Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 2:01 pm

If the writers aren’t going to give us much to talk about, I suppose it’s up to me to breathe some life into this show.

Truly, the series has never gotten off to such a slow start. There are a couple of reasons for that, in my opinion. First, too many plot threads and not enough of them are really converging. That means a lot of exposition and build up. Whether this means that in a few weeks we are going on a roller coaster ride, I don’t know. The potential is still there but if we get a few more episodes like the one last night, they are going to bleed viewers like someone cut their arm off with a hacksaw.

Secondly, let’s face it; not enough action. For an “Action Series” there have been few explosions, fewer gun fights, and little in the way of suspense. I would hate to think that this is in deference to critics who have been saying the show is too violent for years but in the Age of Obama, anything is possible.

Thirdly, the story is just not very compelling - yet. The CIP Module has only been used once and that for only a demonstration. The threat is real but hardly the kind of danger that makes one shudder. “Uh-oh…the power is out…” is not the stuff of terror (unless you’re in a darkened bedroom, in the sack with Janeane Garafalo and don’t know it until it’s too late).

But Jack is Jack and that counts for something. He is still the best hope to grab the module before something really bad happens - like Dubaku mixing sewage in with our drinking water and giving everyone an upset stomach. And in this episode, he even proves how valuable he is to the terrorist Emerson by figuring out how to get Moboto and his wife out the safe room.

This is the Tao of Jack. That he has always had the potential for both good and evil in equal measures. That in some alternate universe, he is no doubt the world’s #1 terrorist. His skills as a warrior and a killer could be put to equal use by both the good guys and the bad guys. It is his loyalty and sense of duty that keep him on the straight and narrow and give him his mission in life; defeat the evil designs of evil men who would harm us for their own selfish ends.


In what has to be the unintentionally comic moment of the series to date, Moss finds out that Renee Walker tortured Tanner in order to get the info about the Moboto snatch. What’s funny is that the Attorney General, after receiving a complaint from Tanner’s lawyers, has sent over a couple of bureaucratic flunkies to question Walker - right in the middle of a terrorist crisis - and they insist that they absolutely must talk to Janis since she was involved in this crime.

The flunkies make several appearances throughout the episode, each one more hilarious than the last. Their tiny bureaucratic minds can’t seem to grasp that FBI counter terrorist employees might be a touch busy during a crisis that threatens millions of Americans. Their cluelessness is priceless.

Meanwhile, it is apparent that the few hours Walker spent with Jack did her a world of good. Not only did she torture Tanner to get information, she has become quite adept at telling her boss to take a long step off a short porch. In her conversation with Moss (who definitely has the hots for her), she ignored his orders to come back to headquarters in favor of “making things right” by recapturing Tony and, we assume, putting a bullet in Jack. Perhaps if she spent even more time with Jack, she would be capable of not only ignoring her boss but even killing him as Jack reluctantly was forced to do to Ryan Chappell in season 4.

At Moboto’s house, the former Prime Minister and his wife are in the safe room where it dawns on the future American puppet in Sangala that he might be willing to die for his country but perhaps his wife has other ideas. He tries to buck her up but we can see that she is going to be a weak link.

Emerson tries the old “I’ll give you one minute to come out or the trusted aide gets it” bit but it doesn’t work. But before Emerson can pull the trigger and get blood and brains all over his beautiful camel hair coat Moboto’s aide gets a call on his cell from the FBI, thus alerting Emerson to the fact that they better get out of there before the feds storm the place.

Tony reminds Jack out of earshot of Emerson that they need Moboto in order to get close to Dubaku so Jack convinces the terrorist that he can get the Prime Minister out of the safe room by introducing poison gas into the ventilation system. Where Bauer acquired the knowledge to turn relatively harmless household cleaning products into a weapon of mass destruction we don’t know. But Jack proves he knows his way around a kitchen - at least where the cleaning stuff is kept - and finds the chemicals he needs.

After cooking up the mix of what I am told in the forums is probably a combination of bleach and ammonia-based glass cleaner and placing it in the vent, the gas begins to enter the safe room. Quite quickly, Moboto and his wife begin to choke on the mixture. “Close your eyes and let it happen,” her loving husband whispers to his terrified wife. Her eyes get as big as saucers as she is obviously thinking, “Speak for yourself, darling.” She crawls to the door and opens it thus effecting her husband’s capture.

SM Walker shows up just as Jack and Emerson are escorting Moboto and his wife to the van and, predictably, is caught as she is talking to Moss. Emerson is ready to kill her right there but Jack points out they need to know what she knows in order to determine how much damage Tanner’s blabbing did. The terrorist calls his contact working with Dubaku who promises to pump their FBI source to determine the extent of the fed’s knowledge of their plans.

