By: Jamie Samuelsen
To my loyal 24 fan(s) that religiously read this blog…I have failed you.
You come to me for insight, analysis, 80’s references and a lame Lions joke thrown in here or there. And you trust me to guide you through each and every season of Jack Bauer.
So last week, when the producers finally threw us that long awaited twist, I missed it completely. I even had the gall to criticize the producers of 24 for making the apparent death of President Heller a tad too dark and a tad too morbid. Then some emails and tweets started to arrive from you my loyal reader(s). Just a few suggested that perhaps Heller was still alive and the whole thing was a ruse. Perhaps Chloe had created a video of Heller on the soccer field and super-imposed that over the actual video feed that Margot and Ian were seeing as they fired the missile. (Just when would Chloe, Jack and Heller have filmed such a video? Well, let’s not get caught up in the details.) But needless to say, I didn’t see the 24 twist coming. Some of you did. And to those of you that did, I heartily apologize.
As punishment, I will give myself a one-week suspension and return to this space following the July 7th episode. (Actually, I’m going on vacation next week. So that’s why the blog may be missing.)
Yes indeed, James Heller lives on. As Ian and Margot were trying to decide whether or not to put the last drone into the water, Ian happened to notice a jump cut in the video of Heller prior to the explosion. Yep, they stole a page right out of Speed (90s reference) when Keanu Reeves turned the same trick on the late, great Dennis Hopper. I’m still not totally sure why Ian was so intent on scanning the video over and over again. But hey, the kid has talent…er…had talent. More on that in a minute.
Jack and Heller leave the stadium, which oddly enough only had about thirty yards worth of damage. Apparently the attack on Wembley Stadium was only the second worst thing to happen to British soccer in the past two weeks. Heller isn’t totally convinced that Jack’s plan worked. And to be honest, Heller seems to have a death wish at this point. I think he kind of liked the idea of going out a hero.
Jack calls Chloe who tells him that all of the drones have been ditched into the water…except for one AND that drone is turning around and heading for East London. (Damn. Everything happens in East London. Remind me not to buy a place there.)
“Son of a bitch!” Jack says when he hears about the last drone. At this point, Heller has lost patience with Jack and insists that they call the Secret Service to get Heller back to the embassy. Jack insists otherwise and tells Heller, “Get in the car and let me do what I know how to do.” God, Jack is delivering line after line after line this season. Not sure how that once compares to “Wake the bitch up” from last week, but it’s up there.
Jack hops into a helicopter (Does he have a valid license for that?) Heller hops into the car with Belcheck. (As he says to Heller, just one name…Belcheck. Like Madonna. Fantastic!) Jack radios back to the CIA and demands to be linked up with the Prime Minister and the President’s staff. He assures them that Heller is alive and that they have tracked Margot to somewhere in East London, and that he’s on his way there now.
Everybody seems thrilled by this development except for Mark who has this look of, “This son of a bitch got me again” on his face. It’s one thing when your wife’s ex is a super hero. It’s another thing when he saves the world AGAIN and saves your wife’s father in the process. Tough act to follow. It’s going to be like whoever gets to take over for Miguel Cabrera when he retires. Good luck with that.
To twist the knife even further, Audrey says, “Jack?” Pause. Jack, “I’m still here.” Audrey, “Thank you.” Let’s just say that I doubt Mark is getting any action tonight.
As Jack streaks towards Margot and Ian, Chloe is busy trying to figure out exactly where they’re located. She’s hitting dead ends, so she calls Adrian to see if he can offer any assistance. Adrian is speaking more and more quietly and with more and more of an accent that I think he was saying the following to Chloe over the phone, “Scrrobeknt annngjlaien gniansnigngn almgoeirghham snmkgkn.” Seriously. The dude sounds like the teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons.
But apparently Chloe speaks his language because she uses his help to track Margot and Ian to a building. She tells Jack who informs Kate and Erik (He’s back!) who are in hot pursuit as well. Margot has decided to use the last drone to target the Waterloo train station where Londoners are in full panic mode given the attack on Wembley. As Jack and team close in on their location, Ian gets cold feet and tells Margot they should make a run for it. She disagrees.
Now in this case, most moms would ground their child or take away a toy or dessert. But as we saw in the case of the missing pinkie, Margot is not your average mom. So she points a gun at Ian and insists that he finish the plan. I’m not sure there’s a Hallmark card for Mother’s Day that perfectly captures this moment.
Kate and Erik arrive by car and immediately engage in a gunfight with Margot’s men. It’s really quite something when you think about it. The City of London is under attack. And the only people who show up to take down the perpetrators are three Americans, two of which have been disgraced and discredited by the American government. Send in the cavalry people! How is it possible that not one, but TWO super power governments are getting outnumbered by an angry militant?
Thankfully for the good guys, one of those people is Jack Bauer. Jack lands his chopper on the roof and then tries to make it down to Margot’s room. But, being outnumbered, he goes back up to the roof. Apparently Jack got much of his training by watching the Die Hard movies (80s. Reference.) because he ropes some cable around his body and lowers himself down to the window.
Ian sees Jack coming and makes the alarming mistake to stick his head out the window to engage him. If I see Jack Bauer swinging outside my window, I’m heading the other way. Jack takes him and…bombs away! He lets him fly five stories down to a rather uncomfortable landing on the asphalt. And no, he didn’t stick the landing. Jack then barges into the window, takes out Margot and then grabs control of the joystick. In what has to be the greatest video game sequence in the history of the planet, other than the time I cleared out all the mushrooms on Level 8 of Centipede, Jack overrides the drone override and guides the missile right into the River Thames. (Note to reader, the Thames is the only river I’m aware of in London – so if it’s a river other than the Thames, I really don’t care.)
