Monday, April 30, 2007

24 Season 6: Episode 20 Recap
(Hour 1:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.)

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

Let's see... where did we leave off. Oh yeah. Chang got away and Jack's been arrested. Audrey's mind is f'ed and the horny Evil Veep doesn't want anything to do with Brother Palmer's initiatives – if you can call them such a thing. Karen and Bill are having a lovers' quarrel and there are a few other things that no one cares about.

Running CTU 101
Nadia hits the ground running by being a mega bitch and giving orders to everyone. Morris comes in to talk about his request and Nadia denies the transfer (didn't see that coming) because they're in the middle of an international crisis – which isn't another government agency's job, if you were wondering.

Silver Spoon calls in and tells Nadia that Audrey is all sorts of screwed up. Nadia orders him to bring her back to CTU so one of their specialists can take a look at her. Silver Spoon tells Nadia what Jack's plan was and then tells the audience again that Jack is a hero because he was going to sacrifice himself to get Audrey released (thanks for beating it over our heads). Jack's plan would've worked, too, if it weren't for that pesky dog and those meddling kids if he wouldn't have messed it up. Nadia said that Jack went against a direct order from the White House – need I remind everyone that he really didn't since Brother Palmer okay'd the task at hand. The only directive that wasn't followed was Silver Spoon's, and that was to arrest and detain Jack.

Karen calls Nadia to tell her that the Russians know about the missing component. Audrey hasn't said anything yet, but that might be because The Shrink (Dr. Bradley) just showed up. Karen then emphasizes that it's super important that they catch Chang – you know, the thing that they were already trying to do. Karen says that if Nadia needs more resources, to ask. Nadia responds by saying they need Bill. Burn.

The Shrink meets with Nadia and acts all dick-like because he's on a "time-crunch," I guess because he has so many other patients to see at 1:20 am. The Shrink starts talking to Audrey and notices some weird spots on her arms. Meanwhile, Silver Spoon puts Jack in a holding cell as Jack begs him to take care of Audrey.

The Shrink continues his overview and Nadia interrupts him to introduce Silver Spoon. She explains that they're getting pressure from the White House to find Chang and that they need information from Audrey – which means that Jack will have to end up talking to her. The Shrink says that she's a type 3 catatonic that's capable of following simple commands and repeating words and basic phrases. Basically that means there's not much he can do unless there's an intervention, which is a fancy way of saying he wants to inject her with more drugs. The Shrink insists that this is the only way they're going to get information out of her... but wait, resident shrink Silver Spoon says that Jack can get through to her. The Shrink says that talking to Jack would likely upset her and when it's all said and done, it's not Nadia's call, district has put Audrey in his care. Silver Spoon gets pissed and tells Nadia to stop him and teaches her Running CTU Lesson #1:

Sometimes you gotta do whatever it takes... to break the rules.

Silver Spoon tells Jack that it doesn't look good and then releases Jack so he can go to Audrey. But first Jack has to make it look like Silver Spoon was attacked – never mind the cameras that are in every room. Jack uses the sleeper move on Silver Spoon and then knocks the rent-a-cop out. He grabs a gun and then makes his way into Audrey's room to choke The Shrink. Audrey leaves with Jack as The Shrink pulls the fire alarm.

Nadia rushes to Morris' computer and they pull up the video feed... sure enough, Audrey's gone. Nadia orders for everything to be looked down and Milo gives her Running CTU Lesson #2:

If only you had let Jack do what he wanted, none of this would've happened.

Morris confirms that Jack is still in the building. Nadia notices that Chloe is missing (but never follows up on it) and asks Silver Spoon, who is already back awake and on his feet, what the hell is going on. She practically nails it on the head as to what went down and Silver Spoon says he did what was necessary for the operation and for Audrey. Morris finds Jack in the lower levels and Nadia sends every one down there... except the Entry Team.

Jack gets into a room and then sabotages the door – luckily he doesn't have flashbacks as to this possibly being the room where his wife died. He sits Audrey down and tries to reason with her by reciting her life story. Nadia makes it down to the room but can't get in because it's jammed and learns Running CTU Lesson #3:

Always have the Entry Team ready.

Jack tells Audrey that he wants Chang to pay for what they've done to her and it looks like she starts to remember. He says all the right things, including a crash-course in getting over being tortured, and that's when Audrey grabs his nasty acid hand... we call that a breakthrough. Then the Entry Team busts in and Audrey finally says something. The Shrink is pessimistic, but Nadia takes note of all she learned that day and takes a chance to do things Jack's way. She sends Audrey back upstairs to the medical wing and Jack goes back into holding.

As the White House Turns
Karen briefs Evil Veep on the progress of finding Chang. Apparently, CTU is dedicating all of its resources to find them. Neither of them is hopeful that Chang will be found before he gets out of the country and it's near certain that Russia's defenses are doomed – ALL BECAUSE OF THIS OUT-DATED COMPONENT OF A NUCLEAR BOMB. Evil Veep then shows compasion about Karen's firing of Bill and tries to bury the hatchet by telling Karen that he values her work.

