If there were any doubts that Marilyn Bauer was hiding some shocking secret about her son Josh, they were swept away by this exchange between Jack and his former lover following the rescue.
Jack is still trying to figure out why Philip Bauer is so interested in having Josh by his side and fills Marilyn in on what his father told the young man:
JACK: He told him he was taking him to China, that he was his legacy.
MARILYN: Is that all he told him?
The look of panic that crossed her face when she uttered those words sealed it for me.
Then again, the writers may have it in for me since I’ve criticized them so much this year and want to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to look ridiculous.
No matter. I will be in for the surprise of my life if Philip and Marilyn Bauer aren’t hiding something momentous about Josh – both from the boy and from Jack. Whether it has to do with his parentage or something else is anyone’s guess. But I will lay odds that either Jack or Philip himself is the father of the young man and that for reasons as yet unknown, Marilyn has kept the secret from Jack.
The problem with this kind of speculation is that there is no firm timeline established for when Jack’s relationship with Marilyn ended. Josh appears to be about 15-16 years old while Jack’s daughter Kim is probably close to 25 (she was 17 in Season 1 and a couple of the “days” in future seasons occurred with a gap of anywhere from 18 months to this season’s two years).
This means nothing to the writers, of course. But it would be more logical if Philip, in fact, was the father (making Josh Jack’s long lost brother!). Controlling and dominating as he is, one can see him moving in on his son’s wife and initiating an affair.
This will probably be the most interesting thing to watch for during next week’s 2 hour finale – except perhaps what Jack will do with Philip. Oedipus killed his own father but was unaware of who he was when he took his life. Jack has no such excuse. And there may be enough hate in Jack’s heart toward his father that patricide is definitely an option.
Cheng’s chief goon Zhou orders two of his men to take Josh to his boss which sends Marilyn into hysterics. As they are about to kill her just to shut her up, Jack intercedes and proves why everyone likes him:
JACK: (To Zhou) Please let me help you.
ZHOU: Get on your feet! Keep her quiet!
JACK: Thank you.
It’s a wonder terrorists and thugs don’t just break down and repent on the spot when Jack is so nice to them. Saying “please” and “thank you” to someone with a gun to your head may be stretching politeness a bit far. But then, Bauer is a man of extremes. Coming from him, we find it perfectly natural for Jack not to forget his Emily Post.
With Josh gone, Zhou makes ready to move the CTU prisoners into a secure room. Realizing that if they’re locked up they won’t have a chance to get the circuit board, Jack whispers to Nadia that they have to make a break for it. As the gang is filing out, Jack and Nadia bringing up the rear, Jack makes his move.
Head butting an unsuspecting Menudo, Jack begins his death struggle with Zhou while Nadia distracts another guard and Morris leaps on the back of a goon who was about to kill Jack. Bauer takes out one thug with Zhou’s gun and then the three CTU’ers are fighting for their lives. Finally, Jack gets Zhou in a position where he can use the thug’s weapon strap as a choker and just as the killer of Milo is about to lose consciousness, Jack snaps his neck like a dry twig.
Nadia is having a lot more trouble – until Little Ricky shows up and blasts the terrorist, saving her life.
And Morris? We never find out. We glimpse him struggling with his antagonist but no more mention is made of his heroics nor do we even know what happened to the Menudo he was fighting with. Let’s give Morris a kill anyway, shall we? He has partially redeemed himself for violating the CTU code of honor which requires death before helping terrorists. Maybe it will even help get him back together with Chloe.
Meanwhile, Jack is hot to go after Josh until Nadia reminds him he’s still under arrest. Brushing aside this little detail (what’s a half dozen felony counts among friends?) Jack is allowed to go Josh hunting albeit with Little Ricky in command.
The fact that Jack doesn’t take orders from anyone anyway seems to have been lost on Nadia. At any rate, Jack and the TAC Team go after Josh.
As the team wades through the sewer trying to pick up the trail, Josh and his captors arrive at the warehouse where Cheng is holed up. He immediately informs Philip that he has the kid at which point the elder Bauer demands to speak to him.
It is hard to glean much between the lines when listening to this conversation. In an earlier recap, I talked about Philip’s desire for immortality, wanting to see himself live on through the survival of his company. His obsession with Josh as his “legacy” strikes me in a similar manner – especially now that his company is no more. And it appears that this obsession may have driven him insane.
Cheng loads Josh into a car and they start for the rendezvous with Philip. Jack shows up just as Cheng is pulling away and opens fire, killing the driver of the car and causing it to careen into a concrete pillar. In the confused firefight that follows, Jack kills three more thugs while Cheng – using Josh as a human shield – slips away once again.
Jack offs two more Menudos while chasing Cheng to the roof of the warehouse. And Josh proves his mettle by escaping Cheng’s clutches, kicking the Chinese security chief in the face and running for his life.
If Josh is in fact Jack’s son, he acquitted himself in the finest tradition of the Bauer family. Contrast Josh’s quick foot with Kimmy’s confrontation with the Mountain Lion from Season 1 where she cowered and screamed for help. Brave lad, that Josh.
