Tag: 24 Season 8 (Page 4 of 5)

24 8.7: Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you

I was tempted to go with one of two songs for tonight’s episode. The runner-up to the Nirvana lyric above was Garbage’s “Stupid Girl,” in reference to the subplot where Starbuck lets her hilljack ex-con lover and his troglodyte friend loose in an evidence warehouse…but it didn’t seem emphatic enough. No, for that to be the lead, I needed a song with a title along the lines of “You Are the Dumbest Motherfuckers in the History of Dumb Motherfuckers,” and a quick check of my iTunes library reveals nothing that has both ‘dumb’ and ‘motherfucker’ in it. I am clearly listening to the wrong bands.

Slumdog President is fast becoming my second-favorite character on the show this season (though he’s admittedly a distant, distant second to Renee Walker). He was smoove like Wilt Chamberlain – take that any way you like – when the peace accord was about to be signed, but Jason Schwartzman’s betrayal has evidently shaken him to the core…or has it? That’s the beauty, if you want to call it that, of this show; we only know what we’ve seen, so we have no way of determining Slumdog’s next move, since we don’t know really know him at all. On the surface, the sudden paranoia and ruthlessness is in stark contrast to his affability in the first two hours. But who knows, maybe the reason he’s so shaken is because he thought he and Jason Schwartzman were on the same page, only to discover that little brother was much more hardcore than he ever knew.

Speaking of Jason Schwartzman and hardcore, he has now been screwing those two hookers for three hours. Good on ya, mate.

If you take a step back, you have to wonder how Vladimir Guerrero didn’t see that he had been set up for failure six years ago when Jackie first entered his life. She’s suddenly back, and she has this “German” partner who speaks perfect English, and would you look at that, he wants to buy uranium rods, something totally out of Vladimir’s league. Could you make some calls, for old time’s sake? Even funnier that he thought that any of these Russian godfathers would actually tell him over a cell phone, “Why yes, I do have some enriched uranium rods. Why do you ask?” I’m no small-time gangster, but if I were, I would not be making awkward phone calls late at night to guys who could erase my entire family tree in 24 hours. Just sayin’, it would be bad for business.


“What’s my sign? ‘Out of order.'”

Ah, but Crazy Jackie has Vladimir’s number, and when that happens, you can throw all logic out the window. (Trust me on this, I speak from experience.) And if you didn’t already know that the producers of “24” are expecting their audience to suspend a certain amount of disbelief, you sure as hell did after tonight’s episode, where Jackie, having just filleted Vladimir with a bread knife (knew that was making a callback), accidentally stabs Jack in the stomach during her fit of rage. Jack falls to the ground, but still has his wits and faculties enough to throw the bread knife at Vladimir’s suspicious right-hand man…and stab him perfectly in the neck, killing him instantly. Gales of laughter came from the “24” blog headquarters when that happened. “Thank you, Senor MacGyver. You saved our village.” “Don’t thank me. Thank the moon’s gravitational pull.” Both are equally as likely to actually happen.

Oh, and apparently Jackie’s stabbing of Jack was just a flesh wound. Whew. (*slaps forehead*)

Finally, let’s get to Starbuck and her dumb, dumb, super-fucking dumbass plan to send Kevin on his way by giving him access to an warehouse filled with evidence lockers. Oh noes! Kevin’s even dumber buddy – don’t be surprised if they reveal that he’s illiterate – is going to mess everything up by poking around in the cell to look for more bling, and when we revisit them, he’s trashed the place like a toddler in a toy store…and the supposedly street-smart Kevin allowed it to happen. In the name of “South Park” character Jimmy, “C-C-C’mon, fellas.” For those of you who have been reading these rants since the season premiere, you know that I’ve been begging Starbuck to come clean for weeks now. She had everything in her favor then. Now, not so much, especially since Shoeless Joe beat down a cop with a baseball bat. Ugh, Dumb, mother, fuckers.

If there was a positive note to tonight’s episode, it was that Wolfhausen’s minions brought Jack through sewer tunnels as a means of evading government surveillance. That was a nice callback to when Jack called the Russians a dirty people in the previous hour. I guess they showed him.

