If anybody told you that they saved nearly a thousand people, including many children (with balloons!), you would probably say job well done. Then again, your world probably doesn’t have a bunch of terrorists trying to kill Americans with top secret nerve gas. That’s the world that everybody at CTU and the rest of 24 live with each day. President Logan and Lynn McGill were willing to give up an entire mall of people in order to get their hands on the location of nineteen other canisters, but there were some sane people that thought it might not be such a great idea. Whatever the case, all of that is in the past, and now everybody is forced to start from scratch.By the way, when I said everybody was forced to start from scratch, I did mean everybody, including the terrorists. Apparently, there was a large faction among the terrorists that still wanted to punish Russia, and thought that all of this business with the United States was a bad idea. And since Yellow Tie has been running the shots, Yellow Tie should be the guy who dies. Seems only fair, don’t you think? We have a new guy running the show, and although I am not positive, I am pretty sure that I saw him in the finals of that hit show “Being Jeremy Irons”. It may sound boring, but they love it on the Beeb. You may think it’s strange that these guys decided on some British dude to help them get back at the Russians, until you realize that people with British accents are always good at this sort of thing. I mean, Jack will eventually get to them, but just ask Saunders and Marwan just how far a British accent can get you when you are trying to run an efficient terrorist scheme in and around Los Angeles.
Fake Jeremy Irons has one thing on his mind, and that is getting to Nathanson, who we discovered was the mastermind who worked with Walt Cummings to double cross the Russian rebels by planting the nerve gas with detonators that only he could control. Unfortunately, Nathanson has already bolted his plasma screen dungeon and the only person still there is the poor tech guy who applied for the job thinking it would be cool with all of the computers and technology. If you flunked out of the CTU summer program (which sounds impossible because we know Kim made it through to junior tech), this is probably a pretty good gig.
Poor kid, he probably should have been smart enough to leave when his boss did instead of sitting around running the virus check, because when Fake Jeremy Irons sends a guy over there looking for Nathanson, they are just going to kill you instead. That’s exactly what happened, but to tell you the truth, these new terrorist overlords aren’t messing around at all. Nathanson calls another person who was working with him, letting this other guy know that Bierko, which doesn’t sound British to me, but is easier than saying Fake Jeremy Irons all recap long, is on to them. Nathanson called his man to tell him to start erasing his databases, and got him just in time to hear him get shot over the phone. Hopefully, there is somebody out there looking to kill Spenser as well.
Nathanson is not the only person with a lot on his mind. Lynn McGill calls his sister because along with taking his wallet, they took his key card, and he is going to need his key card to do things. He is very desperate and says that she can max out the credit cards, just let him get his key card back. Stupid Lynn, if he were smart, he would just have Curtis make a visit to her apartment on his way back to CTU. With any luck, the deadbeat boyfriend, who is really the one who doesn’t want to give the key card back, might get his neck snapped or something. Instead, he is trying to make deals with his sister, and it’s not going to get any easier. The boyfriend, Dwayne, seems like he knows how important that key card is, and he looks like he wants to scalp it for a little ride on the slopes with Tina. The president is already breathing down his neck wondering why the plan didn’t go through, and Lynn is starting to take out his problems on other people.
Lynn makes it back to CTU where he is late for another meeting, this time with Bill Buchanan briefing everybody about the incident in the mall. You know, 24 has a pretty good budget, you think that they could have done something more to show people died in pain than have, as one reader called it, nerve gas herpes show up in their mouths. Actually, it looks like that science experiment we all did in third grade where you make a paper mache mountain, fill it with baking soda and red food coloring, add some vinegar, and watch it erupt. Anyway, Bill is telling everybody that the LAPD set up a perimeter to try and contain the terrorists. Finally! A perimeter! I feel safe!
Despite the perimeter, Lynn is not satisfied. He is pissed about Jack, the President is breathing down his neck, he got beat up in the parking lot a few hours ago, and nobody wants to respect his authority. Lynn’s going to show him; he is going to take care of this Jack problem by having him brought in and questioning him. The call is put into Curtis to bring Jack in, and although Curtis really approved of everything that Jack did in the mall, he still has his orders. Jack believes that he only has to answer directly to the President, but hands his gun to Curtis and decides to go quietly.
Although Jack and Audrey didn’t work together to prevent the nerve gas from going off in the mall, they were on the same wavelength and this is making Lynn very suspicious. He thought that Audrey was too close to Jack and they were trying to go around his authority to get things done. That wasn’t technically true until Audrey received a call from none other than James Nathanson himself. Speaking of Audrey, did anybody else think that she made a trip to the salon to get her highlights done? Perhaps stepped into the bathroom with some Clairol looking to touch up her color? I have seen only a handful of people pee or eat in five seasons, and yet she is looking as fresh as ever.
