Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 8:37 am

Just what kind of an agency is this CTU anyway?

Think about it. For five years running, they’ve been infiltrated by one mole after another until you start to wonder if the bureaucrats who are vetting potential CTU employees weren ‘t somehow in charge of the Katrina disaster as well.

Then there are the interpersonal relationships between the moles and legitimate CTU personnel. Nina and Jack, Curtis and Maryann, and now Chloe and Spencer proves that most of our heroes are completely clueless when it comes to matters of the heart and terrorists. They can’t all be thinking with some other organ than their brain now, can they?

And whoever is head of CTU security should be immediately fired and perhaps prosecuted for negligence. The dummy screener who let the hit man in tonight with a disassembled gun should have been trained to spot that sort of thing. Don’t any of these guys ever get sacked?

CTU is a dysfunctional agency in dire need of reform. Oh well…let’s worry about that tomorrow. We’ve got bigger fish to fry today.


We pick up the story at the airport and the discovery by Curtis of where Mr. Yellowtie snuck off to after escaping from the secure perimeter set up by CTU Tactical. Too late - the terrorists have loaded the leaky cannisters of nerve gas onto a SWAT truck and have already left the airport. We know the nerve gas is leaking because several rats have succumbed to its effects. Curtis calls for a forensics team to investigate.

Evelyn discovers the unconscious First Lady and calls for the Doctor. When the Doc finds nothing wrong with her, Logan assumes - with Cummings urging - that she has relapsed and needs to be recommitted to the mental hospital. Her story about finding the hard copy of her conversation with Palmer is disregarded. Martha’s plight brings to mind Noah who everyone thought was a madman when he warned of God’s wrath about to be let loose upon a sinful world. In fact, Martha’s fate is not dissimilar to most prophets of doom throughout the Old Testament. They were dismissed as crazies much to the detriment of the people who were doing the dismissing. Later, Martha’s attempt to escape makes one wonder who she is going to tell that will believe her.

We discover that the terrorists are trying to move the nerve gas out of the country and that the eventual target of the terrorists is not the United States but Moscow. This brings into focus Cummings treachery as he and the Mystery Man gloat over their success. Could it be that a faction in the United States government is supporting a terrorist strike on Russia in order to fatally weaken the Russian leader who wants to work with the US in fighting terrorism? This plays to some conspiracy scenarios on the far left and right about the government actually working with Osama Bin Laden in order to usher in an era of oppression. Certainly a huge terrorist strike on Russia would cause our own government to crack down on civil liberties even more than they have to this point. I’ll be fascinated to see what the motivation of Cummings and Mystery Man is in helping carry out this attack.

The two traitors realize that Jack Bauer is still a threat to their plans because…well, he’s Jack Bauer, isn’t he? Cummings informs us that he’ll take care of Jack by using his man on the inside at CTU to clear the way for his shooter. Here the writers fell down a bit since so many of us recognized Spencer as the mole from the get go. Why else would he (or anyone else for that matter) play “hide the salami” with Chloe?

Edgar’s conversation with her about “secrets” reinforces that notion:

EDGAR: Why didn’t you tell me Jack was alive?

CHLOE: Oh C’mon, it’s called National Security?

EDGAR: Yeah, what about Spencer? I didn’t even know you two were going out.

CHLOE: Oh gimme a break, okay? When we find the nerve gas and the alert level drops, we’ll have some camamile tea and I’ll tell you all my secrets, OKAY?

It is apparent that Spencer is a patriot who will do anything for his country.

Back at CTU, Audrey is informed by Fat Hobbit Lin that she is going to debrief Diane. Reluctantly, she queries Diane about her “personal relationship” with Jack. Was that my imagination or did I see a look of relief on her face when Diane told her in so many words that she and Jack never made it?

The interrogation is interrupted when Jack shows up at the door to the holding room. Diane sees the looks exchanged between Audrey and Jack and realizes where Jack’s heart lies. This seems to upset her which makes me think that she and Audrey are going to have some words before the day is out.

In the hallway, Jack apologizes for letting Audrey think he was dead. As Audrey tries to tell Jack she still loves him, we find that all the bitterness and hate she showed Bauer last season was just an act! She tells Jack that she “never blamed him for Paul’s’ death” (lie) and that she was never really mad at him (lie #2) and that he “had to make the hard choice” (lie #3). Audrey’s already pointy nose grew considerably during this conversation. But since Jack apparently still has feelings for her, it should be interesting how they try and patch things back together after so much water has gone under the bridge.

Meanwhile, Spencer is in the security room accessing the monitors so that Jack can be tracked from a remote location. Chloe interrupts and gets off the lines of the night:

CHLOE: I was unfairly harsh to you a few minutes ago. I didn’t mean anything.

