24 8.21: The knife feels like justice

Tonight’s episode of “24” felt like a blast from the past. It was pretty lean in terms of storytelling, it contained a hellacious, if predictable, end-around, and ended with one of the most vicious torture scenes in the show’s history. Pity it had one major, major flaw.

I liked that Dominic was so busy trying to nail down Bauer down that he took no notice of Chloe and Merv the Perv conspiring behind his back. Even when he noticed Chloe giving him The Look (you know the one), he just tinted the windows and kept on scheming. Fool. Nobody puts Chloe in a corner. Still, you’d think Dominic would show a little more diplomacy when safeguarding high crimes committed by the White House. By yanking that file away from Arlo, he may as well have stamped “CORRUPT” on his forehead.

As Jack is setting up the meet with White She Devil, I’m thinking to myself, “There has to be a better way to do this.” Not in terms of getting her the evidence (more on that in a bit), but in terms of meeting out in the open like that. So as it’s going down and he shows up, I knew he’d have a plan, and sure enough, he did. He didn’t care about getting caught on camera – he knew the hit man who took out Crazy Jackie would be there, and could then settle two scores for the price of one. Get the intel, and make the motherfucker responsible for Jackie’s death squeal like a stuck pig before ultimately killing him. Re-enter Mr. Blonde, to get the drop on Dmitri Sharpshooter.

But I have another idea.

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“Let’s see, stab him, then the lighter fluid, then the blowtorch, then the pliers. No, pliers first. The crowd loves it when I open with that.”

That’s great that he was able to abduct – and torture the bejeezus out of – Renee’s killer, but if he just wanted to make sure She Devil got the video, why didn’t he just go viral with it? Post that puppy to YouTube, text her the link, have her record her own version in the event CTU discovers it, and send it to every TV station in New York City. She Devil said it herself, Starbuck’s tape alone was more than enough evidence to blow the lid off. He didn’t need to risk her life over it, which actually goes to Dominic’s point that Jack has indeed lost it, and is acting not out of duty but out of grief and hell-bent on revenge. I believe Jack has it mostly together; he did check himself after unloading about 20 hay makers on the helpless hit man. But let’s not kid ourselves, people: Jack Bauer is the Crow, and he will not stop until everyone responsible for Renee’s death is dealt with. And by dealt with, I mean gutted like a deer, but not before having a little blowtorch work done. And taking the cell phone memory card out of hit man’s stomach, staring him in the eyes the entire time…wow.

The bottom line is that Jack should go viral with the footage anyway, because once it’s out on the web, the government will not be able to control the message any longer. It’s an instant checkmate, and Jack, of all people, should know this. But hey, the “24” writers, for as advanced as their tech is, are slow on the draw with certain things. They actually used texting to their advantage this week, after passing on a golden opportunity to use it in an earlier episode. Before you know it, they’ll be Facebooking, tweeting, and then, when no one’s looking, sexting. Shhhhh!

I still have one question: has I.M. Weasel revealed how he suspected the Russians were involved in the day’s events? I remember him offering his services to Allison, and then blackmailing Mikhail into submission, but never really being forthright – not his strong suit, sure – with either of them. He must have known something, but what? If he heard chatter, then who was chattering? I hear chatter about lots of things, but I don’t offer my services to the President unless I’m 100% sure of my intel, especially if I’m a disgraced former President looking for redemption.

Time for tonight’s song, courtesy of a mid-’80s AAA-hungry Brian Setzer. This is the first time I’ve heard this song since its release, and all I could think of was Marshall Crenshaw. I’m frankly surprised Crenshaw didn’t write this, because it sounds just like him.

  

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