Wow, this has really been a terrible day for Jack Bauer. Our 24 hero has not only been accused of murdering his man-crush, David Palmer, but he’s now being hunted down by the most powerful guy in the world. No, not Rupert Murdoch. Charles Logan. But since Jack is such a swell guy, he’s managed to find that one piece of evidence that can prove him right — a wee tape recording made by Martha Logan’s ailing assistant, Evelyn. And you all thought tape recorders were obsolete. Ha! Well, as we headed into this week’s episode, Jack and Audrey were en route to the scenic Van Nuys airport where they were to meet the ever lovable Secretary Heller. Aww. Dad’s back in town. All these lovebirds need to do is hand over the tape and let the wheels of justice do the rest. Sounds simple, huh? Too bad Heller came back from overseas with a severe case of Asian Asshole Flu. Now I know why his bastard son Richard got so messed up.This week’s show started with the media wondering why the heck martial law was still in effect. It was a good question. After all, the terrorist threat had subsided, and everything was just fine and dandy in the country. So what gives? I guess it’s just too tricky to tell America you want everyone off the streets so that it’s easier to apprehend the guy who has evidence that could dismantle the entire Presidency.
Well, while President Logan watched the news, Christopher Henderson called up to check in. The new plan was that Logan would tell Henderson Jack’s location as soon as he found out from CTU. This way, Robocop and his cronies could intercept and of course, kill. Logan then dialed up Karen Hayes at CTU to put a little pressure on. He said he wanted Jack found STAT, which Karen agreed to, but we could tell her little “This doesn’t feel right” light bulb was going off like crazy. Nevertheless, she had her orders, and her main gay Miles was only too happy to help hunt down Jack. He was more excited than the time they extended the Banana Republic sale an extra day. (He scored a fab microstripe eagle-print shirt for HALF off! Two snaps for Miles!)
Anyway, Miles knew that Chloe was up to something with Audrey and Jack, but interrogating her would only lead to denials. There was a way to get to her though, and Miles was gonna figure it out!
Meanwhile, out in the field, Jack met up with our old friend, Bill Buchanan. Yay! And great news: it looked like Bill no longer had that “Why, Audrey, why?” expression on his face. I was hoping that Jack might do something smart like hand the evidence over to Bill, you know, so that when the terrorists inevitably find Jack, he won’t have anything on his body. But no. Instead, Jack handed Wayne Palmer over to Bill instead. Oh yeah, forgot to mention — Wayne Palmer was still hanging around. Anyway, since it was obvious that Wayne wasn’t going to be killed off for now (he’s clearly lasted way too long for that), he was instead shuttled off to obscurity by Buchanan. Maybe he’ll hide off wherever Curtis is these days. Probably some strip club. Curtis, you DAWG!
We then headed over to the Van Nuys airport where Audrey was waiting around for her dad to arrive. A few minutes later, Heller landed and kissed his daughter on the cheek. He certainly looked happy for a guy who was making an emergency stop. Well, this family reunion was quickly interrupted by Jack who came speeding onto the tarmac in his stolen police cruiser. Before Heller could see who was driving the vehicle, Audrey then said that she would tell her father everything… in just a minute. Damn you, woman! Don’t you realize that this is 24. You don’t HAVE a minute! When you hold things off for a minute, the terrorists win! Quite literally!
Anyway, Jack then stepped out of the car, causing Heller to snap, “What the hell are you doing here? He’s a fugitive!” If he’d had an old pocketbook, he surely would have been swatting it at Jack’s head. Anyway, Jack explained that he was being framed and whatnot, and after a bit of convincing, Heller agreed to hear Jack out. The two of them and Audrey then headed inside a nearby building to listen to the tape. Why couldn’t they listen to it outside out of earshot of the security detail? I don’t know. For whatever reason, they wanted to be inside — you know, where it’s easier for enemies to ambush them. Maybe there was a really good donut tray that somebody left out.