Invasion Chick goes home and is acting all suspicious-like. Then out of nowhere, she starts making out with Hornball (Bishop). Uh-oh! Again, out of nowhere, it appears that Invasion Chick is playing Evil Veep! She has her own hidden agenda

Evil Veep, Karen and Fish meet with Russian President Suvarov and he busts their balls about the component being stolen. Fish suggests that there MUST be a spy and is going to launch an immediate investigation into the staff. The situation is really serious and Evil Veep says to give CTU everything they need to find Chang... little does he know that they've already dedicated all of their resources to find him. For an government agency that complains about being shorthanded all the time, they sure do have a lot of resources at their disposal, I think.

Invasion Chick tells Hornball that she's going to shower to wash off their 5 minute sex romp. While she does that, Hornball swipes her PDA and downloads everything off of it in 2 seconds. He then calls Foreign Dude in Car (FDC) to tell him he's all done and that Invasion Chick has no clue. GASP! Another hidden agenda!?! Ten minutes later, Invasion Chick is all cleaned up and takes a call from Evil Veep – he's disgruntled (read: horny) and wants her to get back soon. Hornball wants to know what's going on and calls FDC to find out his next move.

Fish comes in and tells Evil Veep that he's identified the leak. Someone on the staff called Hornball a few times over the past two hours and this guy has possible ties to Russian Intelligence in the past... but the investigation was stopped due to a lack of resources. Fish says it's Invasion Chick. Evil Veep is dumbfounded and tells Fish that he's sleeping with her. Fish is speechless and then offers a potential back-stabbing ploy.

Invasion Chick shows back up, so Fish leaves and lets Evil Veep confront her about knowing Hornball. He then plays a taped message (from ten minutes earlier) from Hornball calling a known Russian intelligence agent (FDC). He's all pissed about her lying to him and he says that even if she didn't know she was helping, it's still treason... which the writers now want you to think, "oooo, that's ironic since you were trying to commit it earlier!" But don't fall for it. It's a cheap gimmick. Evil Veep tells her that she is to go back to Hornball and tell him that they've retreived the component.

Aw Hell-er!
You heard it here first, Heller is back and sitting with Audrey. He then tells Nadia that he wants to see Jack. Heller goes in and tells Jack to never go near Audrey again. It's all Jack's fault that she's a vegetable and Heller keeps telling Jack to stay away from her because he's cursed. Duh.

Miscellaneous Crap

  • Did anyone wonder about the two helicopters just sitting there at the beginning of the episode? Last week weren't they needing helicopters to chase Chang? If there were two right there, then why not continue the chase? Oh, because they want you to think that the ONLY lead is Audrey's swiss cheese brain.
  • Speaking of Chang, we only see him once this week hauling ass in a hummer. He starts to upload the contents of the nuke component to a computer, but there's a problem – the circuit board is damaged and can't be fixed without a security override. Now they have to find someone with expertise. Which basically means, don't worry about us this episode, we'll be back soon enough.
  • Morris and Chloe meet up in the hall and he tells her that he asked for a transfer. Chloe gets all upset and Morris tells her it's over and they're done. Good thing they're worrying about this and NOT catching Chang. Unfortunately, this won't be the end of that story line.

Wow, that was the lousiest cliffhanger I've ever seen. How would you ever follow that up? How about uncovering yet another terrorist activity – this time by the Chinese. Oh, and we finally figure out where Graem's wife went... does anyone remember her? You do? Do you still care? You do? Then I can't help you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Episode 20 Predictions/Running Commentary

With only 4 episodes to go (as Fox says), does anyone have any thoughts about what will be ludacris tonight? Also, if you want to post comments about episode 20 for me to include in my recap, do it here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

24 Season 6: Five Hours To Go

Okay gang, here we are. We're nearly done with this horrendous season and only have five more hours to go. We know just how ridiculous this season has been, after what some say was a strong start (I disagree, but whatever). I want to know what you think will happen before they close out the season. Here are some thoughts:

  • We never really get closure on the Denver story. And if we do, it's pretty lame. Say, where did that blackmailing agent ever disappear to anyway?
  • Chloe and Morris hook back up and get wasted on the job.
  • Nadia turns out to be the mole after all. No one cares. Then she and Milo break up.
  • Defense Secretary (or former Defense Secretary) Heller shows up for an episode, or two – if someone's full name is mentioned on the show, they usually show up.
  • Audrey calls everyone Jack and then goes berzerk when they offer her chinese food to eat.
  • Jack bites Chang to death. Then, soon after, collapses from exhaustion, finally.
  • Evil Veep and Invasion Chick have a baby in the next three hours, name it Brother Palmer for all the crap he's gone through.
  • Bill and Karen go through couples' counseling and we finally figure out why Brother Palmer hired Karen after she was such a Grizzly Logan loyalist.
  • Since he couldn't turn Jack, Daddy Palmer finally gets Kim involved. They come up with a plan for Kim to date/marry an even bigger idiot than from last season. Jack goes haywire, bites Kim to death and collapses from exhaustion.
  • Graem's wife and kid are still somewhere inside CTU, having been forgotten.
  • Fox fires all of its writers, claiming "we can write this shit ourselves... and have been. Emmys be damned!"

Let's hear your thoughts.

Monday, April 23, 2007

24 Season 6: Episode 19 Recap
(Hour 12:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.)

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

Jack is rogue again! Evil Veep is in power again! We're being led down paths that we don't care about, again. But that doesn't stop the writers, does it? Nooooooo.

