What happens when you take one part Executive Decision, two parts United 93, and add a dash of Red Eye? You get the latest episode of 24. Yes, Jack Bauer provided quite the in-flight entertainment as he snuck on board this plane and proceeded to hijack it, Air Marshall be damned. I don’t know why all the passengers were in such a tizzy. This was far more entertaining than having to watch another dose of CBS Eye On American. Just think: they could either be witnessing the best cocktail party story of their lives… or watching Rumor Has It… and an episode of King of Queens. Which would you rather have?Despite all the later hullabaloo up in the sky, this week’s episode began in the dark, subterranean depths of the CTU bunker. As usual, trouble was afoot. Last week, Miles had sent out a crack team to capture Chloe from Bill Buchanan’s house, but Karen had quietly undermined her sidekick by calling Bill and warning him of the imminent danger. You see, after a brief discussion with Shari “Banned from Hillel” Rothenberg, Karen had learned that the President might in fact be behind everything. Now she was eager to get to the bottom of everything, even if it meant circumventing her most loyal gay buddy.
Well, Karen still had Bill on the phone, and he told her that Jack was on a flight that had left out of Van Nuys. Before Mistress Hayes could even register a “Wha-wha-whaa?” Miles barged in, all ready to oversee the tactical team’s apprehension of Chloe. Not so fast, buster. Karen told Miles to move into the Situation Room, which was logical, given that this was quite the situation. Anyway, Miles did not seem happy about this — it’s as if she’d just stepped all over his Barbara Streisand collection — but he obliged anyway. Sorry, Miles. Karen’s found a new clique to hang with. You’ll have to drink those Caramel Macchiatos alone.
Meanwhile, Bill got off the phone with Karen and told Chloe where she should escape to. Just take the alley behind his house to Ventura Boulevard. Wow. I had no idea Bill was a Valley type. I always pegged him as a Pasadena kind of guy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. I’m being obnoxiously insidery to Los Angeles region readers. I apologize.
As Chloe left, she and Bill had some rapid fire exposition. She asked quick questions, he gave quick responses. It sort of felt like a strange version of $25,000 Pyramid. Anyway, Chloe eventually shut the hell up and ran off into the night. Moments later, the Homeland Security goons appeared on the doorstep and rang the doorbell. Bill quickly took off his shirt (sorry, ladies. There was an undershirt) and tried to act like he was all in the middle of just going to sleep, but no one really believed him — probably because all the lights in his house were on. Anyway, some low-rent Curtis wannabe grilled Bill about Chloe, and then eventually, the whole team entered and poked around. Literally, five seconds later, some guy announced, “She’s not here.” Hey, why bother checking the basement, right? (Or the second floor. Or the garage. Or any OTHER ROOM IN THE HOUSE). This is why hard perimeters don’t work.
Well, Chloe may have been gone, but the Homeland Security jerks knew she had just been there. They got Miles on the phone, and he immediately sassed off to Bill, saying, “Give me O’Brien’s location, or I will make it very bad for you.” And yes, he meant that in the most sodomizing-y way possible.
Despite Miles’s devilish threats, Bill didn’t budge, causing Karen to bark, “Set up a grid search for Chloe.” Grid search? That’s new. But then again, maybe she just made that up. After all, she didn’t really want to find Chloe. Karen then told the team to bring in Bill, a move that pissed of Miles. You see, he thought it would be a waste of time and resources when they could be hunting down Chloe instead.
“Why are you bringing him in???” Miles whined. Oh be quiet (Karen and Miles are SO breaking up after this. Their weekend wine club is in for some awkward times…)
Elsewhere, Chloe walked into a random hotel that was surprisingly active, given that whole martial law thing. I guess this place was THE curfew hotspot of Los Angeles. Well, Chloe made her way to the hotel bar, which really should have been closed considering it was after 2 AM, but I guess state liquor laws go out the window during times of crisis. Almost immediately, we knew that some annoying businessman was going to make life miserable for Chloe, and sure enough, within two seconds, we found a drunk sitting at the bar, offending women left and right. This would not be good.
But before any hotel bar antics could get underway, Chloe had business to tend to. She called up her new bestie, Karen, and received a flight manifest for Jack’s plane. Oh yeah, and speaking of Jack, he was presently riding in the baggage hold of the plane he had snuck onto, and for whatever reason, he had managed not to turn into a giant popsicle, despite being stuck in the underbelly of an aircraft. Next, we’re gonna find Jack flying into space wearing only his Hoodie of Infiltration and a snorkeling mask.
