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, May 09, 2006

24 Day 5 3:00 AM - 4:00 AM

A Jack-ku
The graphic violence
warning is among the clouds.
My mood is tender.

And I ask again, what was violent about this episode, let alone graphic?

When the recaps started, I thought I was watching the wrong episode, because it went back to Bierko blowing up the gas distribution plant. That happened hours ago. We see the assault on the plant. We see Jack hibauering the plane. And Logan wants Bauer. The copilot tells Jack they'll be on the ground in 15 minutes. Huh? The plane was flying for much longer than that. How is it faster going back to Van Nuys than going out? Maybe they're going downhill.

And now, we are go for main engine rant.

As we begin, we see a model of a plane hanging from a thread. I mean, we see the hijacked plane, and underneath it the credits say "Kiefer Sutherland". So, the plane is Kiefer Sutherland?

The copilot says to Jack "I think you broke my nose." But, he only has a small microdot of blood by his nose. If his nose was really broken, it would be like Old Faithful.

Now, the copilot says they'll be on the ground in 21 minutes. So, despite the fact several minutes have passed since the copilot first said they'd be down in 15, they've lost time and now it's 21 minutes? Are they going back uphill?

We see Bill being uncuffed. Apparently his interrogation with Karen went well.

Jack is having a long chat with Karen. He wants a safe escort back to CTU. Karen tells him Audrey is in CTU Medical, and that she'll be ok. She doesn't know CTU Medical very well yet, does she.

Curtis goes in to see Audrey and... va va voom! Audrey is in the hospital bed in a nice teddy! Rowwrrr! CTU does their female patients up right.

Holy hit the reset button, Batman! Curtis tells Audrey that SecDef Heller is alive! A team fished him out of the drink 30 minutes ago. (So Heller held his breath for 30 minutes?) Oh man. What a cheat.

I can imagine the scene with the rescue team at the top of the cliff where Heller went over. "Ok, you get one share for being a person in the ambulance, one share for being a person who pulled Heller out, and one share for being a person at the scene. You, you get one share for--" "Hey, wait, Now look! We've figured it seventeen different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don't like the way we figured it! So now, there's only one way to figure it. And that is, every man, including the old SecDef, for himself!"

Karen calls Curtis and orders him take a team and get Jack back before anyone else can get to him. I do give credit to CTU for matching Henderson team for team. I don't know where CTU is getting all their agents, since a good chunk of them must have been killed in the gas attack. Some are apparently out on meaningless tac teams near places like Bill's house. Yet, there are still enough left over to be sitting around the locker room ready to leave immediately with Curtis.

At the presidential retreat, Logan is standing in...a desert mirage? What's with all the wavy lights and Forbidden Planet music?

Graham is on the phone. He's figuring out a way to shoot down the plane. He'll gin up a VCI distress signal. Apparently this is a signal that a plane is being hibauered and that the baddies plan to use the plane as a weapon. (I'm not sure how a pilot would ascertain that a hijacker planned to use the plane as a weapon, yet still be in control of the plane to send the signal. Would the terrorist be banging on the cockpit door yelling "Hey, open up in there! I want to crash this thing into something on the ground!"

Logan is agreeable to this plan. But Graham asks "You sound reluctant." He's starting to sound like Logan's boyfriend. Logan just hangs up. People do that on this show a lot. Doesn't anyone have the courtesy to say "goodbye", as a signal that the conversation is complete?

Bill wants to bring Chloe in. At this point, I'm wondering if Jack has even listened to the tape yet. Is he sure he has what he thinks he has?

Miles is pouting, wondering why Bill is free. Miles is working on getting transfer orders for Bierko.

And now, Logan is talking to Admiral Kirkland of Point Mugu. Oh, oh, which way to go. Admiral Kirk versus Point Magoo. "I AM KIROK!" versus "Oh Magoo, you've done it again!" I think you know what you must do.

