Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

24 Day 4 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

A Review

I'm beginning to worry about El Presidente. I wonder if he is a psychotic airplane buff, and he ordered the Oval Office to be rebuilt and transformed into a copy of Air Force One. Because, he is *still* flying around somewhere. Forget the nuclear threats. Let's have CTU start looking for the President.

A nice little scene in Tony's vehicle. The surreptitious call to the SecDef was handled well. And while in the vehicle, the writers get us up to date on Tony. He was pardoned, and Michelle has left him. As was mentioned, seems a little harsh. Tony did go through all that to save Michelle.

I wonder what the government's real plans are for evacuations in emergencies like this. El Presidente goes on the air and basically starts a mass panic in these six cities. You think the roads are bad in metro areas during a normal rush hour. Let's see what happens when everyone and their dog is trying to get out of town quickly.

The Mummy wants to handle the Override himself. Which brings me to yet another thing that has my eyeballs sproinging out of my head. The Override was described as a prototype. Pause. A PROTOTYPE???? Then why in the name of all that is good and holy are *all* the reactors in the country already set up to respond to it? If it is something that is being tested, why not just one reactor? In software development, the usual practice is to have three different systems, one for development, one for test, and one for production. You begin work in your development sandbox, then move to test, and when all looks good, then and only then do you move things to your production environment. This sounds like they developed one thing and threw everything into production right away. Smart. Real smart.

Pa assures that his wife and son will be dead soon. Fair enough, as Pa will be dead soon as well for horsing things up so badly. Speaking of wife and son, Ma's bullet wound is in great need of attention. I forget how the baddies planned to monitor all of the emergency rooms in all of LA. It surely wasn't something they hadn't planned on, and it would take enormous resources to do. Indeed, as it turns out, Marwan and Company apparently had no inkling Ma and Beiruts went to this hospital.

The doctor there wasn't buying the rusty nail bit, to his credit. And as they are required to do in all cop shows, the doctor calls the authorities to inform them a patient came in with a bullet wound. A police car drives by the front of the hospital, a policeman is even mere steps away from the emergency room. Yet, they are no match for Beiruts and his special Dematerialize Enemy skills. Because, he and Ma just waltz straight out of the hospital, bloody arm and shirt and all, and no cop is in sight. They are left to flounder around outside as they watch Beiruts drive off. Sigh. But wait, there are some even more spectacular conveniences to come.

Back at Mole Central, Marianne is getting nervous, but Powell orders her to stay. I finally made the connection that the guy Audrey saw at the warehouse is the same guy Marianne talks to on the cell phone. Just a little slow on the uptake am I.

I loved how, as Marianne walked to the CTU ladies room (scene of many a scene, erp, over the years) she asked someone named Jackie to monitor something for her. Jackie chirpily said "Sure!" Jackie should have said "Um, who the snot are you? You're that temp, aren't you? I've worked here for years, no idea who you are. Why should I do anything for you? What are you doing here anyway?"

Now, after four years of screaming at the TV for CTU to do just this, Heller launches a plan to have the DoD monitor communications out of the building. Pause again. Why oh why isn't this standard CTU practice, especially in a crisis? With their experience with moles in the past, when the moles all but stood at the window and used semaphore to signal their contacts, CTU ought to be a little wary of the way anyone can just up and call out with no one knowing about it. In any case, Operation Whack-a-Mole is launched.

We finally get to Tony's house, and we get some wonderful character moments here. I loved Tony's little line about the neighbor's dog liking his yard. Inside, we see Tony is now shacked up with some skanky barmaid. Tony has fallen on hard times, apparently. He makes a comment to Jack "Haven't you kept me from watching enough TV by now?" But, uh, at that point it had only been 30 minutes since Jack first called him. Is Tony so far gone that he can't be away from his Spanish soccer broadcasts for even that long?