The First Gentleman, having been informed by his dead son’s former fiancee Samantha that the kid had indeed been murdered and did not commit suicide, gets his trusted Secret Service agent Brian (who is obviously bent and hip deep in the conspiracy) to find someone who can decode the memory stick Sam gave him. Brian takes the FG to an apartment.

Back at the White House, the President has decided to go ahead with the military action in Sangala even though it will cause Dubaku to use the CIP Module and kill Americans. National Security Advisor Kamin (who opposes the invasion) not so gently points out that she was elected to protect American livese, not Sangalese. Her answer is that she is protecting Americans by “not giving in to blackmail and threats.” She also makes the Obama arguement that by invading Sangala and getting our young men killed even though we have no vital interests in that bloody country, we have re-established our “moral authority” in the world.

This is nuts and typical liberal baloney. The only people who care about our “moral authority” are European leftists who don’t grant us any such thing no matter who the president is. And the idea of sacrificing American lives in order to make us feel good about ourselves is insane. But I suppose we better get used to it. Our military actions will now be done for the good of the world and not because it protects American lives and American interests.

Bad news for Walker when the American traitor working with Dubaku calls Emerson back telling him that Tanner only spilled the kidnapping plot and that he should now kill Renee before he arrives. Dubaku is getting impatient. He wants to kill Americans (what genocidal killer worth his salt wouldn’t want to) and is chafing at the delay by the White House to pull the troops back. The American traitor suggests he use the CIP Module in order to show the president how serious he is. That seems to calm him down a bit.

Meanwhile, the FG Henry and Brian arrive at the apartment where Taylor expects the memory stick to be decoded. Immediately, Henry sees that he is at Sam’s apartment. Alas, Brian has spiked Henry’s Starbuck’s double shot latte with extra milk and whipped cream with a nerve agent that paralyzes him. While lying prostrate, the FG hears Brian tell another agent who is covering Sam to bring her over so they can arrange a murder-suicide scene for the authorities. Sam seems reluctant but obedient when the other Secret Service agent gets her to follow him.

Emerson directs the van to a construction site that is conveniently empty in the middle of the day. Still not trusting Jack entirely, he orders Bauer to kill Walker. “Jack - the ditch,” is all he says. The terrified FBI agent tells Jack she won’t beg for her life and is understandably reluctant to move very quickly. Jack whispers in her ear to trust him and she will live which no doubt was the nicest thing Jack ever said to her. With Emerson watching closely, Jack orders Walker to kneel and pulls the trigger.

Of course, he didn’t aim for her head but her neck which not only knocked her over convincingly but caused a lot of blood to be visible. Jack throws a plastic tarp over Renee and she appears safe.

Now, we know that SM Walker is one tough cookie but tell me true, if you were shot in the neck could you keep from screaming bloody murder? Renee doesn’t utter a sound - even when Emerson orders Tony and Jack to bury her. This they do a little reluctantly, throwing dirt over the FBI agent while she looks on in horror. The final shot - a POV from Renee’s eyes - shows Jack flinging a bunch of dirt over her eyes which blacks out the scene and leaves us wondering how she is going to breathe.


Not even a sniff of gunpowder in this episode. Strangely (and unrealistically) Emerson leaves one of Moboto’s security guys alive.

Jack: 1/2
Show: 7


  1. Yeah, it’s started a little slow, although I have no doubt the payoff is coming soon. The breakout of FBI headquarters last week was a nice down payment on that.

    My mom is watching the show for the first time. To her, it is fast-paced and exciting. She hasn’t been spoiled by the over-the-top craziness of the previous six seasons as we have.

    Comment by Jim Digriz — 1/20/2009 @ 2:53 pm

  2. I am waiting for the hour to come when Jack takes out these bad guys to the point that you actually will lose count, but right now he can’t shoot anybody–unless it is a fake out as was the case with Agent Walker and that was great!–He will just look menacing but never actually shoot the wrong person–except for the fake out.

    Comment by Lourie — 1/20/2009 @ 3:27 pm

  3. By the way, I think it is “Motobo”, not “Moboto”.

    Thanks Jim. You’re right.


    Comment by Jim Digriz — 1/20/2009 @ 4:41 pm

  4. Simply put, if Jack doesn’t kill or torture someone soon, I’m going to my bunk and watch the Hallmark Channel.

    Comment by Mikeyslaw — 1/20/2009 @ 4:45 pm

  5. I called it before the season began…..The “Wussification of Jack”. The writers could not leave well enough along and just had to make Jack weaker and dare I say compassionate.

    Except for season 1 (as we learned the characters) this season is slower to start.

