24: 8:00pm -- 9:00pm
(S06E15) *Warning, spoilers from recent episode ahead*
It's really sad when the best part of a show is the last minute of a program, when you have to slog through 59 minutes of other material of so-so quality that seems very much like filler in order to get to something good.
That's how I felt about this new episode of 24. Did anyone in their right mind really believe that Nadia was a mole? Of course not, but I didn't expect her story to be resolved so quickly and simply, in less than an hour.
I also didn't expect, nor did I welcome, that weirdly awkward moment between Mike "The Brawler" Doyle and Milo Pressman when Milo found out that, geez, that Doyle guy isn't as gosh darned mean as he thought he was.
The episode, overall, had an "off" quality.
A lot of the "off-ness," I think had to do with Jack Bauer. He spent most of the episode at the home of a private sector security consultant who was using his Rain Man-like brother Brady, who was a whiz at computers (not counting cards), to do work for the former Russian General Gredenko. (Gredenko, as you all remember, was working with the "bad" terrorist, Abu Fayed, to drop nuclear bombs on the United States.) Jack, looking to capture Gredenko so he could locate the remaining two suitcase nuclear bombs, used Brady as a means to nab Gredenko before taking the Russian into custody and securing info on the location of the next two bombing targets.
But the scenes with Jack and Brady were just plain awful. Jack was all patronizing and breathy. Same way he is with Marilyn Bauer. (Only Brady didn't try to kiss Jack.) And to top it off, the actor playing Brady ripped off Dustin Hoffman's Raymond Babbitt. All I needed was for Brady to mention Judge Wapner and my night would've been complete.
Back at CTU, Nadia Yassir was cleared after it was discovered that the terrorist headset guy working with Gredenko in the last episode to control the nuke-carrying drone had infiltrated Nadia's computer with a remote access module. And, boy, did Nadia feel betrayed and angry, so angry in fact, that she and Milo did some passionate/angry necking in a darkened CTU hallway while Chloe O'Brian scowled and watched from afar.
The whole White House power struggle didn't get interesting until the end. We all knew, courtesy of the spoiler-filled episode promos, that President Wayne Palmer's sister Sandra was going to authorize doctors to take him out of his medically-induced coma in order to stop Vice President Noah Daniels from launching a nuclear strike against the Country Whose Name We Shall Not Mention. But we still had to go through the motions where National Security Advisor Karen Hayes pressured Sandra to take the president out of the coma so he could countermand Daniels.
The best moment was in the presidential bunker's Situation Room, after the saber rattling, tough guy Daniels ordered the nuclear strike "to remind the world that there are consequences for attacking our country." But the admiral then said he'd been ordered to stand down. Daniels then got a call from the president. Who was awake. And surprisingly lucid for someone who'd just come out of a coma, but I was willing to suspend disbelief and roll with it, given that this was the best that this particular hour of 24 had to offer. "The decision is mine and mine alone," said Palmer, in the most commanding posture he'd taken all season, even if it was taken from a hospital bed. "I'm resuming my duties as commander in chief."
Then, when we all expected Daniels to start stamping his feet in a temper tantrum and smacking Chief of Staff Tom Lennox around just for fun, there was a twist: Daniels decided the president should be declared incapable of "discharging his duties." "I can't let him remain in power," demonic Daniels said. "Get me the attorney general."
Obviously the doctor who's treating Palmer will conclude that he's lucid, as will Hayes and any number of other people. How Daniels could successfully orchestrate this could either be entertaining or eye rolling. I'm hoping for option number one.
And, for all of those Sandra Palmer fans out there, I thought she was pretty good tonight. Her scenes were a heck of a lot better than those with Jack and Brady.