24: 2:00am -- 3:00am
(S06E21) *Warning, spoilers ahead from the new episode ahead.*
In order to enjoy the 21st hour of Jack Bauer's sixth bad day, I had to suspend reality and stop myself from wondering:
a) How in the world CTU could possibly be so vulnerable, b) Why a presidential chief of staff would be hanging out in a surveillance van, c) How a confused looking teen with a mop of blond hair could suddenly take on such importance, and, d) Why on God's green earth should I care about the romantic bickerings of a divorced couple with no chemistry?
But, once I decided to stop asking the why's and the how's I was able to enjoy this hour for what it was: An odd 60 minutes with surprising moments and real, actual dramatic tension.
The main story this hour centered on Cheng enlisting tough-looking mercenaries in sleeveless tank tops and tattoos to access the sewer lines beneath CTU, disable CTU's security and communications systems and invade the offices with machine guns blazing. They rounded up the CTU staff, shot Milo Pressman when he identified himself as the ranking CTU officer in order to protect Nadia Yassir (How gallant! How shocking!) and apprehended Jack and his sister-in-law Marilyn Bauer. (Jack, who'd gotten out of lock-up and rescued Marilyn and his "nephew," successfully got Josh into the air ducts but he and Marilyn were nabbed.)
The head mercenary got on the public address system and told Josh that he'd be taken to a "safe place" and his mother's life would be spared if he just surrendered. Of course Josh, who likes to whine and squint, gave himself up. The next scene showed Cheng calling Phillip Bauer to tell him that they'd secured Josh, while Phillip added that he was almost done repairing the Russian circuit board for Cheng. Clearly a quid pro quo had been struck: I fix your circuit board; you get my grandson.
However the return of Papa Bauer and the Bauer family players was a frustrating turn of events, particularly after the writers jettisoned the Audrey Raines story with cold efficiency and an empty threat of Heller obtaining a restraining order against Jack (yeah, like a lousy little judicial order would actually keep Jack away). I would much rather see Jack, Audrey and her angry father than Papa Bauer or Josh or anyone from the extended "sick family" again. But alas, it's back to the Bauer tales we go for the waning hours of this season.
In other developments: Presidential aide Lisa Miller -- the one who bedded both Acting President Noah Daniels and lobbyist Mark Bishop, who was passing along intel to the Russians -- was forced to go to Bishop's townhouse and do the nasty while Chief of Staff Tom Lennox watched via a hidden camera planted in her bag. (These scenes were creepy and, in my opinion, eclipsed the creepiness of Daniels and Miller necking in the Oval Office a couple hours ago.) The plan was for Miller to immediately excuse herself to go to the bathroom so Bishop would download fake memos from her PDA indicating that CTU had destroyed the Russian circuit board that the Chinese obtained from Jack. But Bishop, that horndog, wouldn't let Miller leave the room and insisted on helping her "relax" . . . unwittingly in front of an audience. If Daniels sees this video footage, I'm 100 percent certain his head will explode. (Then they'd have to look for yet another president. I nominate Bill Buchanan.)
Overall, I thought this episode contained more suspenseful moments than have many of the recent hours. I, in no way, saw the hostage-taking, Milo getting shot or Cheng's guys wanting to take Josh and bring him back to Papa Bauer coming. I'm giving this episode a 5 on the TV Squad's awesomely original 7-point scale.
|1 - Worst||19 (4.5%)|
|7 - Best||40 (9.6%)|