Tuesday, March 30, 2010

24- Season 8.14 – 5 am: Tunnel of Love

5 am

First things first: The news hit this week that this is officially the last season of 24. Let’s face it; the writers are out of gas. They are recycling plot devices from past seasons like crazy. Jack getting strung up and shocked, another mole in CTU… you know the drill.

It happened again tonight with Ethan Kanin, but I am getting ahead of myself. So while the TV show 24 sadly comes to a close, the good news is that the latest reports say that a Jack Bauer movie is in fact in the works. AWESOME. That’s exactly what this character needs. Get him out of the tired real-time format and onto the big screen with a bigger budget and less restrictions than network TV allows. (And if it’s rated R, let’s hope Renee Walker and Km Bauer make it to the silver screen. Grrrr, baby.)

Tonight the action picks up with CTU hot on the heels of the terrorists, who are fleeing the river with the nuclear rods in a commandeered taxi. Using various cameras along the way, the gang is confident that they will catch up with the bad guys any minute. That is until the camera feed goes dark for 30 seconds or so. When they come back up, the bad guys have blended into the sea of cabs on the streets of New York. Bubba Gump is furious, as is Chief of Staff Rob Weiss and the crew at the UN. What just happened?

They don’t know what we know. Dana, I mean Jenny… I mean Denny, is a mole. We know this for two reasons. First, it was revealed last week when she killed the Parole Officer from Office Space, and also because this week she constantly keeps looking up and around in that “is anyone looking at me” manner that people always do when they are trying to be sneaking. Plus, whispering into a phone with your hand cupped over your mouth is usually a dead giveaway that you are trying to hide something.

Now that the bad guys have the ability to detonate a dirty bomb in the city, they call Madam President and demand she hand over Hassan Chop. She turns to her cabinet and asks for options. While most of the group discuss contingency plans and countermeasures, Chief of Staff Rob Weiss suggests handing Hassan over. One life for 10,000 seems like a good deal. Plus, losing prime real estate like that in Manhattan is truly unthinkable. Some people in the room see the wisdom in his suggestion until Madam P. stands up and gives a stirring monologue about how the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists, and that although she may get knocked down, America always gets up again. (You're never going to keep us down.)

So Madam P. calls her buddy Jack and asks him to escort Hassan Chop back to the UN. (Or somewhere, I can’t remember where they were going.) Naturally, Agent Lohan insists on coming along. The route that Jack will escort Hassan and his family through is a tunnel, to keep him safe against a potential radioactive bomb blast. But the terrorists are not the only ones that Jack and Renee will have to worry about.

Back at the UN, a General pulls Rob Weiss aside and proposes that they disobey the Presidents orders and give Hassan to the terrorists. BUT… make it look like the terrorist kidnapped him. This way the U.S. does not appear to give in and the bad guys get what they want. To his credit, it takes Rob about an entire minute to turn on his President. So they arrange for a strike team to ambush Jack’s group in the tunnel. For some reason they use Ethan’s computer and are caught in the act. When Ethan walks into his office and sees a Rob get startled and abruptly close his screen, at first he suspects he has caught Rob looking at internet porn, but quickly realizes what is really going on. But when he attempts to leave the office, his way is blocked by the General. Suddenly, during the confrontation, Ethan has a heart attack.

Rob goes to help Ethan with his pills, but the General suggest they wait until after the strike team has done their work. Even if it means Ethan dies. This is that other example of a recycled plot device. Remember back when Sherry Palmer allowed Alan Milliken to die in a similar fashion back in Season 3? (Ah, the good old days.)

Being indisposed, Ethan cannot answer the phone when Jack calls him. This sets off a red flag to Jack and he halts the procession mid-tunnel, just before they get to the ambush spot. As they retreat, the attack begins. The brave secret service people hold the line while Jack and Agent Lohan try to get the Hassan family out of harm’s way. Once the strike team has gotten through the secret service, it’s up to Jack and Renee. Hassan offers to give himself up, but Jack won’t let him. That would be quitting, kind of like Daryl Strawberry on this week’s Celebrity Apprentice. So the Hassan asks for a gun so he can help. Jack refuses at first but eventually gives in when things start to go really bad. If these guys ever saw the Hassan Chop episode of Bugs Bunny, they would have known the best thing to give him would have been a sword.

Using smoke bombs and their wits, Jack and Agent Lohan manage to take out most of the strike team, but one gets the jump on them. However, when the shot rings out, yet again, it is the bad guy who goes down. Hassan’s aim is true.

They manage to capture one of the bad guys alive and quickly realize he is American. The soldier confesses and tells Jack the entire intent of his mission and who sent him. If Jack had one of those red Staples buttons, he could have pushed it, because that was easy. Now where’s the fun in that? Deep down inside, Jack had to be a little disappointed that he didn’t have to torture the guy for the information.

Next week, it’s a two hour extravaganza where Denny and Jack finally square off and our favorite, sniveling former President returns.

What did you think? Post a comment below or drop me a line at jack@backinjack.com.

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