Friday, March 09, 2007

Season 6; Hour Twelve (5:00PM - 6:00PM)

Air Date: 5 Mar 2007
Reviewer: J

And we now reach the halfway point of Season Six with something of a different-feeling episode. There was a lot of back and forth including characters we don’t know at all or very well and that gave this hour a very different feel, in my opinion. So let’s get to it.

We pick up with the aftermath of the explosion which cost the lives of some nameless Secret Service agents as well as Assad. This feels kind of cheap since we all know Assad was a bit deeper than the typical 24-land Islamic terrorist. Kind of reminds me of Yusuf. Remember him? The last man of middle eastern descent that wasn’t completely evil?

Wayne is brought into surgery but at a rate of speed that seems slower than the typical activity on a show like ER. Not sure why it jumped out at me but it just seemed like they weren’t in as much of a hurry as they should have been.

Over at Camp David Palmer, Jack and Logan finally get around the leaving in their snappy suits. You know, it’s not like there’s the potential of another nuke going off any frickin’ minute, right? Oh, wait, there is! Anyway, Jack and Logan get into a limo and Jack learns about the attempt on Wayne’s life, to which Logan reacts with the appropriate horror. Kind of like he did when he learned of David’s assassination.

Back at the bunker – which has apparently been deemed “secure” again by the Secret Service – the Secretary of Defense (not Heller) is telling the conferenced-in VP Noah Daniels about the sitch and how things don’t look great for Wayne right now. As such, Daniels will become, like, the 15th President to hold office for at least part of a day in the last ten years. I’ve lost track. One thing I did find interesting in this hour was that Daniels was never sworn in as President and continued to be referred to as “Mr. Vice President.” Two seasons ago, when Keeler was shot down, Logan was sworn in as the #1 man. It doesn’t really matter but it’s something I noticed.

Anyway, the Secretary of Defense (who is played by the warden from The Shawshank Redemption) questions Reed as to Lennox’s whereabouts and he uses the line I was kind of expecting him to use: “Where the hell is Tom Lennox?” Hee. Reed, basically out of bullshit excuses besides “He’s taking a massive dump, Mr. Secretary,” says he doesn’t know where Tom is. The Secretary finally notifies the SS that Lennox is “missing” and to do a sweep of the bunker and look for him. The Secret Service does not ask if they should check the holes in the briefing room.

We’re then treated to a weird scene in the boiler room wherein Reed refuses to let Carson kill Lennox. Reed thinks he’s able to talk Lennox into keeping quiet and implementing his security measures under the new acting President. Lennox at first continues to be bitchy (smart, Tom, with a guy across the room who has no qualms about murdering you) but eventually gets cagey and tacitly agrees to be quiet.

And just in time, too, as three agents are right outside the room and see the three men come out of the Boiler Room of Illicit Sexual Escapades. I mean, that’s the only logical explanation for this room having easy, direct access to the main hallway and yet not being a room with any security measures or a place where anyone would look for missing chiefs of staff.

Lennox at first looks like he’s going to go along with things and tells the agents that he’s okay. Then he casts a withering glare at Reed and turns in the two-man conspiracy. Reed looks hurt. Carson looks gobsmacked. Whatever, guys, did you really think he wasn’t going to say anything?

To his credit, and also showing he has an idea of how things work, Lennox remands himself into custody as well and asks to speak with the Attorney General.

At the airport, Daniels has landed from wherever he was flying in from and immediately gets on the horn to Buchanan to find out why the hell Logan’s out on the loose. Buchanan assures Daniels that “one of our agents” is chaperoning Logan’s field trip. Interesting choice of words, Buchanan. Is Jack really one of your agents? Better think that one through, although I guess he doesn’t have much choice, just like anything with Jack. Daniels orders that Logan be put back in his playpen as soon as CTU is done with him. Instead of…what? Going to Chuck E Cheese?

Speaking of Logan, he and Jack get to the Russian consulate and in they go. Logan insists on speaking to Markov alone and Jack pissily agrees to it. Logan and Markov act like they’re old friends and let me just say that Anatoli Markov looks the part of an old-time, cold war Soviet. He offers Logan a cigar and then cuts the tip off his own (cigar, that is) with a handy cigar cutter. Hmm, wonder if we’ll see that device again. Logan implies that Markov knows where Gredenko is and repeatedly asks for this information, even going so far as to hint at implicating Markov in last season’s Sentox nerve gas fiasco. Markov is visibly pissed and continues to deny any knowledge of the rogue Gredenko, saying they had a lover’s spat – err, falling out. Or something like that. Logan eventually backs down and thanks Markov for his hospitality and leaves. Wow, great work, Charles.

