Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Season 6; Hour Twenty-One (2:00AM - 3:00AM)

Air Date: 7 May 2007
Reviewer: J

The previouslies remind us of how awesome it was to have James Heller back for five minutes and give us some odd freeze-frame intros. Josh Bauer, for one, is the first one shown. Wait, what? Who the hell cares about Josh Bauer? I guess we’re supposed to. We also see Lisa Miller in her own freeze-frame for the first time. Let’s get rolling. Only four hours left.

We pick up right back in the holding room, with Jack still looking rather shaken at his short exchange with Heller. Good work from Kiefer here, looking zoned out as he tries to sort out in his head what his life has become and where he goes from here. Besides maybe prison for disobeying a Presidential order.

Nadia comes in to tell Jack that Heller has taken leave of the premises with his daughter in tow and that he’s filing a restraining order against Jack. Way to rub the salt in there, Nadia.

Apropos of nothing, Nadia decides to tell Jack what’s going on. Sure, she’s only the acting director of CTU; I’m sure she’s got nothing else to do but brief suspects who are under arrest in a holding room. When Jack learns there’s a raid planned on Cheng’s suspected hideout, he wants to play, too, but Nadia flatly refuses. She reminds him he’s still under arrest, which strikes me as kind of funny since, yeah, this show sort of ignores that sort of detail most of the time. Buchanan would have folded by now and had Jack leading the team. Don’t believe me? See “Consulate, Russian” in your textbooks.

Jack goes into his whole word-giving routine and tells Nadia that he gave Wayne Palmer his Word that nothing would go wrong and he wants to set it right. Well, I think that ship has sailed, Jack. In fact, it sailed over the mountains in a black Hummer. Nadia again refuses and I really can’t blame her. Her new crush, Doyle, can handle the raid. Jack casts a wary and very conspicuous eye on the two CTU guards in the room with them and it’s so obvious even Nadia picks up on it. She warns him not to even try it or she’ll have him put in restraints. Will she do it personally? Because if Jack is overpowering the two men in the room, that ought to be amusing to see 4-foot Nadia pinning Jack down and cuffing him. It’s also interesting to me that Jack’s FIRST thought when he doesn’t get his way is to psychopathically mow down anyone in his way.

Jack, chastened, sits down and says maybe he can help from there. From that very table? No, probably not so much, Jack. Oh, he means he can “run tactical,” that nebulous term that often was affixed to Tony or Michelle. I guess it kind of means making the calls from CTU from a tactical point of view when there’s a raid going on. Isn’t that sort of like being in charge of CTU? So Jack is offering to do Nadia’s job… interesting approach, Jack. Nadia repeats what we heard last hour and the hour before, which is that a new acting director will be heading over from Division as soon as they can A) wake someone up, and B) unpry their hands from the nearest stationary object since you just know nobody wants to be sent over to CTU from Division because of the certain death it leads to. (I’m personally hoping to see Brad Hammond.)

Nadia heads over to the staging area where Doyle’s men are buckling their belts and whatnot getting ready to head out for the raid on the Bloomfield Copper Facility & Chinese Hideaway Plant. She gives a little motivational speech telling them what their mission is, should they choose to accept it. What amuses me is that I think Marisol Nichols screwed up a line or else it was just really poorly written. She begins with “Your objective is the Bloomfield Copper Plant…” Wait, what? Their OBJECTIVE is the plant? That doesn’t make sense. I even looked up “objective” and it’s got several definitions that almost make it work but it just sounded clumsy. I assume she meant their objective is to successfully raid the plant. Their objective is some activity, not a building – do you see what I’m saying? I know, I know, why am I spending time on this?

Anyway, after Nadia rallies the troops with confusing dialogue, Doyle tells her that she’s doing a good job and that she’s got a hot ass in that suit. Okay, he only says the first part. Nadia tells him to “be careful,” as though they’re dating or something. This isn’t lost on Doyle, who accepts the kind words but looks piqued. It’s also not lost on Milo, who happens to be lurking nearby and can see tender moments from 25 yards away. You know, Milo’s becoming quite a bit of a stalker.

