Wednesday, October 01, 2014

24: SOLITARY - The Return of the Soulpatch

Tony Almeida's life has never been full of rainbows and puppies, but this is the lowest point we've found our erstwhile counter-terrorist agent. As part of the 24: Live Another Day Blu Ray set, we get to catch up with the world's most dangerous Chicago Cub fan, and he sure could use a hug:

If there's any doubt in your Almeida-loving heart, rest assured that Tony Almeida is coming back to the show and he will be redeemed and probably mercilessly killed all in the same moment. Ha, 24 hates its fans.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Breaking 24 News: Tony Almeida Lives to Die Another Day

Kaden Alfow posted in the comments section of a previous post the following link, which announces the return of Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard). Almeida will be shown in a "bridge scene" included exclusively on the home video release of 24: Live Another Day.  Thank you, Kaden Aflow, for posting the news.

Okay, does this mean Tony will feature in the yet-officially announced Season 10? Could they just do a season where Jack and Tony go shoe shopping? Please!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What ever happened to Jack Bauer? Season 9 finale review

My delay in writing this came first from a hectic flight back into the country on the night the show aired and with me struggling to find a way to write a review now that I missed the instant "quick review" format that I've been utilizing all season. Having some time to reflect on the episode, here's my less traditional take on yet another finale of 24:

Watching the end to Season 9 of 24, called "Live Another Day," I found myself spacing out right after Audrey Raines bit the bullet thanks to Chinese mercenaries. My mind drifted to a scene far removed from what I was looking at on screen- I began to imagine Jack's college friends at a reunion, talking about their absent friend. 

"What ever happened to Jack?" they would ask. "I heard he's dead" "No, I think I read somewhere that he's on the run, a criminal who betrayed his country." "I heard he's saved our country many times over." "Yeah, same old Jack."

I suppose a show thrives on its formula. If it works, don't change it because otherwise you lose the identity of the show. Well, what if the identity of the show was based on the eternal suffering of its hero? It messes with the viewer because each of us sympathizes with Jack Bauer. We root for him to win, not just for the safety of millions of people, but for himself. I guess I'm a fool for bringing that hope with me each time I watch a season of 24 because I really have come to like this character. He's resilient, smart, ruthless when necessary but also fiercely honest and loyal. He's not a bastard, he's not a conflicted man, he is in many ways morally superior to everyone around him. So, when he drops in the ground when learning Audrey is dead and reaches for his pistol to end his life, I actually wanted the guy to off himself because the world the writers have placed him in doesn't deserve Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer deserves the trust of his government and its president. Jack also deserves to have real human relationships because these things matter to him. This isn't The Man With No Name or RoboCop we're dealing with here. Jack is a soldier, yes, but he's also a leader-- a skilled, free-thinking man. If he doesn't get to enjoy peace after the wars he fights, but instead is destined to suffer and be spit upon by the filth of the earth, then I'm not sure I get the entertainment value of this show. Sure, it's entertaining to see Jack behead a bad guy, but that's become a trope for this show. And I really do like Jack watching Jack hunt down bad guys one by one. Yet, that too feels "safe" for this show. What I have yet to see is Jack be a free man. At some point, you either kill him or you set him free.

What we got to close out this otherwise strong season is the third option, the one the show runners seem to embrace- Jack needs to suffer more. In this finale, it's the Russians that take Jack away for another summer camp of torture and imprisonment. I read somewhere that people hope this sets up the return of Tony Almeida, coming from the darkness to save his old friend. Ah, remember Tony? He died, but then he didn't. And then Tony became bad. But he was bad for good reasons. And then he went to jail. Tony, stay in jail, it's safer in there.

There will be more 24, and I will watch it. I'll bring my hope that Jack gets to be free again. Does being free constitute being happy? Not necessarily, I think it means that Jack gets to choose where he goes and what he does again, instead of being handed off from one group of jerks to another. If I'm being overly simplistic, maybe it's because the show has become a blur to me. The side stories over the years promised some intrigue, particularly the idea of some larger cabal being behind some of the greatest acts of evil known throughout the years of 24. At least with that sort of plot, Jack has a real purpose and an actual chance at justice and maybe redemption. There's great potential for Jack Bauer's story to mean something again. I wait patiently for the show to find its way back to that path.

Monday, July 07, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Quick Review

Previously on 24:


Heller sees that the Chinese carrier is toast. Heller wonders to himself if he gave the order and forgot about it afterwards. Hey, I'm not being mean, the man has a medical condition!

Jack and Kate are doing unholy amounts of damage on Russia's best London-based goons. The kill-meter is blowing up, people. It's like a firecracker warehouse on fire on the hottest day of the year. On the equator. BOOM!

Chloe gets some intel from Cheng himself stating that his government has disavowed him. Cheng gets intel of his own that reveals Bauer is right down the road from him. Chloe tries to steal an iPhone and Cheng notices this pretty easily.  Cheng and the gang take Chloe out for a drive to anywhere not near Jack Bauer.

Jack shoots conveniently situated propane tanks. And then the cavalry shows up. Jack is out of breath but full of anger. And he still has a lock on the override device. And Cheng watched his Dark Knight Rises because now he's gone mobile!

The signal for the device leads back to a room full of dead Scooby Gang peeps. So, Cheng found the very large tracking device and removed it from the override doohickey. And now Jack finds a recording of Cheng. CHENG!!!!! Time to call Heller!

Jack tells Heller that Cheng is back and that the Russians are involved. Russians? Chief-in-Law poops himself upon hearing the word "Russian." Maybe Heller was ordering a salad with Russian dressing? Yeah, no one uses Russian dressing anymore.  Audrey starts to deteriorate when she hears of this news (of Cheng, not the salad dressing for which she feels immeasurable nostalgia).

And then Jack learns that Chief-in-Law sold him out. Oh man this episode is already off and running.

Cheng phones the Russian circus barker. The Ruskie says "get to the docks" as all villains suggest. I mean really, can we just have a movie where the good guys hide out at the dock? It's gonna happen one day and I'm going to claim credit for this invention.

Jack explains geopolitics to Kate. Kate reminds Jack that she's smart, like him. Jack isn't used to talking to smart people.

Chief-in-Law tries to get Audrey out of the room because his spider-senses are shaking like a flamenco dancer's skirt. What? I don't know what I'm even writing anymore.  Heller talks to the Chinese president, they talk politely but then the Chinese president says "I don't like this stuff, James."  Heller tells his team to get Cheng so he can hand them over to the Chinese. And then Audrey comes in and says she can get some evidence to her contacts in the Chinese embassy to at least prove the Americans are incompetent, not evil. Oh, and the Chinese navy has sprung into action. World War action, baby!

Jack calls Audrey, she answers it with "Kill him." Jack thinks she's talking about Chief-in-Law, but he quickly recovers. Jack regroups and tells Audrey "Don't hate me." Audrey says "I could never hate you." And then they both get emotional in their respective ways. Jack basically stares coldly, his version of crying. So Jack fails to come clean about what he's about to do to her husband and Kate looks at Jack with that look-- like "Maybe we shouldn't hook up."

Back at the Battleship room, a colonel starts mouthing off to Heller. Jack walks in and asks to meet privately with Heller and Chief-in-Law.  The colonel's disturbing behavior in defiance of the long-standing balance of civilian control over the military is temporarily halted.  Mark, Jack and Heller finally have it out. Jack puts a gun to Mark's head and Heller says "Quit rasslin' you two!"  I have a feeling this private meeting is a mistake. Heller is about to get declared incapacitated. Mark is going to get let off the hook. I can see it now.

Anyway, Heller is angry and perplexed. Jack schools Mark on geopolitics, proving Mark is yet another moron with an Ivy League piece of paper and no damn common sense. Jack asks Heller to keep Mark out of leg irons as a pawn. Ah, let's perpetuate this fiasco. Let's work with the guy facing the inevitable death penalty for treason!  Mark tells Jack where the Russian circus guy is doing uneven bars. Well, it's a lead back to somewhere! If Mark gets away with this, man... what a mess.

The name of this season is "Live Another Day" which to me means (ever the hopeful one that I am) that Jack gets his life back. If Heller gets put in a room with padded walls, Audrey starts eating out of dumpsters again and Jack loses his pardon, then we've got a crappy series of events. All I'm saying is I hope we get a semi happy ending for this season. I need this. I know, there's no chance for happiness, blah, blah, blah...

