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.