We got another two episodes of 24 tonight, but to be honest, I don’t remember much about the second hour because 10 am of Season 7 was quite simply the BEST EPISODE EVER.
The US is being held for ransom by Dubaka, who now possesses the magical CIP device. (And please, don’t hold me to the spelling of any of these African characters. It’s late and I’m not getting paid for this.) If the President does not pull the US troops out of Sangala, Dubaka will start to crash airplanes, or perhaps something even worse. While the President and Ethan Kanin (her Chief of Staff) wrestle with the decision, Tony Almeida is brought in for questioning. Jack convinces Agents Walker and Boss Moss that he should be the one to question Tony. After all, Jack Bauer looks at an interrogation room the way Bobby Flay looks at a kitchen or Michael Jackson looks at a dance floor. (Or a perhaps a playground.)
After Janice Garofalo nervously hooks up Tony to the monitors, Jack starts to question him, but Tony is stone-faced. Soon the conversation heats up and Tony tells Jack of his hatred of President Logan and the rest of the corrupt government, which he blames for the death of his wife. Once Tony brings up Jack’s wife, Bauer flips the table and threatens to break Tony’s neck. Tony gives him a mysterious name just before Boss Moss once again busts in to c*ck-block Jack’s torture session. When Jack calls Tony’s mysterious contact, the voice is disguised. Finally it is revealed to be our old pal Bill Buchanan, former head of CTU and J. Peterman stunt double. Our first “Holy Sh*t!” moment of the night.
But wait, Bill is not alone. The moment we’ve all be waiting for sneaks up on us fast and we get our second “Holy Sh*t!” moment, and it’s a whopper. Chloe is back and she’s working with Bill. When she first speaks to Jack on the phone, it’s the best moment in the show. She tells him she saw him on CSPAN and that she thought he was being treated unfairly… and that he looked good. God, I love Chloe.
And she’s not the only one working with Bill, so is Tony. Our third “Holy Sh*t!” moment. Pass the butter, because they are on a roll. It’s scenes like this that keep us coming back to 24 no matter how ridiculous it may get from time to time. C’mon and admit it. You we relieved that Tony wasn’t really a bad guy, weren’t you?
It turns out that Tony is undercover in Jama’s organization in order to stay close to the magical CIP device, so Jack now must bust him out and get him back under. As Agent Walker, who seems a bit smitten with our hero, is escorting Jack out of the FBI, Jack suddenly grabs her and puts the Sleeper Hold on her. He tells her not to fight it as she passes out. (Now I know why Jack’s nickname back in college was The Human Roofie.)
JACK IS ROUGE AGAIN! WOO HOO! Jack busts into the interrogation room, and before you can say “Dynamic Duo”, Jack and Tony have laid out Boss Moss and the guard and are on their way out.
Now we are heading into classic 24 territory. Chloe hacks into the FBI system and directs Jack and Tony through the building. Chloe working her computer magic and giving information to Jack makes me realize we have to revive the 24 drinking game. That’s worth a shot. But then Janice Garofalo realizes that someone is hacking their system and takes countermeasures to lock Chloe out. What happens next is our fourth “Holy Sh*t!” moment. A chess match between Chloe and Janice. Janice manages to log Chloe out, but not before Chloe can warn Jack about the cops at the bottom of the stairwell. Luckily, the FBI does not have shatterproof windows, and they also keep fire extinguishers handy to break the glass, so the boys escape into the parking lot.
Now armored troopers are surrounding them. It kind of reminded me of the end of the Smooth Criminal video. (YouTube it.) So Jack provides cover and Tony leaps from the garage onto a parked car as Bill Buchanan Tokyo Drifts a mini-van up to him. As the SWAT team closes in on Jack, he hotwires a car. After acknowledging that it’s going to hurt, he pushes down the accelerator and drives the car through the wall and off the ledge. Who says you need a Bat-Mobile to do stuff like this? Jack can make any car a Bauer-Mobile.
Our boys speed off as Chloe hacks the traffic cameras to cover their tracks. Who needs a C-I-P device when you have C-H-L-O-E?
So that was the end of the first hour and also the BEST EPISODE EVER.
They got the band back together. Jack, Chloe, Bill and Tony together again. I’m so happy I’ll even forgive them for the hoakiness of bringing Tony back.
After that, the second hour was almost an after-thought. I’ll just tell you the major points since I took so much time on the first hour. I think of this hour as the Bizzaro episode of 24. Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine befriends three guys eerily similar, yet distinctly different than George, Jerry and Kramer? Agent Walker is Bizzarro Jack Bauer, along with Janice, the Bizzarro Chloe and Boss Moss, who is Bizzarro George Mason… or any number of other heads of CTU. In fact, the FBI is the Bizzaro CTU, with all of its moles and security gaffes.
Walker is so angry about Jack's betrayal that she is determined to make things right, even if it means crossing the line, just like Jack would. When she confronts Tanner, the injured sniper in his hospital bed, she presses her gun into his wound and eventually blocks his air tubes in order to get information out of him. Man, is she Jack’s soul-mate or what? Once she realizes Jack’s true motivations, she’s going to think of that Sleeper Hold as foreplay.
There is also a subplot of the First Husband confronting his son’s girlfriend and learning that he has in fact been murdered because he uncovered a corrupt person in the President’s Cabinet. (I mean on her team, not literally in a cupboard.) Now the First Hubby has the evidence, which means he’ll be in trouble soon.
Meanwhile, Tony takes Jack to the CTU cave, where Bill and Chloe fill Jack in on their rouge mission to uncover corruption deep in the government. We finally find out that Tony was in fact dead, but a guy named David Emerson revived him with some miracle drug, which I will call the CIP Serum. This guy recruits disgruntled agents into an elite squad that extracts revenge upon the government. It’s a lot like that crew that took over Alcatraz in The Rock, lead by Ed Harris.
So now they have to get Tony back without arousing suspicion, so they decide that Jack needs to also go undercover. His Senate hearings make him the best candidate for this squad since Cy Sperling for the Hair Club for Men. At first Emerson does not trust Jack and orders Tony to kill him, but before they can even discuss it, Jack has overpowered his guards and convinces Emerson to trust him. (At gun point, I might add.) Emerson makes room on the team by killing one of his own men who disagrees with him. So much for a severance package.
They head off to kidnap Matobo, an African diplomat, just as Agent Walker figures out their plan and heads for the scene. Emerson’s team storm the grounds, but Matobo hides in a safe room.
Some other stuff happened, but that’s enough for tonight. Next week we are back to one hour shows and shorter recaps. See you then.
Long Live Almeida.