You know when you go to a wedding that you don’t really want to go to, but the one saving grace is that you know that that one cool uncle will be there, the one you know is going to be a fun time? He’s always the life of the party, maybe he ends up with a lampshade on his head or making out with the bride or electrocuting the groom with a floor lamp? So when you go and find out that he’s not in a partying mood this time, or he’s trying not to act like a moron in front of some girl, or he’s in some sort of twelve-step program, it’s sad. Because he’s your go-to Awesome Guy. Well, that’s what it felt like with this week’s 24. Come on, 24, you’re always so awesome, and now you throw at us the most boring episode ever? WTF man? I thought you were cool!
We begin in the Presidential Bunker, which we’ll be seeing a lot of tonight, where Tom has set up a video meeting with the Attorney General. Wayne, suddenly and magically stuffed into a suit, is totally fine. Just a bump on the noggin, my dear chaps! He asks Dr. Doctor to give him a shot of adrenaline, so as not to show any weakness in front of Daniels. If you ask me, not even a shot of pure Jack Bauer blood will help Wayne look any fiercer than a helpless kitten, but whatevs. Dr. Doctor has plenty of “medical reasons” not to comply with his wishes, but Wayne makes him do it anyway.
Jack and Bill trade info about Gredenko and Palmer over the phone. Jack says he has no intention of honoring any deal with Gredenko, so he just wants the Attorney General to draft up the papers and he’ll take care of the rest. So Jack will let the whole pardon thing go with Nina but not this Russian dude? I don’t know about that. Also, the Attorney General must feel like the most popular boy in school today.
Wayne slooooowly makes his way back to the cabinet room. Daniels coldly welcomes his back, while Karen smirks over on the sidelines. Tom gives a summary of what has happened so far, and Dr. Doctor informs everyone that Wayne should be totally fine. Brain damage – tis but a scratch! Wayne makes his case, that the cabinet can’t ignore the wishes of the American People, since they voted him into office. And I can’t help but think seriously? They really did? Were they being distracted by something shiny? Daniels starts waving his “25th Amendment” banner and makes his own case, saying that since Wayne stopped the attack on Iraqistan, he no longer has the balls to be President. Tom, perhaps to alleviate the boredom of this scene, says they’ll reconvene in ten minutes to decide. Yawn.
That’s it, Tom! Dance your troubles away!
Nadia tells Milo that they’re going to have to figure out the deal with them kissing at a later time. Milo says he doesn’t want to forget about it. I can’t imagine Nadia feeling the same way, if Milo rubbed his face all over mine I’d probably sign up for some brain damage of my own. Mike “I like Legos” Doyle furtively calls her up to his office, and demands that she tell no one. He sort of apologizes for what he did to her, but she still thinks he’s a racist and a sadist. Meh, can’t really argue that one. Mike informs her that the breach in security was probably due to carelessness on Milo’s part, so he needs her to hack onto his computer and confirm that. Nadia says she can’t do it, so Mike zings back “Is it because you’re too busy deciding if you want to sleep with him?” Whoa! SOMEbody needs his sippy cup! He promises Nadia that it will be better for Milo if she helps him, because otherwise he’ll be dragged out in handcuffs in front of everyone. Nadia knows all too well that this sucks, but again, if Milo tried to make out with me I’d probably want to see him in handcuffs too. But to each their own.
Back in the Presidential Den of Ineptitude, Karen and Sandra are plotting and scheming with their dear Wayne, telling him to somehow dispose of Daniels. “Get him out of the bunker!” Sandra cries. Okay, we’ll get right on that, SANDRA. You’ll never be president. When Mama Palmer was handing out genes, you clearly got the stupid. This little Caucus of Intrigue comes to a halt when a snippy woman informs them that the cabinet is reconvening. When it does, Tom presides and says that it’s time to take a vote. And it turns out to be…7 to 7. Great. Attorney General says it’s okay dude, they needed a majority to remove Palmer from power, so he remains in office. Wooo! Dillon Panthers win! Wait, wrong show.
But Daniels isn’t through yet. He stands up and says that the National Security Advisor’s vote is invalid, since Karen resigned earlier in the day and hasn’t been officially reinstated. Oh shit! Karen protests, and Wayne looks as if he’d rather enjoy slipping back into that coma right about now. Daniels is all like, sorry! Wahp wahp! Palmer sneers “I won’t let you steal the presidency!”, and it’s another one of those lines that just makes me burst out laughing. You know, they all seem to come from Wayne. Worst Palmer president ever. Tom interjects that this is all a matter for the courts, and the AG agrees to get the Supreme Court on the horn. Oh boy, all the excitement of a judical ruling! Just what this already hair-raising episode needs! The suits all mumble and glare at each other, and break for a little while. This is going to make for an awkward White House Easter Egg Roll, I can tell you that much.