Admiral Kirk launches into a long diatribe about how 20 million in LA are now a target of this rogue plane hibauered by Jack. (I'm not sure how Admiral Kirk knows about Bauer being accused of killing David Palmer.) He says "These terrorists have been killing 3 million people a year. An actual attack won't kill any more people, but it would end their ability to make war. The fighting will be over permanently. But you didn't know it won't work. No. It will be a calculated risk. Corbomite! Yes, Corbomite. We'll tell Bauer that F-18 is packed to the gills with Corbomite."

Logan says "Admiral Kirk, my old friend. I want you to shoot down that plane."

Admiral Kirk says "Still 'old friend.' You've managed to kill just about everyone else. But like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target."

At CTU, an interagency sub-net is ringing off the hook, and Very Important Piece of Paper comes in. Karen tells Jack that Logan has ordered the plane removed from the skies with force.

Jack says they need 5000 feet of runway to put the plane down, and wants CTU to figure out a suitable freeway. Then, Jack cuffs the copilot to the controls. I guess he still has questions about the copilot's motivations.

I think Kiefer knows about our "Now!" counter, because he launches into a string of them that really sends the total up this episode. Thanks for the boost, Kiefer!

As we go into the first commercial break, the clocks are at :12 to :12. As we come back out, the clocks are at :16 to :15. I felt a great disturbance in the Force.

Miles sees Chloe coming in, and he about gives himself whiplash as his head snaps around.

Karen wants Chloe to open a socket to the ATC radar tracking plot. What, Chloe is the only one who can do this? In the future, the US had better hope a national emergency doesn't arise when Chloe isn't on her shift.

On the plane, Jack tells the stewardess they're going to do an emergency landing and that she should prepare the passengers. Then he says not to worry, it'll be fine. Now, being an experienced flier, I'm sure the stewardess will quite tempted to worry about why they need to do an emergency landing.

The stewardess then turns to the passengers and says "Assume crash positions." Instantly, pandemonium breaks out, and passengers start throwing themselves across the seats, punching each other, falling in the aisle, etc...

Bill has found a suitable runway. Except it isn't suitable. Jack distinctly said he needs 5000 feet. But, Bill comes up with a stretch only 4000 feet long, and it ends in an overpass. Good one, Bill. (The inadequate landing strip is the 118 freeway between mile markers 91 and 92.)

We see the F-18 roaring through the skies, and a glimpse of the pilot. I wondered if that was just a reuse of the footage from Season 4 as Mitch Anderson was trying to shoot down Air Farce One.

Now, if I read this map right, the 118 comes within three miles or so of the Van Nuys airport. Apparently they didn't have enough time to go even that short distance and just land at the airport.

The F-18 is preparing to shoot, so Jack tells the copilot to descend. NOW! As the plane tips down, the oxygen masks deploy in the cabin. Now I'm sure the stewardess is worrying.

Jack says he can see the freeway, but all we see out the window is a mess of lights.

There's a *whoop whoop* warning sounding in the cockpit. It's a ground proximity warning. I wonder when that thing is designed to go off. I mean, planes are designed to get near the ground. Frequently. It's called landing. It wouldn't make sense to sound a warning every time a plane lands.

The F-18 has missile lock. At this point, I can't remember if Jack knew that, or if CTU did. Do commercial jets have equipment to detect missile locks? Is this a big problem in commerical jets?

Experienced Pilot Jack wants the landing gear down. The copilot points out the dangers of lowering the landing gear too high and too fast. Experienced Pilot Jack barks "Lower it!"

Logan's bloodlust is at a fever pitch. He barks at Admiral Kirk "Order your man to fire, now!" So, Admiral Kirk says "Khhaaaaaaan! Shoot the plane down! Khhaaaaaaan!" (Apparently the F-18 pilot was named Khan. Erp.)

Novick is quite puzzled as to why Logan still wants to shoot down a plane that is already in the process of going down, and hence threat over. Somehow, this logic gets through to Logan, and he aborts the strike. But, he orders the Marines to go in and get Jack.

Admiral Kirk is busy setting the self-destruct on his base. "Code: Zero, zero, zero. Destruct. Zero." And then he says, "Anyone for a game of fizzbin?"

