Monday, April 16, 2007

Season 6; Hour Seventeen (10:00PM - 11:00PM)

Air Date: 9 Apr 2007
Reviewer: J

You could almost name every episode a “Return of [INSERT CHARACTER NAME HERE],” starting with Jack in the premiere. The end of this hour brought back the uncredited Kim Raver as Audrey Raines, as well as our old friend Cheng Zhi. But we’ll get to them.

It appears that something went on in the writers room while this episode was being created. Perhaps series creator Joel Surnow or maybe Kiefer himself came in and said, “That’s it! We need to wrap up this storyline!” Because that’s what happened in this hour. And these kinds of hours are often among the best because so much DOES finally happen.

As you’ll recall from the previous week, Wayne recovered well enough to stop the Vice President from nuking the Mideast. And then, to celebrate that victory, Wayne elected to… nuke the Mideast. We pick up this hour with Tom Lennox and Karen Hayes trying to get Wayne, again, to reconsider and I have to imagine Tom is wondering now who is actually fit for office. I mean, if you’re going to have a leader blowing up brown people at random anyway, perhaps it SHOULD be the one who was not recently blown up himself.

The somewhat freaked-out ambassador of this as-yet unnamed country (they keep calling it “Fayed’s country,” so I think maybe we should call it Fayedia) rings into the conference room to ask what the F is up. Wayne doesn’t have much to give him except that he’s retaliating and maybe, just maybe, if the ambassador helps out, Wayne will reconsider melting Fayedia.

The ambassador (also unnamed to this point, which is kind of obnoxious of the show) finally loses this rather high-stakes staring contest with Wayne and announces that they’ve “uncovered new information.” Yeah, I bet they have… oh look, it’s right here on my desk under my organizer!

Ambassador Nameless hastily explains that they think this general in their army, General Habib, has been helping Fayed. They’ve arrested Habib (that was fast) and they’re interrogating him right now. Wayne is more than a little pissed since it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (even Wayne figured it out) to realize that Ambassador Nameless has been lying about his Fayedia’s knowledge of Habib’s involvement. Wayne agrees to abort the missle but demands the Ambassador come BACK to the White House again (what is this, his third or fourth trip?) to provide intel on Habib. Ambassador Nameless agrees and takes leave to change his underwear. Look at the bright side, Ambassador Nameless; if your country is gone, you get to stay in sunny LA. Until Fayed makes sure that IT’S gone. So it goes.

It also turns out that had the ambassador had a bit more in the testicle department, he would have seen Wayne as even weaker than we all thought since the bomb was unarmed. Not armed with a nuclear warhead, that is. I imagine it still would have hurt, though, if it came through your hostel window.

Tom apologizes for doubting Wayne’s strength, something he could have read about Mike Novick doing in Season Two to Wayne’s brother. Wayne is magnanimous about the whole thing but perhaps that’s more to do with the fact that his hand is twitching and his brain is about to explode. We’ll see.

Somewhere in Santa Monica, Jack is whaling away on Fayed, who is tied to a chair. Well, that’s hardly sporting. Why Jack doesn’t start cutting off Fayed’s fingers is beyond me since Fayed was about to do that to Jack back in the first hour of the season. And it also worked on Markov so why not give it a whirl. There’s a somewhat funny moment when Jack appears to hurt his scarred and mangled hand while blasting Fayed. There’s some back and forth, blabiddy blah, where Doyle wants to have a go at Fayed but Jack won’t let anyone else play with his middle eastern toy.

The decision is made to bring Fayed back to CTU and to have Agent Burke, the incompetent torture guy, standing by with his kit of destruction. Doyle appears skeptical of pharma-torture being effective but Jack coldly replies that he’s seen it work. Well, sure, but you were pointing a gun at Burke and demanding that he increase dosages on your brother. And also, you held Tony in your arms and watched him die after Henderson injected one of Burke’s syringes into Tony’s chest, but I’d hardly call that “effective.”

Suddenly, the CTU van is ambushed and overturned. Second CTU van destroyed today – whoever runs the motor pool is going to be pissed. A firefight ensues and both Jack and Doyle are hit. Fayed is rescued from the van and fortunately, nobody comes over and puts a bullet in Doyle’s or Jack’s heads. And do you know why? Of course you do. This was a ruse! And if only Fayed knew Jack a little better, he’d know that.

Amid the chaos, Doyle cut himself and when Nadia hears this over the radio, she asks him (using his first name) if he needs medical assistance. He thanks her for her concern. Oh, just fuck already and make Milo blow his own brains out.

On the Faux Terrorvan, the CTU operatives posing as terrorists explain to Fayed that they were sent by General Habib to help him out. Fayed is suspicious, which is weird to me since he, like to many 24 bad guys, seems to have limitless henchmen so how could he possibly know each and every one? Nevertheless, Fayed asks for a gun which is given to him. He checks to make sure it’s loaded and then says he wants to talk to Habib. Now, the whole loaded gun thing – I’m going to assume the fake jailbreak that CTU staged was done using blanks and not live ammo; otherwise, that was hellishly dangerous to all involved. So why not have a gun at the ready with blank ammo in it for Fayed? That would seem to be quite the safety net when it comes to protection. Why am I analyzing this? Well, if you’ve seen the hour, you already know.

