Hey TVGasm kids. How’s it hanging? So check it out. I want to say something. I’m gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don’t, send it right back. I want to be on you. No, wait. That’s not it. I actually just wanted to say that I, like a good many of you, first started visiting and reading this site mostly for the 24 recaps. B-Side and J-Unit were always hilarious and did a fantastic job with them, and I too am saddened by their departure and the end of their 24 reign. That said, I ask you to suppress the bile long enough to continue on this fantastic voyage with me instead. I love this show probably more than existence itself. My hamster’s name is Jack Bauer, for Pete’s sake. So it’s an honor to take over and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Also, I really do want to be on you.
Alright, enough of this gooey shit. Onto the carnage. Palmer 2.0 has been bombed real good, and is now en route to some sort of in-bunker medical facility. Lucky for him, he’s about 2650 miles away from the CTU infirmary, so he actually stands a good chance of surviving this ordeal. No word on his condition right now, but my official diagnosis: scurvy.Meanwhile, Jack is laying it all out for Logan – he is a prisoner under Jack’s care and he is to do nothing until Jack says so. Logan says he knows what his role is and that he just wants to help out. “As far as I’m concerned you will never do anything that will erase what you’ve already done,” sneers Jack. Aw. Nice Oprah moment right there, guys. Now hug and remember your spirit.
Worst road trip ever.
In the car, Logan drones on about how this is the first time he’s left that house in a year. Of course, he doesn’t need to tell Jack what it’s like to be locked up. Poor Jack just sits there, severely repressing the urge to be the first man to toss an ex-President out of a moving car. Logan says that solitude gives you the chance to listen to “the voice of your deepest self”, which will allow you to heal. So Logan’s a Jesus freak AND a dirty hippy now? I wonder what Martha would have to say about all this. Bill calls to inform Jack of the assassination attempt, and that it is currently being blamed on Assad, who is now dead. Jack insists that this makes no sense, and after more or less of an “I dunno” from Bill, he hangs up and tells Logan what happened. Of note, the bags under Logan’s eyes have grown from a minor facial quirk last year to a veritable distraction this season. You could carry groceries in those things.
Back in the Presidential Bunker O’Death, doctors are still working on Palmer. And who should have a front seat but everyone’s favorite little assassin, Reed. He goes to make a phone call and jumps about five feet in the air when some dude (Michael C. Hall’s long lost brother, by the looks of it) informs him that the VP is being briefed in the conference room, and that Lennox should be there. Reed squeaks out yet another excuse and changes the subject. To ballroom dancing!
Not shady at all.
VP Daniels is informed that the Palmer has sustained shrapnel wounds to the neck and upper chest, and that he is unconscious and will be for the rest of the episode. Daniels, thrilled to finally be getting some screen time, eyebrows all over the place. The Secretary of Defense, played by Bob Gunton, the evil warden from The Shawshank Redemption (so I just want to punch him in the face), breaks the terrible news that Daniels is now in charge and will be arriving shortly. And who’s the first person he wants to see when his plane lands? Why, Tom Lennox of course! Reed does one of those Jon Stewart ageeeew noises while loosening his tie and wiping his brow. Well, not really, but he’s thinking it and maybe even chuckling to himself, like I am.
Warden of Defense (does he have a name yet?) corners Reed and demands to know where Lennox is. Reed doesn’t miss a beat. This guy is an Excuses Factory. He spouts more LIES, which prompts the Secret Service to issue a 1020 on Tom Lennox. I’ll translate for you. It means that it’s time for a good old-fashioned game of Hide The Chief Of Staff, the Secret Service are it, and they’re determined to win the Lennox cup this year.
Reed sneaks off to his Boiler Room of Treasonous Madness, where his goon is lecturing Lennox on the merits of assassinations. Reed bursts in and gives the goon some juicy updates. Then they brainstorm on what to do with Lennox. Goon says that he can make it look like a suicide, but Reed insists that they cannot kill Tom Lennox. “Why noooot?” the goon whines. “Because we are NOT murderers!” shouts Reed. “And we are NOT standing in a boiler room and I am NOT wearing women’s underwear!” Oh, Mr. Reed. Lying does not become you.
