That's right, people- I'm finishing what so many excellent readers of this site started and maintained- the final three hours of Day One will be reviewed. And we will have blood!
Previously in Day One:
People are trying to kill Senator David Palmer on the day of the California Primary. Jack Bauer is a force of nature employed by the CIA's fast-food version of itself: CTU. CTU moves to stop the assassination attempt by any means semi-reasonable to a federal agency, so naturally lots of collateral damage piles up. Jack has a wife named Teri, who goes all Carrie Fisher at some point and loses her mind. Their daughter, Kim, likes bad boys and her survival instincts are so poor that you would expect she should have flushed her own head down a toilet by now.
Jack is now a prisoner of Victor Drazen (Drazen is still a prisoner of the worst Slavic accent ever attempted on film). Drazen is about to pop Jack's pierogie before our hero plays his last card- I know where your dead son is, and no, he's not dead, Vic. Jack lives.
And here we go...
It's 9 O'Clock, do you know where your children are? In the back of an SUV filled with dudes wearing ski masks? Ah, your child must be Kim Bauer!
Just when you thought getting kicked in the face was kind of boring, the writers thought one more kick was worth a try. Kim, who has been the Nordberg of this season, was quietly being transported back to CTU from prison (for a crime she didn't commit!) when an SUV smashes into the cop car and Kim gets kidnapped... a-fucking-gain! The director of this episode feels it's necessary to show Kim whine and kick via two concurrent camera angles. Is this supposed to help? Show me the angle where you cover her mouth with duct tape... ah, there ya go!
Back at the Hotel California, Senator Palmer makes three vague references to the fact that he's an African American running for President "They said the country wasn't ready, they said it couldn't be done, have you noticed how everyone else that's been president is white?!" (needle flies off the record). The political fiction for "24" has always been suspect, but this speech that Palmer gives is so grating that I almost long for Victor Drazen to talk about Count Chocula cereal for an hour.
Speaking of, the Drazens are in the back of a van watching Jack play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on a cell phone that's probably from 1996. The Drazens say "Do it again!" Jack accidentally dials CTU and Nina answers. Nina, the glorious, loyal friend to Jack sure rubs the back of her neck a lot. She must be tense. It's from caring too damned much.
Jack asks Nina to connect the Vampire Van to Drazen's son Alexei, who is recovering from being stabbed by a 90 lb. girl he done-did-wronged. (I just forgot how ridiculous these recaps can get- I mean how much information can a person possible cover in one sentence?) Victor makes it clear that he wants Alexei back in the family, his diminished blood supply and all. The deal: Drazen will give the Americans their beloved Jack Bauer in exchange for Alexei "The Human Sieve" Drazen. George Mason says he'll ask his parents if that's cool.
In the time Mason takes to call Chappelle to ask if they can make this blockbuster Fantasy Spyball trade, Mrs. Palmer is on the floor of the hotel ballroom arranging for her husband's side-action with the speech writer responsible for this drivel David's spewing. That's right, Mrs. Palmer wants David to sex up a staffer. "24" is family entertainment!
Back at CTU, Chappelle must have clicked "Reject Trade" in record time, as George is efficiently explaining to Nina that Jack is going to die with the California Drazens. Nina, the amateur Hallmark card writer that she is, goes running over to Teri who's sitting in a room doing absolutely nothing to tell Mrs. Bauer "We're doing everything we can to get Jack back, by the way we're not allowed to do anything." Seriously, this is what was said. I think Teri was more shocked by the complete lack of tact and logic Nina displayed more than her learning that Jack is going to die.
The California Drazens (yeah, I'm sticking with this one) take Jack to the most happening Slavic social club in any basement you could find. The room is filled with Slavic people! And a table full of cheese and potato dumplings! And a "communications center" consisting of an old Dell laptop and a fax machine! Wait, genocidal war criminals fax stuff?
Nina smacks the bee hive a little harder by calling David Palmer and asking him to help push the government for trading Alexei for Jack. Yeah, right- a US Senator running for president is really going to be dumb enough to start giving the Department of Defense orders on a national security matter. Wait- this one IS that dumb. David offers to help, says to Nina some shit about things being in good hands. Nina hangs up giggling.
Back at Souldispatch's reception desk, an office mate comes by to tell Tony that Kim has been kidnapped again. Tony looks down like a waiter being told by the chef "we're all out of shrimp!" during Endless Shrimp night at Red Lobster. "Don't send me out there with this information!" And of course, Teri walks by and asks "Where's Kim? I just knit her a new scarf! See!" Gahhhh!!!!
Meanwhile, Jack escapes from the vile clutches of the Drazens (took the California off this time for brevity- ha!) by using the hostess at the Slavic Club as a human shield. Victor shoots the hostess in the head. Jack is shocked. Um, Jack, this guy engaged in ethnic cleansing and committed numerous crimes against humanity. Yeah, he's gonna shoot the girl instead of surrendering. Lame. The Drazen that looks like Alton Brown calls Mason and asks if the trade is on. Mason says "The trade is on." Alton Drazen says "Ok, set your oven timer for 20 minutes." Then the dead hostess' dad shows up and he acts all shocked that the genocidal animal killed her, but then he begins to understand the depths of Victor's issues when 'ol Vic shoots him. So, there goes that family. But worry not, a new family is reunited when thugs show up with Kim Bauer, whose mouth is still mercifully covered with duct tape. Jack yells "Kim!" in shock. Someone covers Jack's mouth... with a punch. Jack goes to sleep.
I'm going to skip over this speechwriter/David Palmer flirting thing because it's so painfully contrived and dumb. Just know that it's happening... like Kim Kardashian, and we can choose to ignore both.
We finally reach the point where CTU trades Alexei for Jack. But wait, Jack isn't with the California Drazens anymore- they left him handcuffed to some large pipe in the Valley. Man, if Kiefer had a nickel for every time that shit happened. But in all seriousness, Mason brings the ailing Son of Drazen to the meeting spot and gets nothing in return but a lot of sass from a very capable henchman. The guy sizes up George as an incapable boob. They take Alexei from George, along with George's last shred of dignity.
And Jack... well, just when you thought "How can Jack get out of this one?" he gets a little help from someone in the distance who shoots the handcuffs, freeing Jack from his pipe. Jack's cell phone rings "If you want to see your daughter alive, and in furtherance of this ridiculous plot, please get in the fully gassed car we have waiting for you. Feel free to take our quarters for parking meters, just make sure you don't chew all of our gum, comrade! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Call ends. Episode Ends.
Damn, it's good to be back!
Now, someone please comment on the Social Contract of My Little Pony if you want to see those next two Retro Reviews alive. DAMMIT!