Man, it's tough to die on "24" if you're a 90 lb. woman! First, it took a horde of rabid alpacas to finally dispatch Janet York to the afterlife (it was a deleted scene on the DVD, trust me) and now we have CTU moley mole Jamey exhibiting faint signs of life, despite losing all of her freakin' blood. Is this some bizarro universe where waifs wander the countryside, scaring the living crap out of everyone and where Natalie Portman is the world's strongest human? Where the heck am I going with this?
Anyway, Jamey is carted off to get some vital fluids, and Nina breaks it to the gang that their co-worker tried to commit suicide. Everyone seems mildly upset for about two seconds except Milo, who suddenly starts freaking out quietly. You can see him thinking "Crap, am I going to crack next? Who will inherit my Warhammer soldiers? What's sex like?" But before Milo can even start to weep openly, Nina closes up the worst pep-talk in the history of middle management by saying "We all have to get back to work... now." Yeah, thanks, temporary boss. Well, Tony took her speech to heart and brings over some of Jamey's personal belongings for new leads but Nina suddenly doesn't care about going back to work- she wants Tony to take care of Jamey's son instead. "Tony, can you resolve all of this kid's future psychological damage in 5 minutes while I freshen up? Thanks!"
The only person keeping the entire Federal government on point is... you guessed it, Jack Bauer. Bauer, fresh off his catnap with the alcoholic waitress, is driving around the neighborhood, trying to find his way out of the LAPD dragnet. He calls Nina, who's reading a copy of "Grief Counseling for Dummies" and asks her to give him some help in getting out of the area. Nina is 99% useless but somehow Jack doesn't yell at her. Maybe it's because he shot her a couple of hours ago and he's trying to not push things too much? Or maybe he's still into her? Courtship among borderline personalities is so tough to predict. I half expect Jack to throw a knife at her next time they're in the same room- ya know, just to let her know he still cares.
Well, Jack's lovely wife, Teri, snagged a cell phone off one of Ira Gaines' goons and puts a call into CTU for help. Teri, you've been calling CTU all night and into the morning- where has this gotten you? You're better off calling the Mongolian Navy! (That's a geography joke, go think about that one). Nina patches Jack into the phone call but before he and Teri can catch up on their awesome day, the goon returns, looking for his phone, which Teri has suddenly hidden. While the line remains open, we can hear the goon repeatedly yell "bitch" and this makes Jack punch the steering wheel of his car. This is drama, folks! Nobody calls Teri the "b" word, ya dig? Wait 'til he finds out about the other stuff the goon did to Teri... yikes.
The Palmers have their 500th fight over whether to tell the public that their son pushed a dude out of a window after he raped the Palmer daughter. Even Mike Novick is becoming bored with this shit. All I can say is that David Palmer better start smoking a cigar and talking to a baseball bat real soon, otherwise I'm giving up on his entire storyline.
Nina is playing Minefield on her computer while Tony and Milo are doing everything to put together the pieces of this whole assassination plot. As this goes on for a few minutes, we learn that Jamey died (there goes my Natalie Portman theory, oh well!) and then Teri calls back to remind everyone that she's still being held hostage with Kim. Nina patches Jack back into the phone call and suddenly the LAPD show up, forcing Jack to pull an old move he learned watching "World's Wildest Police Chases" on FOX. The cops get out of their car, and walk alongside Jack's car but before they can ask him for his license, registration and PBA card, Jack guns it and leaves them scrambling to get back to their cruiser. I want to point out in this scene the awesome camera work and the well-staged shot when Jack pulls his move. The camera shows Jack in the foreground and stays with him as he speeds up, showing the cops disappearing in the distance. It's not a green screen! It's a real stunt! And it's 100 times better than anything I predict we'll see in a few seasons on 24 (retroverse still intact! Barely!).
Jack quickly finds a parking lot and parks his car and rolls under some other vehicles to hide for a few minutes. It's during this time that he starts multitasking- evading the cops and talking to Teri about the millions of ways they're going to ground Kimberly when they all get out of this mishegoss. Ira's goon comes back to the barn and finds his cell phone, and discovers that Teri's called for help. He (stupidly) talks into the phone and asks who's there. Jack responds with some trademark badassery that makes me warm and fuzzy with vengeance. But the good has the upper hand- he starts getting rough with the Bauer girls and Jack is left powerless to stop it from happening.
Instead, Jack decides to hot-wire the most unreliable vehicle in the lot- some 25 year-old sedan. There are a couple of movie-logic ideas behind the shitbox getaway car-- 1) it's an easy car to hot-wire because there's no on-board computer or alarm system. That I can buy. 2) The car is cheap, we can wreck it in a chase scene and it will cost the production a whopping $400. That I can also support, based on the fact that I only like to drive cars in this price range in real life. If you wreck it, it's no big deal- just walk away and get another beater.
And then we have what I call "The Emperor Moment"-- remember seeing "The Empire Strikes Back" for the first time and Vader has to take a call from some dude purporting to be his boss? I watched it thinking "Who the heck tells Vader what to do?" It's a bit of a letdown- to see an otherwise evil badass have to grovel at someone else's feet. Well, Ira Gaines gets a call from some dude in a private jet that, based on his accent, comes from a land where they talk about luxury automobiles constantly. This Drazen fella talks about David Palmer and Jack Bauer like he knows the guys personally. Plot thickens yet again! New characters! New motives! Gaines is suddenly rendered an errand boy. Interesting- I generally like this sort of twist, but let's see just what this new guy's looking to accomplish. Just stay away from trying to make a new Hans Gruber here. There's only one Gruber- and he's a permanent part of an LA sidewalk thanks to Detective John McClane.
Milo cracks an email off of Jamey's computer and this gives Jack a new lead to follow- the terrorist money guy named Ted Cofell. It looks like Ted went to Colgate and likes money- this makes him automatically evil in the world of 24. Rickey- please respond at your leisure. As Jack ventures off to choke some sound investment advice (and the whereabouts of his wife) out of Ted, yet another arrogant bureaucrat walks into CTU, this one is named Alberta Green (sounds like a locomotive, not a paper-pusher). Alberta is the interim head of the LA office now. Yay, more infighting and inefficiency. Even Milo can't believe the writers are pulling that old trick again.
Jack gets to Ted's office just as Ted is leaving to catch a plane to anywhere-but-here. Ted makes it to his limo and the car ferries him away. Or so he thinks! Jack's behind the wheel of the limo (fancy footwork, right?) and I believe we're going to learn of some novel interrogation techniques in the next episode once Jack gets the limo to a safe, private place (sorry, retroverse be damned, I love the next episode too freakin' much!!!). Until next time...