Tuesday, May 19, 2009

24- Season 7: 6 and 7 am – 24 Hours You’ll Never Get Back

6 am & 7am

You know, when I sit down to write these recaps I am always concerned about being funny, but after what happened tonight, I don’t feel any pressure. Nothing I write will be as funny as Kim Bauer flailing around with her arm on fire. Kim got her “Bauer On” tonight, and she wasn’t the only one. Both Kim and Agent Lohan sprung into action tonight, making me wonder if we might get a spin-off next year called Jackie’s Angels, with scantily clad Kim, Renee and Chloe taking orders from a now incapacitated Jack via a speaker phone. But who will be Bosley? Tony? Nah, he’s too dark. Aaron? Nah, he’s too quiet. I know… Janice.

Let’s get to tonight’s season finale. It’s 6 am and Jack has been forced to bust out Tony or the goons at the airport will kill Kim. Jack pulls a gun on Agent Lohan and even puts a slug in the other guard’s leg to show he means business. I’d love to know how many legs Jack Bauer has shot or stabbed in seven seasons. That’s Jack’s favorite method of administering a non-lethal wound. Jack lets Renee know that he is only doing this to protect his daughter right before Tony takes him hostage. When Tony did a similar thing in order to save Michelle a couple of seasons ago, Jack chastised him for putting his personal interests ahead of the mission. Mr. Bauer is now officially a hypocrite.

It turns out that Tony wants to use Jack’s infected body to reconstitute the virus. His gal pal Cara thinks that is a great idea, and even agrees with Tony when he suggests that he should get a promotion within the mysterious organization. Wait a minute… something is up with Tony. Is he really good, pretending to be bad? Or is he bad, pretending to be good after pretending to be bad? Maybe he a double, double, double agent, or a triple, reverse single agent, with a twist? I’m getting dizzy.

As the sun comes upon DC, Jack momentarily gets away and tries to kill himself in a pool of gasoline. That way the virus will be destroyed in the fire, but Tony stops him before he can light up. It seems the only person Jack Bauer has trouble killing is himself. (And that goes double for forgiving… more on that later.) They take Jack back to an operating area where a few doctors drain some of his spinal fluid to see if he can be used to make more pathogen. Meanwhile, Cara convinces Alan Wilson to meet with Tony and consider him for a bigger role.

Meanwhile, Ethan, the disposed Chief of Staff, returns to the White House to help Big Red retrieve the secret recording that will implicate Olivia in the murder of Hodges. Olivia gets out of her questioning session just in time to catch Ethan in her office and has him put into custody once she discovers the recording device hidden behind the picture on the wall. She has him detained and gets the disc from him. But Ethan was ready for her, and actually slips her a blank disc. Once he listens to the recording, he goes back and confronts Olivia. He tells her that she has to confess to her mother and then Madam President can decide what to do.

At the same time, Kim Bauer is still at the airport with the evil couple. Agent Lohan contacts Kim by phone at the gate and warns her. A shootout breaks out, and we never learn how the two bad guys manage to smuggle knives and guns into the terminal… especially on a day when we are told security would have been heighten because of the prior terrorist attacks. The woman is killed, but the guy slips away. It’s here that Kim’s “Bauer Genes” kick into gear and she ends up chasing the long-haired bad guy through the baggage areas and into the garage. Kim even yells “Dammit!” at one point, leaving no doubt as to whose daughter she is. When the bad guy’s car is shot at, it flips and catches fire. Kim knows they need that laptop to find her father, so she charges in and wrestles it away from the trapped bad guy. She emerges with the laptop and her sleeve on fire. As if she wasn’t the hottest chick on the show already, they have to go and light her on fire.

Alan Wilson is convinced to meet Tony face-to-face on order to see the medical report on Jack. He needs to determine Jack’s usefulness for replicating the pathogen. (I guess his email is down so they can’t just send him the file.) But in a moment alone, Jack learns Tony’s real motive. Everything he’s been doing has been to get himself close enough to Wlison so he can kill him. You see, Wilson was behind almost everything that has happened on 24… ever. He’s behind David Palmer’s assassination, he’s responsible for Charles Logan’s exploits and most of all, he is responsible for Michelle’s death. So Tony’s plan is to strap a bomb to Jack and blow Wilson straight to hell when he arrives.

You see Tony is a lot like Two-Face from The Dark Knight, except instead of getting his face burnt, he was killed and then brought back to life. He is a fallen hero so hell bent on revenge and justice that he will do whatever he has to, even if that means people will die.