SPENCER: Apology accepted.

CHLOE: It really wasn’t an apology. It was more of an “observation…” (Spencer walks away in disgust)

CHLOE: (Sotto Voce): Dammit! Why do I do that?

It could be because you have the interpersonal skills of a baboon and the temperament of a female grizzly bear. But we won’t hold it against ya!

Spencer makes his way to the security entrance and unwittingly clears the assassin for entry, who is posing as a mild mannered computer repairman which completely fools the clueless screener who misses the disassembled gun in the shooter’s case. He takes the assassin to the security room and shows him how to access the surveillance cameras so that the shooter can track Jack inside CTU.

Just prior to that, nosy Chloe checks to see what her lover had been doing at the work station in the security room and discovers that he was accessing information above his clearance level. Putting two and two together, she realizes she’s been used and runs to Bill with her information. Spencer is taken before Bill who grills the hapless mole about who he is really working for. Chloe has a nice turn as the aggrieved woman cruelly used by the spy as she almost - but not quite - breaks into tears over the episode. Spencer clams up as the shooter stalks Jack.

Jack is doing a little figurin’ of his own as he and Fat Hobbit Lin discuss the fact that there is probably a traitor in the White House. The fact that Jack has figured out that Palmer was killed because he knew of the plot makes his coming meeting with Nutzo Martha next week (who else is she going to tell that believes her) one to look forward to. Obviously, Jack and Martha are going to work together. And that’s when the call comes from the clinic informing the pair that Tony is conscious and wants to talk. He requests to see Jack first.

The shooter is waiting for him of course. After a short but intense scene of hand to hand combat, Jack sends the hit man to perdition using a pair of scissors. Despite a cracked rib (let’s see if it bothers Jack at all for the rest of the day) when Bauer discovers that Spencer is the mole, he becomes an avenging angel and makes his way to the holding room. After showing the now thoroughly chastened spy the picture of the dead hit man, Spencer blurts out that it was Cummings who was giving him orders.

Jack points out that President Jellyfish is in California and suggests they pay him a visit to let him know about Cummings. Fat Hobbit Lin demurs:

FHL: Cummings is the President’s Chief of Staff and his friend. Without any hard evidence, CTU can’t touch him.
JACK: I’m not CTU. I’ll get Walt Cummings myself.

If I were Cummings, I’d make sure all my affairs were in order…pronto!


The show almost could have passed for family viewing tonight as only two corpses were added to the total. The hit man offs the clinic doctor while Jack’s scissors trumps the shooter’s rock.


SHOW: 27


Bringing the Russians on board will be tricky. Suspicious already, they could see any attack that was planned in the United States as an act of war. Look for a Russian ultimatum: Stop the terrorists or suffer the consequences.

Make sure to stop by The House next week for the best 24 coverage around!


  1. Great summary! One minor correction: Audrey’s late husband’s name was Paul, not Curtis. Curtis is still very much alive.

    Another minor quibble: your January 17th post said that President Logan was the vice president under President Keeler and became the president when Keeler was killed when Air Force One crashed. We don’t know that for certain. We were told that Keeler was incapacitated and Logan was going to assume the duties as president under the 25th Amendment. Since Season 5 begins 18 months after Season 4, we can assume that either Keeler remains incapacitated, resigned or died.

    Comment by Steve — 1/24/2006 @ 9:40 am

  2. Steve:

    Thanks for the correction - I’ll fix it right away.

    As for the succession of Logan, I put that down to more sloppiness by the writers in not tying up loose ends at the end of last season. It’s been 18 months and if Keeler recovered enough to take over, it’s pretty obvious he would have already.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/24/2006 @ 9:43 am

  3. Re: CTU uniformed security … aren’t the red unis new? The life expectancy of CTU security is even shorter than that of CTU “back-up” field teams. … on a field ops, Jack is usually the only one without a kevlar vest or helmet … but the only one still alive at the end.

    Diane vs Audrey … my wife and I differ on this one. I think Jack prefers the simple blue-collar world of Diane vs Audrey’s angst-ridden “inside the beltway” world.

    Spence was doomed once he pissed off Edgar! Did Edgar ever get to bury his mom?

    Comment by Bob Swagger — 1/24/2006 @ 10:17 am

  4. I rather liked the red shirts. Spiff.

    You nailed it Rick. Biggest irritation for me and wifey was indeed the woefully inept security inside CTU. Um… don’t they have surveillance cameras inside the mainframe room? Could it be too expensive to, oh idunno, spring for a few CCDs to oversee the electronic brains of the place?

    It seems that so many moles and such are being flushed out early in this season, a different tack than previous seasons. It can only bode well for even more “things are not as they seem” intrigue to come.

