Tuesday, April 28, 2009

24- Season 7: 3 am – Visting Hours Are Over

3 am

Not much happened tonight on 24, and yet there seems to be a lot to write about.

Tonight we meet the mysterious group that Tony is working for. Alan Wilson is the only one of the players that we actually get to know at all. He’s the guy that’s been calling the shots with Cara Bowden, the woman who slipped Hodges the suicide pill. We learn that this group is made up of a people from different independent military companies like Starkwood, who want to shock the country into shape, opening the door for them to seize more power. Or something like that.
Bottom line is that they are powerful, ruthless and computer savvy.

Alan Wilson is played by Will Patton, who is one of those guys that you will recognize from a million movies. He’s been in a ton of stuff like Armageddon and Copy Cat. You might remember him in the movie Silkwood, which is ironic since that movie also dealt with a person who was contaminated by a deadly substance. He was also in The Postman, with Kevin Costner, which is a movie that is so bad that you will be begging for a deadly pathogen to put you out of your misery by the end of it.

Anyway, the deadly substance in the canister has been successfully smuggled out of Starkwood by Galvez, with help from Evil Almeida. Tony leaves the helpless Jack on the ground and then shoots his way outside the FBI’s perimeter. He meets up with Galvez, who demands to be paid for the canister. After Tony pays him, Galvez turns on Tony but he’s no match for Evil Almeida. Even with a self-inflicted bullet wound, Tony still manages to wrestle and kill Galvez with a shower curtain. But Tony misses a great one-liner opportunity in the bathroom. I would have said, “It's curtains for you, Galvez.”

It occurred to me that Tony has become the evil version of Jack Bauer, kind of like Venom to Spiderman or even Jeannie's brown haired, evil twin sister on I Dream of Jeannie.

Cara Bowden, Hodges fake lawyer, shows up at Tony’s room to take the canister back to the group. But Evil Almeida proposes that they strike today with the canister instead of taking the pathogen back for reproduction and an attack at a later date. Cara has Wilson run the idea by the group in their funky, evil chat room; “Can’t-See-Your-FaceBook”. They vote in favor of Tony’s plan, so in a way, Tony has taken control of the mysterious group.

Meanwhile, Jack has pretty much taken control of the U.S. Government. First Stuttering Jack tells Agent Lohan about Tony. Then he gets his shots to overcome his weakness… kind of like Roger Clemens, except Jack Bauer didn’t lie to Congress. (Allegedly. Wink.) After he’s back on his feet he convinces Madam President to fire up the old CTU servers so they can track some recent terrorist activity. You know what that means… Chloe is finally called back into duty. We find her asleep in a hotel room with her son Prescott and Morris. So much has happened in the past few episodes that when Jack tells Chloe about Bill Buchanan’s death, it strikes a chord with us because we had almost forgotten about it in all the commotion.

Jack also pays a visit to Hodges, who is being held in secret at the FBI. Like Tony and his gunshot wound, Jack and Hodges both seem to be doing fine despite their recent lethal infection and heart attack. Jack realizes that the only way to get Hodges to talk is for them to fake his death and offer him witness protection so his family will be safe. Jack finally gets Hodges to spill the beans and they learn about the mysterious group and their plans, even though we don’t get any names. Jack deduces that they must be planning to attack today, because he and Tony think alike.

So Chloe ends up back at FBI headquarters, where she once again gets to face off against Janice Garafalo, who is not happy about the possible illegal methods they are resorting to in order to address this new threat. That is until Jack deals with her, not with torture, but with a can of verbal whoop ass. Unfortunately, Jack cites President David Palmer instead of Madam President, which tips off Chloe that all is not well with Jack.

Meanwhile, First Daughter Olivia is not happy with the deal that they give Hodges, since he was the person responsible for her brother’s death. So first she half-kiddingly asks “Big Red” to kill Hodges, but naturally, Aaron wouldn’t do that. So then she calls some dude named Martin, who happens to be in bed with some other dude. Martin seems to be some kind of gay assassin. Not a person who kills homosexuals, but a homosexual who kills people. Regardless, Olivia thinks he is fabulous and arranges to meet with him in 15 minutes… or just after the first commercial break next week.

Meanwhile, Evil Almeida and his team move in on an Arab fellow who will be used as the fall guy in the next big attack. By framing the foreigner, the mysterious group will rise to power by appearing to be the heroes. It’s similar to Syndrome’s plan in The Incredibles, if you think about it.

So next week we head into the home stretch of this season of 24. Only four more hours left. Can you believe it?

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at jack@backinjack.com or post a comment below.

Monday, April 20, 2009

24- Season 7: 2 am – Who’s The Boss?

