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Do Coroners Replace Decapitated Heads Before the Funeral?

By Cindy Davis | TV | March 12, 2010 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | March 12, 2010 |

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but that wasn’t a half-terrible episode. And from the previews for next week, it looks like there might be some actual tension going on — can it be that the Stooges read my last recap and scrambled to get themselves together? Yeah, not bloody likely, but I do like to try to grab any credit or attention when I can. While I hesitate to say things might keep getting better on the back half of the season, past years have meandered and then picked up steam after a messy start. So for now, I’ll be cautiously optimistic. Let’s have a collective cheer for a completely Renee-free episode! If we can get Starbuck and Ortiz killed off in one shot (might I suggest an unfortunate rendezvous at the bomb site?) and maybe the surprise return of a bent on revenge Tony, (may I suggest taking out a certain psychotic, Botoxed redhead?) we’re on our way to a successful day!

Instead of having Samir walk him through the steps of re-arming his bomb vest, Marcos has drawn a detailed diagram on the wall to follow. Now mind you, even though this seems inefficient and time consuming, it will allow for much more drama and a couple of nice last-minute chats. As Marcos completes the first of four connections, Jack talks to his team about how they might be able to get into the oxygen chamber, (not enough time) and is told by Owen that Marcos will soon be able to detonate the bomb. Jack tells Owen to get the intercom working, quickly notifies Hastings of the goings-on and then asks Chloe for any information on Marcos that she can find. Chloe tells Jack Marcos’s father was imprisoned by the Palmer administration due to suspected terrorist connections, but the charges were eventually dropped. The father was unemployable after his incarceration and he committed suicide, thus triggering his son’s political stance. Jack is also told that Marcos’s American mother lives in nearby Harlem; he asks for her to be found and brought to him.

Hastings sees Ortiz and Starbuck on a security monitor, as they’re arriving back at CTU. In the elevator, Ortiz stoically tells Starbuck to just act naturally, but I can’t recommend the same - her natural is anyone else’s freaky. Starbuck is bothered that Ortiz isn’t expressing his feelings and tries to push him to discuss the mess they covered up, but Ortiz demands she stop so they can do their jobs and get through the radiological threat. Hastings meets them at the elevator doors and dresses them down, though not nearly enough. Hastings tells them he needs their skills, otherwise they’d both be out on their asses. He asks if they’re both done with whatever they were doing and after the affirmative replies, tells Starbuck she’ll now report to Chloe, and sends Ortiz to find Marcos’s mother.

Ali phones Samir to report on Marcos’s progress with the bomb. Somehow, even with CTU locking down the whole hospital area, Ali is close enough to clearly see inside the building through binoculars, and has managed to tap into the security cameras so he can watch Marcos’s every move. Samir tells Ali that they are close to getting the nuclear materials into Manhattan (they’ve figured out some way to disable the city’s radiation sensors, which sounds ridiculous and impossible). For a ragtag group out of the IRK, these dudes seem pretty sophisticated.

Samir and his men have arrived at yet another warehouse where they open the box containing the rods. I can’t understand that everyone has to keep looking at the nuclear materials, especially since they have to know exposure could be deadly - maybe they think we’ll forget what’s in there if we don’t see the rods once an episode? Chloe and Starbuck snipe at each other while discussing New York City’s radiation sensors. Chloe says she’s realizes it’s difficult for Starbuck to be demoted, but that she’s glad Starbuck wasn’t canned. Why is Chloe being so forgiving and nice this season? I like my Chloe sarcastic, snide, sneering and snippy. Bitch better not be a toaster! Starbuck confers with Arlo over the drones watching the city. Arlo also apologizes for ratting her out to Ortiz and asks whether the other guy (Kevin) is gone (dude, Kevin is really, really gone). After he wonders aloud whether Starbuck and her “boy scout” Ortiz are okay, he offers himself as a trade-up if she ever decides to leave Ortiz. Desperate much?

Marcos continues working on the bomb circuits as Owen advises Jack that he is now able to speak with Marcos by intercom. Jack begins a dialogue with Marcos, telling him that if New York City is bombed President Taylor will retaliate against the IRK, so in essence Marcos will be screwing his own country. Jack tells Marcos he’ll be responsible for the deaths of both American and IRK people. When that angle doesn’t work Jack reminds him that Marcos is American, and brings up Marcos’s father, but Marcos resists Jack’s appeals and tells Jack he is prepared to die. He goes back to his bomb reconfiguring, ignoring Jack.

Tarin takes a call while in bed with Kayla. When he hangs up, Tarin tells Kayla they’ll be considered political refugees and it may take a year to be granted asylum. He tells her he’ll be unable to legally work for a while, and won’t be able to give her the life she’s used to - Kayla says she doesn’t care about that stuff, she just wants to be with him. Oh you stupid girl. Mother Dalia calls and Kayla tries to answer, but Tarin playfully grabs the phone and tells her to wait until his asylum application is filed. Dalia leaves an urgent message for Kayla as she walks down a hallway toward her husband, President Hassan. Dalia chastises the President for arresting Tarin, saying Tarin was one of his most loyal men. President Hassan defends himself by saying his own brother tried to have him killed, but agrees it’s time to involve the police. Dalia fervidly yells at the President for having lost his way and driving away his daughter. President Hassan promises to do everything in his power to find Kayla and make her safe and the parents embrace.

Marcos’s mother, Elaine Al-Zacar, is packing to leave when Ortiz and company arrive. The CTU team bursts into her apartment, guns drawn, and Ortiz harshly questions her about Marcos’s activities. When Ortiz asks why she’s leaving in the middle of the night, Mrs. Al-Zacar tells Ortiz that Marcos called and told her to meet him at her sister’s home. Ortiz advises Mommy that Marcos is about to blow himself up and demands that she come with him to try to help.

