So much for last year’s declaration that nothing good happens after two in the morning. The scenes in the oxygen chamber were some of the finest in “24” history. The back-and-forth between Marcos and Jack was tight and even, but the final confrontation was money. “If you knew anything about me”…laughed out loud at that line. And that eagle’s stare he shot through the camera would make a desk lamp beg for mercy. “I’ll talk! I’ll talk!”

Are we in agreement that the threat to submit Mare Winningham to radiation poisoning is one of the lowest, meanest tricks Jack’s ever pulled in an interrogation? Of course, that is precisely what made it so awesome. “If you blow yourself up, I’m having your mother clean it up.” Yes.


“But Tarin, don’t you love me?” “Sure, I do. Like I love Fresca.”

From last week’s comment section:

I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this, but I’m guessing the significance of Princess Jasmine running off is that her beau actually is a bad guy and the Princess will soon find herself “in great peril.”

Well played, Jamey. He turns out to be exactly right, as head of security Tarin Faroush has in fact been romancing Princess Jasmine as a bargaining chip in case his takeover plans hit a snag. As official blogger of “24,” I frankly feel dumb that I didn’t anticipate this. I should have known from the beginning that her character’s only value was as bait. But once again, we’re in a situation where something could have been resolved a lot quicker with a text message. “She’s not answering her phone.” “Oh, well then leave her another voice mail.” Ugh. Fucking text her already. “CTU just confirmed: boyfriend is bad guy. Run, Lola, run!” I’m no text fiend, mind you, but sometimes, it’s the easiest, quickest way to communicate, and I’m not sure it’s ever been used as a plot point in the show’s history.

Starbuck and Buffy get a well-deserved tongue-lashing from Bubba as they returned to CTU with tails stuck between their legs, but the second Starbuck tries to get down to business, a corrections officer – henceforth known as Jimmy James – that’s tracking Kevin gets Starbuck’s phone number from a Queens hotel room phone. Would it have killed her to say sorry, I’m in the middle of a matter of national security and you, lowly corrections officer, will just have to wait? Doesn’t she realize what a position of authority she has? Jesus, what good is it to have power if you don’t use it once in a while? And Buffy is clearly losing patience with her inability to handle anything that’s thrown at her, however small. In the “Sliding Doors” version in my mind of the 24 hours that take place after this season ends, Buffy kills Starbuck just to shut her the hell up once and for all, but plants a gun on her and uses her criminal past as an alibi to argue that his killing her was self-defense. And there isn’t a jury in the country that would convict him.

Bonus pictureage this week, as I found this rather flattering picture of Crazy Jackie. Wowzers. No wonder someone I know refers to her as Rack Bauer. All right, back to work, people.

The only other story line to receive significant play tonight was how the whereabouts of Princess Jasmine landed Slumdog President and Angry First Wife in the same room again. This is a crucial move for the story in that she really is the only one that he can trust, despite the fact that she doesn’t trust him (or, more appropriately, his penis) any farther than she can throw him. Hopefully, this will not lead to some sappy reconciliation. Mutual respect, sure. But rekindled love, no. It just doesn’t work that way.

So what was Madame President and her staff working on this last hour? Their nails? Their plans to bomb Slumdog’s country back to the Stone Age? A Sudoku puzzle? An out clause in their “24” contracts? Ah, who are we kidding, this is one of the best gigs on television, even if you have to wear the same clothes every single day for the entire season. I would love to see a scene where someone wakes up a president, or an advisor, or anyone for that matter, to deal with a matter of national security at three in the morning. This show has thrived on the understanding that anyone can go 24 hours without sleep, but what it doesn’t take into account is how many hours before the show begins that these characters have gone without sleep. There was a scene early in the show’s run when someone tried to escape Jack’s clutches when he was succumbing to exhaustion, but I don’t recall sleep deprivation ever playing a part in a single story line since then. Unless they include Chloe and Morris’ decision to name their son Prescott. Because that’s a terrible name to give an American kid.

Tonight’s blog title might seem like a big surprise coming from an alt-pop guy like me, but I’m on call to take care of my daughter when she inevitably awakes, which means I need to come up with something quickly…and this Cher song hit me, and actually fits the bill rather well. Marcos thought he was dying for a cause, but in the end, he gave the so-called enemy what they wanted. And if the bomb hadn’t killed him, his comrades would have. As Jack was throwing him in the chamber, he surely knew that he was a pawn and felt a moment of inpalpaple grief, right before being blown into bits. Marcos, for one, is definitely sleeping alone.