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Where Is that "Women of '24'" Calendar?

By Cindy Davis | TV | February 12, 2010 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | February 12, 2010 |

Dear 24 writers: This is a personal plea to just stop with the whining, crying, lip-trembling, fragile, emotional, alternately simpering and sniveling (and in no way believable or useful as a United States President) women. For the love of Godtopus, please! I could stand one. I could tolerate two if I had to. But in no way can I accept that every woman but Chloe is so ineffective and annoying, nor that so many ladies full of self-pitying, sobbing subordination are congregated this one day. And while we’re at it, Jack doesn’t have time to comfort and console that most useless of reinstated FBI agents, the unbalanced and irrational, possibly psychotic Renee. That he would ever be attracted to such a twit (twat) is absurd. Lastly, please get better meds for Vlad, Hastings and President Hassan so they can figure out with which of their personalities they’re sticking. Thanks, Bye!

The hour tediously opens with Rob Weiss congratulating President Taylor for having gotten nearly unanimous support for the peace treaty. The British delegate Dalton (Harry Van Gorkum) wants to know what’s really going on. President Taylor confides in Dalton that there is nuclear material on the loose and CTU is running an operation to locate it. These little presidential updates are so obviously filler material, this one could have been stuck elsewhere in the episode — like during the commercials.

Jack/Ernst Meier is riding with Lugo to Vlad’s office. Ortiz calls Jack and Lugo responds to the ringing of the phone by telling Jack “No calls until we get to Vladimir.” Uh, you’re not in charge dipstick! Jack asks if Lugo really thinks he’s in a situation where he gets to make demands, and seeing as how Jack is sitting behind Lugo with a gun, the goon grimaces and shuts his mouth. Ortiz has his team ready to back up Jack, but Jack discretely tells Ortiz to keep out of the way until Jack determines they’re needed. Lugo still doesn’t like not being in control and tries to ask Jack questions about the call; Jack tells Lugo to shut up and drive. Meanwhile, over at CTU, Arlo is trying to update Dana/Jenny Starbuck, but she gets a call from Kevin and leaves Arlo mumbling to himself (“No biggie, just unsecured nuclear materials.”). Kevin lets Starbuck know he and his buddy have arrived at the evidence warehouse and Starbuck tells him he has to wait a few minutes while she takes care of business. Arlo again tries to get Chloe to pay attention to his concerns about Starbuck, but Chloe can’t be bothered.

At Vlad’s warehouse, Jack brings in Lugo with a gun to the neck. Jack asks if this is how Vlad does business, trying to take Jack out after the money was wired? Vlad says it was a misunderstanding, but everything’s cool now that they’re together. Renee lets Jack know that Vlad’s been calling around about the nuclear materials, but Jack doesn’t care. He wants to talk to Renee, alone, gives his gun to Vlad and he and Renee step away. Lugo wants to take out Jack right then and there, and tells Vlad not to risk everything for a whore. Vlad says if Lugo ever talks about Renee like that again, he’ll kill Lugo. I’m thinking Vlad is an idiot and the worst Russian mobster ever. His personality is all over the place, his moods are up and down like a yo-yo, and he can be easily swayed by Renee’s idiotic pleadings one minute or pissed off by them the next. Jack and Renee argue in stern whispers over pulling out Renee, she protests with her prerecorded “I’m the only one” and “I’m fine” lines. Jack isn’t agreeing, but Vlad interrupts the conversation, saying he should start making phone calls. As they’re all walking from the room Vlad cups Renee’s ass cheek and walks her out that way. I’ve got to say I never saw a woman get led by her ass before, but with Renee it somehow seems appropriate.

Jenny Starbuck calls Kevin back and she heads to an unoccupied room to give him instructions. After checking camera views on the evidence building, she gives Kevin a code to use with his key card and tells him it’s time to enter the building. Kevin is too stupid to type in the code correctly so his buddy does it for him. This is the first in a string of goofy hi jinks, with Kevin and his buddy playing the roles of dumb and dumber. Starbuck directs them to another door and gives them a second code (Kevin gets this one right). Inside the large evidence room which has separate and individually locked caged areas, Starbuck directs Kevin and buddy to the numbered section, but they’re stupid, dyslexic and confused by too many numerals, so they go to the wrong area. Starbuck wants to know what is wrong with The Stupids, but she ought to maybe sweep her own doorstep first. Finally they find the right place, discover the bags of money and stuff it into their own bag. Starbuck tells Kevin to call when they’re clear of the building, but Kevin’s buddy decides to look at more stuff even though in fifteen minutes a patrol will be back. We know this won’t end well.

