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Grandpa Jack Gets a What-For

By Cindy Davis | TV | January 20, 2010 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | January 20, 2010 |

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Ah blinky clock noise, how I’ve missed you. And thank you for that real-time note for the new people. New people are always so dumb and slow, they couldn’t possibly make sense out of the hours passing one by one.

NYC makes its 24 setting debut with a creepy guy in a hoodie, aka shooting target. Never wear hoodies, people, they only identify you as a creepy bad guy. Also, drug houses are not safe. Welcome to New York! Hoodie guy walks up to an apartment and discovers his predictably dead friend in the shower, although I was expecting a chainsaw victim, so kudos on that tricky move. Hoodie creep immediately telephones the requisite scared chick who says “What the hell is happening?” over another dead guy at her end. Could it be … some sort of plot? A shooter aims at hoodie guy again; it’s the wrong one though, because hoodie guy is smarter than you think (well, except when it comes to what to wear). Hoodie guy engages in bizarre and foolish defensive driving back and forth in front of the shooters, but hoodie guy still escapes with only one major gunshot wound. One of the shooter guys call the cops and report hoodie guy’s license plate as that of a stolen vehicle.

Jack’s a grandpa! But his granddaughter thinks he doesn’t look like one and calls him Jack. I’m hoping he isn’t the only one taking care of Teri/Kimlet if he’s sleeping on the job. Nope, Grandpa Jack is it: number one babysitter. Elsewhere, Big Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) and her husband discuss Jack’s improved health and his residential situation, unaware that their daughter is being watched by a highly incapable Grandpa.

President Taylor (Cherry Jones) is meeting with President Hassan (Anil Kapoor) over dismantling his country’s (Kamistan) nuclear program. Taylor and Hassan and their cronies spar over the exact terms of verification. President Taylor tells Secretary of State, Ethan Kanin (Bob Gunton) to make it work.

Grandpa brings Kimlet back to her parents and tells Kim he wants to move to LA with them, this very night. Of course we all know that’s not going to happen any time soon. Smiley Jack never lasts long, despite the emotionally tugging muzak. Jack and family make arrangements to meet up for the plane trip home. Hugs and kisses all around!

Back to hoodie guy, who’s apparently waiting to talk to Jack — with a gun, of course.

A press conference to announce the disarmament agreement is imminent. Some blond chick’s press badge has been revoked and she’s all miffed. Helmet Head (displaying excellent Bobby Sherman hair), aka Hassan’s brother Farhad (Akbar Kurtha), talks over the terms of disarmament with President Hassan. The US is willing to agree to most of their terms, but Helmet Head takes issue with the US demand that the head of the verification team must be American. The two men discuss what is being surrendered to get what their country needs. Blondie, aka Merideth Reed (Jennifer Westfeldt), calls Hassan to discuss her badge revocation and Hassan tells her he’ll fix it. Their phone conversation intimates a deeper relationship than just business; Helmet Head is worried about this, too. Helmet Head tries to chastise the married Hassan, who claims he’s done nothing reckless.

Jack gets a knock on his door — it’s hoodie guy, aka Victor Aruz (Benito Martinez). Victor was previously an informant during Season 3’s Salazar sting, and he has information for Jack, but Jack tries to beg off because he’s anxious to do more babysitting. (Cartoons and fun snacks!) Victor tells him Jack is the guy who always does the right thing. Aw, way to touch Jack’s emotional side. Victor says there’s a hit out on Hassan and that Victor is the one who got the hit guy into the country. As usual that’s all gone wrong and now the hit guys are trying to take out Victor, who of course wants a plea agreement. Jack tries staring and yelling to get the name out of Victor, but Victor will only say that the hit man might be Russian. Victor won’t talk until he gets a deal.

There’s a shiny, new NYC CTU starring Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Starbuck, aka Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff), Arlo Glass (John Boyd) and poor, misunderstood Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Starbuck shows Chloe how to do her job and tells Chloe she’ll catch up. Cue eye rolls and can I get a “meow”? Jack calls Chloe and wants to interrupt the head of CTU, who doesn’t like to be interrupted. Jack says frak it, bust in and tell him there’s a hit out on Hassan. The new CTU boss, Brian Hastings (Mykelti Williamson) takes Jack’s call and Jack bosses Brian around like a fellow kindergartner. Hastings tells Jack there’s a chopper headed to pick them up five blocks away, even though they could easily send a car or taxi. I think we all know Victor’s going to die en route.

CTU is high-tech looking and fancy now, but that doesn’t make the agents any smarter. Hastings tells his agents to go pick up Jack Bauer and they’re all who’s Jack Bauer? Come on people, it’s Grandpa Jack! Ortiz wants two teams but Hastings tells him they’ll send a drone for protection. Don’t you know you can’t trust the machines man? Ask Starbuck.

Jack starts out with Victor at the exact moment that the cops find Victor’s “stolen” car, further confirmation that Victor won’t make it anywhere. Jack should know this too by now, but maybe he’s getting a little senile. The shooters’ boss (hereby dubbed the Assassinat0r) sends out his underlings to intercept Victor.

