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.


ivan said...

"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."

I totally laughed my ass off at this. You are so freakin' right! Cheers, this was one of the best blogs yet, very successful in pointing out all the IDIOTIC stuff in the show.

John Nelson said...

I have to admit, this is the first season where I've really become annoyed with 24. I'm still addicted, but I find myself scoffing a lot more at the plots and subplots and sub-subplots. Ridiculous.

And the only reason they brought Audrey back in is because her show "The Nine" got canned after like 6 episodes. I'm sure she came crawling back to Fox begging for a part.

Jonk said...

I was a bit confused about something at the beginning of the episode. When Cheng spoke to Jack on the phone, didn't he say something about "the nuclear suitcases you have recovered"? How could he know they were recovered when the original call came just a few seconds after they were disarmed? Cheng knew before even President Palmer was told.

Funny how they call China and Russia by name, but not Saudi Arabia.

Does anybody remember that PDA wet-list last season that Jack gave to Theo Stoller (AKA Desmond from Lost), only to have it sizzle and smoke five minutes later?
So...that technology can be whipped up on the fly and without any on-screen fuss, but "two years later" (and with about an hour to work with) it's an impossibility. That particular type of exploding memory chip is discontinued, so now it's got to be C4 explosives.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I totally saw Palmer's press conference collapse coming from a mile away. During the half-hour's worth of episode preceeding that moment, it was amazing how well Wayne looked considering he was not doing very well last hour.

Meanwhile, that was a crazy plot twist with Logan! Oh wait, still no mention of his condition.

Whomever it was that mentioned last week that a Season 6 episode equals four Season 1 episodes -- you're so right. If any of you have two hours to waste, here's a fun little experiment to try: dust out the old season 1 DVD set and randomly select any episode, then compare it to an episode this year. The story, the pace, the intrigue, the suspense -- it's not even close.

Chris said...

good call on the comment above regarding the exploding wet list. Also, the mention of Cheng calling literally 10 seconds after the bombs were secured. He must have busted out the old school *66 - you know, when you call someone but it doesn't go through cuz they are busy preventing a nuclear attack. Just hang up, dial *66, and the call will automatically go through when they're done saving the country.

ivan said...

Jonk, I was the one that mentioned last week that a Season 6 episode equals four Season 1 episode.

Anyway, I have two questions:

There's a super important chip in the nuke that gives you access to Russia defense stuff. The Chinese obviously know about it. WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY BUY THE NUKES BEFORE PHILLIP BAUER'S COMPANY? I'm sure China has more resources to get it, right?

second question:
Suddenly everybody can just say they are from CTU and everybody believes them?
Because this is how the conversation between Jack and the guards went:

"Hi, I'm Jack. I saved the day, and I am not going to show you my badge. You just have to believe me that I'm from CTU. I have orders from the president, but I won't show you any prove, and please don't call your commander to verify what I'm telling you. Just let me take something from one of the nukes. Thanks."
"No problem, sir. I am so afraid to tell you my name, that I will rather grant you access to the nuke."

Anonymous said...

if you were the chinese, wouldn't you just ask jack to place the component on a briefcase and leave it at XXX location? When the component is secured, you would leave Audrey?

(no C4, no contact with Jack) But of course, that's not what will happen.

Anonymous said...

Wayne knows some things about explosives from his days as a Marine. But how does he know the C-4 will take out anything within 30 feet? Doesn't it depend on how much you use?

Carlos Villaseñor said...

Audrey was in China, 16 hours flight? Anyone know? As soon as Rambo Bauer arrived to USA the Chinese decided to take Audrey to the USA because of...? Or they used one of those very used teletransporters that only work when there are no cameras?

Carlos Villaseñor said...

Audrey was in China, 16 hours flight? Anyone know? As soon as Rambo Bauer arrived to USA the Chinese decided to take Audrey to the USA because of...? Or they used one of those very used teletransporters that only work when there are no cameras?

Carlos Villaseñor said...

Audrey was in China, 16 hours flight? Anyone know? As soon as Rambo Bauer arrived to USA the Chinese decided to take Audrey to the USA because of...? Or they used one of those very used teletransporters that only work when there are no cameras?