Jack and Renee stand around watching while Vlad calls contacts. Vlad takes a break to get a drink and he tells Renee to cut his bread. Renee, I think you’ve found your place in life! Jack tells Vlad he should stop drinking so much when he has more calls to make, and Vlad tells Jack he’ll drink what he wants. He insists Jack drink with him and lets Renee know she cut the bread too thin. In an oddly perverse Sam and Molly embrace, Vlad helps Renee cut the bread thicker (“Nice and thick!”), but I didn’t hear The Righteous Brothers and it wasn’t sexy or romantic. Vlad attempts to taunt Jack into being jealous over his hot relationship with Renee, but Jack keeps his poker face. Exasperated that his ploy didn’t work, Vlad tells Lugo to take Jack to the other room because Vlad “doesn’t like Jack breathing down his neck”.

Papa Bazhaev hands over Oleg’s body to a priest, and tells him to bury Oleg “out back,” not in a cemetery. The priest says it isn’t right, Bazhaev tells the priest to make it right by saying all the prayers. Yes, because if you say the right prayers, you have no worries about the life you have led or where you are buried. Papa leaves to go speak with his other son, Josef. Bazhaev says he wants Josef to see that everything he has done is for Josef and for the family. Bazhaev says he killed Oleg because he didn’t want Oleg to suffer and that one day Josef will see how much Bazhaev loves him. The family couldn’t afford to chance Oleg leading the authorities to them. Bazhaev says he does everything so that when he dies, Bazhaev can leave Josef and his family wealth, respect and consequence. He asks Josef to help bury his brother. A goon comes in to advise Bazhaev that Vlad is on the phone. Vlad recounts to Bazhaev that there are supposed to be nuclear rods for sale and that he is in contact with a German who wants to buy them. Bazhaev tells Vlad he is stupid (can’t deny it) and that no one deals in nuclear rods. Vlad hangs up defeated and starts trying to maul Renee again, she tells him later for that shit - make more calls. Meanwhile, Bazhaev tells one of his goons that they have a problem: Vlad knows about the materials. Bazhaev calls his men who are traveling by truck with the nuclear rods and orders them to stop and wait until their exact destination is known. And speaking of unknowns, what the hell happened to Helmet Head (President Hassan’s brother)? Is he still with Papa’s hookers?

Back to the boring stuff. President Hassan receives a call from President Taylor, she wants to know his intentions. (Aw, I knew she was sweet on him.) She tells President Hassan she knows about the arrest of his own delegate, and he replies that it’s an “internal matter.” President Taylor pushes and President Hassan assures her the delegate will be released or arrested. After he hangs up, President Hassan asks security man Tarin if Jamot talked. Tarin says he questioned Jamot himself and doesn’t believe Jamot is in cahoots with Helmet Head. Regardless, the formerly mild mannered President wants Tarin to have Jamot’s wife and children arrested and to use them to apply pressure to Jamot. Tarin balks, saying that President Hassan was supposed to put a stop to these sorts of tactics, and President Hassan seemingly backs down. But when Tarin leaves the room, Hassan becomes suspicious of Tarin and tells another aide, Nabeel (Hrach Titizian) to do the dirty work.

At the evidence warehouse, Kevin’s buddy pretends to hold up Kevin with a water gun. Hi jinks! But the dummy’s’ goofing around may cause them to be caught. At CTU Chloe tells Starbuck testing has confirmed the uranium is definitely Soviet in origin. Starbuck receives a call from panicked Kevin, who admits they haven’t gotten out of the building yet and need help, there’s a patrolman heading toward them. Through gritted teeth, Starbuck directs the idiots to another exit but the door is locked. Starbuck says she’s dead if they get caught, and that the boys should slip past the cop to get out the original entry door. As The Stupids are tiptoeing toward their exit, the cop sees the mess they left behind and starts to radio for back up, so Kevin’s buddy whacks the cop with a baseball bat. Starbuck grits her teeth even more, wondering how the idiots will get out. Katee Sackhoff should be gritting her teeth over taking on this embarrassing role.