24 4, The Search for Jack
Silver Spoon starts us off by flagging down one of many cars driving around at midnight (on the day of a nuclear explosion). He tells the driver that he's a federal agent in persuit and he needs the vehicle. The driver asks, "where's your badge?" Silver Spoon responds by throwing him to the ground and forgets to say, "it's on the ground, right over there."

Silver Spoon calls in and gets Milo – Jack must be the only person that can call exactly who he wants to at CTU. He tells Bill that he screwed up. Luckily, the tracking device is still inside the chip – which explains why it inserted in the first place, to track Jack whenever he turned on the US. Well, Bill tells Silver Spoon to hurry because Jack will disengage the tracking device the first chance he gets... or not, since he's had five minutes to do so already. Bill tells everyone that Jack has gone rogue and that all available resources should help Silver Spoon. Hopefully Morris is done assisting the military transfer of the nukes, otherwise he'll be too busy to help. Bill then tells Chloe that she needs to help again.

Jack pulls over underneath an un-guarded electric line tower to disrupt the tracking signal. It works. Morris has Chloe keeping an eye on things while he goes to explain it to Bill. Milo questions Jack's motives and even though he wasn't around 20 months ago to see the ending of Jack and Audrey's relationship, he just knows that Jack won't let her die. So he says he'll go check the satellites – you know, just in case they restored any coverage in that area. Who is "they?" Isn't CTU in control of the satellites?

Jack contacts Chang and tells him they're going to do it his way. You see, CTU is looking for him and he knows the way around CTU's satellite configuration (which apparently hasn't changed in 20 months). He sets up a meeting at an abandoned motel (which is also still around 20 months later). Chang and his men go on the move.

Silver Spoon finds where Jack turned off and Bill reminds viewers that if the Chinese get a hold of the component, they'll have an international incident on their hands. Silver Spoon then becomes a master tracker and figures out that Jack has gone East. CTU doesn't have satellite coverage because the radiation from fallout has made this particular area hard to cover. Silver Spoon discerns that he's on the highway that has no cameras so he suggests that CTU check the cell towers to see if Jack has made a phone call to Chang... oh, and he also saw Jack pick up a phone from "one of the terrorists at the warehouse, so that should narrow it down."

Chloe gets the order from Nadia to check all the phone calls from some cell tower. In order for her to do that, she has to send stuff to Morris' computer and interrupt his work. Curious, she can PUT anything his computer that she wants, but can't get anything FROM his computer? Then she and Morris argue, because we're all so interested in their story line. Then Milo, who obviously doesn't have shit to do, offers to help Chloe. Which prompts the original love triangle to come back up. In an act of lame anger, Chloe tells Morris that he shouldn't arm nukes for terrorists. She's right, you know. But he gets all sad and walks off... probably to go drink and vomit some more.

Jack shows up at the abandoned motel to rig up the C4. Just then, Nadia calls Silver Spoon and tells him they found the phone call and they're decrypting it now – but It's taking forever because they used a double-length key to slow them down.. Jack calls CTU, and what do you know, he gets right through to Bill's line. He leaves a message that soon Audrey will be safe and the circuit board will be blown to pieces.

Morris goes to see Bill, who is in his office NOT checking voice mail, and requests a transfer. Bill says he'll help out. But after talking to Karen, and getting fired, Bill tells Nadia that he's stepping down and now she's acting director – yes, the gal that was considered a mole and was born in the Middle East. Nadia is upset. The last bit of advice Bill gives her is to inform everyone before it's posted on the internal forums – because everyone has so much spare time to check message boards while hunting down terrorists.

Nadia informs CTU that Bill has stepped down and that she's in charge until a replacement can be sent over. No one is too sure about that. If anything, I'd say they're foreshadowing that she really IS the mole we all thought she was. Then, suddenly, everyone is in the meeting room with their computers waiting to talk with Silver Spoon – he's found Jack's truck and he's going to search around. Nadia suggests they use thermal imaging. But I'm confused how they'll do that, since the satellites in that area are having trouble due to radiation from the fallout.

Chang gets out of a big ol' stretch limo – not quite the car to divert attention from you on a day like this – and goes into the motel. He exchanges words with Jack and then Audrey gets out of the car. Jack removes the gag from her mouth and sends Audrey walking down the road to safety.

Jack tosses the chip to Chang. Silver Spoon, who's hiding in the bushes, gets anxious and shoots the sniper. Then Jack gets shot. Silver Spoon's backup finally shows up and Chang escapes out the back of the motel in the three Hummers that both Jack and Silver Spoon somehow overlooked. A helicopter begins to chase but instantly gets shot down.

Jack gets up, again, not shot and shoots the rest of the chinese guards who are still standing in the motel for whatever reason. Nadia's pissed and orders Jack to be arrested after the smoke clears. Jack tries to put the blame on Silver Spoon and then spots Audrey... but she doesn't even know who Jack is! OH NO!!!

The Young and the White House
The press secretary makes a statement that Evil Veep will make a statement at 9:00 am Eastern time (6:00 am Pacific, which... well wouldn't you know it, is when the season will end). Evil Veep confronts Fish about his evidence. Fish tells him that Brother Palmer was forcing the resignation and now Fish supports Evil Veep. They make the decision to keep Karen around.