Mark, Jack and Kate go to the Russian house. Mark is their lead "Agent" for this op. I predict a surprising display of competence is imminent.

Meanwhile, Chloe escapes from the custody of several goons. And then she falls down in the woods and knocks herself out. Cheng abandons the search for Chloe when a very English soldier convoy rides by asking Cheng to stop being a crumpet on the side of the road.

Back at the Fun House, Heller drops his pills on the floor.. The military brass are blown away by this revelation. They are so damn shocked to see this 70-plus year old man is on meds, they almost have to pick their jaws up off the ground. Poor acting to say the least, but easy comedy for this humble 24-blogger. The Chinese (official) government takes out a couple of US satellites (that was fast) and Heller reluctantly raises the DEFCON level to "Super Uncool."

Mark gets out of the Jackmobile and approaches the Russian House guard. Mark tells the Ruskie he needs asylum. Mark offers the keys to all the secrets he possesses too. This works. Mark gets through the gate. Mark gets all of the intel with his hidden pin camera.  The Ruskie walks Mark into a room full of glass for some salami and light conversation. Or maybe a bullet to the head.

Jack and Kate make their way through shrubs like a pair of skunks looking for stuff to spray. Their trusty, living CIA guy successfully jams the security signal! Raspberry jam! Anyway, Jack shoots with a silencer.  The Ruskie sees this on his CCTV monitor (which has no sound, btw) and goes to shoot Mark. Mark fights this out of shape Ruskie valiantly. But then the Ruskie gets a piece of glass stuck in the worst possible place, his carotid.  The Ruskie dies. No intel on Cheng. DAMMIT! CHENG!!!!

Audrey meets her contact in a park. She tells her contact that Cheng is alive, again, no one believes it. The persistent Elvis/Tupac/Bea Arthur "lives" rumors would never fly in China. When you're dead in China, they're done with you. Anyway, Audrey hands her contact some proof of the override device, at least to slow down World War III. Then Audrey hugs her awkwardly. Oh snap, someone kills her contact and the Secret Service detail. Who?!!!! CHENG!!! Audrey sits on the bench knowing that Cheng is able to kill her at any moment. It's full mental breakdown time!

Oh good, Chloe woke up!


What a great episode. My goofy observations aside, I love how quickly the chessboard has been reset. This is clean storytelling too- I don't see the writers pulling any double-triple-cross shenanigans. And the set up for next week's finale is perfect. Is Audrey in Kim/cougar territory by leaving the Embassy to meet clandestinely at a park in the wide open? Yes. This is television, we must forgive such contrivances. The set up of having Audrey in a life-or-death situation was too important to pass up and I suspend my disbelief for this reason. Besides, it's 24, people are always getting in trouble. At least this time it wasn't a cougar holding the sniper rifle!

Clem is boycotting the show, hopefully she'll be back for the finale.

Monday, June 30, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Quick Review

Previously on 24:

24 made a lot of fans happy. I'm hoping for an encore tonight...

Kate is brought into the loop by Jack. The Universal Remote Control is truly universal- it can control all TVs, VCRs and weapons systems around the world. Okay, I'll suspend disbelief for an hour. Make it good.

Crow Villain lets Chloe know that he's stealing the override device to render the world's arsenals obsolete by making all their firewalls vulnerable to outsider control. This is basically what Facebook does to your private life.

Navarro, with the device in his purse, runs like a giraffe on a treadmill yet he still stays far enough ahead of Jack to safely deliver it to Crowe Villain. Navarro asks for his getaway car but gets unfriended by Crowe Villain. The Tac Team arrests Navarro and Jack keeps up chase after Crowe Villain into the Tube. Jack chases the departing train in classic French Connection fashion. The train gets away, Crowe Villain waves with his eyeballs. Oh man.

Crew Neck assumes command of the CIA office that a) blew up b) had many of its members killed violently and c) had its former commander revealed to be a world-class villain-giraffe.

James Heller gets a quick scotch in before Audrey reminds him that booze is bad for you. Things get worse for Heller when Crew Neck calls and tells the president that the override device is looser than Audrey's temper. Heller reminds Crew Neck that the entire US government is under Jack Bauer's command.  Kate also learns that Navarro completely lied and is the world's worst boss for setting up her husband.

Bauer tells Crew Neck he wants to interrogate Navarro. Crew Neck forgets momentarily the president's orders for supreme deference to Jack. Baby steps, Crew Neck.  Jack checks in with Kate and he learns that Kate's exonerated husband is dead by suicide. Jack now wants to hurt Navarro a little extra.

Navarro shows American TV viewers that he's on a low carb diet. And then he tells Jack he wants full immunity. Of course this is a terrible idea. Jack goes bananas foster on Navarro's wrist but Crew Neck and his white shirt brigade break it up just as it was getting good. Kate goes all Jerry Springer in the doorway, yelling at Navarro for what he did to her dead husband. Jack is all "Get off me, you weirdos. What did you put on Navarro's nipples anyway?!" The CIA substation is devolving into a local chapter of the Tri-Delts.

Chief-in-Law gets an apology from Audrey but he throws it back in her face. He tells her she wants to make kissy time with Jack. Audrey tells him that she... oh who the heck cares, this subplot blows. It's meant to justify what immediately follows: Chief-in-Law calls the Russian circus and he sells him out- giving the Ruskies Jack's CIA number/locator thingamajig. Why? Because Chief-in-Law is worried about Jack stealing his crazy wife. The Russian circus is nonetheless satisfied.

Chloe makes an impressive and suddenly unimpressive attempt at stealing the override device from Crow Villain. "Get back in the car!" he grumbles to Cleopatra O[Brian. This is very much becoming an old married couple.

Kate interrogates Navarro the old fashioned way (no, she doesn't pinch his nipples with those weird things on them). With a lot of shouting and a gun pressed to Navarro's head, Kate brings back the old days of 24.  Jack walks into this scene after getting a coffee and immediately draws his weapon and yells at her but maybe he knows Kate is crazy like a Bauer, but he nonetheless plays the good cop to Kate's angry as all hell bad cop. Navarro takes 3 seconds to give up his information on a tracker he placed in the device. Nice work, Kate! So, does the immunity thing get to go into the shredder?

Chief-in-Law joins a presidential briefing where he learns that the man he just gave up to the Russians is the only man who can stop Armageddon.  Oops!

HOLY SHIT! Cheng is back! Cheng murdered the entire Scooby Gang.  We also learn that Cheng was running Crow Villain all along. Cheng, Jack's kidnapper from years ago, "asks" Chloe to undo the garbage Yates put on the device so it can be used for maximum villainy. Chloe refuses to help Cheng. Cheng shoots Crow VIllain in the leg. Chloe agrees to help Cheng. Cheng always wins.

The Chinese (unofficial) and the Russians are both back in the mix in one episode. Jack might be able to kill his remaining enemies in one gloriously convenient season ending arc. I've been asking for Cheng's head since 2007. That's 7 years ago! What did gas cost back then? LESS THAN IT DOES TODAY DAMMIT!

Crow Villain, believing they're going to die, tells Chloe the truth- that Morris and her son weren't murdered, they died in an actual accident. Chloe, poor Chloe... manipulated to the end. Cheng makes good on Crow Villain's expectations and shoots him dead in the head.

AND THEN THE RUSSIANS SHOW UP! In proper Russian fashion, they introduce themselves to Jack with shitty driving. Holy mother of god. Jack and Kate versus the entire Russian Army. As the Russians shoot their way towards Bauer, Cheng sends a launch command to a US submarine to sink the Chinese aircraft carrier. You know, when I get a weird piece of direction from my bosses, I tend to kick it around with them for a minute or two before acting. The sub captain is all too ready to put down his coffee and just launch the dame missiles. It's obvious the sub crew thinks this is an odd, if not ill-advised order. Yes, it was confirmed but still, doesn't the captain get to ask for a little extra confirmation? If we're going to start World War III, you should be sure you want millions to die before you commit to the damn thing. Anyway, the missiles hit the Chinese carrier. Tune in next week for the end of the world!

This episode helps move the chaos forward.  Unfortunately, we only have two more hours to get (some) resolutions to these twists. Maybe Jack gets a super soldier serum injection. Maybe Jack sends out an evite to his enemies to all show up at a dinner party. I am very interested to see how these remaining hours cover all of this material.
Clem is hiding right now so no picture this week. She's afraid of WWIII. If only my cat was commanding that damn sub...