Tony is still has some m@d h@cker computer equipment though. Jack and Audrey use it to ID Powell, and even send the image to DoD for further identification. Tony, dude, why can't you get a job? Your computer skills should help you go far in this world. (Precious moment: When Barmaid says to Jack, "I have a job. He (Tony) doesn't". OUCH!)

Meanwhile, at Mole Central, Marianne somehow manages to frame Sarah by sending something to her computer over the AC power lines. Erp. Let's not dwell on this for very long. If you try to figure out how that was done, you'll only get a very big headache. (You can transmit signals over power lines, but how you then get connected to Sarah's hard drive so you can actually write something there, that's another story.)

Which brings us to the saddest moment in the episode. CTU has now turned into Gestapo HQ. CTU thinks Sarah is the mole, and after only a couple question, we see one of 24's favorite memes. A nattily dressed guy with a shiny little case comes into the room. And proceeds to taser poor sweet little Sarah. Good heavens. Driscoll makes a comment about learning her lesson, and doesn't have time to mess around with Sarah. Not clear what that was referring to exactly. If she meant Stoner, well, yes, they did have him hooked up to the Mind Defragmentizer for nearly three hours with no results. And they just let him go. But, I'm not sure if the lesson was they should've tasered him first thing to save some time or what.

Heller tells Jack the mole has been whacked, and they all immediately just assume there was only one mole, so they start broadcasting all their plans and locations in the clear. Perhaps not the wisest assumption, but they get away with it.

DoD quickly comes back with an ID on Powell, and, conveniently, they already figured out that he is going be catching a helicopter flight within minutes. The helo is in Van Nuys, which in the northern part of the vast LA metro area. But of course, Jack gets there within minutes.

Tony tags along for the ride, armed. There must be a hundred and ten laws being broken here, an armed, private citizen, ex-con, assisting in a federal operation? But off they go.

Powell pulls a gun on the pilot when the pilot says the flight has been ordered grounded. Not clear how this works though. If he actually does shoot the pilot, Powell isn't going anywhere. Of course, the pilot is not keen on getting shot just to prove the point, so they prepare to leave.

Jack comes sneaking up, nabs Powell, and then occurs one of the most ridiculous things ever seen on 24. A sniper just pops up out of nowhere, kills Powell, and disappears. What is that?? What is THAT?!?!? You can't do that. That's cheating of the first magnitude. How convenient that Powell is no longer to talk. Why not just have King HuggaHugga of the Space Puppies beam down and kill Powell with his Death Laser? Makes about as much sense, and just as convenient. Poor writing, just poor shoddy writing. Are we to believe a sniper was positioned there just in case Powell didn't get off the ground. If he was to silence Powell, why didn't the sniper shoot long before Powell got in the helo? No sense at all.

Back at Gestapo HQ, we have a 24 first. A Gestapo HQ employee actually gets a little suspicious and takes the initiative to investigate a security threat. Go Edgar! Marianne is nailed, and seeing her nervously chew her nails just about makes all the silliness worthwhile. She bolts. (Of course, CTU being what it is, she just waltzes straight out the door to her car in the parking lot without passing a single guard.)

Curtis catches her at her car, starts to walk her back inside, when her car EXPLODES!!!! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!??! Did someone rig her car to explode to silence her? That's the quietest way they could think of, to blow up a car in CTU's parking lot? The scene ends with Marianne apparently knocked out by the blast, though Curtis doesn't have a scratch on him. I'll tell you right here and now, if Marianne is conveniently dead so she can't talk, I will seriously think about never watching the show again. This show has done jumped over the shark. It's not only over the shark, it's in orbit. Sigh.

Well. Our intrepid heroes are really in the soup. Their leads to find the Flux Capacitor are rapidly dwindling. Indeed, from the previews (which always give away too much) at least one the reactors might actually melt down next week. With grave consequences I'm sure.

(A relatively body free episode. Just the two hapless red shirts at Marianne's car and Powell. However, if a reactor melts down next week, I'm going to have to upgrade my counter, and add a few digits.)

Approximate Body Count: 75

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