Tag: Brian Hastings (Page 2 of 5)

24 8.18: What price paradise

Nickname change: President Buck Buck Brawwwwwwwwk will now be referred to by his original nickname of President I.M. Weasel. Because holy fuck, man, he is the sleaziest character this show has ever seen.

The thing is, I actually loved his scene with Novakovich, where he put the ambassador over a barrel and said, “Get back to the table, or you’re done.” It was vintage Charles Logan, done with a nod and that greasy half-smile of his. However, now that Jack Bauer nearly blew the lid off of everything using good old-fashioned detective work – with no small amount of intimidation – we learn that Logan’s plan, in full, was as follows:

1) Blackmail the Russian government into accepting the treaty
2) Tell President Taylor nothing about how he persuaded them to change their minds
3) Hope that his secret never gets out

Huh. I’m not sure he thought this through.


“So can you actually feel the weasel rays I give off when I’m this close?” “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my soul screaming.”

He didn’t consider that Dalia might find out on her own who killed Slumdog. He didn’t consider the fact that the Russians may sign this peace accord but they’ll never honor it, and eventually the truth about its bloody origin will spill. Lastly, he didn’t consider the one-man wrecking crew that is Jack Bauer, who was able to spoil his plan as soon as he hatched it. And since Logan kinda has a thing about Jack, what with Jack destroying his Presidency and all, he completely lost his objectivity when it came to silencing him. You’d think that Madame President would have noticed Logan foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog whenever he said Bauer’s name, since she has a much different relationship with Jack than Logan does – on account of being a good, honest person – and yet, she didn’t. And worse, she’s acquiescing to Logan’s suggestion that they continue with the treaty, even though Dalia Hassan will soon be sitting across the table from the people who killed her husband.

I call shenanigans. Allison Taylor would never, ever do that.

The nanosecond I.M. Weasel mentioned the Russian government’s involvement, the regular Allison Taylor, the one we saw every other week – the one who sent her own daughter to prison – would have sent Logan out on his ass. He says he recently became aware of their involvement, but who knows if that’s true? He wants to get back in the political game, and since his first step in achieving that goal was to blackmail the Russian ambassador to the UN (!), it’s clear that he cannot be trusted. That he’s trying to muzzle the best damn agent CTU has ever had should have been the smoking gun that he’s up to no good. And yet, Madame President went along with it. The one with the straightest moral compass of anyone on the show bought what Charles Logan, Charles fucking Logan, was selling. You have to think that Cherry Jones saw the script that day and said, “Oh, fuck me. I’m getting a lobotomy.”

And then Keifer Sutherland calmed her down by saying, “It’s all right, I’m getting one, too. I hijack a helicopter at the end of the hour.”

Look, I know that when Jack is all out of bubble gum, there is little stopping him. (“They Live,” holler.) But hijacking a helicopter? Do you know how easy it will be to spin that story to the public after they shoot him down? “Longtime dedicated Federal Agent, stricken with grief over the death of his Agent girlfriend, decided the Russians were responsible for her untimely demise. Film at 11.” No one will ask questions. His funeral party will consist of Kim and Chloe. Everyone else who ever cared about him is dead. Survived by daughter Kim, granddaughter Teri, and illegitimate son Jack-Jack.

At least they didn’t insist that Chloe lose her mind along with Jack. She warned him that she’d have to call in an air strike, and call in an air strike she did. Jack, wisely, flew straight to Manhattan, knowing that they wouldn’t dare risk shooting him down over New York. Still, there had to be a better way to get him back in play. Ooh, here’s an idea: how about keeping him in play? There are six hours left. It’s a sliver of time in the show’s history, but it’s an awfully long time for people to act completely out of character in order to service a bad plot idea. I don’t want to see “24” limp to the finish line again. Not on its final time around the track.

