Monday, January 26, 2009

24- Season 7: 1 pm – Now That’s Just Plane Rude

1 pm
Tonight on 24 we pick up with Agent Renee Lohan-Walker down in dumps, both figuratively and literally. Figuratively, because she is upset that the only way she could get hickey from the dreamy Jack Bauer was from a Glock 19 at point blank range. And literally, because Jack and Tony wrapped her in a Hefty bag and buried her in a landfill.

Bill Buchanan and Chloe pull up, apparently perturbed that Jack and Tony threw her out instead of recycling. They dig her up, but she is not breathing. Bill promptly tears her blouse open, and I am half excited to possibly see some cleavage and half mortified that Bill Buchanan might be some kind of sick necrophiliac. But Bill takes a page out of John Travolta’s book in Pulp Fiction and before you can say “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”, he gives her an “Uma Thurman” right to the heart with an adrenalin needle.

Meanwhile in the van, Jack gets Emerson to finally explain what happened when Tony supposedly died at the hand of Christopher Henderson in Season Five. Yes, it’s just plain ridiculous, but I don’t care because this show is better with Tony than without him. So I guess that Henderson purposely missed Tony’s artery when he stabbed him with the needle so that he could be revived by Emerson and used against Jack. That is until Henderson was killed and the plan went to hell. Then Tony decided to stay on with Emerson’s crew because of his disdain for the government. Of course, this means that Henderson anticipated, and even planned, that Tony would disobey orders and sneak down to his cell to kill him back when he was in custody. Whatever.

Just repeat the 24-oholics mantra and you’ll get through this. “Suspension of belief. Suspension of belief. Go with the flow. Go with the flow.”

Back at the White House, the President is at it, yet again, with her Chief of Staff, Ethan Kanin. They continue to debate the withdrawal of the troops in Sangala. Considering this guy was the warden in the Shawshank Redemption, there is no way I trust him. However, his warnings prove to be true when Dubaku orders two planes to collide, using the magical CIP device. And this thing is so precise that they can actually cause the collision right outside the President’s window.

This triggers an emergency cabinet meeting, where everyone agrees that they should give into the terrorists, except the President. She wants to hold out until there is absolutely no hope left of retrieving Matobo. Warden Shawshank wonders if maybe her husband can knock some sense into his woman, but the First Hubby unavailable. You see, his evil Secret Service Agent slipped him a super-dose of Viagra and he’s stiff as a board and unable to stand up when Samantha walks in the apartment where he is being held captive. (Admit it. Every guy watching has been there himself at one time or another.)

Samantha is promptly stabbed and killed by Agent Gedge, who then tries to stage a suicide by stabbing the First Hubby, but eventually resorts to a hanging, because it aides the feng shui of the apartment much better. Luckily, the Viagra wears off just in time and the First Hubby pushes them both over the rail. The First Hubby lands on Gedge much like Austin Powers used Robin Swallows (maiden name Spitz) to cushion his fall in The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Meanwhile, Agent Lohan discovers that she has been rescued by the A Team… or actually the J Team; an elite team that operates outside the law to help the oppressed. You’ve got the silver haired leader, Hannibal Buchannan, Templeton Bauer, the Face-Man, tough guy B.A. Almeida and Howlin’ Mad O’Brien, the wild card.

At one point, Emerson tries to kill Jack, and holds him at gun point in front of Tony. Jack tells Tony to take the shot. Just take the shot. So Tony takes the damn shot and gives Emerson a terrible hickey. Emerson tells Tony to go to hell, and then proceeds to send himself there first.

Jack convinces Matobo and his wife to allow themselves to be turned over to Emerson’s boss, Nichols. When Nichols arrives, Tony informs him that he has killed Jack and Emerson in order to keep the diamonds for himself. (You see, Tony is living in a material world, and he is a material girl.) But when Nichols tries to kill Tony, Jack takes the damn shot from his hidden position and they take out Nichols men. They keep the diamonds and allow Nichols to live and also take Matobo, so they can track him with Chloe’s embedded micro-chip.

However, Dubaku is not just sitting idly waiting for Nichols to come back. Because the President has still not pulled out her troops, he decides to use the magical CIP device on a small town in Ohio. What does he have planned? We’ll just have to wait until next week to see.