    Comment by Ron — 1/20/2009 @ 4:47 pm

  6. If Ron is correct, this will be the swan song final season of “24″. Those who’ve been present since season #1 won’t tolerate such foolishness, political correctness be damned. Only time will tell. BTW, Rick Moran, Ryan Chapelle was killed in season #3. Where the hell have you been? Why hasn’t anybody mentioned the silent clock? Am I just imagining that? Do we want blood and guts for the sake of blood and guts? If the answer is yes, then I suggest that you watch Vince McMahon’s WWE Monday night Raw instead of “24″. In the meantime I prefer to give the writers another hour or two in order to develop the story, and I’m beginning to see developments, i.e. Agent Hillinger. Was wondering why he was so brusque with his spouse. Well, it looks like he’s been doing a little extra curricular dipping of the wick with the lovely Erica. Choose what you like, I’m inclined to be patient for awhile.

    Please don’t take my slavering for violence and blood seriously. These summaries are not meant very seriously and for anyone to believe that I think it an awful thing they haven’t killed a lot of Americans or had a bunch of explosions isn’t very smart.


    Comment by jazplyr — 1/20/2009 @ 6:32 pm

  7. This is feeling a bit like a reboot to me.

    Comment by steveegg — 1/20/2009 @ 6:32 pm

  8. My wife left part way through this episode to watch a taped rerun of “As The World Turns”. She said it was more realistic and believable.

    Rick’s recaps are better this year given the material he has to work with. The last episode was more like watching a herd of flies having a gas passing tournament than 24. Maybe they’re working up to making more Pink Panther films.

    Comment by cedarhill — 1/20/2009 @ 8:01 pm

  9. Correction: there was most certainly a sniff of gunpowder, it just didn’t make its mark — or rather, it did made exactly the mark Jack wanted it to.

    Is it me, or is Garafalo is simply getting badder and badder? Is there no nadir to the weakness of her performance? Kill.Her.Off.Puhleez.

    Comment by The MaryHunter — 1/20/2009 @ 8:28 pm

  10. I wonder: have any of the other 24 blogs considered the 800 lb gorilla in the room: the ultimate bad guy in not only 24: Redemption but also this season (as far as we know) is African… and that Obama is the son of an African? I would imagine that the Obot set would utterly slam the show for being at least insensitive, if not politically incorrect. How dare Fox impugn the ancestry of Our Supreme Leader.

    Comment by The MaryHunter — 1/20/2009 @ 10:14 pm

  11. “The only people who care about our “moral authority” are European leftists who don’t grant us any such thing no matter who the president is.”

    This from the man who laments the water boarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    Comment by retire05 — 1/21/2009 @ 1:30 am

  12. Can’t Chloe shoot a death ray through to Garafolo’s computer?

    Comment by Juan Paxety — 1/21/2009 @ 10:01 am

  13. “Please don’t take my slavering for violence and blood seriously”.
    To belabor the obvious, “24″ is a work of fiction. Consequently, the writers have the prerogative; push the envelope, test the limits of believability. I still remain convinced, the action will be manifested and, at times it won’t be pretty to look at. My personal fantasy would be a knock down drag out involving Chloe and Janis Gold. It would be glorious!

    Comment by jazplyr — 1/21/2009 @ 11:23 am

  14. I was going to mention that Ryan Chappelle was killed 7 AM Season 3, but I see that someone beat me to the punch.

    The best conversation this week was between Walker and Moss. He’s criticizing her for torture and she’s saying that she got accurate info. (We know that, she doesn’t yet.)

    The anti-torture folks say you can’t do it, besides it isn’t effective. But, in this instance, it was effective. Of course it’s fiction. But I know Israel claims that they’ve used coercive techniques successfully in cases of “ticking time bombs.” By saying that coercive methods never work, the anti-torture crowd are saying that there’s no choice. In truth, there probably is a choice, but they don’t want to admit it. Their position that you let 10 or 100 or even 1000 (or more) die, rather than torture a terror suspect can’t be very popular. But that’s the choice they have to defend. And they won’t.

    I think you wrote that Sam is ticketed for the morgue because she’s got black hair. I don’t think that the murder suicide will be successful. Something about that subplot says: botch.

    Comment by soccer dad — 1/21/2009 @ 12:23 pm

  15. I think that this season’s 24 is probably showing the FBI quite realistically; mostly bureaucratic paper pushers that treasure their job first. Romances and in-fighting are probably accurate as well. I have not been around the FBI very much but this portrayal is dead on for the EPA and state health agencies.

    I also find Madame President to be the epitome of the Liberal’s Liberal.

    I truly hope that 24 has not jumped the shark but it is not looking all that good at this point.

    Comment by Wramblin' Wreck — 1/21/2009 @ 3:59 pm

  16. In the diversity of opinions on this forum, one common thread stands out plainly, which is; the Janis Gold character is at best…pathetic.

    Comment by jazplyr — 1/23/2009 @ 10:27 pm

  17. Someone else mentioned it in passing, but I’ll mention it again: we got a silent clock at the end of the last (12-1pm) episode. Who died? Surely not because of the First Gent (have to confess, i like todd palin’s “first dude” appellation better)

    Comment by Jennie C. — 1/26/2009 @ 9:04 pm

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