Could someone please turn off the President’s head lamp?
Nadia makes up some bullshit reason to get Milo away from his computer (which is a DELL, by the way), quickly checks it, then runs back to her new BFF Mike. As it turns out, the breach WAS Milo’s fault, so Mike alters the logs so that no one will ever find out. Huh? Maybe Mike found his sippy cup. Nadia is confused, as always, so Mike explains that they have a better chance of finding the nukes if Milo is on board and not chilling with Burke in the Torture Room. Ah, I miss Burke. I’d love if every once in a while the CTUers were throwing around all sorts of technical words and Burke, just passing by on his way to purchase some more deadly chemicals, happily yelled out something like “Pancuronium bromide collapses the lungs!” Anyway, Mike, in trying to explain his motives to Nadia, quotes the Koran. She is surprised, and he sneers that he reads anything he can get his hands on, in order to find his answers. So now we’re supposed to care about Mike’s existential crisis? NEVER!
Karen puts in a call to her hubby Bill, and fills him in on all the happenings over at the bunker. He is outraged, naturally, but Karen starts blubbering on about how if Daniels gets his way and bombs the hell out of the Middle East, it’s going to be all her fault. Burn the witch! Bill reassures his little lovey muffin that that’s not going to happen, then they say that they miss each other and I vomit all over my television. Oh not because of them, I think they’re adorable. I think I may have had some bad shrimp.
Gredenko is with Jack (remember him?) and is on the phone with someone, verifying the (bogus) immunity deal he just made. Then he calls up Fayed, who tells him to meet him at the Santa Monica Pier in ten minutes. Gredenko says it may take more time, but Fayed doesn’t care, and says that he’ll find him when he gets there. Gredenko hangs up and gives a hilarious little “whatevs” shrug, and Jack mobilizes the team and they move out. So there may be some action in this episode yet. I’ll be real disappointed if Gredenko just leads him to a security briefing.
Karen, Palmer, and Girl Palmer are going over his case, which is apparently a strong one. They go over all the details YET AGAIN, and blah blah blah…get to the bad guys, they’re at least interesting. Cut to Daniels, who is with Lisa the Fembot, going over his own case. And it’s not a very good one. Lisa points this out to him. He exposits some more about how Palmer is ruining the country. Great. Lisa raises a single eyebrow and slyly suggests that there is a way she can help. She walks over to him and it damn well looks like they’re going to make out, but instead she says that she’s willing to swear that he told her that he never had any intention of reinstating Karen, that he was only going to allow her to stay on a temporary basis. Daniels objects at first, insisting that she can’t perjure herself in front of the Supreme Court, but then is all oh what the hell. Let’s do it! He awkwardly grabs her hand and thanks her. And then they viciously make out, in my mind at least.
Fayed leaves the bombs with some underlings while he runs off to meet Gredenko. Underling #1 insists that they should just use the bombs without Gredenko, but Fayed growls that with Gredenko’s knowledge, they can do much more damage. He’s made his decision, so he packs up and leaves, while Underling #1 goes somewhere to pout.
Tom barges into Daniels’ Den Of Lies and asks to speak to Daniels alone, so Lisa saunters out in a smarmy way. Bitch. Tom informs Daniels that there’s something in this room that he needs to know about. A hidden immunity idol?! Daniels’ little bulldog ears perk up, so Tom goes on to explain that he left a small microtransmitter on the underside of a random bowl on the table, and that he has the whole perjury plan on tape. HaHA! Seriously, someone just hand over the presidency to this guy. Only Tom could derail Daniels’ entire plan with a Pier 1 Bowl Of Espionage. He demands that Daniels pick up the phone and call the Supreme Court (1-800-LAWRULZ) and inform them that he is withdrawing his case. Tom smirks all over the place, and I high five myself.
“It really brightens up the room, don’t you think?”
Palmer goes over some more stuff with Karen and winces, as if to say, ow, my brain hurts. Sandra bounces in to inform them that Daniels gave up. They have a mini-celebration. So everything’s wrapped up in neat little package and we can FORGET THE WHOLE THING EVERY HAPPENED! Sandra and Karen leave the room, and Palmer picks up the phone to call for Dr. Doctor.
“Doctor, I’m bleeding heavily from the ear, is that bad?”
