mix it in with the First Lady’s afternoon pudding cup? The other thing that was bothering me is this look that Logan had on his face whenever he was looking at his wife. It was like he was letting her write this memo up because he was horny and worried about having to sleep on the couch.
Just as they were finishing up, Mike gives the President a call. There is a problem in the East wing, and it’s not that they have a Japanese beetle problem in the rose garden. When the President and First Lady get there, they see that Walt Cummings has hung himself in the bathroom. I won’t say that it was funny that Walt died, but you have to love that Mike left Walt swinging just long enough to have a dramatic effect on Logan and his wife. As soon as they were properly shocked, they cut him down.
Why don’t you hang around for a while Walt?
At CTU, Spenser was also trying to save his neck (ha!), but there was no hope. Now that he helped them break into that security system, they don’t need him anymore and he is being fired. Spenser desperately pleads his case on letting him stay. He didn’t know what Walt was doing. Not only that, you can kind of tell that he feels upset that he had to lie to Chloe, and that she thinks that he slept with her because it was part of his job. As Spenser is taken away, Edgar tells Chloe that he knows it was hard, but she did the right thing. Chloe is not in the mood and says, “Shut up Edgar!” but it doesn’t bother him. Now that Spenser is out of the way, he knows that Chloe will need somebody to comfort her, and he will finally get to use those satin sheets he bought only because he was trying to get a date with that saleswoman at the Pottery Barn. He’s back baby! and gives us a little smirk to let us know how happy he is.
Edgar can’t wait for V-day.
Poor Jack. He has been a lot more emotional this year, and he gets the tough job of having to break the news to Inessa that she isn’t going home. Poor Inessa, she was so excited to get back to Kiev where her parents and all that good chicken await her. Jack tries to explain to her that she is going to have to go with Rossler, and that some agents will follow her and take her back when they get what they need. The beatings are too fresh in Inessa’s mind, and she tells Jack if he lets her go, he is no different than Rossler. Jack feels exactly the same way, and leaves her alone to get dressed.
So, our friend in the motorcycle shop was finishing up. Erwich hadn’t told him what he was opening, but he saw the guy was getting nervous and tried to explain to him that Erwich had no beef with him, just the government. I guess Erwich didn’t want the guy to get nervous and kill them all with nerve gas because he was afraid of dying. We learned why he became a terrorist. You know, his wife was thrown in jail because of his crimes, his son doesn’t even know who he is, we’ve heard it all before. After the last canister is open, Erwich shoots the guy anyway (like we didn’t see THAT coming) and prepares to send the numbers to Rossler. You know, good thing the people of this motorcycle shop are so excited about their lunch break. It must have been $5.00 lunch buffet day at Pizza Hut, because none of the other employees came back.
Erwich places the call to Rossler, and tells him that he is sending the codes over right away. Rossler says that they need a place to meet, and Erwich says that he will call back in a few minutes after he has thought about it. The only thing left for Jack to do is get Inessa and Rossler out of there, but Inessa was not going back. She hid a gun underneath her sweatshirt when she had gotten dressed. Nobody imagined that she would have thought to pack a gun to shoot her captor. Inessa gets two rounds, off, putting Rossler on the ground. Jack subdues her, but that is not the real problem. Apparently Inessa was a pretty good shot, and hit Rossler twice in the chest, killing him. Erwich was going to call in only a few minutes, and their only way to bring him in was about to find out what happens to child rapists when they get to hell.
You go girl!
As you might have guessed, I LOVED this episode. Plenty of action, and I was genuinely surprised when Inessa shot Rossler. I sort of had a feeling that something had to happen because why else would they have her in the story, but had no idea it was going to be that. Things at CTU are just as good. Lynn went to meet his sister, but said that he would only put her in rehab. To show her love, Jenny’s lowlife boyfriend beat up Lynn and took his money, so it will be interesting to see how Mr. By the Book deals with that. The awkward geek/sexual tension between Edgar and Chloe is back in force, and it looks like we are going to have some nice Audrey/Kim moments to look forward to. You Just know that putting those two on screen together is going to be howlingly funny, although perhaps howlingly painful.
From the previews it looks like Jack is going to have an answer when Erwich calls next week, and I just get this feeling that we are about to hit stride with some crazy shit going on in the future. I can’t wait.