Ethan tells President Taylor that Hassan has accepted the United States’ terms. President Taylor is feeling wistful over the old days with her ex-husband Henry, and she and Ethan discuss the President getting divorced after she sent their daughter to jail. Chief of Staff, Rob Weiss (Chris Diamantopoulos) comes in to tell them about the Hassan threat. Receiving conflicting advice from Ethan and Rob, the President decides to think about whether or not she should tell Hassan before the press conference. Ethan has to take some pills out in the hall and Rob is afraid he half-killed the guy arguing over advising President Taylor.

Jack calls Kim to tell her he’ll be late and will meet her at the airport. Don’t hold your breath Kimbo.

Chloe gets chastized again for not adapting quickly enough to all the new systems. Hastings tells Chloe her performance needs to improve for her to keep her job. Dude, you do not want to piss off Chloe — she will scowl you to death. Meanwhile, Starbuck and Ortiz are engaged, even though they have no chemistry. Starbuck looks longingly at the chopper, you just know she wants to fly.

Jack and Victor’s trip is predictably going badly. Vic’s bleeding out so Jack tries to give medical aid. Some dude in the alley sees them and makes a call. Pizza maybe?

Hassan’s daughter Kayla (Nazeen Contractor) tells mother Dalia (Necar Zadegan) it’s time to go, and from their small talk, it’s certain Hassan’s marriage has issues. The mother/father meeting confirms. I see a kidnapping of some sort in their future. Downstairs, Helmet Head reinstates Blondie’s press badge. He also tells Blondie to stay away from Hassan.

Rob tells President Taylor that Hassan is on the way, and then Rob reads her mind, telling the President that she risks ruining the agreement if she doesn’t warn Hassan.

I guess it wasn’t pizza — the cops show up. The cops won’t listen to Jack. They never do, and of course the assassins show up in the alleyway, guns blazing. Never mind that they have machine guns, Jack has his trusty Sig (I think). Jack calls Chloe, Starbuck calls Hastings, someone patches them through to Ortiz in the chopper. Everyone bands together to find Jack an escape route. Jack tries to get the information from Victor in case they don’t make it back to CTU, but Victor says he won’t talk unless he makes it. He also leaves a handy blood trail for the assassins, but Jack messes those boys up and steals himself an automatic. Since Victor won’t talk, Jack gives him what for by pushing him out a window onto a dumpster. Ortiz tries to tell Jack to come back to CTU and while Jack refuses, the Assassinator launches a missile and blows up the helicopter. Cue worried Starbuck. Jack tries to get the name of the inside man who’s part of the Hassan plot, but of course Victor dies just in time to not tell him.

Blondie talks to someone on the phone to make us suspicious that she’s the killer or somehow involved. But we’re too smart to fall for that, right?

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Assasinator calls his HQ to let them know Victor is dead, but he doesn’t know what Victor may have told CTU — so they need to accelerate the hit.

Ortiz complains to Hastings that the drone should have done better protecting them in a missile fight; that the blow up would never have happened if they had had a second team. Jack tells Hastings the information about an inside man being part of the Hassan hit, and that he believed Victor was telling the truth. Hastings demands Jack come in to make a statement. Starbuck finds a possible lead on the insider — someone gained unauthorized access into a secure database at the UN. Hastings tells her to work with Chloe.

The press conference begins. Rob calls Hastings and is told of the possible insider. Hastings tells Rob CTU is working on a lead, and that they should consider locking down Hassan and stopping the press conference. Rob says no way and tells Hastings they’d better get to the bottom of the hit attempt. After the conference, Hassan dismisses his wife and daughter, and calls Blondie about their “interview.” They set up a meeting time and place.

CTU techie Arlo has to find out why the drone didn’t anti-missile the missile. He also tries to cover his ass by reminding Hastings he had told Hastings the anti-missile system hadn’t been tested in an urban environment. Starbuck and Chloe work on finding the intruder who might be the inside person. With very little effort and just in time, they get a Bingo; it’s Blondie! Meanwhile, Blondie is on her way up to see Hassan. Hastings calls the alert in to Hassan’s people. Blondie works her way closer to Hassan. Tension and dramatic music ensue, but they nab her just in time. Everyone gropes Blondie under the guise of a threat. Of course this is all too easy, so she must be a decoy (my money’s on Hassan’s brother).

CTU staff has a meeting, and Chloe’s the only one who is awake. She argues that them finding the inside man was too easy and that they should all make sure everyone is properly vetted. Hastings brushes off Chloe, who is always right, and to get her out of the way he assigns Chloe to debrief Jack. Jack and Ortiz arrive at CTU and Hastings tells Jack they already cracked the case. Jack is properly incredulous. Hastings wants Ortiz to keep his “we should have had a second team instead of a drone” complaints to himself so CTU isn’t investigated; Jack keeps an ear open to their discussions because Jack knows a good blackmail conversation when he hears it. Jack calls Kim again to assure her he’ll be going with her to LA — though late — and Kim insists the family will pick up Jack on the way to the airport. Jack goes to debrief with Chloe, and she discusses with him the ridiculousness of the easily discovered insider. Jack just wants to leave. Chloe wants Jack to see some video she found of the Assassinator entering Blondie’s apartment building. She tells Jack someone could have set up the find of Blondie. Even though Jack knows Chloe is right, he just wants to get back to Grandpa-ing and blows off Chloe’s protests.