Goon is not a fan of this plan, but Reed insists he can make it work. Because he’s got one hell of a track record so far. He stoops down in front of Lennox and untapes his mouth. They have yet another mini-debate over the merits and drawbacks of, you know, killing the president. Reed points out that now that Daniels is in charge, he’ll approve Lennox’s proposal and they can continue the noble mission of obliterating the civil rights of Arab-Americans. Someone call the pope, we’ve got a couple of saints here! (“Hi, Pope? Yeah, it’s me. Yep, it’s about 24 again…”) Lennox also reveals that the bomb had been engineered to look like one of Assad’s weapons, so it’s almost assuredly going to fall completely on him, totally defeating the purpose of all that peacemaking nonsense. “No one needs to know the truth,” insists Reed. Tom agrees, sort of.
They emerge from the room, and I’m really hopeful there are some people out there so that Lennox can walk out saying something like, “Yep! The pressure gauges look fine in there!” but alas, no such magic happens. The Secret Service catches up with them and for a moment Lennox looks like he’s going to cave under the steely will of ex-Mr. Hilary Swank, but ultimately declares that Reed and Goon (Partners in Evil) are responsible for the attempted assassination, and demands that they be arrested. NICE! I yell at the screen, scaring Little Jack Bauer (the hamster, not…you know). Lennox surrenders himself into custody until he can talk to the Attorney General, and Reed and Goon (The Musical!) are handcuffed. Lennox and Reed glare at each other with an intensity that could take down a bull moose.
“Mondays are awful, am I right people?”
After the commercials, Daniels deplanes and begins talking to some random blonde, who brings him up to date on the situation. He immediately demands to talk to CTU, which is probably what I would do if I were to suddenly become president (and God help us all if that ever came to be). Bill answers the phone and tries to explain the situation with Logan. Daniels sneers that he’s surprised Palmer had authorized this, but Bill insists that it’s the only lead they have at the moment, and that Logan is under the watch of Jack Bauer. And that is reason ENOUGH, dammit.
Jack and Logan arrive at the consulate, where Logan says that he needs to speak to Markov alone. Jack predictably flips out over this, but Logan makes a good point in that he’s not exactly going to seek asylum in there or anything, so Jack relents but remains wary. They are at a consulate, after all. Jack could start another war if he felt like it.
Logan meets a very Russian Markov, who greets him with a “Miiiiister President!” I half expect Logan to counter with “Coooonsul Stereotype!” Markov offers his condolences and offers to help, from one eyebag to another. Logan explains the deal with Gredenko and the Russian bombs, but Markov insists that those weapons had been destroyed and that he doesn’t know where Gredenko is. Logan doesn’t believe him, and plays his trump card: he knows Markov was involved in supplying the sentox nerve gas last season, and Logan will release the tapes to Moscow if he doesn’t give up Gredenko’s whereabouts. Markov still denies any knowledge of Gredenko, so Logan eventually caves and says he believes him. Markov agrees to make some calls, but doesn’t think anyone he knows is still in contact with Gredenko. The atmosphere is frosty, to say the least. They shake hands and Logan leaves, once again falling into the sweet, sweet embrace of Jack Bauer.
“In Soviet Russia, cigar smokes you!”
He catches Jack up but insists that Markov is lying, since he’s done enough scheming to be able to recognize it when he sees it. Hell, those two should get together and establish Crafty Bastard University. Jack, who sort of looks bored with this whole thing by now, secures Logan back in the car.
They’re barely out of their parking space (located in Section Vodka) when Markov gets on the horn with his BFF Gredenko. He dishes that the Americans have sent their little puppet Logan, and Gredenko is wicked pissed that Russia has been exposed in all this. All they wanted to do was blow some shit up and blame it on the Arabs! Is that so wrong?! Markov sneers that “they have no evidenccccce”, otherwise they wouldn’t have sent Logan, with his threats and accusations. And would it have killed him to bring a fruit basket?
“OMG did you catch idol last night?”
“Simon is such a jerk lol!”
Back in the car, Jack decides to stir shit up. He calls Chloe and tells her to disable power to the DWP server. Whatever that means. She is to knock out all power to the Russian consulate for 60 seconds, and make it look like a power failure. And, as always, this needs to be done under the radar. But only, you know, for like half the episode until Milo or Nadia or Katie the Random CTU Temp discovers her. And then she’ll get in trouble but it turns out Jack was right all along so they’ll forget all about it. Unless he ends up on a freighter bound for Russia. Eh, we’ll just see what happens.
“Chloe, I forgot to TiVo Grey’s, can you tape it for me?”
Logan can’t believe Jack is thinking about breaking into yet ANOTHER consulate, and reminds him of the two years he spent in China as punishment for the exact same shenanigans. Jack smacks himself on the head and says, “Oh right, THAT’S where I was!” Logan asks Jack if he’s really willing to risk it all over again. Jack’s like, duh, I’m Jack Bauer. I risk things all day, every day, everywhere, on every continent. Brushing my teeth is risky because I do it with POISON.
