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Great. The Psychotic Bitch is Back

By Cindy Davis | TV | April 2, 2010 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | April 2, 2010 |

I read the news today, (well, actually about a week ago) oh boy. Grandpa Jack ain’t coming back no more! There are the predictable mixed emotions over the show ending. On the one hand, things have gotten mostly boring and repetitive, with a sprinkle of flat out farce. I know it’s difficult to surprise those of us who’ve been watching since the first season, but that’s still no excuse for some of the nonsense we’ve seen (Dana). On the other hand, if the writer’s room got some new blood and tricked-out the storylines, I’d definitely watch Jack save a few more days … well, if we also got a contractual agreement to kill off Renee. And speaking of Renee, that psychotic bitch is back and has inexplicably been allowed to tag along on a Presidential security detail! Are you frakking kidding me? The failure of the writers to spend one moment thinking about how ludicrous an idea this is - for Renee to be allowed to participate in the mission - is spectacular. But no worries, 24 seems to be going the feature film route, and for Kiefer (William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland!) that could work out well. (Keep him from further DUIs and bar altercations?) Heck, with his vampire roots, maybe he can get in on the whole Twilight thing. Count Jackula anyone?

As our program begins, helicopters search the East River. An EMT offers Jack painkillers, he refuses despite probably having broken ribs which could collapse his lung. The formerly broken, but miraculously recovered and composed Renee updates Jack that the empty Zodiac was found and the nuclear rods are in the city. She says CTU thinks they’re not far behind the terrorists; Jack tells Renee to contact Chloe to download satellite photos of the area, going back fifteen minutes. So wait a minute - Renee is back on the job just like that? A couple of hours ago she was a broken down mess and now someone at CTU updated her, meaning it’s no secret that she’s out there? Hastings, your judgment is once again impeccable, and writers, you are idiots! And Jack, you’re kind of an idiot too if you’re going to trust this nutjob with your life - but hey, maybe you’ll get laid when it’s all over. Ortiz notifies Hastings that four men loaded (what looked like) the box containing the rods into a taxi cab. Chloe is able to find the cab via satellite photos and tracks it until she is following its real time movements. She and Hastings contact Ortiz and give him directions to follow the vehicle. Simultaneously, the alternately whimpering and sulking, but now super-sly, supercilious spy, Starbuck (say that three times fast) gets Samir on the line and begins directing him away from Ortiz. Then she disrupts the trunk line for a few seconds to knock out CTU’s satellite. It seems implausible that Chloe wouldn’t have caught onto that move, but she seemed to have missed it. Chloe and Arlo attempt to find the cab again, but they have no luck. Hastings instructs Ortiz to look for warehouses, guessing the cab pulled in somewhere, then he tells another CTUer to get him the through to the President. For the moment, Samir has gotten away safely and he asks Starbuck to send him NYPD traffic patterns and checkpoints.

Hastings speaks by telephone with President Taylor, Ethan Kanin and Rob Weiss and delivers the news that the nuclear rods have gotten into the city. Kanin wants to know what happened, and Hastings explains that CTU had been very close but lost track of the terrorists. (A mole, boss, a mole!) When Hastings says he can no longer guarantee the safety of Manhattan, Rob throws a hissy fit. I think that’s pretty much all he’s done this season, right? President Taylor gives Hastings authority to use any necessary federal resources to search for the rods, and instructions to have all agencies ready for an immanent radiological attack. She then orders Ethan to assemble the National Security Team, and Rob to get her Jack Bauer. Shit, is it that easy? I’ll have a Jack too, with pickles please. At the waterfront, Jack and Ortiz discuss how interesting it is that communications were lost just as they were closing in on the terrorists. Jack gets the word that President Taylor is on the line. She asks Jack to supervise the transport of President Hassan and family from the UN to McGuire Air Force Base, maintaining that President Hassan’s role in the peace process is crucial. When Jack tells Renee his mission, Renee insists that she is coming along because she thinks she’s a bad ass again, and Jack doesn’t argue because??? I don’t know, I guess he’s hypnotized by the kitty cat?