Karen tells Evil Veep that CTU is trying everything they can to find Jack. Evil Veep isn't having it since "CTU let him steal the component." Wait... no they didn't. Brother Palmer said it was okay. Fish suggests that other agencies join the search – but no one asks where were these other agencies earlier in the day. Invasion Chick stays around after Fish and Karen leave, and we're treated to another lame love plot.

Karen gets a call, 10 feet from her office, that Peter Hawke (from the Department of Justice) is in there waiting for her... at 3:20 am. He's been interrogating Fish's Chief of Staff, PMRL (Poor Man's Rob Lowe). PMRL is looking at being executed, so he's offering up anything and everything he knows. Hawje shows her a bit of information that concerns Bill – that he had Fayed in custody, let him go and Karen helped him cover it up – she blue-coated the file (which I can't find anything on google as being a real term). Unfortunately, this is the reason that Karen was going to quit 12 hours earlier. Now, it's resurfacing and someone is going to have to take the fall – the further from the President, the better. Meaning, she has to fire Bill.

Karen calls Bill and says they need to talk, but he doesn't have time. Karen tells Fish about Hawke's suggestion that she fire Bill. Fish agrees that Bill has to go. She has to choose who she's loyal to. Bill calls her back. She tells him about Hawke and informs him that she'll have to fire him. Bill gets upset and hangs up on her.

Reader Bryan H. points out:
So right now Karen Hayes is firing her husband. I've never heard that the National Security Adviser has the power to hire and fire the heads of intelligence agencies, but that's a minor point here. The bigger question is this: what kind of pussies are in this palmer administration? Can you imagine anyone in an actual presidential administration volunteering to fire people before the public even knows about the "scandal"? Hell, the Bush administration fires people long after the scandal breaks, if at all.

Here we are with five hours to go. Audrey is nuts. Bill and Karen are on the rocks. Nadia is pissed. Evil Veep is about to get lucky. And Jack is going back to CTU where he'll have to escape from to eventually find Chang. Since Chang shot down a CTU chopper, I'd say everything the military has is out to get him... but don't hold your breath.

Episode 19 Predictions/Running Commentary

Anyone have any guesses of what will truly be outrageous tonight? Also, if you want to post comments about episode 19 for me to include in my recap, do it here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 Disses 24 Season Six

I keep on preaching it, gang, but 24 isn't on an upward trend. The show is becoming stupider and stupider as we go along. Coming to the foray this time is with their article entitled, "The Longest Day Ever."

Jack bags the bad guys and the bombs early, leaving a few extra hours to sacrifice national security for his lady love. Quick, somebody turn back the clock!

I couldn't agree more. I just hope the writers are taking note.

Monday, April 16, 2007

24 Season 6: Episode 18 Recap
(Hour 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.)

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

I completely failed you last week when I failed to mention how laughable it was that Chang tells Jack to call him back in 10 minutes and to NOT try to find out their location. Wouldn't CTU already be screening calls going on that day -- the day of a nuclear attack? And if they weren't screening all calls, surely they're screening calls going through CTU. In addition, whenever Jack calls into CTU, he gets a different person (Bill or Chloe come to mind), wouldn't they know what Audrey sounded like? Sheesh. Well, this week featured WAY too much crap to put into one episode. Someone mentioned that an episode from this season would equal four episodes from the first season. They're right and the show suffers from trying to do too much.

Jack Turns On His Country?
Jack gets a shot from the medic to help him get through the pain, isn't anyone concerned that he was once a junkie? No? Guess not, since Silver Spoon gives Jack a nice heartfelt talk. Jack doesn't care and goes to call Chang in an alleyway. Chang wants the suitcase nukes in exchange for Audrey. Why the nukes? See, there's a component in the the trigger mechanism that contains a prototype algorithm old enough to be free of any modern decryption safe codes... with it, the Chinese could have access to virtually all Russian defense technology (which explains why Russia is so far behind in technology). Chang doesn't realize that he has Audrey, so he can call the shots. He doesn't have to tell Jack WHY he wants the missiles.

For those of you wondering why the military has suddenly taken over the transfer of the missiles, it's to create an un-needed plot line.

Then, the suddenly over-enunciating Chloe gets a call on her cell phone from Jack -- he needs her help. He explains the situation, but she's scared because they both know it'll create an "international situation, big-time." She agrees to help, but she can't get the schematics that Jack's looking for because they were re-classified once he disassembled one of the nukes. But... Morris might have the revised schematic on his computer. A loophole is discovered -- unlike in seasons past, Chloe can only access it directly from his machine.

Once she finds it, Jack wants her to send it to the cell phone he's calling from (I'm surprised they didn't use the same damn number again), using the secure line Alpha-5-3-9 (which, I'm pretty sure was the same code used to disarm the fake missile last week -- but I didn't include it in my review, can anyone confirm?). Chloe finds the schematic lightening fast, with one hand even, and starts sending it to the phone that Jack called her on... and by the phone Jack called her on, they mean the thing he's holding in his hand and NOT the one he's talking to her on. But the file doesn't get sent right away, no no no, it has to load first... which must confuse Jack since sending data has NEVER taken this lone before. Oh, but wait, Jack DOES get it on the phone that he was talking on... uh, so what was he looking at? The acid skin on his hand?

