Stephen Root has entered the building! But more on that later...
CTU Director Brian Hastings is officially legit. He speaks for all of us when Chico, Jr. and Dana/Jenny waltz back to work. He socks them both with a very realistic dose of reality- and he comes oh so close to firing these two terrible plot points- err "employees." And Hastings promotes Chloe O'Brian to her rightful place as Queen of CTU. So, with hiring Jack Bauer and giving Chloe the power she deserves, Hastings is this season's best addition to the show for the very reason that he doesn't suck like everyone else. And Stephen Root materializes as a probation officer looking for one of the Brothers Dim! Who knew probation officers worked at 2AM? Maybe he's up to shenanigans (of course he is, but we'll have to deal with that subplot at a later date).
And then the remainder of the first-half of tonight's episode just kind of dragged on with Marcos hiding out in the hyperbaric chamber. Let's just say this is the first time in a long time that the real-time format of this show felt truly real. On the plus side, Jack pulls a new move and gets Marcos' mommy to tell her son to quit being such a whiny little terror. When Marcos realizes his mom is there, he loses his cool and says "Mom! You're totally embarrassing me in front of these guys! Did you bring me snacks?" Her reply "Get your butt out of that hyperbaric chamber RIGHT NOW!"
Well, all this melodrama is good and fine (not really) so, thankfully Jack decides he's going to inject some speed into the proceedings. Jack promises to do terrible things to Marcos' mommy, and he convinces all of America with his best Chili Palmer impression ("Look at me! I own you!"). This gets Marcos to come out of the chamber, but the vest is remotely reactivated by his sneaky cohorts and this gives Jack only 60 seconds to get our next terrorist lead figured out (it's Hassan's "Head of Security" and prospective son-in-law). And just like that, Jack throws Marcos back into the chamber and the kid goes boom-boom in a spectacular blaze of violence. Okay!
Now, Hassan's daughter is put in a vintage 24-situation- just having bedded a terrorist, she must delay his departure in order to aid CTU in arresting the guy. She's a pretty good liar, but she's not quick enough on her feet. Her boy-terrorist-toy wants to run off with her pronto, but she says she has to get dressed first. "Why do you need to wear clothes, my love?" he wonders. If I was in her position, I would have said "Babe, ya know all that lovemaking and spicy Kamistani food has done a number on me- I gotta go drop a deuce before we head out." Crude? Yes, but nobody argues with someone when they declare they have to poop. You all know I'm right.
Jack returned to form tonight with his intercom intimidation. However, other silly things tripped up tonight's episode. I'll give you all a full debrief tomorrow on the "State of 24" but I will say that the preview for next week looks very promising!