Last week on 24: Dubaku kidnapped the First Dude, Jack stabbed Evil Cohort, Walker nearly tortured a woman and small child, Madame President sent Jack to save her hubby and he almost did, except First Dude got himself shot at the last minute. Lo, it was an awesome episode. This week? Not so much.
Before we get started, here’s an interesting little tidbit that I found whilst poking around on the internet — this is actually the first episode that was filmed after last year’s writers’ strike came to a close. So there was a four month gap between the filming of last week’s episode and this week’s. Which explains why I spent much of the episode trying to figure out why I was suddenly noticing all the pretty layers in Walker’s hair. Anyway, for what it’s worth.
Sirens abound as Walker leads the paramedic team into the Mop Closet o’ Torture (where the First Dude was being held) and tells them to keep their yappers shut about who they’re treating. Jack’s with First Dude, whose shirt is becoming increasingly bloodied. The paramedics take over. Jack calls Madame President, who has practically given up all hope until Jack tells her, “We have your husband. He’s alive.” Her face lights up, except Jack finishes, “but he’s sustained a gunshot wound to the chest.” Aww, man. Talk about mixed messages. First Dude has lost a lot of blood and it doesn’t look good. Jack tells Madame President that he thinks Dubaku’s going to be high-tailing it out of the country, as First Dude was his last bit of leverage. They need to find him, and fast.
Jack hangs up and Madame President starts packing up her things to head off to the hospital. “You’re executing a military invasion!” the Chief of Staff stammers. “The Secret Service has been compromised! There’s no way we can insure your safety outside the White House!” “I don’t give a damn! I will not be held prisoner in this office while my husband is fighting for his life,” Madame President snaps. Well, you know, if it were David Palmer, he’d just let Sherry tough it out by herself. Just a flesh wound. I can’t help but wonder if the writers are trying to make a not-so-subtle comment on the perceived liabilities of a woman President, but I’ll leave it up to y’all to decide. I may be reading into it too much. ANYway, Madame President says sternly, “Now either find someone to take me to the hospital or I’ll drive there myself.” Bill offers to assume responsibility for her security and she finally agrees to reinstate his government clearance. Bill gets to bring Chloe into FBI for support, despite the Chief of Staff’s objections. “Whatever it takes, I want that sonofa [Dubaku] found,” Madame President insists.
Speaking of that sonofa Dubaku’s hanging out in the alleyway where his girlfriend, Markia, works. He catches her attention and insists they need to talk. Something came up and he needs to leave the country ASAP. He LIES that his passport visa expired and he’s been in the country illegally. The immigration people are on his tail. Dubaku is going to escape to Belize, and he wants Marika to come with him. She hesitates because, really, this is all happening a little quickly. Dubaku makes a seriously scary face and practically yells, “I don’t have time to argue with you!” Do it, Marika! Or he’ll take your hand off! Marika doesn’t want to leave Rosa. Dubaku assures her that he’ll take Rosa with them, but he only has plane tickets for two right now. With the soulful admonition of, “Do you love me? Then trust me; say you’ll come,” Marika buys it, hook, line, and sinker. Dubaku kisses her passionately and Marika goes home to pack. Before sauntering off in a villainous fashion, Dubaku pulls out his cell phone and calls Tom Cruise Lite (Eyal Podell) to confirm his travel arrangements. The FAA still has most flights grounded due to Dubaku’s little CIP stunt earlier, but Tom Cruise Lite will make it work. Dubaku agrees to meet Tom Cruise Lite in the lobby at the Roosevelt Hotel in fifteen minutes to pick up his travel materials, and I’m gettin’ the feeling that neither of these guys really trusts the other.
