Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: "24" — Rick Moran @ 3:23 pm


There have been many memorably awful performances by actresses in film and TV. Everyone has their own list of women paid good money to appear in major motion pictures or top rated TV shows who couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag.

But there is something extra special crummy about the performance of Jeanane Garofalo as FBI Agent Janis Gold. I mean really now, are we going to have to put up with Garafolo’s character much longer? Can’t one of Dubaku’s thugs break into FBI headquarters and put us all out of our misery by kidnapping her or simply accidentally discharging his weapon in her general direction? Perhaps my views are colored both by her execreable politics as well as a face even a Pizza Hut owner couldn’t love. But every time she opens her mouth, I am pulled out of the show and realize that there are few actresses on planet earth who are so bad they actually make you wonder who they slept with to get the part. In Garofalo’s case, we should probably send a sympathy card to whoever that was.

As far as other actresses who should never have been let near a film camera, who could forget the all-time worst performance in movie history - any movie that featured Sharon Tate. Tate had a rack that could drop a moose but that didn’t mean she could emote. Valley of the Dolls - so campy a train wreck that it’s actually fun to watch - featured Miss Tate in various stages of undress that didn’t hide anything. Too bad they couldn’t have hid her inability to act from the world.

Then there was the statue-like performance of Sofia Coppola in Godfather Part III. No, not statuesque. For a woman to be described thusly, they should have some kind of shape. Unfortunately, Sofia’s rather lumpen body type didn’t cut it. Not even low cut dresses that managed successfully to take our attention away from her face (where her gigantic schnoz threatened to steal the scenes) could salvage what even Andy Garcia couldn’t accomplish; getting a wooden indian to talk back to you.

Finally, there was the performance by Jane Fonda in Barbarella. Not a bad actress later in her career, her turn as the futurustic sex goddess was so lifeless you almost wanted to call 911 and have them shock some animation into her performance. A truly classic bad movie in the most awful sense of the genre, the pre-Hanoi Fonda was in a couple of these sex clunkers that passed for soft porn back in the 1960’s. Then, of course, after her betrayal of our POW’s, Jane became a Hollywood star, worthy of Oscar consideration for her turn as a prostitute in Klute. Same Jane, same no-talent, except now she was taken seriously for her “courage” in “speaking out” against the Viet Nam war.

Don’t ya just love Hollywood?


Our FBI is two steps behind the CTU Alumni when they pick up Prime Minister Maboto’s trail by identifying the vehicle in which he is being transported. Meanwhile, Janis, with all the emotion of a three toed sloth, tells Larry that she may have discovered a fragment of the code used by the CIP module to penetrate the firewalls. Larry is dubious but Janis promises to “stay on it unless it gets cold.”

The CTU Alumni have tracked the Prime Minister to a rather ugly office building in downtown Washington. Anyone who has ever been to our nation’s capitol might not be aware of the fact that there has not been a decent looking building constructed in that town since Abe Lincoln’s time. The office structure where Maboto has been taken looks like either a boomerang sitting on edge or a child’s unordered toy box. No matter, the gang disembarks with Renee going in the front door while Jack, Tony, and Bill sneak up to the roof and wait by the door.

Renee works her womanly wiles on the guard at the desk to get past him and goes up stairs to open the door to the roof. Splitting up, Tony and Bill work their way down to the third floor where Dubaku’s suite of offices are located while Jack and Rene will attack from the floor above. Chloe directs Jack to lift some panels that are conveniently located on the floor directly above Dubaku’s nerve center. The crawl space looks like a tight fit and no one can explain how Jack and Renee can walk across the panels of a dropped ceiling without arousing the suspicions of Dubaku’s thugs directly beneath them.

At FBI headquarters, Janis is in competition with the computer to see which of them is the better actress. The computer certainly is more interesting to watch given all the flashing lights and stuff. All they need is a voice interface and they could do away with Janis’s character entirely. But Janis, running her code fragment through a search engine, discovers that very same fragment is being directed at a computer in Kidron, Ohio where a large insecticide plant is Dubaku’s target. She figures it out and gets on the horn with John, the plant manager.

