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24 Fodder

3 PM - 4 PM: Down to Business

Audrey RainesOne of the things that always impresses me is that the folks behind 24 always seem to have the same feelings toward how the show/season is progressing and feeling that we fans do. After a series of annoying story-of-the-hour episodes, we've got a good episode that pushes things along, makes us wonder what exactly is going on and doesn't leave us rolling our eyes over the total suspension of the real-time aspect.

Okay, so maybe only at the beginning do they totally suspend the real-time. Last week's episode ended with Erwich and his guys driving away from their auto shop, and this week opens with them entering some sort of dark room, where we finally meet Vladimir Bierko, the apparent mastermind behind the nerve gas affairs. Bierko isn't exactly happy that Erwich released a canister of nerve gas at the mall and took their focus away from the Russian enemy, so he stabs him in the stomach ... killing him.

Meanwhile, Nathanson (who we haven't heard from recently) is on the run from Bierko's men who are looking for him. He rings up a buddy of his to warn about Bierko ... but the guy gets killed. Too bad.

Over at CTU, Lynn is starting to unravel. He's called up his skanky sister to get his keycard back, but she and the boyfriend just listen to his message on their answering machine. The boyfriend makes some weird face thinking about what he could get for the keycard. When he hangs up, the prez is on the line waiting for him, pretty po'ed that not only did Jack not follow the orders to let the nerve gas be released at the mall, but that the only lead (that Lynn guaranteed they would have) is gone. So since the big cheese is taking it out on him, Lynn decides to take it out on the underlings. He busts in on the conference room and gets into a spat with Audrey, questioning why she constantly defends Jack Bauer. In fact, Lynn wants Jack brought in and placed under arrest for not following orders.

Bill calls up Curtis to bring Jack in, and they are both a little surprised, but whatever. Jack's been arrested and placed into custody probably 80 times over the 5 days we've known him ... surely no hobbit can hold the man down.

Audrey gets a call from Nathanson, saying he wants to talk to Jack, and only Jack. Audrey transfers the call over, and Jack tells Curtis it's a personal call. Nathanson admits to setting Jack up for David Palmer's murder, but wants some protection in exchange for a lead on the nerve gas. Jack agrees to meet him somewhere, but the only problem is that Curtis is driving the car and he's got Jack's gun. Now, instead of reasoning with Curtis (which is the Jack Bauer way to handle problems with partners), he knocks him out and dumps the body on the side of the road. That'll be an apology later in the day.

After the break, Curtis has woken up and calls CTU to let them know what happened. Lynn thinks that Audrey is in on it, since she had just called him, but she denies any involvement. Of course she is, and she brings Chloe into it too, asking her to delete her phone records to get rid of the call with Jack. Lynn has the records brought up on his screen ... until they disappear magically, and then he knows something is going down.

At the farm, Walt's cell phone rings and it's Bierko wanting to talk to Logan. He says that the nerve gas was not meant to be let out in the US, but he'll release more if the prez doesn't give him Russian prez Suvarov's route to the airport so his guys can can him. Bierko will call back in 15, wanting to know the route. Mike isn't happy about it, but Logan requests the route ... just as an option.

Getting-more-annoying-by-the-moment Lynn really wants to know what the deal is with Audrey and Jack (who, remember, was "dead" 9 hours ago) and brings in Bill to discuss. He talks about their relationship, and Lynn questions whether or not Audrey knew Jack was alive.

Jack arrives at the meeting point -- a warehouse -- with Nathanson, but Bierko's guys arrive in a chopper at the same time. Jack races inside to meet Nathanson, who is heading away from the baddies. They all meet up, Nathanson takes out a few, Jack takes out a few ... and a helicopter(?) and then Nathanson gets taken out by the chopper. He passes a chip on to Jack containing info ... it's always a chip, isn't it? Jack calls up Audrey for help, but Lynn is right over her shoulder, so she passes the call onto Chloe, who gets the info from Jack's mighty Treo phone.

As Logan and Mike discuss giving Bierko the route, Martha wanders in ... and you guessed it, she's pissed. Again. But again, she's right.

Chloe's trying to get the info but it's got some government encryption on it -- Dept. of Defense, in fact -- so she needs Audrey's logon. Bill distracts Lynn long enough for Audrey to IM her stuff to Chloe, but nosy Lynn sees her close the box and wants to know what it was. He goes ape when she lies and tells her that if William Devane wasn't her dad he'd throw her out. But he can lock-up Bill, so he does just that. And then he yells at everyone on the CTU floor that Big Brother (or, more precisely Little Hobbit Brother) is watching them. So get back to work!

After the break, Chloe rings up Jack and tells her what she found on the chip -- something about some company making the gas, but the company is related to Omnicron, which Jack recognizes. That's because there's a Christopher Henderson who works there as senior VP.

At the Western WH, Martha's mouthing off to the prez, but they've got to pose for photos with the Suvarovs. Bierko calls up Mike and wants the route, and they give it to him. As the Suvarovs get into their limo to go to their airport, Martha slips in to go with them. Aaron doesn't think she should, but she insists and he jumps in too.

All in all, it was a really good episode. Kept the story going, no dumb story-of-the-hour/innocent-girl-of-the-hour. The Nathanson plot may have been a bit silly, but at least it sort of wraps up his whole deal. -- Jason Unger

Posted by Jason on March 1, 2006 11:15 AM
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