Monday, March 27, 2006

24 Season 5: Episode 15 Recap
(Hour 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.)

WARNING: The following post may, and probably will, contain spoilers.

If there’s one thing that Fox and 24 has taught me over the past few years about their previews for the next episode, is that a majority of what you see in them happens within the first 15 minutes of the show. Last week’s preview showed Jack interrogating Audrey – that was over within 15 minutes. So don’t think that when you see a preview that the entire episode will revolve around everything you saw. But we’re not here to discuss previews...

For Those Keeping Score, Jack STILL Has Zero Authority
Remember, he doesn’t work for CTU, he’s acting on his own authority. So why the charade about Jack having power this season? Jack can’t “sanction” an interrogation for Audrey. He also can’t just waltz into a room where a US Marshall is and knock him out to talk to the detainee. It served him right to get cuffed and tazered when he did, but damn... how about some consistency here. Jack would be no where close to this investigation.

While we’re talking about Audrey, was anyone rooting for Jack to just snap her neck? No? Okay, maybe not... but did anyone question how sympathetic Audrey would be towards Jack AFTER she just got injected with tons of interrogation chemicals? Does anyone remember Jack nearly killing her ex-husband last season by interrogation? Flashback!

One last thing about Audrey... I bet she dies by the end of the season. Jack can’t have a happy ending.

We Always Knew Chloe Was Good... But THIS Good?
Wow, let’s get this straight, in five minutes time, Chloe confirmed that Walt Cummings and Audrey stayed in the same room at the River Hotel (not real) in Pikesville, Maryland, by:

  1. Searching all of Audrey’s “records” over the past 18 months
  2. Pinpointing a time/date when she and Cummings were both at the same hotel
  3. Emailing photos of both Audrey and Cummings to the hotel manager AND received confirmation that he recognized both Walt and Audrey

Is it odd to anyone that, for whatever reason, the manager is STILL at the hotel at 9:00 p.m. Pacific time? Let’s do a counting exercise... 9:00 p.m. Pacific time is 10:00 p.m. Mountain time, 11:00 p.m. Central time and 12:00 a.m. Eastern time. Yes, midnight, and the hotel manager is still at the hotel and answering emails (with proof of phone bills and room service receipts)within two minutes. Not buying that one.

The New Sherry (NOT Palmer)
So the new, young, hot Sherry has a past with Miles (goober nerd)... just what we need, another side story. It’s a good thing that Chloe is on her side, and an even better thing that Sherry has knowledge about Natural Gas Distribution centers, mixing gas with another chemical and psi. I best not fail to mention 24’s weak attempt at humor, every man must be a sexual predator on this show now. Side note, who thinks Edgar was killed so that Chloe and Miles could hook up?

Get More Evidence!
It’s clearly not enough evidence that Collette Stinger’s (someone who had JUST sold schematics to Bierko -- assisting and aiding a terrorist) name was on Henderson’s computer. But it was more than enough evidence for a hotel manager to ID Audrey and Cummings (someone who assisted and aided a terrorist)?

Wilshire Gas Company
Never mind the oddly placed phone sign outside the receiving dock (you know, just in case anyone who wound up inside the locked gates needed to know where a phone was), that’s none of your concern. What IS your concern is this...

  • The safety precautions one would take when shooting guns inside a natural gas building (no, bodies being shot from a maximum of 10 feet away will NOT stop a bullet from hitting gas containers OR controls in the control room)
  • The feasibility of being able to pick up heat signatures from people outside of a natural gas plant (which are pretty hot to begin with)
  • The fact that you won’t be able to hear a helicopter when you’re standing outside guarding the door

The Long Road to the Presidential Compound
Would a Presidential compound have an entrance miles away from the actual place and NO supporting security all the way to the compound? Doubtful. Would there be a long enough drive for someone to go out and scout for anyone having car trouble? Doubtful number two. Would Wayne Palmer have such a bad ass gun? Doubtful number three. Would the military (the ones guarding the entrance) not notice a rocket being shot at someone (not to mention whatever other surveillance was taking place to guard the President)? Doubtful number four.

What a fun episode that was. Not that I’m complaining, but why wasn’t the President told about any of the crap going on this week? And if there was a huge military curfew going on, why wasn’t there military breaking up the faux fight by the terrorists? Whatever. I did enjoy the special effects and I’m really digging on Karen’s character. There’s a small silver lining in there somewhere.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

24 Season 5: Episodes 13 and 14 Recaps
(Hours 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.)

WARNING: The following post may, and probably will, contain spoilers.

I apologize for my recent absence, it’s not nice leaving all of you hanging high and dry for some 24 recaps. But I should really be apologizing to myself, since watching two episodes back to back is almost a fate worse than death. Needless to say, I survived 24’s sappiest episode ever and then the load of crap that followed it this week. Let’s get to it!

