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24 Fodder

11 AM - 12 PM: Getting Played

Edgar StilesI have to be honest here: I have a criticism (a legitimate one) of the show. Well, it's not really of the show. After last week's four hour premiere, I was exhausted. Maybe it was blogging about each episode in its entirety, but I don't think so. Dedicating a couple hours a night in a row to a show as intense as 24 can be taxing on your emotions. But now that the show is on a weekly schedule, it really makes me crave for the hour. Every minute becomes more intense, every commercial break becomes one step closer to that cliffhanger, and you just learn to treasure it more. It's like when you're watching the DVDs of the season -- when you have so much to go, it's not as intense. But when you only have that small amount of time to enjoy the show, it becomes that much better.

The 11 AM hour starts with Curious George's pal, the man in the yellow tie, and his associates loading the as-of-yet-not-counting-promos-unreaveled canisters into a van that looks like a police van and heading off to who knows where. But they aren't doing this unthought of ... Curtis rings up Jack, wanting to know any possible route that the guy in the tie could have taken to get out of the terminal. Jack's in a car with a couple of CTU agents on their way back to HQ, and speculates on how the guy could have gotten out.

At the ranch, Evelyn comes into Martha's room and sees her knocked out on the bed and calls for help. This woman just can't catch a break. If she isn't getting forced into covering for the first lady, or forced into telling Walt about the transcript, she's getting pushed around by Aaron. I'm sorry you have to be with all of these nutcases, Evelyn. Anyway, outside the airport, Curtis pulls up security footage (way to access whatever cameras they had hanging around in like 2 seconds) and finds tie-guy sneaking around to some hangar next to the airport. He and the team hop on a car (something I've always wanted to do) and head over to the hangar. Tie-guy and crew haven't done such a good job of covering up the big hole in the ground where the canisters were hidden (sloppy, sloppy) so a couple agents head down to check it out. Curtis sees a few dead rats along the edge of the hangar, and calls in a forensic team to check them out. He's so smart, that Curtis.

Flash over to tie-guy, who is moving the canisters from his truck to another one, and then drops this bomb (literally): their plan is to bomb the hell out of Moscow, in retaliation for the Russians occupying whatever satellite they are from. Interesting premise here. What I like about it is that terrorists have finally decided that LA is either not a priority to be destroyed, or they've just figured out that there's no stopping Jack Bauer. But my one question is this: how's Jack going to get to Moscow in the 19 hours remaining in the day? That sounds more like a job for Sydney Bristow and my other favorite Jack, her dad Jack Bristow. Well, I guess they'll have to stop the canisters from making it out of the country rather than try and make it to Russia and save the day. Unless, after getting de-briefed at CTU, the rest of the day we see Jack on a flight to Russia. Nah, ain't happening.

After Logan gets word that Martha's been knocked out, he runs in to see how she's doing. She's just woken up and is a bit out of it, but tells the doctor and the prez that someone knocked her out, and whoever did it stole the Palmer transcript. Logan still doesn't believe her, and Walt (boo) suggests that they send her to... Vermont. Nooo, anywhere but Vermont!Of course they mean to some sort of rehab or mental place, but I wonder why Vermont was chosen as the locale. Logan has to think about it for a bit, and you have that one moment where you think he might do the right thing and say no, but he's a pushover and says that it's probably the best to send her away. This is the first of many awkward moments in the episode. Really, "awkward" could have been a better title for this recap than "getting played," but we'll see why I chose the latter in a bit. While they're talking, Walt's phone rings... hmm, I wonder who it could be... and after they finish, Walt chats with Nathanson and says that Jack's on the way to CTU. But that's okay, he'll still be taken care of... because Walt has a man on the inside. And then I dropped my shoulders and pouted.

The mole plotline has been so overused by this show it's ridiculous. Two moles in season one, a bajillion moles in David Palmer's cabinet in season two, Gael and Tony as psuedo-moles in season three, Mary Anne in season four, and now Walt and someone else in season five. Sure, it makes for decent television, not always knowing who you can trust, but it's just overdone. Especially with two mole revels in a four hour period. And now there's a commercial break where I can complain to my wife about the million moles of 24.

