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August 1, 2014

24: 1:00am -- 2:00am

by Meredith O'Brien, posted May 1st 2007 12:25AM

Audrey Raines on 24(S06E20) *Warning, spoilers from the latest episode ahead.*

There were a number of unhinged people populating 24 in the 20th hour. There were tears. There was betrayal. Sex. Intrigue. An evil doctor. And, oh yeah, a potential U.S.-Russian military skirmish after CTU accidentally botched a plan to recover a Russian defense component from the Chinese that Jack Bauer had handed over.

Just your average day in 24-land.

Thankfully, there was a heck of a lot more of Jack in this episode as well as some action, albeit low-keyed action that was confined to darkened CTU corridors, though there was enough story during this hour to keep me entertained.

So, let's start with the sex, shall we?

I know that after all my complaining about the nasty Oval Office scene last week between Acting President Noah Daniels and his aide Lisa Miller this is going to sound odd, but I actually found myself feeling sorry for the horny guy in this episode. He was but a poor, lonely widower last year when, while working late one evening, one thing led to another and he found himself seduced by Miller's wily ways. Unfortunately for Daniels, Miller has also been throwing it around with a Washington lobbyist who is, as Daniels' bad luck would have it, leaking info to the Russians. During this hour, lobbyist Mark Bishop used his tryst with Miller as cover so he could download Miller's e-mails from her PDA and fish for intel. Bishop (yes Stargate fans, I know the lobbyist is Michael Shanks!) waited until Miller went to freshen up before calling his Russian contact, whom he'd apparently already informed about the Chinese getting their hands on the Russian defense technology, prompting Russian President Yuri Suvarov to threaten Daniels with military retribution if CTU didn't get the circuit board back.

The look on Daniels' face was absolutely priceless when Chief of Staff Tom Lennox told him he'd traced the intel leak to Miller, and from Miller to Bishop, with whom Lennox said he was convinced Miller was sleeping. Daniels' shock was matched by the horror all over Lennox's face when Daniels replied, "Then we have a bigger problem than you think Tom, because I'm sleeping with her too."

Ay carumba.

Daniels then staged an interesting reprise of last week's lascivious scene when he circled Miller in the Oval Office and whispered in her ear. Only this time, Daniels was a jealous, angry man ("You didn't just betray me, you betrayed your country!"), who threatened her with being declared an enemy combatant and thrown into solitary confinement if she didn't follow orders exactly by telling Bishop that the Americans had recovered the Russian component. If Daniels were a cartoon character, the illustrator would've drawn pitch black steam pouring from his ears.

Speaking of cartoons . . . over at CTU, Chloe O'Brian wept in a hallway as her ex-husband Morris continued sulking because she insulted him during the last episode by snidely telling him he should avoid assisting terrorists by arming nuclear weapons for them. After their spat, Morris requested a transfer, but new CTU chief Nadia Yassir wisely told Morris to grow the hell up. "You're asking me to indulge your personal melodrama," she said to Morris as she denied the transfer and told him to go back to work. Later, when Chloe confronted Morris, he told her he could no longer work with her. "There's a line, darling, and you crossed it," Morris said. ". . . It's over. There's no going back. We're done." Morris touched her face as she cried. HEL-LO weren't they "done" when they signed their divorce papers years ago? What's left to be "over?" This part of the episode seemed completely useless.

I did, however, like the scenes featuring Jack, Mike "The Brawler" Doyle and the non-responsive Audrey Raines, fresh from being tortured by the Chinese. The White House -- under pressure to get the Russian component before the Russian president takes military action -- dispatched an evil doctor (Dr. Bradley) to shock Audrey's system with drugs in order to extract any usable intel on Cheng Zhi and the Russian circuit board's location. There was a ton of pressure on Nadia to deliver info ASAP, regardless of whether the drugs killed Audrey. This outraged Doyle who thought that Jack should've been given the chance to talk with Audrey first, seeing as though they were both tortured by the same dudes. Evil Dr. Bradley nixed this, saying that Jack would just agitate Audrey, and Nadia went along with the doc. As roguish Doyle flouted Nadia' directives and removed Jack's handcuffs, he told his idol to make it look as though he overpowered Doyle in order to escape and save Audrey from the treatment. (Yes, I cheered when Jack slammed the smug hack Bradley into the wall, though I wished he'd used a tad bit more force.)

While alone for a few minutes in a locked room with Audrey before CTU forces apprehended them, Jack was able to connect with her, even though her only response was to grasp his hand and to utter the word, "Bloomfield." Unlike last week's exchange between Jack and Audrey, this one seemed more genuine and heartfelt. I think much of that had to do with the fact that Jack seemed like an emotional wreck during many of his scenes. "I love you with all my heart," he said as they embraced and she silently reached for his hand. 'Twas believable.