Wilson shows up, but before Tony can detonate Jack’s C4 sweater vest, Agent Lohan swoops in on a chopper. Another fire fight ensues and now it’s Renee who starts channeling her inner Bauer. She hops on the side of a SUV and shoots her way to Jack. If they ever get married, their first song should be “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya”, because that’s just what she does. She leaps off the moving truck and tumbles right into Jack’s lap. Then she disarms his deadly sweater vest. My god, this girl is a catch. I bet she likes watching sports too. (By the way, just I spotted Annie Wersching, the actress who plays her, on an episode of Supernatural.)

Cara and Wilson manage to sneak off, like most bad guys do on this show. They see Tony and Cara calls him over. She embraces Tony but he shoots her, to her dismay. Once again, Tony steals a page out of Sean’s playbook from earlier this season. Sean also shot and killed his girlfriend, just before he shot himself in the side. Tony smacks Wilson around and then reveals that not only did he kill the love of Tony’s life, but she was pregnant with his son. Tony raises his gun but Renee and Jack show up and clip him with a gunshot. (I believe in the leg.) Tony reaches for his gun and gets shot in the hand. Tony and Wilson are taken into custody. It’s finally over.

No wait, not quite. We go back to the White House. At this point I had forgotten all about this plotline. The President’s husband seems to be in pretty good shape for a guy who was in critical condition a few hours ago. I wonder if he has that Wolverine mutant healing power. Olivia tells her mother and father about her shenanigans. Her father wants to cover Hodge’s murder up, but Madam President eventually decides to do the right thing and turns her daughter in.

We know the day is coming to a close when Chloe and Janice make peace. I think I will miss their battles the most in this off season.

Back at the FBI, Jack Bauer prepares to die, even without Indigo Montoya telling him to do so. Jack and Agent Lohan have a couple of close encounters, but Jack fails to use his last hours in the way that most guys would. No, instead of making sweet, sweet love to Renee, Jack meets with his new buddy, the Muslim Cleric and has a nice discussion about forgiving himself. (Because Jack Bauer doesn’t ask God for forgiveness, he forgives God, dammit.) Then he is sent into a coma to ease his passing. At last, the final curtain is about to fall on the life of Jack Bauer.

Meanwhile, Agent Walker goes to see Wilson before he is transferred. Walker is afraid the Wilson won’t talk and they may not get another shot at him once he gets his lawyers involved. So Agent Lohan takes matters into her own hands. The last time we see her, she incapacitates Janice and heads into Wilson’s holding cell with a look on her face that would make Tony Almeida proud. Jack may be infected with the pathogen, but Renee seems to have caught the torture bug.
But we’ll have to wait until next season to see what happens.

We end the season with Kim showing up at her father’s bedside. She insists that they attempt the controversial stem cell treatment. She knows the risks, but she’s willing to take it. If Jack dies there is no season eight and Elisha Cuthbert needs the work. Let’s face it; she hasn’t done much since Old School and The Girl Next Door.

So that’s it. Season seven is in the books.

I don’t know… once Starkwood was taken down and Tony went bad, this season got pretty darn silly, even by 24 standards. I’m still digesting it all, but I can’t say I am totally satisfied with that ending, But who am I kidding, by the time season eight rolls around, I will be as giddy as a little school girl. What did you think? Feel free to chime-in down in the comments section.

I hope you enjoyed reading my recaps. Now I have to think of other things to write about. Keep checking in between now and next season of 24 and please see the entry below for a little more on what’s going to be going on here at Back in Jack in the meantime.



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

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ask Jack

If you have been a regular reader of my 24 blog, thanks a lot. Now that the season has concluded, I’ll continue to update the blog with my usual movie reviews, random thoughts and pop culture commentaries. But I need other things to write about, and I would love some ideas from you. So here’s what I propose… a new segment called “Ask Jack”.

Send me your questions, topics or subjects that you’d like to see me address. Want to know what I think of another TV show? Have a relationship question? Have a question about current events? Want to know the meaning of life? Go ahead and ask me and I’ll pick a few and address them from week to week. Use your imagination. Just keep in mind that the answers I give won’t necessarily be the right ones. More likely they’ll just be the first thing that I think of. We’re just trying to have some fun here.

(And I reserve the right to pick and choose what questions and suggestions I use. Tough darts… it’s my blog.)