Once inside the hangar-type structure, Jack then played the recording. Naturally, Heller was shocked and soon began asking the hard-hitting questions: “How do you know that recording hasn’t been fabricated?”
“I trust the source,” Jack replied. WELL! There you go! I’m sure that will hold up real well in a court of law. Especially when the defendant is the President of the United States. Anyway, Heller then admitted that he wasn’t totally surprised by Logan’s actions. He always disliked the Prez, felt he relied too much on his ambition. Good old Heller. He’s gonna right this all. His moral compass is point in the right direction. And so Jack handed over the tape, which pretty much meant that Heller would be shot and killed in about forty five minutes. Too bad. I really like him.
Heller then left the building, leaving Jack and Audrey to happily embrace. “Jack, everything’s going to be okay now,” Audrey said naively. Yeah, we’ll see about that, idiot. Of course, just like clockwork, things started to go wrong. Heller suddenly raged back into the building, his security detail behind him, and thwack! Heller socked Jack right in the face, causing the formerly impervious agent to fall to the ground. “You’re playing a dangerous game here, Jack, and you’re playing it wrong!” Heller suddenly yelled. Gosh, when did he turn into such a dick? And furthermore, how could Mr. Badass Jack Bauer not block a punch from an old man? Well, the reason why Heller was suddenly such a jerk was because he felt Jack’s goal of exposing the President for what he is — a murderous crook — would irreparably hurt the country. The collateral damage would be too great, Heller explained. The entire office of the President would be forever sullied. Instead, Heller wanted to force Logan’s hand, make him step down quietly. And so Heller handed the tape over to a random dayplayer named “Doug.” Great. Way to implement the worst plan of all time. I’m sure Doug will hold onto that tape well. Except once he dies, which should be any minute now. On the plus side, Heller’s life expectancy just increased a little bit.
Just when you thought Heller couldn’t be any more of a jerk, he then had his guys lock Jack and Audrey — a.k.a. his daughter — up while he headed off to confront Logan. Man, what was with him? Did he have a bad flight? I bet he’s just sick of CBS Eye On Heller’s Airplane. You can only see so many King of Queens reruns.
Back at CTU, trouble was a-brewin’. People were meeting in the Situation Room, and Chloe wasn’t in the loop. Our surly computer nerd pulled aside a random woman and asked, “Excuse me, do you know what’s going on in the Situation Room?” Duh! It’s a situation! Why do people always ask that? The only things that happen in Situation Rooms are situations!
Anyway, Chloe was totally left out of a Class 3 meeting, and she was not happy about it. Enter Shari Rothenberg. Chloe immediately pulled the litigious girl aside and drilled her about what was going on in the meeting. Unfortunately for Chloe, Shari was wired, and Miles and Karen were listening in! Oh, those sneaky bastards! Furthermore, Shari then lied and told Chloe that CTU had found Audrey. Don’t fall for it, Chloe! Don’t fall for it! Edgar would never have performed such a duplicitous act (R.I.P. big fella). Well, in a panic, Chloe then called a pay phone at the Van Nuys airport, and because Audrey was presently bound to an iron girder (thanks Dad!) she couldn’t answer the call. As the pay phone rang and rang, Miles honed in on its location until finally, he traced Chloe’s call to the Van Nuys airport. So devilish. Kind of like when Miles stole his friend Bruce’s day pass to the spa so he could get a free mani-pedi.
Well, as you can imagine, everything soon went to shit. Karen called the President to say there was a strong possibility that Jack was at the Van Nuys airport. Meanwhile, down on the floor, guards came in and detained Chloe, who suddenly realized she had fallen into trap. That’s okay though. Chloe’s been detained before. She’ll survive.