Curtis is driving along, singing a song, side by side with some anonymous CTU agent, and he sees the hibauered plane pass right in front of the windshield. Curtis orders some lights on the freeway, and a dump truck backs up and unloads a bunch of lamps.

The plane is down, and is a cacophony of screeching brakes and reverse thrusters. I guess they didn't need that extra 1000 feet after all. The plane comes to a stop right in front of the overpass. Jack tells CTU they're on the ground and tells them to send a second team for the copilot. Then, the krazy kaptions say "and EMTs for the pilot", but we don't hear anything.

Jack deplanes (deplane! deplane!) and he runs off.

Clocks are at :27 to :26.

Graham is mad that Logan didn't blow a bunch of international diplomats out of the sky. Logan says not to worry, two battalions of Marines are near the landing area. Wha...? Two battalions?! A Marine battalion can typically number between 800 and 1200. Logan sent 2000 Marines to the landing site? Wow, talk about overkill.

The 2000 Marines are setting up a perimeter, and do about as good a job as CTU, for Jack just trots across the freeway and over a fence and into the SUV with Team Curtis.

I wonder if Curtis is thinking of what happened at the beginning of this day when Jack and Curtis rode together in an SUV. Jack clobbered Curtis and left him on the boulevard like a sack of garbage.

They come up to a military roadblock, and Jack says Curtis will have to talk them through it. A Marine talks to Curtis, and Curtis gives him a song and dance about how they are all on the same team, time is a-wasting, blah blah. And, incredibly, even though he has orders to not let people through, the Marine lets him go. No no no. Marines follow orders, and let their superiors sort things out.

Curtis uses his Jedi mind tricks. "These are not the CTU agents you are looking for." The Marine says "these are not the CTU agents we're looking for." and he orders the roadblock to stand down. Curtis says they'll stick to back roads. They're somewhere north of the Santa Monica Mts. Are there any "back roads" that go over the mountains to downtown LA?

Back at CTU, Miles is demanding answers from Karen. Karen tells Bill she'll have to trust him, and she'll let him in to their little gang. Miles huffily says "I don't deserve this." So, Karen takes Miles back into CTU's miles (heh) of deserted concrete hallways. Karen tells him about Logan, and how they are trying to recover the tape. Miles says "Then what are you going to do?"

Some flunky (was that Valerie) suddenly appears and says Bierko is ready for transfer. And so, next we see some troops in full gear walking Bierko out in chains. He has a bandage on the side of his head. Looks like a Rorschach test. Hmm, I'd say it looks like a bunny.

They stuff Bierko into a van and.... what?!? Bierko nods at the driver who nods back?! What is this? Yet another mole? Argh. I'm not even going to try and figure out how the baddies arranged to have one of their moles driving this van.

Clocks are at :40 to :38.

Logan barks, "Where's Novick?" Mike walks in seconds later. Oh, never mind. Mike tells him the bad news. Bauer apparently got away. We get an ominous "Logan in shadows" shot. His Grahamphone rings and rings. Logan doesn't answer.

Jack arrives at CTU. Not bad. From the Valley to CTU, via back streets, in just a few minutes. He's told the Attorney General will be ready in 10 minutes. What? The AG got a pardon for Collette in 5 minutes.

Jack tells Chloe to clean up the recording and to add a digital signature for chain of custody. However, since this is the most important evidence on the planet, and the White House has already had one mole in CTU today in the person of Spenser Wolff-ff-ff, you'd think Jack would've had two battalions of Marines protect Chloe while she's working. But no. We still have three hours left in this season to fill.

Perhaps Jack was distracted by Audrey's gazongas, as he goes in to see her. Jack says he knows about the SecDef (aka Gill Man). How did Jack know? We didn't see Jack being told.

Audrey says "I'm so glad to see you." Jack says "Me too." Uh, so Jack is glad to see himself? It's always about Jack, isn't it. Then, ewww, Jack slides down the bed for a little massage action.