Monday, June 23, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Quick Review

Previously on 24, James Heller died.

Holding up her end of the deal, Shadow Mom orders the drones to crash into the earth. One drone left to destroy...

And then Shadow Son figures out the video feed of Heller dying is looped. OH SNAP. Heller is still alive! Chloe calls Heller and Jack and tells them all the drones are destroyed... wait, one is coming back! Dammit, cancel the ice cream cake! Heller makes some grumpy old man remark about wanting to die like a lion. Jack's manservant shows up and Jack tells Heller to get in the car and lay low. Jack gets in a chopper and calls 40 people on the biggest conference call of all-time. Jack is running the entire world.

"Jack, what do you need from us?" asks Kate, the only smart person earning a government paycheck.

Wow, the 24-verse finally got their shit together. Do what Jack says. DO IT AND GIVE HIM WHAT HE NEEDS. No wonder 24 is 12 episodes this season. I mean come on, we do it Jack's way, we only need half the time.

Shadow Mom watches some conveniently high-res surveillance video of Heller talking to Jack about he origin of the team name for the Brooklyn Dodgers (it was a nickname for people from Brooklyn, "Trolley Dodgers") when Shadow Mom decides she no longer wants Heller dead, but instead wants to target an ironic target: Warterloo Station.

Chloe works the hell out of her Acer laptop and calls up the Crow dude. Crow dude has a hack for finding the Shadow peeps. Kate and Crew Neck are coming in by land, Jack by air, Chloe is coming in through the wires. Oh, let's not forget, Chloe is trying to score the drone override device for Crow dude. Not cool, Chloe. You're only gonna make drama for yourself, and us.

And we finally get Jack doing what he does best, taking a pistol and cleaning up bad guys with hot lead. I could watch 300 hours of this stuff. Why all the talking and nonsense? Just give me Jack, The Jack Sack and a bunch of ammo.

Jack takes back to the roof when the hallway gets too busy with gunfire. Kate and the CIA come storming up the stairs. Shadow Son knows Jack is close to them, so he chooses to get up and leave. Shadow Mom tells him she's very disappointed in him. Guilt trip achieved. Shadow Son sits back down. Love.

Jack has his Die Hard move all set, tying a power cable around his waist. Shadow Son sees Jack coming down the building through the window (awkward) so Shadow Son shoots at Jack, blowing out the glass.  Shadow Son cautiously goes to the window to see if he hit Bauer, but OOPS, sorry, Jack isn't dead, and Jack pulls Shadow Son out the window, throwing the poor, dumb kid to the cement slab down below.  Jack jumps into the room, kneecaps Shadow Mom, puts her in a headlock and with his other arm, steers the missile into the river. OH BUT WE'RE NOT DONE PEOPLE. After letting Shadow Mom say something stupid, Jack grumbles "Thanks to you, I had to hear Heller tell me about Trolley Dodgers, dammit!" and then Jack throws Shadow Mom out the same window he yanked her son from a minute ago! Shadow Mom plummets to her brain exploding death, right alongside sonny boy. Jesus, Jack!

So, season over, right?


Jack's manservent drops Heller off at the Embassy, the Secret Service pull their guns on the manservant and Heller dislikes this so he says "Treat him like his name is James Heller." The Secret Service guys feel crappy all of the sudden. Jack's manservant gives Heller this look that basically equates to "I will kill a thousand clowns for you, my friend." A life debt has been created.  Heller goes inside and hugs everyone (and maybe Heller quietly wonders if anyone really found his letter of resignation. No one mentions it, but Heller can just say he forgot where he was when he wrote it, right?).  

Kate sees Jack in the hallway and they silently agree to make out later. Kate is all smiles and then she gets a call from her Crumpets local pal saying that tech boy Jordan finally died in a strange embrace with a bloody hitman. Kate calls Navarro (yes, Mr. Julia Roberts) and tells him Jordan is dead (awww) and that he has a dead pal (huh?). Navarro is freaking out, so he calls Crow villain for the escape package. In exchange for escaping, Crow man wants Navarro to bring him the override device.Things are going to get messy.

Chloe emerges from the Internet pub after racking up a 5 hr long tab. She talks to Jack, tells him she's insane, and then she jumps into a Mercedes being driven by.. Crow villain. OK, I get it, he's our new villain.

Jack gets back to the CIA office with the device, bringing a DoD expert with him to protect it until it can be transported back to... what's going on here? Just bring it back to the military, Jack. Anyway, Navarro talks to Jack and stupidly lets slip that Jordan died. Jack decides this is interesting. Navarro suddenly regrets saying anything. Jack boasts that his old pal at the CIA can get the ID on the hitman in three seconds. OK, maybe four seconds, just wanted to make you raise your eyebrows, Navarro.

Jack gets a call from Audrey, poorly timed to distract Jack from catching Navarro doing something evil. Jack walks to a private area and gets a return call from the CIA pal with the skills. Navarro sees he's screwed, so he kills the tech with the device and Navarro gets his own manpurse and stashes it, running out the door. As Jack finds out Navarro is the rat, it's too late. Jack and the Jack Sack are set to find Navarro and the Julia Sack. Jack versus Julia. Walking fast, running faster. Jack punches someone well-meaning. Navarro shoots at Jack. Two men with manpurses running through the night.

Navarro calls Crow and says "Yeah, I got [the override device]." Chloe gets out of the car to buy peanuts at the gas station. She gets back into the car (where are the peanuts? Hmmm....) and they drive off to meet the man who got his ass dumped by Julia Roberts.

And on 24, that could mean any number of people.

Alright, I loved this episode. I think I'll watch it again this weekend because it got everything right. And tonight's hour reminded me of some standout shows from years past. Such chaos, and fantastic action. The setup for the next 4 hours feels great. Well done, 24 people. 

Meanwhile, I'm trying to communicate better with Clem. She wants to know why I stare at this glowing box every Monday night. I hope this book helps.

Monday, June 16, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Quick Review

Previously on 24, I lost my patience with some absurd plotting and a conclusion that made me long for the days of Charles Logan and his selfish presidency. This season, we get the opposite- a curmudgeon with a heart of gold in James Heller. Certainly we should applaud this man's courage in deciding to surrender himself to save thousands of innocent lives. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, right? Eh...
Doctors at the CIA substation tell us Simone won't be ready to talk for at least one more episode.

Meanwhile, Simone's Mom (Shadow Mom) is really excited about the iChat she had with James Heller. Shadow Son says "Bully!" to that nonsense. They flee their country estate for a new hiding spot. These terrorists are prepared.

Mr. Julia Robert's hit man calls up all Ali G style and says he didn't make the hit. Kill him, says Julia's ex-fiance. OK!

Heller meets with Jack, and shows Jack he knows how to record iChat conversations. Jack is shocked by this technical skill.  Oh and the content of the conversation too! Heller makes Shadow Mom swear (Bauer-style) that she'll destroy her drone fleet if he surrenders to her. She does, yet Bauer is not impressed. Then Heller tells Jack he's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  And THEN Bill Devane takes the show over with some major fucking acting! Damn, Devane, you win me over every single time. I suddenly agree with Heller because Bill Devane is Heller and Bill Devane is awesome. Jack gets convinced too. Heller asks Jack to kidnap him. Ah, man- Jack is never going to avoid jail. Jack asks for help and Heller picks the wrong person in Son-in-Chief. Jack's definitely not getting help from this guy.

Jack calls Kate and asks again to interrogate Simone.  Kate says "The doctors are saying-" Jack cannot take this shit anymore so he tells her Heller is surrendering to Shadow Mom. "So, wake the bitch up!" Jack says and suddenly a new classic Jack quote is born. Kate wakes her up in 2 seconds. Simone tells Kate about the disc in the floorboard at the house, address and all.

Son-in-Chief walks in and Jack wants to kick the Earth out of the sun's orbit. Jack then loads his guns in front of the guy to show him he knows how to use guns. Kate calls Jack and says "We may have something, blah blah blah" hope it works!

Heller goes to see Audrey. They look at old pictures of him, Audrey and her mom- who looks creepily like Audrey. It's a good scene because Bill Devane is in it. Ooof, this guy pulls the heart strings. I'd watch 24 hours of Bill Devane. New series, FOX! Get on it.

Chloe makes a quick appearance at the Internet pub. What's she typing furiously about?

Jordan calls Mr. Julia Roberts and indicates he's not smart enough to know he was set up. So, Julia's leftovers calls da Ali G hit man and gives him the location.