John immediately gets in Janis’s good graces by calling her “honey.” Janis ignores the endearment (or Garofalo is such a horrid actress she couldn’t figure out how she was supposed to react) and asks the plant manager if anything is amiss. Oh, nothing out of the ordinary, John seems to say. Just that three of our ultra-important, can’t do without, safety valves are acting up. Nothing to worry about, happens all the time. Barely worth mentioning.

Janis announces in the most dramatic voice she can muster - which is about the same as you or I giving the time of day - that the plant is under a terrorist attack. Sure enough, they can’t shut down the tanks and the pressure begins to build. We are informed that unless the pressure can be relieved, there will be an “atmospheric release.”

Larry informs the White House and Kamin brings in the Homeland Security Secretary to brief the president. They interrupt her in the process of putting the finishing touches on a speech to the nation about the terrorist attack that caused the two planes to collide. The final line in the speech - “They deserve your prayers and outrage,” would never make it into any speech a real president would give. The press would criticize her for “fostering anger and hate.” All they can do is wring their hands and hope for the best.

Things are getting dicey at the plant and John decides to take matters into his own hands. He plans to release some of the pressure by opening an emergency valve but needs Janis’s help with the schematics. Making his way to the valve room, John mentions that Janis better have the plans up, calling her “honey” again. This elicits the first flicker of life from Garofalo who no doubt in real life would be offended by someone calling her that - even if they were in the midst of an heroic act. “Normally I don’t let people call me ‘honey’ but we can deal with that later,” she says. John speaks for all of us when he shoots back “Sounds like you need to lighten up.”

At Dubaku’s headquarters, the show makes up for its mild mannered beginning in one slam bang, in your face firefight. It starts when Bill and Tony take out the two terrorists manning the front desk. Those shots set off a melee in Dubaku’s nerve center with terrorists scrambling to get their guns and Dubaku ordering that the CIP device be disconnected. When things are at their most confused, Jack and Renee crash through the ceiling and the gun battle begins in earnest. In near darkness, the flash of the muzzles supplying most of the light, CTU Alumni does themselves proud in taking out a slew of terrorists. Nicholls, under orders from Dubaku to take Maboto to the car, meets an inglorious end when Renee puts a bullet in his back. She rescues the Mabotos’ and ushers them out the door.

Jack, whose trigger finger must have been real itchy after so little action, got a lot of target practice in - first with his pistol and then with an automatic rifle. He accounts for 5 of the 13 terrorists taken down in the expertly crafted and shot gun battle. The CIP device is destroyed in all the hub-bub never to bother the US again - right? Could Dr. Phlox have made a spare? He had plenty of time. Stay tuned.

Dubaku is escaping. In a storage room where Dr. Phlox has been held prisoner, Dubaku wires up the good doctor with explosives and skeddadles out the back door. Jack and the team find the room, throw open the door, only to be confronted by the harmless alien whose love of exotic animals and even more exotic cures on Enterprise made him the only character worth watching on that travesty of Star Trek entertainment. Jack sees a wire hanging from poor Phlox and screams “Cover!” while the bomb goes off and even an alien with medical knowledge far in advance that of earth would have a hard time putting all the Phlox pieces back together.

The FBI is still clueless even after the terror attack has been averted. They know nothing and Larry is demanding answers. Hillinger is the poor unfortunate who gets his head taken off and he tells Larry that just because the object of his dreams is probably dead doesn’t mean he should be yelling at him. Larry lies and says his real concern is the tens of thousands of Americans whose lives are at risk. He tells Hillinger to get Janis to find where the terrorists were transmitting that signal.

This Hillinger did and it elicited an actual response from Janis. Janis is supposed to be affected by the death of John who successfully opened the temporary valves to relieve pressure but heroically lost his life in the process (from what we can tell, she cares as much as if some varmint passed away on her porch). Hillinger tells her to find where the terrorists were sending the signal before mourning John. Well, it was either a rare piece of acting or she was in childbirth because she said through clenched teeth, “I know - I’m on it.” No baby so we assume it was an attempt to “act.”