Karen (remember her? I thought for sure she’d be dying in a fiery plane crash right about now) is hanging out in the Andrews Air Force Base cafeteria, looking bored and watching the news on her phone. She should order a Hot Pocket or something. The phone rings, and it’s her hubby, perhaps looking for a little tele-afternoon delight? Nah, he’s just calling to inform her of the assassination attempts and whatnot. Just as sexy, I think. Karen suddenly remembers that she’s awesome and it would be wrong to deprive the President of her services, so she decides to go back and rescind her resignation. Imagine the amount of paperwork flying around that bunker. They must have one miserable underling stuck somewhere, filing and processing until the day he quits or, more likely, commits suicide.
Speaking of the bunker, Daniels is commanding his little blonde (whose name is Lisa, we find out) to make a distribution list for Lennox’s proposal. She’s surprised that he would try and pull this off so quickly, but he spouts the same crap he’s been spouting this whole time, that it’s for the good of the country, and, what’s more, that they’ve been delaying this for far too long. Yeah, suspending civil liberties is really something they should have just snuck into the BILL OF RIGHTS.
Warden of Defense informs Daniels of the situation with Lennox, who happens to be spilling the beans at that very moment. He tells them everything, but leaves out that whole nasty business of his consent and involvement. The Secret Service guy totally doesn’t believe him and even gives him a little snark, but just then Daniels enters and kicks everyone else out of the room. And for some reason I really wish Mike Novick were here to see all this. Imagine all the squinting he’d be doing. Think he’ll ever be back?
Daniels, who really really resembles a bulldog, reveals his Evil Plan to blame this whole thing on Assad. Lennox tries to steer him away from this, but can’t exactly do so without implicating himself in the process. He blows up a little but Daniels won’t be swayed. Lennox says he can see exactly what he’s doing – blaming Assad in order to push his new agenda. Daniels is all, yeah but um, you wrote the proposal, dingbat. Lennox reluctantly agrees with the plan, since he still believes that it’s the best way to stop the attacks. But nothing will stop him from pouting about it. Nothing!
“Tell me Tom, am I too shiny?”
Meanwhile, Jack is sneaking into the consulate. He’s really becoming quite good at this. Some random guard almost catches him, but Jack’s been brushing up on his Russian so the dude is totally fooled. Chloe knocks out the power so that Jack can sneak in, but apparently the interior of the consulate is manned with smarter guards, since they realize immediately that something is wrong. Maybe the presence of Crazy Consulate-Crashing Bauer was their first clue.
But he’s still smooth enough to weasel his way into Markov’s lair. He starts yelling, which causes Markov to hit an alarm, which causes Jack to yell even more. Markov screams something about violating international law and breaking the sovereignty of the consulate. Jack’s like, bitch please. Been there. By now the guards have caught on and are surrounding Markov’s office. Jack yells to them that he is taking Markov hostage, and if they attempt to enter the room he will kill him. He calls up CTU, but since Buchanan can’t really do anything for him, it’s more of a “You’ll never guess where I am!” call.
“Consulate…my old arch-nemesis…”
Daniels is basking in a little alone time amidst the Presidential Trumpets of Distress, when Lisa shrilly interrupts to give him an update on the televised address, which will be occurring in ten minutes. She also lets him know that Karen has changed her mind and decided to stay aboard this sinking Ship of Incompetence. “No take backsies!” howls Daniels. No, he actually asks what prompted her resignation in the first place, and Lisa slyly gossips that it’s because she didn’t approve of Lennox’s plan. What a saucy wench. Lisa, that is. Karen is a randy broad.
Bill calls Daniels to update him on the situation at the consulate. Daniels is, not surprisingly, horrified by the whole thing. You know, I think that all members of the White House should be given a Jack Bauer Instruction Manuel on Orientation Day, whether he’s alive or captured or assumed dead or whatever. That way they won’t be surprised when he decides to storm a consulate or hijack a cruise ship or blow up the moon. In fact, all Presidents should have a direct line to Jack, or at least put him in their Fav Five. If everyone just followed the #1 rule – Always listen to Jack Bauer – we would be able to avoid most of the problems that plague this country, including poverty and the spread of killer bees. Daniels, not having heard this rule, barks some more at Buchanan, then fields a call from our old pal Suvarov, the Russian president. Suvy says that if Jack doesn’t quit all this nonsense, he’s going to have to retaliate. Awkward…
The Russian version of Tom Lennox.