Meanwhile, Cheng is putting together a motley crew of Chinese thugs in preparation for a raid of their own. Hmmm, do they know Doyle is coming with CTU men? What could it be that Cheng wants to attack? The Russian Consulate?

At the same time, we see Josh and Marilyn again for the first time in hours. Josh is still watching the news and is making mumblings about wishing he wasn’t ever born into his “sick family.” Well, nobody can argue that point, Josh, although Marilyn tries. She also tries to convince Josh to get some sleep and we see Josh lie down on a leather couch with those hard, angular arms that really don’t serve well as pillows.

Chloe has now come to the room to have Marilyn review her statement for accuracy. Why? Do CTU transcribers sometimes add in saucy paragraphs out of boredom? While Marilyn’s looking over the statement, Chloe awkwardly tells her that she knows she and Jack are close and then she tells Marilyn about Audrey still being alive. What this has to do with the price of rice in China, I do not know.

At the White House, Lisa Miller has made her phone call to Fatty Bishop, he lover, and told him she’s coming over again for some more lovin’. She expresses hesitation at being with Bishop knowing what she now knows. Daniels isn’t sympathetic since she’s been basically doing it to him for the past year. Lying, that is.

Marilyn rushes into Jack’s holding room (those CTU guards at the door really are worth their salaries, aren’t they?) and apologizes to him about Audrey. Again…why? What does this have to do with anything? Jack says as much and is clearly a little awkward since we all know he boned Marilyn at some point in the past, too. Marilyn keeps going on about things until Jack tells her he really doesn’t want to talk about it. She finally gets the point but also asks if she can bring Josh by to talk to Jack. Jack says that’d be fine. He is likely Josh’s father, after all. Only he doesn’t say that.

We swing back to Cheng and his main man, Zhou, and they continue to speak vaguely about their target and about “obtaining the package.” Whatever, guys. It was about at this point that I begin to be sure it was going to be CTU they were attacking. I mean, Jack wasn’t allowed out on the mission with Doyle so SOMETHING had to hit the fan while he was in CTU. Last year, he was there for what, an hour, when the nerve gas was let go.

At the copper plant, Doyle finds evidence of heavy artillery and radios this to Nadia who wonders what Cheng would possibly want to attack in LA….

…just as Zhou and his men get to the sewer grate beneath…dum dum DUMMMMMM… CTU!

Upstairs, Chloe and Morris are continuing to work together – Morris is doing a good job of remaining professional. Chloe? Not so much. There’s some more meaningless back-and-forth about WHY he broke up with her. Oh, god, kill them already Cheng.

In Georgetown, Lisa Miller is being prepped by what appears to be one lone Secret Service agent and…Tom Lennox. Really? Tom’s dutes, as Chief of Staff, include espionage and sitting in a surveillance van on K street? I don’t remember Leo McGarry ever doing that.

Lennox isn’t all that sympathetic when Lisa comments on being scared. I kind of love him for telling her to “get a grip” and head in there, lest she wants to face treason charges. Which, not so much, really. I mean, can you really be charged with treason if you didn’t knowingly reveal state secrets? I guess it’s the “knowingly” part that can get sticky.

And then, the funniest part of this spy versus spy routine happens. A car pulls up and Lisa gets in. The car then drives about 50 feet and she gets out in front of the brownstone that Bishop is waiting for her at (hers? his? Who knows?). I sure hope Bishop wasn’t looking out his window as the two men in suits prepped his girlfriend with a camera-bag next to a van.

Lisa heads into the hours and Lennox relays this to Daniels. So the Vice-President and the Chief of Staff are running tactical on this, eh? What if it all goes to shit? Do they have anyone at the ready to raid Bishop’s place or would Tom grab a pistol and do that, too?

Daniels does realize that pickier viewers such as myself will be wondering why Tom is doing all this and so he thanks Tom for it and acknowledges it’s outside of Tom’s job description. Yes, so is lying to foreign ambassadors but you had him do that, too.