2 am

This week picks up with Hodges’ hot blonde lawyer getting ready to head out to see her client. Her hair is pulled back and she puts on her glasses. But there is a knock at the door and when she opens it up she is sprayed in the face with some knockout gas. (It serves her right for just opening the door at 2 am.) A mysterious man and woman overpower her and the woman proceeds to adopt her persona, right down to sexy glasses and a false thumb print. She may look like a bookworm, but we know underneath it all there’s a naughty, “She’s My Cherry Pie” girl waiting to get out.

I wonder… would a false thumb print would work if you tried to impersonate The Fonz?
I doubt it. That’s one thumb you can’t fake.

Meanwhile, Tony plots his next move while Boss Moss just lies there… deader than a door nail. Galvez, the Starkwood operative that stole the canister, is on the run. Tony shoots himself in the side to conceal the fact that he is helping the suspect. Yeah, that old gag. Doesn’t he realize that Sean, the FBI mole from this morning, tried the same thing after he shot his girlfriend back at headquarters?

When the cops show up, they attend to Tony while Galvez finds a place to hide in the neighborhood. But he can’t go far because the FBI has cordoned off the area. So Tony spends a good amount of time funneling back information to help Galvez avoid being caught. They decide to pick a building in the last section of the search grid, lure all the FBI agents inside and then blow up the building. Kind of like a big, flaming Roach Motel, they can check in but they won’t check out.

Meanwhile, Kim Bauer plans on heading back to LA. Kim and Agent Lohan have a few words but I honestly got caught up in the fact that the hot 24 blonde was talking to the hot 24 redhead and I didn’t really catch what they were saying. Later on, Kim calls some dude who turns out to be her husband. We find out that Kim is married and has a daughter named Teri. (You long time 24 fans smiled when you heard that name, didn’t you?) So if Kim has a kid it means two things. Jack Bauer is a grandfather and Kim Bauer is officially a MILF.

Then Agent Lohan gets the news that Boss Moss is dead. She takes the news hard, but quickly has to snap out of it because she’s in charge now. It’s kind of like in The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf falls in the Mines of Moria and Aragorn realizes that he now has to lead the Fellowship of the Ring. There’s no time to mourn. Now I don’t think that Aragorn was having an affair with Gandalf, but I suspect Renee Walker was with Larry Moss, because she asks Janice Garofalo to tell Larry’s wife the news. She says it wouldn’t be appropriate coming from her.

So Agent Lohan mobilizes the FBI, intent on bringing the killer of Boss Moss to justice. Jittery Jack decides to ride shotgun, promising to stay out of his way if he starts to get the shakes. Tony fills them in on the happs at the crime scene but Jack, channeling Columbo, won’t accept Tony’s story because things just don’t add up. Jack suspects that the suspect must have had an accomplice and the bullets just don’t make sense. So Tony scrambles to adjust his story, but knows that Jack is dangerously close to figuring things out.

Meanwhile the fake lawyer, we’ll call her Cherry Pie, visits Hodges in his cell. She works for the big, mysterious power that has been pulling the strings on Starkwood. Cherry Pie lays it out for Hodges. He has screwed up and now must kill himself or they will harm his family. She slips him a suicide pill that looks like a Hot Tamale. I’m sure when he first saw this attractive woman he was hoping she might slip him a little blue pill, not a red one. Later, while being transferred, Jonas pops the pill and goes into cardiac arrest. He is rushed to the hospital.

Galvez finds a building, set the charges and then commandeers one of the FBI’s radios and lures the rest of the agents into the building. But Jack gets a call from the agent that was debriefing him and learns of yet another hole in Tony’s story. He quickly figures out that Galvez has a radio and it’s a trap. But it’s too late for a lot of the agents. The building goes up and the FBI agents run for their lives. That is until Jack orders them to stop and hold the line. If they let this distraction work the bad guy will get away. Jack charges in and finds Renee. She’s feeling the heat from the fire, but she’s okay. But Tony has found Galvez and they sneak him out in the guise of an injured agent.

While Galvez gets away in an ambulance, Dr. Lecter style, Jack confronts Tony at gun point. Predictably, Jack gets the shakes right at the wrong time and Tony gets away.

Speaking of heat, how hot did Renee “Lohan” Walker look when she did that Green public service announcement during a break. If you asked me, I’d say she was the one causing those polar caps to melt. Later on, Tony also does a global warming message, but nobody trusts him anymore, so who cares?