Outside, he tells Jack that he thinks Markov is lying about things and that he definitely knows where Gredenko. I don’t know where Logan got his criminal psychology degree but maybe it was during his time under house arrest in between beard trimmings.

Turns out Logan is right as Markov is already on the horn warning Gredenko about the nosy Americans, all poking around about nukes going off on their soil and all. And let me just ask this, too – if Markov knows that there are plans in place to nuke a lot of America and that this includes Los Angeles (as evidenced by this morning), why isn’t he a bit more eager to get out of town? Or does the Russian consulate have immunity against nuclear radiation?

Outside the consulate grounds, Jack asks the driver to pull over so he can hop the fence and sneak back into the consulate. What, did he realize he has to pee? Jack calls Chloe and has her get moving on arranging to blip the power at the consulate for 60 seconds so he can slip in undetected. Logan is aghast at Jack’s plan to infiltrate yet another consulate and echoes what we’ve all been saying, pointing out how he just did some hard time in a hard place for a similar violation. Jack ignores him and heads out. So this is twice now that Jack has done this and both times Logan has been vehemently and vocally against it.

We get our first glimpse of Karen Hayes in the last few hours and it turns out that she didn’t pass Assad’s plane in somewhere over Iowa. Instead, she’s been sitting at Andrews Air Force Base waiting for her plane. When she hears from Buchanan that Wayne’s down, she decides to head back to the bunker to help out. With what, Karen? You gonna bring a hammer to help put the briefing podium back together?

At the Blow’d Up Bunker, Daniels walks into the room where Lennox is being questioned by a suspicious Secret Service agent. What’s interesting is that he does make the fair point that Lennox probably should have notified Secret Service as soon as Reed first intimated the assassination attempt. Which is definitely, absolutely, positively true. Lennox claims he didn’t have any evidence but if someone even discusses assassinating the President, I believe that’s grounds for detainment. And you’d think Tom would understand that, given that his now-famous security plan hinges on arresting people for no more good reason than the color of their skin. Where’s the evidence there, Tom? See the parallel everyone? Good.

Anyway, Daniels talks to Lennox alone. Lennox refers to the VP as “Noah,” so I guess they’re buddies. Daniels basically agrees to clear Tom of the charges as long as he doesn’t go blathering that Assad was set up. This is an interesting conundrum to put Tom in. Tom never did trust Assad and he really is the architect of the security measures that Daniels wants to implement and they definitely would go into place a bit easier if Assad was public enemy number one. But Tom is again struggling with the morality of all this since he knows that Assad was innocent and was set up by Carson and Reed. Oh, the shenanigans of politics.

Speaking of shenanigans, back at the Russian consulate, Jack busts in and coldcocks Markov, who still manages to hit the panic button. Jack readily admits through the locked door that he has Markov hostage and for the Russian security detail to not come in. Jack, realizing he’s fucked, calls CTU to tell Bill what he’s done. Oh, nice position to put Bill in, Jack. Buchanan already told you that you had no jurisdiction there, putz. Whatever.

Buchanan lets the White House know and Daniels rolls his eyes but doesn’t outright condemn the actions. I think I’m secretly liking Daniels a lot more than I’m supposed to. And this enjoyment of Daniels only increases when he gets a call from Russian President Suvarov (hey, remember him from last year?! Nice continuity!) while he’s talking to Buchanan. Daniels’ look is kind of priceless as he realizes the uncomfortable conversation he’s about to have. He tells Bill he’s got to go and that he doesn’t know how long he can hold off the Russians. I liked this because it’s a lot different from the out-and-out freak-out that Logan would have had last year or the year before.

Daniels gets on the phone with Suvarov who, to his own credit, doesn’t scream at Daniels about the consulate sovereignty breach, but rather suggests the very reasonable suggestion that Jack should stand down and this should be handled diplomatically. Of course, there is the pressing issue of the nukes so I guess that justifies Jack’s actions. Which makes me wonder, how is Jack when there’s not a major threat to the United States going on? Does he go to his local cable company office and torture the people until he gets HBO? Building on that idea, wouldn’t you like to have Jack with you at your state’s department of motor vehicles? But I digress.

