Thursday, February 22, 2007

Season 6; Hour Ten (3:00PM - 4:00PM)

Air Date: 19 Feb 2007
Reviewer: J

Could it be that we just had our third straight episode without Sandra or Walid? Is it possible that the writers of 24 have decided, “The hell with it. Let’s abandon the stupid storylines nobody cares about and just focus on CTU, Jack, the terror threat and the President.”? I suppose it is possible but really not likely. Especially with how this hour ends.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about what an awesome hour this was. Scanning the Internet, I think I was in the minority in thinking last week’s double-dip was excellent so who knows what people thought about this week. I happened to enjoy it again, mainly because I’ve suspended my disbelief somewhere in orbit over Jupiter and I’m no longer questioning the wacky-ass things that are happening within Jack’s family. Phillip Bauer is willing to kill his son(s) and threaten the life of his grandson in order to protect his company? Sure, let’s go with it. Jack and Marilyn have a history that up until now has been unmentioned? Sure! I mean, we know Jack was with Teri at least 17 years or so, right? Kim was 16 in Season One. And the show’s lifespan has been about ten years in 24-universe, meaning that we’d have to go back twenty-seven years to find the time when Jack wasn’t with Teri. Is that when he and Marilyn had their thing? Because Rena Sofer is only 37 years old so that would have made her ten which is kind of To Catch a Predator. So I guess Jack had a thing with Marilyn while he was with Teri. Stud. Wait! There I go trying to apply logic again! Dammit!

We pick up Hour Ten with Milo and Marilyn on the run from Phillip’s men. The Fox Website says the lead commando/henchman (the one with the speaking part) is named “Hacker.” Come on. I guess it was too dorky to name a computer hacker Hacker, so they gave it to a gunman? What’s Phillip’s computer hacker’s name? Shooter?

Anyway, they get Marilyn and Milo pinned down behind a dumpster and Milo tells her to run when he provides cover fire. Aside from hiding behind a dumpster instead of staying on the move and heading into, you know, a more populated area than an alley, Milo’s doing okay here. He’s not a field agent (to our knowledge) and yet he seems to have an idea of what to do.

True to his word, he bravely puts down cover fire with the one magazine of ammo he took with the pistol (I can’t tell for sure if he hits anyone but I don’t think so) and Marilyn freezes like a helpless Bond girl and doesn’t go anywhere. Milo gets winged in the arm and is more than a little pissed that it’s for nothing since Marilyn didn’t get away. Hacker and the Hackettes are about to execute Milo (Jesus, take no prisoners, huh Phillip?) when Jack arrives on the scene and guns them down. He also gets Hacker to disarm himself, pointing out that he would have killed Marilyn already if that was his charge. Well, they hadn’t killed Milo yet, had they Jack? Neither here nor there.

I like how Jack gives Milo a cursory examination and tells him he’ll be fine. I’d be like, “Shitfuck, Jack! This HURTS!”

Jack does his patented, interrogation-by-the-throat technique on Marilyn and she admits the truth about Phillip having Josh held hostage. Jack is gobsmacked and chides himself for being “so stupid.” Well, yeah, on this one anyway.

Jack recovers long enough to check in with CTU and tell Bill where they need teams. Marilyn has given up the exact address of Grendenko’s house – the house she vaguely might remember if driven by it – and Jack suggests a team be dispatched there. Well, okay, but what if she’s got the address wrong by a digit or two? Some already jittery neighbors will probably crap themselves, what with houses blowing up and nukes going off all around them.

Jack then asks Bill for a smaller team for himself at the hotel where Phillip is. When Bill asks for more info and seems pretty steadfast in refusing to take Jack’s orders without getting it, Jack simply apologizes and says “It’s personal” and then hangs up. Yeah, Jack, that’ll surely get you support from Bill. Oh, and is it just now personal? Like, more than when your brother tried to have you killed and you then interrogated him to death?

Back at CTU, we have the ongoing storyline of Morris’ PTSD angling for “silly plot of the week.” Morris is still morose and Chloe again pokes him with a stick. Nadia comes by and announces that Milo will probably be up for a commendation as he held three hostiles at bay “single-handedly.” Is that a joke about his arm, Nadia? And, really, he didn’t hold them at bay so much as run like a girl after driving like an imbecile and then getting himself cornered. But, hey, if by “held them at bay” you mean “had his ass saved by Jack” then sure, I guess he did. But in reality, he was about to be shot when Jack saved the day. Which is exactly what happened to Morris. Well, that plus Morris triggered three more kilotons of nuclear disaster. So, yeah, I guess it’s different.

Morris sees my point and accuses Nadia of rubbing salt in his wounds. She gives him a terrific bitch-stare and moves right along. Morris claims to need to go for a walk. I assumed he meant around the compound that is CTU but we learn eventually that he meant out in Los Angeles. Which is odd to me because Morris is clearly suffering some traumatic stress issues and the last time he left the cozy confines of CTU he was apprehended and tortured. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’d be asking where the hell my Jaguar convertible was at this point.

Back at the alleyway, Jack has Hacker tell Phillip that he has Marilyn who in turn refuses to tell them Grendenko’s location without first getting Josh back. Got all that? There’s a lot of pseudo-drama and back-and-forth but eventually Phillip realizes he’s on a timeframe and wants to get to Gredenko so he relents and provides the hotel location where he is. I did like Phillip suggesting he and Marilyn and Josh could attempt to salvage whatever is left of their family after this is all done. Right.

Of course, during all this, Phillip is careless enough to let Josh overhear that he’s willing to kill him (Josh) and so he makes a Kim Bauer-ish escape attempt, replete with stammering, lame excuses and furtive glances. Phillip almost seems to let him go downstairs before stopping him by brandishing a gun and telling Josh that nobody’s life is worth everything he’s built. Does that include Lego battleships and the like?

Back at the White House bunker, Tom Lennox has handed over the President’s itinerary and Reed is now asking for Tom to grant access to the bunker by some security specialist who will carry out Wayne’s assassination and then they’ll pin it on Assad. Like that wasn’t obvious. Tom looks sickened by this and I’m still hoping at this point that Tom will turn out to be an okay guy but my faith is getting weaker.

On the streets of Los Angeles, Morris wanders into a store and buys a pint of whiskey and some breath mints and goes outside to have himself a good slug of whiskey. And damn does he down nearly the whole pint at once. He then forces himself to vomit it back up, something I wouldn’t have had to force myself to do. Chloe picks this time to call him and, unlike me, Morris answers his cell phone and says he’s on his way back but that without his car it might take a while. Only he doesn’t say that last part.