Hassan fights with his wife over Blondie and how Blondie got such easy access to him. Helmet Head asks to speak with his brother alone. He wants to know what Blondie will say to CTU. Helmet Head says that Hassan must deny any alleged affair or it will ruin Hassan. Helmet Head leaves and calls the Assassinator (I was right!) and they discuss how Blondie must continue to appear the insider.

Starbuck flirts with Arlo. Then she gets a call (867-5309) from someone who calls her Jenny. Starbuck tells the caller she isn’t Jenny and she’ll contact the police if he calls her again. The caller warns her not to hang up the phone, but she does — and she’s visibly shaken. She runs into her boy toy, Ortiz, and says she’s sorry she’s been so distant — she just doesn’t want to lose him. Oh yes, that makes perfect sense Jenny Starbuck. And I hope you turn out to be a complete loon, because frankly, so far you’re wasting Katee Sackhoff’s acting talent.

Hastings tells Blondie they found stolen files on her computer and that he knows she’s in on the plot to kill Hassan. Hastings sends Blondie to the interrogation room. Jack observes and tells Hastings that Blondie might be innocent. He shows Hastings Chloe’s evidence that someone might have broken into Blondie’s apartment to put the stolen documents on her computer. Hastings won’t listen to Jack because no one at CTU (other than Chloe) ever does, most especially not the CTU head. Jack mumbles that he hates this place, and Chloe tries to talk to Jack — but Jack wants out. Chloe lays a super emotional, rolly-eyed guilt trip on Jack, but he still begs off. Oh Grandpa Jack, you really do love big Kim and little Kimlet! As he walks out of CTU, Kimlet runs to meet him with a picture she drew. Big Kim talks to Jack after having talked to Chloe herself, and lays yet another heavy guilt trip on Jack. Jack looks at Kimlet and realizes he shouldn’t have slept while babysitting, and afraid he’ll be found out, decides to lay his life on the line yet again. Kim pretends to cry, but she’s really relieved she’ll be able to find competent childcare.

Jack walks away from the family and starts ordering people around as he should have from the start. Captain Jack is back! Oh wait, er…Grandpa Jack.

Hastings enters the interrogation room after talking to the “full bio package” dude who’s monitoring Blondie’s question and answer reactions. Hastings pretends to be nice to Blondie to get her bio-readings set to normal, and then he amps up the accusations. Cut to President Taylor telling Hassan he’ll be let in on any information they gain from Blondie.

Chloe and Jack begin investigating, and Chloe is back to being a whiz, hacking Arlo’s computer and getting information quickly. They start tracking a lead on a taxi that transported the Assassinator. Chloe scans in Jack’s hand print to get him access to the CTU armory, and Jack heads out to pick up some unauthorized weaponry.

Jenny Starbuck calls a woman named Ruth (sister?) to complain about Kevin (mystery caller, recently out of jail) having phoned Starbuck. She’s afraid of losing her job and her man. So wait a minute — you’re telling me CTU has once again been easily foiled and employed a false identity? Jesopus, get Chloe involved in Human Resources stat. Arlo finds Starbuck to tell her that someone hacked into his station to scan the drone archives. She tells him to track down who it was.

Back at the interrogation of Blondie: Deny, deny, deny. Threaten, threaten, threaten.

The Assassinator, now aka Mike and breaking out a new accent visits a pseudo-co-worker named Jim. The Assassinator is apparently moonlighting as a police officer and gotten himself a gig on the UN Security detail, another shining example of failed background checking.

Jenny Starbuck interrupts Blondie’s questioning to tell Hastings something about Jack. Meanwhile Jack is in the CTU armory and getting himself some guns, but before he can leave, he’s snagged by Hastings and Ortiz. Jack whips out his handy dandy overheard blackmail information and easily coerces Hastings into letting Jack pursue his lead, which is completely ludicrous and unbelievable — but hey, this is 24!

The Assassinator wants his friend Jim to let the Assassinator work Jim’s shift, but Jim says “No.” Bad move dude. The Assassinator returns to his regularly scheduled accent, brandishes his gun and tells Jim to tape his wife’s mouth and call in to work to tell their boss that the Assassinator will be taking the Jim’s shift tomorrow. When the friend re-refuses (again, bad move), the wife gets a bullet to the leg. The Assassinator tells Jim next time he won’t miss the bone, so Jimbo had better make the call.

Beep! Beep! Beeeeeeeeep!

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

Will there be various subplots and side-arcs that distract us, but fizzle out and go nowhere while we wait to get to the real main plot? Will there be explosions and car and foot chases and gunfire? Will someone be kidnapped or tortured? Will Renee Walker show up to declare her unrequited love for Jack or will they only get to torture people together while exchanging meaningful glances? Will Jack be the only person who can save the entire country yet again? Will he ever get to go back to being Kimlet’s grandpa? For these answers and more, please stay tuned to Pajiba until the next recap of As Jack’s World Turns.

Cindy Davis 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.

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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