Our weekly soap opera segment begins as a conflicted Tarin visits President Hassan’s daughter, Kayla. As expected, they embrace and speak in dramatic whispers. Tarin tells Kayla about her father’s harsh methods. She can’t believe it! Glances are exchanged and Kayla wonders what they can do. Nabeel and his men come looking for Tarin and Kayla refuses them entry. Nabeel doesn’t believe Kayla when she says her boy toy isn’t there, so Tarin comes out and Nabeel imparts his orders to arrest Tarin. The actress who plays Kayla (Nazneen Contractor) has clearly been taking dramatic daughter acting lessons from Elisha Cuthbert. Kayla demands to speak to her father, but the security guards say Hassan doesn’t want to be disturbed. As the security men lead away Tarin, Kayla dramatically exclaims that she’ll talk to her father and get him to change his mind. Collective sigh, y’all.

Jack is waiting in a separate room to hear if Vlad finds anyone who knows about the deal. As Vlad ends another fruitless telephone conversation, he lets Renee know he’s done with the phone research. Vlad says Meier must be wrong, but Renee insists Meier’s intelligence is good and demands Vlad make more calls. Renee gets frantic and pushy, and they argue. Vlad asks Renee if the deal is all she’s there for and Renee pisses him off, answering that of course it’s the deal - did he think she was there for him? (Survey says: wrong answer!) Vlad angrily punches Renee, knocking her to the floor where the handy dandy bread knife conveniently lies. Renee grabs the knife and goes crazy, stabbing Vlad first in the eye, and then repeatedly all over his body. She turns around and instinctively (accidentally) knifes Jack who had come running in to see what was happening. Jack falls to the floor, knife in his belly…dramatic pause. Hearing the commotion, Lugo runs in, sees Vlad on the ground and goes for his gun to shoot Renee. But instantaneously-miraculously-recovered-Jack goes all I Am The Warrior and pulls the knife from his belly, throwing it across the room and sinking it directly into Lugo’s neck! Super-Jack spies shadows outside the room, runs and grabs a dropped gun from the floor and proceeds to shoot the rest of the goons. Grandpa Jack my ass! (Did anyone see him grab a can of spinach?) For no good reason, Renee drops to her knees in a stupor, and Jack turns around and grabs Renee to hug and comfort her.

Jack conference calls Director Hastings and Ortiz to report that Renee killed Vlad defending herself. Hastings crassly asks how this happened when Renee was having sex with Vlad only half an hour ago. Nice! Hastings is mad that their only lead is dead, but Jack talks some sense about how they can still follow the physical evidence, including using the dialed numbers on Vlad’s phone. Ortiz is on his way to pick up Jack and Renee and Hastings tells them to bring back Vlad’s body (Uh oh Renee). Hastings gets pissy with Starbuck for not looking interested or upset at the turn of events, but he doesn’t know Katee’s busy worrying about her career and the shameful subplot she’s trying to act her way through. Renee cries to Jack about having made such a mess and almost killing Jack. She mumbles about messing up everything, and how she had thought that if she did this mission it would make things right and she would somehow get her life back again. She cries that she has no one, and Jack tells her she has him. Whatever lady. Why don’t you take all that money you spend on Botox and get a frakking shrink. Jack hears a noise, tells Renee to stick to her story that Vlad attacked her, and he goes out front thinking Ortiz has arrived. But its not Ortiz, it’s Bazhaev’s men, coming after Vlad. Jack quickly devises a plan to let the men take him. He tells Renee when CTU gets there to have them track him by air, and helps Renee hide. Bazhaev’s men bust in and see all the dead bodies. Jack comes out waving his white handkerchief and tells the men he wants to do business with their boss. One dude almost finds Renee in the closet, but he must have sensed there was a crazy bitch behind the door because he leaves when his buddy yells for him.

Ortiz arrives and he and his men see all the dead bodies - shares the view with CTU by video - and finally, Renee emerges. Renee tells Ortiz and Hastings that Jack went with the Russians, but neither Ortiz nor CTU saw anyone leave the building and no planes or cars have departed. Renee says Jack told her CTU would be monitoring by air and everyone dramatically wonders where Jack is. Turns out all the Russians have an underground tunnel connection to each others’ secret warehouse hiding places! (I assume this is because of stereotyping and unfair prosecution?) Bazhaev’s men lead Jack through the tunnel out to where their van is parked, and then drive off with him to destinations unknown. Judging from next week’s previews, it ain’t anyplace I’d want to go.

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 next week’s torture scenes again prompt complaints that 24 is responsible for all the Bush years torture? Will any of the women of 24 (other than Chloe) ever prove useful, intelligent or sane, or will they just be happy to pose for a sexy Women of 24 calendar? Will we ever see Helmet Head again, or did Pimp Papa Bazhaev’s girls complete their death by five hour sex mission? Will Jack realize that Renee has a bit of an Olive Oyl thing going? Does Jack even like spinach? 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

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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