At CTU East, Jack convinces Bill and the gang that they can no longer act alone in the matter, that they have to find Dubaku and they need more resources for that. Besides, someone has to tell the president of the United States her administration is more crooked than Ulysses S. Grant’s. Maboto calls President Taylor and cryptically tells her that he will be over in 10 minutes.

After hanging up, Taylor calls in her national security advisor Ethan Kamin and tells him about Maboto’s escape and that he will be coming to the White House. She tells him to bring them to the South Entrance. Kamin scurries off and you have to wonder, is Ethan in on the plot? I think it is evident we are going to find out next week. If Maboto and Bill have a hard time getting to the president or are attacked, we’ll know for sure.

And the First Gentleman? With Gedge dead and AWOL as far as the Secret Service knows, they send out an APB for him and Taylor. The other bent agente Vossler, hurries over to Sam’s apartment and catches Taylor just as he is about to escape. He calls Dubaku who tells him to bring the First Gentleman over to his place.

Dubaku lives in a non-descript apartment and has apparently made some friends while here in America. A woman who works at a diner he frequents and who he appears to be dating stops by to remind him of dinner at her place. Of course, that will give Jack the perfect opportunity to sneak in and rescue Taylor - but not for a few hours yet. Watch as Henry kind of disappears after next week as some plot threads and characters are known to do over the years.

As they are going out the door to meet the president, Tony announces he will not be going with them. Of course he can’t, he’s wanted by the cops. Jack agrees but only if Tony promises to turn himself in after this is all over. Yeah, right. Tony has no intention of doing that. He is going to rejoin the conspiracy - something he and Jack both see in each other’s eyes. Both know that there will be a confrontation later. And given the nature of the show, it can only end with Jack killing Tony to save the country.


A correction from last week. I forgot to include Sam in the body count.

I counted 18 terrorists getting it at Dubaku’s headquarters with Jack accounting for 5.

The plant manager gives up his life.

Phlox is sent into orbit.


SHOW: 302


  1. “Perhaps my views are colored both by her execreable politics as well as a face even a Pizza Hut owner couldn’t love.”

    That’s probably it. I can’t stand her politics either, but she does a serviceable (though not great) job on the show. I don’t see what all the loathing is about. Also, I think she’s kind of cute too, but then again, I like short women.


    eeeeeewwwww. Oh well, to each his own…


    Comment by Jim Digriz — 2/3/2009 @ 4:11 pm

  2. We agree that Janis Gold must die.
    Our wish is that somehow Chloe whacks her.

    I half expected Chloe to already have donned a flak jacket and gone into action. Maybe Chloe can get Janis’s computer to blow up.


    Comment by JoAnn — 2/3/2009 @ 4:18 pm

  3. Rick,

    This is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! (Mean face)

    You have to do better than that! (Stare)

    How long will it take??? Do it NOW!

    (I’m in training to be the President. HowmI doing?)

    Totally agree with you about Janis. What did she inject into her lips? A submarine?

    Comment by sara in va — 2/3/2009 @ 4:36 pm

  4. AMEN to your thought on “Janis Gold”! I can not believe that she has lasted this long! I did not share your thoughts about Tony until Jack was leaving to meet the president. I saw into Tony’s eyes and there is no doubt that he will go back on his word. But how? That is the question! Great fire-fight too. About time! I still submit that President Taylor is a White Barack Obama in drag!

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — 2/3/2009 @ 5:02 pm

  5. OK, let’s see; Phlox is the unfortunate Michael Latham, right? Is it my imagination or is Bill’s five o’clock beard growing too rapidly? Next question; if/when Tony flips, can any sane person blame him? Is Renee beginning to get the ‘warmsies’ for Jack? Perhaps that one’s my overactive imagination. Let’s have come compassion for the plant manager, last voice the poor soul heard in this life was…yup! You guessed it. Rick, if you decide to send flowers, may I suggest Evan Katz? He’s a left-wing scumbag just like Garofalo. Who knows, maybe it was Evan dippin’ the wick.