Morris knows that someone has "hacked" his system. You see, since everyone thought that Nadia was the mole, Morris took extra time to install a tracking program on his machine to alert him of any un-authorized access. [Curious, wouldn't the password that Chloe entered give her authorized access?] Chloe tells Morris why she "hacked" his system. Chloe knows that the technology won't get to the Chinese because Jack gave her his word -- on the Black Market, Jack's word is worth about $10,000,000. Morris threatens to tell Bill, but Chloe caves and does it herself.

Jack snoops around the warehouse and lies to the TWO guards manning the cage where the nukes are. The TWO guards fall for the trick and let him in. Suddenly, Silver Spoon busts in, stops Jack and then looks longingly at the computer chip (who thinks the Denver story-line is about to conveniently resurface?).

Poor Jack, we see him all cuffed up for the second time in less than 24 hours -- shouldn't he be having flashbacks? Bill talks to Jack on the phone and Jack utters the over-used line that "this is our only chance" to get Audrey back. To which Bill tops him by borrowing one of Jack's favorite lines, "I promise I'll do everything in my power to get her back." Jack somehow convinces Bill to let him talk to Brother Palmer.

Jack explains the situation to Brother Palmer. Since we now entered the half-hour point of the show, the writers had to explain what giving the circuit board to the Chinese means -- Brother Palmer tells Jack that he knows the circuit board holds the key to Russian Defense codes. Brother Palmer hears Jack's whole plan of trusting Jack to destroy the circuit when Audrey is released. Brother Palmer needs details, so Jack says he'll destroy it with some c-4 -- which Brother Palmer (who, starting today, is an explosive expert) says it'll take out anything within 30 feet of it. Oh diss! Jack will again sacrifice himself if he must! Brother Palmer owes Jack for turning him over earlier in the day, so Brother Palmer agrees.

Silver Spoon, who is now super pissy towards Jack, reluctantly un-cuffs him. Jack explains his plan -- once Audrey is safe, he'll destroy the circuit board and kill Chang. While Jack is assembling the C4 in the car (that's safe), Silver Spoon gets the desist call from Bill, who asks where they are (since CTU just can't figure out how to use satellites consistently today). Jack gets suspicious and he throws his bag into the back seat of the truck and pulls his gun on Silver Spoon -- good thing the C4 didn't go off! They pull over and Jack kicks Silver Spoon out of the car. Awww, but the circuit is still being tracked.

Brother Palmer vs. Evil Veep, Round 2
Fish, after three hours, finally tells Brother Palmer what he is holding over Evil Veep. Then Karen bursts in the door to tell them the good news about CTU recovering the remaining nukes (I think an action like hers, especially on a day where the President nearly got bombed to death, would bring about a huge gang tackle from secret service). Brother Palmer is so excited that he wants to address the nation -- at 2:00 AM Eastern time -- and they'll do it from the Oval Office!

Once back in the Oval Office (some 4 minutes later), an extremely fit looking Brother Palmer gets all mushy about seeing a pic of OG Palmer. Then Evil Veep comes in and they have a candid talk about why they were running mates. Then, Brother Palmer asks for Evil Veep's resignation. Evil Veep declines to resign and then Brother Palmer blackmails him with Fish's evidence. But he doesn't need the resignation today, which is good, because it'll give Evil Veep time to steal the evidence from Fish's possession.

While Evil Veep ponders his resignation, Invasion Chick shows up. She's surprised upon hearing the news of his up-coming resignation. She's sad, but at least they'll have more time to spend with one another -- ewwwwww. Evil Veep signs the paper and they go to watch Brother Palmer speak to the press -- who are all dressed up and look very nice for being up at 2:45AM Eastern time.

Uh oh, Brother Palmer calls a reporter by the wrong name. Sonofa, then he slips up again! By now, everyone doesn't care that he's been nearly bombed to death and that it's been a stressful day -- he's supposed to be superhuman. Then, Brother Palmer does his best Max Headroom impersonation and drops to the floor.

As we suspected, The Doc was right -- Brother Palmer shouldn't have been working so hard... he's suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Evil Veep takes over, again, and wants Fish to help him issue a press release and go over the President's agenda -- which should be pretty clear since they've spent the past 18 hours searching for nuclear weapons. But, Invasion Chick finds something that needs the immediate attention (no worry as to why she was in the Oval Office), it's Jack's master plan.

This pisses Evil Veep off big-time and he tells Fish and Karen to inform CTU that they will stop the mission -- even though he's not officially the President yet.

Thought this week was too jam-packed and silly? Just wait until next week when the writers use another old story line... Jack Bauer goes rogue! Again.

Monday, April 09, 2007

24 Season 6: Episode 17 Recap
(Hour 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.)

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

Oh brother. We leave off last week where Gredenko died, Fayed was caught and Brother Palmer shot the nuke. Just when we were all asking what the hell was going on, this week brings us quite a few closures... and a glimpse of someone we wished were really dead.

Dr. Jekyll, Brother Palmer
Brother Palmer has shot the nuke. I repeat, he has shot the nuke. No one knows what's going on! But we do, he's addicted to adrenaline and adrenaline makes him crazy. Fish says they can't shoot nukes at Fayed's country -- WHERE THE HELL IS FAYED FROM!?! Brother Palmer calls the Ambassador of ______ and tells him he better give him more information or ______ will go up in flames. And what do you know, new information is given!

