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.

Purple Goldfish Video Podcast Episode 5: Fat Cat Pizza

The latest Purple Goldfish videocast is up. This week’s episode features Fat Cat pizza, Penzey’s spices, real maple syrup and an ice cold can of Schaefer beer. Plus some more interesting discussion on marketing and the concept of lagniappe.

If you have comments, questions or you want to nominate a business for the Purple Goldfish Project, shoot me an email at jack@social-jack.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

24: The Day is Done

Dammit Chloe!!!
If you have not heard the news yet... it's official. This is in fact the last season of 24. May 24th will be the night of the final two episodes. Speculation is that there will be a movie in Jack Bauer's future. But nothing is confirmed. That would be great.

Stay tuned as more news comes in. And let's hope they go out with a bang.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

24- Season 8.13 – 4 am: Guacamole Moley, Moley

4 am

It’s 4am in the world of 24. Are you a morning person? I’m not, but Chloe O’Brien sure is, and tonight was her finest hour. While most of New York has yet to rise and shine, Chloe rises to the occasion. And she does it with that sarcastic edge that we all love so much.

We pick up just after the EMP has knocked out CTU. I actually overheard a couple of guys at a deli this week laughing about how many times and ways CTU has been taken out. The bomb, the nerve gas, the terrorists in the sewer line and now the EMP… just to name a few.

While CTU scrambles to get back on their feet, Jack calls his buddy Bill Holden at NSA and asks him to help them while CTU is blind. (Seems funny that only one government agency is working on this national crisis, while the others wait until they are asked to help out.) They manage to close off the roads in and out of the city and Jack and the Fresh Prince track the bad guys to the waterfront in a SUV with a couple of cadets, including the wide-eyed Agent Owen. As they pull in, the bad guys jam their transmissions and ambush our heroes. Jack manages to back up and get them to cover, but they are pinned down. With the cell phones down, their only hope is a landline across the parking lot. But with those snipers, there’s seemingly no way they can get to it. And does anyone have a dime?

Back at CTU, the gang is reduced to using paper and pencils to get their work done. They should have done this years ago, you can’t hack into a steno pad. Then some pushy NSA guys show up and pull a Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy routine on Hastings and Chloe and head down to fix the server. Concerned that the NSA guys are moving too slow, Chloe implores them to tap into the trunk line, but to the NSA guys, this seems as dangerous as crossing the streams to the Ghostbusters. Surprisingly, Denny backs up the NSA guys and not Chloe. But Denny has a lot on her mind. Parole Officer Bill Prady is still poking around CTU, and threatening to talk to Hastings.

Concerned for Jack, Chloe calls Agent Walker, who is chilling at Jack’s place. Renee tells Chloe to do what she has to do, or “Git-R-Done” as Kevin might say. So, Chloe goes down to the server room and after one more try at diplomacy, pulls a gun on the NSA guys and locks herself in the room. Move over! Nobody out-Nick Burn’s Chloe O’Brien. She works feverishly while Bubba Hastings and the security guys work on opening the door. When they get in, Chloe apologizes for pulling the gun and explains that she doesn’t even really like guns. She also mentions that she is ten minutes away from restoring the system. Since the ends always justify the means at CTU, Bubba agrees to forget the whole little gun incident. Bubba is all about results, so if this Jack Bauer method of computer maintenance works, then so be it. Git-R-Done.

Meanwhile Jack and the Prince are still pinned down, but they decide to walk across the parking lot using the SUV’s armor as a shield. (Captain America would be proud.) But despite Jacks strict orders to go slow and not panic, one of the rookies decides to go fast and panic. Naturally he gets shot while the rest of the gang scuttles to safety. So now the cadet is lying out in the open, bleeding and suffering while all our heroes can do is watch. It’s a lot like the “I want to help my injured buddy, but I am helpless because there is a sniper” scenes in Full Metal Jacket and Saving Private Ryan. (Remember Vin Diesel’s death in Private Ryan?) Wide-eyed Agent Owen can’t stand seeing his colleague suffer, and valiantly runs out to save him. Naturally, he is also shot immediately. Ever the gentleman, Jack holds back his “I told you so” as Owen dies in his arms. To his credit, young Agent Owen lasted way longer than anyone expected. Most thought he’d be dead within the first hour we met him.

