Last week on 24: Jack “MacGyver” Bauer tried to gas former Prime Minister Matobo and his wife with household cleaners. The First Dude dug a little too deep into his son’s death, and Sexy Secret Service Agent became EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent, as he’s planning a murder-suicide scenario with First Dude and First Dude’s Son’s girlfriend, Samantha. Agent Walker got her pretty little ass captured by Emerson, and Jack pretended to kill her. He then, however, had to bury her, so he may or may not have ACTUALLY killed her. Whoops.
This week, we join Agent Woods in the FBI Command Center, frantically assigning people to search for his Possibly!Dead Not!Girlfriend. Janis flails about in the background. Get to work, peoples! Special Agent Sean cleaned up the phone call from Emerson to Mr. Nichols, and they’re trying to track the location, but Special Agent Sean doesn’t think it’s worth it. Sean says (dumbly), “She was a good agent,” and Moss flips out. “WE DON’T KNOW SHE’S DEAD YET!” Woah there, buddy.
Back at the construction site, the Bright Blue Van of Covert Ops (jeeze, did they not have white or black at the dealerships this season?) pulls up with Bill and Chloe. They’re going to rescue Agent Walker! See, Agent Sean? She’s just mostly dead, which is different from all dead. Damn, that’s a lot of dirt. Walker isn’t breathing, so Bill starts chest compressions before giving her a shot of adrenaline. Chloe’s hair looks fabulous this season, by the way. Random, I know, but it deserves acknowledgment. Walker coughs to life and wonders who the hell these people are. They’re working with Jack. Oh, great. Take cover, guys!
In the Totally Inconspicuous Bright Yellow Van of Chaos, Emerson’s team is close to the rendezvous point. Emerson, astute little bugger that he is, wants to know if something’s bothering Jack. Dude, something’s always bothering Jack. Like the fact that he hasn’t bitten someone’s ear off this season. Or maybe that’s just bothering me. Actually, Jack’s wondering why Emerson never told Tony how he got him out of CTU. You know, when he was supposedly dead, and I thought he was dead, and so did the rest of the audience, and we all cried and fondled our Chicago Cubs mugs in memory. Emerson says Christopher Henderson (Who in the what? I need to watch my Season 5 DVDs again) purposely missed Tony’s artery when he injected Tony with the Syringe of Doom, and the toxin only made him look like he was dead. Emerson extracted and revived Tony to use him against Jack. But by the time Tony was revived, Jack had already killed Henderson and the mission failed. Emerson’s team went dark, and Tony stayed with them because he was consumed by anger over what had happened to Michelle. Emerson talked and listened to him, and Tony came to realize that “the rules have changed.” There was no honor left in their world. They decided to take care of each other, like… brothers. Yes, brothers. Awkward. And sort of erotic. (Really! This whole scene is a little odd.) Jack looks a jealous.
Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and raise my hand here and let y’all know that this scenario makes minimal sense to me. I mean, based on my admittedly hazy recollection of the Season 5 episode where Tony was “killed,” he fills up a torture-syringe on impulse, because he’s got the opportunity to kill Henderson, who was (somewhat?) responsible for killing Michelle. So there was no way that Henderson and Co. could know they’d have the opportunity to fake Tony’s death, nor how to extract him. Hell, he probably didn’t even know what kind of poison was in that syringe, or what it would do to Tony’s body. So I’m calling bull
The Totally Inconspicuous Bright Yellow Van of Chaos arrives at a big warehouse with a sweet silver Porsche inside, and an array of expensive-looking bikes. Escape vehicles? I don’t know — they never get used in this episode, which makes me think they’re just there to look pretty. Which they do quite well. Jack is on his way to get the Matobos, but Emerson stalks him around the van, gun in hand. Watch out, Jack! But Jack doesn’t listen to me because, really, who listens to someone stupid enough to yell at the TV (I know they can’t hear me, but it makes me feel better). Emerson grabs Jack and holds the gun to his head. Tony, who has realized that things are going south, shoots Emerson’s henchman before turning his gun on Emerson. See, Emerson isn’t as dumb as he looks, and demands to know what the hell’s going on with Jack and Tony. Emerson plays the “brothers” card, but Tony can’t let Emerson kill innocent people. Damn straight. But the correct response should have been, “I can’t let you kill Jack Bauer. For he is awesome and this show would be boring as Hell without him.” Jack tells Tony to take the shot, and he finally does, shooting Emerson in the arm. Emerson gets back up and Tony shoots him in the neck. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! More guns and violence! If I want politics, I’ll watch West Wing.
Meanwhile, back at the construction site, Agent Walker expresses her confusion as Chloe patches her up. Bill comes clean about the government conspiracy. Agent Walker wants to contact Agent Moss to let him know what happened, but Bill knows there are moles inside the FBI, so it’s not safe. Agent Walker puts up a stink about the fact that she works for Moss, but Bill tells her they have Matobo, who is their best chance for finding Dubaku, the CIP, and the root of the government corruption. She has to stay dead. You can’t really argue with that.