Back in the Mop Closet o’ Torture, Jack and Walker are trying to access Dubaku’s goons’ laptop, but are getting nowhere fast. Jack comes up with the brilliant idea to search the bodies. While Walker’s rooting around in some dead guy’s pants, she gets a phone call from a terribly-concerned Moss. She relays last episode’s events to him (Jeeze, Moss. You clearly weren’t paying attention to the “Previously on 24” segment.). Moss is just a bit concerned for Walker’s mental state, because Evil Cohort’s wife filed a statement with the police alleging that Walker held her at gunpoint and threatened to kill her son. See, Walker? This is why Jack only leaves dead bodies behind. No one to file police reports. Walker defends her actions to an increasingly skeptical Moss. While she’s talking on the phone, she’s standing in front of a grimy mirror. She gets a good look at her reflection and vigorously wipes away a smudge of blood from her cheek. Moss says, “Renee, I am scared of what is happening to you. You put these people through Hell, and it doesn’t bother you.” “I didn’t say it does bother me, I said that it worked,” Walker insists a little too strongly before lowering her voice. “Of course it bothers me. I can still see that woman’s face. She and her child, staring at me with such… she had no idea her husband was a killer — a traitor to his country — and she looked at me like I was the monster –” “Agent Walker,” Jack interrupts. He’s found some banking accounts that all lead back to the same address. He thinks it’s the safe house. Walker stuffs all those dirty emotional issues back under the rug and relays the address to Moss, who says he’ll try to get them satellite support, but they’re probably going to have to go in blind. They prepare to head out, and Jack asks Walker if she’s okay. “I’m fine,” she says, and I almost believe her.
Oh, and before I forget, I just remembered where I’d seen the actress who plays Walker before: she was the mom/owner of the Pierpont Inn in the Supernatural episode “Playthings.” It was seriously driving me nuts that I couldn’t recall. Ahem. Moving on…
Marika returns from work to find Rosa at home, dozed off in front of her daytime soaps. She starts packing.
We then join Chloe, being chauffeured to the FBI Field Office by Morris (MORRIS! HIIII!). Her little kid is in the backseat and, lo, he is adorable. The radio forebodingly reminds us that AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACK. Morris switches it off and lets Chloe know that he’s worried about her safety. She reassures him that it’s going to be okay (which, we all know doesn’t bode well for her, because… MOLE) before saying goodbye to her adorable little boy. Morris gives Chloe a kiss and then calls after her retreating figure, “If you get all jammed up, you know where to find me!” Hrm. This can’t end well.
Inside the FBI Field Office, Moss assigns a resentful Janis to “busy work” before ordering her to set up a secure workstation in the conference room for a “consultant from Homeland.” Chloe walks in and Moss welcomes her before ushering her into the glass-walled conference room. Chloe and Janis exchange A Look and a Hacker Smackdown is imminent. Moss tells Chloe about the address Jack and Walker are tracking and suggests she start on satellite support. Chloe’s not listening, though. She’s still staring off towards Janis’ workstation. She’s feeling “a little exposed” and wonders if they should be doing this “a little more covertly.” Moss tells her she’s going to have to tough it out because, among other things, the network doesn’t support remote modules. “Well that’s inefficient,” Chloe says with her sour-milk face, “Whoever set your network up didn’t know what they were doing.” Moss looks at her for a long second before telling Chloe, “I set our network up that way.” Heh.”Oh. Okay,” Chloe says innocently before sitting down. It’s the beginning of a beautiful new friendship.
“You worked with Bauer for a long time, didn’t you?” asks Moss as he starts leaves the room. “Seven years, on and off,” Chloe replies. “That’s impressive… that you survived the experience,” Moss says. “What are you taking about?” “I heard that a lot of people didn’t. Curtis Manning, Ryan Chapelle, his own wife…” Ooooooh. Low blow, Moss. Low blow. Chloe agree with me. “Are you saying it’s Jack’s fault his wife was killed?” “You tell me,” Moss dodges, thinking he’s being clever. “Jack Bauer is the most trustworthy, honorable man I know. And he’s my friend. Maybe you should worry less about him and more about the mole in your office working for Dubaku.” OH. She totally shut him down. Moss stalks out. Chloe: 1, FBI: 0.
Janis watches Moss exit at Erika comes up behind her. “Is that Chloe O’Brian? Senior analyst at CTU,” she asks in a rather fan-girly fashion. Erika wants to know what’s she’s doing there and Janis explains Homeland sent her over to check for residual problems with the firewall. Erika conveniently points out that firewalls aren’t Chloe’s area of expertise and, as far as she knows, Chloe’s been inactive since CTU was disbanded. Janis looks uncomfortable.