So send your thoughts, suggestions, questions and ideas to jack@backinjack.com and I’ll do my best to entertain you with my responses.

In the meantime, check back soon for my review of the new Star Trek movie and I may even chime in with a few thoughts about this season of American Idol.


Monday, May 11, 2009

24- Season 7: 5 am – Cat Fight Club

We are fast approaching the end of the day, and Fox is promising that the conclusion of this season of 24 will hit us harder than a head butt from Keifer Sutherland. Based on last week’s previews, we were looking forward to a big confrontation between Jack and Tony. While the two friends-turned-foes did come face to face, the real showdown tonight was between Janice and Chloe. And, meow, did the claws come out.

We pick up with Tony preparing Jabron for his subway ride. Tony continues to remind him that if he does not cooperate then his brother will get it. Tony outfits him with an ear piece that gets such good reception that it even works in the subway. Not once does Jabron have to say “can you hear me now.” Meanwhile, I have to go into my kitchen to check my phone because I don’t get bars in my living room. I need to get on Tony’s team so I can get on that phone plan. I bet they even have unlimited texting. They sure seem to have unlimited resources, because when Jabron gets to the subway and attempts to tell the cops what’s going on, he finds out that even the transit cops work for Evil Almeida.

Back at Jabron’s apartment, the guard continues to suffer from the neck wound that Jabron’s brother gave him. Jack is not one to let a gift like this go to waste. He refuses the bad guy morphine until he tells him all he knows about Tony’s plan. Then he allows just enough morphine to get the pain out of the goon's voice, so he can call Tony without raising suspicion. They put Chloe on the case to trace Tony’s location, which naturally raises Janice’s hackles. The pissing match begins as the two ladies attempt to one up each other. This is on the level of a Tyson/Holyfield battle, except with biting remarks instead of the actual biting of ears.

Chloe wins round one when she is able to pinpoint Tony’s location, but Janice rallies back when she is able to retrieve the target information from Tony’s damaged PDA. Finally, Chloe delivers the knockout blow when Janice demands a “thank you” and Chloe refuses to give any sort of validation. The winner and still champion, Chloe O’Brien. (And let’s face it, no one likes Janice.)

Jack and Agent Lohan ram into Tony’s van and take him into custody. Jack punches Tony a few times in the face, but Tony doesn’t seem to mind. Jack uses Tony’s cool ear phone to speak with Jabron, who is being sized up by a suspicious white guy on the train. (Thank you for the racial profiling lesson, 24.) Jabron eventually finds the bowling ball bag that Tony’s girlfriend hid under the seats and rushes it out of the station and into the eagerly awaiting hands of Jack Bauer. He might as well be the one to take the bag, since he’s already infected. Jack hightails it into a Hazmat truck and gets the canister into a safe container before it blows. The last time Jack did something like this he had to cut off his partner Chase’s hand, when he was dealing with that virus a few seasons ago. So this must have seemed like a walk in the park to old Jackie Boy.

Meanwhile, Kim Bauer is at the airport, where her flight has been delayed for a little while. Not bad considering the entire airline industry was paralyzed by Dubaku’s mid-air collision early that day. You’d think things would still be a little more chaotic. Meanwhile around here, if it’s a little foggy they close down La Guardia, JFK and White Plains for a week. Kim notices a guy who is seemingly stalking her so she joins a friendly couple in the terminal in order to feel safe. Unfortunately, the stalker was really an agent keeping an eye on Kim for Jack and the nice couple is actually in league with Tony and his group. The agent ends up getting choked in a bathroom stall by the bad guy, kind of like that scene in like in Austin Powers. I kept hoping for the bad guy to ask “Who does Number Two work for?”

Back at the White House, Big Red scolds Sherry Palmer Jr. (Olivia) for leaving the White House premises, but she turns on that old charm and seemingly wins him back over. It turns out that Olivia’s assassin actually did kill Hodges, because Fabulous Martin vouched for her. So now she has to pay the assassin and cover up the whole thing.

But you can’t fool our boy Aaron that easily. Big Red smells a rat, so he calls the recently deposed Chief of Staff so that they can get a hold of the office recordings that he suspects will implicate Olivia. We even get a Mike Novick reference during his phone call. Woo hoo!! On a side note, if you happen to catch the movie Star Trek: Generations, look for a certain, strapping red headed helmsman on the deck of the Enterprise at the beginning of the film. Think about it, Aaron has shared a screen with Captain Kirk and Jack Bauer. That’s pretty bad-ass, if you ask me.

