Anonymiss in DC











{March 23, 2009}   24 Season 7, 8-9 and 9-10 pm

So sue me; I’m writing one entry for both of these episodes. Enough is enough. 24 overload. The good news is, I am FINALLY caught up. I’m a little 24-ed out at the moment, so, forgive me if this is less than coherent as usual–not that my 24 entries are usually coherent (I wrote the last two while watching. I hope y’all appreciate that–it necessitated my PAUSING 24 to write. That’s practically a sin.)

So anyway. 24. Where were we? Things have gone a long way over the last two hours, when Olivia was sitting in a chair about to get her eyeballs cut out, and the new annoying vice president with the southern twang was insisting to Larry that he couldn’t authorize the FBI to go in and rescue people.

Apparently, before Jack and the President opened the door to the saferoom, they popped open some conveniently present canisters of natural gas, which Jack tells Bill (who he’s conveniently been seated next to by the thugs), are now spilling out into the room.  The plan is this: he’s going to go blow himself up, and hopefully kill all the bad guys and none of the good people. (Umm, right, because Jack’s going to kill himself between 9 and 10 pm when there’s another 10 hours to go, and when we know an 8th season’s in the game plan.)

In the middle of all this, Senator Mayer, again, very helpful, starts pestering the two of them to know what the plan is (great idea, Mayer! Why don’t you go tell the thugs they have a plan so they can share it with the whole class?!)

Jack tells him to shut up. Thank you. God. It’s about time somebody said that. I wish he’d have given him a good swat for good measure, but I guess we can’t have everything.

Bill says something to Jack about how Juma called somebody on the outside to get help, so the day isn’t over… and the next thing I know, he’s saying something somber about how Jack’s the only one who can handle this situation ….and then he’s making a beeline for the safe room doors with Jack’s gun. He shoots up at the ceiling,  triggering a big explosion. The lights short out.

In the commotion, Jack manages to kill off the rest of the thugs, and Juma, who was planning to start knocking off the hostages. The FBI goes in, Aaron gets Olivia and the president out of there, yadayadayada. Jack sits by the door where Bill’s lying, dead, and puts his head in his hands. Silent clock for Bill. 😦

Wow.

I gotta say, I didn’t see that coming. Obviously somebody was going to die, but Bill? And in the first ten minutes?

I know I was worried Aaron might be toast before the end of the day, and while I’m relieved he’s going to be ok, I’m actually really upset about Bill. Why do they persist in killing off everyone I care about on this show?? What’s with that? Yes, folks, I admit it: I got a little weepy. I liked Bill!  Seriously, laugh if you want, but this show isn’t all guns and testosterone.

I do, however,  have a bone to pick: what is with with 24 showing creepy mangled dead bodies? Is this a new thing? So in the 8-9 pm episode, they show Bill, sprawled out on the floor, and they give a close up of his severely burned face. Ugh. And as I’ll discuss shortly, they do this a few more times in the next two hours.  I am/was emotionally invested in Bill, and it was tough enough to see him die; I didn’t really need to see his char-broiled face.  If they’re trying to make it more emotional, it’s working…. I’m just not sure if I appreciate it. 😦

In other news…Ethan’s back (where the hell was he during all this, anyway? Anyone know? If there’s a legit excuse why he wasn’t there, I can’t remember what it was!) …and when Renee (who was trying to talk Larry into letting Jack pursue Ryan Burnett when Larry told her to go do her job) tells Ethan that Jack knows the conspiracy goes deeper, Ethan orders Larry to let Jack spend some more quality time with Ryan Burnett, who’s now in hospital. As awesome as that is, since when does the Chief of Staff of the White House give orders to the FBI? Isn’t that like, I don’t know, the PRESIDENT’s job? But ok, let’s go with it…at least Jack isn’t on his way back to a holding cell (yet.)

Blah blah blah, Larry is getting progressively more and more annoying. He figures out Renee tattled to Ethan about what Bill said before he died, so he’s pissed.  He tells her to go clean out her desk and turn in her badge, he’s suspending her indefinitely. She looks pretty horrified, and says “You need me, Larry!” Apparently not.  Yet. He gets in a helicopter with Jack, and tells him he’s known Renee for nine years and never seen her do stuff like she did in the last nine hours. Jack says nothing, but looks kind of intrigued.

