Have a Tampon and a Hunk of Chocolate
Whew! For a two-hour episode, that went by pretty quickly. There was so much action my typing could barely keep up, and the show was well-paced and engaging. But of course, the stooge writers would never let us down. With the good also came the implausible, like President Taylor inviting the Hassan women into the situation room where they could watch CTU hunt down the terrorists. Never mind national security or the possibility of seeing your loved one getting hurt live, onscreen! Then there's Starbuck, whose moleyness was so obvious, she may as well have stood up on a table and screamed out, "It is me! I am THE MOLE!" And I continue to take exception to the idea that Hastings would allow Renee to be part of the mission, this dude is the worst CTU director in 24 history. (There's something likable about him though, right?) Nonetheless, I give the writers credit for giving us these exciting and emotional couple of hours, and a last season that has gotten progressively better.
Rob takes Ethan's pulse and then leaves the room, locking him in. General Brucker tells someone on the phone to plan for mass panic and slams down the receiver. Rob tells him they need medical help for Ethan, but Brucker still refuses. They both update President Taylor on the status of affairs, and the President tells Rob to find Ethan so he can read over a speech she's prepared. Rob pretends to go look for Ethan and the President asks Brucker to let her know as soon as President Hassan arrives.
On their way back to the UN, President Hassan tells wife, Dalia that it's not right his life should be worth so many others. Dalia continues to try to soothe his concerns as they walk toward the building, telling him President Taylor thinks he and the peace agreement are important. Jack has been carrying wounded soldier Bishop, but because this is slowing down the group, Jack decides to drop him off and leave him locked in a room. Renee begins to tell Jack what she'd overheard President Hassan saying, and as they are talking, President Hassan knocks Jack out with a metal bar and warns everyone else to stay back. He releases Bishop and gives him Jack's gun, tells Renee to drag Jack into the room and orders his family to stay with the guards. Dalia argues with him as the President explains that he must turn himself over to the terrorists. When Dalia screams and cries that she won't let him go to his death, the President pushes Dalia away. Bishop orders the President's wife and daughter into the room with Renee and Jack and locks the door. Jack wakes up just as President Hassan is leaving with Bishop, and Jack yells after them that President Hassan can't trust the soldier. The two men make their way up to the street and get into another black SUV (the preferred choice of both terrorists and law enforcement!). Bishop calls to update Brucker that he has the President in custody. General Brucker walks to Ethan's office as Bishop advises him that President Hassan came willingly. Rob calls Samir to tell him they have President Hassan and are ready to make the trade for the bomb. Samir wants proof so the President is conferenced in on Bishop's phone and he tells Samir he will give himself up if the bomb is stopped. General Brucker and Rob demand that Samir stop the bomb and Samir dallies, asserting that the exchange will happen as he decides. When the General tries to argue, Samir disconnects. Meanwhile, Tarin is seconds away from detonation and pacing around like a cat. Samir calls with fourteen seconds left on the clock and tells Tarin to stop the bomb. He advises Tarin that President Hassan will soon be arriving and that Tarin knows what to do.
Chloe reminds everyone that the bomb should have gone off four minutes ago and yet there are no explosions happening in Manhattan. Jack breaks a door window so he and the group can escape the locked room. Jack calls and tells Chloe what happened with Hassan, says he has to speak with President Taylor and not to tell anyone he called. Starbuck queries Chloe who tells her a search team needed an update on their grid assignment. Jack and the rest of the group reach the street and Jack frantically checks the nearby alleyways for any sign of the President, while Renee moseys as if she hasn't got a care in the world. Renee thinks since President Hassan gave himself up it might be a good idea to let whatever happens, happen. Jack tells Renee it's not their call; to get Dalia and Kayla to the Air Force base while he looks for President Hassan. Chloe calls Jack with a secure line to speak to President Taylor. Jack asks Chloe to use a nearby security camera's video feed to find clues to President Hassan's disappearance.
President Taylor tells General Brucker it's now seven minutes past the deadline and wonders why the bomb didn't go off. She again asks for Ethan and Rob runs off to "find him" again. Shouldn't everyone be more concerned that the Secretary of State is missing? Lock-down, perhaps? Jack calls the President and discloses President Hassan's escape and General Brucker's betrayal. He advises President Taylor she must confront the General to find out when and where the transfer will take place so Jack can try to retrieve President Hassan. After their conversation is done, Chloe tells Jack that she's has information about the black SUV and the direction it was headed and Jack steals a car to begin his search.
