Tuesday, January 19, 2010

24- Season 8.4 7pm: Red Handed

7 pm

Okay, here’s the episode all the guys have been waiting for. It’s the return of everyone’s favorite fiery redhead, Renee Walker. The woman I affectionately referred to last year as Agent Lohan. Although I did not come up with these, I wanted to quickly share some of the other names that other 24 fans have given her: Jacqueline Bauer and Rack Bauer. Brilliant, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

This episode picks up with us wondering if Fresh Freddie Prince will emerge from flaming wreck of his car. Davros, the assassin dressed like a motorcycle cop, draws his gun and sets off to finish off Hassan. This relentless killing machine in a CHiPs outfit couldn’t help but remind me of the bad Terminator from T2. But before he can get to Hassan, the Fresh Prince emerges from the wreckage and gets Hassan safely into a CTU vehicle.

Then, while on the phone with Jenny from the Block… I mean Dana, Fresh actually spots Davros out of a sea of policemen and chases him into the only dark and deserted alley within 10 miles of the UN. Ever the multi-tasker, even while he flees Davros advises Hassan’s evil brother Farthead to get the hell out of Dodge. Farthead, who is in a limo with Hassan’s wife and kid, is not one to dilly-dally. He jumps out of the car, stabs a cop in the neck and takes off into the night.

The Fresh Prince heads into the dark building and plays a game of cat & mouse with Davros. The bad guy gets the jump on Fresh, points a gun to his head and tells him to call in a false report that will enable him to escape. Fresh again impresses us by not cooperating, almost certainly sealing his fate. But when the shot rings out, it is Davros that falls. Jack Bauer has finally arrived.

Hassan and the body of Darvos are taken back to CTU, where Chloe is sitting on the biggest “I told you so” in the history of “I told you so’s”. And to her delight, Hastings finally gives her props. Just for a second, her smirk actually turns to a smile.

While at CTU, Hassan has a chance to thank the Fresh Prince for saving his life and to talk to his girlfriend, Miss Reed. Things would have gotten steamy between the two, but not for the mood-killing glass walls of CTU and the gawking eyes of the guards. There’s just no privacy there. I bet even the bathroom stalls have glass doors. Hassan basically tells Reed he loves her, but he has to end things and give it another try with his wife… for the greater good. Here’s where I predict that Miss Reed, who we were initially mislead into thinking was evil, will now actually do something bad. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Meanwhile, Davros continues to cause trouble, even from beyond the grave. His body triggers a bio-hazard alarm. (This kind of thing happens to Courtney Love all the time.) It turns out his body has trace-elements of weapons grade uranium. Hassan Chop figures that Farthead must have been trying to step-up his country’s nuclear program by purchasing uranium from the Russian mob. Faced with the task of taking on the Reds, CTU looks up the best agent for the job. The top undercover person they have is also a red… head. Yep, Renee Walker. It seems a few years ago she was under deep cover with the Ruskies and her cover is still intact. But she left the FBI under bad circumstances and has been living a troubled existence ever since. When Jack hears this, he explains that he tried to contact Renee a few times, but she blew him off. He decides that his part is done and prepares to leave for LA. But once he learns that Renee has agreed to go back undercover, he changes his mind. It seems his heart is also as big as Hassan’s hair. Poor Chloe… Jack has no problem saying no to her, but when it comes to Kim or Renee, he’ll change his mind in a New York minute.

But what about Farthead? He heads off to a Russian Tea Room to meet with some shady Russians who are drinking some tea. After being assured that the uranium is real by meeting a radiation-poisoned Ruskie locked in the cooler, Farthead moves ahead his plan to complete the uranium deal. I am still not sure why uranium being sold by Russians to Muslims needs to be in the United States at all. But I’ll just roll with it.

Back at CTU, Jack and Renee finally reunite. They hug and all that tension between then picks right back up. Jack shows us the scars on Renee’s wrists, just so we understand the extent of her problems. Renee, however, seems reinvigorated by the mission. Maybe a little too invigorated. So Jack joins the team, much to her chagrin. They have to find a Ruskie named Zia, an old contact of Renee’s who can lead them to another Ruskie named Vladimir. (Note, Vladimir is another alumni of Battlestar Galactica. And his character was a Cylon who had an obsession with Starbuck, better known as 24’s Dana. Small world, huh?)

The best part of the whole episode is that Renee’s undercover persona is a seductive, bad girl with a breathy voice and a come-hither look. Jack waits in the car while she heads into a store to talk to her old pal Zia. Zia is reluctant to help her, so she turns up the heat and starts to tease him. When he tells her he can’t help her because of his parole bracelet, Renee tells him it’s no problem. She knows how to get those off. She secures his arm in a vice and pulls out a power saw. As she lowers the blade, Zia mentions that she can’t cut the wristband or he’ll get in trouble. No worries, she has no intention of ruining a perfectly good wristband. Instead, she cuts off his freaking hand.

When he hears the screams, Jack races in and sees the mess she has made. He wants to call the whole operation off, but Renee tells him to man-up. This is the big leagues and things will get ugly. She has a point. Jack has done stuff like this before. It’s like the kettle calling the pot black… or red in this case.

Renee tells Jack to cauterize Zia’s nub so they can get on with the mission. Holy crap, Renee is nuts. I love it. This is awesome.

Four hours have elapsed, 20 more to go. I can’t wait to see what else Renee has up her sleeve. It’s certainly more than Zia, who without a hand, now has considerably less up his sleeve.

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