Damn you 24. You killed Bill Buchanan. You bastards.
Once again you’ve killed a beloved character. I hate you. But at the same time, it’s moments like this that make me love you. Bless you 24. And damn you straight to hell.
Tonight we pick up in the White House, where General Juma has captured Madam President and a number of hostages including Jack, Bill Buchanan, That Seventies Senator, Aaron and Olivia. The Prez agrees to broadcast a prepared statement, but she asks Juma to release the hostages first. Juma picks one of the nameless saps from the group, an obvious Star Trek Red Shirt if ever there was one, and instead of letting him go, he pops a cap in his skull.
I told you last week; General Juma = Mean Business.
So once again, the unthinkable happens… the President is broadcast reading a confession penned by Juma confessing her country’s atrocities. Outside, Boss Moss and Agent Lohan await the green light to attack, but the V.P. won’t give the order. I bet I know what Agent Lohan was thinking; V.P. must stand for Vice Pansy. It looks like it’s all over for the president and the hostages.
But wait... with Jack Bauer and Bill Buchanan in the room, nothing is ever over. It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it’s not over now. Jack tells Bill that he found some canisters in the lockdown room and he opened the valves on them. Any minute now there will be enough gas to cause an explosion that will take out Juma and his goons. (And as they say at Christian campfires, it only takes a spark to get a fire going.) Jack tells Bill he’ll make a break for the room, drawing gun fire and igniting the room. That Seventies Senator interrupts, demanding to know what is going on. Jack tells him to shut up. But Bill stops Jack before he embarks on his suicide run and tells him that he heard Juma on the phone, getting fed intel from another source. Bill tells Jack that he has to find the source and keep the President safe, and then without warning, he makes a break for the door. Like Jon Bon Jovi himself, Bill goes down in a Blaze of Glory. Bill fires off a shot and blows the bad guys, and himself, to Kingdom Come. (I guess Kiefer Sutherland ain’t the only Young Gun in this posse.)
Let’s have a moment of silence for one of our all time favorite, and perhaps the best dressed heroes to ever grace the hallowed halls of 24 - Bill Buchanan. (As we listen to the song his wife Karen Hayes will no doubt play when she gets the news.) God speed Mr. Buchanan.
Jack doesn’t have time to protest when Bill springs into action. He has to seize the opportunity to take out the rest of Juma’s men. And as soon as they hear the explosion, Boss Moss and Lohan charge in, despite the objections of the Vice Pansy. A vicious fire fight ensues, and Juma’s men are taken out. Juma himself ends up in a confrontation with Jack. Unfortunately, Jack does not get off a snappy one-liner before he disposes of General Juma. I would have said, “Juma, you’re not going anywhere until you settle your bill… Bill Buchanan, that is.” And then I would have sent him to hell in a hail of bullets. Jack Bauer just shoots him. He’s a man of few words.
I’m a man of many words, as this blog would attest.
It’s important to note that Aaron “Big Red” Pierce is protecting the President and Olivia during the fracas. I’ve never seen so much heroism in one place at one time, and that was just the first 11 minutes of tonight’s episode. Later in the show, we see Olivia thank a shirtless Aaron for taking a bullet for her. She mentions something about Martha Logan, Aaron’s soul mate, but Big Red does not want to talk about it. And he doesn’t need any thanks either. That’s just how he rolls.
After the White House is secured, the President tells Ethan (the Secretary of Defense) to hire Olivia as a special assistant to replace some of the red shirts lost in the raid. Ethan protests, and with good reason. When he breaks the news to Olivia, she grows a set of fangs and practically bites his head off. She doesn’t trust him or anyone else in the White House. Judging from the day’s events so far, I can’t blame her.
Meanwhile Agent Lohan finally sees Jack feeling pain, as he gathers himself by his fallen comrade. But Jack doesn’t have time for the pain. He tells Renee about Bill’s information about the additional threat. But Boss Moss wants Jack taken into custody. If I had a nickel for every time Jack was supposed to go into custody, but then didn’t at the last moment, I’d have a lot of nickles. Agent Lohan sidesteps Boss Moss and gets the Secretary of Defense to let Jack interrogate Burnett. (This move also get’s Lohan suspended.) The idea is to let Burnett think that Jack is going to torture him, even though Jack is under strict instructions not to lay a finger on him. But Boss Moss feels this is kind of like putting Rosie O’Donnell in a room with a plate of Twinkies and expecting her to not eat them. It’s not going to end well.
And it does not end well, because Jon Voight and Speed from CSI send a dude named Quinn into the hospital to kill Burnett and take care of Jack. If ever there has been a guy at the right place and time, it’s this guy Quinn. Once Jack is alone and locked in with Burnett, Quinn drops a nerve gas smoke bomb down from the ceiling. He disables the cameras too. So he is able to kill Burnett and frame Jack. Jack comes to just before Boss Moss can break into the room. Jack escapes through the ceiling and is back on the run. He calls Boss Moss and tells him about the bizarre ceiling attack and urges him to focus on the continuing threat and not this decoy. Boss Moss is understandably upset, to say the least.
Next week, Jack is on the lamb, and ends up face to face with That Seventies Senator. And Morris is back, and may be forced to betray Chloe. (By the way, did you catch Chloe on Flight of the Conchords last week? It was Garfunkle-icious.)
Once again, farewell Bill Buchanan.
A lonely nation turns its eyes to you. Woo, woo, woo.
Damn you 24. Damn you straight to hell.
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