President Hassan and Bishop are stopped in the SUV when Tarin calls President Hassan's phone. He demands that President Hassan hand the phone to Bishop and then gives Bishop instructions to get out of the car, leave the keys in the ignition and walk toward the nearby intersection. Tarin instructs Bishop to cross the street when the light changes; meanwhile, on the other side of the street, Tarin drops a set of keys to the ground. When Bishop demands that the swap deal be honored, Tarin directs him to where the keys were dropped and tells Bishop to look on the ground. Bishop finds the keys just as Tarin gets into the SUV with President Hassan. Tarin cuffs President Hassan to the dashboard. Bishop walks around a few minutes, and then finds the truck containing the bomb.
After being informed that Rob Weiss is in cahoots with General Brucker, President Taylor tells her security people to "do it" and they all bust into Ethan's office. Ethan is barely alive. President Taylor demands that Rob tell her where President Hassan is and when he says he doesn't know, the President does what any lady President would do: She slaps him in the face, of course! Because that's what an emotional, hormonal, frustrated, hasn't been frakked in years woman would do. Right, boys? Right you stupid, male chauvinistic stooge writers? Now go back to watching football in your underwear, sit in your favorite leather recliner with your Bud in the cup holder and the vibrating massage on, and eat your buffalo chicken wings until the sauce drips down your enormous belly. Rob tells President Taylor that if it makes any difference, it wasn't an easy decision for him. Aw, Rob, you're emotional too! Have a tampon and a hunk of chocolate. After again asking Rob to tell her where President Hassan is, President Taylor asserts to Rob that he will be charged with treason, which carries the death penalty, and that she'll pull the switch herself! Meow! Rob gets a call and announces that it's too late; the swap of President Hassan and the bomb is already complete. Rob tries to get indignant with President Taylor, saying "We have the bomb and New York is safe," and President Taylor orders security to take him away.
Hastings tells everyone at CTU that Hassan has been turned over, and the bomb has been located and is being disarmed by Jack and company. Just then the lights come on and Arlo is able to bring up satellite images of the SUV that is transporting Tarin and Hassan. Starbuck picks this moment to try to leave the room but Chloe stops her, asking where Starbuck is going. Starbucks acts as guilty as anyone can under the circumstances and the usual snipes and sneers are exchanged. Oh ladies, where is your Midol?
Jack and a team work on disarming the bomb as Bishop is cuffed and led away. Bishop acts smug at having gotten the bomb and saved Manhattan, and Jack tells Bishop he betrayed his President. Chloe and Hastings phone Jack and advise him of the location of the SUV, and let him know that President Taylor wants him to lead the team to recover President Hassan. Starbuck awkwardly notifies her fellow CTUers that Ortiz is back ("Oh, Cole is back! I'll go get him!") and pretends she's going to greet him. Come on! This chick is away from her work station more than she's at it. Once again Hastings says nothing, though Starbuck has attempted to leave the room about every two minutes. She tries to call Tarin, but Ortiz walks in right then, and so she instead updates Ortiz and pretends to have missed him. Ortiz naively tells Starbuck they'll get through everything, but these two are no Des and Penny.
President Hassan tries to reason with Tarin, explaining what he was doing to attain peace for their country. Tarin tells the President that Hassan only cares for himself and what he really wants is to be on the cover of Time magazine. Tarin throws the President's affair in his face and says President Hassan won't be around to find out if his peace process works or not. President Hassan seems to realize what trouble he's in and sheds a tear.
President Taylor watches as Ethan is being taken away to the base hospital; she whispers in his ear that she needs him back as soon as possible. The President is then advised that Dalia and Kayla Hassan have arrived. President Taylor invites them to the situation room to watch the goings on. What? What? What? Are you crazy lady? This ain't a tea party! The President sees Renee and tells her she's glad to have Renee there as someone she could trust. (Yep, she is crazy.) Renee says she'd rather be at CTU and insincere thank yous are exchanged. Renee looks like she has taken one too many Valium, all dead-eyed and mumbling. President Taylor goes to the situation room and explains Jack's mission to the Hassan women. They watch the action on giant screens as Jack attempts to intercept Tarin and President Hassan. I'm surprised President Taylor doesn't call the kitchen and ask for popcorn.