    Comment by jazplyr — 2/3/2009 @ 5:57 pm

  6. Something I forgot, and I may be late arriving. 24 is part of the language these days. I heard this phrase “the Jack Bauer exception” somewhere so I launched Google and sure enough there it is! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123267082704308361.html Amazing!

    Comment by jazplyr — 2/3/2009 @ 6:05 pm

  7. Last night alone, I do believe Garawfulo surpassed the supreme wretchedness of Sofia Coppola’s GFIII performance. My wife and I kept busting out snide comments every time Janis opened her mouth and were trying to devise a drinking game of some sort, then got too drunk to remember the rules.

    Perhaps Garawfulo/Janis is headed for a spectacular nevous breakdown because of her part in killing brave John the Plant Manager. As her medication wears off (she looks medicated, would explain a lot), she’ll crumple into a drooling incontinent puddle at Larry’s feet.

    Or maybe Chloe will shoot her.

    I’m suspecting that this anti-thespian gift to us faithful conservative viewers is some bizarre penance the 24 writers were cursed with by the Screen Writer’s Guild, for being to un-PC in past seasons. “Give a loud-mouth, surly, bad-acting lib wench a key part in your show, or we’ll send unwashed PeTA ecoterrorists onto your set.”

    Comment by The MaryHunter — 2/3/2009 @ 6:29 pm

  8. I didn’t read the rest of the post because I’m behind a few episodes… but I must say that I find Garafalo strangely attractive.. Kinda weird I know.. But then again I also thought Sarah Palin was kinda hot..

    Comment by Tim — 2/3/2009 @ 7:08 pm

  9. “I do believe Garawfulo surpassed the supreme wretchedness of Sofia Coppola’s GFIII performance.”
    Irony of ironies! “Sofia” is a Greek term that is rendered “wisdom” in English.

    Comment by jazplyr — 2/3/2009 @ 7:21 pm

  10. Message to Tim: Sarah Palin IS kinda hot.

    Comment by The MaryHunter — 2/3/2009 @ 8:49 pm

  11. Your comment on Sharon Tate was uncalled for..her first movie Eye of the Devil was a slow moving movie but her portraying a witch was excellent for a first movie role..the way she altered her voice and of course she was beautiful to look at. She may have been learning as and actress but she had enough of what it takes to threaten Stars as famous as Elizabeth Taylor and several others..ask her sister? Sharon Tate was one of the most if not the most beautiful woman who ever lived and many have paid for a movie ticket just for that..could there be some jealousy?

    Abthalutely yeth. I just adorrrrrrrred her, don’t ya know? I mean, beeutiful girlths alwayths bring out the cat in me.


    Comment by Robert — 2/3/2009 @ 8:56 pm

  12. This should not be mis-understood as “pick on Tim week”. That said, Tim if you ever have rodent issues or house pests, just copy the photo on the top of this blog and place it in the needed locations. Should be sufficient to scare them off. Just kidding.

    Comment by jazplyr — 2/4/2009 @ 10:14 am

  13. Your “fisking” of Inane Gar-awful-o was worth the read. I don’t watch the TV show you are talking about. In fact, I watch almost no U.S. TV (try BBC/ITV drama from bittorent) for fear of running into the ubiquitous multi-culti/feminist sledge hammer. But, she really is the acting equivalent of the fingernail-on-the-blackboard or itch-you-can’t-scratch. Sometimes that’s actually the character’s role; and, in that case, she fills the bill magnificently. Otherwise, spare me.

    Comment by boqueronman — 2/4/2009 @ 12:23 pm

  14. What was really stupid was that the plant manager (THE PLANT MANAGER!!) had to talk to Janis to find out how the plant worked. ‘Cause, like, there was no one else there with him who knew a thing about it.

