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, April 04, 2006

24 Day 5 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Aw, dang, the graphic violence warning won the NCAA tourney. I had Language and Suggestive Dialogue in the office pool.

The recaps show us Bierko trying to deal with customer service in the gas plant. We see Jack terrorizing Audrey. And lots of booms and fireworks as the Death Star explodes.

As we pop open a can of fresh, vacuum packed episode this week, Bill is staring at Google Earth.

Audrey was forgotten all about that whole torture thing, and is the voice of authority as she asks Curtis about Jack. Her hair and makeup are also remarkably composed, considering she looked like Carrie at the prom just a short time ago.

The fire and rescue team is already at the gas plant. Sigh. It's been no more than 4 minutes since the fireworks. I stopped being surprised by these things years ago.

Jack and Curtis rejoice that the gas was incinerated in the blast. Which makes me wonder. Was this the smartest plan for the terrorists? I mean, if the gas was going into homes, wouldn't it get burned up in the water heater, the stove, the fireplace, whatever? Well, it was a back-up plan after all. Perhaps Sgt. Bierko overlooked this in his haste.

What's this? Who could it be, striding out of the mist like a legend? Why, it's Jack! And he's got a sack of Bierko slung over his shoulder.

Audrey drops her head when she hears Jack is alive. Considering the way he just roughed her up, it's not clear if she's relieved or ticked off to hear that Jack survived.

Jack tells Curtis to get Bierko to CTU Medical. Well, Bierko's a dead man. The only question is how. Perhaps Old Doc Besson will accidentally knock a toaster into Bierko's bath.

Jack calls in. He says Henderson could not have planned all this. Henderson must be protecting someone important. Jack says "I'm scared."

We then cut to BOB. I suppose the juxtaposition is on purpose, to make us think BOB is the one Henderson is protecting.

Back at CTU, or should we start calling it HS, Karen is almost salivating at the prospect of taking over CTU. Why is she in such a hurry?

Miles, as unctuous as they come, suggests they smear Bill in an attempt to hurry things along.

Cut to who knows where. Henderson is there, talking to one of the bad guys. Bad Guy admits to letting Palmer escape. Buckaroo says they're going to a fall back position. Which, considering how elaborate the current back-up plan is, means they'll activate the agents put in place in government positions years ago. These agents, raised in the mountains of Idaho and hypnotically trained to bark like seals when a secret code word is uttered, will gather outside the White House and then be activated. As crowds gather to watch the strange sight, an agent will slip into the White House unseen and steal the nuclear launch codes. Henderson will launch a missile, but will detonate it at its highest point, thereby destroying a Russian TV satellite. The Russian people, unable to watch reruns of Seinfeld, will riot, and topple their government.

Aaron arrives at what the presidential retreat. He has a trunk full of Palmer. Comes in handy if you're stuck in ice and snow. A little Palmer under the wheels, and presto, instant traction and you can get out.

Wayne, shaking off all those explosions and concussions and bullets, tells Aaron that David had a source in the White House. It was... dum dumm dummmmmmmmm... Evelyn.

At this point, Evelyn walks in to talk to Martha, who apparently is hard at work performing her Chief Speechwriter duties. Evelyn says she drafted a letter to the families of the victims at the mall. Hmmm? I thought the cover story was that the mall was an accident.

And huh? Evelyn says she has to go home. Home? In LA? If she's the First Lady's assistant, isn't her home in Washington? So where is she going in LA?

(And recall, Walt Cummings's wife is also there. Is this White House wasting taxpayers dollars by flying family members all over creation on these business trips?)

Aaron and Wayne enter the retreat, and confront Evelyn. Wayne seems unnecessarily harsh with her. Wayne says he knows she was emailing David, and he traced the IP address to Evelyn's address. (Her home in LA? erp.) But, he also says the content of the messages was deleted. I'm not sure how you preserve the IPs emails came from, but still delete the email messages.