All right, let’s get to the tune. I think it’s incredible what Dave Grohl has done in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death, but damn, man, what I would give for one more Nirvana album.

24 8.6: Someone told me nothing happened today

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.


“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

24 8.5: Girl I wanna shake you down

For those playing the “24” drinking game, the ‘damn it’ counter hit four tonight, and if you have a ‘We don’t have time, Chloe!’ rule, that makes five. Whew, I’m feeling funny. Kidding, of course. I wait until the episode’s over before I start drinking. It helps me keep from crying as I write these recaps.

Imagine leaving work in the middle of a crisis, without telling anyone but one of your subordinates. You’d get fired, right? Now imagine that you’re an ex-con who’s secured a sweet government job using an alias, and you’re leaving work because another ex-con (and a violent one at that) has come for payback, and is leveraging your secret past in order to make a Big Score. Is there any chance that you’re leaving work, the safest place in the world for you to be right now? Hell, no. Kevin’s game is a giant bluff, and as an ex-con, Starbuck has to know that. Call it now girl, because no good will come from trying to make him disappear. Guys like that, they don’t disappear. It’s like feeding a cat.

The way I see it, if the worst thing that happens to Starbuck is that she loses her job – and her relationship with Buffy will surely be collateral damage in the fallout – but she’s able to keep herself out of jail while getting Kevin locked away for a laundry list of charges ranging from assault and battery to blackmail, she should consider herself fortunate. Besides, if she came clean to Buffy right now and told him everything, don’t you think that he’d still want to protect her? Damn right, he would. “There’s a violent con in my apartment, sweetie.” Buffy brings a team of goons with him, they bag Kevin and his loser friend, take them to CTU, and make them squeal like pigs.

Instead, she’s going to compromise CTU, just like Samwise Gamgee did. Fugh. And you know what the ‘F’ stands for.


“You did time in juvee? Is it wrong of me to be incredibly turned on right now?”

But here’s the big question: CTU has facial recognition software, which they use to identify known felons. If they put her picture in there, wouldn’t her criminal record as Jenny Scott show up? When your job involves counterterrorism, I’d make damn sure I had no ex-cons in my house. Just sayin’.

Meanwhile, Jason Schwartzman (formerly known as George Harrison. Hey, the nickname is too good not to use, even if I didn’t think of it) spends the entire hour in the company of two escorts. Niiiiiiiiice.

I liked the exchange between Slumdog President and Madame President, because both sides had valid points. Slumdog would indeed be toast if he didn’t make an example of those who tried to depose him, while Madame Prez has every right to pull out of the deal since, hey, she’s the big dog in this arrangement. We’ll see where it goes from here.

But for the love of God, please end this ‘save my dying brother’ subplot at once. This is worse than the Starbuck subplot, not to mention the basic idea is ripped straight from the first “Saw.” Do we need to change Sark’s nickname to Jigsaw? Also, isn’t it dangerous to be around someone who’s dying of radiation poisoning? The best answer I can find on the web is ‘maybe,’ but if it’s me, I’m giving anyone with radiation poisoning a wide berth. Even my brother. Sorry, Steve.

Last but certainly not least is the damaged little flower that is Jacqueline Bauer. She willingly goes undercover in order to earn the trust of Vladimir Guerrero (nickname pending), despite the fact that he was obsessed with her and, well, had an unfortunate tendency of hurting her, let’s put it that way. Crazy Jackie clearly has a death wish, and that is why she is going to be the most interesting character to watch this season, bar none. She even stares down Vlad as he’s about to shoot her in the head and dump her in the river…and begs him for the privilege. And I don’t think that was an act. It may have served as a brilliant stalling tactic, but from here, Jackie has one more sunrise in her future, if that.

On a lighter note, watching Jack follow the action, instead of leading it, made me think of Tom Arnold in “True Lies.” “You know what? I’m sick of being in the van. You guys are going to be in the van next time. I’ve been in the van for 15 years, Harry.” For the first time in ages, Jack is in the van. I have to admit, it’s a nice change of pace.

All right, Gregory Abbott, take us home. Baby.

24 8.3-4: Baby, did you forget to take your meds?