Jack, desperate to make this episode even a little bit cool, is over at the pier. Gredenko is getting an isotope injected into his arm so that Jack can track him, and, as the random CTU agent informs him, it penetrates into the bone so it can’t be dug out or anything. File that under useful information for later, folks. Jack gives the signal and Gredenko is released from the van, free to wander off and meet Fayed. Chloe (truly phoning it in this episode) says that she has locked onto the signal from Gredenko’s arm, and they are now tracking him. Gredenko walks around the pier, perhaps longing for the days of a carefree ferris wheel ride, when a cell phone rings from under a railing. He picks it up and there’s no one on the other line, but starts reading a text message. Maybe he’s the winner of the American Idol Challenge.
“Wheee! A carnival!”
No, it directs him to “Building J”, which sounds like it might be a pretty rockin’ place. He makes his way there and Fayed’s goons pull him in. Before Fayed can say anything, Gredenko removes the audio signal, causing Morris and the other CTUers to get their panties in a twist. Jack realizes that something is wrong, and starts to move in. Fayed is more than a little pissed to realize that Gredenko has given him up, but Gredenko has A Plan. CTU tells Jack about five times he has stopped in the room and has not moved, which leads me to believe that they’re soooo finding a disembodied arm in there. Jack bursts in and looks around, then when Milo keeps insisting that Gredenko is in there, he finds…a disembodied arm! Sweet! And it appears to have been severed with a tiny hatchet, so I think it’s safe to now assume that Gredenko does in fact have Balls Of Steel.
Give him a hand, folks!
Jack tracks Gredenko via his blood trail. Little lack of foresight there. Eventually he catches up to them and there is of course a firefight. Fayed and Gredenko run into a Typical American Bar, where Gredenko does something awesome. He distances himself away from Fayed a little, then announces to everyone that he recognizes Fayed from the news and that he’s the terrorist that has been blowing shit up all day. Fayed, so pissed off right now, shoots a few innocent bystanders, runs out of bullets, then starts to get beaten up by the angry vengeful Americans. These colors don’t run!! Gredenko is a genius.
Jack bursts in and makes everyone back off. Some poor schlepp starts wimpering about his friend that was shot, so Jack says he’s sorry but they’ll get medical attention immediately. Fayed pipes up from the floor and brats “I hope your friend is dead!” Oh, Fayed. You must have been one of those kids who practically lived in the principal’s office.
Palmer, meanwhile, is getting yet another shot of adrenaline, despite protests from Dr. Doctor that it will raise his blood pressure too high. “That’s a risk I’m rilling to take!” he spits. Um, might want to check on that whole brain damage thing right about now. Palmer makes yet another lame case for himself, and Dr. Doctor caves, probably thinking, “your brother would NEVER have done something like this.” Bill calls Wayne and tells him that they’ve taken Fayed into custody but they still haven’t found the bombs yet.
Gredenko, meanwhile, has made his way down to the beach under the pier and is now stumbling around in the throes of death, yelling “The Sea! My only friend!” He staggers a few more steps, then falls to the sand as the water gently laps around his Santa beard. And thus ends the life of one of the grooviest 24 villians ever.
And that man…became Captain Hook.
Karen proclaims a truce with Tom. Fabulous. She also asks him why Daniels withdrew his case, and Tom does that little gremlin shake of the head he does so well to deny it. Karen says, “Okay. But someday I’d like to know the real story.” And Tom, God love him, snarks, “Okay! Someday!” I’d like Tom and Gredenko to be the entertainment at my next birthday party. Take note, please.
At that very moment Tom gets a phone call and proceeds to sputter and bulge his eyes out of his head. He runs out of the room, telling Karen that Palmer has decided to go ahead with the strike on Iraqistan. He flees back to the president and demands to know why, WHY?! Palmer sneers that he risked his life to reassert his authority, not to cancel the strike. General Walsh informs him that it has launched successfully. And the Little Missile That Could is on its way!
Oh, man. I’m not sure what happened this week, but I think it involved a hostile takeover of the 24 Writing Room by a squadron of drunken monkeys. Seriously, judicial intrigue? What happened to five terrorist attacks per hour, back in the good old days? I mean, generally speaking I tend to defend this show with a die-hard tenacity, but even I have to admit that this episode was just plain boring. The only saving grace was Gredenko, who gets the Badass Award Of The Week, and the part where he schemed to make a pack of drunken patriots take down Fayed was totally hilarious. Thoughts? Comments? Ever hack off an arm with a hatchet?