We switch back to the parking garage of the hotel Phillip and Josh are at and Jack is telling Marilyn to put on a bulletproof vest “under her clothes.” Jack, you sly dog, I’ll have to try that method of getting a woman to take off her shirt sometime. Do you have any flak pants?

Jack politely turns his back but Marilyn dawdles because it looks like she wants him to watch. Jack eventually complies and comes over to help button up her blouse. How tender. And how backwards of what Jack obviously has experience doing in the past. He even tenderly caresses her face. Wouldn’t this be the perfect time for Audrey to show up? Just, you know, to happen to be staying at that hotel?

Back at the PrezBunker, Reed and Tom are (yet again) meeting secretly in the boiler room. Doesn’t anyone notice them in the hallway? Or is this where all homosexual encounters among those in the White House take place?

Lennox delays about the guy Reed wants to gain access to the bunker but says it’s in the works. This is where I finally began to have hope again that Tom’s conscience would come around. Reed departs and Tom decides to make an ill-advised phone call from the one unmonitored room in the bunker. Well-played, Tom. He calls the Secret Service (not Aaron, unfortunately) and says he’s coming to meet with the ranking agent on site. He whips open the door and is immediately cold-cocked in the melon by Reed, who is wielding a flashlight like a SWAT baton. Tom hits the floor and groggily tells Reed nothing justified killing a President. I like to assume that Tom wasn’t certain this was the path Reed was heading down and that maybe Tom was holding out hope that Reed had some sort of plan to remove the President with underhanded but not deadly means. But when he learned of the plan to out-and-out kill the President, he knew he had to act. But who knows. Point is, he’s out of play now and I have to wonder how long the Chief of Staff could be missing before a search would happen. I guess we’ll find out.

At CTU, Chloe can smell the whiskey that Morris had pass through his lips twice. He begs her not to rat him out and she complies. More swell judgment at CTU. I think maybe Morris should be sent home. Or to a holding tank. Milo also suspects it and Chloe gets Milo to agree not to rat Morris out, either. So now Milo knows about Morris being a drunk and is keeping quiet for Chlose, has broken security guidelines in the hopes of getting into Nadia’s lacy black (just guessing) underthings, and has literally taken a bullet for Marilyn. If he doesn’t get some ass out of this, you know he’s going to be pissed.

At Phillip’s hotel room, there’s nobody there. And that’s because Phillip is nobody’s fool and knows not to underestimate Jack, whom he thought was dead but whatever. He calls the phone in the room and reveals that he’s across the street on a rooftop. “Bomb the building,” Jack doesn’t say.

Jack offers himself up in trade for Josh. My, that’s magnanimous of you, Jack. Could it be that Josh is actually your offspring? I think it’s possible. Kim will be so thrilled to have a brother almost as dippy as herself.

Jack proceeds with the exchange and it goes off according to the agreement. Phillip lets Josh Bauer go and, in coming unarmed, Jack gave his gun to Marilyn. I thought at this point that Marilyn might come in and save Jack but no, she has what she wants and takes off with Josh to parts unknown. Bye, Marilyn.

Jack and Phillip have a discussion wherein Phillip admits that Gredenko began blackmailing him when he found out about Phillip’s role in David Palmer’s assassination. Wait, what? What did Phillip have to do with it? So he was the mastermind behind the mastermind (Graem) we thought was behind things last year? But what purpose did killing Palmer serve? Oh, right, to make the first hour of last season rather gripping. That’s right.

Phillip lays on some more guilt about how none of this would have happened if Jack had worked for the family. Really? That’s kind of shitty, Phil, and hey, why not take some responsibility for what happened instead of putting it on Jack who, up until a day ago, was rotting in a Chinese prison.

Anyway, Jack is put on his knees, Chappelle-style, and it looks like Phillip’s about to execute his own son which is just insane. It’s at this point that my fiancée turns to me and says, “Jack signed another contract, right??” I think it’s funny when her questioned is so frantic that she meshes the fictional Jack with the real-life world of television.

Jack tries to have a final heartfelt moment with his father, telling him he never wanted to turn his back on the family and just had to go his own way. Like Journey. What I don’t get is why is Jack trying to make his father feel better when Phil’s about to effin’ execute him? Eventually, though, Jack bravely says, “anyway, I’m ready.” To die, we are to presume. When there’s no blast, Jack figures he’s invincible. Or not. He turns around the Phillip is gone, vanished like a fart in the wind.

Jack bolts outside but apparently Phillip committed suicide by jumping off the building and his cellie fell out of his pocket and landed on the ledge of the building. Only you know he didn’t. I’m just being flippant.

The cell phone is there, though, and it’s a good thing that Jack A) notices it, and B) doesn’t accidentally fumble it off the rooftop. It’s got a message on it that telling him to call a number. The cell number for Behrooz’ dead girlfriend’s mom from a couple seasons back. Wow, that’s weird.

Oh, wait, it’s not her number anymore. Apparently it’s been reassigned and is now a cell number for a former President of the United States. Clinton? No, it’s Charles Logan, looking like a mountain man and also looking distinctly like he’s not in prison. Unless prison cells have gotten a lot bigger and more luxurious. Hell, it’s California, who knows?

Okay, so Logan is now back in the mix so that means my fantasy that he was what Wayne traded for Jack is certainly not true. So maybe Wayne gave China his baseball card collection or ownership rights to Ellis Island. I don’t know.

What I do know is that it’s always fun to have Logan around but I’m hard-pressed to believe he can help in he current mess. But we’ll see.

Can Mike Novick, Martha Logan or Aaron Pierce be far behind?


Friday, February 16, 2007

Season 6; Hour Nine (2:00PM - 3:00PM)

Air Date: 12 Feb 2007
Reviewer: J

Annnnnnd, we’re right back. We learn from the previouslies that Fayed said to Morris, “You will do what I want – it’s just a question of how much pain you are willing to take.” Fayed’s a big fan of this idiom, “it’s just a question of…” And also? He didn’t say that comment to Morris last hour…at least not onscreen. But whatever. I shouldn’t analyze the previouslies so closely.

We open the hour with Fayed riding in his chopper (we also end the previouslies with this, even though it wasn’t shown last hour, either; shut up, previouslies) and, presumably, wondering why Los Angeles still only has one mushroom cloud. He lands at some river basin where he’s got another team assembled. Wait, weren’t all his teammates killed at the apartment? This is getting like Henderson last season where he seemingly manufactured henchmen on an assembly line.