George Harrison: “Hey guys, don’t mind me. I’m just going to slip behind this pillar to make a private phone call right in the middle of an emergency evacuation.”
Moscow Mike: “Hey guys, don’t mind me. I’m just going to speak on the phone in my native Russian accent shortly after replacing another cop on U.N. security detail.”


Seriously, have these people heard of text messaging? Are they worried about lingering evidence? If you’re willing to call an assassin on your phone, there’s no reason to be bashful about texting. It would have looked a lot less conspicuous for both parties. “Slumdog in 3rd car. Make boom boom.” Problem solved, and he wouldn’t have to hide behind a pillar to do it.

All right, Rule #1 for home invasions: if someone is willing to shoot your wife in the leg as the first step in the “I’m not fucking around” dance that captors and hostages take, you can safely assume that neither you nor your wife is going to live through said encounter. So why not die with your boots on? I understand the cop’s desire to protect his now-crippled wife, but he lost me the second that the phone rang, and Moscow Mike looked away to the phone…and the cop didn’t take Mike’s gun and shoot him with it. He had a good second and a half. That may not sound like much, but in TV time, it’s an eternity. It goes even slower for the viewers. Any cop worth a damn would have made a move for the gun.

Which is why, while I knew that Buffy was putting his life in grave danger by entering that evacuated building looking for Moscow Mike – and sure enough, Mike got the drop on him, but inexplicably did not shoot him in the head on sight – I was thrilled to see Buffy not make the same mistake as the cop in Queens. He knew he was doing to die either way, but if he had a chance to stop the assassin, it would be worth it. As it turned out, Jack was there to take Moscow Mike down, though I’m still a little perplexed how he was able to shoot Mike twice in the back without hitting Buffy. There were exit wounds in Mike’s chest, and from what I could tell, it looked as though any pass-through bullet would have gladly made a home in Buffy’s flesh. But still, major props to Buffy for being willing to die for the cause.

As for the vengeful cop that tied up Jack as retaliation for the dead cop and his wife: ha ha ha ha ha ha! I know you needed something to keep Jack from getting to Buffy sooner, but that was just silly. You know what would be a perfectly reasonable way to delay Jack from arriving somewhere on time? Traffic. New York has a lot of it, not that you would know from these first four episodes.


“You can tell from the state of my room that they let me out too soon.”

Holy fucking shit, what has happened with Jacqueline Bauer? She’s positively unhinged, pulling stunts that rival Jack at his most unstable. Remember when he shot the federal witness and cut off his head to use as currency to infiltrate a weapons gang? That actually pales in comparison to what Renee pulls here. Cutting off a guy’s thumb while he was still conscious? The girl has issues, to say the least…and I love it. It’s like Jack being partnered with himself – his dark, evil self. I’m sure we’ll reach a point where Jack has to pull a gun on Jacqueline and tell her she’s Gone Too Far. But for now, I am totally loving Crazy Jackie.

Likewise, I’m loving Slumdog President, too. He isn’t at all predictable, or perhaps more accurately, he’s not playing the stereotypical slimy politician game. Of course, we still have 20 hours to go, which means there are surely some skeletons that George Harrison will gladly hurl out of the closet in order to buy either time or leverage. I’m not sure what those skeletons would be worth to the Russians – they just want George’s money – but we’ll see. It’s nice to see David Anders, a.k.a. Sark from “Alias,” on the show. Hopefully he gets to do a little more than say “Yes, sir” to the big baddie.

Oh, and I love scenes of empty restaurants at 7:00. How very “Godfather” of them. And for the record, a guy stashed away in a meat locker with the sniffles is not irrefutable proof of the possession of nuclear weapons. What a gulli-bull.

On the Starbuck front, her blackmailer Kevin dropped a line about seven years of hard time. Did he do jail time for a crime that she committed? And even if he did, he’s the convicted felon, not her, and the law favors the innocent, or at the very least those without criminal records. One anonymous call to the police should take care of him, yes? I mean, if she’s willing to work for the government despite being an alleged fugitive, why would she be afraid of the police? And doesn’t he know how bad it looks that he’s been caught on security cameras shaking down a government employee? Just rat the guy out already. He’s wasting time.