When we get back, Edgar's on the phone with Curtis, and then he rushes over to talk to Bill and Lynn, blowing off Chloe in the process. Great stuff. Anyway, so it turns out that the canisters had nerve gas in them, and they try and figure out where it's from and who it belongs to. At the ranch, Logan gets told that Martha is OK, but the doc isn't sure why she passed out. Mike informs the prez that the hostage situation seems to have just been a diversion so that some nerve gas could be stolen. At CTU, Edgar goes to talk to Chloe, saying that his feelings are hurt because he thought they didn't keep secrets from each other. He's especially surprised that she could keep the secret of Jack being alive for so long from him. Chloe dishes it out to him, saying that after they figure out who killed Palmer and stole the nerve gas, they'd sit down with some chamomile tea and talk. Classic Chloe. Meanwhile, her boytoy Spenser pulls out his little T-Mobile Sidekick or whatever it is, and then we all realize ... he's the mole. How predictable is this. Seriously. The new guy, sleeping with the boss, is the mole. He calls up Cummings to let him know when Jack will be coming to CTU.

In the next awkward moment in the show, Lynn wants Audrey to de-brief (great word) Diane, Jack's new missy. Oh jeez, that won't be awkward or anything. He says it's because they have something in common -- a relationship with Jack, obviously. Good idea Lynn. Let's think about this one. The last time two women romantically linked to Jack spent any amount of time together, it ended with Nina killing Teri. I guess Lynn hasn't caught up on the first four DVD sets yet. Homework!

Diane and Derek show up at CTU and Derek gets sent off for a medical exam. Now it's time for a cat fight! Diane gets introduced to Audrey, they play the Miller beer theme music, and then they start fighting like in that commercial. Oh wait, that didn't happen. It just went to a commercial.

After the break, Jack returns to CTU ... dun dun dun ... and everyone stares at him walking in like he's Jesus. Which is classic, since all the extras and CTU folks probably have never even met him. I guess the Jack Bauer mythos trumps everything. Jack and Chloe have a moment, then Lynn gives him clearance, saying that he's no longer a suspect in DP's murder. Yet, they still have not explained the video tape that apparently shows Jack in the building where DP's assassin was hanging out. Will they? We'll see.

Jack goes to talk to Bill, with an awkward handshake between the two, who tells him that Audrey is talking to Diane. And then there's this look like Jack just pooped his pants. He can't believe that Audrey is in LA, yet alone at CTU. Oh crap. And she's talking to his new girl. Jack may be able to handle every terrorist in the world, but now it's his greatest fear: women. Alright, I may be overexaggerating a bit, but you could tell that he just wanted to go and run back to the oil refinery.

Audrey asks Diane about their relationship, and she says that she knew he kept some secrets, but she never delved into them. And then... Audrey and Jack's eyes meet. She heads out of the room, and then the next awkward moment comes. Face-to-face, Jack and Audrey talk, he apologizes for everything, and she says she doesn't blame him for Paul's death. Audrey really wants to hug Jack, or grab his hand, or jump his bones, but they don't... and it's an awkward ending of the conversation, as Jack walks away. At the ranch, Cummings tells Evelyn to pack Martha's stuff ... for Vermont. Perhaps she'll be forced to eat all the Ben and Jerry's in the state. Nooo!

Spenser is hanging out in that one room in CTU where all the bad stuff seems to happen -- I think it's the server room -- watching Jack on the monitors. Chloe comes in to apologize about her attitude before but Spenser brushes her aside and heads out. Chloe, the ever-inquisitive type, logs onto the station he's been using to see what he was doing, and realizes whatever it was required a level five clearance, something she thinks he doesn't have. She calls up Edgar to confirm his clearance -- he's only at a level three. Call Bill! We've got a mole!

For the first time ever (correct me if I'm wrong), we finally see the security at the entrance to CTU ... and it's two guards, a metal detector and an x-ray machine. No wonder CTU's been infected with moles, blown up, and about to get hit again. You'd think they could invest in a better apparatus. Anyway, one of tie-guy's buddies shows up, saying he's there to fix a computer. But he's not on the list ... the guards have to call it in. Spenser to the rescue! He says that he called him in and forgot to put him on the list, but here's my card, let him through. Spenser leads him to a tech room, leaves, and then the bad guy puts together a gun out of an electric screwdriver and a paintbrush. OK, something like that.

