Thursday, April 05, 2007

Season 6; Hour Sixteen (9:00PM - 10:00PM)

Air Date: 2 Apr 2007
Reviewer: J

So here we are at this season’s “Actual Hour,” a term I just made up for the hour that actually matches when the show airs. I think it would be amusing if we saw someone’s home and they had 24 on their TV, sort of like a self-aware in-joke. No? Okay, fine.

As you’ll recall, the previous hour ended with VP Daniels straying even further off the reservation and asking for the Attorney General so he can have Wayne removed from office. Interesting to me in all this is that of all the advisors sitting around in this room (considerably more than Logan seemed to have nearby during any of his crisis), nobody has the cojones to stand up to Daniels, or even to question his thinking, other than Tom and Karen. Are the Joint Chiefs really just that eager to nuke somebody?

Wayne is getting ready to head in to the situation room and he’s already back in his tie. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely go with the no-tie look for a situation like this. That situation being the rather rare one of needing to go back to work just a few hours after being blown up because your support staff are doing the complete opposite of what you need them to do.

Wayne wants to get out of his wheelchair because he doesn’t want to be seen as weak. I think waking up from a coma and coming back to work – again, mere hours after having been blown up – probably removes the idea that you’re weak, Wayne. Karen points out that FDR did just fine in a wheelchair. Oh, okay, so real Presidents existed in the 24 universe? Interesting. And, hey, Karen? Stupid point. The world was a little different in 1940 and FDR wasn’t ever on television. But I digress.

As part of Wayne’s not-looking-weak endeavor, he asks Dr. Welton to give him a shot of adrenaline. Welton hesitates at first but gives in. So I guess the President’s health is only…sort of your primary concern, doctor?

At the Hauser House, Jack is on the cellie with Buchanan saying he thinks Gredenko rolled over too easily and that something must be up. When he hears about the Presidential upheaval going on at the White House, Jack somehow deduces that this will make the amnesty papers non-binding so they can screw over Gredenko if they so choose. I’m not sure how Jack figures this. Although we don’t ever see either Daniels or Palmer agree to sign such amnesty papers. So maybe Jack fakes Palmer’s signature? Hard to say.

At the bunker, Wayne painfully strides into the conference room and is greeted with a handshake from Noah Daniels. And let me just say that DB Woodside does a very nice job of communicating to us, the viewers, the level of pain he is in.

Wayne and Daniels both make their case as to why they’re right with regard to the 25th amendment. Tom appears to be the moderator of this little tête-à-tête, and let me just say that I’m glad this is what our government is doing during a time of such national crisis. Nice show of solidarity, guys. Well-done.

The cabinet gets a ten-minute pee-break from Tom and is told to then come back and vote. While this break is happening, we see the happenings back at CTU, which are no less political. Milo and Nadia agree to forget about what’s happened so far that day but Milo doesn’t think they can forget about “the kiss.” Yeah, well, please let us try to forget about it, Milo. Thanks.

Doyle calls in Nadia and says that he’s moved onto someone else to blame for computer problems at CTU and he’s going after a lanky white guy instead of a Muslim so, hey, look at how non-racist he is! Nadia is annoyed when Doyle says he thinks Milo screwed up some security something-or-other and that he wants Nadia to obtain the proof from Milo’s computer. Nadia does it to potential save Milo the embarrassment of being arrested for his screw-up. Wow, that’s a dramatic penalty for someone making a mistake. Although I suppose if Milo focused more on his job than on what color panties Nadia wears, maybe he’d have done it correctly. I was kind of annoyed that Doyle used his nearly the same line on Nadia about Milo that he used on Milo about Nadia: “What, are you too busy trying to decide if you want to sleep with him?” Shut up, Doyle, seriously.

Of course, after Nadia screws up her courage and pushes away the guilt she’s feeling over doing it and gets the goods on Milo, she brings it to Doyle and confirms he was right – it was Milo who screwed up. Or maybe it was Nadia, since she was logged in under Milo’s login, right?? No? Oh, have we forgotten that, writers?

