Season five searches and destroys
Kaushal Toprani and Dennis Mongello
Issue date: 1/20/06 Section: Entertainment
Within the first 10 minutes, Palmer had a hole in his neck, Michelle's car blew up and Tony Almedia was in intensive care after a run in with that same car bomb. A quick note about Almedia's toughness: it wasn't too long ago that he got shot in the neck. He didn't lie down and die like Palmer did. It takes an explosion strong enough to kill a normal woman just to put him into the hospital. Now Almedia will be up for Howie Long's Tough Guy Award if he can survive one last challenge - the Counter Terrorism Unit medical ward, also known as the last place Jamey Farrell, Maya Driscoll and Paul Raines were seen alive.
So what has Jack been up to lately? Working on oil rigs and dating some chick with a nosy son. Now, boys and girls, what happens when you are nosy with Jack Bauer? Well let's just say the only reason you are still conscious is because he doesn't feel like carrying you. By the way, if any of you know where we can find those aviator glasses, we'd be greatly indebted to you.
The writers offer a fresh mix of new characters. It is nice to see a young kid portrayed as something other than a total wuss who just likes to ruin things for his family or country on 24. Derek breaks the stereotype set by Kim and Richard Heller and instead follows in the footsteps of Behrooz. Instead of picking up the shovel he follows Jack to make sure he isn't some ex-heroin addict or crazed killer who wants to use his mother. Living with Jack will do that to you. Unfortunately for Derek, this means he's on the nearest helicopter making a beeline for the nearest CTU hard perimeter.
On the other hand, First Lady Martha Logan, is a traditional woman on 24, blending the defiant scheming and insubordination of Sherri Palmer with the bipolar breakdowns of Maya Driscoll. We all know how they both ended up. Never fear, though; Martha's off on the right foot cornering a man while he answers the call of nature.
Of course, like we said here in this column last week, (What can we say, when we're right, we're right) Chloe has found herself deep into the relationship headlines. Boy, oh boy, is it funny. If you were expecting a tender, caring Chloe, you aren't going to find it here. She wakes up, realizes sleeping with a co-worker isn't protocol and sends her date, Spence, back on his way to CTU. Spence, what were you thinking man?
It seems our beloved tech geek Chloe is developing a taste for field work. After escaping her killer, she breaks protocol and calls Jack, informing him about Tony and Michelle. She and Jack, who took Derek along for the ride, meet up at an oil refinery. It turns out they have company - she was followed by the assassin of President Palmer, and he isn't about to let some blonde get away from her. Fortunately for her, Jack brought along his satchel of Satan that contains all sorts of goodies. He pulls out his smoke bombs and a few minutes later he and Chloe are finishing off the Presidential assassin. Jack learns that the car bomb for Tony and Michelle was part of a plot to frame him for the assassination of President Palmer.
Of course at this point, with the entire world looking for Jack Bauer as the assassin of David Palmer, Jack and Chloe head to the crime scene itself. It is only a CTU hard perimeter, piece of cake, to get through.
The information Jack finds leads him to the Ontario, Calif. airport, just as Russian terrorists are taking everyone in the main terminal hostage. Jack is able to quarterback the rescue mission from the ventilation system without the playbook - take that Marwan.
Enter Lynn McGill, this season's version of Ryan Chappelle, sent by Division to oversee CTU Los Angeles, who is known for firing 20 percent of his staff in the first week. If Lynn looks familiar, it might be because you remember him playing football for Notre Dame or talking about the uses of potatoes. He makes his entrance as the terrorists threaten to kill everyone in the terminal if President Logan signs an anti-terrorism treaty with the president of Russia. Jack's position is given up by the mole on the president's staff, and he is taken hostage. Terrorists force Jack to feed CTU false information so they can head off the on coming attack. CTU suffers a brain lock and fails to realize why Jack decides to say "Flank 2" in a really loud voice after every single sentence. Surprisingly, Lynn comes through in the clutch, saving the day by realizing "Flank 2" really means "I'm under duress, idiot." The Eagles must have been using the "Flank 2" formation all year.
With this new information in the playbook, Curtis calls an audible and catches the terrorists off guard with a decoy explosion. He is the first Manning not to choke under pressure so far in the month of January. Although their hard perimeters might not be up to par, their accuracy and killer instinct are top notch. They clear out the room without any civilian casualties. For those keeping score at home, it's been four hours, Jack has saved our nation once; and there have been three hard perimeters by our count. This season is far from over, though, and the terrorists have the nerve gas to prove it. 24