Tonight’s blog title comes courtesy of another mid-’80s English wuss rock band. What Price Paradise was the 1986 album by China Crisis, and is in tribute to Madame President selling her integrity down the river for disgraced former President I.M. Weasel. (I was thinking of using the Pretenders song “How Much Did You Get for Your Soul,” but my wife hates Chrissie Hynde.) She knew about the ‘disgraced’ part, right? Of course she did. So why did she go along with it, again? In the real world, both he and his weasel assistant receive a polite ‘no’ in response to their offer of assistance, and then their houses are burned to the ground while they sleep. Here’s hoping she gets a chance to right this wrong. Until then, I will refer to her not by the customary Madame President but by her first name, in order to show my contempt for the decisions she made this hour. As a bonus, I’ve included a link to the best fight scene in movie history, one so awesome that Trey Parker and Matt Stone re-created it shot for shot with two cripples. Enjoy!

24 8.17: Bury my lovely…again


Someone damaged Renee Walker’s perfect breasts.

Two weeks ago, I said:

I was sure that Jackie was going to get picked off though, but it’s too soon for a dramatic death scene like that. That one comes in Hour 23. Book it, Dan-O.

This week, I get punched in the face. Actually, this was worse than a punch to the face – it was a full-scale mugging. My beloved Crazy Jackie, picked off by some douchenozzle Russian hit man. These guys haven’t meant shit to the plot for half the season, and now the Russians are suddenly the phantom menace. Fuck that.

Can you tell I’m unhappy about the latest development?


“I’ve lived a full life, and these are the eyes/breasts that I want you to remember.”

Look, I knew that Jackie would die shortly after a moment of bliss with Jack (did anyone else notice that her hollow, raccoon eyes suddenly looked perfect for their big kiss?), and it stands to reason that the Russian mob would be the ones pulling the trigger. But now? You kill my favorite character on the show with six hours left and leave me with President Buck Buck Brawwwwwwk as a replacement? I’m sorry, but those terms are unacceptable to me. Maybe they knew that killing her in the final hours would be too predictable, so they offed her now. That’s a logical play but also a shortsighted one, because now they’ve only pissed people off by killing her now; I think noted philosopher Eddie Murphy said it best when he said, “Ha ha, very funny, muthafucka.” Thank God they didn’t subject Agent Aaron “Old Yeller” Pierce to a similar fate, that’s all I’m saying.

So yes, the Russians are in deep with this whole thing in ways we couldn’t anticipate. In the early hours, it was merely some criminal kingpins profiting off the IRK’s instability, but now it looks as though Mother Russia has a vested interest in it as well. And the only hope of getting the Russians to sign the peace treaty is…Charles Logan? Hell, he was as dead as Tony Almeida last we saw him. He conspired with the Russians to have David Palmer killed, for God’s sake. He’s your Hail Mary? Madame President finished their chat by saying something along the lines of “I better not be wrong about you,” but has Logan ever been sleazier than he was in those few minutes? There are six hours left, which means no good can come from this, except possibly killing Logan once and for all.

While we’re discussing outrageous predictions, though, I did get this one right:

… [it] makes me wonder if Chloe is next in line to run CTU. She may still have that personality disorder, as Big Balls Bill Buchanan (RIP) once said, but she also has a good sense of right and wrong…”

Wow. I thought they were saving that one for the movie. And as soon as she inherited the crown, Chloe proved her worth by moving up the toxicology report of former terrorist mastermind Samir – did anyone else know that he was one of the guys that Jack shot when trying to save Slumdog President? Why on earth would he stay behind? – and confirming her suspicion that he was poisoned. Better call Jack and let him know what happened. “Oh hey, Renee…”

Fuck. Still not over her death yet.

An amusing Fox crossover moment came during Madame President’s scene with Logan, as his executive assistant is played by Reed Diamond, a.k.a. Dominic from “Dollhouse.” He was sent to the Attic on that show for betraying the director of the dollhouse, and he’s serving President Buck Buck Brawwwwwk here. Just throwing that out there.

