Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"24" - 10AM to 12PM: Jack Goes Undercover

Jack Bauer's idea of an embrace

After the two-hour season premier Sunday night, 24 continued the story on Monday for another two hours of action and intrigue. And Jack falls back into his old, familiar habits that leave people unconscious, an amazing escape, and a few wrecked cars.

The big reveal was not muchof a surprise, frankly: Tony’s not a bad guy. We all suspected that this would be the case, no? But, the show wouldn’t be 24 without some stretching of believability. There were only a couple problems I could see with these episodes where I found it hard to believe. Wouldn’t the FBI first secure all exits and entrances once a breakout is attempted? This should also have included having, as a rule, more secure windows that opened to another escape route, like a parking garage. Lucky for Jack that he was trapped by gunfire behind a car that he could steal, and the position of the car just so happened to allow him to drive right off the deck and to land right where he and Tony were to be picked up by Bill. And if you wanted to drive through Washington DC incognito, would you chose an electric blue colored van? Nope. I’d pick white or back, but not blue. Still, it was expected that Jack would only get out via the perfect alignments of the planets – or in his case, a stairway, a window, a parking garage, and a well-placed vehicle.

Still, the show never disappoints. The story continues to weave in the intrigue, and the excitement can only build from here. Here’s a quick recap, with a few more of my comments interspersed:

In these two episodes, President Alison Taylor (Cherry Jones) anguishes over the choice of submitting to Colonel Dubaku’s (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) demands that the President withdraw troops in Sangala. He’s threatened to use the CIP module to gain control of key processes in the U.S infrastructure.

Renee (Annie Wersching) tells Larry (Jeffrey Nordling) that Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland), suspects a mole in the FBI. (What would the writers do without the threat of a mole? ) We’re led to suspect that it may be Sean Hillinger (Rhys Coiro), but when Janis (Janeane Garofalo) begins to check her suspicions, Sean admits he’s simply tracking his wife’s flight, and she’s stuck in the air by this crisis. Of course, in typical 24 fashion, Sean puts his wife’s safety ahead of everyone else’s and, posing as his boss Larry, he calls and gets his wife’s flight bumped up in the landing cue. You just know this is going to turn out badly later on.

Larry and Renee let Jack question Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), who is now in FBI custody. When Jack nearly chokes Tony, he utters the words “deep sky”, which Jack recognizes as an old CTU code. Jack makes a phone call, and is surprised to find Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) at the other end. Buchanan, with the help of Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), are working with Tony to root out the source of the deep government corruption that seems to be helping Dubaku. Bill, Tony, and Chloe are working outside the agency, however.

But it’s key that Jack get Tony out of the FBI so Tony’s deep cover can be maintained. Jack knocks out Renee and takes her access card, and also takes out Larry and a guard and he and Tony make their way out. They have help from Chloe, who has hacked into the FBI cameras. But Sean sees that Larry has been taken out, and he and Janis work to track Tony and Jack, with Janis disabling Chloe’s camera access.

Jack manages to get out via a parking garage, with Jack hotwiring a car in a matter of seconds under gunfire, and Jack driving the car out of the higher level of the garage and onto two parked cars below. Lucky for him, Tony was not standing underneath that area. When Buchanan arrives in a very noticeable blue van, he whisks Tony and Jack away to his fortress of solitude – I mean, what Bill calls the remnants of CTU. Here, Bill and Tony explain that Tony was working on the dark side for a while when he was recruited by Emerson, who also helped initially bring Tony back to life after being dead for ten minutes. Tony was angry over his wife Michelle’s death, and Emerson used this fact to recruit Tony to help his efforts with Dubaku. But when Tony saw things going bad and innocent people would die, he knew he had to do something. Jack decides to help them and pretend he’s going to the dark side as well.

When Tony and Jack get to Emerson’s place, Emerson tries to take out Jack but Jack is on to it and thwarts it. This wins Emerson’s trust – for now. Jack and Tony's first assignment - capture Matobo.

Ethan (Bob Gunton) tells Henry Taylor (Colm Feore) that Henry’s wife knows the reason for their son Roger’s suicide – Roger was in deep with insider trading and they didn’t want the information to get out and reflect badly on the president. Henry, dejected, later gets a call from Samantha Roth (Carly Pope) who says that Roger was murdered, and asks for a meeting. Henry asks his secret service agent to take him to a meeting and this time keep it off the books. When Henry meets with Samantha, she tells him that Roger was framed for trading on inside information, and powerful people made his death look like a suicide. Roger had uncovered bank records implicating senior White House Administration officials that were doing business in Sangala. She gives him a flash drive with all of the data, all under the watchful eye of Henry’s secret service agent, who is spying with binoculars from far away.

Back at the White House. President Taylor tells former Prime Minister Matobo (Isaach De BankolĂ©) that she has a big decision to make – withdraw from Sangala or allow Americans to die. Ethan wants her to give in to Dubaku's demands, but she is concerned about the fallout from those actions.

With the sniper at the hospital, Renee takes Janis with her, and Renee plans to question him. Even though he asks for a lawyer, Renee tells Janis to stall his attorney’s arrival at the room. Renee blocks his ventilator tubes in order to torture him into talking about the whereabouts of the CIP module. She finds that Tony's crew is planning to abduct Matobo. Renee heads to Matobo’s residence as Larry calls them to warn them to take cover, and he sends backup. Matobo and his wife Alama (Tonya Pinkins) head into a safe room. When Emerson, Tony, and Jack arrive, they find that the room can only be opened from the inside. Jack and Tony know they must get Matobo out in order get to Dubaku, and they ponder how to get in as the epsiode closes.

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1 comment:

Music Wench said...

I missed this! I thought Monday night was a repeat of Sunday!

Well, will have to go find it online. I'm still quite taken by 24.