Meanwhile, Jack rips the transponder out of the President. Ha! Heller busts Jack's balls about being a crappy surgeon. Ah, the love between these two guys. Oh shit, Heller puts on a ball cap disguise. Awesome! A Secret Service Agent walks in on Heller and Jack and Jack demolishes him with a right hook. "Geez, Jack!" Heller moans. Ha!  And onto the streets Heller and Jack go.

Jack and Heller get to the chopper! (Sorry, I had to) The Allstate guy (no, the other Allstate guy, the one that keeps breaking stuff) says "Huh?" Wembley, here we come.

In the continuing adventures of the lazy hit man, the trail of blood keeps da Ali G preoccupied, so Jordan beats him with a lead pipe (is it lead? I don't really know, it's a saying!) and grabs G's gun. But then G stabs him! But THEN Jordan shoots G! So much messiness. Mr. Julia Roberts gathers that this is all going poorly when G doesn't answer his well-timed call. I mean, really- the hit man kept his ringer on! What a ponce! Jordan, covered in Ali G's blood, realizes Julia Roberts was right to dump that jerk.

Meanwhile, the CIA have a tactical team picking up that loose plot thread. which they find. The external drive with all the GAME OF THRONES episodes, hopefully.  Kate asks some desk jokey to send all information to Chloe O'Brian. "O'Brian?" YES, DAMMIT!

Shadow Mum and Son get the hotel base of operations up and running, and they remind us that they have 5 drones active. What OS are they running to get those very "Fisher-Price quality" drone graphics?

Jack and Heller land the chopper at Wembley. Chloe calls Jack, says she's going to try to solve the riddle of steel but it's not going easy. Jack tells Heller he's going to die. Sorry.

Next, Chloe hears from The Crow villain. It's an awkward conversation. Hmmm, Chloe seems to be in on some dirty shit with this guy. Ah, it's all a double-triple crosses nowadays.

Audrey tells Mark (Son-in-Chief) that her dad has run away to join a football club but she (of a woman's intuition) sees that Mark knows. Audrey slaps Mark. Now, he'll be called Mark because he hung in there with Audrey's crazy train routine. This is a surprisingly moving scene. Mark, you showed some character there. Please don't screw over Jack.

At Wembley, Heller tells Jack he gave Jack a presidential pardon for all past crimes, including that hacksaw gag from many moons ago. Chloe calls to say she might have something but she needs more time. "We're out of time," Heller grumbles and he strides onto the field. Still wearing the ball cap. Oh, okay, he takes it off. Professional. But he keeps the windbreaker on. Casual. This guy masters all looks.

Shadow Mum sees Heller on her Presidential spy cam. She needs to run facial recognition because she can't believe Heller would wear a windbreaker to his grave.  The software confirms it's him, so she tells Shadow Son that she wants to push the button to kill! Target lock.  Missile fired. And just like that, James Heller explodes. Silent clock? NO! WHAT??!!?!?

Okay, this was a tough one. I loved all of Heller's scenes and I was ultimately surprised that they couldn't save his life. I admit the idea of Heller surrendering made for good drama so I accept it for what it is and what it will become- new purpose for Jack to exact his unrelenting revenge. I also like that Jack got his pardon, but will it hold up? Will Heller be deemed "incapacitated?" Who knows, but I guess that's the unofficial tagline of 24. Tonight's episode was a vast improvement over last week's for me. I think the length of this series- and the history between these characters paid off with these several scenes between Jack and Heller, and to a lesser extent, between Heller, Audrey and Mark. For you hopeful folks out there that think no silent clock means Heller and Jack duped the baddies, I hope you're right. But as of now, I'm operating under the assumption that Heller is gone.

Now, here's a special treat- my friend Nik created a custom "cartoon" piece of artwork showing Clementine and my friend's pug, Priss- they're on an adventure in the wild! I need this after tonight' episode.

Monday, June 09, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Quick Review

Tonight, on 24- Gordon Ramsey gets his face eaten off by Jack Bauer. Wait, it's 4 minutes before the show starts. Oh well...

Previously on 24: Jack was right, everyone else was wrong. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Pixie Chick done got hit by a double-decker. A month ago, that sentence would mean nothing to either of us, but here we are. So much for the red-headed terrorist. I mean, she'll live so Jack can scowl at her, I'm sure of it. But no more fancy dalliances this season unless she starts dating Jaws.

Jack meets MI-5; an international incident ensues. Jack catches up with Kate, who looks amazing for someone that got all that torture done to her. Jack's other friend, the guy from the place and the mission, etc. was fine too. Like really not at all unhappy. Chloe tells Jack that the Pixie owns the phone number they traced from the terrorist computer Pixie's name: Simone. So there's the lead. Jack's going to find her and scowl!

Jack has a direct line to Heller. This is about flippin time. I love this- Heller clearing a path for Jack. Jack mentions how the Brits screwed up the whole operation, but not before Jack could fix it with his gun.  The call ends and lucky for the British, their PM is right outside the room waiting to get his ass kicked by Heller. And surely enough, Heller beats the shit out of the Prime Minister. It's two old guys getting angry. Grumpy old men in terrorist context! GO FISHING! YELL AT EACH OTHER IN A BOAT! DO IT!!! Heller beats the Scone Head into the ground with good 'ol Yankee anger.

Shadow Mom drunk (on power) dials Pixie's phone and finds a very informative EMT tech there to tell Shadow everything- right down to the hospital room and what's in the snack machine down the hall (CRISPS MUM!) Now, it's a race between Jack and Shadow Mum.

Back at the CTU-err CIA, Mr. Julia Roberts talks to his source orchestrating the whole dastardly plot that we mentioned briefly last week. What's it all about? No clue. Kate's husband got involved, got burned. And who's the source? That Eurotrash guy that Chloe worked for- I had a nickname for him but it doesn't stick. I was hoping Eurotrash wasn't going to be an important character, oh well.

Dr. Jack Bauer tells the British doctor attending Simone that saving Simone's life is not quite the first priority. Shadow Goon shows up, breaks into a secure clothes closet and dresses the part of "non-threatening hospital employee." Meanwhile, Kate gets a gender-type scene consoling the orphaned girl that Simone made an orphan. Oh, no, it's just a gentle interrogation. Good thing the kid breaks under warm treatment. See, torture is not the way! Cute kid tells Kate "I hope Simone dies." Oh shit, family jihad. Shadow Goon overhears this and tells Shadow Mum. Shadow Mum tells Shadow Son she wants the drone to blow up the hospital full of infidels/rotten, good-for-nothing redheaded daughters.

All that aside, Mr. Julia Roberts follows Eurotrash's orders to let the well-meaning CIA kid die. Send him to get milk.

Heller quickly decides that he should resign at some point after Jack Bauer saves the world. Chief-in-Law and Audrey are shocked. Heller, don't talk to these kids about what you think.

Simone wakes up and meets Jack. Jack appeals to Simone's good nature. You know, she's killing people left and right, so naturally she'll cooperate. Or maybe we start squeezing the pinkie stub. This is more than simply the scowling I predicted.  OH GOD IT HURTS!!! She passes out from the pain. Torture doesn't work. I told you, Jack. Jack finally lets the racism out. "I hate these people." Hehehe.

And then they run into Shadow Goon. Shots fire! Running! Drum beats! OK! Jack catches up to the Shadow Goon's corpse (it wasn't that long a run, I guess) and finds a text message on Goon's phone saying "I have a drone coming to your position to blow up the hospital in 8 minutes" or something like that. Jack doesn't need to work those police skills too hard so far, thankfully.Evacuate the hospital! Yeah, okay, Jack.

At a pub, Chloe opens up a laptop. This reminds me of years ago, when Chloe went to a coffee shop with a laptop. Many hair styles/colors ago.

Jack picks up Pixie Chick to rescue her. She acts pissy so he drops her on the floor. She says "Wait! Please don't leave me here." Jack picks her back up and they leave. An odd couple is born.  Meanwhile, Kate is doing the right thing and saves Yasmin, the Orphan so the Orphan can grow up and be angry at the terrorists for killing her mom. And there are so many people waiting for an elevator to leave the hospital. I think I see someone emptying the pill cabinets. Woohoo!!!

