Tonight’s 24 was about as exciting as watching paint dry until about the last 10 minutes. Wait, that’s not fair to drying paint. It actually may be more exciting… especially if it’s a pastel or one of those deep maroon/rust kind of colors. C’mon. Tell me you were not checking your phone for emails and Facebook during the Hassan and his daughter scenes.
I’ll tell ya the problem. One of the main ingredients missing this year is a bad guy that we actually care about. Remember General Jamba Juice and Jon Voight? How about President Logan and Jack’s evil brother, Graham Cracker? Or Tony Almeida… oh man, I’d give my left leg for Tony Almeida right now.
Okay, onto tonight’s recap. As my paint dries, Madam President asks Hassan to hand over a list of suspects from his regime that may be involved in the terrorist operation. He reluctantly agrees, while his head of security engineers an escape and rendezvous with Hassan’s daughter Kayla.
Back in the swamp, Dana and the Fresh Prince decide to cover up the hillbilly incident by dumping the dead bodies in the bayou and stripping the van. The last we see of Kevin, he sinks away into the dark depths, much like Leo DiCaprio in Titanic. (Spoiler Alert: The boat sinks at the end of Titanic.) Next they will clean up and head back to CTU, where they should promptly be fired for going AWOL during a nuclear crisis. Yet when CTU is looking for someone to blame for all the screw-ups, they turn to Renee Walker. Go figure.
However, now that Farthead has called in and asked to surrender, Bubba Gump Hastings tells White House Weiss that he is no longer pursuing Renee. Jack leads a team of Muppet Babies to extract Farthead, but Farthead is shot just before they arrive. He dies before he can identify any of the people that may be involved in the conspiracy. Jack decides that their only option is the W.E.A.B. maneuver, which involves pretending Farthead is still alive in order to lure the bad guys into a trap. The W.E.A.B. maneuver is a classic tactic that passes off a dead body for a living person. (W.E.A.B. stands for Weekend at Bernie’s. )
So CTU sets up a trap to lure the terrorists to a hospital by having a false story broadcast on the news saying Farthead is still alive. This was the best part of the episode because real life Fox 5 New York anchor Ernie Anastos is seen on TV breaking the news. Ernie kinda resembles Bernie, the corpse from the movie, and is well known for his famous “f-ing chicken” blooper. (Click the link and watch the female co-anchor’s reaction.)
Now, I’m no counter terrorism expert, but I do know a few things. First, the last time they set a trap for a bad guy in a hospital, the terrorist managed to sneak in through the ceiling, paralyze Jack with nerve gas and then framed him for murder. So right off the bat, this is a bad idea. Number two, of all places to lure a bomber, you pick a hospital? Really? I heard their back-up locations were an orphanage and a crowded mall.
The bad guys decide to send a kid named Marcos to the hospital to take out Farthead. Marcos calls his American mother first and tells her to get out of the city, and then he straps on his Blues Traveler suicide bomb vest and heads out.
When he gets to the hospital, he is intercepted by the wide-eyed young buck, Agent Owen, the CTU agent we all expect will die any minute. I think his CTU vest is covering his red Star Trek shirt. Using a magic earplug, Jack and Chloe instruct Owen to give Marcos his gun and lead him into the hospital with the bomb. Then they ask him to convince Marcos to show the bomb so Chloe can get the model number and use some magic software to magically disable it. I guess disabling this bomb is a lot like DirecTV activating Showtime for you. They just need to know what kind of box you have and they can do it remotely.
Marcos makes it all the way into Farthead’s hospital room and realizes his target is already dead, after pumping most of his bullets into him. He tries to detonate the bomb, but Chloe has deactivated it. The vest also now gets the NFL Sunday Ticket. (Too bad Kevin is dead, he loved football.)
Jack bursts in, dodges a bullet and tries to reason with Marcos. But the terrorist just smiles and jumps out the window. The fall nearly kills him, but he manages to get right back up and run freely through the hospital. Jack chases him into some kind of giant safe, where Marcos is able to lock himself in and call the other bad guys. Of all the ridiculous things to happen on this show, perhaps the silliest is that he actually gets a cell signal inside that vault. Give me a break.
Jack calls Chloe and asks her to send a copy of Ocean’s Eleven to his phone so he can figure out how to bust into this safe. But then he realizes he doesn’t have ten other clever and charismatic accomplices, including one Asian acrobat, so he goes to Plan B and tries to talk to Marcos through the closed circuit TV. But Marcos is smart enough to turn it off and starts to work on detonating the bomb.
Next week, CTU plays the “M” card and calls in Marcos’ mother, while someone rolls into town looking for dead Kevin. Too bad Dana sunk his body, because the W.E.A.B. maneuver would probably have come in handy right about now.
See you next week.
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