Back at the presidential retreat, Logan gets a case from the shelf. I can guess what's in here. He talks to Graham, again. Graham knows that the AG got a phone call from CTU. How does he know this? I know, never mind. Logan still believes they were doing the right thing. (I guess if by "right thing" you mean giving deadly nerve gas to terrorists, allowing mall shoppers to be gassed, leaving a trail of bodies around LA, trying to kill the Secretary of Defense, etc..)

Graham mentions how terrible a murder trial would be for the country, and all but says "I think you know what you must do." Logan agrees, and says he's taken steps so Graham won't be implicated. What steps could those be? I know, never mind. Then, Logan gets a pistol out of the case.

Now, how did that pistol get there? Did Logan carry it with him from DC? Does he always leave it there? Does the Secret Service now about this? You'd think they would get nervous about leaving loaded weapons around the President. So didn't their security sweeps find it?

Clocks are at :51 to :49.

The split screens show a news story that says "Earlier today: Mourners remember David Palmer." Well, nice to know that in spite of the terrorist attacks and curfew and martial law, some fans of David Palmer still found time today to have a little candle ceremony.

Martha is on a couch staring like a zombie. I guess those pills she wanted so badly, and the wine, didn't help her get to sleep.

Logan goes in to see Martha. At first I think he's going to shoot her. But, he just wants to apologize for hurting her. Martha is not in a receptive mood though. She says "I had no idea you were such a good liar. If I weren't so horrified by the fact I'm married to you, I might actually be impressed."

Ouch. Those two need a weekend getaway in Vermont or something. No, no, not Vermont as in the dribbly bin, Vermont as in bucolic lakes, forest hiking, Parcheesi on the patio, etc...

Logan goes back to his desert mirage and pours himself a drink. He pulls out the gun. The phone rings. Logan still feels duty bound to answer it. Hey, Miles is calling. That slimy rat fink.

Miles tattles about the recording and the AG. Miles says he feels compelled to intervene. Logan approves of such intervention, and says he won't forget this act of kindness. He'll give Miles his private number so Miles can keep Logan informed. Miles is drooling over the prospects of presidential favors.

Clocks are at :60 to :56. The split screens show Graham pouring himself a drink. What, is Graham going to shoot himself?

Miles goes in to see unprotected Chloe. He was some red blinky device concealed in his hand. That slimeball. He's going to erase the tape.

"The tape is climbing the ropes. He's up against the turnbuckle, raising his arms in triumph to the cheering crowd. He thinks the president is defeated! But, he doesn't see Miles behind him and... Oh, there is a foreign object in his hand! There is a foreign object in his hand! The tape is down! The tape is down! There's blood everywhere!"

This episode comes to an end. There's still three hours to go. Courage.

Guest critic Paul Foth won't be joining us this week. He had to check into the hospital for a quick nip and tuck, and the nurse dressed him in a red negligee, and he's too embarrassed to come out. Plus, hes cursing the fact Blogger has been down all morning.

Number of times Jack says "Now!": 32
Number of times Jack says "No!": 8
Number of times a "protocol" is mentioned: 42
Number of times someone says a variation of "Go!": 29
Number of moles: 5
Approximate Body Count: 94 (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)

<-2:00 AM - 3:00 AM 4:00 AM - 5:00 AM ->


  • At Tue May 09, 02:20:00 PM, Chris said…

    One of your best yet. You must have told the milkman, "No more cheese!"

    CTU has more sockets open than Bob Vila. Chloe went from fired to fugitive to traitor to indispensable in about four hours. That'll look good on her resume.

    I thought that Mitch Anderson was flying a F-117, so I think they had to lose the footage from "Executive Decision" and substitute something else. Maybe "Iron Eagle III" is more the writers' speed.

    On the bright side, the acting again far outpaces the writing. Especially good was the scene between the Jellyfish and Martha. She gets two minutes for emotional elbowing.

    Now that Bierko's on the loose again, how does he fit in? Does he provide the coup de grace for Graham and his gang? How many times will Jack have to go all "Killer Elite" on Henderson before he talks? I'm going with both knees and an elbow in the pool.