We learn this hour that Gredenko, the Russian who Graem and Phillip dealt with to obtain the nukes for decommissioning, is in on this with Fayed. Well, of course he is because this show is nothing if not current. Yes, let’s have a fuckin’ Russian pissed off at us over the damn Cold War. What the hell year is this, 1982? Though it does remove some heat from the producers of the show since this would be the second straight year some men of Middle Eastern descent were made out to be terrorists. Who gets these ideas anyway?

I rather enjoyed Jack’s re-entrance into CTU. Everyone looks at him and I wonder which of the following they’re thinking:

A) Wow, I thought Jack Bauer was dead.
B) Wow, I thought Jack Bauer was in China.
C) Wow, I thought Jack Bauer was taller.

Jack goes over to see Chloe and it’s now that we’re kind of reminded that he’s been in the field all day and is still wearing the shirt he boosted from that house… the house where Assad’s rogue henchman is still rotting. Lovely. Looks like a warm California day, too.

Anyway, I thought Chloe’s interaction was kind of cute. She thanks Jack for saving Morris’ life and also comments that she’s glad Fayed didn’t kill him that morning. We see a half-smile from Jack for the first time in a long time and he gets back to work.

Down in the morgue, Phillip Bauer is erasing contacts from Graem’s cellie. If you don’t hate Phillip already, you will by the end of this hour. He and Jack go back and forth about how Graem died and didn’t deserve it and how Phillip knows nothing about Gredenko. At this point, Phillip is still playing it like he knows Graem did some inappropriate and potentially illegal things but that he’s innocent. Jack seems to want to believe him so badly that he ignores the evidence that only one non-CTU agent was back at Graem’s house and was left alone with Graem… and that was Phillip. But whatever. It’s been made clear that Jack doesn’t want to believe his father could be in on this.

Phillip then calls a really weird head of security for his firm named “Liddy,” according to the Fox Website. Liddy sounds like a robot but appears to be well-groomed. Phillip, who was previously unaware that Gredenko was in L.A. but now knows thanks to Jack, tells Liddy to find Gredenko and have him capped. Otherwise, his business might be hurt. Really? You know, my dad was the CFO and Treasurer of his company for almost twenty years so I think I’ll ask him how many former Russian generals he had to have whacked to keep the company financially secure.

In the conference room, Buchanan actually has the stones to make Jack sit down and then to chide him about how he “exceeded protocols” when questioning Graem. Uh, yeah, but he’s not an employee of CTU, is he Bill? Jack angrily points out that he told them he couldn’t do this job and didn’t want it and wanted to walk away. And for a minute I was like, good for you, Jack. Of course, then I remembered Bill was ready to let him walk away and it was Jack who called back in and said he wasn’t quitting after seeing a nuke go off. So I guess you’re both accountable, gentlemen. Bill then offers to cover up Jack’s overstepping of bounds. My, Bill, a few years away from Division has made your asshole loosen up a bit, eh? Next thing you know, Bill will abandon his ties and be wearing Hawaiian shirts to the office. Jack, of course, demurs and says he’ll take whatever punishment he deserves. It can’t be worse than a Chinese torture camp, right?

Back at Wayne’s pad, he and Assad are virtually alone in the bunker. Yeah, right. I don’t care if there is security right by the door – no way a known terrorist is that close to the President without a Hannibal Lecter-style getup on. I mean, seriously, can you imagine Momar Kaddafi or Osama Bin Laden sitting in an easy chair across from Bush?

VP Noah Daniels calls in to harangue the President some more in his deep, affected Powers Bootheian tones. Wayne stands firm on his decision and the VP couldn’t be more suspicious. Also, getting mighty comfortable on what appears to be Air Force One, aren’t you Noah?

Assad then warns Wayne to watch his back as his allies might come after him now. Assad compares them by saying they’re both the holders of unpopular opinions. Wait, Assad, you mean now that you’re professing peace-loving? Or earlier in your career, when you were profession American-exterminating? Actually, I guess both those stances would be unpopular but just to vastly different audiences. Oh, and does anyone else want to put money on Reed and his crew of conspirators framing Assad for whatever happens to Wayne? Didn’t think so. I don’t even think Vegas will put a money line up on this one.

At CTU, Jack is asking the sexy Marilyn whether she remembers anything about a Russky named Gredenko. She says no but that one time she followed her no-good husband to a house where there was Russian being spoken. Jack’s Spidey-sense begins pinging and he wants her to take him to the house. Wow, talk about your shots in the dark. I’m sure there’s no way this one will work out. Nevertheless, Bill orders a field team go with them along with…Milo. Wait, what? Milo? What the hell for?

Marilyn wants Grandpa Bauer to watch Josh (Marilyn’s son) and Phillip recommends taking him home. Marilyn relents. At this point, I’m thinking to myself, “There’s no way Phillip would do anything to his grandson…” Of course, I thought he wouldn’t hurt his real son, either. Phillip calls ole Liddy again and tells him roughly where Jack and Marilyn are heading and wants Marilyn captured for help in finding Gredenko.

On the way to the house Marilyn followed Graem to in the dark months ago (I can barely find my own house in the dark), they throw a tiny bit of light on their past. Not that they did the nasty but you know they did. She asks if she was a reason that Jack left and joined the military years ago. He says no. I guess Jack and Teri weren’t high school sweethearts, huh?

Meanwhile, Phillip calls Marilyn and smoothly tells her to take Jack to a different house or her son will be hurt. I have to say, Rena Sofer does the scared shitless eye reactions quite well. Phillip coldly points out that he already lost a son today and doesn’t want to also lose a grandson. Wow, what an unimaginable prick. He obviously has to die so I’m putting my money on Marilyn even though I’m sure we’re expected to think it’ll be Jack.

Back at the CTU Death Clinic, Morris is moping that he’s the reason those other nukes will be operational. Chloe has tried the kindness route with him and that’s not working so she decides to slap him. Which is just awesome. Just as awesome is his reaction: “Why did you do that?” She chides him for moping and tells him to get off his ass and back to work. I loved this scene because, yeah, I’d be sick to my stomach, too, but I’d also want to do whatever I could to stop the bastard.

Marilyn, terrified over the idea of losing her son, directs Jack to where Phillip said to direct him. The Fox Website says that Milo follows in “a follow van.” What happens if that van takes the lead? Does its name change?

CTU converges on the house and you can see Marilyn is wrestling with telling Jack the truth. The team raids the house, which is mostly empty. Except for a few boxes (of C4?) and a detonator that is in the process of detonating. Ruh-roh! Jack dives out the window as the house explodes and Marilyn screams. You know, this scene reminds me of a scene in the movie
The Last Action Hero. It’s a move that kind of mocks the indestructible action movie heroes we all know and love. A kid is watching Schwarzenegger as the hero and a house explodes and Arnold exits exactly the same way, along with two cops. The kid watching says, “Both cops dead – he barely gets a scratch, though.” Anyway, this reminded me of that.