‘Nuff said about that.. We know where this is going…

Meanwhile, Jon Voight (I think they’re calling him Jonas Hodges or something, but I can’t bring myself to call him that) finds out from his thug that Jack’s on his way to go “talk” to Burnett, and because this could jeopardize their entire operation, the thug sent somebody to go kill Burnett and Jack (you know– nail two birds with one stone?.) Voight looks pleased.

The new hired hospital killer looks kind of like Gordan Ramsay (and apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so— so there!!), and he heads off to the hospital pretty quickly. He starts randomly chatting with an old man in a hospital bed, and when he finds out he’s got no family, he suffocates him. The monitors go crazy, and all the nurses abandon their stations to get the crash cart. At this point, he strolls over to the nurse’s station, plugs some nifty advice into the computer, and gets what look like engineering blueprints off the computer. (Do I even need to comment on how unlikely it is that a nurse’s station computer would have a detailed hospital floor plan, complete with a map of the vents in the ceiling?) He strolls off just as someone goes by with a cart, climbs up to the ceiling, and starts crawling towards the room where Jack’s chatting with Burnett.

Maybe I’m a bad person, but I kind of enjoyed Jack leaning menacingly over the bed of Burnett and being like “Wake up”…and then letting him know that it’s just the two of them, and he’s going to finish what he started. It was kind of hilarious watching Burnett squirm.

Meanwhile, somehow, the Gordan Ramsay-looking-psychokiller messes up the sound on the video feed coming from Burnett’s room, and then pulls a stint straight out of Speed (yes, Speed!): he sets the video image on Jack leaning over Burnett’s bed talking to him, and just leaves it like that. (Actually, maybe it wasn’t even Speed-esque– in Speed, they put a few frames together and played it in a loop. This might have just been one still image– I couldn’t tell). In any case, he drops some weird silver hour-glass-shaped canister thing from the ceiling. Jack’s all “What the hell?” and goes over to grab it, but is immediately overcome by the gas it’s’ releasing.

NOOOO!

He’s  literally foaming at the mouth (which I found kind of amusing in spite of myself),  paralyzed, as psycho-killer drops through the ceiling, breaks some glass, slices Burnett’s throat end to end, and then shoves the shard into his chest. Well ok then. You couldn’t have just, I don’t know, done ONE of those two things? Was it really necessary to like, kill him in two separate, both gruesome, ways?

Once out, he puts the camera back on, and exits the building.  Larry’s all “Look it’s working again!”, gets a visual on Ryan Burnett  lying there very, very dead, and gets super pissed. Jack wakes up, chokes a little, and then figures out he’s been set up, so he bolts– just before Larry and the FBI guys come in to arrest him for murder.

Damnit! I hate when Jack gets set up! It’s so stressful!

(Ok, ok…really, I guess it’s kind of awesome…)

Jack calls Larry and tells him he’s been set up…but to no avail.  So Jack  hotwires a car and gets the hell out of there. The car happens to have a fully charged Apple laptop in it, and Jack pops in a CD he burned and very visibly plugs in his Sprint broadband card (gotta love the not-so-subtle advertising). Next thing we know he’s getting a connection speed about as fast as his driving.  This is ridiculous. They are so lucky I’m so addicted…

Since he doesn’t know who else to turn to, Jack calls Renee, who’s over at FBI signing paperwork for her suspension.  He starts to say “This was a mistake, I’m sorry…” but Renee says she’ll help. Not that she could refuse, because Jack’s basically on his own right now… not only has he once again “gone rogue”…he’s got no Bill, no Chloe (what are they DOING with Chloe anyway?!), and where is Tony?!

While driving, Jack finds a picture with Psychokiller in it, opens it, zooms in on Psychokiller’s face, crops the photo, and emails Renee the picture.  Folks, do not try this at home.