At the warehouse, Jack calls Bill and tells him to gets his fine ass over there. Emerson’s not dead, but they have to get Matobo to agree to cooperate with them if their plan has any chance at working. Jack puts on his Earnest Face and tells the Matobo and his wife that they really just Good People. Matobo doesn’t believe him. But of course! He tried to kill them with Febreze or something last week. Never trust a man who can make nearly-lethal weapons out of household cleaners. I’m just sayin’.
Mr. Nichols is heading out to pick up Matobo. Dubaku orders him to “tie off” Emerson’s team, so Dubaku doesn’t have to give up his diamonds for payment. Plus, Tony’s been a liability. The White House is also not cooperating. Dubaku decides he has to kill more Americans in order to send a message. He sets his eyes on Washington D.C. Oh, crap! That traffic system can’t TAKE any more chaos!
Oval Office. Madame President thinks Dubaku’s going to use the CIP again, and people are going to die. No, really? She’s ready to alert the public, but the Chief of Staff wants to make sure this attack doesn’t happen in the first place. He thinks she should some sort of gesture with the troops to stop Dubaku. Madame President doesn’t want to be dictated to by a madman. Except they still don’t have Matobo! The Chief of Staff wants to withdraw. I smell a rat.
At the warehouse, Tony’s digging around in Emerson’s neck. Emerson tells him to go to Hell, amidst the gurgling. Ah, man. I was really digging the interaction between these two, but Emerson is clearly not long for this world. Pity. Over with Matobo, Jack’s still trying to sell his Earnest Face, but with little luck. Matobo’s wife points out Jack has no reason to lie, but that seems awfully trusting considering Jack tried to gas her with household cleaners less than an hour ago. Matobo doesn’t want to put his wife in danger, but Dubaku’s going to want to use her as leverage, so Jack has no choice but to to deliver both of them. Matobo’s wife wants to talk to her husband alone, and she confesses that she wants to do this. She’s ashamed she opened the door of the panic room, and she wants to do what’s best for her country. Her soulful gaze convinces him and Jack tells them they’re both very brave. He excuses himself to grab Tony, who’s rather creepily staring at Emerson’s rapidly-cooling body. Tony pulls himself away and he tells Jack they need to get the bodies out of sight. Jack runs off to find garbage bags or something, and Tony stares after him. He then looks at Emerson’s body and…. oooh. This isn’t good. Don’t do it Tony! The Dark Side may have cookies, but they have carob chocolate chips in them and taste terrible!! But in all honesty, I really like the conflict that’s being set up here. Tony clearly has some demons that continue to haunt him.
Meanwhile, Dubaku orders the hit on a plane heading into D.C. Madame President gets word from the NSA that their system is still vulnerable. The Secretary of Homeland Security gets a call on his cell. The Chief of Staff tells Madame President they need to order a pullback. This is starting to get old. The Secretary of Homeland Security, it turns out, is getting a call from Dubaku, but it’s scrambled so they can’t trace it. Dubaku wants to speak with Madame President. See, Dubaku is disappointed he’s not being taken seriously, because the American forces are still in place. The time for discussions is over. He tells her to look to the Southwest. OMG. A plane blew up in midair! This should be more climactic and appalling than it actually is! Madame President has to comply with his demand within the hour, or more Americans will die. OMG! After seven seasons, this threat no longer really shocks me! Madame President needs to talk to her cabinet about this. Oh, that’s gonna go well. “So… guys. About that whole ‘terrorist holding American planes hostage’ thingy. Yeah. Didn’t go so well. Don’t panic, but…”
So the planes collided, which answers my question about how a navigation device (the CIP) could make a plane explode. Heh. But this is no laughing matter; there are casualties on the ground as well, as the planes went down in a residential area. The cabinet thinks it’s time to withdraw the forces from the Sangalese border. The Secretary of Homeland Security says they don’t have the resources to deal with this sort of crisis. I’m somewhat saddened that my brain goes, “duh” when he says that. Madame President says there’s still a chance that Matobo will be recovered, and while that chance exists, she’s not giving in. The Secretary of State, Joe Stevens, has a little fit on the floor about holding the President responsible for American deaths. Methinks he’s the mole. Joe the Mole shall be his name. Madame President awesomely tells him to resign or sit down. And Joe the Mole leaves. Madame President tries to appeal to the cabinet, saying she “swore to the American people that the USA would continue to be a force for good. We are a nation founded on ideals, and those ideals are being challenged today. Now, how we respond will not only define this administration, but an entire generation of not just Americans, but Sangalans and anyone else who looks to us for guidance and strength. I won’t fail them. And neither will you. We’re in for some tough times ahead. Let’s make sure we’re ready.” Aww, I like her. Sorta. She gets a little teary and leaves.
Bill arrives at the warehouse to meet up with Jack and Tony, and Jack orders Chloe over to Matobo. Agent Walker emerges from the Bright Blue Van of Covert Ops and gives Jack a death glare. He remarks that she’s okay, and she responds, “You shot me and you buried me alive.” Honey, that’s how all of Jack Bauer’s first dates go. Just wait until you get to second base. I hear there are explosives involved. Anyway, Agent Walker just wanted a little trust from Mr. Bauer. Jack was saving your butt, Walker! Stop complaining. Jack gets reeeally close and asks her if she would have believed him if her told her everything back at the FBI. I didn’t think so. Meanwhile, Chloe has rubber gloves on and is asking Matobo to take a seat. Not a good sign. She has a transmitter that’s going to go on his tooth. Oh, that’s it? The rubber gloves got me excited. Matobo wants to know if she’s with the FBI. No, she’s a stay-at-home mom. And just generally awesome.