Just when Karen thought she’d be earning a gold star from Logan, the President then told her to retract her tactical team, which meant all hopes of seeing Curtis again were dashed. Logan then said he’s be calling upon the army to do the job, something that Karen wasn’t too keen on. Meanwhile, over at the airport, Jack and Audrey were tied to a girder, which only meant one thing: Henderson would soon burst onto the scene, kill Doug, and procure the recording. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Before we could see how this would play out, we then cut to Mike Novick who had been conspicuously absent the past few weeks. Karen had called him up and was all like, “Yo, homey, what’s with the Prez cockblocking my tactical team?” Mike told Karen he’d look into this odd request, and so he headed over to Hal Gardner’s office to find out what’s going on. Strangely enough, Hal knew nothing of this, which seemed slightly odd to Mike. And so then Mike called up a general and asked what the plan was for Jack’s apprehension. Funny thing is, the general had no idea what he was talking about. He had never been given orders! Yes, the gears were slowly turning in Mike’s brain as he began to realize that something was amiss. I was hoping he’d then talk to Aaron, but instead, Mike went directly to Logan to ask what the hell was going on. Did this mean Mike was going to die? With the body count being so high these days, you never know.
Well, Logan was none too pleased with Mike’s snooping. He admonished his underling for questioning his decisions and authority and then fed him a lie by saying that he was opting to take down Jack with a covert team. Yeah, but wouldn’t it make more sense just to use CTU asked Mike. This made Logan super mad, and he essentially told him to shut his trap and go to sleep. Oh Mike. If you figure this out, I might just forgive you for pushing Lynn down a flight of stairs in season two.
Back at CTU, Miles stormed into Chloe’s holding pen to question her / throw a hissy fit. He pointed his finger right in her face and seethed, “You think the rules don’t apply to you because you’re smarter than the rest of us? Well, I have news for you. They do. And you’re not.” He then added, “By the way, what sort of perfume are you wearing because, girlfriend, it smells DIVINE!”
“Tell me how to get Streisand tickets. Tell me!”
Well, Miles then turned to walk away, but Chloe randomly tapped him on the back, causing him to whip around and warn her not to touch him EVER again. Just as he turned to leave again, Chloe then said, “Miles, I don’t think you’re as big of a jerk as you pretend to be.” Huh. Was that Chloe’s way of reaching out, tough exterior to tough exterior? Or maybe it was just a diversion tactic. Yeah, probably that. As soon as Miles left the room, we then saw that Chloe had lifted a security card off of him. Haha. Yes! She then let herself out of the room and snuck away, stealing a lap top in the process. Just as she thought she was in the clear, she suddenly ran into that pesky Shari Rothenberg who was all ready to call the fuzz on her. Chloe then accused Shari of being a bit meshuggenna with the whole sexual harassment thing and threatened to stick her with a psychiatric evaluation once all the dust settled. That was enough to make Shari back off, and with that, Chloe ran out of CTU, hopefully to find a more stable job.
Over at the Presidential retreat, Martha Logan finally popped up for the first time this episode. She kept trying to get Charles to come to bed. I don’t know why she was so insistent. Maybe she was gonna show him her own private Vermont, if you know what I’m saying. Charles said he’d be there in a minute, but just then, his phone rang. It was Heller, and he was coming to the retreat. Logan tried to push him off to the morning, but Heller was insistent. He really wanted to get killed soon, didn’t he? Well, Martha overheard part of this conversation, and like the curious cat that she is, she asked why the Secretary of Defense would be doing a pop-in after midnight. Logan stammered a bit and then said Heller wanted to complain about the whole Martial Law thing. Martha nodded, but we could tell she wasn’t convinced. Time for the crazy old bat to sniff around again! It’s about time. She’s been entirely too peripheral the past few weeks.
The Prez then spoke with Henderson about Jack, and then after the commercial break, Heller arrived. Upon seeing his angry scowl, Martha knew something was definitely up. You know how this goes. When in doubt, hit up Aaron Pierce for info (maybe if Martha spent more time with Evelyn, she’d be a little more informed). Well, Aaron wasn’t giving Martha any gossip, despite how close she came to his mouth with her lips. Hey, remember when she used to disrobe for information and keycards and whatnot? She should do that again. Sure enough, Martha’s hot and heavy breath on Aaron’s lips got him all excited, and so he told her to meet out by the stables. Oh great. That won’t look suspicious at all once they’re caught. And you know they will be.