Doyle then makes his second magnanimous move of the past two hours and covers up Milo’s mistake in “the logs,” which seem to be awfully easy to change. I mean, this is, what, the tenth time we’ve seen this done, at least? We’re then shown that Doyle has read the Koran and other religious books because he’s still searching for his own answers. Is this supposed to make him a deeper character or something? I guess, but I’m not that interested in Mike Doyle’s internal strife. I mean, if you’re religious then good for you. But if you’re into your 30s and you still are “searching for answers” from religious texts, then maybe you’re looking in the wrong places, you know?

Back at the bunker, the vote comes up and the cabinet appears split on whether Wayne is fit for duty. And, for a change, I think this might be a fair projection. Wayne was indeed severely injured and was just in a coma. It’s reasonable to assume he might need more than a few hours off from work before he can think clearly. However, when you look at the alternative – Daniels – it’s hard to think he’s a better option. Again, I must ask – how do the Palmer brothers choose running mates? Do they look for the sneakiest, most-likely-to-overthrow-and-bomb man they can find? Or are we to assume Palmer really needed Daniels to win the election, which is the only possible reason these two would partner up?

Anyway, the vote (done by a show of hands like this is fifth grade, which, sometimes, it feels like it is) is indeed split right down the middle at 7-7. The Attorney General points out that this is not a majority so the President remains in office. The celebration is short, however, as Daniels points out that Karen Hayes resigned earlier that day and thus is no longer a voting member of the cabinet. Uh-oh, he’s got a point there. It’s 7-6, therefore, assuming the Attorney General doesn’t tell us that we have to appoint a new National Security Advisor and ask them how they would vote. Speaking of the AG, it’s not the same guy from last season who Chloe played the recording of Logan and Martha for that led to Logan’s arrest. If Logan has any political clout, that guy is probably the public defender in Barrows, Alaska at this point.

Naturally, there’s squawking about how Karen’s resignation never took effect and I can’t believe this is still going on. Are they just looking to fill half of the hour with something? This is kind of ridiculous. Now it looks like the Supreme Court is going to have to get involved and make a ruling on this. On what, exactly? On whether or not Karen’s resignation is binding? Wow, that sounds riveting.

We’re saved from having to deal with this – and from having to watch Sandra argue to the Supreme Court – when Daniels makes a critical mistake. Lisa (Daniels’ assistant/cohort/secretary/fluffer) comments that she’s not feeling real confident about their chances of getting Supreme Court support on their case. She then offers to lie to the SC and tell them that she was supposed to tell Karen she wasn’t being kept on as NSA but that with all the ruckus it hadn’t been communicated to her yet. Daniels, for his part, actually hesitates and points out that this is perjury and could land her in a bigger mess than perhaps she realizes. She acknowledges this point but says it’s for the greater good, just like nuking civilians in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. It takes about three seconds for Daniels to be convinced since, after all, it’s not his ass on the line; rather, it’s Lisa’s finely shaped ass that will be on the line. To that end, Daniels takes her hand rather…lecherously, and thanks her for this. Oh, it’s so sweet when women commit felonies for the men they believe in.

A couple minutes later, though, Tom strolls into the lounge and asks Lisa to take leave of the room. Miss Thing gives him one of her patented looks as she goes by and I know I’m not the only one who notices these. My bride-to-be said to me, “What’s with the looks this one gives everybody? She bothers me.” She is a smirking little bitch, isn’t she?

Tom moseys over to a bowl of some sort and shows Daniels a bug he planted in the room not long after he was compelled to lie to the ambassador of Unnamed Middle Eastern Country (UMEC) about having seen Assad plant the bomb. Daniels is clearly beaten here and I think he knows it but he has his one card to play and that’s his intimidating voice and hulking stature, something he’s already used on Tom more than once today. He warns Tom about what he’s doing but it makes me really want to cheer for Tom because it’s Tom who has Daniels beans in his fist now and all he has to do is squeeze. And to Tom’s credit, unlike almost any other character on this show, he doesn’t want something for himself first. He simply tells Daniels to stand down on taking over the Presidency. We don’t see it happen but we learn that Daniels complies. Wayne questions why he would back down, like that matters.