In the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, Dubaku meets with Tom Cruise Lite, who gives him passports and travel itineraries to the Cayman Islands. Dubaku wants a separate car and driver for Marika. Tom Cruise Lite says he doesn’t think he can get someone he trusts on such a short notice, and Dubaku uses his incredible skills of observation by noting that the suspicious-looking man at the hotel bar, the two guys at the top of the stairwell, and the men in the black Lincoln Towncar out front are probably people Tom Cruise Lite trusts. Dubaku is clearly nervous that he’s going to be double-crossed and he threatens that if anything happens to him (or Marika) on his way out of the country, the names and information on all the people involved in the conspiracy will be sent to the Justice Department. “That is completely unnecessary,” Tom Cruise Lite insists. They go back and forth, and Dubaku finally points out, “The one thing I have learned in the company of mercenaries, Mr. Burnett, is that ultimately they care about nothing but their own survival. Good day.” Dubaku leaves and Tom Cruise Lite (now “Mr. Burnett”), takes out his cell phone and says, “I was right. Dubaku suspected we were going to take him out and apparently he’s assembled evidence to use as an insurance policy. We need to make sure he gets out of the country and safely into exile otherwise we’re all compromised. I’ll make the calls.”
Back at the apartment, Rosa catches Marika packing. Marika tells Rosa they’re leaving with Dubaku, but Rosa needs to stay behind for just a little while until they can get her to Belize. Rosa insists that Dubaku is lying and she won’t let her sister do this, blah blah. Marika plays the “I’ve given up everything for you, just give me this ONE thing” Card and they argue until Jack and Walker literally burst in, guns drawn. Jack orders Rosa and Marika to put their hands behind their heads and does a sweep of the apartment while Walker demands to know where Dubaku is. Marika has no idea who Walker is asking about. Jack shows them a picture of Dubaku on his cell phone and Marika denies it. “You’re lying to me. WHY ARE YOU LYING TO ME?” Jack shouts. Rosa caves and tells Jack that the man in the picture calls himself “Samuel Oboa” and spills about the plans to leave. When Marika says she doesn’t work for Dubaku, Jack says, “You know why he’s going out of this country? Do you have any idea what this man is?” “Everything to me,” Marika sobs. Oh, goodness. This is gonna be sticky.
Madame President and half the U.S. Army, armed with automatic weapons, storm the hospital corridor where First Dude is being treated. Madame President asks an unsuspecting nurse if she can see her husband. “Ma’am, I… I don’t think that’s possible,” the nurse stammers. The surgeon interrupts and whisks the President away to inform her that they’re looking at at least a five-hour surgery because the bullet lacerated the First Dude’s pulmonary artery and lodged itself in his thoracic cavity. He’s also suffered from massive internal bleeding. When Madame President asks for an honest prognosis, the surgeon replies that, “his chances aren’t good.” The surgeon leaves to scrub up and the First Dude is conveniently wheeled through the hallway. Madame President tenderly apologizes for not believing her husband about her son’s suicide. The doctors have to take him away, and Madame President gives him a kiss before he goes. She looks on, more unsettled than we’ve ever seen her, and calls Bill over. She wants him to find her estranged daughter and bring her to the hospital. “Do you have someone trustworthy you can send?” she asks Bill. He does, of course.
Back at the apartment, Walker is continuing to convince Rosa and Marika that Dubaku is the “Butcher of Sangala,” this time with visual aids. Jack mentions that Dubaku killed his buddy (Carl Benton, the Russian terrorist from The World is Not Enough… I mean, the guy who was running the Sangala war orphan school in 24: Redemption until he got blowed up by a land mine). Marika breaks down into tears and Jack’s able to convince her to help them stop Dubaku from leaving the country. “It’s over — the man you thought you knew, the man you thought you had feelings for… he doesn’t exist. All you are left with are his lies, and his betrayal.” Marika’s cell phone rings; it’s Dubaku, and Jack walks her through the call. She agrees to be picked up by Dubaku’s men in ten minutes. Jack decides that they can use Marika’s cell phone as a transponder to track her and thus locate Dubaku. Marika agrees, despite Rosa’s objections. Jack assures Marika that he and Walker will be following her — never more than a mile behind. Marika apologizes to Rosa and says she should have listened to her when she warned that Dubaku was bad ju-ju-bees and Rosa was just jealous, blah blah, let’s start some shooting! …or not.
Jack calls Chloe and has her set up satellite tracking for Marika. Meanwhile, Janis is trying to get into Chloe’s system, but is having problems. Access denied!
Cigar smoke-filled lounge in D.C. A pretty brunette schmoozes an older gentleman who’s looking for White House influence. The pretty brunette, Madame President’s daughter (a.k.a. Olivia Taylor), doesn’t have the White House’s ear, though. She’s interrupted by a familiar voice and OMG it’s Aaron!! Aaron Pierce, ex-Secret Service Agent Extraordinaire, flashes his badge at Olivia and says he’s been dispatched by the White House and, oh, by the way, First Dude’s been shot and is in surgery. Olivia gets choked up and agrees to go with Aaron.