So Crazy Jackie’s dead, and Chloe’s in charge of CTU. Logan’s in play, and Starbuck still hasn’t given them a lead. (Apparently my death-by-hate-fucking idea from last week was rejected.) I may not agree with the decisions the show is making, but give them this: they’re making things a lot more interesting now that they know they can play dirty. Still, damn, man. Not Jackie. Not now. This is the most heartbreaking death in the show’s history for me. Jackie is also the second character to receive two ceremonial silent clock ticks, one for her faked death in Hour 5 last year, and another for her much more real death tonight. You will be sorely missed, Renee/Crazy Jackie. And because you’re so special, your death merits two songs: the one that I referenced in the title, and one using your Christian name. (*wipes tear*)

24 8.15-16: I would die 4 U

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I’m writing this while hopped up on Oxycodone. And let me tell you, it’s awesome. The only catch is that the line between sleepy bliss and blinding pain is a thin one. So here goes nothing. If my writing goes off the rails…it’ll look like every other week! (*rim shot*)

Starbuck has finally been found out, and her demand to deal only with Jack struck me as curious, given his talents for persuading people to talk. You could tell by the way that she made the demand that she’s following orders, and that her employers have experience with him. I’ll still hold on to Alan Wilson as a possibility, and God help them if they hold Kim and her daughter hostage as a last resort. After the things that happened tonight, that would totally suck to have it undone by Kim, again.

Man, Samir’s people can act fast, can’t they? He’s a dozen blocks away from driving into an ambush, and is able to get the call from Starbuck and relay that information to the drop car in time to get into the one place they can make the switch. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but…it’s a hell of a thing, don’t you think?


Pity you didn’t get to die with your boots on, Slumdog.

Let’s get straight to the ending, shall we? While I don’t like seeing good guys die, it was nice to see “24” finally act like a show that has nothing to lose. Because hey, let’s face it, they don’t have anything to lose, so why not kill Slumdog President? And the thing is, from the moment Jack broke into that apartment, I had a bad feeling. I knew that their audio wizard had picked up an internet broadcast of Samir rather than Samir in the flesh, but I thought that it would turn out to be the wrong room, not the right room but much too late. Oh well, same result either way, I guess: Slumdog’s dead. Long live Slumdog.

So now what?

All of Samir’s men are dead, or close to it. He has no nuclear rods, and he’s killed the President. We have eight hours left, and nothing to play for. Starbuck’s deal was only good if they recovered Slumdog alive. Since that didn’t happen, I’d quit negotiating with her and put her alone in a windowless room with Buffy so he can hate fuck her to death. The Russians and President Buck Buck Brawwwwwwk look as though they’re being put in play, but it seems too little too late. I’m dying to hear the explanation for why Logan’s not dead though, since the last time we saw him, he was flatlining in the back of an ambulance.

All right, the meds are wearing off. It’s time to wrap this up. I usually finish with a video, but Prince is a right bastard about YouTube. See you next week, and hopefully this drug stuff is far behind me.

24 8.14: Our time is running out

And it’s official: this will be the last season of Premium Hollywood’s “24” blog.

Did you like how I made Fox’s decision to kill the show all about me?

Truth be told, I’m relieved. Ask anyone who blogs about a show and they will tell you that the single-best way to ruin a show for someone is to write about it. Even really good shows like “Lost” get exhausting after a while (biggest, mythology, ever), but “24,” frankly, has been spinning its wheels for years now, and I know that my frustration with the show reflected in my writing. I really did try to make this as entertaining as possible, but that can be difficult when all you want to do is say “Fuck this show,” and hit Publish.

Now that I know it’s over (ooh, another potential blog title), though, I plan to have as much fun watching this show as possible, even if Starbuck is the sorriest excuse for a mole in TV history. And fingers crossed that I get another interview with Annie “Crazy Jackie” Wersching before they call it a day.


Insert your own gun joke here.

I am always amused at how cavalier TV politicians are about committing high treason. (There’s a Karl Rove joke in there somewhere, but…nah.) We always knew Weiss was a weasel, but not even I thought that he would sell out Madame President like that, especially after that rousing speech she gave when the cabinet members actually entertained the idea of giving up Slumdog in order to stop the bomb. That was worthy of the piece on Presidential speeches that our own Will Harris assembled earlier this year. Say this for the lack of screen time Cherry Jones has suffered this year – when she is on screen, at least they give her good stuff…

…though in return for that good stuff, they have her assign the nation’s best field agent with the menial task of escorting Slumdog President and family out of the blast range. Of course, it turned out to be a very good thing that he was there, or they’d all be dead. Two firestorms in two weeks! Wheeeeee! Actually, I liked seeing Jack go all Call of Duty on General Brucker’s goons, picking them off in the smoke screen like fish in a barrel. (That general has a great agent though, as he has made memorable appearances in “Fringe” and “Damages” before appearing here.) I was sure that Jackie was going to get picked off though, but it’s too soon for a dramatic death scene like that. That one comes in Hour 23. Book it, Dan-O.

