Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Season 6; Hour Twenty (1:00AM - 2:00AM)

Air Date: 30 Apr 2007
Reviewer: J

We return to 24-world at the No-Tell Motel where Audrey is fetally rocking in her chair as Doyle tries to talk to her. She simply repeats her line of dialogue: “Help me, Jack. Don’t let them do this to me.” Doyle thinks to himself that he really has to start using some anti-wrinkle cream if he’s looking as worn and leathery as Jack.

At CTU, Nadia is stressing about her role as Buchanan, whom, apparently, is off licking his wounds and ignoring his wife. Nadia, as part of her new role, denies Morris’ transfer request which pisses off Morris. But seriously, Morris? How about you wait until the next “regular” workday.

Jack and Audrey are sent back to CTU in separate helicopters. Doyle’s beating himself up over foiling Jack’s plan which is odd, considering Doyle was following orders and Jack was disobeying, as per usual. So really, yeah, Jack’s plan was to detonate the No-Tell Motel with C4 but if he had succeeded, I’m fairly sure Doyle would have felt the impact since he was hiding against the side of the motel. Just saying.

At the White House, Daniels is continuing to reform himself and act more like a decent leader, going so far as to thank Karen for her sacrifice in firing Bill. He could of course have some mean, underhanded reason for this but I don’t think so. Meanwhile, President Suvarov is on the blower for the VP. Hmm, wonder what he could want.

Suvarov, it turns out, wants to threaten the United States with military action since he already knows that the component has fallen into Cheng’s grubby little hands. Well, that’s interesting, since it’s only been about ten minutes since Cheng made off with the component. Word travels fast to the motherland. Daniels is a bit gobsmacked that Suvarov could know this and he and his team (well, Lennox and Hayes, anyway) make the valid point that Gredenko and Markov were sort of involved in the nuclear attack (and further attempted attacks) on the United States. Suvarov is all like, that was yesterday morning, dude. But seriously, I think the U.S. has a point and I think I might make that even more forcefully, ESPECIALLY given the Russian consulate’s involvement in all this mess. But Suvarov doesn’t wait for a polite rebuttal and fades to black on the videoconference screen.

Lennox immediately believes there’s a leak since few people even knew about this and he immediately deduces that it’s either the White House or CTU. Well, that’s easy to figure out – I think even Audrey could tell you that whenever there’s a mole that they’re usually employed by CTU.

In Cheng’s Hummer, Cheng is on the phone with a minion who says the component is broken in some way. I would give Jack credit for breaking it intentionally but I imagine he would have told CTU that if he did it on purpose. Cheng reacts by saying, “Can you fix it?” in a very white-man-sounding way. I don’t know why I noticed that but it was kind of funny to me since Tzi Ma has always put on his thick Chinese accent in most of his scenes.

It turns out they can’t fix the chip themselves which makes Cheng mad and makes me giggle. Ha ha, frustrated Chinese man if funny. And perhaps more dangerous, though, since he’s now going to suddenly turn desperate.

Meanwhile, Lisa Miller, the point-nosed blonde who Daniels likes to grope, is back at her apartment macking with some dude named Bishop who looks like one of those frat boys who really thinks he’s a stud and doesn’t realize he’s beginning to be a little bit fat. When Lisa heads to the shower to clean his spunk off of her (presumably so Daniels can put his on her), Bishop lifts her PDA and uploads the info to some Russian contact, unbeknownst to Lisa. Ah, so THAT’S how the Russians are getting their info. Espionage. What is this, 1984?

At CTU, Morris and Chloe break up, this time at Morris’ behest. Chloe sobs and apologizes over and over and, wow, I don’t even care at all. I mean, I think she’d be a more tolerable person if she was getting regular ass so maybe I should care a bit but, really, given the stakes of all that is going on, I don’t care about this relationship as much as I’m sure I’m supposed to.

A Dr. Bradley has been brought in to assess Audrey and to see what they can get from her. He finds lots of injection marks all over her body and realizes she’s catatonic from all the pharma work. He suggests they do some pharma work of their own to “shock” her out of this state. Yeah, I’m no doctor but that doesn’t sound like a good idea. Doyle agrees with me but Bradley basically pulls rank and tells him to piss off. Doyle and Nadia then go nose-to-nose and Doyle implies Nadia doesn’t have the balls to be acting director. I really liked how this scene was shot for some reason. The camera kind of pans around them as they, like I said, stand nose-to-nose with hard looks on their faces. If this was Milo, he’s probably take the opportunity to plant one on Nadia again. I suspect Nadia wouldn’t mind if Doyle did just that but he doesn’t. Oh, just do it already, you two.

Daniels rings Lisa Miller and summons her and her fine ass back to the White House. She agrees to go and Bishop sketchily checks in again with his Russky contact.

Meanwhile, Lennox has pinpointed the leak in just twenty minutes. Damn, he IS good. He’s figured out what we all learned just this hour – it’s Lisa. Daniels, of course, is sad to learn she’s boning a much younger and less battered-looking man and he admits his relationship with her to Tom. Tom’s face is fricking priceless as he tries to wrap his mind around the idea of Lisa and Daniels getting it on. Daniels, it turns out, is a widower so it’s less egregious than we all originally thought but no less gross. Tom reassures him that she’s just a girl and they can push her around.

Doyle has now spent enough time with Jack that he is starting to operate just like him. He comes into Jack’s holding room and uncuffs Jack, telling him what Bradley is planning to do to Audrey. Jack puts Doyle into a sleeper hold, which, from what I’m told, can result in a hellish headache.