Meanwhile, Heller came face to face with the President, and guess what? He refused to shake his hand. Bold move. Heller then confronted Logan about everything, and while President Pussy denied everything at first, he eventually realized that he couldn’t try to outsmart Heller. He babbled about how he was doing all this to protect the country’s interests and attain strategic footholds in the central Asia oil fields. Heller then made him feel guilty by reminding him of all the people who nearly died, and blah blah blah, the President then finally asked where the hell was this recording anyway.
“It’s in a safe place,” Heller responded. Yes. A very safe place. In the hand of some guy named Doug. It’s as secure as a safety deposit box. Or an old Trapper Keeper. Probably the latter. Anyway, Heller wanted Logan to drop the charges on Jack and then resign by the morning. Looked like it was the end of the road for Logan. He was caught red-handed. He’d have to tender his resignation. That is, unless Doug were to somehow lose the evidence. Not that I expected that. I’m sure no one would gun him down or slit his throat or snap his neck…
Meanwhile, we suddenly heard the strumming guitar of secret agent music which meant that either one of our heroes was about to do something cool or I had accidentally sat on the remote and switched the channel to TV Land’s Get Smart marathon. Turns out it was the former (had I switched to TV Land, I would have been stuck with Night Court — which may explain the random scene in tonight’s 24 when Jon Larroquette asked to approach the bench). Anyway, we soon found Chloe pulling up to a random suburban house. Turns out this was the home of Bill Buchanan, who appeared to be operating an underground railroad for all the unjustly persecuted characters of the episode. Chloe quickly set up shop in Bill’s living room, and I instantly wondered why she, as a fugitive on the run, would leave her car parked out in front of the house. No point in questioning logic. Just go with the flow…
Back at the White House West, Martha was ready for her late night rendez-vous by the stables. We knew she was ready for some high-level snooping because she was wearing the detective trench coat made popular by Sherry Palmer and McGruff the Crime Dog. From the shaky camera angle, we could tell someone was watching Mrs. Logan from afar, but who? Who could it be? Alas, we didn’t know who was behind the stable-cam, but here’s one thing that was for sure: Aaron Pierce was nowhere to be found. Sensing something was amiss, Martha then called Aaron’s cell phone. Suddenly, at that very moment, a cell phone rang at Martha’s feet! She picked it up, and on the display she saw her own number as the incoming call. It was Aaron’s phone! But where was Aaron? My money’s on the Little Boy’s Room. Seriously, he’s gotta go sometime. And by the way, I hope he’s collecting overtime for this shift he’s working.
Over at Van Nuys airport, Jack suddenly had a plan. Up above him were burning hot pipes. Jack climbed up a few conveniently placed boxes and then melted his plastic bonds against the pipes, burning his wrists in the process. It looked painful, but then again, he’s managed to do a hell of a lot today with an alleged broken rib. I’m sure a little scalding is nothing to him. Anyway, Jack freed himself, and luckily, there was a whole tool set nearby that Jack could use to liberate Audrey. Wow. They better go find Doug before he gets killed.
Before Jack could get to Doug, he’d have to take out the guy guarding the door out of the room. It wasn’t such a hard obstacle. Jack simply slammed the door into the guard and sent him sprawling out onto the floor. Are these the sort of guys we have surrounding our highest officials? One fast-moving door, and they’re all down. I’d hate to see them sneaking into an elevator at the last minute. Those doors close on them and their bones probably shatter.