Cheng empties his gun in a fruitless attempt to kill Jack who has now arrived on the roof just as Josh escapes Cheng’s clutches. But in order to do so, Josh hangs precariously from a heating pipe. And his grip is slipping.
Just as Jack is about to take Cheng into custody (or, more likely, execute him as soon as he tells him where Josh is), the boy slips from his perch and desperately needs help or he’ll plunge to his death. Jack is forced to take his eyes off of Cheng, allowing him to escape and help the boy. So while Jack has Josh, Cheng is still at large.
When Josh tells Jack that it was Philip who was behind his kidnapping, Bauer looks perplexed. He has no idea Philip is in possession of the circuit board. But he realizes that a showdown with dear old dad is now in the offing.
DOYLE: Your father is involved with the Chinese? Why?
JACK: I don’t know. I’ll ask him when I find him.
Thus, the stage is set for the confrontation of the season. Philip has proven that he has no compunction about killing his own son. But if it comes to it, can Jack kill his own father? Stay tuned.
Back at the White House, Karen tells Daniels about menacing Russian troop movements. This causes the Veep to confide in Karen about Lisa the Slut and her betrayal as well as his “personal relationship” with her. Karen is solicitous but Daniels is inconsolable, believing that his “lapse in judgement” will bring the country to war.
Funny that these two creatures of Washington never thought about the politics of what it would mean if Daniels relationship with Lisa was ever exposed. The guy would be toast and would probably have been forced to resign. The opposition would have had a field day with the revelations as would the press.
At Bishop’s apartment, the two rutting deer finally finish up. As Lisa goes into the bathroom, Bishop makes ready to download the fake info from her PDA when he stops, his spy instincts on full alert. Instead, he calls Lisa out to have a drink with him. Unable to carry on the charade any longer, the woman attacks Bishop who fights back, getting the Veep’s squeeze into a choke hold. Only the intervention of the Secret Service saves Lisa’s life.
Tom never skips a beat. He confronts Bishop and offers him a choice; cooperate or get the death penalty. Not surprisingly, Bishop chooses to download the fake evidence and send it along to his Russian masters.
Meanwhile, Cheng calls Philip with the bad news that he no longer has Josh. Philip coldly informs him that he is now useless to him and he will make other arrangements. It may seem as if that’s the end for the Chinese but somehow, I get the feeling they haven’t gone far and will be up to their necks in it next week.
Back at CTU, a gaggle of bureaucrats from Division arrive to investigate the security breach at headquarters that allowed the assault to occur. Nadia tries to explain that their in the middle of trying to prevent a war and that it’s three in the morning anyway.
Nadia is unfamiliar with the bureaucratic mind set that recognizes nothing except it’s own relentless rationale for existence. In this case, the end of the world matters squat. Getting the job done, the report written, the paper shuffled means more than any silly notions of saving the planet from Armegeddon. Nadia promises full cooperation, something Morris objects to saying that Milo didn’t die so that the blame for his death could be laid at Nadia’s feet. But the woman is feeling guilt for hesitating ever so slightly and allowing Milo to take the bullet meant for her.
Lennox reports back on the success of the operation with the exception that Lisa has been badly injured – perhaps brain damaged – as a result of her post-coital tussle with Bishop. Daniels seems out of sorts which is not a good thing. Not when they now have to call the Russian President and confirm the fake emails by lying to him about destroying the circuit board.
The conversation with President Suvarov turns into a nightmare when he tells them he knows of the fake emails and other data thanks to their surveillance of Bishop. Suvarov makes it clear that unless Daniels can come up with the board or evidence of its destruction before the show is over (within 2 hours) we’ll be at war with the Russkies.
Making his way back to the White House, Tom is about ready to attend a military briefing on the situation when he receives a call from none other than Philip Bauer. Breaking into the meeting and asking for privacy with Karen, Daniels finds out that Philip will give them the board in exchange for Josh and clear passage out of the country. Karen argues against it. Tom says it’s a no brainer, that they should give the kid to Bauer.
In this case, I agree with Tom. Giving a grandfather his grandson in exchange for a chance to stop the war would seem to be an easy choice. The well being of one 15 year old kid versus the prevention of World War III? No contest.
Choosing the obvious, Daniels orders Lennox to tell CTU to round up Josh. The risk of war is just too great what with many more anti-American generals like Gredenko calling the shots in Moscow.
And this leads to the heart wrenching scene in the parking lot when Jack is called away for a phone call after telling Josh to get in the car. Instead, Little Ricky shows up and drags the kid into a waiting helicopter. Realizing he’s been had, Jack races after him only to be restrained by CTU personnel. With Josh crying plaintively for “Uncle Jack” and Jack answering, one can only surmise that they are indeed father and son.
At any rate, we’ll find out next week, won’t we?
Once again, Jack breaks a record. With seven kills on the night, Bauer is making up for lost time from the previous weeks,
Four Menudos killed in the escape from CTU Island. (Two by Bauer)
Jack gets five more in the firefight to rescue Josh and in the wake of going after Cheng.
Morris breaks through and partially redeems himself.
Jack – 38