24 8.18: What price paradise

Nickname change: President Buck Buck Brawwwwwwwwk will now be referred to by his original nickname of President I.M. Weasel. Because holy fuck, man, he is the sleaziest character this show has ever seen.

The thing is, I actually loved his scene with Novakovich, where he put the ambassador over a barrel and said, “Get back to the table, or you’re done.” It was vintage Charles Logan, done with a nod and that greasy half-smile of his. However, now that Jack Bauer nearly blew the lid off of everything using good old-fashioned detective work – with no small amount of intimidation – we learn that Logan’s plan, in full, was as follows:

1) Blackmail the Russian government into accepting the treaty
2) Tell President Taylor nothing about how he persuaded them to change their minds
3) Hope that his secret never gets out

Huh. I’m not sure he thought this through.

24-Ep817_Sc1721_6059

“So can you actually feel the weasel rays I give off when I’m this close?” “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my soul screaming.”

He didn’t consider that Dalia might find out on her own who killed Slumdog. He didn’t consider the fact that the Russians may sign this peace accord but they’ll never honor it, and eventually the truth about its bloody origin will spill. Lastly, he didn’t consider the one-man wrecking crew that is Jack Bauer, who was able to spoil his plan as soon as he hatched it. And since Logan kinda has a thing about Jack, what with Jack destroying his Presidency and all, he completely lost his objectivity when it came to silencing him. You’d think that Madame President would have noticed Logan foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog whenever he said Bauer’s name, since she has a much different relationship with Jack than Logan does – on account of being a good, honest person – and yet, she didn’t. And worse, she’s acquiescing to Logan’s suggestion that they continue with the treaty, even though Dalia Hassan will soon be sitting across the table from the people who killed her husband.

I call shenanigans. Allison Taylor would never, ever do that.

The nanosecond I.M. Weasel mentioned the Russian government’s involvement, the regular Allison Taylor, the one we saw every other week – the one who sent her own daughter to prison – would have sent Logan out on his ass. He says he recently became aware of their involvement, but who knows if that’s true? He wants to get back in the political game, and since his first step in achieving that goal was to blackmail the Russian ambassador to the UN (!), it’s clear that he cannot be trusted. That he’s trying to muzzle the best damn agent CTU has ever had should have been the smoking gun that he’s up to no good. And yet, Madame President went along with it. The one with the straightest moral compass of anyone on the show bought what Charles Logan, Charles fucking Logan, was selling. You have to think that Cherry Jones saw the script that day and said, “Oh, fuck me. I’m getting a lobotomy.”

And then Keifer Sutherland calmed her down by saying, “It’s all right, I’m getting one, too. I hijack a helicopter at the end of the hour.”

Look, I know that when Jack is all out of bubble gum, there is little stopping him. (“They Live,” holler.) But hijacking a helicopter? Do you know how easy it will be to spin that story to the public after they shoot him down? “Longtime dedicated Federal Agent, stricken with grief over the death of his Agent girlfriend, decided the Russians were responsible for her untimely demise. Film at 11.” No one will ask questions. His funeral party will consist of Kim and Chloe. Everyone else who ever cared about him is dead. Survived by daughter Kim, granddaughter Teri, and illegitimate son Jack-Jack.

At least they didn’t insist that Chloe lose her mind along with Jack. She warned him that she’d have to call in an air strike, and call in an air strike she did. Jack, wisely, flew straight to Manhattan, knowing that they wouldn’t dare risk shooting him down over New York. Still, there had to be a better way to get him back in play. Ooh, here’s an idea: how about keeping him in play? There are six hours left. It’s a sliver of time in the show’s history, but it’s an awfully long time for people to act completely out of character in order to service a bad plot idea. I don’t want to see “24” limp to the finish line again. Not on its final time around the track.

Tonight’s blog title comes courtesy of another mid-’80s English wuss rock band. What Price Paradise was the 1986 album by China Crisis, and is in tribute to Madame President selling her integrity down the river for disgraced former President I.M. Weasel. (I was thinking of using the Pretenders song “How Much Did You Get for Your Soul,” but my wife hates Chrissie Hynde.) She knew about the ‘disgraced’ part, right? Of course she did. So why did she go along with it, again? In the real world, both he and his weasel assistant receive a polite ‘no’ in response to their offer of assistance, and then their houses are burned to the ground while they sleep. Here’s hoping she gets a chance to right this wrong. Until then, I will refer to her not by the customary Madame President but by her first name, in order to show my contempt for the decisions she made this hour. As a bonus, I’ve included a link to the best fight scene in movie history, one so awesome that Trey Parker and Matt Stone re-created it shot for shot with two cripples. Enjoy!

  

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