    Comment by The MaryHunter — 1/24/2006 @ 11:13 am

  5. 1) Chloe is hot.
    2) I think that the nerve gas is just a red herring. Moscow is too far away for the terrorists to strike there within the time span of the show. But that’s obvious I guess.

    Comment by Brent J. — 1/24/2006 @ 12:03 pm

  6. Got to differ with you regarding Spencer. At best he is a usefull idiot, at worst, a mole.
    Spencer got Geek to give up Chloe’s access code. Once there he was able to see that Chloe was using remotely and got Geeks help to find Chloe. Now Spence knows that Chloe was not taken out.
    Well maybe this doesn’t prove anything but I have a feeling he’s dirty.

    Comment by diamond — 1/24/2006 @ 2:28 pm

  7. Poor Jack has women coming out his ears!
    One too Snooty, one too Booty and soon one too Loony and daughter too boo boo boody.

    Comment by diamond — 1/24/2006 @ 2:38 pm

  8. I watched the first two episodes of the first seasons, and 24 didn’t turn me on. Two other things had to happen for me to start watching it. First I kept hearing everyone talking about it, especially you. Second, an A&E 24 marathon.

    Now I’m hooked, and chloe looks like a love child between Rick Moranis, and Anne Heche

    Comment by wickedpinto — 1/24/2006 @ 3:44 pm

  9. I think they had red shirts last season already. Look like low-rent mall cops.

    Questions I’ve got: Who is the new VP? Can he be worse than Keeler?

    What is Mike Novack’s role if Cummings is Chief of Staff (ignoring the issue of how ridiculous it is that Novack would be in a Dem and apparently GOP white house inner circle)?

    Why would you steal this hidden nerve gas from the same airport that you just brought media and police attention to with a hostage situation? Wouldn’t it be easier to steal it at night and cause a diversion elsewhere?

    Comment by Publius — 1/24/2006 @ 5:17 pm

  10. Your original post seems to assume that Spencer’s story is legit - i.e. that he was innocently working inside CTU at the behest of the evil Cummings. I tend to agree, but it as least possible that he is not an innocent dupe, as has been noted by at least one other comments poster.

    Also, you said:

    “Was that my imagination or did I see a look of relief on her face when Diane told her in so many words that she and Jack never made it?”

    I may have to go back and watch the episode again, as I did not come away with the impression that Diane gave any indication of this (nor did I independently assume, one way or the other, that they had not consummated the relationship). What is it that you think she said to tip this off?

    Comment by Tom Freeman — 1/24/2006 @ 5:40 pm

  11. Consider this:
    Jellyfish already “doesn’t like Jack” because somehow Jack always interferes in his self-promotion schemes.
    Crazy Martha, unless kept sedated, is “more woman” than Jellyfish deserves or knows what to do with.
    When Crazy Martha eventually (”soon”) meets Jack her repressed sexuality will explode. … flaring nostrils, heaving breasts, etc … all quickly noticed, of course, by Jellyfish … giving him even more personal reasons to dislike Jack A LOT. Jack will be oblivious to his effect on her as he is “on the clock” to save the world #5.

    And Derek … realizing that “the moody oilfield roughneck” renting from Mom is like “THE COOLEST SUMBITCH EVER”. Mom Diane, totally intimidated by CTU, Audrey, Jack/Frank The Assassin, et al will want to retreat back to “her world” but Derek thinks Jack’s World is mucho cooler.

    Now that THE one doctor in the CTU infirmary is dead, where will they find a replacement today that can perform multiple surgeries simultaneously.

    Comment by Bob Swagger — 1/24/2006 @ 6:17 pm

  12. I’m new at computer. How can I print your comments each week and also the feedback. I love it and would like to send it to a frind who has no time to go thorugh this like I do? Are we all crazy or what to get so into this? I watch so little tv, I can’t believe I’m so hooked. Thanks for adding to the crazyness!! Or is it craziness??

    Comment by Flora Hoffman — 1/26/2006 @ 12:30 am

  13. Flora:

    I know how you feel. And don’t worry, you’ve got company. There are millions of us who feel the same way.

    As for printing everything,I don’t know about your printer but on mine if I right click and highlight everything I want to print, and then set the printer control,the printer will do the rest.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 1/26/2006 @ 5:21 am

  14. This Season On 24

    Am I alone in thinking that the current season of Fox’s 24 is the best yet ?
    I have to believe that I’m not. I mean, look at what we’ve got so far. Jack Bauer back from the dead. A terrorist threat that seems to be knowingly playing on the weakn ….

    Trackback by Below The Beltway — 3/1/2006 @ 1:17 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress