We had a surprisingly straight-forward hour of “24” tonight. Starkwood will stop at nothing to acquire their bioweapon, Hillary Clinton is in fact a vengeful succubus (as we knew she was), and Jack Bauer is impervious to bullets. Now, I’ve never shot at someone from a helicopter, but I’d like to think that if I had someone trapped behind a rock, with a search light on them, I’d eventually hit them. Huh, maybe it’s harder than it looks. (Psst: probably not.)

I was amused at how quickly Hillary called her buddy at the TV station after seeing Warden Norton leave. She’s the neighborhood tattletale, the one that couldn’t wait to get the other kids in trouble. I would have loved to see Norton walk back in after she got off the phone, say, “Whoops, I forgot something,” and then reach under some papers on his desk and pull out a recorder. “You’re toast, rookie!” Seriously, what does she hope to accomplish by having the TV station run the story anyway? Won’t that just expose her as the leak? I understand ‘Hell hath no fury,’ but you’d think she would have enough common sense to exercise a little self-preservation. I knew Sherry Palmer, and you, missy, are no Sherry Palmer. I’m bored with her already.

“Madame President, by my best estimate, you will find out within the hour what a complete power-hungry psycho your daughter is.”

Jack had this convincing argument for why he and Tony couldn’t call the FBI to have them help contain the weapon, but I’m sorry, he still should have called the FBI. Dudley Do-Right might be hunting him, but he’s also kept an open mind when Jack has contacted him to explain what is Really Going On. But Jack’s bit to Tony was nothing compared to the lengthy speech Tony hit Jack with, the one about putting himself before the public in order to save the guard, blah blah blah. That speech just hung in the air, didn’t it? Didn’t feel at all natural. I also loved how communications were jammed at the port, so when they were finally ready to call the Feds, they couldn’t. The bad guys’ walkies worked, though. Uh, huh.

The big takeaway from the shipyard scene was that Jacqueline Bauer’s humanity was starting to get under Jack’s skin, which is why he put himself and Tony in harm’s way in order to save the guard. There is no way that Jack is not hitting that before the final clock ticks.

Assuming Jack lives to the final clock tick, that is. He just willingly exposed himself to Starkwood’s bioweapon in order to prevent it from going off in a populated area. Clearly, the weapon is a slow-acting one, as it didn’t seem to affect Jack at all while he was taking it into his lungs. Kiefer Sutherland has said that not even Jack should be untouchable on the show, but it’s well known that he has one year left on his “24” contract, so don’t start thinking that they’ll kill him off here. Still, what did Jack say the symptoms were of the stuff that Candyman was testing? Something about the victims being delusional, delirious, something like that. Is Sutherland going to get to do some Serious Acting? That should be fun.

I speculated a couple weeks ago that Tony might be working for Starkwood, and upon being recognized by Jonas Brother’s lead goon, it indeed appears that he’s done some work for them, whether he was aware of it or not. The only question at this point is whether it matters in the grand scheme of things. We have seven hours left. I’m sure they’ll find a way to make it matter for an hour.

Damn, I miss Chloe. Please bring her back soon.