There's a General Mohmar Habib (yes, like Habib Marwan, just reversed and slightly different) that's been in connection with Fayed -- unfortunately, NO ONE AT CTU caught that, you'd think that on a day that a nuclear weapon has gone off, they'd be monitoring all communication coming from the Middle East... especially from _______. Since new information was given, Brother Palmer calls off the strike. Fish says he'll send in a crew to retrieve it, but Brother Palmer says it's not necessary since it was a decoy missile! D'oh! Good one! You fooled everyone on your staff... for NO REASON.

During a heart-to-heart with Fish, Brother Palmer looks constipated and his hand starts to shake. The Ambassador of _______ shows up to speak with Karen, Fish and Brother Palmer. He says that Habib isn't responding to the interrogation, so Brother Palmer suggests they threaten to kill his family -- which, for some reason, is just absurd to everyone in the room. Well, the ______'s government complies and they get Habib to cooperate. Afterwards, the Ambassador of ______ is ushered out quickly as Brother Palmer crumples to the floor.

Doc is rushed to Brother Palmer's side and finds out his blood pressure has dropped. Doc suggests that they get him to medical, but Brother Palmer won't go. He's addicted to adrenaline and wants another shot. Doc denies the request and tries to quit, but Brother Palmer won't have it. Fish tells Doc that his decision is final. Um, the President just crumpled to the floor... don't worry about telling anyone. To supplement his adrenaline addiction, Brother Palmer tells Fish to get a hold of CTU, he wants to know what happened while he was laying on the floor like a baby.

Fayed vs. Jack, to the death!
Meanwhile, Jack is punching a suddenly-stoned Fayed. They exchange words and Jack punches him in the balls, nice! Jack knows it's not working and Silver Spoon wants to take a shot. While Jack talks to Bill about the new Habib info -- Silver Spoon tries to coerce Fayed by saying if the bombs go off now, Fayed won't be the jihad hero. And if you all didn't understand what he was trying to do, Fayed explains it for us all by asking, "do you honestly believe you can manipulate me by playing on my vanity?"

Jack tells Silver Spoon they're going to transfer Fayed back to CTU, because the only way they can break him is with a "pharmaceutical package." While en route back to CTU, their vehicle is ambushed. Silver Spoon gets shot! THEN JACK! Man, the bad guys suddenly got really good at shooting. Then Fayed escapes! Oooooh, psyche! It was another bluff -- that's TWO this episode.

Before Fayed takes his new friends to the nukes, he wants to talk to Habib. It'll be hard to do, but Bill's gotta make this work, because Jack believes this is THE ONLY WAY WE'RE GOING TO FIND THE BOMBS. Bill calls Brother Palmer to sort it out. Fish suggests that maybe they should use more conventional methods, but Palmer says that if Jack says it's a dead end, then by God, it's a dead end. Fayed and crew pull into an un-manned garage. Habib calls and Fayed talks to him. Fayed seems convinced and they leave.

Meanwhile, at CTU, after a tif with Milo, Nadia studies the transcripts and thinks that Habib has warned Fayed secretly. Jack commandeers Silver Spoon's phone (since his has gone missing all of a sudden), and calls Jamal to warn him. Then, in the technology blunder of the whole season, both Jamal's cell phone AND video feed go out -- because the car entered a tunnel. Jack doesn't understand and asks how big the tunnel is -- apparently he just doesn't want to look up, because he IS right behind them.

Jack and Silver Spoon find the truck RIGHT in the middle of the tunnel. All passengers have been shot, including the driver -- luckily he came to a nice complete stop and didn't wreck as to not hurt anyone. Jack notices a door open in the tunnel and decides to persue alone, again. He spots Fayed stealing a cell phone from some rando worker in the tunnels. Lucky for Fayed, THIS cell phone works in the tunnels. Jack, for whatever reason, hugs the undercarriage of the garbage truck that Fayed drives off in.

Fayed arrives and his men are just walking around casually with their guns. He tells them to load up the bombs, because they're going to take out downtown LA. Say, on a day when a nuclear bomb has already gone off, there won't be any security downtown, right? Jack trips a baddie and breaks his neck. He then infiltrates the warehouse, again, alone. He kills every baddie and has a brutal to-the-death fight with Fayed. This was truly the most superb moment of the season.

Just as Jack is reveling in his kill, Silver Spoon rushes in, they somehow tracked him by satellite. The bombs are secure -- even though only one of the suitcases is open -- and everything is great!

Return of the Living Dead, 2
Jack hobbles up and gets a phone call that's been patched through CTU's swtichboard. You're NOT going to believe this, it was Audrey! But, wasn't she dead!?! No way, I'm stunned. In a stupid cliff-hanger, Jack is told to call back in 10 minutes to the SAME STUPID PHONE NUMBER THEY'VE USED ALL SEASON. Seriously, stop/

And there you have it. We've clearly gone off the tracks again and are changing gears. Seven more episodes, that's PLENTY of time to start at least three more lame plots.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

5 Ways to Make 24 (Season 7) Better

I've been running this site for almost two years now, and critiquing 24 for even longer. Complaining and ridiculing is an easy thing to do, but often isn't helpful -- not that Fox, or the writing staff, is paying attention. From what I've learned in the past, anyone can complain. Anyone can bitch. But it's so much more helpful to come up with a solution for a perceived problem. This Easter morning, I began to explore what could resurrect 24 from, what I see, becoming a failing franchise.