  • At Tue May 09, 03:31:00 PM, Jeff said…

    Good point about Bierko. What's the point to have him running around again? He's fresh out of gas canisters.

    And agreed as always about the acting in this show. It is so good. It deserves better writing. Can you imagine these scripts acted by the cast of Full House?

    So, ok, in the pool knees and elbow are taken, but still available are the other elbow, electric cables, pliers to the groinal regionaria, and Rigelian plasma cockroaches dropped in the ear. Place your bets.

  • At Tue May 09, 03:43:00 PM, Chris said…

    I'm pretty sure they removed Robocop's reason to live, but maybe I'm thinking of "Man Plus" by Frederick Pohl. And we don't have time for mind-controlling centipedes!

  • At Tue May 09, 10:01:00 PM, Matt said…

    Thank you for the It's A Mad Mad Mad World reference. A nice touch. (Did I get the correct number of "Mad"s?)

    SecDef lives as predicted, and is ready to challenge Michael Myers for Most Incredible Re-animation After A Horrific Traumatic Amputation. Maybe he went through the open sunroof when the car landed on the water, and was rescued by Darryl Hannah (who has dropped off the planet the last few years, hasn't she?).

    Too bad Jack didn't have a working cell phone to broadcast the recording to CTU on from the cockpit. It would have made a good backup copy of the damning conversation, but might have affected the plot just a little.

    They could have worked around it though - the playback function or the speaker in the device could have been disabled when the co-pilot handed it to Jack. Maybe a drop of blood from his broken nose shorted out the "Play" button.

    Re: Ronald Reagan Airport and Freeway - Depending on their angle of approach from the desert (perhaps to avoid the nearby mountains), they may have actually overflown Burbank Airport on their way to the 118 landing.

    The moody Logan Lighting was kind of nice and relaxing, maybe a foreshadowing (literally?) of the flames of Hell that await him. JUST PULL THE DAMN TRIGGER AND PUT US OUT OF OUR MISERY, YOU TURTLE-TONGUED FREAK !!

    Jack would NEVER have counted his chickens before they've hatched if this was Season 2. Audrey has really had a bad effect on him. He's gone soft because of her. Soon she must die, so that Ruthless Jack may live again.

    P.S. I was thinking that the only reason I watch the show now is so that I can know what you're talking about with all your clever observations and commentary.

  • At Wed May 10, 01:05:00 AM, Robert said…

    Given that Kim Raver is signed for another show for next fall, Audrey's odds of survival (already greatly diminished by being taken to CTU Medical) are quite poor. Less than say driving off a cliff into the water for example.

    Idea for next year--get a flipping map of LA before you write this stuff.

    Idea for Michael Hayden (or whoever ends up heading the CIA)--give the entire CTU staff to Iran. We'll be able to walk right in and end their nuke program.

    Wouldn't having Chloe intentionally tamper with the recording to "clean it up" sort of destroy the reliability of the evidence?

    Martha's putdown of Jellyfish 2.0 was probably the best putdown of the year so far. Is it too much to hope for that he ends up dead in some fashion before the end of the day? I know I'm sick and tired of him...not that Itzen doesn't play it well.

    Finally if Jack could get patched through to a Stealth bomber hunting Air Force One that no one could find last year, why couldn't he get ahold of an F-18 pilot everybody knew exactly where was? And what was up with that landing??? No way, no how.

  • At Wed May 10, 09:27:00 AM, Jeff said…

    Thanks, Matt. (And there are four Mad's!) I like the sunroof idea. Either that or whatever car he scrounged up happened to have a wickedly good airbag.

    And yes, Logan in hell! That's perfect.

    And Robert, good point about Jack talking to the pilot. He was patched through to Mitch in a short time. Perhaps they went to "coded" transmissions because of that. We can't have CTU trying to talk terrorists out of trying to shoot down Air Farce One! Encode everything!

    And about shooting down the plane, they were so worried about shooting it down over populated areas. But by the time the F-18 got a lock, they were well over the LA megalopolis. Guess it didn't matter as much anymore?


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