Evelyn then reveals this week's plot. Baddies have kidnapped her little girl. (So they brought Evelyn's daughter on this trip out to the West Coast too?) Evelyn will divulge what she knows about who is behind this plot only if they help her rescue her daughter. Aaron helpfully points out these baddies will kill them both once they get the information Evelyn has.

Going into the first commercial break, the clocks are at :12 to :12. But coming back, the clocks are at :16 to :15. Our universe is hanging in there by its fingernails.

In the split screens, Jack towels off. Getting blown up in a huge gas fireball is dirty business.

Chloe will start data mining. Ah, it's been weeks since we've heard that phrase, an early season favorite. I was beginning to miss it.

Karen says they are implementing a unit-wide backslash protocol, and Henderson remains an open protocol. Oooh, talk jargon to me, baby.

Wayne calls Jack (and has his cell number how?) and tells him about Evelyn. They arrange to meet in a barn off Service Road 19 in 20 minutes.

Miles pulls Audrey aside and has her read the letter he drafted, blaming all of the world's problems on Bill. Miles is practically dripping petroleum he is so oily.

I have a theory about acting. My theory is that except in rare cases, actors end up playing themselves. So, in real life the actor playing Miles must be a real beaut.

Miles says if Audrey signs, she can save herself and the DoD a lot of embarrassment. Audrey essentially says "frak you, you frakkin frak frakker."

Jack calls in and tells Audrey about Evelyn. The baddies want to trade evidence for the girl. Jack thinks VP BOB might be involved. So, he needs a satellite retasked. Audrey tells Jack that HS is shutting CTU down, and she doesn't know how she can arrange that. Jack barks at her "Just figure it out!" Oh, ok. If it's that easy...

And so Audrey launches Operation Dezinformatsiya. She goes to Karen and says she'll sign the document, but on one condition. She wants Chloe assigned to her.

Cut over to Buckaroo in this industrial plant whatever it is. He was Evelyn's girl there. Now, just when was all this set up? Buckaroo only escaped CTU in the last hour or two. He's been busy stealing cars and cell phones. Was the meeting with Evelyn set up after he escaped? Because he had no idea he was going to be free at this time till a short time ago.

Clocks are at :29 to :27. We're slipping back into the void.

In the retreat, Wayne and Aaron are strolling through the hallway and bump into BOB. Eek, even when he is standing perfectly still saying nothing, Ray Wise can look downright terrifying. BOB gets all teary eyed about David. Is this acting? Well, of course it is, but I mean is BOB acting? Wayne says he has a plane to catch. Um, are planes still flying what with terrorist attacks and martial law and curfews and everything? How are passengers getting to the airport if no one can drive anywhere?

Chloe marches over to Bill and pleads with him to stop the madness. Bill's fatherly advice is to stay focused.

Miles comes by. He says to Chloe "You got a pass." Chloe says "I did?" Oh, we love Chloe. Then, Miles waves Audrey in Bill's face, saying she sold him up the river, ha ha neener neener neener. Audrey happens by at that moment, and coldly says "I did it. I did it and I'm proud." Bill is hurt, betrayed by a trusted confidante.

Evelyn and Wayne are in a car heading for the barn. Evelyn says she called David because she trusted him. The baddies call, and Wayne patches in Jack. Uh, just how does he do that?

It's Henderson. He wonders why Evelyn took so long to answer. Evelyn lies and says she was going through security.

He already knows Palmer was at the retreat. Evelyn lies again and says she never saw him. Boy, Evelyn's next confession is going to be a lengthy session.

Buckaroo tells her to come to 4615 Tarpin Street. (Just for fun I put that address in Google Maps. It asked "Do you mean 16800 Tribune St?")

Bill is on his way out, doing the walk of shame. He takes one last pained look at Audrey. Audrey goes and grabs Chloe, and Chloe wants nothing to do with Audrey. Audrey explains she had to sign the document to help Jack. Chloe is understandably confused.