Next week, Jack and Hodges have a seizure contest in the hospital. It should be fun.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at jack@backinjack.com or post a comment below.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Loss Moss

1 am

My head is spinning and I am having trouble remembering everything that happened tonight on 24. Perhaps, like Jack Bauer, I am also feeling the effects of the bio-agent. Or maybe it’s just that so much happened tonight that I am still trying to digest it all.

One of the most pivotal and impactful moments in pro-wrestling is when a good guy turns bad. It rocks your world. You never think it can happen and you feel so betrayed when it does. Even a good guy as popular as Hulk Hogan can go bad. Remember Hollywood Hogan? It’s not just wrestling. Anakin Skywalker is pretty much the poster child for turning to the dark side, and ballplayers like Johnny Damon remind us each year that you just really can never know about someone.
Well, we got one of those moments tonight. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We pick up with the White House preparing for the arrival of Jonas Hodges. Jack and Agent Lohan quickly figure out why Madam President has called off the air strike, because Tony sees a truck fueling missiles on the Starkwood compound. Jack calls out the President for not being straight with him. Then the President drops a hint to Jack to do what needs to be done, without giving a specific order. Just like a woman, huh? Why can’t you just come right out and say what you want? What do you want me to do? Am I supposed to be some kind of mind reader?

Luckily, Jack get’s the hint and Tony proceeds with a plan to blow up the missiles. Tony once again overpowers a couple of guards to gain access to the underground bunker. He knocks one out and forces the other to let him in. Meanwhile, Hodges makes himself at home in the Oval Office. He presents the President with a binder complete with a list of demands and stipulations that include making Starkwood a major power holder in the U.S. government. All the while I am thinking that Jon Voight is proving to be the most entertaining villain in 24 history. Don’t you agree?

When the President finds out that Tony has blown up the missiles, she has Hodges taken into custody, but not before he warns her that he’s just a bit player and the worst is yet to come. Well duh, of course it is. It’s only 1:30 am and this season does not end until 8 am. There has to be more.

Madam President calls to thank Jack, and he begins to ask her to consider Tony’s actions in the day’s events when it comes time to judge him. But Jack forgets what he is saying in mid-sentence, thanks to the effects of the pathogen. It turns out this bio-agent will be messing with Jack’s memory and personality. Then Agent Lohan tells Jack that his daughter Kim is here to see him. Jack takes Renee into a room and nearly bites her head off for disobeying his wishes. It turns out that Jack’s real weakness is not so much the virus as it is his love for his daughter. He did not want her dragged into this. But Agent Lohan reveals that she did not drag Kim into this, she had been in DC all day trying to see him. Visibly moved, Jack is taken to see Kim Bauer.

When we finally see Kim, she is not in the tank top from season two, as I had hoped she might. Jack sits with her and the two share a tender moment. Kim apologizes for pushing Jack away and always blaming him for everything. I kept waiting for an apology for House of Wax, that terrible horror movie she made with Paris Hilton. It should have been called House of Crap. They finally hug but Jack starts convulsing, so he sends her away. And even though Jack did not want her to risk helping him, something tells me Kim is going to drop off a few stem cells before she leaves.

So everything seems fine and dandy. Boss Moss and his crew are cleaning up the mess at Starkwood, Jonas is in prison and Tony agrees to be taken into custody to pay for his past deeds. But then one of the FBI agents discovers a Starkwood operative who has just murdered another FBI agent. The operative looks a little like Tracy Morgan and you may recognize him as God (or maybe an angel) in the movie Bedazzled. The FBI guy calls it in to Boss Moss and informs him that the suspect also has a single serving canister of the bio-agent, just before the operative kills him and takes off in a stolen truck.

Janice Garafalo makes a quick appearance to track the vehicle, as Boss Moss flies in pursuit with Tony in tow. When they land, Tracy Morgan Guy shoots at them and Boss Moss is hit. Tony moves to help him as Tracy Morgan approaches with a shotgun. It looks like this is the end for Tony… UNTIL Tony waives him off. What the hell? Boss Moss, like the rest of us, is stunned when he realizes that Tony is in cahoots with the operative. And then Tony kills Boss Moss, just so there is no doubt.

So if you are like me, you start retracing Tony’s steps throughout the season. Why did he do all the things he did. Could Starkwood’s plans really have been that complicated that they had an inside man thwarting their moves all day long, just to smuggle one canister out of Starkwood, or does Tony have a different agenda?

I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Finally, we ended the evening with a public service announcement from Chloe, who asked us to help fight global warming. So we finally get to see Chloe, but not in the way we might have hoped. It was my second unexpected Chloe fix in a week. I saw the movie Sunshine Cleaning the other day and who popped up? None other than Mary Lynn Rajskub.

Next week Jack’s going to have to do some cleaning after the mess Tony is making, and it looks like Hodges may cause some global warming when they try to blow him out of prison.