We then cut to a commercial, and when we returned, we found our old friend Doug trying to page the guard who had previously been put out of commission by Jack’s lethal door technique. Just when Doug realized that something was amiss, Jack appeared out of nowhere and pointed a gun at him. One thing led to another, and amazingly, Jack got the recording back without Doug dying first. That’s not to say Doug was in the clear. Oh no. Next thing we knew, Henderson’s helicopter suddenly appeared overhead (could no one hear the approaching chopper?) and a full-on gun fight broke out. Jack and Doug tried to fend them off, but it was no use. The helicopter landed, and soon Henderson’s men were swarming. Henderson, meanwhile, automatically made a bee-line for the building. I didn’t know why. Maybe he has an AudreySense. Anyway, the gunfire continued, aaaaand then Doug was dead. Didn’t see that coming. With the bad guys outnumbering him, Jack then pulled a very Burnout move by shooting a random tanker truck, causing a massive explosion and slaying all the remaining evil-doers. Jack then rushed back into the building where (oops!) Audrey had been taken hostage by Henderson. This could not be good.
Henderson wanted the evidence in return for Audrey, and understandably, this was a tough call for Jack. Robocop then began talking about how he was protecting something bigger than President Logan. He was protecting the integrity of the government. “OUR GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY!” Jack shouted back. Hey man, lower the voice. No need to scream when you’re in the same room. By the way, nice political message, writers.
Anyway, when Jack hesitated too long to save Audrey, we suddenly heard a muted sound, and then Henderson said he’d meet Jack halfway. What did he mean by that? I wasn’t totally sure. Either way, Audrey slowly walked to Jack, and um, she was kind of bleeding. A lot. A steady, disgusting stream of bloody poured from her finger tips. Was Audrey going to die now? Last season, that would have been cool. But now, not so cool. I like Audrey now. Turns out she wasn’t going to die… yet. She still had three minutes to live. Henderson had cut an artery, and now it was only a matter of time before she went the way of Terry Bauer and died at the hands of a former friend. Audrey told Jack not to give up the evidence, but he couldn’t live without love. Not again. Jack finally relented and tossed over the tape recorder. Henderson suddenly shot his gun like crazy, and I thought it was all over for Audrey, but no. He didn’t hit her! It was a fakeout! Henderson ran away while Jack ran to Audrey’s aid. And what did he tell her? He said he’d be right back. Uh, Jack, in case you didn’t hear it before, she’s gonna bleed to death. You might want to take a raincheck for those other plans.
Did somebody spill tomato juice on herself again?
Actually, it was okay. Jack was only stepping away to create a tourniquet. He managed to stanch the blood flow, and as he and Audrey lay there, I couldn’t help sneering at Heller, who had indirectly allowed all this to happen. Way to go, Dad.
Speaking of Heller, he was presently handing over an official letter of resignation to Logan. This was the big moment. President Pussy was going to step down! And just to make it official, Heller brought in VP Hal to oversee the process (he was about to become President, after all). When Hal asked what the hey was going on, Heller said that maybe the President should explain. How about the President SIGNS THE PAPER! Stop wasting time! Alas, it was too late. Just as Logan was about to tell Hal about his role in everything, his cell phone rang. It was Henderson, and he was reporting to say that he had the evidence. And like that, the tables were turned. The President told Hal that he was asking for Heller’s resignation. On what grounds, you ask? On the grounds that Heller had concocted some ridiculous conspiracy theory about the President’s involvement with the day’s terrorist attacks. Well, Heller could not believe this. He accused the President of being behind the Palmer assassination and all those other bad things, but Logan simply shrugged it all off. Where’s the evidence, he smugly asked. Suddenly, Heller realized that the phone call may have meant bad news for trusty Doug. Oh well. And so the hour ended with Heller being kicked off the property, much to Hal’s shock and dismay. The screen partitioned into its usual four screens, but then suddenly it went haywire. There were panels everywhere! Total chaos! And then… the clock. It’s not often that we go from the split screen to the clock, but then again, it’s not often that the situation on 24 is so dire.
What did you think about this episode? Will Audrey survive? Will Heller survive? Did Jack really hand over the evidence? And will Curtis ever come back?