Apparently Renee’s FBI email and system logins are valid even though she’s been processed for suspension (??) so she uses some nifty face-matching software to ID Psychokiller as John Quinn, a former vet employed by some shady government-contractor called Starwood (Or “Starkwood”, as Wikipedia spells it, so I guess I will too.  I’m sort of wondering if they added the K when they figured out they were going to piss off the hotel chain, but again, I digress.)

And here’s the kicker: Renee says Senator Mayer did an investigation of Starkwood, and if anyone would know anything about them it’d be him… so Jack speeds off to his house, and the next time we see him, he’s sitting in Mayer’s home office.

Great. Sniveling man here we come.

Larry pops by Renee’s office, and while they have a fairly cordial conversation (I’m not sure I’d be particularly cordial if I were her), he figures out that she’s probably helping Jack out, and has Janis do some digging.

Aaaand busted! Larry’s SUPER pissed now.  “DAMNIT!!” he says.  (I resist a giggle– not so different from Jack on that front!)

He tells Renee to tell him what she sent “Bauer” so he can at least say she cooperated, but she tells him to forget it (more or less). He says, rather sadly, “You’re actually going to sacrifice everything to help him?”

I’m impressed by her confidence.

Larry’s not.

He ships her off to holding and tells one of the security guys in the hallway to “Miranda-ize” her. Maybe I’m naive, but do people really say that? I didn’t know you could make that a verb. Whatever.

Next, in a shocking turn of events, Janis can’t figure out how to crack the “Blowfish 148” encrypted email Renee sent out. (Blowfish?  And apparently,  so she can mess with  stuff Chloe– geek goddess– is doing– but she can’t crack Renee’s emails?!) Luckily for her, Morris has shown up and is feeling mighty irritated that Chloe is in holding. Larry, in a move I thought was quite ballsy for Larry, tells him they’ll let Chloe off the hook for “obstruction” and “evidence tampering” if he helps him crack the code so he can nail Jack.

Morris is highly displeased with this offer, but considers the fact that Chloe could get 15 years, and that this would make their son 19 when she got out of prison…

so he caves… demanding full immunity and clean records.

Boo for Morris caving…but hoorah for watching him get to work…nice bit of comic relief.  Larry’s sitting there giving him crap, and he’s perfectly, snootily calm.

“…decryption’s a piece of cake if you know the override codes.”

“And you do?”

“Yeah,” he says, like Larry just asked him if the sky was blue.

“Will this take long”

“Of course not.”

“Mr. O’Brien, can you tell me specifically when you’ll have the file decrypted?”

“Yes.”

*conspicuous silence*

“Now.”

Aaand up pops Senator Mayer’s address (with a little picture of him next to it– how cute!)

And they’re off. “Assemble the field teams!!”…

Meanwhile, over at the Senator’s pad, Jack and Mayer have a friendly little confrontation in which Mayer accuses him of having killed Burnett and now coming to kill him, and Jack says, in his usual steely kind-of-way: “If I wanted to kill you, Senator, you’d be dead already. Now TAKE A SEAT.”

Nice.

And so Mayer does, and Jack tells him about Starkwood, asks to see all of his files related to his investigation… and as he’s sleuthing through them, he and Mayer have a little chat.

Their  tete a tete was, of course, ripe with political commentary, but well written and well executed. I finally stopped thinking of Mayer as a jerk because they finally gave him some time to talk semi-passionately about why he cares about ending torture, stopping corruption, that kind of thing. He’s kind of like Henry Waxman. (Kind of).

And when Jack figures out what’s going on (I’m resisting the urge to comment on how Jack gleaned this information from thousands of files in less than 30 minutes)…Mayer’s not a jerk about it. He’s actually concerned! He actually BELIEVES Jack!

( It seems Jon Voight and the Starkwood guys helped Juma and his thugs carry out this big attack on the White House in exchange for Juma giving them a place in Sengala to develop and test a biological weapon on innocent civilians.  I suddenly feel like I’m watching the Constant Gardner…)

But, so, back at the ranch, I was getting all excited here. Jack’s figured out what’s going on, Mayer’s now an ally…I’m actually liking his character, finally…and then…

…they kill him.