Samir and Tarin drive into the bomb-maker’s warehouse - everybody has his own warehouse this season. Ahman asks about Ali and Samir tells him Ali didn’t make it; Tarin will take Ali’s place as the driver. I’m thinking Tarin isn’t going to go through with this, he seems a little shaky. The rods are unloaded and the bomb will be completed in no time.

Jack and Renee arrive at the UN and Jack introduces himself to Secret Service agent Molly O’Connor (Christina Cox). They discuss the exit route they’ll travel via underground tunnel. Agent O’Connor tells Jack President Hassan wants to see him. Jack and President Hassan talk over the preparations to leave; the President is bummed he won’t be leading a peace march down 5th Avenue. Don’t worry Mr. President, if you make it through the season you can probably get in on the Thanksgiving parade, maybe even get your own float.

At the Security Council meeting, General Brucker (Michael Gaston) advises President Taylor that he has three retaliatory strikes inside the IRK planned. Ethan Kanin begins arguing that the IRK is an ally, as President Taylor is notified that the man claiming to have the nuclear rods is on the telephone for her. Over speakerphone, Samir tells President Taylor he doesn’t want to hurt anyone - all he wants is for President Hassan to be turned over to him to be tried for his crimes. Samir gives President Taylor one hour to comply, or he will release the radiological dispersal device that can contaminate a forty-block area. President Taylor starts handing down orders. Rob Weiss interrupts to suggest that President Hassan be turned over, as opposed to letting the bomb kill thousands. Ethan protests and the two advisers bicker. President Taylor is angered that anyone thinks turning over the President is a viable option. She gives an impassioned speech to the Security Council members, maintaining that she believes the terrorists will be found before the bomb can be detonated. But if the worst happens, President Taylor asserts that America will rise up again because that’s what we do. Booyah!

Starbuck stops by Chloe’s station to ask for an update on road closures and checkpoints (that she will pass on to Samir). As Starbuck walks away, she calls Samir to obtain his status and he tells her that whether or not he gets President Hassan, the peace process will have been destroyed. I love how Starbuck walks all around CTU speaking to her co-conspirator in hushed, gritted-teeth tones and no one notices. It’s pretty simple to subvert CTU right under their noses these days. Meanwhile, Ahman advises Samir that the bomb is ready.

General Brucker privately speaks to Rob Weiss about a proposed covert operation that would hand over President Hassan, but make it look like the terrorists nabbed him. When Weiss tells the General that President Taylor would never go for the plan, Brucker asks if Weiss would do it anyway. Rob claims the plan is sedition but the General cites the Fourth Nuremberg Principle which allows for usurping the President if her orders are illegal and would allow danger to come to United States citizens. General Brucker affirms that the primary role of the government is to protect its citizens, and with that, Weiss agrees to the plan.

Chloe transfers the requested traffic information to Starbuck’s computer station. Hastings notifies CTU staff that that the bomb is in the city and that to protect the people, everyone must go back over every lead and bit of information they have. Starbuck has received and transfers the NYPD checkpoint information to Samir. Samir, in turn, directs Tarin where to drive, avoiding the police. In Ethan’s office, Rob begins retrieving the information on President Hassan’s route and security detail for General Brucker, downloading specifics from Ethan’s laptop onto a portable drive. Ethan returns to his office and finds their meeting suspicious; he spies the portable drive attached to his computer. Kanin tries to leave, asking the General to step away from the door but Brucker won’t let him exit. He directs Ethan to sit down. Ethan refuses and tries to call someone (Jack’s on speed dial, yo!) with the phone in his pocket - the General realizes and grabs Ethan’s phone away. Ethan begs Rob not to betray the President, and then suffers a heart attack, falling to the floor. Rob helps him get a pill and tells General Brucker to call for an ambulance, but the General won’t do it. Brucker tells Weiss he can’t make an emotional decision, that they’ll just have to wait for the Hassan-napping and hope Ethan makes it.