Margot is furious with Jack of course and mumbles some garbage about the loss of lives during the day and that they’re all on his head. Again, don’t poke the bear people. Jack sneers back, “The only death that I’m responsible for…is yours.”
And then proceeds to launch her out the window where she lands next to her son. Dead and dead.
This sets off a euphoric celebration at the CIA and back at the embassy where Heller has finally returned. As his agents aim their guns at Belcheck, Heller stops them and says, “Gentlemen. Show this man some respect.” Heller will never pass David Palmer as my favorite 24 President. But he’s making it interesting.
Heller also receives thanks from the Prime Minister who did nothing on this day of crisis other than try to get in the way when Jack was doing his thing. Heller says to him, “I’m sure you would have done the same thing if you were in my position.” I think Heller was trying to be gracious. I know Heller was also making a point. The Prime Minister and Mark have something in common now in terms of being small, small men.
Speaking of small men, Jack and Kate share a nice handshake and a clear case of mutual respect. There is part of me that’s rooting for Jack and Kate to hook up even though Jack is being drawn back to Audrey. Then again, Jack and Kate are so similar, it would be kind of like dating yourself. It’s like the Seinfeld episode where George dated the woman who looked exactly like Jerry.
After they split, Kate gets a call from her cop buddy who has come upon the corpse of Jordan alongside the awful hit man who tried like hell to kill him. Kate relays the info to Steve who seems saddened. But when Kate tells him that two bodies were at the crime scene, he probably throws up in his mouth just a little bit.
Steve realizes the jig is up so he quickly calls Adrian to see if he can arrange a quick way out of town. Adrian pulls the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer routine. “I am just a middle man. What can I do to help?” But he then tells Steve that he can help in exchange for one simple thing – the override device. The exact override device that Jack is bringing to the CIA office as they speak. Steve seems weary at this idea, but says that he’ll try.
Kate and Erik arrive at the motorcycle shop where Jordan and Hit man are laid out. The cop pretty much nails exactly how the crime took place. But everyone seems mystified by who the second body is and why they’re both dead. At this point, any cop would have CHECKED THE CELL PHONES to see whom the two victims might have called. It sure would have been interesting to see that both of the dead men placed their last phone call to a man named Steve Navarro. That might have been a rather large puzzle piece, right? My god, does Jack have to do everything?
Instead, they scan the hit man’s fingers with a phone and send it back to the CIA to try to identify him. The prints come back with no code meaning that the hit man is, in fact, a hit man – just not a very good one.
Steve uses his tech guy to scan the prints. Jack sends it back to a buddy at Langley (Jack still has buddies at Langley?) Steve tries to tell Jack not to worry about it, that they can take care of everything in London. Jack smirks and says, “Good. We’ll see who gets it done first.” It’s like Jack is proving to every man on this show that it’s his world now. There’s a more graphic way of phrasing that last sentence, but this is a family blog.
As they’re waiting for the tests to come back, Jack gets a call from Audrey. Jack knows its Audrey because his cell phone comes up “Audrey”. How does Jack have Audrey’s cell phone number? Didn’t everyone think that Jack was dead just ten hours ago? Did he really take a few minutes out of his day to replenish his contacts?
She thanks him again for everything he did. Jack tries to deflect some of the credit, but let’s be honest. For the ninth day out of nine, Jack saved the planet. How about a ceremony at the White House or a parade? Maybe a mention for Time’s Man of the Year?
As they talk, Jack gets a call from “Marlow” also on caller ID. Wire fans were hoping for Marlowe Stoudamire. But instead, it’s Jack’s Langley buddy who tells him that the dead hit man has a connection to man named Steve Navarro. Hmmmmm.
Steve is busy packing away the override device and slowly choking the techie who was trying to program it. I love when people are choking the life out of someone, and give them the “shhhhhhhhhhhhh” as they’re going down to the ground. Does that really keep them quiet? If someone was choking me, I think I’d try to be as loud as possible.
Navarro makes it out of the CIA after a brief shootout with Jack and calls Adrian to schedule a meet-up to hand off the device.
Oh yeah, I probably should mention at this point that Adrian and Chloe have reunited. Jack wanted Chloe to take a look at the override, but she basically blew him off and told him that it was good to see him. “Like old times.” Ah yes. The good old days when you screamed at me, and the world was in imminent danger. Who could forget those days?
Chloe seems to be back with Adrian and smitten with his mastery of the English language. But after what happened last week with Heller, this clever blogger is NOT going to get fooled again.
JACK KILL COUNT – This week – 4. Season – 6. This is unclear to me. Whenever there’s a shootout, you never really know. Plus, he also deserves a gold star for taking out Ian and Margot and doing it the way that he did.
KATE KILL COUNT – This week – 1. Season – 3. See above. I really have no clue if she took anyone out or not in the shootout. I counted at least one.
STEVE NAVARRO LEADERSHIP AWARD OF THE WEEK – When Kate and Erik hit the road to track down Margot, Navarro says, “I’ll have a tactical team follow.” Wow. Super generous my man. I’d call in every man, woman, aircraft and tank possible. Instead, he figures that a secondary team that will follow in a matter of minutes will do the trick.
ANNOYING TIME ISSUE OF THE WEEK – Wembley Stadium blew up at 6:59 PM. The cable news had a report about it at 7 PM. That is up-to-the-minute news if I’ve ever heard it.
That’s it for this week. We had our twist. And, as is the tradition with 24, we had our plot shift going from Margot/Ian as the bad guy to Steve/Adrian as the bad guy. And let’s not forget – 1) Adrian is just the “middle man” and 2) There still is that whole Russian/Steve/Jack thing to deal with as well!
Just a reminder – no blog next week. I’m off for vacation. The 24 blog returns on July 8th. Thanks for reading!