    Garofalo used to be kind of cute in a cherubic way. Now she’s just a dried up old husk.

    Comment by Locomotive Breath — 2/4/2009 @ 1:41 pm

  15. One premise used in this year’s 24 deeply disturbs me. That premise is the comment of all of America’s infrastructure through a government firewall. While the producers of 24 have used this premise to show how easily terrorists can take over various controls, what is not being shown is that the government can control all of the infrastructure, even private business!

    Why should the government have any right to operate a privately owned chemical processing facility? This concerns me greatly. Air traffic control is one thing. This can be argued to be within the sphere of the government’s interest, but chemical manufacturing? This is most definitely not within the federal government’s enumerated rights I believe; or at least I hope this is the case. What about water treatment, oil and gas processing, etc., etc., etc. Why is 24 treating federal government control as a fait accompli.

    I won’t dwell on the lack of manual control or venting of toxic gases into the control room. One simple ball valve would have prevented this problem (and ruined the narrative.) An engineer who designed such a system would be laughed at all the way to the unemployment bureau. The regulators who would approve such a system would also be worth of promotion. But this type of scenario is just small peanuts and has been used before on past seasons of 24.

    But I want to see if the writers of 24 make any effort to point out the government’s total control of the country’s infrastructure and follow up on it.

    Wramblin’ Wreck

    Comment by Wramblin' Wreck — 2/4/2009 @ 3:30 pm

  16. Rick, no one is a bigger 24 fan than me, but this season is just awful and it goes well beyond just Garofalo. The whole thing is very stale to me. I don’t know if it is just that the story lines have all been done. I don’t know if the actors are horrible. Yet, I can’t get into any of it. I don’t like the President. I don’t like the FBI. I don’t much like the villains. I don’t think Jack gets enough screen time.

    I don’t think there is one problem with the show this year. I think it is a giant mess and I don’t know that it can be fixed easily.

    The writing is not up to standards of previous years. No suspense, little action, too many plot threads, and not enough characters we can care about.

    I keep hoping it will improve but I’m pretty much with you - it sucks.


    Comment by Mike Volpe — 2/4/2009 @ 5:09 pm

  17. “Why is 24 treating federal government control as a fait accompli”.

    Wramblin’ Wreck, the answers to all of your questions can be summed up in two words:
    Evan Katz.

    Comment by jazplyr — 2/5/2009 @ 10:30 am

  18. I’m with those who are frustrated because the plot seems to be going nowhere but I’m even more confounded with the underlying theme. How is invading Sengala to remove a genocidal dictator even at the potential cost of tens of thousands of American lives supposed to make America look good when invading Iraq to remove a genocidal dictator in real life supposedly made America look so bad? Maybe that’s part of what’s bothering me about this season.

    In Iraq, we had selfish national interests - strategic interests like oil. If you’re a liberal, that is a no-no. They believe we should only commit American troops to die in battle when our motives are selfless and noble like stopping genocide.


    Comment by P-ster — 2/5/2009 @ 4:38 pm

  19. I just wish one little thing: Give the character “Gold” just one of the following lines. “Ya know, four thousand people die every year in America from choking on peanut butter - that’s like six years of combat in Iraq! Or, “Ya know, more people were murdered in the city of Chicago last month then killed in the the whole country of Iraq which is five times the size - when is the President going to declare Chicago lost and pull us out?”

    Comment by Avery Won — 2/7/2009 @ 7:48 am

  20. Where does a morbidly obese MF’er like you get off ripping on women for their looks?? “Hello, pot? It’s the kettle. You’re black.”

    I see that originality is not one of your strong suits. I have often wondered how it would be to spout cliches instead of like, you know, thinking as most normal humans who have more than 1 or 2 brain cells working actually do from time to time.

    You are going to have to do better than that if you want to get my goat. Might I suggest you read of few posts on this site and glance at the comments from some of my more imaginative detractors?


    Comment by Jack Schwanz — 2/10/2009 @ 9:42 am

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