The killer moment of this episode -- and the one that left a giant question mark hovering over my head -- was the sudden appearance of former Secretary of Defense James Heller, Audrey's father, who apparently did NOT die last year when his car plunged off the side of a cliff. After checking on Audrey, Heller went to see Jack and told him to never go near Audrey again. (Random questions: Heller was just hangin' in LA? How did he get to CTU so fast? Audrey's only been in CTU hands for less than an hour. Who called him?) "What's happened to her is your fault," Heller fumed at his former staffer. ". . . I'm warning you, stay away. You're cursed Jack. Everything you touch, one way or another, ends up dead."

As Heller left the room, Jack looked as though he was going to cry.

And the clock ticked to the end of the hour.

On the fantabulously original TV Squad 7-point scale, I'm giving this episode a 5.

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Larry

24 has lost its way. The last thing the 24 addict wants is politicians and their corrupt behavior dominating the show. We watch 24 to escape this. Jack's invovement is now a minor character. He has no friends, he has no girl friend, he has no role within ctu--- he is an extra-- this show this season--drives me back to the first 3 seasons-- when you were worth watching.

May 02 2007 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JBob

BY FAR THE WORST 24 YET!

I can't believe all the crap and filth that went on in this episode. Jack used to be badass, now he and everyone he knows turned into a total "woe is me" kind of person. Definitely a 1 out of 7, or 10 or whatever. Lets see some ACTION in the last few hours. The sad part: theres more action in Boston Legal now than in 24!

May 01 2007 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allan

Wow. Christian (5) described it as "one of the best hours of television I've seen in a long, long time". LadyTV (57) dubbed it "awesome", and Doug (55) called the episode "the best one hour of tv this season". As for me: I don't think they are giving it enough credit!

Honestly, I sat wide-eyed with delight as one amazing surprise after another unfolded before....

Oh, wait. I've got my sites switiched. I was writing about Heroes. My apologies.

But I did watch 24 this week as well. And I found it good too, in its own way. After watching Heroes, 24 is proving to be a great way to wind down from all the excitement. Even better than a glass of warm milk.

May 01 2007 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

They said they found Heller alive last season. Like the reviewer I liked this episode. Unlike the last couple it wasn't annoying to watch and I didnt switch to Heroes. Chloe though is starting to lose her appeal to me though. Her plotlines are kinda crappy this day.

May 01 2007 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

Actually, this season probably would have been more to the audience's liking if the network had put their oar in. They know the fans want action, excitement, blood. But they trusted the producers and gave them carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. I personally like some of the things they've done this year. It's been very satirical. But I know why the viewers are tuning out.

May 01 2007 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Shifty

Also, I thought it was pretty clear that Morris and Chole were a couple again. They may have been divorced but they can start a relationship again.

Remember the bickering between Morris and Milo earlier in the season? Chole's kiss on Morris? Her falling back into his arms after Chole's worst day at the end of season five? Its been 20 months so they probably hooked up and she got Morris a job at CTU. All the other Chole/Morris drama?

May 01 2007 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johngaltx

Maybe it is time for 24 to move over to Fx to free it from the shackles of what appears to me to be intense network nagging. It seems to me that the popularity of the show has brought it more scrutiny from the head honchos at the network to add more sappy stuff and cut out the gore, action and killing stuff. So move the West Wing, I mean 24, over to Fx and light it back up with 44 solid minutes of mayhem, torture, bombs, sex!, intrigue and maybe some real salty language. Let the children watch American Idol three nights a week and give us adults some real 24 type action on Fx.

May 01 2007 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

After this season, I think the writers know now what they can get away with and what they can't. Their fans want a CONNECTION to the characters, they want to FEEL for them, ROOT for them. It's very basic. In pursuing the artistic "vision" they had for this year, the writers sacrificed characterization. That was a major mistake, and they've paid the price for it.



May 01 2007 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LA

To CC: I agree about the lack of a spiritual relationship. And even just the strong bond the viewer makes with a character. Case and point: the relationship between Chloe & Edgar. Remember when he died, how sad it was? They even did the silent ticker for him before the commercial break. The last time I remember the silent ticker was when George Mason died by crashing the plane with the bomb in it. Do you remember having such passion for a character you may have once hated? I miss that!

Rob: I agree! I record Heroes while watching 24, then watch it after... and now I'm considering swapping the 2. I am OBSESSED with Heroes!

May 01 2007 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

All I gotta say is,.. After watching last night's Heroes, 24 is in serious trouble.

I'm a loyal 24 fan, but this time it's Heroes FTW!

May 01 2007 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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