Chloe successfully taps into the trunk line, getting CTU back online. I wonder if she can tap a trunk line and make maple syrup too. That would be cool. Anyway, Jack and the Fresh Prince are closer to the phone, but still pinned down. Jack offers to divert the enemy fire so Fresh Freddie can call CTU and alert them to the location of the bad guy’s boat and the rods. It’s suicide, but like tapping the trunk line, it’s what needs to be done. Jack runs out and starts firing and takes out a few bad guys before he is shot down. The Fresh Prince makes it to the phone just as one bad guy gets Jack’s head in his scope. Suddenly, a shot rings out and the bad guy goes down. Sexy Renee Walker has arrived just in time. Freddie Prince makes the call and CTU sends choppers out to find the boat. But is it too late for Jack?

Back at CTU, things are coming back up, and Denny goes into the holding room to confront Bill Prady, who is waiting to talk to Bubba. He knows she’s lying and he’s going to get to the bottom of this. Suddenly, Denny attacks Prady and chokes him… to death. Holy crap, has Agent Dana Walsh finally snapped, or was Jenny always really this vicious? Denny hides Prady’s body in a convenient, oversized air vent and heads out. Then she makes a call, but it’s not to her fiancĂ©, the Fresh Prince, it’s to Samir, the leader of the bad guys. Holy crap, Dana is a Cylon… I mean a mole.

Well, that explains a lot now, doesn’t it? Naturally, we all knew eventually there had to be a mole. CTU is like Cindy Crawford’s face… it’s just not complete without a mole. And while this just made Denny a whole lot more interesting, it also raises a lot of questions. Like, if she was a bad guy the whole time, why didn’t she just kill Kevin right off the bat? Or have her terrorist buddies take care of him?

Whatever, I am over thinking this. Let’s just be grateful that they have salvaged the Dana character and now her plotline will be interesting and not ridiculous, like it has been all season.

Back at the docks, Jack seems dead, but only for a moment. His flack vest held and he only got the wind knocked out of him. You gotta love this guy. He’s been stabbed, beaten, shocked and shot today, and he just keeps going. Meanwhile, I rake leaves for an hour and I need two Advil and a nap.

Next week, Madam President calls Jack Bauer… again. And Agent Dana Walsh goes into full evil mode. Any guesses as to how long before someone finds Prady’s body in the air vent?

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Purple Goldfish Video Podcast Episode 4: Lexus

Episode four of the Purple Goldfish Video Podcast is now online. This time we discuss the two big questions… Why a goldfish and why purple? Plus, we visit another Purple Goldfish, Lexus of Greenwich.

Take a look and if you would like to nominate a business or have any feedback or questions, please email me at jack@social-jack.com.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

24- Season 8.12 – 3 am: Boom, Boom, Boom, Out Go the Lights

3 am

Well, it’s three am we are 12 hours into this season of 24. I’ve done the math for you… we are halfway there and living on a prayer. The prayer is that the next 12 hours are better than the first. The good news is that I heard that Michael Madsen is going to be joining the cast. If you have seen Reservoir Dogs, then you know this could be the compelling bad guy we have been waiting for, no… praying for.

Tonight we pick up in the hotel room where Hassan’s daughter tries to stall in the bathroom, hoping help will arrive soon. But Jack and the Fresh Prince are still 10 minutes away from the hotel The NYPD set up a staging area while waiting for the CTU agents, but decide to move in despite Jack’s order to wait. Tarin sees the cops through the window and forces Kayla to come with him at gunpoint. Tarin manages to shoot a few officers and escape.

Word gets back to President Hassan Chop that his daughter is a hostage just before Jack & the Prince show up at his room. It took them all night to get to the hotel, but they get to Hassan in just one commercial break.

The bad guys take Kayla to their hideout, which naturally has another vault. What’s with all the vaults? They call Hassan and demand that he hand over File 33. Is that anything like Mambo Number Five? I assume File 33 must have something to do with Larry Bird, and I wonder what he could possibly have to do with this. Is Hassan a huge Lakers fan and is Larry the Legend their next target?

Hassan Chop reluctantly reveals that File 33 is actually a magical file containing every secret code to the U.S. defense system… kinda like that magic box a season or two ago that could disable every US defense. 24 is famous for these magical devises that allow bad guys to make the U.S. vulnerable. Remember that magical device that allowed some bad guys to control all of the nuclear reactors in the U.S. a few years ago. (God rest your soul, Edgar.)

Meanwhile, Parole Officer Bill Prady, (Milton from Office Space) arrives at CTU and quickly starts to play hardball with Denny. (That’s Dana’s new nickname, if you recall.) With a few phone calls in the middle of the night, he has determined that Kevin’s robbery could only have been successful with help from someone at CTU, since that is the only place that could disable the cameras. Denny agrees to talk to him but tries to stall him with the nuclear crisis. She tells the Fresh Prince that she is going to come clean to Bubba Gump. Later in the episode, Denny discovers Milton wandering around the halls of CTU. He must be eyeing all of the staplers.