Ortiz advises Jack of plans and routes and Chloe tells Jack she can slow the SUV down by controlling traffic lights. Starbuck pretends she thinks there is a problem with Chloe's trunk-line workaround, and offers to go check it. Jesopus people, she practically has "MOLE" written on her forehead! Starbuck starts typing away at a computer and suddenly, Arlo appears behind her, asking if she can explain what exactly she's doing or why communications keep going down. Arlo had seen her looking at a map of Manhattan and questions Starbuck about it, so she offers to let Arlo check what she was doing - thinking he'll refuse. But Arlo's getting wise to the bitch and he takes a seat at the computer and starts asking questions. As Arlo is trying to figure out what sort of diagnostics she wasn't running, Starbuck gets ready to strangle a second person today, but just then Chloe contacts Arlo to ask where he is and tell him to come back. Dude, you owe Chloe a big ole butt kiss! Arlo leaves the room and Starbuck gets a call through to Tarin to tell him he's trapped. Tarin asks for Starbuck to find him an exit and she gives him a route, saying she needs to get out while she still can.
Chloe updates everyone on Hassan's route and activates traffic lights to slow down the black SUV as Jack closes the gap. Starbuck returns and tells Ortiz she thinks the trunk line will hold. Jack's sniper team is in place and ready to shoot up the vehicle, as soon as Jack can get it cornered. President Hassan queries Tarin, asking whether the phone call he received was a warning and if they are being followed. He tells Tarin there's no way out, and Tarin angrily spins the SUV around attempting to get away by pulling into a parking garage that crosses a block and has multiple exits. Jack gets street exit information from Chloe and then Ortiz tells the sniper team to set up a perimeter around the garage. Jack blocks the exit as Tarin tries to leave the opposite side of the garage, so Tarin backs up and goes racing through the parking garage with Jack in pursuit. Tarin makes for the roof and as Jack follows, he's blocked for a moment by a random car. Back at the situation room with President Taylor, Dalia and Kayla watch as Tarin speeds off the edge of the parking garage, flipping the SUV. Nice of the President to give them a front row seat for the crash, big sip of Coke Slurpee everyone!
Now, even though the garage is surrounded by agents, in those few seconds that Jack was blocked in the garage, a couple unlocked the cuffs and extracted President Hassan from the SUV, drugged him and put him into the trunk of a different car. Totally believable. Jack checks the SUV and finds Tarin's phone but no dead Presidents. He calls Renee and tells her there must be an insider at CTU, and as soon as he can get a secure uplink set up they can use the phone to figure out who it is. He tells Renee to have Chloe get the uplink for him. Meanwhile, even though the garage is surrounded by agents, a little blue car drives away from the parking garage, with President Hassan snug as a bug in the trunk.
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Starbuck attempts to leave the CTU facility and is asked for her passkey by another agent, who advises her it is a new security measure. The agent tells her she can't go through to the parking garage without clearance from Hastings, so Starbuck pretends she just needs to get migraine pills from her car. When the agent offers to send someone to her car for her, she tells him she'll go speak with Hastings herself. Chloe notices (on a satellite feed) the blue vehicle that left the parking garage, as President Taylor calls for an update on Hassan. After Hastings advises her that President Hassan seems to have been transferred to another vehicle, President Taylor tells Kayla and Dalia she believes President Hassan is alive. President Taylor is notified that the Russian Foreign Minister wants to speak with her. Minister Novakovich (Graham McTavish) wants more information on President Hassan's status and threatens President Taylor that the peace agreement will be jeopardy if Hassan dies. President Taylor snaps that it seems like that's what the Minister wants. She accuses the Russians of looking for any excuse to get out of the agreement, but the Minister assures President Taylor that they want the same thing. There has to be some significance to this little aside, but for the moment I don't know what it is.