At the Santa Monica pier, where Fayed has ordered Gredenko to meet him, CTU agents bug Gredenko and also inject radioactive isotopes into his arm to track him. Why not just make him swallow a bug? Oh, we’ll see why, don’t you worry. When it’s time for him to go meet Fayed, they release him from the inconspicuous black van with government license plates on it that’s sitting alone at the pier. Gee, I hope Fayed is on the merry-go-round in the background and isn’t watching this unfold. Good god.

Gredenko follows text messaged directions to a tool shed of sorts that has various tools in it, including axes. Axes? Yes. Somewhere Chase Edmunds shudders.

Inside the tool room, Gredekno silently exposes his wiring from CTU and disconnects it. Milo however still has Gredenko tracked from the isotope tracker in his arm. And this is where I get a bit confused. Gredenko tells Fayed he has a way they can all escape. And then we don’t see the rest of the conversation. The next thing we know, Jack busts into the room and nobody is there. Which is a good thing, since Jack would have been a bit outnumbered. He does find part of one of the people – Gredenko’s arm, replete with the wedding band we seemed to keep getting shots of whenever Gredenko was on the phone with somebody. Icky.

So, do you think Gredenko’s plan to was have his own arm chopped off? And how is that possible? They clearly used an axe and they cut it off up near the shouder… that’s a hell of a chop. And remember when Chase’s hand was taken off with an axe? He lost consciousness from the agonizing pain, which I think is rather accurate. Gredenko, however, is able to walk with the others and is only sweating a bit as he gives direction on what they need to do. He couldn’t possibly have thought he was going to survive this, could he? Or is it possible his plan entailed a little less extremity-removal? Because based on their relationship thus far, I can’t imagine Gredenko was willing to give up an arm for Fayed. That seems a bit…incongruous, to say the least.

Anyway, after a shootout wherein Jack takes out a couple of Fayed’s men with deadly accurate pistol shots in the dark, Fayed and Gredenko make their way into a bar on the pier, at which point Gredenko outs Fayed to the bar patrons as “the terrorist on TV.” Fayed has a rather awesome look on his face like, “You Russky son of a bitch,” as the bar patrons begin to jump him. Fayed, though, is a tough dude and shoots down at least one patron and begins kicking some ass. It doesn’t last long, though, as brown people in the midst of a terrorist situation are no match for angry, mob-like Americans. Americans who are at a bar on the Santa Monica pier at almost 10 PM on the day a nuclear bomb went off less than 40 miles away.

Jack actually comes in and saves Fayed’s ass from probably certain death, clearing the bar (no last call?) and kicking Fayed in the chops, knocking him unconscious. Jack lets CTU know the situation, which is pretty much the same as it was last hour: he has a terrorist but no bombs. The only difference is that he has Fayed and no bombs instead of Gredenko and no bombs.

Under the Santa Monica pier, Gredenko stumbles along the beach and finally succumbs to what had to have been obvious from the beginning. His blood loss and the trauma of having an arm removed at the bicep area with a frickin’ axe prove to be too much for a man in his 50s or 60s and Gredenko collapses to the sand, presumably dead. Bye, Gredenko. Your day was pretty much a total waste, wasn’t it? You didn’t get to blow up anybody. Good thing you got that amnesty, putz.

We end at the White House bunker where Karen wants a truce with Tom. Hasn’t she sort of suggested this already today? Tom still clearly has no love for Karen and limply shakes her hand in agreement of the truce. She inquires about how the VP was convinced to back off and Tom lies that he doesn’t know and he lies extraordinarily unconvincingly. Even Karen can see this and says she’s love to know the reason someday. “Someday,” Tom agrees as he answers his cell...and is told that the President is actually ordering the strike that Daniels wanted to push through. Wait..wha?