Something that's resonated with me lately is the new upcoming Die Hard movie. Does anyone else see the resemblance between Jack Bauer and John McClane like I do? They're both law enforcement. They both take on terrorists of all walks. Their families are estranged. And they're both solitary heroes -- they have help, but it's usually all them.

See the resemblances? I sure do and I think the creators of 24 may have based some of Jack on McClane -- it's not a big stretch. But why not go farther? I think that by copying a page from the Die Hard book, we can start our list of how 24 can be fixed.

1. Happenstance
In the Die Hard films, McClane has never been the person to seek out the baddies -- he just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think 24 needs to do the same. To borrow an idea from a reader, what if Jack (being a full-time citizen now) decides to retire from his job and find peace with himself. He moves to a small town in Montana, or Alaska -- a place where no one knows who he is, or cares -- and starts his life over. A place where nothing happens, life just exists. Think the town and mountains in Misery. Think of the setting in First Blood.

As Jack is in town getting some supplies for his cabin, he comes across some people that don't belong in town. It's nobody he knows from his CTU days, but these guys aren't wearing the right clothes, or driving the right kind of car. His instincts want to kick in, but Jack dismisses them and tries to go about his business.

During his fickleness, Jack forgets something at the store. When he gets back into town, something has gone wrong which tells Jack his instincts were right.

2. Little, to no, help from anyone in power
In this scenario, Jack is "off the grid," completely. Seriously. He's somewhere in the mountains where cell phones only work 10% of the time -- and that's on clear days. But it's cold and winter now, almost blizzard-like conditions. He can't get through to CTU, and even if he did, it would take them far too long to get any help there. Plus, there's no one at CTU that knows him anymore, Jack is the stuff of legends that disappeared.

Additionally, there are no Palmers in power. There's no one in the government that cares about Jack Bauer -- he was seen as a rogue agent that played by his own rules. Rules that not only produced results, but rules that got people killed. Again, even if there was someone who could help, Jack has no way of getting a hold of them. No favors can be called in.

The only help Jack has is from the local authorities -- police that have never had to fire their gun and are more used to writing parking tickets than tracking killers. Remember, no one knows about Jack's history, it's not likely they'll believe his crazy story or trust him.

3. No gadgets
With Jack no longer being employed by CTU, and his strong desire to get lost in the world, he has no need for his gadgets or technology. He has no PDA. No special cell phone to contact the outside world. No huge cache of weapons to choose from. And like I mentioned before, the weather conditions are bleak, so even the baddies can't use a lot of technology -- they're using walkie talkies to stay in touch and everything they need is pre-programmed (be it a missile or what-not).

Jack has nothing but maybe some basics -- knife, rifle, 4-wheel drive vehicle. Imagine him a beefed up and killer MacGuyver. To upgrade his stuff, he has to take it from the baddies, or enlist the trust of the police.

4. Time is unimportant
For way too long, the writers have been dependent on telling the viewers what's going to happen at what time. Whether it does, or not, we know that something important will happen in EACH episode. There's really no need for that -- especially in a small mountain town that is seemingly unimportant to the United States. Baddies won't tell each other that they plan on doing something in 45 minutes, because it won't matter. Jack won't drive from one end to LA to the other in 10 minutes, because it won't matter. This isn't a Die Another Day version of 24, it's a Casino Royale version. Things happen and people respond.

5. Cast of few
When comparing the cast photo of season one (minus Mandy) to that of season six, it's no wonder we're thrown so many useless and worthless sub plots. Seriously, it's always better to have fewer, more developed characters to deal with. Viewers can associate with them more.

In this scenario, there doesn't need to be many on cast. Jack, Baddie Boss, Baddie #2, Police Person, Concerned Citizen A and B. We can have sprinkles of others here and there (Milo, season one), but we don't concentrate on anyone with an alcohol-addiction for two episodes and then onto something else. We don't need 5-7 different bad guys as we move up the chain. Keep the cast smaller, make them all interesting.

I honestly see these suggestions as some that could really help 24 get back to the style of show that we love. Things have become way too big in 24-land. It's time to step back and see what made the show work. It wasn't CTU. It wasn't conspiracy theories. It was Jack vs. the world in a way that seems viable and true. We can't race around the world in 24 hours, but we can traverse a small town and stop an evil plot to destroy a valuable something that no one knows about.

Take it or leave it, Fox. Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

24 Season 6: Episode 16 Recap
(Hour 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.)

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

Last week we saw the miraculous recovery of Brother Palmer. By what I've been reading across the internet, apparently that got a lot of people actually starting to question 24. It took a near-dead President hopping out of a coma to do that? Come on... 24 has been bad all season, it's just that no-one wants to admit that an Emmy-winning program could be this bad. Sadly, it is.

Brother Palmer, Strong Like Bull
We start off recapping what happened last week. Once second Brother Palmer was sucking wind in a doctor-induced coma. The next, he was barking orders into a cell phone while talking to a submarine -- great reception from the bunker and half-way around the world, eh? Anyway, Brother Palmer can't look weak, so that means no wheelchair. Instead, how about a shot of adrenaline? Careful, that'll raise your blood pressure.