At the bunker, Wayne brings Ambassador Nameless up to speed and says they need to convince General Habib to call Fayed and get in on this major episode of Punk’d. Ambassador Nameless doesn’t think Habib is going to be cooperative. Well, Wayne could always fire another fake nuclear missile at him. Or maybe Martha Logan can call Mrs. Habib and broker something. Speaking of the Logans… oh, never mind.

Wayne’s actual suggestion is a bit more chilling – he asks if they’ve considered threatening to kill his family to make Habib talk. (Habib’s family, not Wayne’s.) Everyone in the room, including Ambassador Nameless, is aghast that Wayne would suggest such tasteless measures. Right, because Fayed, Habib and the rest of their crew wouldn’t resort to underhanded measures. Hypocrites.

Apparently, Fayedia’s government complies, because just a couple minutes later Habib is ringing up Fayed on the cell phone in the Faux Terrorvan. Fayed talks to Habib while Nadia listens in at CTU and translates. Good thing Buchanan talked her into staying.

The Fox summary states that Habib is calling from a “middle eastern holding cell.” Now why do we care which wing of the building Habib is calling from? Or maybe they mean a middle eastern holding cell instead of a middle eastern terrorist cell. Big difference.

Anyway, Habib chides Fayed for dropping the ball on their intended targets for the day. Fayed, to his credit, doesn’t lecture Habib for the beating he has recently endured, nor for the mental trauma and anguish he’ll long be feeling after having to take off Gredenko’s arm with an axe. Habib tosses in a stinger about how he should have sent “Samir” to do the job. Wow, way to twist the knife there, Habib. Everyone knows Samir is a putz.

Fayed appears satisfied and directs the Faux Terrorvan towards where he has the bombs stashed. However, Nadia seems to have uncovered the fact that Samir has been dead for several years and thus, this might be a distress signal to Fayed. You know, like
being in a “flank two position.”

CTU tells this to Jack who then calls this info in to the field team in the Faux Terrorvan. Suddenly (and predictably), while the van is in a tunnel, CTU loses audio and video and the van appears to stop in the tunnel. Jack orders the team on the other side to seal their end. They immediately begin closing up the end of the tunnel with bricks and mortar. Man, the morning commuters are going to be rather pissed. Maybe they’ll paint it to look like the road ahead and hilarity will ensure as people drive right into it, all cartoon-like. Okay, those last few sentences aren’t true.

Jack and Doyle race into the tunnel and come upon the Faux Terrorvan, which is light one actual terrorist. Most of the Faux Terrorteam are dead and Jack takes off looking for Fayed. And he finds him, hijacking a garbage truck. In a “boiler room,” according to Fox’s summary. That’s got to be the biggest boiler room I’ve ever seen.

Jack decides the best course of action here is not to tell CTU where Fayed is and to have them try to track the gigantic garbage truck careening through the city. Instead he climbs onto the undercarriage and decides to hang on. I sure hope Fayed isn’t driving to Las Vegas or something. Jack does decide after riding a few feet that maybe this would work better with some backup and so he tries to radio to CTU on his earpiece but the racket from the truck makes this impossible. Nice technology, CTU. I also have to think that clinging to the bottom of a moving garbage truck might hurt the rib muscles a bit.

Also, not to harp on Fox’s recapping abilities, but their summary says that “Jack is clinging to the undercarriage of the truck, just inches from the asphalt that speeds past his head.” I mean, really, I don’t think the asphalt speeds anywhere. In fact, I think it’s stationary and it’s Jack and the truck that are speeding over the asphalt. But hey, I’m no physicist.

Back at the bunker during all of this, Wayne has dismissed Ambassador Nameless and right after he is out the door and Tom and Wayne are alone, Wayne collapses, telling Tom to lock the door and the “nobody can know.” About what? The sweet love you and Tom are about to make?

Tom disobeys and sends for the harried Dr. Welton, who has be harangued by the VP and the P today. Wayne insists on some more adrenaline and Welton flatly refuses this time, saying that he shouldn’t have caved in the first time and that another injection could well kill the Prez. Wayne, with a blood pressure of 80/60 (I think) struggles to his feet, re-adjusts his tie, puts his coat back on and states that he’s getting back to work. Again, Wayne, I think you can lose the tie and jacket and nobody would think less of you.

Fayed gets to his warehouse which is fortunately just about eight minutes away from where he ambushed the Faux Terrorvan by himself. He and his men set about getting ready to depart on Fayed’s revised mission to simply decimate Los Angeles with the remaining two nukes. Ah, a scorched Earth policy, eh Fayed? Interesting. Jack finds this interesting as well and as soon as he sees the bombs he opens fire on Fayed and the Fayedettes. As usual, Jack and his pistol overmatch several men who are armed with superior artillery and are firing from superior positions. I think Jack’s hiding behind some cardboard boxes or something but, as usual, that’s enough. I also think it was awfully cavalier of Jack to just open fire. What if those aren’t the bombs but are in fact silver cases of used pinball machine parts?