Lennox rushes to the situation room and asks what the hell is going on. Wayne replies that the second adrenaline shot he just growled Dr. Welton into giving him has gone straight to his swollen brain and makes him want to blow shit up. Well, he didn’t exactly say that. Really, he said that he is tired of being seen as weak, including by Tom. Well, nuking the Middle East ought to fix that perception right up and also ought to realign Wayne very well with his Vice President. And maybe that’s the plan. But who the hell knows at this point?

Yes, that was a shocking ending but, well, I don’t get it. I’m sure we’ll abort the attack before it hits and everyone will be happy except for Daniels who really wants some brown people melted.

Officially declared missing by me, by the way, include the following:

Philip Bauer



Blogger Dylan said...

At least,poor D is no longer here to see the present,tragic state of 24. Save Jack,who is no more than a co-star at this point,but seriously ask this set of writers what's going on in their head. Characters killed off weekly for inexistant shock value,devoid feeling of any real "we are running out of time",abysmal plots with unrevealed sons and autistic hackers.

That dark haired actress really brings bad luck to tv shows,after all!

5:53 PM  
Blogger D said...

I actually think it's the Eric Balfour effect as he's sucked the life out of everything since "Six Feet Under" which of course, was all about the absence of life anyway so he worked just fine there...

11:28 PM  
Blogger Phoenician said...

Here's what I wrote at the 24 HQ:

I agree that last night's politics were a bit of a stretch for me:

As a Political Science Major, its just flat-out funny to hear about the Supreme Court coming to any decision within an hour (its not because I don't think they are capable of making a deciscion, its just that realistically, the Supreme Court has no obligation to hear any case EVER. Any case they DO hear is the result of four Justices being mildly interested - "The Rule of Four" as its called - and that's not even set in stone.)

They have life terms with set wages . . . once on the bench, there is seriously little anybody can do to make them do something against their will.

As for the rest of the hour, loved Tom Lennox, Gredenko's death, loved the fact that they were at Santa Monica Pier (I was shouting, "I've been there! I've been there!").

Honestly, i'm fine with Milo and Nadia, but please don't make that the focal point of CTU. Where's my Chloe? Where's my Morris? They had about two face-shots each and little-to-no dialogue! And Buchanan . . . love the man (and go ahead an daydream, Jennifer!), but again, little dialogue.

It was a great episode, but it could be better . . . hopefully it was just a transitional ep.

Okay, I'm done

And here's some additional thoughts, based off your review, J:

Don't forget J, they've mentioned past Presidents before in 24-Land. Aaron said he's worked for the President since Reagan's second term, and David P. has quoted Lincoln before. Don't forget they also mentioned FDR in 6.1 about the Japanese camps.

Speaking of which, I would have loved Wayne in a wheelchair, since apparently David was in one too for the first six months after Day II (this is seen in 24: The Game). Another comparison for the Brothers Palmer, I guess.

Yes, I too am wondering about Phil Bauer. Being Absent for a few hours is one thing (many on 24 have done it), but its been quite a while, IMO. But I'm sure he'll be back.

As for Martha/Logan/Aaron: Shame they haven't been in it more. I still hoped Logan died, though (though its a shame to lose Itzen).

But speaking of MIA's J, where's Mrs. Palmer, Wayne's wife?? He clearly has a wife since he's wearing the band, and last time I checked, the First Lady lives in the White House. Shouldn't she be in the bunker as well?? Better yet, where was she when the Doctor needed a family decision??

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week's episode had a decent ending,with the shootout: however it was Bruce Willis good,nothing akin to the first season - I seem to remember that all this badassery was introduced in the second one. I couldn't care less with Milo and Nadia,to me they look like cheap versions of Tony and Michelle. And Buchanan is so damn plain nowadays...the assiomatic boring guy...the square faced good cop. My 2 cents for the ending: Jack's father kidnaps Audrey and gets killed by his son. His third son.y

11:35 AM  

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