Since the explosion was not very far from where Gredenko’s real house is, you’d think they’d figure something was amiss. And how surreal must life be for the neighbors of the house Phillip had blown up? First a nuke, now the abandoned house next to them exploding. If any of these people used to live near Tony and Michelle, they’re probably really losing it.

Milo pretty quickly deduces it’s an ambush and drags Marilyn into the van and they take off. Phillip’s henchies follow and Milo does his best with the follow van but since there’s nobody to follow, it veers into a brick half-wall thing. The henchmen open fire on the van, although there’s clearly someone telling them they need Marilyn alive. So are they only firing their “Milo” bullets?

Milo does pretty well for himself, pulling the pin on a hand grenade and tossing it in the back of the van and also snagging himself a pistol. He and Marilyn use the exploding truck for cover as they hoof it down the alley.

Jack, lying in the bushes, calls to his team members but they’re all down. There goes another tactical team. Better call the academy, Bill.

The hour ends in this fashion, again without a significant splitscreen, which is kind of jarring.

As I said in the previous review, these were two awesome hours packed together that just never seemed to let the adrenaline rush down. Nearly every scene felt like it had a purpose and the time flew by. I know there’s no way the whole season can continue this way (you know Sandra’s coming back again) but damn if it isn’t on one hell of a roll now.


Season 6; Hour Eight (1:00PM - 2:00PM)

Air Date: 12 Feb 2007
Reviewer: J

Damn. Those were two good hours! Two in a row! Both edge-of-your-seat, like the 24 we all came to love and admire! Blood! Gore (not Al)! Rena Sofer being hot! No Sandra Palmer! No Walid! Hooray!

Seriously, though, I loved this past Monday night. The first hour certainly earned its graphic violence warning. It’s interesting to me that they no longer say anything about graphic violence and instead start with the voice over guy intoning – far more seriously than he used to – “Viewer Discretion……is advised.” No shit, voice over guy.

We pick up Hour Eight right where Hour Seven left off, with McCarthy and his woman racing around in his silver Maserati with Morris cuffed in the backseat and fully aware that he just got schnookered. CTU is busily trying to locate him with Jack in a helicopter and Chloe trying to get the info up on her screen. When it’s clear that she’s flipping the fuck out about her husband (ex-husband?) being kidnapped, Milo tattles on her to Buchanan who removes her from her station and hands it over to Milo. Milo very dramatically removes his sport coat to get down to business. He has the satellite footage almost instantly (much to Chloe’s visible surprise) and, damn, that’s some good satellite footage! Not only can we see Morris’ car and McCarthy’s car, but we can see that McCarthy’s woman is blonde and that it’s a Maserati! Damn good satellites! Is there one pointed at every streetcorner in L.A. at all times? Because that seems rather fortuitous.

The chase is on as Jack and unnamed, unspeaking chopper pilot (we’ll call him Herman) track the Maserati, though not inconspicuously. McCarthy catches on quickly and has Rita, the chick he’s allowed to drive his $90,000 car, perform evasive maneuvers. Wait, does McCarthy not realize a chopper can go anywhere and isn’t bound by the restrictions of paved roads? What’s even more amusing is that they don’t even know where they’re going because Fayed hasn’t told them yet. So they’re just driving around aimlessly in Los Angeles? What if they need gas or something?

Meanwhile, Jack has been informed of his brother’s demise but he’s kind of focused so it seems not to affect him much. You just have to know somewhere inside he suspects foul play. I mean, he definitely does… and it’s his own foul play and overdoing it with Graem that he thinks is to blame. Oh well, poor Jack. No time to sulk, though, because they need to catch the Maserati.

McCarthy smartly directs Rita under a huge interchange of freeways where they park the Maserati and McCarthy hijacks another vehicle. During this interlude, Morris pleads with Rita and when she learns this has to do with nukes, she gets a little jittery. Morris points out that they don’t even know who she is (CTU, that is) and so she should hit the trail now. The wheels are turning in blondie’s head. Never a good sign.

Herman drops Jack off on top of a truck and Jack of course finds the Maserati empty… and then a second later a TAC team on the ground pulls up and picks up Jack. Wait, they were that close?? Shit, for all those times we accuse CTU of catching good breaks (like intercepting one of 450,000 cell phone calls) this should be evidence of them just missing catching a break.

Fayed does indeed call with a location once the McCarthy-Rita-Morris triumvirate are on the road again, now in a jaunty Dodge pickup truck (fortunately with a crew cab for Morris, lest he ride in the bed). Rita lets McCarthy punch the address into the GPS of the truck (good thing that’s there – maybe that’s what he was looking for when trying to find suitable vehicles to steal) and then blasts him two or three times with his gun. Morris shocked as she pushes McCarthy out and takes off with the truck. I loved Morris’ comment: “Thank god! A bit extreme, but still, you made the right decision.” It turns out she didn’t since she’s going to hand over Morris’ limey ass to Fayed for the $7 Mill since, as Morris told her, CTU doesn’t know who she is. Bet McCarthy never saw this coming. But why didn’t he have her drive while he held the gun, like they were doing in the Maserati? Oh well.

Just ten minutes later, Jack has found McCarthy’s body with the TAC team. Speaking of TAC teams, I thought they were all gone a few hours ago when they done got blow’d up? No? Did I daydream Milo telling Buchanan that all their TAC teams were dead? Maybe these are backups from San Diego.

Some gobbledy-gook ensures, wherein CTU figures out where Fayed was calling dead McCarthy’s cell phone from. Yeah, I don’t understand how, either, but they were able to find a perfect satellite image of where McCarthy jacked Morris so whatever. Point is, they know where Fayed is and, by extension, where Morris is and, by extension, where nukes are likely to be. Rather than head in the exact opposite direction like I would do, Jack wants to go there. Of course he does.

Meanwhile, let’s digress and discuss what’s happening at the White House bunker. Tom Lennox has pitched a classic bitch-fit and is so mad the President won’t listen to him that he wants to resign. His bitch – err, I’m sorry, assistant – Reed, doesn’t want him to. Lennox is convinced he cannot help the President and insists Reed go draft his resignation.

Reed, as if you didn’t know he was bad already, calls some equally white dude named “Carson” and they agree their “plan” needs to be implemented. What the H? They need Lennox in place, though, since that’s how Reed gets his access. Okay. So does that mean Lennox is not a bad guy? Or he is a bad guy?