Still, for all my complaining, I just love what they’re doing with Renee. It doesn’t speak well for her long-term well-being – I’m thinking she has a tollbooth and a hailstorm of Russian bullets in her future – but it’s good to see that Jack isn’t the only good guy that’s willing to be bad. How has he not proposed to her by now? She completes you, Jack.

As for the blog’s title, Placebo, take it away.

24 8.1-2: Fairytale of New York

Man in room: “Hi, my name’s Farhad.”
Rest of room: “Hi, Farhad.”
Man in room: “And I’m a villain.”

Hiding in plain sight: it’s the new twist ending.

From the moment they set up the white she-devil reporter Meredith (who, of course, is blonde) as the supposed inside person that will take out Slumdog President – they even had her doing the shifty-eyed thing, gawd – I’m thinking, “Nope, it’s the brother.” And that’s fine: there have been several transparent baddies in the past on “24.” But how many of them were revealed in the second hour? Seriously, we’re only two hours in, and we already know that Slumdog’s brother (official 24 blog nickname: George Harrison) has brought in the Russian hit man Davros (nickname still pending, though I’m leaning towards Moscow Mike, after watching him slip into New Yorkese without a moment’s hesitation when he took that cop and his wife hostage) to kill his brother, and he plans on using Slumdog’s indiscretions with said white she-devil as leverage to keep him in line. That’s usually a late reveal, isn’t it? They might spend the next 22 hours fleshing out the story in colorful ways, but I feel as though they’ve already played their biggest card.


Perhaps Slumdog’s wife is Sherry Palmer in disguise, and she’s the driving force behind George Harrison’s plot. The Hassans are as estranged a couple as you’re likely to find, so it’s safe to say that Slumdog’s death would not crush her. She was just a little too still, too calm. I don’t trust her any farther than I can throw her. And that’s good; the show could use another villainess along the lines of Sherry Palmer and the late, great Lady MacBeth that was Shohreh Aghdashloo. Does anyone have a better voice than Shohreh Aghdashloo? Seriously, they should make a computer program that enables people to speak like her. It would end war.


“I’m Jack Bauer.” “That’s nice. My wife kills vampires. You’re picking up the check.”

So let’s take a look at the fast-talking clowns that call themselves CTU New York. They’re led by two guys, CTU director Brian Hastings (nickname: Bubba) and ex-Marine Cole Ortiz (nickname: Buffy) who are clearly in over their heads. Their head systems analyst Dana Walsh (nickname: Starbuck) is hiding some shameful past that, from the looks of her country bumpkin blackmailer, might involve tube tops and pole dancing. Lastly Arlo Glass, the man in charge of the drones, or something, uses satellite feeds to spy on hot women (nickname: Merv the Perv). Stuck with these idiots is Chloe, who is having a hard time adapting to their “Minority Report” technology, but seems to be the only one who knows a trap when she sees one. The lack of field experience and instincts with this crew is galling. How many useful leads will Jack and Chloe have to provide before they’re deemed helpful?

Speaking of Chloe, I love Mary Lynn Rajskub as much as anyone, but she has been terrible so far, reading her lines like she has a plane to catch. There is no rhythm or real emotion behind what she says – it’s just chatter. Elisha Cuthbert, on the other hand, has turned in her best work yet in these first two hours. She also looks fabulous.

Madame President didn’t play too large a role in these first two hours, other than being the level-headed, middle-of-the-road President that we will never see in real life. Her new chief of staff Rob Weiss is a pushy little fucker though, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Ethan Kanin throw a roadblock or two his way.

For as much hype as the season premiere of “24” generates, this was not their best first step. Bad guys busting off shots in the middle of the street, but there are no witnesses. (It’s New York. Someone is always watching.) A compromised CTU employee, a la Samwise Gamgee from Season 5. On the plus side, the writers appear to be playing the ‘damn it’ drinking game again, so that’s fun. Still, hours three and four, to quote Hard-Fi, better do better than this.

And, in a new wrinkle to the 24 blog, I’m including a video to the song that inspired each week’s title. Take us home, Shane and Kirsty.

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