Anyway, Chloe told Jack that the Air Marshall on this flight was a guy named George Avila, and he was sitting in seat 7A. Armed with this knowledge, our man then began his covert attempt to break into the main cabin. This was going to be tricky. I mean, he was in the baggage hold. How would he get up into coach?? Oh, apparently there was a hatch. Yes, Jack fiddled with a panel, and next thing we knew, he was poking his head up into the galley, just barely missing some stewardesses (and some 24/Porkies up-the-skirt action).
With the nimble grace we’ve come to expect, Jack then hopped up into the main cabin and began Phase II of his airborne takeover. He wandered down the aisle of the plane to the Air Marshall, and surprisingly no one noticed his highly non-diplomat appearance. Jack then sat next to George Avila and promptly elbowed him in the face, knocking him out in the process. That’s great. I really feel so much more comforted now. I guess we’re safe in the skies — as long as terrorists don’t have elbows.
Yay Air Marshall reflexes!!
Jack then swiped George Avila’s badge and gun and then called Chloe down in Marriot Mission Control for help. Hey Jack, haven’t you ever flown before? No wireless devices! Sigh. Anyway, Chloe’s job was to cross reference all the passengers with Christopher Henderson. Whoever matched would surely be the guy with the tape. Seconds later, Chloe found a name: Hans Meyer. Oooh. Related to Nina? A brother perhaps? That would be a great twist! Alas, Nina’s last name was Myers not Meyer, and so ended my two second moment of excitement.
Well, Jack then wandered over to this Hans fellow and made up some lame excuse for him to come to the galley with him. It was something literally as vague as “We need you to look at something.” Despite that, Hans was Mr. Compliant, and he happily walked to the back of the plane where Jack closed the curtains and sucker-punched him right in the stomach. And this guy thought he’d be getting an extra bag of Terra-Blue chips. HA!
Jack then opened up the hatch to the baggage hold again and shoved Hans down there. But was he quick enough. Elsewhere in the plane, a roving flight attendant rolled her cart up to the galley, parted the curtains and… there was no one in there. Jack and Hans had safely dropped down to the lower part of the plane undetected. Well, not totally undetected. The flight attendant did one of those glances around, as if to say, “I could have sworn I heard someone getting punched and thrown down into the baggage hold.”
Meanwhile, back at the White House West, Martha was still reeling from her husband’s confession that he was behind everything today. The only way to deal with such stress? Pills. Yes, Martha wanted her meds, but that meant negotiating with her new no-nonsense guard. And of course, that didn’t work. All that happened was that she sounded extra-kooky, and the shrill little violin in the background didn’t help either. “You don’t have much personality, do you, Justin?” Martha asked. To be fair, it’s hard to have any sort of personality compared to Martha.
Luckily, Mike Novick was still awake, and so Martha called him in and asked for a damn pill to help her go to sleep. However, Mike’s ConspiracySense was going off, and he could tell that something was going on. Martha said a few cryptic, ambiguous things, but eventually, she pulled back and just insisted on the pills again. Mike was not convinced, as evidenced by the big “Hmmmmmmm…” on his face. A few rooms over, President Pussy received a call from Dr. Romano, uh, I mean, Graham. This beady, Ron Howard-ish man announced that he was really, really mad that Jack hadn’t been found yet. Duly noted. The conversation ended as soon as it began, thus making it one of the more useless phone calls in 24 history, and two seconds later, Mike walked in the room asking questions. He wanted to know what was going on. Nothing was adding up. Nothing was making sense. “Your wife is in a very agitated state,” he noted, causing the Prez to reply, “Well, that’s because I told her I was complicit with the Palmer assassination, uh, I mean, she’s upset because her Tivo missed Grey’s Anatomy this week.” Okay, Logan didn’t actually reveal anything, but he did say that Martha should be kept off her pills and all that stuff. Still, Mike wasn’t convinced that there wasn’t anything wrong. Too many questions Mike. You want to join Heller at the bottom of that lake? (Assuming that’s where he is).
“If there’s something going on that I don’t know about that involves national security, it is my business,” Mike said, hammering another nail into his soon-to-be coffin. Finally, the President told him that Martha’s behavior was due to a realization that their marriage had fallen apart. That seemed to do the trick. Mike then apologized and shuffled away, but we could tell he wasn’t satisfied yet.
Meanwhile, up in the sky, Jack was ordering Hans to find his luggage (remember? They were looking for the tape?). While these two had fun rummaging, Chloe got to show off her patented sass as the drunkard at the bar sauntered over to her table and began babbling. Luckily, she managed to shoo him off — for now — and then we returned to the plane where the pilot had turned on the fasten-your-seatbelts light. Yes, it was time for some good old fashioned turbulence. Have fun with that, Jack. Looks like he picked the wrong night to sneak on board an airplane and drag someone into the cargo hold.