Renee asks to speak to Chloe in private and lets her in on Jack's mole suspicions. Chloe agrees with Jack and prepares to receive the information from Tarin's phone, transferred by Jack. Jack tells Chloe the information is encrypted and that she has to work quickly. Starbuck goes to Hastings' office and makes up an excuse to check his computer so she can give herself exit access. Just then, Chloe calls Hastings and tells him she needs to see him right away, so he heads down to her station. Starbuck desperately works on Hastings' computer as Chloe begins decrypting the downloaded phone information. They discover that the number Tarin called was to a cell phone that was issued to Starbuck, who is at that very moment trying to make her escape. As the exit guard attempts to stop and apprehend Starbuck, she shoots him, and then a couple other agents, and she makes it to the parking area. Ortiz comes to Hastings, demanding an explanation for Starbuck's flagged status and Hastings quickly explains Starbuck has been working with the terrorists. Ortiz runs toward the parking lot. Starbuck has a shootout with several agents and finally makes her way to her car and starts driving out of the parking garage. But Ortiz steps out in front of the vehicle and commences shooting, forcing Starbuck to crash. Ortiz pulls Starbuck out of the car and bitterly demands to know who she is, holding a gun close to her face. Hastings runs into the lot, telling Ortiz to let Starbuck go. Ortiz finally manages to contain his anger and lowers his weapon. Hastings asks Starbuck where Hassan is and she demands to speak to Jack. She looks at Ortiz and says that if they want answers, they need to get Jack Bauer.
Starbuck is held in an interrogation room as Ortiz confesses her "real" Jenny Scott name and some of her background to Hastings. Hastings wants to know why Ortiz didn't report the information sooner, and Ortiz tells him he wasn't thinking straight. Hastings wants to know where Ortiz and Starbuck disappeared to earlier. Ortiz begs Hastings to let him tell the full story after President Hassan has been found, maintaining that it isn't going to help them find the President. But Hastings tells Ortiz to go immediately to be debriefed, because Hastings needs people he can trust. Oh, you finally figured that one out Hastings! Good on you. Jack arrives back at CTU and Renee tells him Starbuck is the mole and only wants to talk to him. Hastings tells Jack he believes Ortiz is being honest about what he has told them, even if he's not clean. Jack puts in his two cents: "He's clean." Jack enters the interrogation room and asks Starbuck why she wants to talk to him. Starbuck tells Jack he's "the only one who doesn't have his head up his ass," (touche') and that she wants full immunity, a clean record and some cash. Jack gets pissed at her hubris and pins Starbuck against the wall by her neck. She tells him that Hassan is going to be forced to make a statement and killed, live on the interwebs!, so Jack had better hurry. When he exits, the agent monitoring Starbucks' biometrics says she is not deceiving them. Renee says Starbuck could fool them - she's a psychopath. Takes one to know one, eh Renee? Jack agrees with Renee and says they need to call President Taylor.
The couple, a blond-wigged woman and a dark haired man, retrieve President Hassan from their car trunk and bring him into a building. Upstairs in an apartment, Samir is waiting. President Hassan is placed on a chair and Samir asks if the President remembers him. Samir recounts a story of being a young man who briefed the President, who was a General in the revolutionary guard at the time. Samir asks what happened to that man and why the President turned his back on their country . President Hassan tells him it is Samir who is betraying his country. President Hassan talks of a ground fight, when he and his soldiers stood their ground securing a perimeter for four days, against all odds. He asks Samir to believe in him again, and Samir whacks Hassan in the face. Samir declares the next thing President Hassan says will be an apology to IRK citizens for what he has put them through, and a renunciation of the peace agreement. Hassan asserts that he will never say such things; Samir tells the President he will - it's just a matter of how how long it will take and how much pain he can endure. Ahman comes at President Hassan with a hypodermic needle.
President Taylor has signed an immunity agreement and asks if it will stand even if Dana Walsh isn't Starbuck's real name. Her advisor says it will and President Taylor wistfully says "Too bad." She steps into a room where Ethan lies in a hospital bed, he asks about President Hassan. President Taylor catches Ethan up on all the events he's missed and asks him if President Hassan is killed, does Ethan think would there be a similarly minded successor who would want the peace agreement? Ethan tells the President that the succession is an unstable process in the IRK, and that it is very unlikely the new leader will work with them.
Arlo and Chloe commiserate over Starbuck's terrorist status and discuss whether each suspected her. Chloe tells Arlo they were played and he should get over it. Hastings visits Ortiz to tell him that Starbuck is receiving an immunity agreement. Ortiz begins huffing and puffing, but Hastings tells him to get over it. I sense a theme here. Everything the writers have screwed up, just get over it! Hastings lets Ortiz know that Jack wants him on his team, but that Ortiz will have to be able to get past his anger, since Starbuck is giving them the information they need. In another room with Jack, Starbuck relates details on Samir's location, though she says she doesn't know the apartment number. When she's done being questioned, Starbuck is escorted from the room, passing close enough to Ortiz for them to exchange disdainful glares.
