It was 9:38 on the “24” clock, and I had a funny thought: nothing’s happened yet. This was one of those “bridge” episodes where they inch a bunch of stories along, and open a few new doors (Slumdog President’s daughter is now in play), but that’s about it. They’re necessary evils in the “24” universe, and if anything, provide a brief moment of realism, since we do not live in a world where everything happens at the top of the hour. However, that doesn’t make these episodes any less ponderous.

The good news is that, with regard to the two unwanted subplots, one of them is dead…literally. That scene of Papa Bazhaev (pending “24” nickname: Jesus, for his role in “The Seventh Sign”) knocking Sark around, then shooting his sick son to death, was producing serious flashbacks to “The Godfather.” All I could see were rowboats and Brando yelling, “Act like a man!” The only question is how Sark uses some of that bodily fluid the doctor so carefully warned him about to poison his father. ‘Cause you know that’s going down before the final clock tick. It damn well better.

Did anyone else laugh out loud when the thug that came to get Jesus’ sons told Jesus, “No one will know we were here”? Well, they may not know YOU were there, but when they see a trail of dead bodies, they’ll know someone was there, and since the Feds know the Russians are looking to move weapons-grade uranium, they’re probably going to start with you. Which, in the end, means that yeah, they knew you were there. Dumbass.

And then there’s Starbuck, who appears to actually be helping her convicted felon of an ex to score a bunch of money. Giant forehead slap on three, ready? She has the perfect opportunity to send him down the river for life (if she comes clean before they hit the warehouse), but if next week’s scenes are any indication, she’s going to cling to the microscopic chance she has left of getting through this without anyone discovering her sordid past. Fool. Give it up, girl. It’s over. Put the scumbag away, already.

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“If you don’t quit looking down my top, I’m going to have Jack cut your balls off with a spoon. Perv.”

So what are we to make of Slumdog daughter? My gut says that the UN advisor that was just sent away is a good guy, and the one feeding Slumdog the intel is in league with Jason Schwartzman. That dude is going to kidnap Slumdog daughter, and use her as a chip to force Slumdog to back off on the crackdown of the insurrection. Look at her, for crying out loud. Cute as a button, innocent…naive. She’s toast.

Watching Jack verbally undress a Russian – in German – was easily the highlight of the evening. (“German is such a dirty language.” “Well, you are a dirty people.” Oh, snap!) Well, that and Buffy playing “Goldeneye” on the goons assigned to kill Jack once Vladimir Guerrero got his money. That was pretty sweet.

There was a shot of Renee in Vladimir’s lair where her eyes looked like hollow, soulless holes in her head. It’s the most emotional depth that the show has ever displayed. And granted, that’s not saying a heck of a lot, but it’s a start, and I’m glad Annie Wersching was the one who got to go there. And did you see the scenes for next week’s episode? Jack reached out to Renee and asked her to give up her death wish…for him, which is like giving up one death wish for another.

This week’s “24” blog title comes courtest of Sir Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats, from one of my all-time favorite albums, The Fine Art of Surfacing. Take it away, Bob.

The Boomtown Rats – Nothing Happened Today