Starbuck advises Hastings that Ortiz and Mrs. Al-Zacar are en route to the hospital. She apologizes for letting Hastings down and they have a discussion about how Starbuck and Ortiz screwed up and are both willing to accept the consequences. Starbuck receives another mystery call, this time from a man asking after Kevin. He tells her that he is Bill Prady (Stephen Root), Kevin’s probation officer, and when Starbuck denies knowing Kevin, Prady says he knows Kevin called her several times. He wants to meet with Starbuck, and under a veiled threat she gets roped into agreeing.

Marcos is getting closer to activation; Owen tells Jack it will be less than ten minutes. Ortiz arrives with Mommy Al-Zacar and Jack begins explaining the situation to her. Ortiz receives Starbuck’s panicked call, she tells him that Kevin’s probation officer caught her lying about knowing Kevin and that Prady is on his way to see her. Ortiz tell her she’s good at lying so to just do it some more. Snap! Then he says he’s sorry. Loser. Jack advises Marcos’s mother that she has to do anything she can to get Marcos to open the door. Jack takes Mrs. Al-Zacar to a room to speak to her son, while Ali advises Samir of her arrival, telling Samir he thinks Marcos will stay loyal. Mommy Al-Zacar tries to reason with her son and when he hears his mother’s voice, Marcos calls Jack a son of a bitch. Mother and son argue over what Marcos is doing. When she asks his motivations, Marcos wants to know how she can ask him that after what this country did to his father. Mommy relates to Marcos that his father was a complicated man, but would never condone violence. As they speak, Chloe advises Hastings that the feeds to Marcos are being monitored by someone else. Chloe tells Jack they’re being surveilled and he tells Owen to get ready to cut out the video. Marcos tells his mother, over all her protestations, that it’s too late. He tells her she has to be strong and that he loves her; Mother cries and screams as Ortiz takes her away so she doesn’t have to see her son blown to smithereens. CTU cuts Ali’s video feed just as Marcos makes the last connection to his bomb. In a last ditch effort, Jack urgently informs Marcos that if he detonates the bomb, Jack will take Mommy Al-Zacar to the New York City blast site (after the nuclear bomb is detonated) and expose her to the radiation. Marcos says that Jack wouldn’t do that — he’s a federal agent. Jack explains that he really isn’t anymore and that if Marcos had any idea who Jack was, he wouldn’t doubt that Jack would do this. Jack discusses in detail what will happen to Mommy if she’s exposed to radiation. Marcos sobs and puts down the detonator, asking Jack if he’ll promise to leave his mother alone if Marcos comes out; Marcos finally does open the door and Jack yells “dammit” when he realizes the bomb is completely armed. Ali has been watching events through binoculars and tells Samir that Marcos is out of the room — Samir orders Ali to use a fail-safe to detonate the bomb. As Jack is trying to help unlock the vest, a sixty-second digital counter display begins. Jack realizes this is an impossible mission, he’s not going to be able to get the vest off Marcos in time. He implores Marcos to give the name of whomever is helping the IRK get the rods into the city - Marcos tells Jack it’s President Hassan’s Head of Security, Tarin Faroush! Marcos realizes his fate and screams to Jack to tell Marcos’s mother that he’s sorry. Unable to do anything more, Jack pushes Marcos back into the chamber just as the vest explodes, the force throwing Jack to the floor and leaving blood and guts all over the door. I have to take this moment to congratulate Mare Winningham and Rami Malek for their scenes -both actors did a fine bit of acting and hit their emotions beautifully.

President Hassan telephones police to request assistance with finding Tarin and his daughter. As the President hangs up, Nabeel enters the room to notify him Jack Bauer is on the line and wishes to speak to him. Jack informs President Hassan that Marcos named Tarin as a co-conspirator (Hassan sneaks in a quick look of smug satisfaction and so shall I). Jack advises the President to have Tarin taken into custody; President Hassan explains that he had suspected Tarin and had him arrested, but that Tarin escaped with Kayla to an unknown location. Meanwhile, Tarin and Kayla are at the hotel, still making googly eyes at each other. When Tarin decides to take a shower, Dalia finally gets a call through to Kayla and tells her that Tarin is conspiring with the IRK bad guys. Kayla tries to deny the news, but her mother manages to convince Kayla of the truth. Kayla gives her mother their location just as Tarin emerges from the shower (that boy is quick!). He spies Kayla on the phone, but she lies, telling Tarin she didn’t divulge their whereabouts. Tarin suddenly wants to leave to meet his friend, but Kayla contrives a stall. She tells a clearly suspicious Tarin she’s going to clean up and get dressed, and then locks herself in the bathroom. Jack and Ortiz coordinate a plan to capture Tarin, but since it will take them 20 minutes to reach the hotel, Jack orders his men to have the NYPD set up a perimeter around the hotel right away. Beep! Beep! Beeeeeeeeeep!

For your Enhanced Recap Experience (ERE), please open this link in a new tab and listen to the music while reading the final paragraph.

Will Kayla be beheaded by the love of her life? If she is, will Dalia behead President Hassan? If that happens, will the coroner sew the heads back on for the funeral, or do they just get placed into the casket with the bodies? Oops, sorry, I got distracted there. Will Starbuck and Ortiz have to behead Prady to get rid of him? Will Ortiz realize he’d being doing Starbuck a favor by beheading her? Did Owen make it through this whole episode without crapping his pants? Did Stephen Root bring Dave Foley and does anyone else miss News Radio as much as I do? Do the writers read my recaps? 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

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