First something I realized only after posting last week. Jack got a gun past security in to see the president, the gun he used to kowtow Mark. Four years without the drama Jack brings to every day, and presidential security winds up in the hand basket of an ACDC song.
With the fuse still sputtering along (must be a slow fuse), China ships are steaming to Okinawa, and nobody knows what they’ll do when they get there, but everybody’s worried. I don’t know what happened to the fighter escort—maybe they ran outta gas. PH is getting jittery with all the brass around him (because none is educated as evinced by their pronunciation of “nuclear”?). He just might engage them if they cross the imaginary line. Or he might suddenly come down with Alzheimer’s and forget what’s going on. That must be why 24 starts each episode (but the 1st) with a recap.
After the recap, we start with Audrey pinned down by a sniper. Thank goodness she still has her cell phone and doesn’t look suspicious using it. PH and entourage arrive at the CIA station, though lord knows why. Jack, Kate, and Mark are picking up the pieces chez dead Russian ambassador. Jack cleverly uses his elbow to find a drawer with a false bottom, finds a cell phone, finds the ambassador’s dead thumb to unlock it, and finds the location of the evil Chinese behind all this. Coincidentally, evil Chinese calls Mark showing a live image of Audrey through the sniper’s scope, tells Jack to stop tracking him, let him get away, and he’ll let Audrey get away. Everybody believes that line, with Mark leading the charge to give up. He nicely informs Jack that Audrey loves Jack, and Jack nicely tells Mark to shut up.
Jack takes Kate aside to plan their divide and conquer—does fighting a war on 2 fronts ever work? Kate reminds the now patriotic, order-following Jack that PH ordered him to get Chiang, so Jack sends Kate to save Audrey, while he goes to stop evil Chinese. And there’s something about evil Chinese tapped into CIA somehow, so let’s keep this intimate, giving evil Chinese fewer chances to catch on.
Kate and intimate team get to Audrey and call her, she answers without drawing attention or fire, and Kate, curses ‘cause she wanted a muzzle flash. So she tells Audrey to make a sudden move, and Audrey obliges, finally drawing the muzzle flash that gives away the sniper. Now we’re getting someplace. Good thing Audrey’s not dead in the process.
Meanwhile, Chloe, remember her? Unconscious Chloe? She wakes up, clambers up the hill, looking like death warmed over in Goth getup in the middle of nowhere on a deserted road. Luckily, there’s soon a passing motorist at 10:12 pm who has never seen a horror movie, and so isn’t afraid to pick her up. Even more amazing, this motorist apparently lives another day, unlike most throwaway roles in past seasons of 24. Chloe borrows a mobile to call Jack.
Jack picks her up and tries to give her the silent treatment. She says this whole day is her fault and she wants to make it right. Oh, and JJ lied to her. If only she’d told the whole truth. But at least she tells Jack she’s his only friend—remember the 1st hour when she said the same thing? Well, this time Jack buys it, and they head off together to save the world. Somehow they pick up Jack’s flunky from the start of this day. I sure am glad he shows up again, it’s gotta mean he plays a substantive role somewhere. If only wifey would make an appearance again!
They reach the docks, but Chloe’s computer’s wifi’s on the fritz. Ever observant and resourceful, she spies a sat dish and heads off after it. Jack, now the worried mother hen, slows her down long enough to blast an innocent lock to smithereens only to find … no one home. Chloe can set up shop in peace, tap into a satellite with an IR camera that has resolution down to inches from geosynchronous orbit—somebody broke some laws here, laws of physics that is.
Notwithstanding my growing disbelief, Chloe serves as eye-in-the-sky as Jack and flunky board the boat ready to play their video game. With Chloe telling them where the baddies are (“2 coming straight towards you,” “one on the container.” I guess you hadda be there, but those directions didn’t tell me where anybody was) Jack and flunky fired only once each time and downed their targets, not taking the time to assess the morals of each killing.
Evil Chinese is still pretty smart, and he figures out someone’s tapping into their internet (even though it wasn’t his boat, wasn’t his dish). Chloe and now Chinese have eyes in the sky thanks to Chloe (seems they shoulda been smart enough to have the feed without Chloe’s help). Chloe realizes her gig is up, so she hightails it. Now the dam finally bursts and the baddies flow outta their command center, threatening to inundate Jack and flunky (funny that I didn’t see that many get on the boat). Oh, and they started the engines. Jack sends flunky down to turn off engines, while he tries to play little Dutch boy.
During a pause in Jack’s action, Kate’s team takes out the sniper, and everybody else is shaken but not stirred. They head back to CIA station, only to be ambushed by sniper’s back-up who kills everybody but Kate (and maybe one or 2 of her escort). Kate gets off a few wholly ineffective shots as back-up gets picked up by a speeding car. Heckuva a lot of backup here, for a lone gunman. Remember when I said (almost) everybody but Kate? That meant Audrey, too. Touching little scene as Kate tries to will Audrey to live to no avail. Then calls Jack.
Remember that pause in the action? Jack takes the call sitting down. At least he knows she doesn’t hate him, but that’s not helping him take it any better. He sets down his assault rifle, thinks about crying, then pulls out his pistol. Good thing there’s a pause in the action. What’s he gonna do with that pistol?
Well, we never find out, as the action picks up again (good thing), he hears the baddies coming, he swaps guns, and goes full metal postal. Luckily for him, this ambush didn’t require cool smarts to escape from. He continues to wade through the flood of baddies, killing indiscriminately, using whatever tricks he knows, tools he can find, till he can catch his breath.
And we can go check on flunky and his big moment—he pulls a gun on a guy by a big engine and a switch, and he tells him to turn the engine off. Engine guy switches the switch.
Cut back to Jack who’s made it to evil Chinese, using a guy he just stabbed as a human shield, taking everybody out but for head honcho. We have some gratuitous kung fu, Jack wins, calls PH, waiting for facial recognition, grabs a nearby samurai sword on this Russian boat, threatens to chop a head off to encourage Chiang to say his name, Chiang finally obliges, and loses his head anyway—“for Audrey.” PH sends the ID info to Chinese premier just in the nick of time to call off whatever his boats were doing. And everybody who’s still alive ends well.
Yeah, you know that’s not the case. PH insists on hearing some news standing up (unlike Jack), and when he hears Audrey died, he falls down. He’s OK, even if he’s shaken and stirred.
And finally we get to how this series could cover 24 hours in 12 one-hour episodes. After getting off the boat, Jack finds Chloe missing and gets a mysterious call for a meet up in 12 hours that he agrees to.
12 hours later, Mark is in detention, looking forlorn, asking about PH, getting no answer, being bundled up, stateside-bound.
Kate finally gets to quit, after writing her report.
Audrey, presumably, is in the flag draped coffin on the tarmac. I don’t remember presidential daughters getting this treatment.
PH and Brit PM are idly chatting on same tarmac, PM offering condolences, PH shrugging them off, saying in a year his Alzheimer’s will prevent him from remembering that he even had a daughter. So, no big deal.And the meet up. Jack and flunky—is this his big moment?—carry one gun to a vacant lot, with snipers all around trained on them. There’s a helicopter in the lot. And Russians. Seems Chloe didn’t hightail it good enough to avoid them as they absconded their boat. Touching moment as Jack and Chloe pass during the prisoner swap. He says she is his best friend. Then she gets away scot free, and he tells the Russians he’ll make their life miserable if anything happens to her. They quickly agree because all along they wanted just him anyway. Flunky’s big moment is jumping in the car with Chloe, Jack’s last vestige of his thought-to-have-been-long-lost humanity. Sphere: Related Content