The bad guys threaten Kayla on camera by putting a plastic bag over her head. If they don’t get File 33, they will seal up that Ziplock bag and suffocate her. (While the airtight seal will keep her noggin nice and fresh.) CTU will not let Hassan turn over the real file, so they give him a fake one. Hassan knows they won’t be fooled for long.

Arlo detects a train noise from the recording and they quickly pinpoint the location. Jack & the Prince race to the location, but the 15 minutes are up and it’s time to execute Kayla. But Tarin has a change of heart and instead of marching her to his death, leads her out of the building. As they attempt to flee, Tarin is shot and killed. Kayla calls in and is lead to CTU by phone… rather than the closest police station or intercepted by a police car.

Jack and the Prince find an empty hideout, but the drones pick up the bad guys leaving the building and facial recognition software reveals Tarin is still alive. Wait a minute… if he is still alive, then what is going on? Why would the terrorists demand File 33 when they know Hassan would never really give it to them? Hold on, where is Kayla’s car? It’s pulling into CTU now.


Everyone scrambles as Kayla’s car pulls into the CTU tunnel. A security guard jumps in and tries to back the car out, but it’s too late. The car explodes and emits a blue pulse. It’s an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse. This will disable all electronics in the area… like what they did to Las Vegas in Ocean’s 11. (See, it always come back to vaults and Ocean’s 11 this year.)

When the explosion first happened, I wondered if Bill Prady had anything to do with it, because we all remember when Milton burned down Initech. But it could not have been him, because this disaster will undoubtedly interfere with his investigation.

So now CTU is crippled and the bad guys can smuggle in their radioactive materials without the radiation detectors going off.

Next week: Jack continues to pronounce the word nuclear as ”nook-you-ler”, just like George W. Bush. But unlike W., no one has the nerve to make fun of Jack Bauer. And Hastings looks into getting a booth and gate at the front of CTU’s driveway.


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

Monday, March 15, 2010

Purple Goldfish Video Podcast Episode 3: Doubletree

Episode three of the Purple Goldfish video podcast is up on the Marketing Lagniappe website. This time, Stan and cover the five rules of marketing lagniappe and we I go to a Doubletree hotel for a fireside chat about the famous chocolate chip cookie.

If you know a business that goes above and beyond expectations and delivers that little something extra something, tells us about it and they just might make the list. We are looking for 1001 examples. – Thanks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

24- Season 8.11 – 2 am: Yeah, Dana, I’m going to ask you to go ahead and move your desk

2 am

Tonight on 24 we pick up at the hospital, where Marcos has holed up in some kind of vault and is attempting to reactivate his bomb vest while Jack tries to figure out a way to get him out alive. As Marcos glares at Jack through the closed circuit camera, it occurred to me that he looks a lot like Carson Daly.

At the same time, the Fresh Prince and Dana return to CTU, after a quick stop to get some dry clothes. Since Dana’s real name is Jenny, I have been contemplating a nickname for her. I have decided to combine her names, so let’s call her Jana… no wait, let’s call her Denny. When the Fresh Prince and Denny get back to CTU, they are greeting by Bubba Gump Hastings, who is miffed, but is willing to cut them both some slack since he is so short staffed. So they get off with just a proverbial slap on the wrist.

Denny is demoted and now reports to Chloe. Chloe must be tired, because instead of delivering a sarcastic zinger, Chloe offers Denny nothing but sympathy and encouragement. Yawn. Then, Arlo tries to mend fences but just ends up hitting on her again. Arlo is guilty of sexual harassment on almost an hourly basis, but he doesn’t care. When you work for Bubba, you can pretty much get away with murder.

Anyhow, once CTU figures out that Marcos has an American mother, they send the Fresh Prince out to get her. At the same time, the bad guys get close enough to the hospital that they can see in the window. And they tap into the CTU video feed. That’s impressive. I bet they also figured out a way to get all the dirty movie channels on cable for free.

Meanwhile, Hassan and his estranged wife continue to search for their estranged daughter, who is in a hotel, making sweaty love to Tarin, Hassan’s estranged head of security. (Some people say I don’t really know what the word estranged means, but I think they are just estranged.)

Fresh Freddie finds Mama Marcos and brings her to the hospital. Jack convinces her to talk to her son, who is slowly making progress with his vest bomb. You can tell by the handy green progress lights on his lapel. While Jack is dealing with the crisis, the Fresh Prince gets a phone call from Denny. It turns out that Milton from Office Space is heading into town and he wants his stapler back.