Janis approaches Special Agent Sean and asks for the digital key to the server because, er, Moss wants it. Yeah. Moss. Sean gets suspicious and Janis cracks that she just wants it so she can figure out what Chloe’s doing. Sean points out that they could both lose their jobs if anyone finds out, and Janis is all, “Hrm. Maybe I should stop covering for you… Erika and you? Your little sexual indiscretions? I could say something to [Moss], or your wife.” Sean passes her the key thingy. “You’re a little, you know that?” he seethes. “You’re a little,” fires back Janis as she stomps off. I think I agree.
Back at the apartment, Jack ushers Marika downstairs and Rosa makes Walker promise to keep her sister safe. “Listen, if you get into trouble, you can signal us by dialing 1-0–” Walker offers to Marika, but Jack cuts her off. “No. I don’t want her to do that. Don’t do anything to raise the suspicion of the driver.” Marika goes out to wait for the car and Jack asks Walker what the hell she was doing. “She was scared,” Walker responds, “I wanted her to know there was another option other than waiting for us to swoop in.” Jack points out that there are no other options, but Walker is extremely uncomfortable with the lack of tactical support and they argue back and forth for a bit. “We have one job here and that’s finding Dubaku. Outside of that, don’t get involved,” Jack warns Walker. The escort car picks Marika up and we’re off. Jack and Walker hop in their car and get directions from Chloe.
In the server room of the FBI Field Office, Janis sneaks in and uses the key to access Chloe’s work. Let the Hacker Wars begin!
In the car, Marika asks the driver how much further they have to go. He stays silent. Bauer and Walker are less than a mile behind, getting instructions from Moss and Chloe as Janis watches their progress from her screen in the server room. Someone walks into the server room and Janis has to pull the key out, which results in the loss of the tracking grid on Chloe’s screen. Chloe and Moss panic, and then get it back up. Chloe runs a diagnostic and sees there was a security breech in the system. Moss surveys his team, his eyes landing on Erika, Sean, and Janis. The Mole Pool has begun!
Unfortunately, Jack and Walker are running into other complications. Sirens abound and Metro P.D. roadblocks their car. Jack yells at Moss over the phone to do something while the cops yell at Jack to put his hands in the air and Jack yells at Walker to show them her FBI badge and Walker yells at the cops and there’s just generally a lot of yelling. Jack gets the cuffs slapped on him. Moss is on the phone with Metro P.D. and goes, “No! There are no federal warrants issued for them [Bauer and Walker]!” Except Chloe finds a federal warrant issued by the Field Office for Jack’s car and its occupants. Oops. Moss revokes the warrants, but he can’t get the P.D. to release Jack and Walker just yet.
Janis returns the key to Sean and informs him that Moss is using Chloe for some sort of covert operation that involves Jack Bauer tracking Dubaku. Sean wants to know why Moss would keep them in the dark, and Janis doesn’t know. She leaves and Sean pulls out his cell phone. “Hey, I took care of Bauer and Walker. They’re pinned down,” he tells Tom Cruis– er, Burnett. Burnett wants to know why all of this is happening at the last minute, and Sean informs them that Moss is handling things on his own and it took time to tap into his phone lines. He can’t disable the tracking signal from his console, but he thinks it comes from Marika’s cell phone. Sean wants to know why Dubaku hasn’t been taken out yet, and Burnett tells him about the “insurance” policy. So we’ve found the mole.
Burnett calls Dubaku and lets him know that Marika’s been compromised. Dubaku agrees to take care of her, despite the fact that her cell phone tracker will lead the FBI right to him. He hangs up and looks very, very pissed…dun-dee-dun-dee-DUN.
Well, it seemed like this week was all for resetting the metaphorical pieces of the chess game after last week’s action-packed blast. At least we know who the mole is and the Stupid Sean Subplot I didn’t care for has been integrated into the main storyline. But it was a bit of a tedious episode. At least Aaron’s back! Yay!
Next week: A confrontation between Marika and Dubaku! More D.C. traffic! Car crashes and yelling and betrayals, oh my! And Walker slaps Jack. Hee. Those two lovebirds. See y’all then!