Lisa tries to leave the room so Bishop can access her PDA but he’s more interested in accessing her panties. She tries again, saying she feels grubby, but Bishop points out she showered just an hour or so ago. First time I’ve seen someone make a salient point like that on this show. But really, Lisa… just tell him you have to pee. I know my future wife likes to use that one right when we’re ready to jump in the sack. Really lights my pilot light. By the time she gets back, I’m usually into Sportscenter.

So anyway, Bishop lays her down on the bed and removes her top for the second time in an hour. Yes, yes, Bishop, we get it – you’re a stud and can go more than once in an evening.

Tom watches from the van and is able to see the proceedings because of the concealed camera they planted in Lisa’s bag. Tom begins to feverishly masturbate. No, just kidding. (Though if they start talking about interment camps, I wouldn’t bet against it.)

Back underneath CTU, Zhou has accessed some panel or another and it somehow, magically, allows Cheng’s A/V guy to have access to CTU’s security system. Whatever. That makes even less sense than usual since all we saw Zhou’s men do was blow up an over head sewer grate. That would be a secret place for CTU security access, though, wouldn’t it?

Above them on the CTU floor, Nadia tells Milo she knows he was unhappy when she was talking to Doyle. Was she undressing Doyle with her eyes? If not, then Milo needs to stop being such a bitch since, you know, part of Nadia’s job entails talking to Doyle. Milo tries to be magnanimous, even though it’s totally forced and fake, and tells her if there’s something going on with her and Doyle it’s okay. Wait, WHAT?? We’re making that leap here that “something’s going on,” when those two were ready to claw each other’s eyes out…what, last HOUR? This is idiotic.

However, it’s not so idiotic apparently, because Nadia acknowledges she doesn’t know what she feels and needs time to “sort it out.” Ohhhhh, boy. When a woman gives you the “I need to sort my feelings out” routine, it’s never good. We’ve all been THERE, haven’t we boys? No? Just me? Oh, ahem… anyway, moving on.

While this heart-to-heart is going on, Chloe has been able to backtrack the satellite footage and sees Cheng’s men escaping the copper plant in cars. Okay, we knew that already, but what we didn’t know (or, CTU didn’t know) was that those cars then headed to another address… just six blocks from CTU. This flummoxes Chloe but before they can think on this, Nadia realizes she can’t get through on the comm link to Doyle. Milo tries to get an outside line but forgets to dial 9 first. Actually, Cheng’s A/V guy has taken command of, apparently, all things communicative in the CTU-osphere, including security cameras. This is not good.

Nadia tells everyone their in a code red lockdown, yet nothing seems to change. Then they hear gunfire and she tells them to run to their assigned safe rooms. “Assigned” safe rooms? I think I might just fucking run, period, regardless of my assignment.

However, nobody is able to run more than three inches as Zhou and his men descend upon the middle of CTU. At Jack’s holding room, he hears the gunfire and is begging the guard assigned to his room to let him out. The guard is desperately trying to check in with what I assume must be the security command center, which is probably the first thing Zhou’s men took out. The guard opens Jack’s holding door and seems to be figuring that it might be good to be armed with no only his Glock but also a field agent. Before he can make his official decision, the guard is shot dead by a henchie of Zhou’s. Fortuitously for Jack, the door is still open and Jack loots nameless guard of his piece and takes down the henchman.

Making his way through the halls of CTU, Jack takes out another henchman and takes his assault rifle. Well, hell, Jack should have this under control in a few seconds then. He can take down terrorist cells with one 9 MM clip and his bare hands so with an assault rifle I imagine he could invade Poland.

Jack heads to where Marilyn and Josh are being held but Zhou’s men get there first. They’re clearly there for Josh, which startles Marilyn even more but before anything can happen Jack arrives on the scene and kills the two men. Marilyn tells him they were there for Josh which also throws Jack a bit. He even asks for confirmation, perhaps wondering if they were there for him and just mistaked one Bauer for another.