The CTU Salon: Bold Color for Bold Personalities
So, Nathanson wanted to be transferred to Jack’s cell phone. Nathanson needed to talk to him, and he didn’t want anybody else to know it, including others at CTU. Considering Jack is sort of under custody, this is all going to be very interesting, don’t you think? Audrey puts the call in to Jack, and Curtis lets the two have a few minutes to themselves and lets Jack leave the car. If there was any doubt as to whether some serious shit was going to go down, Jack was once again wearing the Aviator Glasses of Badness. Yes! I don’t know if those things hold the key to his mojo, but whenever he wears them, you know people are going to die. Either that, or he’ll fake his death and disappear along the train tracks, but I’m going with people dying for this episode. Nathanson tells Audrey to hang up and that he has a device on his phone that detects when people have tapped the line, so don’t try any funny business. He tells Jack that he wants protection. Walt Cummings wasn’t the only person in the government who was in on this plan, and they are out to get him. He tells Jack to meet him near a pay phone. Now all Jack has to do is get rid of Curtis.
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you
It may have been possible for Jack to reason with Curtis, but Jack didn’t want to take that chance. Does anybody think that perhaps Curtis did some sensitivity training since the last season? He did punch that girl in the face – I mean, it was Mandy, but if the folks at Division were looking at the replay, you can see how some of them might not have jumped out of their couches and clapped like most of us when it happened. As Curtis is driving back to CTU, he starts talking to Jack about how tough it must be for him and Audrey. They were so close, he faked his death, they thought they would never see each other again, now they’re kind of back. Curtis hopes that it will all work out, and his nice words must have made it really hard for Jack to box his ear and then put him in a sleeper hold. But what was Jack going to do? He has to meet Nathanson and Lynn McGill was already so paranoid about his authority that Jack could never get this sanctioned from CTU.
After Curtis woke up, he was pissed! He calls Lynn, and says that Jack got the jump on him. Curtis couldn’t believe that he let Jack surprise him and this is just further evidence for Lynn that people inside CTU are trying to get around his authority, and so he starts to watch Audrey more closely. He asks Audrey if she has received any calls from Jack since he was in custody, and although she says no, she knows that he only needs to check the call logs to see that she was lying. Audrey calls Chloe to see if she can get that specific call erased, knowing how much Chloe likes Jack, but Chloe says that they would have to erase Audrey’s entire log. Chloe manages to do this, but it happens while Lynn is actually in the process of checking the log, so it is erased from his screen in front of his face. Now he KNOWS that something is going on.
If there is anybody that seems to be at ease, it is President Logan. Well, he’s not really at ease, but you can tell he is enjoying himself listening to all of the networks gush about how great the treaty he signed with the Russians is going to be. You knew it wouldn’t last for long however, and Logan gets a call from Bierko himself. Bierko, polite British guy that he is, says that he was sorry about the attack in the mall, because it didn’t help his interest. He only wanted to release the nerve gas on Moscow, because he wants to hurt the Russian oppressors who have been forcing his people to drink that Bolshevik tea. What else could Bierko and his comrades do except form a resistance and kill millions of people so they can get their Earl Grey? Since he can’t get the homeland, Bierko is going to have to hit Mother Russia on American soil. Bierko will forget about the canisters as long as the president gives him information on Suvarov’s motorcade, so they can strike it. Uh oh, you can already see President Pussy’s knees turn to jelly.
Jack makes it safely to the pay phone Nathanson was talking about, where he hears a cell phone that Nathanson left there. He answers the call and Nathanson gives him instructions on how to find him in the warehouse next door. Jack makes his way over to the building, but he hears a helicopter. Wow! Is CTU actually on to them? Jack disabled the GPS in the truck he took from Curtis and removed the SIM card from his cell phone so they couldn’t track him that way. It looks like he and Nathanson are going to have some fun getting away from CTU, but would Jack actually hurt a CTU agent to save Nathanson? I guess we are going to find out.
Since they weren’t close to each other, Jack told Nathanson to grab a weapon and head towards the roof and they’ll try and meet there. Unfortunately, he meets a little resistance. I had thought they were CTU agents looking for Jack, but it turns out that they were Russian terrorists looking for Nathanson. How could I tell? First of all, they were able to find Nathanson without anybody having to open a socket or re-task a satellite. Secondly, upon arriving we didn’t hear anybody talk about flanks or perimeters. And last but not least, they didn’t follow that business casual dress code CTU field agents seem to prefer.