In the meantime, please keep in mind tonight’s lesson from the J Team. Always remember to recycle. You won’t just save the planet; you also might save a life.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at or post a comment below.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

24- Season 7: 12 pm – Dirty Deeds

12 pm
After a two-night season premiere with back to back episodes each night, tonight’s one hour 24 seemed to fly by. First of all, to answer a question I have gotten a few times, the place you may remember Boss Larry Moss from is the TV show Dirt. And that was the theme running throughout tonight’s episode… dirt.

Jack & Tony are getting their hands dirty in order to get close to the CIP device. We pick up with them still undercover with Emerson’s crew, trying to kidnap Motobo, the disposed Prime Minster of Sangala. Motobo is holed up in a safe room with his wife. Emerson uses a videophone to let Motobo know that if he does not come out, one of his bodyguards will die. Tony and Jack can’t stop him without blowing their cover, but a call from the FBI saves the poor sap. With the FBI on the way, they suddenly have a deadline, and so Jack suggests they use everyday cleaning products to do their dirty work, and they gas the safe room with a concoction of Bleach, Scrubby Bubbles, Head & Shoulders and some Axe Body Spray. I guess it’s not that safe of a room. Motobo is willing to die for his country, but his wife isn’t, and she opens the door just in time.

The bad guys whisk them off, but not before the goon who looks like he’s in Maroon 5 catches Agent Lohan, I mean Walker, sneaking around the grounds. He just “Won’t Go Home Without Her,” so they throw her in the truck too. (More on her in a bit.)

We also got some dirt on the gang at the FBI tonight. We found out that there is a lot more going on at the FBI besides investigations. There’s more drama there than at a junior high school dance. First let’s talk about Sean Hillenger, the FBI guy who fixed it so that his wife’s plane would land ahead of all the others in holding patterns around the country. His wife calls him from the baggage area and asks him if he had anything to do with her landing situation. He denies it, and he also denies her offer for some nookie. You see, she’s not the only one with baggage. Sean’s a bit of a dirty bird. We learn the he had some kind of encounter with a hot, blonde coworker the night before.

Want more FBI dirt? No problem. Let’s talk about Renee Walker, who is called back to HQ by Boss Moss as she was heading for the scene. There are lawyers looking for her because of the methods she used to get the information out of Tanner last week. She continues to emulate Jack and ignores the order. She’s all about the ends justifying the means, if you know what I means. After Boss Moss learns that Renee has been captured, Janice Garofalo notices that Boss Moss has a little thing for Renee. This perception is alarming to Sean, who does not want to get busted for his own secret side dish.

Meanwhile, the First Hubby takes up an offer from Brian, his secret service dude, to go see a friend that can decode the evidence he has obtained. He must have one of those Little Orphan Annie Decoder Rings. But it turns out Brian is evil and the First Hubby is rendered paralyzed by a Venti, half-caff French Roast with shot of vanilla and poison. Now Brian and another bad agent are going to kill both him and his son’s girlfriend and make it look like a murder/suicide.

Back in the truck, Emerson decides that Renee has outlived her usefulness and orders Jack to kill her. After the all the bitching and verbal lashing she has been giving him throughout the entire ride, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Jack had actually done it. He marches her through a remote construction site just outside Metro DC that looks amazingly like the hills of Southern California. Then he whispers to her “Just trust me and I’ll get you through this alive. Now, get on your knees.”

Fella’s take note, that’s a winning pick-up line if I’ve ever heard one.

Then he shoots her in the head. Or at least that’s what it looks like, but he really just grazes her and she plays dead. As far as Emerson knows, she’s now a dead bitch in a ditch wrapped in plastic. But then Emerson orders them to bury her, so no one discovers her too soon. So Tony and Jack cover her in what else? Yep, dirt.

See you next week.

(Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at or post a comment below.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

24- Season 7: 10 & 11 am – Seems Like Old Times

10 am
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.

Monday, January 12, 2009

24- Season 7: 8 & 9 am - Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Moss

Finally, the wait is over. 24 is back, Jack is back and another old friend is back from the dead…. And he doesn’t seem to be too friendly anymore.

Tonight was the first of the two-night, four hour premiere. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started. The action has shifted to Washington DC. CTU has been dismantled and Jack Bauer is standing trial for some “questionable” tactics he used to coerce a prisoner a while back. Red, the dad from That Seventies Show leads the proceedings and before he proceeds to grill Jack, he asks about the whereabouts of Jack’s lawyer, but Jack Bauer don’t need no stinking lawyer. You see, Jack does what needs to be done, even if it means he has to get his hands dirty. I think that Mike Rowe should follow Jack around for a day for a very special and bloody episode of Dirty Jobs, shot in real time of course.

