Sunday, January 28, 2007

24 hour 5 - Fallout

24 just keeps getting better. Hour five, broadcast on 1/22, deals with the fallout -- literally -- from the nuclear device that was detonated in Valencia last week just before the end of the episode. Panic grips Los Angeles as images of the ominous mushroom cloud appear on everyone's televisions. Residents are throwing everything they own into Volvo's and Honda's and trying to navigate the southland's notorious roads before the wind changes and sends the lethal fallout their way - Valencia is about twenty miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

The secret service, concerned about his safety, moves the President and his advisors into the underground bunker beneath the White House. Did anyone else think the bunker looked like something out of a 70's Bond film? It looked like the 'secret underground lair' of some evil mastermind - are the folks at 24 trying to imagine that the bunker was built in the 70's and therefore reflects the rounded 'tomorrow-land' architectural style of the time? Anyway, I digress.

Jack Bauer, who quit only moments ago - "Tell the President I'm sorry; I can't do this anymore..." - promptly un-quits when he sees the mushroom cloud. That's what it takes to make Jack angry now. He's seen too many things, he's anesthetized to everything. But this gets him up off the ground again, and he's wandering around, looking for a way to help. He helps a man rescue a person from a downed helicopter perched precariously on top of a house - it was knocked out of the sky by the electromagnetic pulse, Jack helpfully explains. Thanks for the science lesson while at the same time saving people's lives! What a guy!

In DC, the President's sister and her newly-undercover boyfriend are at the Anacostia detention facility and the Feds rough him up for show (over her protestations) so that he can gain the confidence of the other Arabs in the facility. They give him the name of the terrorist leader, Abu Fayed, to drop into conversation to gain their trust. Why these DC folks are involved with Fayed is anyone's guess, considering they've shown Fayed is in possession of the other four suitcase nukes. This feels like an extraneous plot now but it might pay off.

Now Fayed has trouble - his bomb didn't go off where he wanted (he was aiming for a more populated area) and he's lost his primary scientist and the only person who can detonate his bombs. He's forced to try and recruit a new trigger-man as he and his cohorts escape the mushroom cloud through the crowded streets . If he'd been smart, wouldn't there be five bombs in five different cities? And wouldn't he have figured out how to arm and detonate them ahead of time? I don't believe that the only person in the world who could trigger these weapons happened to have been arrested by the U.S. Government and being held in their fictional version of Guantanamo.

Jack and CTU are investigating how Fayed got his suitcase nukes and Jack's father's name comes up on a watch list prepared by CTU. Even though he hasn't spoken to his father in nine years, he calls to talk to him. "Hi, Dad? How's it been? You working with terrorists?" Ha ha - nice reunion. Anyway, Jack can't contact his father, so he calls his brother. Jack has a brother. Who knew. Oh, and by the way, HE'S THE MAIN BADGUY FROM LAST SEASON! HOLY CRAP! It's that creepy ear-phone wearing Graem (pronounced 'Graham' but Jack calls him 'Gray') that was working behind the scenes with President Logan last season. Oh my. And Jack shows up to chat with him about getting in touch with dear old Dad and Graem doesn't know where he is and Jack doesn't believe him so Jack ties him up and starts suffocating him with a plastic bag. Again, holy crap.

By the way, 24 was features on Best Week Ever for having a Holy Crap week, recounting some of the more exciting moments in this week's show. Nice to see one of my shows talking about another one. Makes me feel like we're all one big happy family. Except for Graem, of course.

Here's the official website's minute-by-minute breakdown of the episode. And, as usual, the excellent 24 wiki has everything the consummate 24 fan could ever need in terms of backgrounds, explanations, and information on the show and its characters. And the great Blogs4Bauer is the best blog ring for 24-related websites - this is my favorite 24 gossip site, and they have some great (and twisted) 24-related humor. Good job guys.

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