Clocks are at :41 to :39.

Palmer and Evelyn are standing around the middle of a barn. Are there a lot of barns in LA? A car drives up. They keep standing there. I don't know, I think I might hide till I knew who it was. At last, Wayne's Spidey Sense kicks in and they duck behind a horse stall, but it's just Jack. (How did Jack get through all the roadblocks?)

Jack calls Chloe and says a couple three times he'll send her the address Evelyn got. Ok, Jack, no need to keep repeating it. Just send the address already. Jack needs her to check the place out with the satellite and start counting bad guy noses.

Wayne wants to come along, but Jack is not crazy about the idea. But, Wayne says he was a Marine. Jack replies "You never saw combat." Oh man, that takes guts saying that to a Marine. Hey, if you make it through Marine training, you're a Marine.

But Wayne zeroes in for the kill. He says David died in his arms that morning, and he is going. Period. Jack gives in. On the way out, Jack says "Ya know, I was in the Marine Corps, too. Ran into some trouble when I served at Gitmo. Had a real psycho for a Colonel. Hey, how about we go give Henderson a Code Red!"

Back at the retreat (an appropriately named place for President Logan), BOB tells Logan Wayne was there. Logan says he didn't see Palmer.

Jack and Wayne get out of a car somewhere. Evelyn isn't sure she can go through with the plan. Jack says she can do it, all the way making sure he doesn't tell us, the viewers, what the plan is.

Jack talks into a mike he got from somewhere. Perhaps he bought it at a roadside stand. "Testing 1-2-3."

Chloe says there is a tunnel ahead. OK, she sees this tunnel how?

Clocks are at :52 to :49.

Henderson checks in with Bravo. No visual on the mark. (Get set, go!)

Jack has his technomagic device which allows him to see where the baddies are in real time. Jack terminates a couple of them with extreme prejudice. Wayne waltzes off to do the same, but freezes momentarily before dispatching a baddie.

Bravo is up in a snipers nest. Jack comes up some metal stairs, apparently unheard by Bravo only a few feet away. Jack knifes him. Eeewww. Jack then uses Ye Olde Garbled Radio trick to fool Henderson into thinking he's Bravo and that all is well.

Evelyn arrives, and Jack mans the sniper rifle, which is about the size of a howitzer.

Henderson calls Daughter Amy "sweetheart", which just gives me the creeps.

Henderson tells Evelyn to open all the doors and drop the keys on the ground in front of the car. Jack has a visual on Henderson and the girl. (Note to self, next year track how many times someone has a visual.)

And then the man in the back said everyone attack and it turned into a barroom blitz. There is a hail of bullets as Jack and Wayne open fire.

Incredibly, or perhaps credibly given this is 24, Henderson escapes in the car. Jack is. The. Worst. Shot. Ever.

Jack wants Chloe to follow Henderson with the satellite, but she endearingly says they're scanning the plant, not the whole neighborhood. Jack helpfully tells her to reprogram it. Perhaps they should just call Fire and Rescue. They'll be there in seconds and they can follow Henderson.

Evelyn took a bullet, and will need some attention, but is expected to survive.

And now, she reveals the Big Secret. She says BOB has nothing to do with the plot.

We cut to Henderson. He's talking to someone on the phone. He says he'll put together another team and take care of the mess.

The person he is talking to is...President Logan.

Hmm. Hmmm. What does this mean? Logan wanted all these terrorist attacks to happen? This raises a whole lot of question. Logan was apparently a wonderful actor earlier in the day, as he acted all flustered and scared and indecisive over the events of the day. How did Logan know Palmer was at the retreat and how did he contact Henderson so quickly? I think a number of things might not add up if we dig a little, but I don't have the stomach for it.

The episode ends with the clocks at :60 to :56. Even our universe is in shock at this revelation.

Guest critic Paul won't be joining us this week again. He was so shocked that his mentor, hero and friend, Chuck Logan, is apparently a traitor that he barricaded himself in his room and won't come out. I've been trying to coax him out with Scooby Snacks, but so far no luck.