As always, though, Jack’s Jacktics turn out to be on the nose. He takes out Fayed’s men and then bum-rushes Fayed, who is frantically trying to nuke the…warehouse? I guess it’s got to be close to downtown LA since it only took them eight minutes to get here in a garbage truck. It’ll have to do. But Jack gets to him and the two fight viciously and it’s a good fight. It really appears that these two hate one another and want to claw each other’s eyes out. As one would expect, Jack does manage to win and wraps a chain around Fayed’s neck and the strings him up. Rather than having him do time for what he’s done. I suppose that’s what we all wanted but Fayed’s happy to be martyred, one might think.

Jack again shows his cold side with his “Say hello to your brother” line right before he uses the chain to strangle Fayed. Very 1980s movie hero of you, Jack. I wonder if Fayed has any other brothers.

Right as Jack has finished the heavy lifting, Doyle and the cavalry arrive. Nice timing, boys. Doyle amuses us all as he looks at the carnage and comments, “Damn, Jack.” CTU is joyous that the remaining nukes are secured. So now they can focus on helping with the fallout from the Valencia blast from that morning, right? Or maybe everyone can go home, especially guys like Milo who has been shot and Morris who has been drilled.

You’ll note that I kind of ignored the Milo-Nadia angle to this point. That’s because this couldn’t get much stupider. Milo is now pissy that Nadia was sort of nice to Doyle in asking if he needed medical attention. When in reality, she should have done what, Milo? Offered medical attention to someone who isn’t bleeding? It’s so high-schoolish it’s kind of embarrassing.

At the site of Fayed’s last breathes, the teams are milling around and it looks like Jack has saved the day, leaving us with seven hours of report filing to watch to wrap up the season. Also, what will become of Jack? Will he officially come back to work now that he doesn’t have to hide from the Chinese anymore? Or will he now start his quest for the killers of his dead girlfriend, Audrey? These questions are, of course, rhetorical because suddenly Jack is getting a call routed through the CTU switchboard. And Jack still hasn’t learned taking calls with a minute or two to go in an hour – and especially when all seems well – can never mean good news. I was kind of thinking it might be Kim but there’s some silence and then….

“Jack?”

It’s fucking Audrey. Alive. And sweaty. But sadly not in a bra and panties only. I guess once that shitty show that Kim Raver had got cancelled she was suddenly available to appear on 24 again. Suddenly, our old friend Cheng Zhi from the Chinese consulate (who apparently pulls, like, triple duty guarding the consulate, interrogating state prisoners in China and also overseeing hostage-nabbing in LA) comes on the line with his patented, “Hello, Mister Bow-air” routine. So I guess Audrey is indeed what Wayne traded to the Chinese to get Jack back. High price, indeed. Audrey’s a fine piece of tail. Tail that Jack suddenly has renewed hope he might be able to reacquaint himself with. Cheng tells Jack that he has to call back at President Logan’s cell phone number if he wants to see Audrey alive again. Only I guess it’s not supposed to be Logan’s cell number. Wait, didn’t Jack give that number as the CTU main switchboard to the Russian who was going to help him? Won’t Cheng get a good laugh when Jack tries to call back and it rings through to Chloe! Ha! Oh, that Cheng!

Really, though, Cheng’s got Audrey and while I’m assuming they’re in LA, you know that’s the only way this will work in the next seven hours. I guess we’ve got either an exciting ending to Season Six lined up or we’re headed towards another cliffhanger and the precursor for Season Seven. Only time will tell – seven hours of time, to be precise.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Dylan said...

I am very happy with the turn the season has taken with this episode: finally the chinese storyline is going on,Jack is again a broken prisoner and the show is about intrigue and spy tricks.

About the last part of this season: be gone with honor.

About all the previous 17 episodes: embarassing.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I say that I had never thought of mideastern types as "brown",until I read that in american medias in these years? You guys have something wrong in your head,seriously. I know a lot of people whose skin colour varies in different degrees of pink and tan,but classifying that as a separate color/race is incredibly ignorant. And a little colour blind as well,since I have yet to see a real "white" person: if,by white,you mean the same colour of the background in this page...you actually need to be a bloodless corpse to be close to that. I wonder when they will profile me as well,as a brown non pure caucasian person. Racism is much more than intolerance,that's why they are two different words: racism is a whole theoretical paradigm,with false tools and methods following. Kindly classifying people who have naturally the same skin colour that you would get after a couple of days in the sun is one of those. But the general idea is that "if you care" and "if you are good and antiracist",then there's offense intended: well,shove your "brown" up your ...

12:26 PM  
Blogger J Money said...

Um, hey, brave anonymous poster: Lighten up. This isn't a forum for you to lecture the rest of us on racism. The "brown people" comments are jokes, meant to convey what it appears that a character such as Daniels views middle eastern types as. It's not me being racist. Way to be able to read for content.

You clearly don't get sarcasm when you see it, which "is incredibly ignorant" in its own way. Go back to watching American Idol.

3:20 PM  

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