Nathanson is able to take out one guy and steal his weapon, but two more guys are on his trail. He makes it to the roof, but one of the guys chasing him shoots him in the leg. Out of ammo, the two guys make it to Nathanson just in time. As a rule of thumb, all terrorists must wait several moments upon finding their target to let them cower in fear before pulling a bullet into their head. Those few moments are all that Jack needs to shoot those two terrorists from the next rooftop, saving Nathanson. Unfortunately, Jack lost the Messenger Bag of Death somewhere between Ontario Airport, CTU, and the presidential retreat, so he is kind of screwed when the helicopter swings back around and starts firing.
Jack starts shooting at the helicopter with his gun and tells Nathanson to stay where he is, as this spot on the roof is giving him decent cover, but Nathanson wants to reach one of the terrorist machine guns. As he is reaching out, one of the guys from the helicopter shoots him. Jack just managed to hit one of the engines on the helicopter, so it started smoking and looked like it was going to make a crash landing somewhere. He makes his way over the Nathanson, but it is too late. Nathanson tells Jack to reach around in his pockets. Hey Nathanson, is that the secret to the secret government nerve gas conspiracy in your pocket, or are you just happy to see Jack? Well, it was actually the evidence of some sort, but Jack has no means to do anything with it.
At least buy him dinner first
The first thing Jack needs to do is call Audrey, but she is preoccupied. After the incident with the call logs, he asked Buchanan about the history between Jack and Audrey. Man, when Nathanson called Audrey, he knew that they were romantically involved, so I don’t know what more information Lynn wants from Buchanan. Buchanan asks Audrey if she knew anything about Jack breaking custody and she admitted that she helped Jack and he was trying to contact Nathanson about the canisters. Everybody has noticed how wacky Lynn has become, so Buchanan doesn’t even really question her reasoning.
Lynn still wants to keep a careful eye on Audrey, so he hovers over her desk while asking her to do some work. This is inconvenient because nobody likes to work that way, and only moments later, Jack is calling about what happened to Nathanson. Audrey is going to let it go, but Lynn wants her to answer. She picks up, pretends that Steve is on the other line, and transfers him to IT, which means Chloe. Well, it could have meant Edgar, but he was nowhere to be found. I guess he has to answer the phones and run out for Starbucks as well. Jack uploads the contents of the thumb drive, which is really flash memory, but for fear of boring you with geeky details, we’ll forgive them.
Now, if it wasn’t tense enough that Audrey was being watched and Chloe was working behind Lynn’s back, we got a call that Tony Almeida was running around the infirmary and threatened to leave the building if he didn’t get his Cubs mug back! Of course that didn’t happen, but you have admit that would have been sweet if it did. Actually, the problem as that the flash memory was formatted (they probably meant encrypted) for the Department of Defense, and the only person who has those clearances is Audrey, but she is tied up with McGill. Chloe calls Buchanan, and Buchanan manages to pull Lynn away for a long enough time for Chloe to fire up CTU Instant Messenger and get the codes from Audrey.
Everything is going smooth except that Lynn notices that Audrey closed an application window. He then realizes that Buchanan was trying to distract him. You wanna go nuts? Lynn McGill will give you nuts! He’s taking it up a notch. Audrey is protected because her dad is Secretary of Defense, but Buchanan has no protection, and Lynn decides to make an example of him and throws him into custody for being insubordinate. Personally, I think that it was for another reason. When Buchanan was distracting Lynn, he mentioned that they needed to do something in Lynn’s office, and it would require his key card. Buchanan said the magic word, and now he is being locked up. And just to make sure people know that he is serious, Lynn tells everybody that he is going to implement a section 2-3 redundancy. Lynn would screen everybody’s work. Man, this guy really needs to join rageaholics anonymous.
Goonies are supposed to sick together!
Audrey tries to complain about Buchanan being held in custody and how it would undermine their operations, but let’s be honest. Over the last few years, CTU always has a change in leadership at the top and things have worked out. If I were Buchanan, I would rather be put into custody than flying a nuclear bomb to Palm Springs, being shot in the head and delivered to a terrorist, or having my daughter die in the CTU infirmary. Billy boy has it easy! Anyway, Lynn says “I promise you don’t want to threaten me,” which I guess sounds tough, but only until the office finds out his sister’s boyfriend beat him up for some lunch money. “Don’t threaten me” is a line that Jack can use, that Curtis can use, hell, even Chloe can use if she has a machine gun, but Lynn cannot use that line.