Now that we know that Starbuck is a terrorist, isn’t it curious how Samir is suddenly ringing her phone like it’s Booty Call Hour? Was she really not communicating with him up to this point? You have to think that he needed a thing or two from her before she killed Jimmy James, and either way, how conspicuous is she that they’re in a crisis and she’s constantly on her cell? Especially when – this just occurred to me – her phone was blasted in the EMP? She must have sent Samir a text message with the new number of the replacement phone NSA handed her. Or not; maybe they thought we wouldn’t notice. Silly, silly show runners.

Starbuck did say something interesting during one of the calls, though. It’s clear that there is no real relationship between Samir and Starbuck, and that this is a reluctant business arrangement on her part to help him. So who is it that she answers to? Who would be interested in recruiting a young, attractive female with a criminal past for a position of vast interest to national security? If they’re American, that would explain how “Dana” has been able to escape detection up to this point. God, this couldn’t be the makings of a perfect storm of sleaze, could it? Remember who’s making a late appearance before the final clock tick? Three words: Buck buck brawwwwwwwwk!

But nah, that’s too easy. There is no way an ex-President could get involved with something like that…right? Tony Almeida’s behind bars, so he couldn’t be the phantom menace, as it were…but Alan Wilson could be. His story is still unresolved; all we know is that Jackie nearly tortured him to death at the end of Day 7. Maybe his lawyers secured some kind of pardon for his troubles, and now he’s trying to secure more work for his defense contractors by executing another attack on US soil. It makes sense on paper, but that is usually the best indication that the show has other plans.

Lastly, let’s discuss poor, poor Tarin, who was forced to assume the role of the delivery driver for the bomb. This is surely a test on Samir’s part, since he has unofficially questioned Tarin’s commitment to the cause from the moment he expressed regret for getting Princess Jasmine involved. Tarin activates the ticking clock within the ticking clock, with a pained expression that said, “I am far too handsome to die like this.” Doesn’t he have 42 virgins waiting for him in the afterlife? Hey, no one wants to die, but dude, you’re a terrorist. You had to know that this moment was coming.

Which brings us to our song of the week, by my beloved Muse. Time is indeed running out for both Madame President and the show as a whole. The show’s producers seem to be excited about flipping the franchise into a feature film property, but I don’t know how that’s possible without massive commercial breaks. I remember when Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken tried that in the ’90s with “Nick of Time.” Didn’t work out too well. But on the plus side, maybe they’ll cut out all that useless stuff like Mare Winningham and her closeted terrorist son. That can only be a good thing, right?

24 8.13: And if you don’t look now, then you’re gonna get Starbucked

Well, how about that: I get to use this title after all.

Some of you may recall that I wanted to use this title for an episode, any episode, and after Buffy iced Kevin and his psycho dirtbag friend in Hour 9, I figured that was my last chance, and Starbuck would go back to being the sniveling sissypants we’ve grown to loathe.


I have to say, I did not see this coming. Of course, I feel like I should have, since her story line was beginning to run out of juice, but I never suspected that our small-time juvee felon would go so far over to the dark side. Let’s flash back to the moment where she’s tailed Kevin and dirtbag back to the lake. We thought she was unsure about what she wanted to do next. In retrospect, dirtbag is probably lucky that Buffy pulled the trigger.