Episode 13: CTU’s Lips Are Sealed, Kinda
Funny how the episode started off with some dude announcing what areas are safe within CTU. Hmmm, anyone that can hear you is alive and already IN the safe area. And I’m not completely buying the notion that all of the CRT units were deployed to the hospital, that was like five episodes ago and the hospital was fine. Not only that, but Curtis was WAY off in his 30 minute arrival estimate since we never saw him again until episode 14.

How lucky was it that Kim’s boyfriend was a psychologist? I think instead of helping Chloe, he needed to be in the room with the security guard and Lynn, working out Lynn’s insecurities about being beaten up. Why was the security guard grilling Lynn about NOT telling anyone, when he should’ve asked HOW Lynn got back inside – we all want to know that.

Who caught Tony’s best impersonation of Inigo Montoya? “My name is Tony Almeda, you killed my wife, prepare to die.” It’s a good thing that Jack reached into his bag (and season one) to bring up Teri, that seemed to quell Tony for a little bit longer.

I noticed that Chloe didn’t grab a power chord for the laptop, hopefully it was charged up before the nerve gas was released. And speaking of impressive technology, does every government agency have computer systems that tell them air pressure, air/gas mixture ratio, sealant capacity, etc., other than nuclear power plants? Doubtful. While we’re talking about seals, how forward-thinking of the terrorists to include an acid that could corrode the seals on the doors. But wait... wouldn’t that same acid corrode the seals on the canisters that contain the nerve gas? Naaaaah!

Let’s talk about the seals a bit more:

  • How exactly do you use a computer program to slow a seal from corroding?
  • How does the room that Jack and company were in had actual seals running down the gaps in the doors and windows... but the room that Lynn and security guard were in didn’t?
  • How are the seals 80% in 25 minutes, but they still have 20 minutes before they’re gone completely?
  • Would this acid stuff also corrode other things, such as computers, wires, or skin? I would think so.

The best part of this episode was the phone conversation that the security guard had with his daughter, almost tear-jerking. In addition, not that I’m excited that we lost yet another CTU director, but that was cool how Lynn went out.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the First Family is further proving that they are the most ignorant and dysfunctional family in US History. It’s absolutely ignorant that the VP and President are openly talking about Martial Law without even the mention of a cabinet, Congress or Senate. Wouldn’t happen.

One more good thing about the episode, Tony kicked it. Whoever said no one was safe, God bless you. Let’s kill Jack, next!

Episode 14: A Hodge Podge of Stuff

  • Why is it such a secret that CTU is going to be taken over by Homeland Security? If another government agency went down, there would be a protocol for such an event. We all know how CTU loves following protocol, so no one should be surprised when this happens.
  • Wayne Palmer is back! That’s a good thing.
  • Explain to me this quote regarding the Martial Law declaration, “our legal people are working on it right now.”
  • It’s no wonder Bill and others were concerned... Homeland Security walks in with five, maybe six, people and takes over CTU. That’s normal.
  • Nice “german” accent from Stoller (who also appears on Lost).
  • Can we go one episode without breaking protocol? Also, still no word from the Chinese this season regarding the information that Jack is still alive?
  • If the mega-snotty geek from Homeland Security was able to figure out that Chloe sent something to Jack, how can you not figure out what it was?
  • Past season loophole: If CTU knows what car Collette was driving, why don’t they just trace it back to Bierko with their satellites?
  • Explain to me how one “programs a memory card to self-destruct.”
  • Weird, yet another potential mole inside of CTU storyline!

Monday, March 06, 2006

24 Season 5: Episodes 11 and 12 Recaps
(Hours 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.)

WARNING: The following post may, and probably will, contain spoilers.

What a treat! You gotta love double-episodes. You also gotta love the episodes where it switches from day to night in 10 minutes (because that’s how it works in real life). Now that we’re officially half-way into the season, I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached a turning point... unfortunately, it’s all downhill from here.

Don’t Tell Tony The Babysitter’s Dead
Well it’s about time that Tony woke up... we’ve been alluding to it for 11 episodes now. I thought Jack needed to know as soon as Tony woke up, because he needed to get information from him. Guess it’s not that big of a deal now. Just like not telling Tony that his wife is dead. For good reason, I suppose, he’s been through a lot today. No worries, but feel free to go ahead and give him classified information about the nerve gas, the ex-CTU agent and the terrorists. I mean, he was almost EXPLODED to death, but after a 10 hour nap, I think I’d be up for hearing that stuff AND walking around. No sweat. But tell me why was Tony brought to CTU if you weren’t going to share the information with him in the first place? Ohhhhh, so he could get stuck in the medical wing with Henderson.