Number of times Jack says "Now!": 17
Number of times Jack says "No!": 8
Number of times a "protocol" is mentioned: 33
Number of times someone says a variation of "Go!": 23
Number of moles: 4
Approximate Body Count: 73 (plus three rats, plus one human nerve gas guinea pig, plus 11 in the mall food court (and no, not from food poisoning), plus one security camera, plus 56 in CTU)

<-9:00 PM - 10:00 PM 11:00 PM - 12:00 AM ->


  • At Tue Apr 04, 01:18:00 PM, Chris said…

    Strangely, the only discontinuity that really jumped out at me was that Jack used the same knife to stab the baddie and then work on the radio. Must be a teflon blade, cause it sure looked clean.

    He made the baddie bleed his own blood. That'll fix him.

    Since you started with the Sweet stuff;

    'Cop on the run
    You scream and everybody comes
    A runnin'
    Take a look and hide yourself away
    Banzai on the run

    I feel dirty somehow. Oh, and I so called that Jack would threaten Logan. Put that in your blind squirrel and blitz it.

  • At Tue Apr 04, 01:19:00 PM, Chris said…

    Oops. Should have been take a run and hide yourself away. My memory is a mole and chose that moment to betray me.

  • At Tue Apr 04, 02:53:00 PM, Jeff said…

    You take it on the run, baby. If that's the way you want it, baby, then I don't want you around. I don't believe it, not for a minute.

    Consider the blind squirrel blitzed.

  • At Tue Apr 04, 03:20:00 PM, Robert said…

    Well we've already had an evil VP, so I guess an evil President was the next logical thing...but Jellyfish as the mastermind of the GWOT (that's Global War OF Terror for those of you scoring at home)??? PLEASE.

    I'm with you, if I cared anymore, I'd point out the folly, but the joy in that has pretty much faded. So instead (and besides, it will be a shorter post) let's talk about what I liked...

    Audrey telling the Slimy Weasel from DHS to go take a long walk off a short pier...Bill's look when he realized Audrey had sold him out...

    Thinking...thinking...nope, guess that's about it.

    And next week's previews? ARGH. When did Evelyn set up a safety deposit account at a bank in Los Angeles?

  • At Tue Apr 04, 03:40:00 PM, Jeff said…

    let's talk about what I liked

    Agreed, those were two highlights. Despite the weaknesses on the other side of the camera, the acting on this show is always top-notch.

    When did Evelyn set up a safety deposit account at a bank in Los Angeles?

    The only thing I can think of is that Evelyn is actually an employee of that retreat. Whether it's a group of Lutherans, or a bunch of insurance salesmen, or First Ladies, she takes care of whoever is staying there, helping lay out their clothes, etc...

    Otherwise, Evelyn surely lives in D.C., doesn't she? So yeah, why does she have something in a bank, if that indeed is what happens next week?

  • At Wed Apr 05, 10:22:00 PM, Robert said…

    Oh, one more thing...the words "I'm scared" coming out of Jack Bauer's mouth were a jarring dose of unreality!

  • At Wed Apr 05, 10:38:00 PM, Jeff said…

    Yes, I thought the same thing! Perhaps Jack is human after all.

  • At Mon Apr 10, 12:10:00 AM, Matt said…

    I've only watched a few episodes of the "Alias" and "La Femme Nikita" shows, so I'm no expert. My fuzzy memory (maybe I'm blocking the traumatic memories) tells me that I couldn't continue to watch what appeared to be the "same show every week" with formulaic, generic, cardboard villains and the same plot repeated over and over in the very few episodes that I took the time to watch. What I found most unoriginal about those shows was the cookbook formula:
    1)Vaguely explained Intel indicates that The Villains are at the abandoned generic industrial complex du jour.
    2)Good guys assault team is sent in to take out baddies.
    3) HQ personnel watch the battle drama unfold live, may even help direct the troops with hi-tech gizmoidery.