Let’s end with a moment of silence for Larry Moss.
We’ll miss you, Boss Moss. Farewell.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at jack@backinjack.com or post a comment below.

Monday, April 6, 2009

24- Season 7: 12 am – For Whom the Bell Knowles

12 am

It is midnight, the witching hour, and something is brewing at Starkwood. It’s a standoff between the FBI and the private soldiers guarding the compound. Like an angry neighbor, Hodges pulls up and tells Boss Moss to get off his property. He claims that the President only had permission to search one bunker and it is empty. But Boss Moss and Tony are secretly communicating with Agent Lohan, Jack and Janice Garofalo back at HQ. Jack tells them to create a diversion so they can leave Tony behind, so Boss Moss slugs Greg (Speed from CSI) and Tony easily slips past an entire platoon of guards. Again I am reminded of how hard it was to get past the guards at Costco that time. I wonder if I should have created a diversion. Maybe that would have gotten me in without a membership card.

Jack finds out that Knowles, the Chairman of Starkwood, had been working with ‘That’s 70’s Senator’ to expose Hodges. So Jack puts in a call to him to see if he can help Tony. Sure enough, Knowles sneaks out and leads Tony to the actual location of the bio-weapon, with a little help from Jancie… the wannabe Chloe. And speaking of Wannabe, you know what I want? What I really, really want? It’s Chloe to actually show up in an episode.

At least we got a good dose of Tony tonight. He took over the action while Jack’s health deteriorated before our eyes. We first notice Jack’s hand starting to shake, kind of like the shooting hand of the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles. But a little later Jack goes into full, wide eyed convulsions, so the doctor gives him a shot he can take every couple of hours to help. He can take more if needed, and he ends up shooting up twice in this episode alone, so we know his condition is bad. He is definitely going to die this time…

…UNLESS there was a little known experimental treatment involving adult stem cells. Oh wait, there is one. The doctor tells Jack that there is an experimental treatment that requires the stem cells of a relative, and Jack just happens to have a daughter with a great set of stems. But Jack refuses the treatment, much to the chagrin of Agent Lohan.

So now we know Jack will be cured and we just might be getting a guest appearance by Elisha Cuthbert. That would certainly help me forget my Lack-of-Chloe Blues.

Meanwhile, Tony and Knowles make it across the grounds, but are delayed at a locked door where their swipe card won’t work. Janice tries to work her Chloe mojo, but a patrol comes by and before Tony can stop him, Knowles distracts the guards, buying them time. I wish they would have asked me for help with the pass card. I know how to fix that. You just put a plastic bag over the magnetic strip and the swipe it. It works all the time at the supermarket when they have trouble reading my bank card.

While Knowles is taken into custody, Tony takes out two armed guards at once and dons the Starkwood uniform so he can freely move about the complex. Knowles ends up back at his office with Hodges, where Hodges expresses his disappointment while he pours himself a drink. Then, suddenly, he whacks Knowles repeatedly with the decanter. (Talk about hitting the bottle.) He tops it off with a push over the balcony and Knowles falls to his death on the lobby floor below.

Then Hodges realizes the gravity of what he has done. No, not that he has taken a human life. He got blood on himself and probably ruined a perfectly good shirt. Maybe there is an experimental stem cell solvent that can fix that too. (Actually, it’s probably an ancient Chinese secret treatment.)

But what’s up at the White House? Not much out of the ordinary. Madam President is once again faced with a helpless situation and Olivia is causing trouble. That pesky reporter from before calls Olivia and tells her he knows about the WMDs and threatens to break the story, so Olivia heads to his hotel, with Big Red (Aaron) in tow. The reporter offers to keep quite if Olivia will give him some sweet lovin’. Realizing what’s at stake for national security, she does what any patriot would do… she puts a flag over his head and does it for her country. But afterwards, when he breaks his word, she reveals that she has taped the incident on her phone and threatens to show his wife and the world if he does not keep quiet. I don’t know… if I was trying to make it big, I can’t think of anything that would propel me into the spotlight quicker that a sex tape with the president’s daughter. I mean Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian both have careers that exploded after their sex tapes came out.

Once Tony confirms the bio-weapon, Madam President orders an air strike, but Hodges calls her just before the bombs fly. He threatens to shoot three rockets full of the bio-weapon at the eastern seaboard if the airstrike is not cancelled. The President, knowing there are not enough stem cells to save all those people, calls off the attack at the very last second.

Next week, while the gang tries to find the missiles, Mr. Hodges visits the Oval Office.
I sure hope he changes his shirt.

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line at jack@backinjack.com or post a comment below.