Meanwhile, the President has been meeting with Assad and asking him to go on TV to call on the terrorists hidden within the U.S. to lay down their arms and come out for the ass-whipping and lynching they so desperately deserve. Oh, did I say “lynching”? I meant lunching. Yes, the President wants to have lunch. Assad is predictably skeptical but not really in any position to negotiate, given that he’s a known terrorist in the President’s underground bunker. Not exactly home-court advantage. I hope someone points this out to him soon by suggesting he might make good fertilizer for the rose garden.

Reed goes back to Lennox and pitches the idea of the VP being in charge. Tom says that while he might not agree with the President, he hardly thinks this merits holding hearings. Oh, Tom, you really are innocent, aren’t you? Reed, with a really creepy look, suggests that something “more immediate” would have to happen. Lennox points out that that’s treasonous talk and again dispatches Reed to write his resignation letter. Shit, Tom, just write the damn thing yourself: “I, Thomas Lennox, hereby resign my position as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. Sincerely, Tom.”

See? Not so hard.

Back at Fayed’s hangout, Rita brings in Morris and Fayed says she gets paid when he completes his tasks. Uh-oh. Not good, Rita. Morris, of course, refuses to program the nuke and Fayed’s men start torturing him. And I have to say, Fayed’s team is really good at this. People get on Jack for using torture but he’s still bound by some rules. Fayed can do whatever he wants to get results. And this was an interesting scene. I think any of us would probably refuse to arm a nuke for somebody. And I think many of us would die in order to stop many, many thousands of people from being nuked. But once the torture begins, how long could you last? I’m fairly certain the drill would have broken me, too.

I was amazed at the gore in this episode – and it was the 8 PM hour! Well-done, Fox! Morris, after having the ¾ inch drill but bored into the back of his shoulder, collapses to the ground and this is all Rita can take. She volunteers to forgo the money if she can just hit the road in her stolen pickup truck. Fayed makes kind of a funny face about her being willing to waive the $7M fee and then he turns around the blasts her twice with his gun. Her own blood splatters up onto her face as she makes that, “What the fuck?” face for the last time. She collapses and is face-to-face with Morris who, despite his history in that field, does not comment on her fantastic shoes.

It’s at this point that Morris agrees to do what Fayed wants. He does and, predictably, that meanie Fayed plans to have him killed as he leaves the room… but it’s Jack and the Jackettes to the rescue! Morris survives though he’s unconscious and Jack finds the nuke he just armed in the next room. Yikes.

There’s a big, tense scene where Jack has to disarm the nuke but, fortunately, the writers didn’t write it so Jack had some special knowledge and only he could disarm it. He actually has no idea what the hell he’s doing and needs Chloe to walk him through it. Wow, Chloe’s talents keep expanding. I had no idea computer programmers and excellent satellite camera operators could also detonate nukes. As per standard Hollywood timing, Jack succeeds in disarming the bomb with mere seconds to spare. And then he learns that Morris built Fayed a device that could arm any of them… and he actually gets pissed off at Morris! I mean, I see Jack’s point and he would gladly die before doing that but to expect that of others? I mean, I’m fairly sure Morris isn’t a field agent and I wonder if he would have reacted this way had it been Chloe who created the nuke-armer-device-thingy.

Naturally, in all the commotion and shootouts, Fayed escaped down some hidden shaft. My first thought was that they must have had plenty of time to disarm the bomb since Fayed couldn’t possibly expect to get out of the blast radius that fast. But Agent Turner (presumably the replacement for Agent Castle from a couple years back) points out that a medivac chopper lifted off a couple minutes ago and that was probably Fayed. Nice work, CTU perimeter.

In a rarity, we get no splitscreen as the hour closes. Lennox learns of the device Fayed now has and he calls Reed, saying maybe he will consider listening to what devious devices Reed has with which to remove the President from power. Or, you know, gentlemen, you could just approach the President with this new news and try to convince him again. And then remember that if the country get vaporized, it’s on his head – not yours. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a taxpayer.

The next hour starts immediately and I just love the previouslies after you’ve just watched an hour.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Season 6; Hour Seven (12:00PM - 1:00PM)

Air Date: 5 Feb 2007
Reviewer: J

Okay, wait just a frickin’ minute here. So much was revealed in this hour and so much more was hinted at that it’s hard to even keep up. I don’t even know where to begin. And I had the sad thought that maybe 24 is heading to where I chide other shows (like Lost) for going, and that is to a place where they just do anything and assume the audience will accept it blindly. There was a bit going on here that I just do not think I’m okay with so let’s get into it.

We start off knowing that Wayne isn’t stupid and that he knows Tom Lennox had something to do with Karen Hayes’ sudden departure. Tom, of course, plays dumb and even admits that maybe it had something to do with the executive order he asked the Prez to look at earlier that day and is now re-submitting. An executive order to, presumably, remove the rights of anyone not a member of Tom’s country club. And let me just commend Tom here for having the onions to present a plan wherein rights are restricted based on the color of citizens’ skin to a black President.

Oh, and if it wasn’t obvious to you that Wayne was going to shoot Tom’s plan right the hell down in front of everyone, well, then you don’t know the Palmer brothers too well. I did like how what happened to Walid and the boys in the yard is what spurred Wayne on, reminding him of what happens when you start imprisoning people based on their religion or color. Nice test balloon, Tom.

We also were introduced this hour to the Vice President, played by Powers Boothe. When I saw his name in the credits, I thought, “Wow, who is Powers Boothe going to be?” And I never thought he’d be the VP. And what is it with the Palmer brothers nominating shifty white guys to be their running mates? I mean, I guess it helps sew up the vote if you’ve somehow got both the black and white vote in America, but it already looks like Noah Daniels (the VP’s name) is a bit shiftier than Jim Prescott. I actually liked Prescott because there was no doubt he was doing what he felt was right and he had principles. As you’ll recall, he had David Palmer temporarily removed from power in Season Two and initiated a strike against nations in the middle east that he – and others – felt were responsible for the nuke in that season. But when evidence was presented that showed that intel was wrong, Prescott called off the raid and tendered his resignation to Palmer who, magnanimously, refused to accept it. I somehow don’t see VP Daniels going that route. He seems pissy about Wayne being the President to begin with, openly questioning Wayne’s lack of stones to Tom. Oh, and hey, what the hell is the Vice President doing flying around while terrorists have nukes? Is this intentional in case DC is vaporized?