At the consulate, Markov is being beaten to a pulp by Jack, who has definitely gotten back his taste for torture. Markov keeps insisting he doesn’t know squat about Gredenko, even when Jack puts Markov’s pinkie finger in the aforementioned cigar cutter and – SNIP – takes it off. Aieee!!! That kind of stuff makes me actually flinch when I’m watching. Markov screams but doesn’t give in. Of course, then Jack threatens to kill Markov straight out with his gun and Markov spills the beans: Gredenko is in the high desert and is in the process of launching drone planes to distribute the nukes to strategic targets in the US. Jack goes white and gives the snickering Markov another punch in the chops.

Of course, before Jack can get this info to CTU, the Russian security team blows the doors and knocks Jack out, not for the first time today. Markov is more than a little pissed and I’m surprised he doesn’t go get his cigar cutter for retribution use. His security dude, by the way, is named Vasili. Russian for “Vaseline”? Who’s to know?

At CTU, we see Morris for his only scene of the hour and he seems to have gotten his shit back together. He has interrupted some communication from the Russian consulate and he reports that they’re saying their have an American agent in custody. Knowing this can’t be anyone besides Jack (because, for as good as he is, nobody gets pinched as much as Jack), Buchanan appears hesitant for a moment but then decides to hold off on telling Daniels about this just yet. Really? Wow, Bill doesn’t follow any procedures anymore. No, instead he asks his crew to put together a special ops team so that they can be prepared to take the Russian consulate by force if they need to. Good idea. Tell Curtis to – oh, wait, that’s right. I’m actually wondering if we’ll eventually see Buchanan in field action soon. According to his profile, he began as a field agent originally. In New York, of all places.

As we close the hour, Jack pleads with a Russian consulate agent to simply report to CTU LA that Gredenko is in the Mojave Desert (that damn Mojave again!) and is ready to launch drone planes with the nukes aboard. Skeptical Russian is skeptical but eventually is convinced to give it a go. Jack recites the number he needs to call to get to Bill Buchanan… and it’s Logan’s cell number! Oh, wait, I guess we’re not supposed to know that.

Anyway, Skeptical Russian goes to call Buchanan but makes the critical movie/TV mistake of not closing the door behind him AND keeping his back to the door. Vasili slips in behind him and blows his brains out before he can get Bill on the line. Not nice, Vasili.

So Gredenko and/or Fayed have a man inside the Russian consulate besides Markov? Wow, these guys are thorough. Speaking of Fayed, he’s apparently stopped off for a beer because we don’t see him this hour.

Damn good hour – looking forward to what comes next.



Blogger Phoenician said...

I'll write my usual-length commentary later, but I do want to say that in the past 10 years of 24 time, we've seen 7 politicians take the Oval Office.

1- David Palmer
2- Jim Prescott
3- John Keeler
4- Charles Logan
5- Hal Gardner
6- Wayne Palmer
7- Noah Daniels

(you can count 8 if you count the President in charge when Palmer was running for office. The Declassified books call him Harold Barnes)

1:28 AM  
Blogger Phoenician said...

Well, I won't say anything about 6.13 until J posts his review, but I do want to give me two cents about 6.12:

First off: Anytoli Markov has seriosuly one of the craziest grimaces in the world. When he's chummy, he looks normal. But when he gets mad -- yishka!

Two: Logan's face was priceless when he realized Jack was about to break into ANOTHER Consulate. Logan must have thought, "he's crazier than Marty!"

Speaking of which, Cheng's reaction WOULD be hilarious if he ever gets wind that Jack attacked another Consulate the day he gets released from China. Will Jack EVER learn?? :P

C: I'm starting to get a little ambivolent about the Fan phone number being used EVERY SINGLE HOUR. I mean, come on, it must be confusing everyone, especially newer fans. Use it sparingly folks!

IV: I absolutely love the idea that Daniels has to deal with a Russian crisis the moment he steps into office -- can't just do what YOU want, eh Veep? He must also think Jack Bauer is completely nuts . . . wait until he finds out he JUST got back from China!

5: Karen's back!! Yay!! But where's Sandra, Milo, Phil B., Marylin, and Josh??

And Finally, when is it going to get dark in LA?? Surely they must know that TWELVE HOURS have already passed??

5:27 PM  

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