Things went from bad to worse as the flight attendants suddenly realized that one of their passengers was missing. And even worse, an Air Marshall was down! And without his gun! Looks like they all picked the wrong night to take a diplomatic charter flight out of Los Angeles at a suspiciously late departure time.
Anyway, the flight attendant called the pilot and informed him that a passenger was missing and an Air Marshall was down. “What’s going on back there?” the pilot asked, adding, “And furthermore, have you ever seen a grown man naked?” Okay, he didn’t ask that last part (and no, Karim Abdul Jabar was not riding co-pilot either).
Back at the Presidential retreat, Mike arrive in Martha’s room with the pills, which she promptly threw back with a glass of wine. This then led to more questions by Mike who said he smelled a coverup. And if there’s anyone who can smell a coverup, it’s Mike. Let’s not forget his little maneuver that almost got Palmer thrown out of office in season 2 (and which caused poor Lynn to go tumbling down some stairs. Don’t feel too badly for her though. She’s a badass bitch on Prison Break these days).
“Don’t shut me out!” Mike told Martha melodramatically. Gosh, I never realized how sensitive he was. But alas, Charles was A and Martha was B; so Mike could C his way out of this coverup.
Back on the plane, Jack was still searching through luggage, but to no avail. The tape was nowhere to be found. Check Hans’s ass, Jack. Check the ass! Alas, before we could get to anything resembling a cavity search, Chloe called up to say, “I don’t think Hans Meyer is our guy.” Great. Now you tell us. You know, maybe Jack should have waited for Chloe to finish cross-checking the manifest before he made a full-scale attack. Anyway, he had larger issues to worry about now: mainly, the plane. Yes, the pilot had turned the aircraft around and was heading back to Los Angeles. Even worse, the Air Marshall was awake and had locked the hatch between the galley and the cargo hold. He knew Jack was down there, and he wanted the pilot to de-pressurize the area. Uh oh. Jack’s a strong man. He’s capable of many amazing feats. But surviving without any air? That would be a problem.
With oxygen flowing out of the cargo hold, Jack called up Chloe and had her patch him through to the pilot. Of course, just at this moment, drunk douchebag showed up again and tried to offer Chloe some free bandwidth. Surprisingly, she smiled and told the guy to sit down — which he did. Two seconds later, Chloe zapped him with a Taser and then it was back to business. Ah, classic O’Brien.
I’d love to see what Therapist Joe has to say about this Blind Date.
Anyway, Jack finally got through to the pilot and said, “I’m the man in your baggage hold.” Was it me, or was there something highly suggestive in that sentence? Anyway, Jack told the pilot to stop de-pressurizing the baggage hold, but the pilot said no. He didn’t believe that Jack was a federal agent, even though Jack had managed to get patched directly into the cockpit feed. You see, this was one of those Virtuous Pilots — the kind we all like flying our planes. Not the kind we like to see on 24. I personally thought Jack should pump a few rounds into the hatch and be done with this, but I guess that would cause some panic.
Instead, Jack pulled out a knife, cut open a panel, and then pulled on some cords, causing the plane to mysteriously jolt. Apparently, Jack was going to cut a conduit or something or another — basically, he had the plane by the metaphorical balls, and unless the pilot let oxygen back into the baggage hold, Jack would cause the entire aircraft to crash. Okay, okay, you win. The pilot relented and the flight attendant let Jack back up in the cabin. Jack then forced the Air Marshall down into baggage hold (worst Air Marshall EVER), and then it was time for a faux-hijacking. With a gun against the flight attendant’s back, Jack wandered down the aisle, freaking out all the passengers in the process. This was so Flight 93.
Anyway, Jack needed to search all the passengers for the tape, but one problem: the pilot refused to stay in a holding pattern. He was going back to Los Angeles come hell or high water. Oh, and they’d be landing in like twenty minutes. Yes, the time crunch was on… as usual.
Down at CTU, Karen learned about Jack’s shenanigans in the sky and remarked, “What are you saying? That he hijacked the plane?!?!” She then added, “I can’t wait to tell Miles! Oh wait, we’re in a fight.” Actually, she didn’t say that, but she did march downstairs where Miles was growling at the recently arrived Bill Buchanan. At one point, Bill sassed Miles back, causing Karen to yell, “You don’t get to talk to my people like that, Bill.” She then added, “WINK WINK!”
Much to Miles’s chagrin, Karen then took Bill into an interrogation room where she insisted on doing all the talking alone. What’s a shunned sidekick to do? Tattle! Yes, Miles called up Mike Novick and kvetched about Karen, saying that she was unfit to be doing her job. “KAREN wasted twenty minutes by bringing him [Bill] into CTU,” he whined. Just when we thought he couldn’t get any more pissy, he then complained, “She wants to do a soft Q&A by HERSELF!” KAREN KAREN KAREN! Amusingly, Mike had no patience or time for this, and simply brushed off Miles and his tattling. This breakup was not going well.