Another twist in the episode was that this shifty Aussie, Darren McCarthy located someone for Abu Fayed to use to trigger the remaining nukes. I found it oddly amusing how Fayed’s kind of just cooling his heels this hour waiting for his new engineer. No split-screen intro, few lines… take it easy this week, Abu.

Anyway, CTU shows some competency and intercepts their cell phone call which is mighty fortuitous given all the likely cell phone traffic going on in LA at this particular moment. Once they learn the info has been texted and emailed to Fayed, they somehow intercept some of the data and set about deciphering the photo and CV of this new, likely unwilling, engineer. More on that later.

Soon after, the crew at CTU learn that Morris’ brother is in the hospital with radiation poisoning. It takes all of Chloe’s smoothness to keep Morris at his post and continuing to work on the decoding of the new engineer’s info. Morris is all teary-eyed but toughens up and agrees to get back to work on this in the name of saving more lives. Good guy, that Morris. A hell of a computer whiz.

Eventually Morris uses some illegal software to help decode the picture and CV of this engineer that Fayed is soon to put the screws to. And wasn’t that creepy when Fayed said “He’ll cooperate”? He didn’t even need to finish the sentence with “…or I’ll remove his fingernails one-by-one,” because we knew it was something like that.

Of course, we should have caught on that something was up when Morris replied to the news about his brother by acting surprised that he was up in Valencia at all but I know I for one didn’t pick up on it. Naturally, Morris says that now he must leave since his program is working and he has to go check in on his brother at the hospital. No sooner is he out of the building when the image is finally clear and it is… ta-da! Morris. Ruh-roh, Shaggy.

The CTU gang, patched in with Jack, manage to get Morris on his cell and tell him to turn his ass around, post haste. Morris, of course, takes a second to realize the gravity of the shit he’s potentially about to be in and this is just enough time for McCarthy and his woman to scream up in their fancy-ass car and block Morris’ path and hijack him right out of his own fancy-ass Jaguar convertible. I find it interesting that Morris was driving his convertible with the top down. I mean, I know a canvas top isn’t going to protect you from radiation but I think I might have it up anyway. You never know when the remnants of a civilian might come raining down on you. Or a helicopter.

Much to their horror, CTU hears Morris being jacked over his still-open cell line. It’s really too bad they can’t do something, given that it’s obviously McCarthy who is hijacking Morris (the same McCarthy they’re all looking for to connect them to Fayed) and it’s, you know, a block from the damn CTU building! Somebody get in a chopper or something.

Of course, the biggest reveal of the episode isn’t to us but to Jack from Graem. But let’s back up. As we started the hour, Jack and his pops are being taken somewhere remote for an old-fashioned, Chappellian execution. The two security goons are obviously people the Phillip Bauer knows as he calls them by name as they are marched to their soon-to-be graves. Jack and his dad exchange a look while certainly taking their time. I never understood this whole “get on your knees routine” that always seems to be the delay factor in point-blank executions. Just surprise them with a bullet in the back of the skull and they’ll be on the ground without any backtalk whatsoever. But no, these clowns tell them to get down and Phillip simply says, “No,” and a struggle ensues wherein Jack gets a gun away and kills the black henchman that Phillips is struggling with. No matter how many times I watch that scene, it seems hard to believe Jack’s accuracy was that good. He shoots the henchman struggling with Phillip with a gun that’s still in the first henchman’s hand. I don’t know.

Anyway, Jack ends up on the ground and Phillip puts a bullet whizzing past Jack and into the chest of the white henchman. Bye, henchmen. Jack, of course, is pissed, since he wanted to be the one to not only kill the white henchman, but to torture him good first.

Before long, Jack, Phillip and some suddenly materialized CTU agents (whom I thought CTU ran out of a couple hours ago) have Graem’s pad surrounded. Graem, not being adept at field maneuvers, doesn’t even bother to look outside his house. Maybe it’s because his wife, Marilyn, is yammering at him. Something I imagine she does quite often.

The phalanx of CTU cadre come blasting in and for a minute we have a double-gun standoff between Jack and his brother. It looks like this might be quite a dramatic moment…until Graem surrenders. Well, that was a letdown.

On his way to Graem’s, Jack had requested Agent Burke come along, too. You’ll remember Agent Burke as the torture specialist at CTU who was in charge of torturing Henderson (among others) during the Sentox gas release in CTU last season. Somehow, despite the nerve gas and Henderson’s deadly ways, Burke survived that day and yet has not asked for reassignment to, say, Flagstaff. In fact, how does Jack know Burke is still employed there? Or on duty? Guess it’s not the point.

Jack gets Graem all ready for torturing and is clearly conflicted as he gives Burke instructions to keep pumping the torture juice into Graem’s veins. Graem eventually appears to break and says, “It has nothing to do with McCarthy! It has to do with Palmer!”

“David Palmer?” Jack clarifies.

I wish Graem had replied with: “No, Jack; Robert Palmer, the guy who sang Addicted to Love.”

Graem cops to the Palmer hit, the Almeida hit, the Dessler hit, the Kennedy assassination, fixing the 1988 World Series and any number of other things to make Jack stop. Jack, predictably, goes berserk, pushing back Graem’s chair and threatening to kill him. Graem eggs him on as Burke wonders where his career went wrong. He radios for help because, apparently, Burke doesn’t have a gun of his own. An agent comes in with gun raised and Jack simply barks at him to stand down…and the guy does. Wow, way to stand your ground, Federally-trained defender of freedom.

What does get Jack to stop? A disapproving look from his father. I wonder how many times Phillip had to stare Jack down while Jack was about to kill his own brother. Something tells me this wasn’t the first time. I really wish we could see the childhood these two had.

This all made for a damn good episode but then you could tell something fishy was about to happen. Phillip wasn’t ready to leave yet and said he “needed a minute.” Jack agrees to this but has to leave. Phillip and Jack exchange a tender moment where they both seem to genuinely wish they could have back some of the years they’ve been not speaking. I kind of hoped this would lead us in that direction and maybe we’d see some father-son teamwork. We kind of do, as it turns out, but not the kind I was hoping for. Jack just can’t catch a break. I mean, unless he did get to tap Marilyn’s ass. Then that was a nice break to catch.

After the CTU crew decides it’s almost time to go, Phillip asks Rick Burke for a minute alone with his son. Burke looks like he considers it for a moment and simply can’t possibly fathom what could go wrong and agrees to it. Maybe that’s why Burke’s career hasn’t risen above torture-juice injector. Poor game management decisions.

