24 7.13: Ask not for whom the silent clock ticks…

…it ticks for Bill Buchanan.

Even stranger, I had a thought earlier today that Bill might die in tonight’s episode. It just seemed to be floating out there, as if Death itself was taunting me with the knowledge that life goes on within you and without you. Thankfully, 4B’s death was far more honorable than the one that I feared, which is that he would die on his knees at the hands of Candyman as retaliation for misleading them with Madame Prez’s tracker. Instead, they saved the meaningless death for a red shirt character. As it should be.

Jack Bauer must have read what I wrote last week about how anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice, because he offered an on-screen retort that anything worth shooting is in fact worth shooting five times. And seriously, how dumb is Candyman? Jack has his gun up and ready, and Candyman still thinks he can reach for his gun, aim, and fire in less time than it will take Jack to pull the trigger? Also, Jack emptied all of those shots in Candyman’s torso. Was he not wearing a bullet-proof vest? To a siege on the White House? ‘Cause I know that whenever I raid the White House, I wear Kevlar. Maybe it all goes in line with the reasoning that Candyman never intended to walk out of the White House alive since, if the Feds didn’t take him down, Jonas Brother certainly would.

Go with God, Big Balls Bill.

And speaking of Jonas Brother, he is already my favorite villain in the history of “24.” I love how calm and absolutely fearless he is, and most importantly, how much he seems to be enjoying what he’s doing. When they send the spook to kill Senator Dumbass’ weasel assistant, Jonas asks his assistant which spook they sent. “Quinn,” his aide replies. Jonas raises his brow and very casually observes, “Quinn’s good. Bauer’s good.” He was savoring the match-up! Even better was after Quinn killed Lil Dumbass and the next phase of their plan was back on track. “Now we’re having fun,” he said. Couldn’t agree more. Genius casting on the part of the producers to get Jon Voight to play Jonas. I hope he gets an Emmy for his troubles.

The one character who developed overnight – man, I sound like I’m talking about a teenage girl, which will make sense in a second – is Olivia Taylor. Holy cow, what a back story. Fired from her mother’s staff after trying to sabotage her run for office? That’s a therapist’s wet dream, right there. For the moment, it looks as though this near-death experience has realigned her priorities, and the new target of her unbridled rage is Warden Norton for being too stupid to see that the entire government has been corrupted on his watch. Help me out, readers. Olivia needs a nickname, something that expresses both her rage (or lust for vengeance) and her tendency to act like a sullen teen.

Our sullen teen also worked a little “24” history into the conversation during her chat with Old Yeller. She not so subtly asked him about the former First Lady of Crazy, and the phrasing of it suggested that she’s dead. Old Yeller responded with a terse “I’d rather not talk about it,” but I hope they resolve this long-dangling thread. The last we saw FLOC and her ex-husband, President Buck Buck Brawwwwwwk, he was flatlining in an ambulance after she stabbed him. I need closure, damn it. (*takes drink*)

Lastly, I must give props to Dudley Do-Right for playing the role of in-house foil so gamely. He is an endless source of what our fellow blogger John Paulsen likes to call manufactured conflict, but amazingly, the way that things played out this week, his actions created all kinds of conflict, but did not feel forced. He began by telling the Vice President to grow a pair and authorized the attack on Candyman’s men himself – God, I hope that Madame Prez rips Vice President Billy Bob Thornton’s nuts off the next time she speaks with him – and then he suspended Jacqueline Bauer for insubordination after she refused to abandon the idea that Jack could get Lil Dumbass to talk, and went over Dudley’s head to get it done. One act may contradict the other, since he’s suspending Jackie for disobeying a direct order while he saved the day by disobeying another, but neither seemed out of character. He just wants to protect the President, and I think this will ultimately prove to be what puts Jack and Dudley on the same page, where DDR finally “gets it” and understands that they’re fighting the same battle in different ways. Hopefully, it won’t end in a debate over which one can be the other’s wingman, followed by a Kenny Loggins song.

  

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