Jack and Renee escort the Hassan family through underground tunnels below the UN building. Jack tries to call back Ethan, but can only leave a message. Jack immediately realizes something is wrong because no one can find Kanin either, and he warns Renee to be alert. By phone, General Brucker gives his men their orders, advising them to hurry because the security detail is already on the move with President Hassan.

As the group reaches an area not far from where vehicles are staged, Jack and Renee proceed cautiously ahead of the Hassan family. Brucker’s soldiers are watching their movements as Jack again tries to call Ethan Kanin. Someone knocks at the door where Rob Weiss is keeping watch over Ethan, she notifies him that Jack is trying to reach the Secretary. Weiss decides to take Jack’s call himself, and Jack interrogates Rob. Weiss tells Jack to just do his job and hangs up on Jack, which makes Jack even more suspicious. Jack decides to turn the group back and just then Bruckner’s men start shooting at the security detail. Jack calls out to Renee to take the Hassans back to the UN, and she senselessly yells back “What about you?” DUMMY, this ain’t about your piece of ass! Jack shouts that he’ll be right behind her, as he tries to help with the firefight. Agent O’Connor agent tells Jack to go with President Hassan, she can handle the attackers. The Secret Service group valiantly fights back against Brucker’s assault team.

Jack, Renee and the Hassan family run, with President Hassan trying to convince Jack to let him help fight off the attackers. He tells Jack he has been a soldier and can handle a gun. Shit Jack, you gave one to Renee - may as well arm everyone. Jack advises President Hassan to stay with his family. Daughter Kayla stumbles and twists her ankle, slowing down the group. Anyone know a cougar call? Realizing the shooters are closing in on them, Jack orders Renee to have everyone take cover. Jack tells President Hassan to take care of his family while he and Renee fight off the soldiers. Jack just happens to have smoke grenades in his pocket, which he throws to provide cover as he and Renee try to draw closer to the attackers and shoot them one by one. Suddenly one of the shooters comes up behind him, knocking Jack to the ground. As the soldier aims to shoot, he is taken out by none other than President Hassan. (Damn, how many times has Jack’s ass been saved today?) Jack returns the favor, shooting the soldier’s leg as he was about to go after the President. Jack questions the soldier and pulls off his face mask to reveal…Desmond! an American named Bishop (Michael Irby). Bishop tells Jack about General Brucker’s covert plan to trade President Hassan. The soldier urges Jack to hand over Hassan, and Jack says he doesn’t take orders from anyone but the President of the United States.

Samir calls Starbuck again, asking why he hasn’t heard anything from her. Starbuck tells him she doesn’t have any information, so Samir says he’s going to detonate the bomb. Starbuck warns him to think about losing his leverage, but Samir says the blood will be on President Taylor’s hands and hangs up on her. He calls Tarin and tells him to start the countdown and to stay with the bomb so that no one can interfere. Samir tells Tarin his name will never be forgotten and his family will be honored. They speak parting words in Arabic, “The next world is the true life,” and Tarin starts the timer countdown at fifteen minutes.

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

Should Jack be turned into a vampire at the end of the series? (He could easily run into one in the underground tunnels. Heck, Renee’s a bloodsucker for sure!) Could 24 be revamped? Is Jack prettier than Robert Pattinson? Should Kiefer do a remake of The Lost Boys? Couldn’t Starbuck be a vampire and while the power is still out in some areas of CTU, start secretly biting and turning everyone there? (Except of course for Chloe who would be on to her and download a solution in a New York minute!) And couldn’t Samir turn out to be a vampire, and IRK really stand for International Republic of Killers, and his plot is to turn all of New York City…and then America…and then the WORLD?!!! 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

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