What would be a neat touch is if we now caught a “Usual Suspects”-style glimpse of all of the strings she was pulling up to the moment where she strangled Jimmy James to death and stuffed him behind the paneling in Holding Room #2. (The stink will give her away eventually, yes?) Maybe there is security preventing people from entering the CTU tunnel, and Starbuck was the one that cleared Princess Jasmine’s entrance. Heck, maybe she remotely activated the EMP’s timer once the car came into range, since we’re still not sure of the weight-sensitive detonation theory espoused in last week’s comment section. Maybe she taught the snipers at the river how to jam the cell phone frequencies. But we’ll never see any of that, because of the show’s real-time format. Pity. We might learn all of those things – or none of them – but it won’t have that same punch as the ‘Verbal straightens out his foot’ shot. Damn it. (*takes drink, per “24” drinking game rules*)

I was about to say that CTU’s facial recognition software was going to play a part in identifying Starbuck as a terrorist sympathizer (if you can call them sympathetic), but something just hit me: ten bucks says she’s in that file of anti-IRK rebels that President Slumdog was supposed to hand over in the previous hour. We were led to believe CTU scanned through them all on the big screen, but perhaps not. We may not get our “Usual Suspects” moment, but there’s a good chance we’ll get our “No Way Out” moment, and soon. One thing’s for sure, and it is in stark contrast to my prediction of a noble death for poor Jenny: her story ends with Buffy pulling the trigger…but does she take out one of Bullz-Eye’s TV girlfriends (Chloe or Crazy Jackie) before she takes her last breath? You know my thoughts on Jackie’s life expectancy, so she’s the odds-on favorite. But there are times when I hate being right, and this is one of them.


“I’m sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. When I said, ‘I’m really busy right now,’ I meant, ‘Bitch, I will cut you.'”

Lastly, I think we all owe Katee Sackhoff a formal apology for questioning her decision to take the role of Dana Walsh. She clearly knew something that we didn’t, and we should have given her the benefit of the doubt for making this her next role after “BSG.” In our defense, Ms. Sackhoff, you didn’t make it easy for us at first. Still, we said some things, and for that, we’re sorry.

Chloe, meanwhile, grows a pair so big she’ll need a wheelbarrow to carry them in, pulling a gun on an NSA engineer and telling him to step tha fuck off as she throws a Hail Mary in order to get coms up and save Jack. (Of course, Starbuck thought Chloe’s idea was a bad one, because she needed those servers down for as long as possible.) Bubba is now forever in her debt – her reply of “I’m not good with praise” would have produced a spit take, had I been drinking anything when she said it – which makes me wonder if Chloe is next in line to run CTU. She may still have that personality disorder, as Big Balls Bill Buchanan (RIP) once said, but she also has a good sense of right and wrong, and she knows that Jack is impervious to bullets…

…unless Fox cancels the show, a story that has been making the rounds lately due to the show’s increased budget and decreased ratings. Another rumor has the show relocating to NBC, and while they could use a show like “24,” I just don’t see a fit there. Maybe it’s a grudge fuck for Fox supposedly in talks to land Conan O’Brien. Either way, “24” will forever be a Fox show to me.

Speaking of Jack’s imperviousness, he and Buffy were in a shootout at the East River with a couple of red shirts that pulled a trick from Scott Smith’s book “The Ruins.” A character is on death’s door, but the vines leave him there to suffer, in order to force his girlfriend put him out of his misery. (Forget the movie – the book’s awesome. Brutal, but awesome.) Here, when one of the characters pulls what I call a Hudson (“Aliens” fans just nodded knowingly) and lies in the open, the snipers pull the brutally effective stunt of shooting Hudson repeatedly in order to flush their enemies out in an emotional rage. Both were exercises in mental torture, and both worked. Good thing that Jack and Buffy had a silent partner, one they didn’t even know about: Crazy Jackie, who comes out guns a-blazing in both the literal and euphemistic sense. Man, how did I not notice how, um, talented Jackie was last season? Damn things are just screaming at me now. And knowing that she will surely die before season’s end, I’m reminded of Cary Elwes’ great line in “The Princess Bride”: “‘Tis a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It’d be a pity to damage yours.”

Can’t think of a better ‘out’ line than that. See you next week! Once again, I give you the song “Starbucked” by the UK band Bond. You want to know how forgotten this band is? Not even the last.fm page that’s hosting this track has the album title right. It’s Bang Out of Order, not Band Out of Order. And there are over 90 copies available for a mere penny on Amazon. Click here to buy!

Bond – Starbucked

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