The trial is interrupted by Agent Renee Walker, who looks a little like Lindsay Lohan before she skanked out. Agent Lohan, I mean Walker, has a subpoena and whisks Jack away to help with a developing crisis that involves someone he knows.

It turns out that some computer guy named Michael Lathan has been kidnapped by a bunch of thugs in ski masks in order to construct a magical device that can breach something called the CIP Firewall, which seems to block access to everything that is vital to national security. The lead thug’s ski mask can’t hide a familiar soul patch on his chin. When Jack is briefed at FBI headquarters, it is revealed that the man behind the mask is none other than Tony Almeida. Jack can’t believe it for a couple of reasons. First, he saw Tony die a couple of seasons ago at CTU, and second, bringing back dead characters like this is something The Young and The Restless might do, but surely not 24. That would be too hokey, even for 24.

Well Jack, you’d best take your left foot out, shake it all about and do the hokey pokey, because Tony is in fact alive and involved in this terrorist plot. Agent Walker explains that Jack only saw Tony’s body for a minute before it was carted off and he does not know what happened after that… and neither do we. How did they bring him back? Voodoo, zombie virus or maybe a miracle? I mean CTU was pretty inept. They’ve had countless security breaches; it was blown up, flooded with poison gas and even breached by criminals who came in through the sewer. Not to mention the number of moles that infiltrated their ranks. After all that, am I supposed to believe they were skilled enough to revive Tony after a lethal dosage of a powerful chemical? Yeah right, and next you’ll tell me there is a woman in the White House.

Oh wait, there is a woman in the White House. President Taylor, who was sworn in during 24: Redemption, is still busy dealing with the crisis in Africa with General Jamba Juice when she learns about the new, domestic threat. Not only that, but also her son Roger is dead, apparently by suicide. Henry Taylor, the First Man, refuses to believe it and thinks his son was murdered. He even confronts his son’s girlfriend, who had received a deposit of $400,000 in her bank account just days after Roger’s death.

Tony’s hostage assembles the magic CIP device and Tony demonstrates his leverage by directing two planes to narrowly miss each other on a runway at JFK. They call it a warning shot across the bow; I call it a warning shot across the Bauer. However, we eventually learn that one of Tony’s colleagues is secretly in league with General Jamba Juice's people, linking both plots.

Back at the FBI, (the new CTU) we meet Agent Walker’s boss, Larry Moss. Let’s call him Boss Moss. Boss Moss is very leery of Jack Bauer and lets him know that the FBI is nothing like CTU, and they don’t resort to those cavalier and illegal tactics. We also meet the new Chloe, Janis Gold (freaking Janeane Garofalo), and Sean Hillinger (Rhys Coiro) who you might remember as Billy Walsh, the crazy independent filmmaker from Entourage.

Jack uses his intimate knowledge of Tony to pinpoint a contact that Tony used in his plot, but when Jack and Agent Walker confront him, he refuses to talk. Agent Walker, who had JUST warned Jack against brutal tactics, immediately authorizes Jack to do whatever it takes to get the info. That’s kind of like a personal trainer telling you to eat more vegetables and then hands you a box of donuts. Jack is about to flick a Bic into the suspects eye when sniper fire erupts and the suspect is killed.

The FBI surrounds the adjacent building but the sniper escapes thanks to a mole in the organization. And you’re telling me the FBI is nothing like CTU? Anyhoo, Jack spots the sniper, who is disguised as an FBI agent. Jack Bauer may be a bad ass, but he also knows a thing or two about fashion and notices that the guy’s shoes did not match the rest of the FBI agents.

Agent Walker is convinced by Jack to not alert the FBI because of the mole, so they follow the suspect on their own. They track him to a marina where Tony’s hideout boat is docked. After roughing up the sniper, they storm the boat and a shootout ensues. Jack ends up chasing Tony and holds a gun on him, but he hesitates and Tony runs. Jack leaps off some crates and tackles Tony, but before he can make another move, Boss Moss sweeps in on a helicopter and crashes the party. He was suspicious of Walker’s story about following up a lead and had them tracked.

Okay, that’s enough for now. These two-hour recaps can be torture to write, and I wouldn’t want to upset Boss Moss. He hates torture.

See you tomorrow.