Despite all of the distraction, Chloe was able to get Jack some more information. The canisters were built by Teradyne, and there were records of the strontium isotope they used to create the nerve gas. She also mentioned that Teradyne was a subsidiary of Omichron, which sounded familiar to Jack. He asked if a man named Harry, uh, I mean Christopher Henderson was on the corporate roster. Indeed, there he was: Christopher Henderson, Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Jack knew him from the old days. I wonder if he was in the same squad in Bosnia as Jack and Saunders. Whoever he is, I hope he has an army nearby, because Jack is on his trail.
Things over at the Presidential ranch are wrapping up. Suvarov and his wife are about to leave, but there is still that question of whether Logan will give the terrorists the information they need. Mike gets the route info for Suvarov’s motorcade, but reminds President Pussy that if the Russians find out they aided in the death of their President, it would be considered an act of war. I know that is serious stuff, but perhaps Mike is forgetting that with Jack now back alive, they are going to come up with some answers for the Chinese. The Russians might as well wait in line, and the President has to know this. If I were Logan, I would welcome a war with the drunk Russians over the swift precision deaths that a war with so many Asians would bring us.
Logan is not that worried about giving the information out because the motorcade is well protected, so the terrorists might not even be successful. Somebody better call Kenny Rogers, because from now on, President Pussy is going to be known as “The Gambler,” and I hear he likes rotisserie chicken. It’s the wood that makes it good, although I still prefer Koo Koo Roo. Is there anything that could make THIS situation any more tense? How about if our crazy First Lady popped her head in just as the President and Mike were discussing selling out the Russians. Martha hears this plan, and you know she’s not going to be happy. She hates lying, and she wonders why her husband can’t think of something else. What about that whole “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” thing, and didn’t you like sign a treaty to, you know, work with the Russians on terrorism? The President was so proud of this treaty, but if it’s not worth the paper he signed it on, why even bother?
The Gambler tells his wife that answers are never easy, and says that CTU may find the canisters before anything needs to happen. He pleads with Martha not to freak out, and the two of them leave to see Suvarov and his wife leave, get some pictures with the press corps, and then pray those drunk Russians lost their nuclear football and can’t retaliate when Suvarov is dead. This whole time, I was watching Martha Logan and was ready for her to scream out loud. “DON’TLEAVEWETOLDTHETERRORISTSWHERETOFINDYOURMOTORCADEANDYOU’LLDIE.” But that never happened. It looked like she was desperate to say something, but she couldn’t find the words. She didn’t want to upset her husband, but she couldn’t let these people die.
Mike got the sign from Logan to tell the terrorists about the Russian motorcade. Bierko was very happy, and began to plan his attack. He was so good at killing Nathanson and his friends, I was sort of surprised to see that he was doing all of his planning with a Rand McNally map and a wax pen. Seriously, I know he was in a rush, but was there not one laptop around that these people could have used for logistics? Nathanson seemed to have some equipment back at his place that he wasn’t using.
Martha was going to have to make a decision. Does she scream? Faint? Distract the Secret Service by pulling off her shirt? Find the nearest sink full of water and dunk her face in it? I know! As soon as you husband leaves to attend to some Presidential matters, jump inside the limo with Suvarov and his wife! Martha, Martha, Martha! How could you? Getting into the limo, Mrs. Logan says she wants to ride with them to the airport, which will give her and Anya Suvarov some time to talk. Anya pretends that she is going to enjoy it, but you know that she was hoping for some time alone with Yuri so they could get drunk and make fun of what a wimp Logan is and what the hell is he doing with that crazy wife. Then again, considering she just saved them from death, they may cut her a little slack.
Two first ladies, one back seat. They don’t call Yuri the Pimp of Petersburg for nothing
I have to say I really loved this episode. Some people might complain about the twists, the fact that Jack gets taken into custody at least once every hour, and that yet another person holding the key to finding the canisters died, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Lynn is going to lose it soon, and next week it looks like Curtis is going to put an end to recess time, and I can’t wait to see the look on Logan’s face when he discovers that his wife has decided to jump bail. I never really liked Erwich, and so our Fake Jeremy Irons is a welcome addition. I also like that they managed to fit an evil corporate conglomerate, vice president, and Jack’s past all in the same sentence. My only hope is that Curtis gets a chance to raise his body count, but we know it’s coming.
What did you think of this episode? Will Lynn get his key card back? How is Omichron involved? Will the terrorists attack the motorcade? Will they release the nerve gas anyway? Don’t you love the Aviator Glasses of Badness?