Brother Palmer strolls into, what I think would be, the situation room looking all suave and well-manicured. You know what everyone was thinking, "wasn't he just in a coma?" Yes, he was, but he's Brother Palmer, dude's a pimp. Evil Veep isn't impressed, though, so he invokes the 25th Amendment and tries to replace him -- which puts the onus on the President's cabinet to decide.

The Palmer family is strong and united, which is the only reason why I can think that Sister Palmer is STILL in the bunker AND inside the situation room. Then it's voting time. Karen votes for Brother Palmer. WAIT, since when is the National Security Advisor on the cabinet? Oh, who cares. Evil Veep says that Karen's vote doesn't matter and implores the Attorney General to wake up all the old people on the Supreme Court at 12:20 am.

Karen is distraught, so she calls Bill and tells him that she could be the one that costs Brother Palmer the Presidency. He calms her down and says the Supreme Court will rule in favor of Brother Palmer -- which is weird since Karen never told Bill it was going to the Supreme Court for a decision. Oh, who cares. Meanwhile, Sister Palmer is hard at work on the case... since, uh, the President's normal staff of lawyers are no where to be found on a day like this... especially when the 25th Amendment has been invoked.

Invasion Chick tells Evil Veep that she'll commit a felony to help him win. Then Fish breaks in and shows Evil Veep how resourceful he is by uncovering the bug he planted in the room. Where did he get that and when did he plant it? Oh, who cares. So Evil Veep gets mad and withdrawals his appeal by calling the Supreme Court... does anyone know what their number is?

Sister Palmer tells Brother the news and he celebrates by ordering another adrenaline shot. Then he turns into this weird heavy-breathing maniac and launches the submarine missile without any of his cabinet in the room.

Nadia and Milo, Young Love
Remember when Nadia and Milo kissed last week? Remember when you didn't care? Yeah, me too, good times. This week, just 15 minutes later, they're still trying to figure out HOW they're going to make it through the rest of the day without ripping each other's clothes off. It must be hard to concentrate on FINDING ROGUE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Silver Spoon calls Nadia to his office and blackmails her into getting something off of Milo's computer -- proving that he screwed up, which allowed the terrorists to hack into CTU (super secure facility, btw). If she doesn't comply, he'll call security and they'll just go through the computer and haul him off -- which wouldn't be good, because Silver Spoon REALLY wants to find the nukes and Milo can help.

Nadia tricks Milo into fixing her computer while she finds the security hole in seven seconds flat... say, remember back in the other seasons of 24 when Chloe could do almost anything from her computer, even when it was accessing someone else's computer? Man, those were the days. Then Silver Spoon breaks protocol and alters the logs in two seconds -- since the password didn't change. Milo's off the hook! Hooray!

The Odd (Terrorist) Couple
Fayed and Gredenko are allies... that hate each other. But they need each other, so it's a love-hate thing. Gredenko has the information that can help Fayed harm half of California -- would that be the location of the San Andreas fault? They're going to blow California in two!?! Oh, no, sorry.

Last week Gredenko was caught and this week he's going to help Jack get Fayed. Ryan (who?) outfit Gredenko with an extremely old school, and easily removed, audio transmitter and injects him with a traceable isotope. Ryan makes sure to completely foreshadow a re-used idea from Prison Break by explaining that the isotope is injected into the marrow and is traceable up to 15 miles.

Fayed wants to meet Gredenko in secret on some pier where no one is currently at. Gredenko finds a cleverly hidden cellphone when it rings and Morris tracks it lickity-split -- where was he with such skills earlier this season? Oh, who cares. Gredenko walks and finds Fayed, then stops. Jack gets suspicious and moves in alone. Why has Gredenko stopped moving? Because he cut off his arm, silly!

The odd couple then ducks into a pretty packed bar and start a bar fight. Fayed gets captured and Gredenko supposedly dies under the pier. I don't believe it, the writers wouldn't have shown us the missing arm if they were just going to kill him off.

So there you have it. Another dumb hour of 24. But we're officially 2/3rds done with the season. Can't wait to see Jack get shot, but still be okay, next week.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Episode 16 Recap Delayed

Sorry gang. Only because of my love of college basketball, I probably won't be doing my recap tonight. I'll get it done as soon as I can, though. So keep checking or just subscribe to the site's RSS feed.

In the meantime, I came across an article on that talked about how episodes of 24 are filmed. While that was the boring part, at the end of the article they talked about having to come up with a new threat for season seven.

With a seventh season looming, "24" will have to come up with a new threat facing the nation. In the past, there have been Middle Eastern extremists, Russian rebels, Mexican drug lords, angry Chinese (Jack did kill someone in their embassy) and individual bad folks of all sorts.

"We are absolutely evenly employing all the bad guys of all nations," Cassar says. "Some told me, because I'm Canadian, they said, 'Hey, why are you leaving us out? Why can't we be the bad guys?' I'm like, 'Good idea. Quebec separatists could be the terrorists.'

"I'd like to go after the Nazis, but they're not around."

What possible dumb enemies could they come up with?

Uh-oh! It looks like even the media is starting to catch on to 24's lousiness this year.