Jack’s next move is to punch the CTU guard in the hallway, loot him of his gun and then teleport to medical, which is what it seems he does. Jack decides to physically assault the doctor (Bradley) attending to Audrey, which surely is the way to deal with someone this traumatized. He then rushes Audrey out of the room and into the bowels of CTU, interrogating her the whole time. Nadia is pissed at Doyle for allowing it to happen and he doesn’t even seem to deny it, saying he did what he thought was right. Ah, I see. Instead of following orders, you mean? It’s really hard to keep up and know when you’re supposed to follow orders and when you’re not around here. I wonder if Doyle has a chart that helps him decide.

Adding to the anvil that is supposed to make us realize that Nadia isn’t handling her duties all that well is Milo’s terse (and disconnected) remark that if she had just let Jack talk to Audrey, none of this would have happened. Yes, that’s fair Milo, you little whiny bitch.

Eventually they do figure out where Jack and Audrey are and they blowtorch their way into the room. Suddenly Doyle is aiming a gun at Jack again and has apparently come to his senses and is obeying Nadia. Which is interesting. Audrey chooses this moment to remember “Bloomfield,” which Jack immediately says must be where she was being held by Cheng. Bradley is all negative and Nadia boots his ass from the room, deciding to start taking matters into her own hands, too, and she promises Audrey will not be subjected to pharmaceutical treatments. Jack relents and is arrested. Again.

Back at the White House, we seem to have reached that point in the season where there are totally disconnected stories going on at once. Lisa Miller enters and the VP confronts her about Bishop. She tries to feign ignorance (which isn’t totally made up since she didn’t know he was duping her for intel) but folds when Daniels plays a recent phone recording of Bishop talking about downloading info from Lisa’s PDA.

Daniels is more than a little pissed. He growls that she’s in deep shit and that she’s going to help them with this Russian situation by going back to Bishop and getting him to believe the US has recovered the component that has Suvarov’s panties in a major bunch. He even gets in a dig about how if she tries to expose their affair (hers and Daniels) that he’ll have her mark her as an “enemy combatant” and that she won’t see daylight, let alone a courtroom. I have to say that was a pretty awesome scene from Powers Boothe, who doesn’t have to try real hard to come across all thundery and angry and growly. But still, good stuff, and good stuff out of Kari Matchett who plays Lisa Miller. Matchett looks genuinely scared, confused and defeated all at once. Well done.

And speaking of awesome scenes, we spin back to CTU now. Nadia and crew have learned that Audrey’s “Bloomfield” comment might lead to where she was being held. Nadia feels she should have stood up to Bradley sooner but Doyle bucks her up by saying she did when it mattered. And then we see that our old friend James Heller is at CTU. I wonder when he came to Los Angeles.

He’s no longer the Secretary of Defense and the last time we saw him, he was plunging his car off a ravine not far from Logan’s retreat. Speaking of Logan…. Oh, never mind.

Heller tells Audrey he’s taking her away and then decides to go speak to Jack. I wonder how this will go. Jack is stunned to see the former SecDef and, in a cool bit of consistency, still seems humbled in his presence. I like to think it’s a combination of the fact that Jack respect Heller greatly and yet is also dealing with the awkwardness of having seen his daughter naked. Oh, and having gotten her kidnapped by the Chinese, sort of indirectly. And this is what Heller chooses to focus on. He blames Jack for what happened to Audrey and, while it was certainly Audrey’s choice to go looking for Jack, I can see how a father might react this way when learning their daughter is in the broken state that Audrey is in.

Jack tries to protest and says he can help out Audrey but Heller flatly refuses, even leaning in to intimidate Jack (which actually seems to work a bit, which is awesome) and repeating that he is to go nowhere near her. Heller leaves Jack with the stinger that no matter what Jack touches, it ends up dead. Ouch. And thank you, William Devane for agreeing to come back for one scene to drive home the whole thing. It’s a cool nod of continuity and they didn’t even hit us over the head with the fact that Jack and Heller have a history. They just trusted us as a viewing audience to KNOW their history and to remember how he is. Although, if you just started watching this year, it must have seemed off for Devane to guest star for one scene.

I loved it, however. A pretty great episode with some solid, well-acted scenes.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Tom said...

J, I agree with your assessment of the episode for the most part.

I did expect you to point out how similar the Lisa Miller situation was to Palmer's aide in season 1. Big difference is Palmer wasn't boinking his aide.

I did enjoy the Heller thing - they've kept him a consistent character. Not necessarily likeable, but hardassed and for the most part good. But if I were Jack in this scene, I would have said,

"Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, you are being unfair. I have saved your life, saved your daughter's life, saved the lives of thousands of Americans, and never asked for anything in return. I served my time in China willingly and did not ever break. I did not ask Audrey to come look for me - in fact, if she could have asked me, I would have said absolutely not to do so. Your daughter has been through hell, but so have I. I am not looking for a commendation; you don't owe me one. You certainly do not owe me your daughter; I can only hope to one day be the kind of man that deserves her. But I do think you owe me your respect. Audrey chose to come find me; in spite of the circumstances, here I am. Promise me that once Audrey is well, if she wants to see me, you will let her. Good day, Mr. Secretary."

3:57 PM  
Blogger J Money said...

You and I know that makes more sense, Tom... however, don't forget that Jack IS convinced that everything bad is his fault. He believes that and when Heller said it, it only reinforced what Jack believes.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Phoenician said...

Yeah, J . . . Jack's been convinced that everything's been his fault since Day I, when his blowback from the Drazen family led to Teri's death.

But Tom that would have been VERY interesting to here if Jack DID say that . . . but the way Heller was commanding the conversation, Jack never had a chance to really respond. Like J said, Jack was just jarred by Heller's stinger.

4:09 PM  

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