Martha wakes up from her nap and sees Evelyn packing up her stuff. Way to get caught, Evelyn. You're always getting into trouble. And now Martha figures out she's going to Vermont. Way to keep a secret, Evelyn.

At CTU, Spenser's locked out of his system and Edgar won't tell him why. He starts to get agitated, and then a couple of CTU guards come to take him away. Now we get the normal "I'm innocent" "I didn't do anything" blather. He gets taken to one of the old interrogation rooms (it looks the like one where Jack interrogated Nina in season two) where Chloe and Bill are waiting for him. Chloe gets upset with him for using her and Bill has to intervene. But apparently Spenser's logged onto level 5 stuff 18 times in the four months he's been there. Spenser denies that he's done anything wrong and that Chloe is just trying to get back at him for them sleeping together. Bad liar, Spenser.

Logan and Walt go to find Martha, but she's in the bathroom, says Evelyn. When Martha doesn't respond to Logan calling her, he gets suspicious. He opens up the bathroom door and can't find her anywhere. And then we get that thought that maybe she's killed herself, sliced her wrists or hanged herself. Then there's the shot of the pill bottle on the counter, and our theory is changed to ODing. Logan pulls back the shower curtain, but there's no body. But there is a window open... Martha's run. I feel like having a window in the shower is a bit weird. I lived in an apartment once that had one, and it wasn't that I felt that people were watching me, but it was just a little odd. Anyone know what I mean?

Back from a break, Lynn and Jack are discussing what JB's been up to for the past 18 months, and Jack reveals that Palmer told him that someone in the administration wanted Jack dead, so whoever is framing him today is probably related. They get a phone call from the CTU doctor saying that Tony is awake and wants to speak to Jack. He heads over there to talk to his buddy and runs into Derek in the hallway. Tangent: I wonder if Derek knows Richard Heller? End of tangent. In the interrogation room, Edgar says that Spenser's been tracking Jack, and Spenser says he was only following orders. But from who? Marwan? Jack gets into the medical room and goes to talk to Tony -- btw, Carlos Bernard receives a "starring" credit for his amazing performance as a comatose Tony in this episode -- but Tony's out of it. Jack notices someone behind him in one of the monitors. It's the bad guy coming to kill Jack!

Jack and the baddie fight for a bit, with Tony almost getting shot up in the process. That'd really be kicking a guy when he was down -- having him get shot while lying in a hospital bed knocked out -- but all the bullets miss. We see that the real doc is dead underneath a stretcher/table -- guess baddie killed him and phoned Jack in. As they are on the floor fighting, Jack manages to get a pair of scissors and stab them in the guy's throat. Classic, classic. Lots of blood. Bill runs into the room and sees the dead bad guy on the floor. Jack says that he's a professional hitman, and then finds out about Spenser. And we know that Jack is going to go kick Spenser's ass from here to the highway. I just got so pumped that Jack was going to go and beat Spenser to a pulp -- exciting, but I almost felt bad for the kid. Nah, nevermind.

Jack runs into the interrogation room, where he confronts Spenser. They pull up an image of the dead bad guy, and Spenser says he let him in to put a tap on the phones as part of an internal affairs op. Huh? Apparently Spenser, working for Walt, thought he was part of an IA mission to check out CTU under the direct order of the president. Boy, you were just getting played. Ouch. All the guys determine that Walt's the one behind the Palmer hit and the nerve gas, but they say they can't get to him -- he's with the prez. But Jack, oh you smart guy, doesn't work for CTU. He can take Walt out. Beep, beep, beep, beep.

My general feel for this hour is a good one: at first, I was po'ed about the mole plotline, but at least they made it so he wasn't really a mole -- at least we think -- just working for the bad guy that he didn't know was a bad guy. The build up from when Jack almost got killed to going to kick Spenser's ass was great -- here's Jack Bauer, the best agent in the history of the U.S., who's killed terrorists, executives, and CTU personnel (Chappelle, I always liked you), and he's going to kick a punk kid's ass. Great stuff. However, I wish they wouldn't consistently use the "Jack doesn't work for CTU" thing. How many times has he tendered his resignation and just kept on working like it never happened? At least a few times. Nevertheless, I'm excited for next week's Jack-Walt fight. -- Jason Unger

Posted by Jason on January 27, 2006 10:28 AM
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