Bill knows about the planes that went down and tells Jack. Dubaku’s threatened to kill ten thousand more and Jack Bauer has an hour to stop him. That’s how I like it! Now where’s Tony? They can go kick some ass together so I can stop describing all of this painfully complicated yet repetitive politicking. Actually, Agent Walker can join them too, as far as I’m concerned. Jack wants to know if Agent Walker’s okay, and she looks like crap, so he gently makes her sit down. Awwww. A tender moment from Mr. Bauer. We don’t get many of those. Agent Walker’s having trouble believing that the agency (and government) that she’s devoted her life to has been corrupted. But Jack says they have to figure out who’s behind all this, and then it will be all better. Yay! Agent Walker wants to know if Jack thinks he can stop this. Lady, it’s not a question of whether he CAN or not. He’s Jack Bauer. He HAS to.
At the White House, the Chief of Staff and Secretary of Homeland Security chat as they emerge from their meeting. They want to jar some sense in to Madame President. The Chief of Staff thinks she’ll listen to the First Dude. Maybe he can help! Except he’s a little tied up right now. Almost literally. “Paralyzed” is close enough. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent is prancing around menacingly with a knife and cord in Samantha’s apartment. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent gets a phone call from EVIL Cohort, who alerts him that Samantha’s coming inside. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent messes around with cord some more. Get your mind out of the gutter. Samantha walks into her apartment, removes her key from under the floor mat (great hiding place) and is startled when she sees First Dude sitting on the couch. Something is amiss. First Dude can’t speak. He can’t warn her! EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent comes up behind her with a knife and STABBY. He gets her in the back and she crawls across the floor before he holds her down and finishes the job. Damn. That’s cold. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent gets a call from the Chief of Staff — he wants to talk with the First Dude, but he’s, erm, preoccupied. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent LIES and says the First Dude is meeting with Samantha and he’s waiting in a car outside the building because First Dude insisted in meeting with her alone. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent gets his ass chewed out by the Chief of Staff and is ordered to pull the First Dude out and bring him to the White House ASAP. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent hangs up, grips the knife in First Dude’s hand to get his fingerprints, apologizes, and runs away. First Dude can wiggle his fingers. OMG.
Tony locks Matobo back in the Totally Inconspicuous Bright Yellow Van of Chaos as Mr. Nichols arrives. Chloe and Walker are in the Ops van, and Bill’s got outside surveillance covered. Mr. Nichols arrives in a big black Escalade (at least they buy American) and asks Tony how they’re doing. He wants to know where Emerson is, but Tony says he’s dead. So are the Henchman and Bauer. He has the bodies in the back room. Tony decided not to split the cut. Oops! Mr. Nichols doesn’t understand — he thought Tony and Emerson were friends. Tony does this awesome little twitch thing and says, “That was before he left me to rot with the FBI.” Ohh. Me likey Deranged!Tony. Mr. Nichols wants to see Matobo and his wife, Tony wants to see the diamonds. Oooh, shiny. And real. Now Mr. Nichols wants the Matobos. They’re in the back of the truck. Mr. Nichols’ men prepare to shoot Tony, but Jack awesomely takes most of them out from his sniper’s perch and Tony dispatches the other ones, firing a couple of warning shots in Nichols’ direction, who gives up rather quickly. Tony disarms Nichols and tells him to get the hell out of there. Tony’s definitely working the evil sneer in this episode. Nichols packs up Matobo and Matobo’s wife and they head for the hills.
Back at Samantha’s apartment, EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent hauls the First Dude’s mostly-paralyzed body to an upstairs couch while Samantha lays in a bloody puddle on the bottom floor. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent throws a cord around a rafter and… ohhhh. He’s settin’ up a hangin’. First Dude, though, can now make a fist with his hand. Hey, at least it’s progress. EVIL Sexy Secret Service Agent prepares the noose and goes to slip it over First Dude’s head, but First Dude musters up his strength and puts his hands around EVIL Secret Service Agent’s throat and they go plummeting over the railing before crashing onto the dining room table below. It’s AWESOME. Evil Sexy Secret Service Agent is gurgling and NOOO HE’S DEAD. What did I tell you about the hot ones? First Dude’s gonna have a lot of explaining to do.
Dubaku’s on the phone, complaining that American forces are still in position. He thinks Madame President is not just stubborn, but insane as well. Time to blow some more up! Specifically, Kidron, Ohio: population 30,000. They’re targeting some sort of chemical facility that will end up killing 18,000 people. Dubaku orders them to begin and … dun-dee-dun-dee-DUN.
Next week: Dubaku makes fireworks, and it ain’t the Forth of July. First Dude’s missing. Jack and Bill fire guns! Stuff goes boom! Man, I’m looking forward to it. Less talky, more shooty!