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24 Fodder

12 PM - 1 PM: Going For the Eyes

President LoganCTU has apparently taken Spenser at his word that Walt Cummings told him to spy on CTU and is behind the day's events so far. This fact is amusing, since three minutes ago, they figured out that Spenser was a liar and working against CTU, even letting that guy in to come kill Jack. So without any other evidence to prove it, they decide that Walt must be guilty. Look, obviously CTU is right that Walt is involved in everything, but I find it hard to believe that these intelligent government agents would trust a kid who has been working there for four months (and they just found out was a mole) that the chief of staff (or chief advisor, they waver on his title) of the president is involved in terrorism. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief because we already know that they're right and the whole cram-as-much-into-an-hour-as-possible thing they do, but you'd think Jack would still punch the kid around some more to verify that he's not lying.

Anyway, Jack is ready to go take on Walt by himself, with another "I don't work for CTU/you" mini-plots, but Lynn is a bit hesistant. I'm starting to really like Lynn. He brings a bit of calm, slow-down to the show. Obviously Jack is ready to pull the trigger at any moment, and Bill is becoming like that too, but Lynn provides a bit of moral center to the show. He's making the right decisions, but he isn't ignoring the potential ramifications of their actions. He realizes that Jack going after Walt can't directly backfire at CTU, but he tells Jack not to make going after Walt revenge for David Palmer's death. Jack's going to get in touch with Mike Novick, apparently since they both secretly (or not so secretly) loved DP, and Novick's never been know to do something against the president before (oops, did Jack forget season 2 and the female Lynn?).

Back at the ranch, Logan is pretty pissed off that Martha hasn't been found yet. I mean, seriously guys, it's been a whole 5 minutes. He's the freaking president, when he says jump, you say "how high?" not "we're working on it." Now you know how Evelyn feels. Mike brings in a nerve gas tape to show the prez, which includes some random guy standing in a pit and then his face getting all nasty. And that's not even the real nerve gas, that the bad guys have stolen. So it's going to get dirty. Mike has to excuse himself because he gets a note on his BLACKBERRY (emphasis to show the level of product placement) from Jack to call him. And don't tell anyone.

So Mike calls up Jack, they have a moment of bonding, and then Jack says that he knows something about the nerve gas -- and it involves Walt. Jack wants to meet Mike, so they agree on a place on the ranch. Jack says he'll be there in 15 minutes, and he doesn't leave for another five minutes (you'll find out why momentarily), so the ranch must be ... across the street from CTU. Well, in 24's LA, everything is close. Having driven around there for the first time this past fall, it's not true. But when Jack Bauer comes a knocking, everyone on the road gets the hell outta the way.

On his way out, Jack runs into Derek and Diane and requests a moment with Diane. Jack says he has to help CTU out and Diane wants to know if he'll be coming back to them. Jack says no, but that he really considers them family. Diane wants to know if Jack loves Audrey, whom she has figured out had something going with her Frank sometime back, and Jack says he does. But he's not sure if Audrey still loves him, after he killed her husband and everything. They have a little kiss on the cheek (I was totally expecting a shot of Audrey looking on) and then Jack goes on his way.

Apparently Walt's got a tape of Mike and Jack's call (where's Amnesty Global lawyer defending Jack's rights now?) and knows that Jack is on his way to spilling hissecret. He shares all of this with Nathanson (the big bad guy? or maybe not), who tells him to kill Jack, since his guy didn't get it done at CTU. Beep, beep, beep, beep.

Back from the break, Aaron has found Martha, hiding out in the stables. Crazy Martha makes an appeal to Aaron, and when she name-drops David Palmer, Aaron listens. I always enjoyed the relationship between DP and Aaron (or real life Bobby Hill, if you will). Aaron knows, however, that she has to be taken in, so a couple of other agents bring her back. Over at the crates where the canisters are being shipped out, we see a guy inside a crate attaching some sort of timing device to the canisters. As he comes out, tie-guy wants to know what he was doing and he says just checking out the canisters. Hmmm, okay...

Diane and Derek are still loitering around CTU when Diane calls over Audrey. Totally blunt, Diane wants to know if she still loves Jack, 'cuz Jack still loves her. Audrey's obviously a little taken aback by this, but Diane tells her that if she doesn't love him, let him know so that he'll come back to them. Audrey has to ring up Jack, on his way to meet with Mike, and ask him if it's true. He says it is, but she wants to know if they can get together for dinner (or breakfast tomorrow, I guess) after today, but he's not sure what he'll be up to (or if it has anything to do with China!).

Aaron tells Logan that they found the first lady hiding out in the stables, and Logan is happy, but isn't 100 percent sure about sending her to Ben and Jerry's land in Vermont. And then this is where it gets surprising. Walt tells Logan that Jack is on the way to the ranch to accuse him of helping the terrorists acquire the nerve gas -- and it's true. Walt says that they were going to let the nerve gas go to Central Asia and blow it up in the hands of the terrorists in order to prove the existance of WMDs. That way the oil will keep on flowing. Logan gets pissed off -- understandably -- and then realizes Walt had DP killed. Oh no you didn't, Walt. And you know what that means -- Martha ain't crazy, either. But Walt says that there's no way to call off the op because his guy has gone dark already. So Logan has to go along with the plan, but he probably would anyway since he can't make decisions by himself.