    KAOS vs CONTROL was funny. CTU is beginning to be just as laughable, unfortunately this time it's AT, not WITH the show.

    "24" itself may soon be admitted to the CTU clinic to end the suffering.

    I've been watching The Shield (since Season One), and recently stocked up on Sopranos and X-Files Series DVDs to fill the aching void left in my life by the demise of the once-great 24.


  • At Mon Apr 10, 01:09:00 AM, Matt said…

    P.S. Forgot to post some useless info I started digging up a couple of epsiodes ago.

    1. Toyota Motor Corporation must be taking over as the prime vehicle product placement sponsor. German Intel Dude (not very much like Dieter From Sprockets, was he?) drives a new(er) Toyota Avalon. Intelligence Hooker..I mean..."Broker" drives a Lexus SC "Coupvertible", Wayne Palmer drives a Lexus LS-series (more to come on that), and Evelyn (a/k/a Barbara Carrera lookalike?) drives a RAV4 this week just to drive the Toyota point home.

    Based on the headlight shape, Wayne's Lexus appears to be a late-model 2003ish LS430 (although they put the 2006 alloy wheels on it???). This sophisticated brute has 280 horse V8 under the hood, and can run 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. Wayne's being chased up the twisting access road on the grounds of the presidential retreat by a Ford Econoline van with about four guys in it. Although Ford has offered some big engines in these vans (the single small tailpipe indicates this van does not have one of them...), it is inexplicable how the van effortlessly comes alongside the Lexus, even though Wayne punches the throttle as they are drawing near.

    In super-slow-mo, several interesting things become clear (facts that may amuuse only me...)

    a) The explosion under the Lexus from a shotgun blast (or was this supposed to be an RPG like the one they used later on ??) lights up the front wheel area of the car, but the conscussion appears to have blown the hubcap off the front wheel of the VAN instead!!

    b) Wayne's car has a roll cage visible when the tire blows out and the car starts to swerve.

    c) The car that rolls into the ditch is a 1995-1997 Lexus LS400, easily distinguished by the horizontal grooves in the front fascia area on either side of the license plate. Looks like they also painted over the turn signals to make it look more like a 2003-6 vintage car.

    d) The alloy wheels of the 2006 LS430 type are on the upside down 1996 vintage car in the ditch, still spinning.

    e) The rear side door windows on the wrecked car have a vertical metal strip added to make it look like the 2003 series body, a detail not found on the older cars.

    Lots of good work done on that car to make it appear to be just one car, and it worked perfectly for me at full speed. FYI - A new LS430 runs over $60,000, a 1996 LS400 runs around $15,000. They probably spent a lot less for a junker/flood car before they prepped it for it's 15 seconds of (video) fame.

    If only the writers had taken 15 seconds to think of a better excuse than Wayne returning Aaron's Service Medal that David Palmer had (for some mystifying reason) in his possession while staying in Los Angeles (maybe he just wanted to keep it in "Good Hands"...sorry).

    VP Red Herring later pronounces the word "momento" instead of "memento" when referring to the Service Medal. I have to disagree with Merriam Webster that momento is an acceptable pronunciation. Neither is "nucular".

    This show has lost all of its mementum. I gotta go have a Mentos or two to freshen my breath (and brain).

    Thanks as usual for the therapy session.

  • At Mon Apr 10, 10:21:00 AM, Jeff said…


    You're our new Automotive Correspondent.

    But yeah, I noticed the Toyota thing early on as well. Jack was driving a Toy (a Titan, I think) when he drove up to the oil joint looking for work.

    And good point about the raid/monitored by live feed thing being done perhaps a tad too much on this show.

  • At Mon Apr 10, 11:38:00 AM, Jeff said…

    Did I say Titan? I meant a Tundra.

    Forgive me, Toyota, for I am but a lowly Tacoma owner.


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