Actually, the guy’s name is Bill Prady, and he’s played by Stephen Root, who you may remember from Office Space, News Radio and a million other things including a couple of great scenes in No Country for Old Men. Prady is Kevin Wade’s parole officer, and he is looking for his favorite hillbilly. The only lead he has is phone records linking him to Denny. Although he tells Denny he expected to get her voice mail at 2am, he insists on meeting with her immediately because he has an early flight to catch. Afraid that he’ll talk to Hastings, Denny agrees. So now she’s going to take even more time off from her job. She calls the Prince for advice, but he tells her to handle it, after all, she’s a good liar. (Zing.)

She’s gotta think outside the box here. Sure, Prady is looking for Kevin, but fastest way to Milton’s heart is to give him back his red Swingline stapler. I’d go that route if I were her. But I would also be sure I had my TPS reports ready… and she might want to add a few extra piece of flair too, just to be safe.

Jack gets Mama Marcos to talk some sense into her nutty son, but to no avail, he still intends to blow himself up. He tells his mother to go and gets his vest reactivated. We know this because all four green lights are lit. As the estranged mother leaves, Jack walks in, just as Chloe has disabled the bad guy’s access to the video feed. Now it’s just Jack and Marcos. This is where it gets good.

Jack tells Marcos that if he detonates himself and allows the dirty bomb plot to succeed, then Jack will personally make sure that his dear old mom will be in the city when it happens. And if she is not in the vicinity of the blast, then Jack will personally escort her to ground zero and contaminate her. Then Jack looks at Marcos through the screen, with his own, angry Carson Daly glare and says something like “Look in my eyes and tell me if you think I’m lying.” Then he explains what radiation poisoning will be like for his mom. Then he adds, “If you blow yourself to little bits, I’ll have your mother come in and clean it up.”

Marcos may have been able to infiltrate the hospital, escape CTU and re-arm the bomb, but he is no match for Jack Bauer’s bravado. He puts down the detonator and opens the door. But the bad guys, who are close enough to see the hospital lobby, use a remote clicker to activate the bomb. (They also accidentally open all the garage doors in the neighborhood. ) We know the bomb is activated because a handy digital countdown display appears next to the handy green lights.

Jack tries to disarm it, but there’s no time. He manages to get the name of the head bad guy from Marcos just before he pushes him back in the vault to explode. Jack is thrown back, but is not injured by the massive C4 explosion, nor is he deafened by the loud bang echoing through the vault. He calls Bubba Gump Hastings and gets patched through to President Hassan Chop. He informs Hassan that the man they are looking for is Tarin, his estranged head of security who is currently doing the Wild Thing with his estranged daughter.

Hassan’s wife calls Kayla yet again, and this time she picks up, while Tarin is washing her sweat off of himself in the shower. They warn her of Tarin’s true motives just before Tarin comes back out, suddenly seeming much more sinister than he did a few minutes ago.

Next week, Kayla heads up sh*t creek in Tarin’s boat, while it hits the fan at CTU.

See you then.

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

Purple Goldfish Video Podcast Ep. 2

Episode two of the Purple Goldfish video podcast is up on the Marketing Lagniappe website. This time, Stan and I go to Stew Leonard’s. If you want some interesting marketing talk, or you just want to see me stuffing my face, check it out. And if you know a business that goes above and beyond expectations and delivers that little something extra something, tells us about it and they just might make the list. We are looking for 1001 examples. – Thanks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

24- Season 8.10 – 1 am: Weekend at Bauer’s

1 am

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.

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Purple Goldfish Video Podcast Debuts

I am happy to announce that the first episode of the Purple Goldfish Video Podcast is now on YouTube and at the Marketing Lagniappe web site. Stan Phelps, Mr. Lagniappe himself, and I will be exploring the concept of lagniappe and how it impacts marketing, sales and customer loyalty. (Lagniappe, as you will see in the video, is that little extra something that a business can do that goes above and beyond a customer's expectation.)

We will also be visiting various businesses to show you real life examples of lagniappe. The first episode leads us to Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It was hard work, but someone has to do it.

Here is a rundown of the first video podcast:

- We discuss the origin of ‘lagniappe’ and how it applies to marketing
- We talk about the concept of a ‘buy back’ and the ‘baker’s dozen’
- We debate where marketing lagniappe fits into the overall marketing mix
- Roadtrip to Five Guys Burgers and Fries to discuss peanuts, free toppings and bonus fries
- Purple Goldfish Jingle

I hope you enjoy it.