President Hassan receives a stun gun shock and hurls himself from his chair onto the floor; Samir's men pick him up and put him back. Samir advises the President to read his prepared statement or things will only get worse and again, President Hassan refuses. Samir shocks him once more and then demands President Hassan read the statement, or he will start cutting pieces from the President's body. President Hassan says that whether or not he dies right there, the peace process will happen. Samir tells Ahman to give him more of whatever they're injecting him with, but his men advise Samir that they need to come up with another idea since the President isn't cooperating. Samir then tells Ahman to stop, that he, himself will read the statement and then carry out the sentence.
President Taylor tells Dalia and Kayla that everything is being done to find and rescue President Hassan; they have his location and CTU is going after him. An advisor tells President Taylor a that they are receiving a life feed of a statement being made by the terrorists. Samir begins his statement and Chloe and Hastings try to analyze the video to figure out exactly where in the building Samir and President Hassan are. Chloe does some crazy light analyzing, surmising that the location is on the east side of the building on the fourth floor, and Hastings calls Jack to pass on the information. Hastings tells Jack to hurry since a statement is already being read and President Hassan will soon be killed. Jack advises his team and orders them to silence their weapons so they can sneak up on the terrorists. Shh...be vewy vewy quiet, we're hunting wabbits! He takes Renee aside and tells her even though it goes against his instincts, he needs her at the head of his assault team because he has to have experienced agents with him. (I say a silent prayer to Godtopus: Please let Renee be killed. Please let Renee be killed.)
CTU snipers shoot down two of Samir's men on the roof. Jack and the rest of the team begin their approach on the apartment building. They make their way inside and up the stairs with Renee in the lead. (Please let Renee be killed.) Samir continues to make his statement as President Taylor and everyone back at CTU watch. Jack has to take out a guy in the stairwell hallway when the dude doesn't respond to Jack's request to get down on the ground. One of the team has some kind of sound wave monitor that aids them in figuring out exactly where Samir's voice is coming from. Jack opens a door and steps into an apartment where a young girl sits on a couch, drawing. As Jack asks where her mommy and daddy are, the mother walks into the room and begins speaking, but they quickly get her quieted down. Jack walks into a closet and moves some clothing to reveal a convenient hole through to the other apartment. We see a shot of the blond wig and just then the mother on the couch reaches for a hidden gun. Renee shoots the woman before her hand can reach it. (Dammit!) Jack goes through the hole and begins shooting men, including Samir, and then he sees a monitor displaying Samir reading the speech. Jack realizes the statement is not live. He turns around and sees a dead President Hassan, his throat slit. In a lovely and genuine moment, Jack gently tips the President's head forward and then sweeps his eyes closed, saying "I'm sorry." Hastings asks Jack what's happening and Jack delivers the bad news. Alone in the situation room, President Taylor has seen the video of the killing and chokes back her sobs. She walks into the other room and notifies Dalia and Kayla that they were too late. Silent clock.
I'll miss you Mr. Kapoor.
For your Enhanced Recap Experience (ERE), please open this link in a new tab and listen to the music while reading the final paragraph.
Why in the world did Samir and his men hang around after killing President Hassan? Why bother with a delayed speech, if not to get away? Are these not the stupidest terrorists in the world? Did anyone really buy Starbuck as an effective mole after seeing her reduced to a quivering mass by Kevin Wade? Does Hassan's death mean Starbuck's immunity deal is a bust, and will that spur her to try to escape again? Wouldn't it be great if she accidentally killed Renee on the way out? Did Ortiz confess to everything, including the murders of Kevin and Nick? What the hell is going to happen over the next eight hours? (I smell Russians!) Is Dalia Hassan going to try to take over her husband's peace mission? Will she recruit her daughter as her Vice President? (What, it's as good an idea as the 24 writers have had!) Will Chloe ever act on her Jack crush? Couldn't she kill Renee in a jealous rage? Again, why won't Fox let me take over as the showrunner? For these answers and more, please stay tuned to Pajiba until the next recap of As Jack's World Turns.
Cindy is holed up in a bunker in the northeast sector of the country, and that's all you need to know. You can reach Cindy here