Lynn’s Loophole Is Shown
Remember when I asked how Lynn got back into CTU without his access card? Yeah, I remember, too. But 24 was betting that none of you would remember. I’m not so sure how Lynn’s druggie sister and her boyfriend were so connected, but they sure did have the inside scoop on some major terrorist flow. But why did the LAPD just happen to go to the druggie apartment? No good reason... except to inform Lynn at CTU that his sister was dead, so he could tell Bill that his access card was stolen, so they knew CTU had been compromised, etc etc etc...

The Showdown: CTU Nerds vs. Terrorist Nerds
In what could be the biggest heavyweight bout of the year, let’s pit CTU’s technologies vs. the Terrorists’...

  • CTU has face-recognition software that can match a security camera picture (one received from a hospital in two minuets, or one obtained from their own internal cameras in OVER FIVE) to a database in less than 30 seconds.
  • Terrorists have guys who can tweak nerve gas canister timers AND drive to a hospital in less than ten minutes (not to mention arrive, get inside and dress like a nurse).
  • CTU has software that takes about a minute to pull up an agent’s record. And if that agent is deceased, if you wait about ten additional seconds, it will post digital photos of the dead body.
  • Terrorists have rule-breaking codes that allow them to use cell phones in radiology areas.
  • CTU has analysts that can hack into computers, but none that can get inside of an interlaced encryption key. That’s tough. But what exactly is an interlaced encryption key? Nobody knows.
  • Terrorists have guys who set timers for too long. Why not just set the canister to go off while you’re there? Die for your cause!
  • CTU has bomb squads that try to defuse nerve gas canisters with electrical magic wands. And when that doesn’t work, they do the next coolest thing... run through a hospital with the actual bomb.
  • Terrorists have guys that can hack into CTU. Not only that, but they can take access cards, read the information on it, change it, and use it to get into CTU.
  • CTU has a normal parking lot like any regular company in America.
  • Terrorists have switches on their nerve gas canisters marked "maximize casualties," used for maximizing casualties.

It’s a draw.

That Sneaky Terrorist: A Time Log
Entry 1 (00:00) – I broke into CTU, lucky they don’t have scanning procedures to get in... sheesh, I can’t even take my favorite knife on plane trips anymore... but I can bring nerve gas canisters into CTU!
Entry 2 (08:00) – It took me eight minutes to find the basement. I had to pee first, but I got some on my pants and the hand dryer was broken. Talk about embarrassing.
Entry 3 (17:00) – This is taking longer than I thought... I just now ran the command to find the schematics of CTU on my PDA and transferred it to the laptop that’s down here in the maintenance room (weird place for a computer, don’t you think?). There, ventilation all shut down.
Entry 4 (25:00) – Okay, I just set the timer on the gas canister. This should give me enough time to get out of here. Wait... okay, just stabbed a snooping nerd chick with my Rambo knife. Gotta jet.

Jack Learned "Everything" From Henderson
It’s his old boss, how couldn’t he have learned all he knows from him? Here are some things I bet Jack DIDN’T learn:

  • How to have a life at CTU and a wife at home... Jack’s been through, what, 4 girls on the show now?
  • Belay that last point, Jack never learned to NOT care for their wife (though he could’ve learned that from President Logan, too – is that a theme this season? To not care about your wife?).
  • Jack will never learn how to do this... Henderson somehow found out how to a) link a remote detonator to destroy a bomb AND wipe a hard drive clean, b) keep one socket open to transfer files to another computer, c) destroy a server room, yet maintain that socket on the hard-driveless computer. Wow.

Kim Is Finally Back
Nothing really interesting here. Except the boyfriend, who’s full name was said about five times. Think they’re trying to make us remember that?

Presidents, US, Russian and Alike...
Blah blah, terrorists attack, blah blah, no heightened security, blah blah, the Vice Pres shows up, blah blah, they’re still running the country with three people.

Lock, Stock and CTU It Down
I liked the locking down of CTU. Though it was pretty lame that Chloe was able to lock down three rooms (one for Jack and co., one for Lynn and one for the medical wing). And how "sad" was it when we watched Edgar kick the bucket (and not Chloe) and how lamer was it when there was no beeps to end the show. I’m sorry, but that evoked zero emotions from me except anger... if I wasn’t watching, how did I know the show was over!?!

Well, like I mentioned, we’re over half-way done with the season. Rejoice! More insanity coming up in the following 12 episodes, I’ll catalog it all right here.

More From The “Keeping It Real” File

It sure is nice to find other sites that think 24 is a bit too unrealistic...

Follow Jack Bauer as he makes his way around Los Angeles (and the world) on Day 5 of 24, the hit Fox TV show. Updates and detailed episode information will be posted on Gridskipper, generally every Tuesday. Additional world-wide Waypoints, not in the general L.A. area, can be found under username bohan. All photos are linked to Flickr, where you will find detailed information about each photo, including arcane Los Angeles trivia, filming gaffes, and additional information about various shoots and locales.