Jack's at the ranch, hanging out under a tree getting some shade when Novick pulls up in a big, black car. Jack makes the long walk to the car, where Mike, it seems, is much happier to see Jack than the other way around. But their meeting can't start, since agents swarm them in cars, helicopters and horseback (okay maybe no horses). Jack gets placed under arrest before he's able to explain to Mike exactly why he wanted to meet. Meanwhile, Walt convinces Logan to remove CTU from the nerve gas investigation, since the smarties over there will trace it to the White House. It's a shame to see Logan get pushed around by Walt like this, because you know that he, overall, is trying to do the right thing as president, but he just doesn't have any cajones. Jack gets led away in cuffs, and he catches eyes with Aaron for a second. Aaron wants to know why Jack is being arrested -- it's at this point when I realize that, despite both being characters from season one, I don't know if they've ever met -- and you can tell something fishy is happening.

In the CTU office, they've just gotten the news to stop looking for the nerve gas, and sense that something is wrong. Bill wants to continue looking for it, despite the WH's order, but Lynn isn't so keen on the idea. Bill flips out on Lynn, saying that he doesn't have the kind of experience necessary to make that call. Lynn takes Bill outside, where they brandish their (imaginary) brass knuckles and get it on. Bill wins and Lynn agrees that they should ignore the order and continue looking for the gas.

We get a minute or two with Martha and her gal Evelyn, where we find out that Martha used to be her hubby's #1, but ever since he's been president she's not consulted as often. And it's all your fault, Evelyn. You just can't do anything right. $10 says Evelyn's involved with the terrorists somehow... okay, maybe not.

Aaron makes his way to the shed (?) where Jack is being held, and the two finally officially meet. Jack knows that Aaron and DP were close, so he tells him that DP was killed because he knew about Walt's plans, the nerve gas, etc. Jack says he know it sounds crazy, but Aaron interjects that it's just what the first lady has been saying. And then we get a commercial break. After the break, Aaron awkwardly tells another agent to call in that Jack has escaped, and the two of them show up in the office with Walt and Logan. Jack goes after Walt, obviously, with some kick-ass Chuck Norris moves. Logan wants Aaron to stop Jack to "protect the president" and Aaron says that he is -- from Walt. Jack tells Logan everything about Walt's actions, and then gets that shocked look on his face when Logan tells him that he already knows everything, but it's too late to do anything. Jack doesn't believe that Walt doesn't know where the canisters are, and we get the most intense moment of the show, with Jack taking a knife to Walt's face and this classic line (I'm paraphrasing): "I'm going to cut your right eye, and then I'm going to cut your left eye. And I'm going to keep on cutting until you tell me what I want to know." This line was up there with the hacksaw line of season 2 and sock-down-the-throught from season 1 as best violent lines ever from Jack. Walt gives up the info of where and when the nerve gas is supposed to leave.

CTU will run point on the pick up of the canisters, under Logan's command, and then Jack and Aaron offer to be taken into custody for what they did. Sensing he was wrong ... again ... Logan tells Aaron to pick up his badge, and wants Jack's help until the nerve gas has been picked up. But, besides the fact that the nerve gas is loose, they've got another problem: Jack is alive. Jack says that he'll disappear as soon as the threat is over, and Logan agrees. Of course, you know that the Chinese are going to find that Jack is alive and come after him, despite this not being mentioned at all. Hopefully they'll talk about that later.

After a commercial, we see Martha getting shipped out to Vermont, but hubby runs to her and stops her from leaving. She gets pissed off at everything and gives him the cold shoulder, especially since she's been right all along. He gives her a little kiss on the cheek, and she's still po'ed. But Logan's got to head over to watch the crews pick up the canisters, so they'll deal with it later. Chloe determines which ship is headed to Central Asia and Edgar figures out which crate it is (the only real appearances by these two characters the whole hour, and then one line from Curtis) and the teams swarm in. Bill figures out tie-guy's name -- Ivan Erwich -- and needs Jack to ID him if he's onsite.

The team heads into the crate, where they find a dead body -- it's the guy Walt had attaching the detonaters to the canisters. And all the nerve gas is gone. Great, good job one-line guy. All you had to do was attach the stupid timers and not get caught. And what did you do? Get caught. Idiot. Beat-up Walt gets dragged in and confirms that that's his guy, and realizes the terrorists must know about the plan. When his cell phone rings, you know the shit has hit the fan. Tie-guy, on the phone, says that they've got the nerve gas, and it's going to get used on American soil. Way to go Walt.

I guess Walt, like Lynn before, hadn't caught up on the previous seasons of the show, specifically season 2 where Roger Stanton tried the same trick with a nuclear bomb. Guess those DVDs weren't high enough in your NetFlix queue, Walt.

One of the great things about this episode was the involvement of Aaron. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's one of only three guys who have played a prominent role (sorry Tony, getting blown up doesn't count) in this season that were in the show all the way back in season one (the others being obviously Jack and Mike Novick). We get a glimpse of him doing what he thinks is right, even if it means going against his normal job description. The character is great.

What I like about this "threat" is that -- hopefully -- they'll stick away from the "terrorist mastermind planning this one day of attacks for years" plot line. Obviously, it wasn't the bad guys intent to use the nerve gas in LA, but now that Walt has screwed up big time, that's probably what they'll do. It makes it seem a lot less big bad conspiracy-like, which can get a little old. -- Jason Unger

Posted by Jason on February 3, 2006 8:56 AM
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