The FBI and police finally arrive looking for Jack, and Mayer convinces Jack that it’ll be ok: He will nail Starkwood. I trust him, Jack trusts him…  Jack’s even ready to turn himself into the authorities and “face the consequences of his actions”…

And then Mayer opens the door to the “police” and is gunned down by Psychokiller! (!!!!!!!)  He’s BACK! HOLY CRAP!(I must have jumped five feet!)

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Jack yells– in a manner reminiscent of  Stephen Colbert finding himself in a car driven by Helen Thomas.

Wow, I really did not see that coming. Well-played, indeed!

Jack is alone, again!

He’s got the only lead!!

He’s got to make a run for it before he too gets nailed by Psychokiller! (or the  FBI/cops.. did you hear Larry tell them they could shoot Jack dead if they saw him?! Grr Larry!!!)

Run, Jack, Run!

Time out:  it was entirely unnecessary for me to see Mayer’s blood sprayed all over the walls and the floor (they actually pan out so you can see the walls!), and his eyes rolled up in his head, his chin slumped into his chest… ughhh!! What is with that today, you guys?! Jeez!! Give it a rest!! Too much!!

Anyway, so continue dramatic chase scene.   My fav. part was Jack’s luring Psychokiller into a trailer and then using a bulldozer to pick up the trailer and roll it over on its side.) Smaaash. Classic. He lives, so they proceed to have an all out grunting, kicking, kung-fu, punching kind of scene. I thought for a second there that Jack was going to go all vampire again and bite his leg off (See this on Fox on Demand, around 44:30), but instead he nails him with a crowbar, and then throws a knife into him from about 10 feet away, and then clunks him with a large wooden beam. (Where these “props” come from, it’s really not clear.)

And all the while I’m like “Jack! Don’t kill him! He’s your only lead! We don’t have another option!” Ummm…am I thinking like Jack Bauer? 🙂 I think I need to get out more…

But of course Jack does kill him, gruesomely. (Grossness part 4!) Just as he’s dying a very bloody death on the pavement, Jack asks him when the weapons are arriving, and Psychokiller manages to croak out “They’re already here” before he presumably dies from choking on his blood.  Yummy.

Jack looks pissed, but he doesn’t say “Damnit”– I’m surprised. Instead, he pulls out the guy’s cell phone, which conveniently displays a text msg saying “Port of Alexandria” and a port number. Yessss– a lead! Jack starts a car with the knife he used to kill Psychokiller (quite a multi-purpose knife today!)), and heads off. He calls Tony (it’s about time!), who appears to be at a cafe in Georgetown (ha!), although he says he’s at something like 3rd and B, monitoring the FBI scanner…. Jack says “I need your help” and basically hangs up on him….

And we’re out of time.

I forgot to mention this stuff about Olivia and the President and Ethan, but I’m not all that engrossed by this storyline. I mean who could be when you have all this other drama going on?… but anyway…

Allegedly, the “history” between them referenced earlier is that during the campaign, Olivia leaked damaging personal information to the press about her mother’s opponent, creating a political mess for Ethan.

After today’s disaster, Taylor, presumably worried about her “nest”, demanded that Ethan hire Olivia as a “special advisor” (whatever that means). Ethan is not pleased and basically calls her on wanting to keep her kid around after almost losing her, but in the end he caves– only to be screamed at by Olivia who says this whole day never would have happened if he’d been a better adviser…

Nice girl. Really. Charming.

Meanwhile, as the president’s giving an address about the day’s events, Ethan gets confronted by a press agent who claims he’s got the goods on Burnett’s murder and the fact that it was Ethan who authorized Jack’s release.

Ethan’s pissed, he confronts Olivia about it..she denies a leak– he says she’s the only one who knows…he tells Taylor..she gets upset…and Olivia marches in to say she’s got someone willing to confirm the information didn’t come from her. She also says she got someone to bury the story. Ethan apologizes, Taylor looks relieved.

But obviously this isn’t the end. There’s more. My guess is that maybe Ethan and the president had an affair, and Olivia knows about it but kept quiet for the sake of her father? I also think Ethan may be “dirty”, and I’d say it’s possible he leaked the story to the press…

But we shall see!

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Patrick says:

I also loved the NOOOOOOOOOO!

I’m mad they killed off that 70’s senator.



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