Down on the CTU floor, Zhou asks who is in charge. No one answers and Zhou asks again. Right as Nadia is about to stand up, Milo pipes up that he’s the acting director of CTU. Zhou tells him to come forward and Milo does so as Nadia looks at him with her puppy dog eyes. Wow, I know you want to wear her panties on your head Milo, but this is above and beyond the call of duty.

It turns out to be a bad decision by Milo as Zhou quickly raises his gun and blows Milo’s head off. Zowie! Didn’t see that coming, I will admit. However, on the plus side, Nadia’s decision on whom to date just got a whole lot less complicated.

Jack jams open a ventilation fan and has Josh climb in to get away. Just after he does, though, Zhou’s men come in and capture the bulletless Jack and Marilyn. They’re brought down to the floor, where Marilyn sees that Milo has taken a second bullet for the day, this one in a far less fleshy place than the first. We also see that Nadia is holding Milo’s hand as he lays there dead. This is kind of…eerie. And sad.

Zhou’s man tells him that Doyle keeps calling in and says they really ought to answer or he’ll catch on. Zhou looks at a roster of some sort and figures out that Nadia is really the ranking officer. She fesses up to this and is told to – GULP – step forward the same way Milo was. Zhou decides not to shoot little Nadia, though, and instead tells her to deflect Doyle or Zhou will kill everyone in the place, starting with her.

Nadia tells Doyle there was a communications problem and that they’re back online and she’ll let him know when she has a location on Cheng’s men. She does not, sadly, advise Doyle to get into a “
flank two position.” Because THAT would have been some awesome continuity.

Doyle’s spidey-sense clearly pings a little bit but he allows the phone call to end. Will he head back immediately now or what? Like I said, this would have been the PERECT opportunity to inject some distress code wording into the conversation.

Zhou then gets on the PA system all nice-uncle-like and tells Josh they really don’t want to hurt him but want to take him somewhere safe. Yes, yes, safe – away from all these automatic weapons. Zhou says Josh needs to come out of hiding and he underscores his point by saying he’s going to count to ten and then shoot Marilyn. I assume he will reconsider if Josh gives up. Zhou’s poor choice of words is “Show yourself to one of my men.” I half-expected Josh to come to the end of the ventilation duct and open his pants.

Anyway, it works and they get Josh. Zhou relays this to Cheng who relays it to…. Phil Bauer, who has got someone fixing Cheng’s prized little Russian nuke chip. Phil is going to trade it for Josh. Wait, so he suddenly cares about Josh now?

And didn’t Phil Bauer eschew the opportunity to kill Jack and instead left him a cell phone with Chuck Logan’s number on it? Was that to help him? Was there any point to that? Was that phone just randomly left there? Did the writers have any idea what they were doing when they did that?

Who knows. All we know now is that Cheng and Bauer are somehow in cahoots and that they will be meeting in the next hour to exchange Josh for the chip. How Zhou and his men exit CTU is going to be interesting, especially when the new acting director from Division shows up and repeatedly tries to wake up Milo.

You know, it’s a DAMN good thing Heller took Audrey out of that place when he did. I’m just amazed this wasn’t the day Kim decided to visit her old stomping grounds at CTU.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2

Why couldn't Philip just wait for Marilyn and Josh to leave CTU in the morning? Can't Cheng get some of HIS guys to fix the chip? And yes, why the heck did Philip leave the phone on the ledge for Jack?

My suspension of disbelief is going out the window. I've watched this show faithfully for 6 seasons now and I'm starting to not even care what happens. Maybe I've been watching too long, but it just seems to unbelievable and also soooo predictable (the moment Cheng mentioned a mission I knew it was CTU. Not because I'm smart but b/c it's happened in over half of the days so far. I guess the writers are just going down their checklist of stories for each season).

D - Thanks for writing the review so quickly. Keep up the good work!

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon #2:

Sorry J, I meant you.

5:53 PM  

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