Back at the subway station, all is well. Jabron is reunited with his brother and it feels so good and Jack is comforted by Agent Lohan, who hugs him and tells him he can finally rest. You have to excuse Renee Walker, this is her first day on 24. She doesn’t yet fully realize that you can never rest on 24. When you rest, bad things happen, like getting kidnapped by the Chinese… or getting a video call that tells you that if you don’t free Tony, your daughter will die. And the latter happens to Jack tonight.

Next week, it’s the season finale and Kim’s in danger again, although there is not a bear trap nor a mountain lion for miles.

Will Tony escape? Will Olivia bring down her mother’s administration? Will Jack live? Will Keifer Sutherland stay out of jail long enough to film another season?

Expect some of the answers and probably a few more questions before it’s all over.

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

Monday, May 4, 2009

24- Season 7: 4 am – Robert Tippet, We Hardly Knew Ya.

4 am

It’s four o’clock in the morning and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for Evil Almeida and that chick in the blouse.

The Islamic flags were hung with by the computer with care, in hopes that Jabron in a web cam would stare.

The people of DC were nestled all snug in their beds, except for Jack Bauer and the rest of the Feds.

Janice and Chloe, Lohan and Jack, had another crisis in a day full of crap.

The CTU server revealed no terrorist chatter, but Jack knew still that something was the matter.

Away to the window Tony flew like a flash, and made Jabron lie to the cops or his brother’s throat they would slash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, Olivia dealing with a deadly queer.

Chloe works so hard, so lively and quick, but she knew in a moment that Jack must be sick.

Jonas Hodges is in custody, with pics of his dames, now Robert Tippet is his new name.

Agent Lohan's so fit, but her neck needed fixin', she looks like a dancer, but she's really a vixen.

Okay, that’s enough poetry. If I keep this up I will be up all night. Tonight on 24 Tony and his crew proceed to frame up Jabron, a Muslim fellow who cooperates in order to protect his brother. They make him film a terrorist message while they falsify his computer so it looks like he will be responsible for the pending attack.

Meanwhile, Jack figures out that Tony must be dealing with someone in the Muslim community, so he and Agent Lohan do some googling and that leads them to another Muslim dude who knows Jabron. This guy can’t imagine that Jabron is guilty, and Jack’s reputation has proceeded him, so he is not willing to help them. This is unacceptable to Jack, who ends up cuffing the guy and taking him along once Janice and Chloe locate Jabron’s real address. On the way over, Chloe tells Jack that it appears that Jabron is being framed and Jack uncuffs the other guy. The Muslim guy urges Jack to forgive himself, but Jack doesn’t have time for that. He has to stop Tony before he dies from the pathogen.

Olivia meets up with the Fabulous Martin, who ensures that he can arrange the hit on Hodges, but advises Olivia to walk away. Olivia gets the call from the assassin, who tells her to deposit money in his account and then he will do the deed. But Olivia has a change of heart and never makes the transaction. Instead, she is reunited with her father who is remarkably chipper for a man who was beat up, paralyzed and shot earlier in the day. (Didn’t they cut his finger off too? I can’t remember.)

Speaking of fast healers, Hodges seems to have recovered from his heart attack pretty well. He’s already being prepared to be moved into witness protection. He learns his new name will be Robert Tippet. His guard forces him to hand over his wallet and all other traces of his past life, but Hodges secretly keeps a picture of his wife and daughter. It appears like we may not have seen the last of Jonas Hodges. Perhaps he will be back next season for his revenge.

Or not. Hodges is blown to Kingdom Come by a car bomb. And the news of his death hits Olivia like a bomb as well. She’s in deep doo doo. In a panic, she calls Fabulous Martin, who this time is not in bed with anyone. He insists they speak in person instead of on an unsecure phone line.

Tony and his crew leave Jabron’s house, leaving a guard with his distraught brother. Jack and his team burst through the door and stun the guard with a flash grenade. The guard goes down, and the little brother smashes a mirror. This turns out to be more unlucky for the guard than the brother because he stabs the guard in the neck with a shard. Jack stops him before he can kill the bad guy, but now they are worried that their only lead may not live long enough to give up the details of the next attack.

Next week, Tony heads for the Subway, but he’s not looking for a five dollar foot long sandwich. He’s looking to do some damage. However, he may end up getting a taste of Jack’s gun instead.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

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