Phillips closes the door and Graem quietly intones, “Howww’m I doin’?” Wait…WHAT? Phillip is in on this with Graem? Wait, in on what? Graem’s desire to have himself tortured? I’m so confused. And this is where I think this kind of goes off the rails. Sure, all the way back in Season One, you could watch early episodes and see major issues with Nina having turned out to be the mole but we all know that’s because the writing staff didn’t know they were going to do that in the early episodes. This season, one hopes that the writing staff knows what they’re going to do at the end of an episode when the start it but one never knows.
So the failed attempt to kill Phillip and Jack was…a setup? Was the hitman going to kill Jack first and then Phillip would be left alive? I guess that’s possible and then that’s why Phillip killed the henchmen quickly – because he knew they were about to go, “Mr. Bauer! What the fucking fuck!” But still, this is a reach. Why would Graem give up what he gave up? He even makes a comment about how Phillip can eventually get him out. Well, maybe you could get out in a few years for making poor business decisions on a government contract to dispose of nuclear weapons, but I’m not sure you can get time off for good behavior when you engineered the murder of a former U.S. President. Graem also makes a comment abut how “the company lives on.” Man, who says there aren’t good company men anymore? This guy is ready to give his life for his company. And it becomes clear that that’s exactly what the owner of said company is going to expect.

Going back to Burke, not only is he bad at reading a room and figuring out what’s going on, he’s also sloppy. Despite the fact that we see him leave the room with what is ostensibly his torture kit, he’s left a fully-loaded syringe of the torture juice just lying on Graem’s coffee table. Not only that, but Graem’s IV is still fully-functional. All of this is fortuitous for Phillip who uses the syringe to inject Graem and kill him in the same way Tony was killed last season. No silent clock for Graem, either.

As a parting shot and also in a rather believable way, Phillip Bauer threatens CTU over them “killing my son.” Of course, I would think an autopsy might reveal the truth but by then… well, by then Phillip will have…well, I don’t know. What? Realized some brilliant crime conspiracy? I don’t know. I’m just confused. Maybe CTU will find a list of people Fayed has dealt with that includes Jack estranged Uncle Ben and he’ll be able to shed light on things.

Next week we get two hours. Strap in.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Season 6; Hour Six (11:00AM - 12:00PM)

Air Date: 29 Jan 2007
Reviewer: J

Okay, well let me start out by apologizing for two straight weeks of delayed reviews. The truth is, I’ve spoiled my legions (hundreds? dozens? two or three?) of readers over the years by frequently getting reviews up within a couple of days. That’s not likely to be the average this season for a number of reasons. What I will commit to is this: I will do my best to have the reviews up before the end of the workweek (since I know you all like to read them at work) and if that can’t happen, I pledge to do everything possible to have them up prior to the next hour’s airing on Fox. Fair enough? Cool. Let’s move on.

I hate to start to slide towards the group of people out there who can’t watch 24 because they think it’s just “getting too ridiculous,” but this hour pushed me closer to it. I’ve always thought that was a silly thing to say since 24 tossed the ridiculousness meter out the window early in the first season and never looked back. As all loyal fans, I always liked that about the show – that it would go anywhere and do anything and always surprise us even when we didn’t think we could be surprised anymore. Think of the deaths of major characters… nukes being detonated…Jack having to do and being willing to do the unthinkable in several instances. It got silly sometimes but also seemed to keep us hooked in enough to let the really silly stuff pass (such as nerve gas that can eat through door seals but doesn’t affect your eyes or skin as long as you hold your breath when exposed to it).

But this hour really pushed it. We’re all over the place now. Let’s make no mistake – I’m still enjoying things immensely. But it’s crazy what’s going on with Jack’s family… family we didn’t know existed before now.

But before that, let’s talk about the other wonderful storylines that as of right now aren’t holding my interest at all.

Tom Lennox and Karen Hayes continue to bicker like schoolgirls. Tom wants to be prepared with the detention facilities; Karen thinks he’s subverting the President’s authority. Oh, just screw already.

Tom ends up calling on his Deputy Chief of Staff Reed Pollock (I only know his name and title from the Fox Website) who is played by Jennifer Garner’s ex-husband. And he’s a snake who does underhanded things for the White House Chief of Staff. Wow, I’m sure that’s just what he dreamed about when he was in Law and Society class at Georgetown. Anyway, Pollock digs up some dirt on Karen that Tom uses to get her to resign her post. Yeah, right. I thought it was stupid, too. Even if you’re butting heads with them, asking the National Security Advisor to step down during a crisis such as this is kind of… stupid, to say the least. But anyway, Tom goes ahead with it and Karen backs down, resigning to the President and asking to be transferred to CTU LA so she and Bill can do it in his office up against the glass. Yeah, have fun with that image, everybody.

Oh, and what’s the dirt that is horrible enough to get her to resign? I know you were all hoping Tom had pictures of Karen and Bill doing it on Wayne Palmer’s desk or something but it’s nothing that gasp-worthy. No, it turns out that Abu Fayed was in CTU custody a year earlier and Bill Buchanan signed off on Fayed’s release. You mean Bill’s a terrorist, too?? Oh, no, wait… maybe it was just a case of not having anything to hold him on. Yes, that actually happens all the time. But Karen must feel Lennox has some kind of case because, as I said, she backs down, presumably to protect her hubby. I don’t get this but I’m sure (or hope) we’ll learn more about it. As it happens, it looks like Karen is going to walk to L.A. to join the field office there. Wouldn’t it be funny if she walks out of the White House and the title card then reads, “18 months later” and she’s walking up the I-5 freeway into Los Angeles? No? Okay.

Over at the detention facility where Sandra is still squawking at the FBI for using Walid as a pawn, Walid very artfully pickpockets one of the suspected terrorists of his smuggled cell phone and helps the FBI get a tracker on it. He then is told by the FBI, “Okay, you can return the phone.” Walid, to his credit, doesn’t reply with “Uh, what the fuck?” I mean, how is he supposed to slip it back in the dude’s pocket? By stumbling into him again? If he does that the guy’s going to think Walid is sweet on him. So Walid is standing there with the group, wrestling with this very problem, when Potential Terrorist realizes his phone is gone and immediately accuses Walid. Now, as Walid was denying it, I think it would have been funny if the phone had started ringing with like a Jay-Z ringtone or something. But no, they just manhandle Walid and take the phone and immediately commence beating the living shit out of him. The FBI moves considerably more slowly than they should in breaking up the fight and Sandra cries over Walid’s battered body. I guess this just shows that the President’s sister was right and this was dangerous for Walid. The FBI, of course, will say that they never said it wasn’t dangerous. And shit happens. You can tell this storyline isn’t over, although I have yet to see anything that having Sandra Palmer on the show brings to the table. I love Regina King and find her oddly, fascinatingly attractive… but I think she’s wasted here. No, not wasted in the narcotic sense. Although that would be funny. Of course, in the irony of ironies, it turns out that these clowns have nothing to do with terrorism – they’re just Web-surfing dudes who wish they were cool enough for Fayed’s Myspace page.