In the interrogation room, Bill tried to say something, but Karen promptly cut him off by yelling, “Shut up, BILL.” These two should probably have hate/interrogation sex about now. Nevertheless, once they were offline, the two talked about this whole scenario and how she really needed to see that evidence and blah blah blah Karen then took a call from the President who was more than eager to get a hold of Jack. Like the Bon Jovi song, he wanted him dead or alive. As soon as the plane was to land, the Secret Service detail was to take Jack pronto.
“Yes, Mr. President,” Karen said, hanging up the phone. Hey — she just hung up on the President. That takes a lot of balls. Nevertheless, Charles didn’t seem to notice. He was too busy besmirching Jack’s reputation. Mike was again saying how the whole Jack thing didn’t add up since he’s been on the right side of everything all day long, but the President noted, “He’s appeared to do the right thing, but right now he’s backed into a corner, and he’s desperate.” Get it? Get it? He then continued, “Bauer’s been lying to us all day. He’s played us all for fools.” Oh the irony! Because it’s the PRESIDENT who’s played us all for fools! CLEVER!
Back at the hotel bar, the drunken and electrified salesman regained consciousness, and man, we knew he’d be mad now. Would he get violent? Would he trash Chloe’s laptop? Eh, neither. Within one second, Chloe had Tasered him again, causing his head to crash down on the table once more. I don’t think we’ve ever seen so much intentional slapstick on this show.
Anyway, Chloe soon made a shocking discovery. The co-pilot on board had been swapped in at the last minute. His name was Scott Evans, and he was from Holyoke, Mass. That couldn’t be a good thing. Yes, Scotty used to work for Omicron. All signs pointed to him. He was our man. One problem: he was behind that secure cockpit door. Dang!
Well, Chloe relayed this info to Jack, and as he listened to her, some dumb civilian tried to sneak up on him. No worries. He only got about two steps out of his chair before Jack whipped around and aimed his gun at him. Silly man. Don’t even try.
Jack then called up the pilot, but this time on a discreet channel that stupid Scott couldn’t overhear. He explained the whole situation to the pilot (a totally missed opportunity for “Surely, you can’t be serious.”) and said he had to open the cockpit door, but as usual, Mr. Virtuous pilot said that the conversation was over and hung up. Great. But wait! When Scott asked what the call was about, the pilot lied and gave some lame story. Suddenly, in a not so subtle move, the pilot clasped his chest and pretended to act pained. He’s sick! He must have eaten the fish!
The pilot stood up, inched to the door, and suddenly, there was commotion! Scott grabbed a flashlight and bashed the pilot, but it was too late for him, the secure door opened, and Jack plunged inside, fixing his gun right on Scott’s head. A few seething threats later, and Scott had handed over the recording. Yay! Nothing could go wrong now! Except, um, the pilot was sort of unconscious and the only one who could fly this thing was Scott. Great. If this resulted in Jack having to land the plane, that would be a bit ridiculous… but welcomed! We’ve seen him controlling a helicopter. Why not an airplane? I’m just throwing this out there, but next season: submarine.
For now though, Jack was perfectly content to bark orders to Scott. “You’re going to land this plane, or I’m goign to put a bullet in your head,” he yelled. Technically, if Scott didn’t land the plane, they’d crash and die anyway, so there really wasn’t any need to threaten a gunfire, but we appreciated it anyway.
And with that, the screen divided into four different panels as we approached our big cliffhanger. What would the big twist be? Well, we then found ourselves with President Pussy as he spoke on the phone with a heavily drugged Martha. Her voice was slurry, and she sounded unstable. Had she OD’d? She seemed to be prying for information, all wrapped up in the guise that she just wanted to know what he was thinking because she believed he was a good man at heart. I personally was expecting her to have a recording device sitting right there, but suddenly, Logan’s other phone rang, and he had to hang up on Martha. Blast.
On the other line was Graham, who had just picked up a call from Chloe to Karen (weren’t they supposedly on a secure line?). Anyway, they knew Jack had the recording. There was only one thing left to do. SHOOT DOWN THE PLANE. Well, that was inevitable. It’s not an episode of 24 without a massive plane disaster. So how will Jack get out of this dilly of a pickle? Let’s just hope there’s a spare parachute on board. Does a hoodie count?
What did you think about this episode? How is Jack going to avoid disaster next week? And has someone gotten a Band-Aid for Audrey yet?