The drone fires one missile on the hospital. BOOM! Shadow Mom quickly finds Jack, Simone and Kate in the melee and fires on them again as they flee in a luxury mid-size sedan. Meanwhile, misery at the hospital. Simone sees this during the tire-screeching drive out of the blast area. Ooops,. she thinks. Jack evades missiles by car decides "Enough of this poppycock! Time to get a new motorcoach!" Jack sizes up a roomier SUV with a good back seat to catch Simone's blood.  Without hesitation, Jack introduces hismelf to that car's driver by PUNCHING HIS EVERLIVING FACE OFF!!!  I love it. But Shadow Mom saw that too (REALLY?!?!) and has more missiles to fire. Jack is tired of this, he gets to an underpass, stops and takes another car to get this crazy drone lady off his ass.

Jack tells Kate to "Grab my bag" (awww yeah!!!) and they jump into their 3rd getaway ride, not before Jack puts a conveniently placed loose brick on his last car's accelerator to send it away for the drone to destroy. Shadow Son is pumped up that he won the videogame, Shadow Mon notes that he blew up an empty SUV. This lady is having a very bad day. Oh, Kate notices that Simone is dying. Jack, did you hear her? Simone is...

BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP (commercial break!)

CIA Good Nerd is walking alone in an abandoned part of the toilet we call London and gets shot, falling into the water. The hitman isn't sure he got him. Heh.

Chief-in-Law meets the Russian. The Russian looks like he could win that circus game with the mallet. Russian tells Chief-in-Law that he knows the kid forged the extradition order. So, the Chief-in-Law promises to screw over Jack when things die down.

Oh, the hitman was right, he didn't kill the CIA Good Nerd. From the filthy waters of a london stream, emerges the Good Nerd Reborn! Or is it Rebooted?!  GOOD, NERD! GOOD!! 

Heller, sits in a room feeling sad. So, he calls Jack. Jack says "Hang in there boss." Heller says he needs to meet with Jack. Jack knows this means something serious. Heller puts on his suit jacket and he calls Shadow Mom using FaceTime!

Heller says he's going to turn himself over to Shadow Mom. Shadow Mom says "Don't catfish me, infidel." Old Man Heller says "What, you want to argue with me in a boat too?! Sheesh!"

Alright, above is Clementine imitating James Heller's foreign policy in this episode. I mean come on, James! Really?! Also, the fact that Shadow Mom could track Jack through the chaos of an exploded hospital is a bit much to accept. Not that I ever needed this show to be realistic, I just lose interest when it turns into a cartoon.  I loved Jack in this episode. Kate was great too, slinging The Jack Sack™ over her shoulder, consoling the Orphan and being generally competent. The messy subplots don't interest me as much- Mr. Julia Roberts and the Russian angle both feel too formulaic. Not that I'm saying they can't get better, I just know how these things normally turn out. I did appreciate Zombie Good Nerd. He's not amused, people-- well, neither am I.

Monday, June 02, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Quick Review

"You are to give Jack Bauer whatever he needs." -President Heller

Jack asks for a car, silence AND Kate Morgan.

"Jack wants her, Jack needs her, JACK GETS HER!"


Back at Chateau Bloodbath, Shadow Mom slaps her good kid across the face for second guessing her behavior (chopping off Simone's finger, killing Simone's husband in front of Simone). Don't you tell me how to be a loving mother (SLAP!) Shadow Mom then demands lovingly requests that Simone go and kill her dead husbands sister. Imagine marrying into this carnival of carnage.

Jack gets The Jack Sack™ back! Back in the field, back in black, back with Sack, oh hell yeah! Jack says hi to Audrey's husband, wastes two minutes talking to the guy and then he walks out the door to kick ass.

Only one man here has a sack
And then the episode goes all "crumpets, crumpets, etc." The English think Heller is senile. Great.

Bauer and Kate finally meet on equal terms. They talk professionalism. And then Jack reveals he's been working for a terrorist for the last 3 years. But of course, Bauer didn't turn evil; Jack was taking down the worst of the worst from the inside.

Ah crap, the Russians call Chief-in-Law. And now we learn that the weasel signed the President's name on a transfer order to send Bauer to Russia. Ah, no wonder he's been hiding around everything involving Jack. Wow, this is perfect.

And we finally get the official beginning of Jack & Kate- Jack explains his plan to get his terrorist contact to talk about Shadow Mom but it involves triple crosses and using Kate as a canary in the mineshaft. What the heck is Bauer talking about? Who cares, Kate's life is in danger and she wants it that way. Jack is attracted to this sort of thing.

Back at the CIA base, Mr. Julia Roberts suspiciously keeps IT Guy from doing something smart so no one can find out that Mr. Julia Roberts probably set up Kate and maybe her husband in that whole traitorous fiasco that forced Kate off everyone's Christmas list at Langley.  Plot thread has been established!

As for the Brits, they've got some thermal imaging that makes it look like Jack betrayed Kate ("Oi! He put his lady in the trunk!"), so they decide to send in one of their own teams to stop Jack. Oh, James Bond, don't you dare try to stop Jack. Jack and Kate (in the trunk) plus eight terrorists (I'm sorry, I hate myself for writing that) all start to get to know each other at some swanky warehouse adorned with rusty chains for curtains other lovely tetanus-causing hazards.  Jack's cockamamie plot to placate the terrorist who knows Shadow Mom is afoot!

Speaking of, Shadow Mom orders Simone to kill her sister-in-law and adorable daughter. Will she do it?

The gruesome interrogation of Kate begins. Kate resists. while Jack tries to get the terrorist to log into a sweet bank account full of money (or a computer virus, it's a Nigerian Lotto thing, you never know!). Kate is about to get a power drill to the head but the Brits storm the building to save her- nooo, they only care about capturing the terrorist. Kate says "Not a problem" and gets the drop on her torturer, killing him with all of her will (legs and a knife). OK, Jack hits "enter" to finally upliad the virus onto the terrorist's computer. Meanwhile, Kate kills some more and then lays back to take in the glorious carnage. And then the terrorist takes his own life when everyone thinks it's all done. Crap!

Luckily, Chloe's virus has derived some useful information. To a phone number, but who's? Maybe to Simone? Simone, you confused Pixie Killer.  She's got a knife under the table as her dead husband's sister asks "How's your marriage?" Simone tries to do the right thing and save her sister-in-law by telling her to run out of London, but the awkward sister-in-law relationship gets a tad more so when Simone accidentally stabs her instead. Ha! And now the little girl is on the run out of the apartment. A good Samaritan starts after Simone as the girl runs away from them both. As the kid is running in traffic, Simone gets hit by a bus and a pigeon flys away with all of the secrets.

Oh and that plot thread I mentioned earlier. Mr. Julie Roberts takes out a funny looking phone. And he calls his evil overlord. OK, thanks for that end scene. Ehh....

Clem is not impressed with that ending.

Tonight's episode feels rushed. I liked Jack and Kate finally having a pow-wow without 20 Marines about to shoot them. And of course, The Jack Sack™ is back, so we can all go back to buying the Classic Heavyweight Messenger Bag - IN BLACK!

See you next week!

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Quick Review

I watched this episode today- it was fantastic for the Jack-Audrey scene. Otherwise, evil won this hour!

Monday, May 26, 2014

No Quick Review after tonight's East Coast broadcast

Hello, my beloved readers:

I am not going to be home tonight while the new episode of 24 airs, so my normal Quick Review will be delayed. If I have the wherewithal to stay up later to watch it, I'll post a Quick Review afterwards. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend (and to my international readers, I hope you had a lovely Monday).


P.S. Here's an obligatory picture of Clementine waiting for a new episode of 24.

Monday, May 19, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Quick Review

Previously on 24:

It's a cat!

Okay, that didn't happen. The only thing that happened worth mentioning is that Jack Bauer dropped The Jack Sack outside the U.S. Embassy. And what happened right after that? Everything went crazy for Jack. Coincidence?

A bunch of Brits storm the U.S. Embassy like the Beatle Invasion, but without any of those cute haircuts. Jack sneaks his way in and gives some poor slob the sleeper hold. Chloe walks Jack towards Tanner's holding cell. Kate and Crew Neck tell the Marines that Tanner is the target, that Jack is more powerful than 2 branches of the military combined. The Marines beg to differ. Okay, this should be interesting.

Meanwhile, Jack introduces himself to Tanner and a Marine AND HE COLD COCKS THE MARINE! Holy shit! Jack tells Tanner that he's Jack Bauer. Tanner quickly realizes this is some major shit. Now, let's get Tanner's flight key out of the building to save the day! Hooray exculpatory evidence!