Another storyline that will likely amount to nothing is that of Tom Lennox’s security measures against all brown people including those who work for the U.S. Government. This means Hot-ass Nadia at CTU needs to be immediately strip-searched. Oh, she doesn’t? Dammit. She just has some extra layers of security or some such crap. Whatever it is, it slows down her productivity noticeably to where it appears from the exchanges that her computer is actually running slower than others. Hell, mine does that sometimes, too, Nadia. You just have to defragment the hard drive.

Bill is disgusted about it but knows they can’t do much… Milo, who is horribly miscast here by the way – I mean, can you take him seriously as a person of a) authority and b) intelligence? Or, hell, how about c) someone who’d be willing to potentially bone Chloe? Me neither. Anyway, Milo pitches a bitch-fit when he learns how Nadia is being treated by our own government and Bill agrees it’s unfair but there’s not much they can do. Milo looks down at Nadia from Bill’s office and I can’t help noticing that this reminds me of the angle Jack looked at Nina from back in Season One when we weren’t sure about Nina. Just saying.

Among Milo’s exhibits as to why Nadia is undoubtedly above reproach is that she’s “a registered Republican!” Wait, how does that exonerate her? Couldn’t one make the argument that it’s the Republicans who want to blow everything up?

I also enjoyed how Bill tried to blow him off and when Milo asked if there was something Bill wasn’t telling him, Bill responds, “Yes, Milo, there is.” Bill is great when he gets exasperated. Milo ends up going downstairs and logging Nadia in under his username. This can’t end well. And more to the point, I’m assuming Milo will need to be “logged in” at some point during the day, too, and wouldn’t there be some sort of safeguard against two instances of the same counterterrorism agent’s login? I mean, I know it can be done in my office but we’ve never had a noxious gas released here. Except after that lunch at Chevys.

Or maybe Milo’s just hoping he can “log in” to Nadia sometime soon… and let me just say that if they’re taking the show in that direction, there cannot be another Tony and Michelle… are you listening to me producers??

And so that brings us to the storyline that is most ridiculous and yet most entertaining at the same time. The Bauer Boys. Jack evidently strangled Graem (I’ve been spelling it wrong) for a while and Graem agreed to talk. Graem admits to having the nukes in his (and dad’s) company’s possession to disarm them but that this shady McCarthy character sold them on the black market and Graem and Phillip Bauer thought they could take care of it on their own. Graem acknowledges the stupidity but figured the bombs weren’t able to be armed, which Jack responds to by pointing out the ‘shroom cloud in the sky and the 12,000 dead Californians beg to differ. Graem agrees to take Jack to the office where McCarthy and/or their father might be. As they leave the house, the Fox Website says that “Jack and Marilyn trade a look.” From the looks of Graem’s son, I’d say Jack and Marilyn traded more than looks about eighteen years ago.

I did like the interaction where Jack admits he doesn’t ideally want to implicate his family but that what’s done is done and if Graem screwed himself then so be it. They get to McCarthy’s office and Jack herd Graem in, eventually cuffing him to a stationary object to check out a suspicious noise. CTU, meanwhile, has manifested some new CTU agents and parks them outside the building. Strangely, these sure-to-be-dead drones are given a line as they call Jack’s cell and ask where he wants them. Naturally, he tells them to stay outside rather than come in to provide backup. Jack likes the odds stacked against him. So they cool their heels in their CTU-issued SUV.

Jack soon gets jumped by two goons and one appears about ready to execute Jack when his father steps in and calls a halt to the proceedings. It’s James Cromwell, who is likable enough as an actor but am I the only one who wishes this was Donald Sutherland? Keifer’s the GD executive producer and he couldn’t make this happen? I don’t get it.

Anyway, Phillip Bauer stops things and allows Jack his gun back. Jack, to his credit, doesn’t pistol-whip the guy who took it away from him. The guy who gives it back, in fact, is rather magnanimous about it given that Jack got in a couple of good licks on the guy just a minute earlier. Anyway, Jack goes into interrogating his father in a “But daaaaaad!” way. He asks what the hell Phillip was thinking and when Phillip says they’re trying to figure things out Jack elects not to put a bag over his father’s face. But I think it has more to do with the fact that Phillip is about three feet taller than Jack. Jack’s mom must have been tiny to produce Jack and Graem.

Graem is brought in for a family reunion and manages to elicit Jack’s angry side again by referring to his “dead wife” when talking about keeping family safe. Phillip separates his boys probably not for the first time ever and he and Jack negotiate. Jack wants to bring in CTU to help locate this McCarthy character while Phillip initially sides with Graem on doing it themselves. Phillip is worried about Graem’s ass ending up in prison because, you know, the lack of background checking on McCarthy and all. Uh, Phillip? I’d say that ship sailed when the nuke was detonated in the suburbs. It seems that this has already been on Phillip’s mind and he acquiesces to Jack’s request – and big ups to Jack for not just demanding they do things his way, but rather trying to convince dad to go along.

Right after Phillip agrees to have Jack call CTU, Graem turns the tables by commanding the henchmen – previously reporting to Phillip – into action and they take Jack’s phone and gun and frog-march Phillip and Jack out to a waiting van. They walk by the SUV with the now former CTU agents in it and they’ve both been brutally executed by shots through the window of the truck. I guess CTU is cutting its budget lately and not equipping vehicles with bulletproof glass anymore. Remember Chloe’s time in an SUV car? It was bulletproof. Nice continuity, show.

But this is where it really went off the rails. Phillip speaks for the viewers when he asks what the hell Graem has done since Graem evidently has had two more agents murdered and now, wait for it… is giving the death orders for his dad and brother. No teary goodbye from Graem, just a “tell me when it’s done” command and off he goes. Phillip immediately regrets the Christmas when he bought Risk, the game of world domination for Graem. Jack somehow resists the urge to tell Graem he boffed Marilyn. I sure would have announced that at this point.

Is Graem this brutal that he can have his brother and father executed? We'll see shortly.

In the trailer for next hour, we are treated to seeing Jack and Phillip escape from their captors and Jack gets the drop on Graem…again. I guess the folks at Fox know that we all know Jack’s signed for a few more seasons and there’s no way to kill him anyway so they might as well admit it in the previews.