Jack Bauer gives new meaning to the term "thumb drive"-- he uses some nifty thumb print scanner in his CTU ride to ID the recently removed thumb from one of those filthy terrorists back at the ambush last hour. So, he can identify a THUMB while he DRIVES... get it? Oh, my sides are killing me from laughing so hard!
Well, before Jack can get too involved in trying to save the world, he has to answer a call from the wifey. Teri tells Jack that their daughter is a party girl. Jack is angry, not at Kim per se, but at Teri for being such a latecomer to the game. Meanwhile, father-of-the-year Alan York (remember him? father to Kim's friend Janet) tells Teri and Jack that he's scared of staying outside too long and he has to pee and eat graham crackers (in that order). Jack wants nothing to do with this nonsense, and he reminds them both that their daughters are more important than slipping on pajamas and nodding off to Seinfeld reruns. Alan and Teri agree. They remain at the furniture store for their daughters to arrive.
Back at the Assassin's Retreat, Mandy (clothed, but no bra) and the scumbag terrorist "buyer" of the ID card (Ira Gaines) have to sort out some details, like whether or not he's going to pay Mandy and her female cohort the originally agreed upon price of $1 million or the new double-cross special "discount" of $2 million! Ira Gaines... hmmm, that sounds like a character a bank would invent to market Roth-IRA accounts. "Enjoy your gains made from an IRA!" Okay, I promise, that's the last one of those jokes I'll do tonight! Sorry!
And the target of these plotting villains is still missing! Senator Palmer disappeared last hour for some heretofore unknown shenanigans. In his wake, he has left his beautiful, loving wife Sherry and their children to deal with added Secret Service protection. It pains me to see such good, stable people put through this kind of stress. Oh, and Aaron Pierce calls David Palmer's kid "son" (thankfully not "boy"). That would have not gone over well.
At a small airfield, the purple love van pulls up and a new thread of evil is revealed! The stoner college guys call their "boss" finally! They are in cahoots with Ira Gaines! They have some quick chat about "the Bauer girl" and thus offici- wait, a moth just flew by me, I have to kill it. Be right back...
OK- the moth is dead, what was I saying? Yes, Kim is a moth to flame of danger. I hope she learns her lesson this season and stays out of trouble in the future! Oh, and to shut Janet up from whining about her brutally broken arm, the stoners give her some heroin. So, to shut someone up like... say, Nancy Grace, all I gotta do is give her some black tar? Done!
On the streets of LA, Senator David Palmer drives with confidence. Why, you ask? Because he's in good hands, people. And when he pulls into one of the most dangerous parking garages in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, the spirit of Jobu comes to his aid when a thug swings at him with a baseball bat. The thug's friend recognizes Palmer in a really geographically misplaced NY accent. I guess this is what happens to guys when their "entourage" goes belly-up. Anyway, the thug gets a brief lesson in crime statistics from Palmer, and he replies by smashing in Palmer's rear windshield. That's alright, the senator has accident forgiveness.
Upon Jack's return to CTU, we get a healthy dose of some excellent cat-and-mouse dialogue. Jack tasks Jamie (a trusted student of the newly-dead Richard Walsh) with unloading all of the plot-revealing data on the ID card Jack recovered. He also wants confirmation that Nina Myers is the mole, which this card could provide. So, while Jamie is furiously trying to confirm the ID card's origins, Jack and Nina have a great scene of adult verbal chess in his office. This is a highlight of the season so far- Sarah Clarke is something wonderful in this role. You know she can lie like nobody's business, but you also want her to be good. Keifer and Sarah Clarke are a fantastic combination. And the scene they share here is brilliantly written. Jamie calls Jack while he's in his office with Nina and confirms that Nina is the mole. Jack, stone-faced sends Nina off to do some photocopies. This is getting quite good.
What could make this better? How about Mandy making out with her girlfriend? What is this show I've stumbled upon? Or how about Kim somehow escaping from the stoners with her banged-up, junked-up best buddy? And that Kim and Janet somehow end up in South Central LA on foot where they were just at an airfield minutes earlier? Lesbians and Time Traveling Junkies. That should be the name of this show. FOX, get on that.
Well, we finally get some straight answers on David Palmer's mystery scandal when he meets his contact. The writers must have worked extra hard to come up with something that would not reflect poorly on David among the TV audience. So, instead of the Senator hiding an affair, some slush fund or the fact that he's Jewish, it turns out he's trying to protect his son! Oy vey... that's like hearing a candidate say "my biggest weakness is that I care too much about the people!" Well, the rumor here is that Keith threw some guy out of a high-rise for raping his sister. Okay, I could see how that might distract the presidential campaign. David's slimy political operator tells the Senator that he'll take care of this story. Uh-huh...
After some silly stuff involving Kim, Janet and a teenage male prostitute, we are mercifully given another great scene between Jack and Nina. Jack finally confronts Nina about her being a mole ("WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!?!?" sounds kinda catchy-- I hope Jack uses that again in future episodes/seasons). Anyway, Jamie goes up to Jack's office to sort out this whole mess and it turns out that the log-in records have someone using Nina's computer during the same weekend Jack and Nina were busy getting busy at some weekend retreat. So... Nina isn't the mole! Go back to work and let's focus our attention on Tony Almeida as the next suspect!
Yeah, yeah, but what's going on with Mandy and her girlfriend? Well, they eventually sort out a deal that gets them the extra million bucks and they all go to retrieve the buried ID card. Mandy's girlfriend is all excited about their hard-bargaining skills, but before you can say "Lilith Fair" one of Ira Gaines' snipers takes out the girlfriend, leaving Mandy available to do some more work for the guy.
As this unfolds, Kim and Janet continue in their own little "Grand Theft Auto" after-school special- fleeing the kidnapping stoners, befriending a male prostitute, stealing a cell phone off a pimp and then Janet getting run over by an American classic automobile- a '78 Pontiac Trans Am coupe! Woah! As Janet lay dying on the street, the stoners catch up to Kim and take her away to someplace hopefully nice. The Trans Am looks to be unharmed as well. Phew.