Jack starts to make his way out of the Embassy just as Flint, Roadblock and whoever the hell else they can throw at the situation close in. Jack realizes that escape is not an option, so he wants to email pictures of cats from Tanner's flight key to DailyCute and break some web hits records. Chloe reminds Jack that emailing pics of cats will surely not get him out of the Embassy. Bauer reminds Chloe that meow is not the time to argue.

Back at the Casa del Terrorista, Shadow Mom says "How long?" a few times. If you blinked you would think she was talking to her daughter and son-in-law in a post-coitus scenario. Damn, Shadow Grandma, slow your roll! So, Son-in-law (Pauly Shore) wants to abscond with Pixie Chick on a cross country tour of B&Bs and non-terror related activities. But Pauly, you're the best drone pilot we have! (Huh?) Pixie gets a little weepy, and I'm guessing she lies by saying "Sure, Pauly, anything for the wea-zulllll!"

Kate talks to Mr. Julia Roberts about why they're 20 steps behind Bauer. Bauer, as this happens, finds a room full of underpaid nerds in the basement. Chloe knows where they store the nerds in these places. Jack makes Chloe give him her word about getting the cat pics to DailyCute. Some decryption shit happens, slowly so Jack has to speed things up by... shooting Marines in their body armor?! And then suddenly Jack is screaming at Mt. Vesuvius. Oh, that's a commercial for Pompeii. Come on, anything can happen on this show.

Pixie and Shadow Mom start a nice moment over Celestial Seasonings (more like Creepy Seasonings). Pixie sells out Pauly Shore after about 5 seconds a stare-down with her mother.  Shadow Mom, you're so intuitive with your spy cameras.  Shadow Mom says "Pauly Shore WILL pilot those drones, don't you worry."

President Heller is still talking to Parliament? He's got control of the room, offers conciliation, to allow England to annex Long Island ("Keep it! Seriously!" he says). Chief-in-Law gets a phone call from Mr. Julia Roberts. Roberts says I can't keep your secret any longer. Bauer is going to be front page news.

Jack talks to the nerds, tells them to stay calm as they vomit into their shoes. Ha! Welcome to 24 nerds! This isn't like "Bones" where you jackbirds solve crimes with science and shit! Jack is here to give you some gunpowder evidence if you get out of line, ya dig?  Upstairs, Kate opens up to Tanner, good cop style. Crew Neck does some bad cop stuff, and then Kate gets all the info she needs. Kate is lining up with Bauer's mission. Crew Neck expresses surprise at this development- and by surprise, I mean great disgust.

Heller finishes his God Blessings and the Brits love it. Chief-in-Law pulls Heller to a side room with Audrey and he drops the name Jack Bauer. Audrey has a mental breakdown at the very mention of his name! Nononono, I kid. Heller says "I'm going to talk to Bauer." Heck yeah! Heller is the man. Four more years!

Shadow Mom and Pixie both meet Pauly to remind him that he needs to murder innocents. Pauly says no dice. Shadow Mom says no dice no dice! So, Shadow Mom starts hacking off fingers from Pixie! Hey, it only took Pauly one pinkie to break! That's true love! Pixie loses her typing championship title, but sacrifices must be made for the good of the cause.

Kate tries to intervene with the Marines but they're not interested in talking. Kate calls Mr. Julia Roberts for help, no help there. Then, Roberts talks to some kid (Jordan) about how Jordan thinks Kate is attractive. I assume this will come into play later this season when Jordan does something for Kate that gets Jordan into trouble. Thanks, writers!  Right when everything is about to fall apart for Jack, Heller's call mercifully starts. "Jack, I'm the President!" "That's awesome news, Mr. President!" Audrey smiles big in her crazy little heart. Jack tells Heller that the drones are vulnerable and that Tanner's drone was a test. Jack then tells Heller the name of the terrorists. Is that enough flippin' info, Mr. President?! Heller asks Jack why he didn't call him up first? Jack reminds Heller that he gives him his word. End call. Chief-in-Law says Jack is a terrorist. Audrey says "Jack is Jack, pops!" Then they recap the last season that I cannot really remember! Heller hears about this and decides to take down Jack. Crap.

The Marines are about to storm the room. Orders are given to kill Bauer. These are not official orders, this is that "Code Red" stuff that Aaron Sorkin taught us about in that movie with Tom Cruise. Kate announces to Crew Neck that she is going to do something awesome and dumb. She goes into the ventilation shaft. 15 years ago today, Obi Wan Kenobi did the same thing in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Okay, enough sad talk, let's get back to the show!

Audrey and Chief-in-Law have a row. How very British! Audrey is sane! Chief-in-Law exhibits further scumbag behavior. Can they get a marriage counselor episode in this season? We only have 12 hrs total! NO!

Jack flips over tables in anticipation of the Marine party. Before blowing open the doors, the Marines see another heat signature, Crew Neck says it's Kate and that they should give her a chance to get Bauer out. Meanwhile, Kate drops into the nerd closet and tells Jack she believes him. Kate takes Jack into custody just as the Marines storm the room! Oh snap, Marines, no shoot first for you! Hero music plays. Kate is a new 24 legend! And she has all ten fingers! Take that, Pixie!

And now Shadow Mom has the drones under control. Pauly, it's now up to you!

Finally, a classic episode of 24. This hour had everything- an impossible situation, great character moments, dismemberment, and mother-daughter tea kettle chit-chat. It's like Quentin Tarantino's "Gilmore Girls." That's how I like my television done, and I'm very much back into this story.  Next week looks to be even better- no spoilers for my readers that refuse to see the previews- just know that I'm very happy with how this is going.

Monday, May 12, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Season 9: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Quick Review

It was 90 degrees today. I have proof:

Yeah, it's still warm in my house because we haven't put the AC units in the windows yet. So tonight, I'm writing about 24 with a lot of extra humidity in my soul.

Previously on 24:

It wasn't 90 degrees outside last week.

Also, Jack Bauer returned from exile to spring Chloe "WikiLeaks" O'Brian from the hoosegow in CIA land, London, England. Yeah, I dunno, just stop at "Jack Bauer returned..."

Jack goes to a pub, now this is about time. 9 seasons in, oh wait, he finds Evil Pies on the bathroom floor. Jack says to Chloe that the Pixie Chick is the killer. Jack also reasons to believe that Pixie Chick will have changed her appearance because if he was writing the show, that's what he would do. Did I also mention that Jack does this all with his trusty manpurse?

Meanwhile, back at the apartment complex where Jack punched everyone, Kate is interrogating the soccer hooligans to figure out who this Yates guy is- you know the guy who Jack already found dead in the bathroom? CIA is always a step behind the Man with the Sack.

Well, Kate doesn't mess around, she starts pistol-whipping the head hooligan, Basher, the one that Jack slashed across the neck. Basher is tough. His lack of being dead shows this to be a fact. Crew Neck tells Kate to stop trying to find Bauer. Hehehe, okay, sure.

Jack heads from the pub to the tube, so this is already an accelerated tourist trip of London. Jack is looking for Pixie Chick. Think he finds her? Oh yeah, she cuts her leg to smear blood on her face to... make it look like Jack already did what he was already going to do to her. Pixie Chick loses Jack by dipping down a side door and right in front of Chloe's car while Chloe fantasizes about being a soccer mom again. So far, these heroes are showing their rust. Chloe reveals that Morris and her son, Prescott, died years earlier in a truck accident. So, Chloe is pretty damned messed up. She's convinced that her family was offed on purpose because of her friendship with Bauer. Jack says some fortune cookie stuff about stopping the bad guys, and the camera lands closely on Jack's sincere eyes. Chloe says nothing. BLEEP BLOOP BLEEP- commercial break!

Unfortunately, the already tiresome subplot of the overambitious Chief of Staff/son-in-law has produced nothing but groans.  Is he dirty? Is he a terrorist? I don't care. The Hellers are morons for letting this guy into their lives. Audrey agrees to do something stupid because the Chief-in-Law said so a few times. And then the guy falsely signs a document in the president's name. So, we're supposed to hate the guy even more, as registered voters. Ha!

Shadow Mom and Pixie Chick are revealed to be al Qaeda operatives. Okay.