Jack is still using Markov as a punching bag and demanding answers. Markov accidentally lets it slip that he knows Gredenko is in the U.S., which Jack had never mentioned. “Coming To America” blasts on the soundtrack, to rub this in. And by soundtrack, I mean my subconscious. Jack asks Markov what Gredenko is doing for Fayed. No wait, that’s wrong. Jack asks Markov “WHAT IS GREDENKO DOING FOR FAYED?!” When Markov says for the 47th time that he doesn’t know, Jack picks up the cigar cutter and threatens to cut off every one of his fingers, one by one. NICE! I mean, it’s no electrocution by floor lamp or knife to the eyeball, but it’ll do! Markov looks mildly frightened, but not nearly as much as he should be. Because Jack has probably been itching to use a cigar cutter for torture purposes ever since his CTU days, and he’s certainly not going to pass up the opportunity now! Jack deftly pops off a finger like he was born to sever digits (note to self: Sever Digit is a great name for a band), while Markov howls in pain and I giggle with glee. That finger will make a great addition to Jack’s dismembered-appendages-of-foreign-diplomats charm bracelet.
“Are you Jewish? No? Want to be?”
The suits outside the room get a video feed from inside the office, but decide not to move in yet because Markov is still too close to Jack, and besides, he hasn’t lost enough fingers yet. Jack presents two options: either give him the information, or die. “The choice is yours,” snarls Jack. “AND YOURS ALONE!!” I scream in an Olmec voice. Markov finally caves and says that Gredenko is in Shadow Valley in the Mojave Desert, launching drones as a delivery system for nuclear bombs, which will be in the air in two hours. Jack gets that “how could you kill my favorite puppy” look on his face and punches Markov once again, just for fun this time. He starts to exit the room when the guards blow the door, and he goes flying. They apprehend him and he is dragged into custody, all the while screaming “CONSULATES! MY ONE WEAKNESS!”
“I said I wanted DOUBLE STUF OREOS, not CHOCOLATE CREME OREOS!! For this you die.”
VP Bulldog is delivering his televised address, informing the nation of the assassination attempt and the new aggressive agenda that will entail the suspension of civil liberties. “This is the price of war. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what it is.” What? “Make no mistake?” Bitch stole David Palmer’s line! Now I really hate him. Back at CTU, the gang is trying to track Jack, but the encryption of the Russian consulate is making that difficult. Luckily, Morris finds a way around it and discovers that they have an American agent in custody. But Morris is also a lousy drunk, so who knows what to believe.
Nadia relays the situation to Buchanan, who’s clearly thinking, “Dammit Jack, not again. How many consulates must you invade? Do you have any idea how much paperwork this creates?” He realizes that dealing with the situation diplomatically won’t work right now, so he decides to have special ops draw up a plan to get into the consulate, and then give the VP the option of taking it by force. Bill is such a badass. Can’t he be president? Or maybe he and Karen could form a presidential husband-wife Dream Team of some sort?
“Sigh. Every week we do this.”
Over in the consulate, the guards are trying to figure out what to do with their little captive. Luckily for Jack, a Sympathetic And Impressionable Guard has been assigned to his watch. Jack tells him everything, does the whole “I know you believe me!” thing, and pleads for his help. The guard says there’s nothing he can do, but we all know that he can and that he will. He’s like the Russian version of Aaron! Jack tells him to call CTU, (gives him the 24 hotline phone number, which I called yet again and is still full of messages but says so in Spanish this time) and he finally relents and sneaks out of the room. How very end-of-Season-2, writers. The lovable oaf starts dialing in the hallway (always a bad idea, get to a secure room at least), but before he can talk to Buchanan one of the guards puts a bullet through his head. Looks like Jack is on his own. Except for CTU. And the special ops. And maybe VP Bulldog. But other than that, he’s totally screwed.
“What would Aaron Pierce do??”
So. This was kind of a murky episode, in that there was a lot of logistical stuff they had to get out of the way. It was very talky and there were a lot of guys in suits. And not much action except for the small amount of finger torture, though I think he should have taken off a couple more for good measure. But Palmer was unconscious through it all, so that was a plus. And I really hope that “HOW DO I FIND GREDENKO?” becomes the new “TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS!” I’ve already started shouting it at strangers. Tell your friends! Anyway, thoughts? Comments? Ever lopped off an extremity or two?