Meanwhile, at Shadow Mom's creepy walking garden, mother and daughter talk about "the American." Bauer makes an impression. There is nothing wholesome about this family based on the creepy music playing underneath. Ah, there's a brother. He's the one with the computer skills. He says it will take one more episode to get the drone equipment Yates made working. Pixie Chick then sees her real husband walk in, he's cranky about his wife is hooched up. And with a gaping leg wound! Get some anti-bacterial ointment!  Pixie leaves, Shadow Mom tells her mopey husband to deal with the fact that his wife (and her daughter) banged the hell out of Yates for 3 weeks. It's all for the cause!

Jack brings Chloe back to the Scooby Gang and they begin to piece together the plot with the drones. Jack says please to Mr. Cross (the scarf wearing Assange guy). Cross likes this a lot.

For reasons unknown, Kate's subplot involves torturing Basher. This is to get to Bauer? Kate offers to leave Basher with a rival gang or otherwise he cooperates with them. Basher tells Kate that Evil Pies was involved with some bloke named "Tanner."  They speed off before the rival gang kills them all.

Tanner, of course, is the innocent man who's blamed for the drone attack. Is he innocent or not? I'm confused. I blame my cat, she's easily cuter than Basher.  Hi Clem!

Back to the show-

Shadow Mom sews up Pixie in a dark room. Shadow Mom is obsessed with "this American..." so the stitches go extra painful for Pixie. No one loves in this family. They're basically like the terrorist version of the Kardashians. But the Kardashians terrorize us already, yes, I know, but these people are sadly more productive.

Kate talks to Mr. Roberts (yeah, he's kind of in this episode to say "Don't push the envelope, you loose cannon!"). He says "Okay, push the envelope, you loose cannon!" Oh snap- character development!

President Heller is wearing a robe, it's 1:45 p.m. This is not going to be a good scene.  Audrey tries to convince her dad to not speak to Parliament, but old pops charms her daughter into shutting up. Audrey's got the crazy eyes. *eyes roll* Please don't drag out this Heller drama.

Jack Bauer gets on line to turn himself in at the U.S. Embassy. Wait, strike that, "Ron Fairbanks" (Jack's favorite film star of the silent era and go-to later ego) is going to visit the U.S. Embassy to speak with Tanner, the drone patsy. If you want to register @RonFairbanks on Twitter, have at it- there's comedy in those hills. Thanks to Mr. Cross ginning up a fake ID, Jack can walk into any dance party in London!

Pixie and her hubby have a moment. Hubby is pounding contraband sauce in the bedroom. Pixie wants some... hubby. He is freaking out over the whole cause- it's not about Pixie being promiscuous. He's having a real crisis of conscience. Pixie will have to kill him before Shadow Mom does it first. And then we see Shadow Mom bugged the room with a camera. Creeeeeeeeeepy!

Heller gets out of a limo and walks to Parliament. Stephen Fry says "Crumpets, yardarm, thistleberry, Hurrah!" Basically, "Don't fuck it up, Yankee Doodle." Good pep talk, Mr. Prime Minister.

Awwww gawd, Audrey and Chief-in-Law... just shoot them both at this point.

Woah, is this actually Parliament? I'm impressed if it's a fake set.  Alright, Heller walks up to the podium and begins to speak his apology, that is until a bald British prick interrupts. And then some British lady and then, oh my God, so many Brits are yelling! If only Heller wasn't senile, then he could whip up some charming answers to the screaming. Right? Yeesh.

Kate and Crew Neck are at the U.S. Embassy. Holy shit, they're going to see Bauer- I mean Fairbanks. Tense coincidence! Kate walks right by Jack. CIA wins again! Jack is free except for the fact that his ID is bogus (he was double-Cross-ed. Get it?). AND THEN JACK DROPS THE JACK SACK ON THE DIRTY LONDON GROUND! And before you can even cry over this, Jack leads an insurgent force of British protesters through the Embassy gates and overrun Kate, the military defenses and all U.S. sovereignty. But... he dropped the damn bag on the ground....

Worst episode ever.

I kid.


Alright, subplots are taking shape. The CIA is slow, but Kate is half-brained. The Shadow Mom is creepy, and her family is all messed up and terroristy. President Heller is beset by fools and scumbags. Heller deserves so much better, this is one of the best supporting characters who finally gets a shot at doing good things. He's David Palmer-levels of good, so please stop making him feeble. On the plus side, Jack still brings the chaos and now that he's set to spring Tanner and take on the entire U.S. government, I think we have a good few episodes coming up. Just pick up the bag, Jack. Please!

Monday, May 05, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY Season 9: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Quick Review

OK, we're back- I had to look at old posts to figure out how I did this years ago...

Previously on 24: I don't remember what the heck happened. It's been a while. I'm guessing Jack was on Dancing With The Stars and wrote a book about gluten-free living.

[I missed the first 2 minutes of the show because my cat, Clementine, wanted to eat so my attention was all over the place. Oh yeah, since we last spoke, I got a cat! She's wonderful, you'll read more about her in the coming weeks]

Bauer is walking around in the dark when a handful of feeble government agents take him into custody. Meanwhile, the United States finally got a decent option for the White House and elected James Heller as its President. And then, just as quickly as we can celebrate this moment, we learn that Heller's Chief of Staff is a scumbag who looks a lot like Tate Donovan.

On the "good guys" side we have Kate (from CHUCK) and that guy from Law & Order's middle seasons (he dated Julia Roberts, yeah, you don't remember his name either). Even though they never closed the deal, I'll call him Mr. Julia Roberts.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan- people are cranky. This will evolve into lots of yelling and hugging.

Back in London, Kate is looking at Bauer. Kate is a disgraced CIA Agent on her way out of the London office. She has a purse full of CIA pens and envelopes. But she's a good cop with a complicated personal life which included a "husband-selling-secrets-to-China" problem. She's the only one who thinks Jack let himself get caught. She is the only smart person in the CIA.

Mr. Julia Roberts starts interrogating Bauer. Bauer is shirtless and he looks like Frankenstein's monster from the neck down. It's 21 minutes into the episode and he still hasn't said a word. This is fantastic.

The CIA office is up to some bad business down in the basement. It seems our friend Chloe O'Brien fell out of a Amy Winehouse concert into a torture table. And this is why Jack let himself get captured, so he could rescue his best friend.

Chief of Staff guy is looking at Bauer's service records- the confirmed kills that clog his computer. But OH MY GOD, SCUMBAG CHIEF OF STAFF IS PRESIDENT HELLER'S SON-IN-LAW. MR. AUDREY RAINES! For reasons obviously not connected to Audrey having a thing with Jack, her husband is now telling his aide to give Jack to the Russians. Yes, the Chinese are over Jack, but the Russians will have their shot maybe!

Back in the interrogation room (it's only been 10 minutes) and now Mr. Roberts is telling Jack that Kim has had another child- a boy! Mazel Tov, Grandpa Jack!  Kate pulls Mr. Roberts out of the room mid-gloating to tell him that Jack let himself get caught. Mr. Roberts isn't buying it. She quickly locks herself into the room with Jack for 10 seconds, gets Jack to have an emotion, and we can see he's interested in what Kate's about. Or not. He's Jack, the world comes to him. Mr. Roberts gets back into the room, ejects Kate to finish cleaning out her desk, and then makes a funny face to no one in particular.  The closing shot of Mr. Roberts has me thinking he's up to something. Dun dun dun!!!

Jack is taken into the basement where he activates a chip in his wrist and proceeds to kick the living shit out of the two (only two!!!) guards escorting him. Sure enough, Jack gets Chloe free and they begin their escape. Meanwhile, Kate, also a fugitive within her own office (she tased her security escort before he could get her out of the building). She's hunting Bauer. Fugitive vs. fugitive! Crazy! Shots are fired, and we have a gas explosion! Kate catches up to Jack, Jack glares at her, and then Jack does that click-wrist thing (like Mr. Data from The Next Generation) and that signals his helper to send an RPG down into the building. Jack and Chloe get out, jump into RPG Guy's van and off they escape! Ta-Da! Textbook Bauer op.

Heller and Audrey ride around London. Heller is ill with Alzheimer's and he is progressively getting worse. Once this treaty with the British is "locked up" Heller implies he will resign. Don't tell your scumbag husband, Audrey.

Back at the smoked out CIA office, Mr. Roberts knows that Kate is probably his smartest Agent, so he relents and gives her her job back.

Jack and Chloe are getting set to make their next move. Chloe gets dumped out of the van (and sent as an unwitting decoy in jack's larger plan). Jack says "I don't have any friends" to RPG Guy. RPG Guy doesn't seem terribly hurt.

And in Afghanistan, a drone is taken over by bad guys and it attacks an Allied troop convoy. Who did this dastardly deed? I don't know, but I swear I will not rest until I find out! Wait, there's a guy with a computer and he just said "It's done." That's the guy! I can rest now... or maybe he's just a shady dude baking pies. Delicious, freedom-hating pies!

BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP (end 12:00 p.m.)

Chloe wanders the streets aimlessly, and back at the CIA tree house, the kids are all battered, bruised and sad. Kate looks to source a local police officer's help. He has curly hair and a goatee. Is he a friend or a foe? He's someone that Sherlock would ridicule.

There's a CIA guy wearing a crew neck shirt. He hates what Mr. Roberts is doing. He hates Kate too. He hates everything! Except crew neck shirts. My man!

Chloe gets back to her Snowden safehouse. She hugs a creepy old dude. He has nice underwear, I'm guessing. Creepy guys overspend on their underwear.

Jack breaks in, like a cop. What are you doing, Jack? Jack has only one question: which one of you is Derek Yates? No takers. Jack starts roughing up Fancy Knickers. Yates, apparently, is connected to an assassination plot against President Heller. Hearing this, Chloe shakes off the interrogation blues and becomes a fully in-charge leader of these Scooby Hackers. She even snarks at Jack that he should have just asked for her help in finding Yates, instead of using her as bait.

Wow, London is a dump! So far, no one has a nice, stable family situation going on. Some Pixie Girl starts manhandling Evil Pies (the guy who said "It's done" at the end of the last episode). An older woman calls Evil Pies to talk business (she, a woman who eschews indoor lighting). Shadow Lady has an interesting way of saying "schedule"- she says "shhhedule" and that makes Evil Pies repeat it back to her in the same way, even though you know that he really wants to say it the American way. Damn, this show has levels of human complexity that I forgot existed in TV.

(At this point, I'd like to say that I'm feeling the rust coming off, it's been 4 years, right? Wow.)

The Drone pilot in control of the out-of-control drone is being efficiently interviewed by a superior officer. The Drone pilot was set up.  Of course, there's a set-up. Poor kid.

Heller meets with Stephen Fry (Prime Minister) and they talk about old guy stuff- prostates, policy-making, etc. Heller then walks off as Audrey continues entertaining him. Heller's team informs the president that there's been a drone attack on Allied troops. Just as he's about to give the PM the news, the PM gets informed by his staff, so there's now a little chill in the air between these two leaders. Here we go, 1776 Part 2!!!!

Chloe asks Jack why he's doing all of this- but Jack is slow with the answers. "This is bigger than Heller" but then he says "I'm doing this because I owe him." Ok, so it's a little confusing. Ooooh, Jack just said "This is our only play" and suddenly I feel like I'm swimming in ice cream again. Chloe offers help to be his comm support.  Let's get Yates! Let's make this a 2 hr long season! (I know... not happening).

Alright, Heller wants to speak to Parliament. Mark, the Chief of Scum, hates the idea. Heller also orders his General to hand over the drone pilot to British investigators. The General (Walter from Arrow, a British man I think) is an American General telling the president to not hand over the American soldier to the British- GAH! I'm not ready to blog again!!!

Kate starts closing the net around our fugitive heroes, she's identified Chloe's location through some sort of SIM card thingy her local cop pal had on hand. I don't know. It's unimportant, the thing we need to know is that Kate is resourceful, doesn't play by the rules, and needs to chalk up a win to repair her reputation. Jack and Chloe are already in a van, ready to go catch Yates.


The Drone pilot is shown being put onto a truck for transport. No one is saying nice things to him.

Heller is prepping for a Parliamentary appearance by practicing with Audrey and Mark. Heller kicks unruly ass with inspirational language but then Mark goes off on Heller with harder questions, silly questions, questions about the boiling point of mercury and the name of the fifth Beatle. WHAT'S HIS NAME? You're unfit to be president, Heller! Yeah, this won't get annoying for the next 10 weeks...

Jack and Chloe disable the hallway camera and then Basher (Basher? Who's this goon? Oh, he's pals with Evil Pies) has to decide if he's going to hand over Evil Pies (which I've now made the connection, is Yates) to Jack. Basher isn't cooperative, despite his conciliatory name. So Jack takes out the room full of goons, while Evil Pies and his Pixie Chick make a run for ut. Evil Pies must really like Pixie Chick. Or maybe he's never had a girl like him before.

OK, CIA shows up, a la Tarantino (not a way to make pasta, it's a way to make great action showdowns). As Jack is closing in on Pies & Pixie, the CIA tell Jack to drop his weapon. Dagnabit! Basher, bleeding profusely, shoots at Jack, gets him in the arm, and the CIA guys all hit the deck. Jack uses this opportunity to escape into the parking garage. Jack gets the drop on Kate, holds her for a moment and explains that he's trying to save Heller's life. Jack then knocks out Kate and runs outside to luckily find Chloe with a stolen getaway car. The valuable intelligence Jack recovered from Evil Pies bedroom yields a lot of value, until it starts self-erasing the thumb drive, hard drive, etc. At least Jack knows the scope of the plan.

Oh, Evil Pies, you're slick. So, we know now it's all about the drones. Many more drones are compromised.  Evil Pies goes to pee and Pixie walks in on him in the restroom TO STAB HIM IN THE EAR! Awww, he really did love her. And she had to take this thing to the next level of death.

Pixie calls Shadow Lady, who's apparently her mom. Her terrorist mom!


This was a good start but holy heck is this weird writing about and watching 24 again. I don't know if I'll be doing Quick Reviews for all episodes because writing and watching TV is not enjoyable for me. But if I don't write down my thoughts, I'll forget... like Heller, who's Audrey again?

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY: Yes, I'm the Sack...

I've avoided most news about the new 12-part series so I'm sure I'll be making a lot if confused goose noises when watching tonight's premiere. I don't remember how I used to do this, but I believe I posted my stream of consciousness immediately after each week's episodes and that's how I'll attempt to get the rust off tonight. Come back after the show airs (I'm on Eastern Time) and hopefully I'll have something enjoyable for you beautiful readers.

Cue AC/DC:

Jack is back
With his sack
Got a new song, Rob Ford smokes crack
Yes, I'm confused
Like a goose
Nothing's kept me blogging about
Watching our favorite spy
'Caused this website to go dry
I'm not a purse and I don't drink chai
I carry lots of knives,
And condoms, Jack don't want another child

'Cause I'm his sack
Yes, I'm the Sack!
Well, I'm the Sack!
Yes, I'm the Sack!
Well, I'm
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Well, I'm The Jack Sack

Monday, February 03, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY- The Inexplicable Screaming of Jack (Teaser)

How's your day going? Snowing where you live? Thinking of your next vacation? Well, before you get ahead of yourself, FOX wants to remind you that on May 5, 2014 Jack Bauer is coming back to shoot, scream and swear all over your lovely television set. Here's the Super Bowl teaser from last night's broadcast:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY Update- The Jack Sack™ is Back!!!

Set up a perimeter, friends. Jack Bauer has reunited with his trusty sidekick, The ORIGINAL Jack Sack man purse. What's the new series about? I don't know- London, terrorists... misunderstandings between nations and lovers perhaps? All I want to know is what is inside Jack's man bag this season. My prediction: total destruction.
Here's Jack Bauer breaking all gun laws in the UK by just standing still.

Monday, January 13, 2014

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY Update: President James Heller!!!

There's this new 24 "season" coming out in May, I don't know if you've heard about it. Jack Bauer goes to London and blows stuff up (oops, I should have mentioned that was a SPOILER).

Anyway, "Live Another Day" is true to its title in one major respect. Former Defense Secretary James "Leave My Daughter Alone, Jack" Heller is coming back and holy mother, he's going to be upgraded to President of the United States! President James Heller, who once took a Cadillac off a cliff and lived to tell about it (buy American!), cannot be stopped.

Even Apple Maps can't kill him.
Recently, President Heller relied on a vigilante (the Bat-Man) to thwart another terrorist attack from the League of Shadows but since that guy died in a nuke explosion over the Atlantic Ocean, Jack Bauer needs to step up his game and become the hero Gotham needs but doesn't want or deserve... or however that line went.

Oh yeah, Audrey's coming back too. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!