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Is Jack Psychotic?

By Cindy Davis | TV | May 14, 2010 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | May 14, 2010 |

If you thought Jack crossed a line last week, I can only imagine what you think of him after this hour. Jack’s gone stark, raving mad, I think he even surprised himself. Is Jack a psychopath? Has he always been? I’ve thought before about some of the things Jack has done, either because he had no other choice or because he thought it was the best way to extract information. But in the past, I’ve always been able to rationalize and work it out to a point where I thought the violence was an acceptable means to an end. After these past couple of hours, I can’t do that. Maybe we’ve just been sensitized with the last few seasons. When I think about the torture used on 24, I think of injections that supposedly cause great pain - but seeing them onscreen doesn’t have the same visceral impact as the violence we saw this episode. This reminds me of the second season, when Paul Kopin was tortured (with a chainsaw). After all this time, my stomach still feels freaky when I think of that scene, and I think I’ll get the same feeling thinking about this episode.

Police officers escort a handcuffed Ortiz up a flight of stairs to where Starbuck’s body lies and he’s ask to identify her. Ortiz has to stare a really long time before he can answer. The cops say it looks like an execution, and Ortiz screws up his face a bit. The poor boy just doesn’t seem cut out for this business. The cops leave with Ortiz in custody, to transport him back to CTU.

During a cab ride, Jack watches Starbuck’s video evidence. The recording is of Pavel having a conversation with Starbuck - they discuss the hit on President Hassan being arranged by Bazhaev. When Pavel says they could have had the chat by phone, Starbuck asks if Pavel has spoken with his superiors about Starbuck getting out after the mission is accomplished. Pavel says they have too much invested in her to let Starbuck go and he chastises Starbuck for falling in love with Ortiz. Starbuck tells Pavel if he has a problem maybe she should talk to his boss; Pavel says she talks to no one but Pavel. Jack calls his friend Jim Ricker aka Mr. Blonde and tells him he’s sending a video file and needs help identifying the man. Jack adds that he’s coming in “hot” (I don’t know Jack, you might be losing your appeal). When Mr. Blonde asks if he needs the woman identified, Jack merely states that she’s dead.

Jason updates CTU personnel on Jack’s activities, including Starbuck’s murder. He demands that everyone put every resource into finding Jack. When Jason asks if anyone has questions, Chloe queries why Jack and Starbuck would have gone to the bank, stating that maybe Starbuck’s evidence was there. Jason, who seems to be salivating over the idea of killing Jack, blows off Chloe’s talk of the Russian conspiracy. After a bunch of mumbo jumbo about Starbuck luring Jack and Ortiz there to escape, Jason says all that matters is finding the rogue Jack. Chloe goes to Arlo and says she thinks Jack was right, there is a cover-up. But even though Chloe’s points are compelling, Arlo says he has to follow Jason’s orders. Pansy ass.

Jack arrives at Mr. Blonde’s place and Mr. Blonde starts ranting about how everyone is after Jack and he wants to know why. He tells Jack there won’t be any identification until Jack explains why he is out alone, with everyone after him. Jack tells Mr. Blonde about the Russian conspiracy, but Mr. Blonde knows there’s more to it than that. Jack whines about having lost Renee and confides that since the Russians “took” her from Jack, he needs to make them pay. This seems to be good enough for Mr. Blonde, so he gives Jack Pavel’s information. But Mr. Blonde doesn’t know where Pavel is. Jack has an idea in mind and asks Mr. Blonde for a secure line.

Jack contacts Meredeth Reed, the reporter who had an affair with President Hassan. He gives her a quick run-down of events and asks her to meet him at a coffee shop (on the third floor of a department store) so he can give her evidence and to help get his name cleared. She agrees.

Ortiz is brought by police to CTU, where Jason is waiting to question him. Jason asks where Jack is and tells Ortiz he’s in a bit of trouble. Ortiz stoically answers that Jason is part of the cover-up. Jason appeals to Ortiz as a fellow soldier and says that they both should follow the President’s orders. He again asks where Jack is and Ortiz dryly answers that Jack is probably somewhere with the evidence they’re saying doesn’t exist. Hey, somebody get this guy a microphone and a gig! Eden calls Jason and tells him they may have a lead on Jack; that a call has been intercepted. Jason gives Ortiz one more chance to talk and Ortiz says nothing, so he’s taken to a holding room. Eden advises Jason that Arlo flagged a call because key words were caught during the conversation; the call may have been between Jack and Meredeth Reed. Jason orders Arlo to let Eden take over before Arlo can continue with trying to identify the caller with voice recognition.

Jason has routed the recorded call so Logan and Novakovich can listen to Jack’s conversation with Meredeth Reed. Logan identifies Jack’s voice and recognizes that Jack’s next move is to take his story to the press. Jason tells Logan this is an excellent opportunity for them to get the evidence, and he’s already dispatched Russian operatives to the meeting place. Novakovich tells Jason to keep the local police back a bit so Pavel will be able to do his thing. Logan congratulates Jason on getting a major break in the case, then asks Novakovich for Pavel’s telephone number so he can personally stay on top of things. At CTU, Jason asks Eden if the office they’re in can be made less public and she turns on some sort of electric glass shading so he can no longer see Chloe’s scowling.

Chloe has been watching the activities going on at CTU and she shares her suspicions with Arlo that Jason and Eden are in on the cover up and getting ready to take out Jack. She asks for Arlo’s help to find Jack and Arlo agrees this time. Chloe wants to talk to Ortiz to see what he knows. She asks Arlo to fool the cameras that are trained on Ortiz with a video loop, but Arlo say he can’t do it because of the new network security procedures Jason has implemented. Chloe gets a mobile hot spot so they can work on a non-CTU network, but I have no idea how they could then use CTU resources. It’s these times that we have to remember not to think too much. Arlo gets to work on feeding a video loop to the holding room camera, but asserts she will have only ninety seconds to talk. Chloe asks him to alert her when it’s ready. Chloe sends the guard watching Ortiz to run an errand and then she gets text confirmation from Arlo, that she can go in to see Ortiz. Chloe tells Ortiz she has to find Jack or he’s going to be killed. Ortiz informs Chloe that Jack is on a revenge mission and that he’s out to kill everyone involved in Renee’s death. Ortiz says there are no good guys in the situation, and maybe it would be good if everyone out there just killed each other. Chloe expresses that Jack is her friend, maybe they can find Jack and then she and Ortiz can blow the cover-up themselves. Ortiz finally tells Chloe that Jack must have someone who is supplying him with equipment and weapons and that if she finds that person, she’ll find Jack. And that, my friends, was the longest ninety seconds ever. Chloe contacts Arlo to have him pull up Jack’s files, she’s looking for anyone in the city Jack has previously used as a supplier.

Logan is watching news again. I wonder if he just stares at the television, imagining himself in the stories. He phones Pavel and asks if Pavel has found Jack yet. Pavel says his team is in position but that Jack hasn’t shown yet. Pavel asks Logan about Meredeth Reed - what her disposition is. Logan decisively tells Pavel that Meredeth is aiding a terrorist and that makes her a threat to the country; Pavel should do what he has to.

President Taylor is meeting with Mrs. Hassan and Jamot to go over details of their agreement. An assistant interrupts to give the President a message that Logan wants to see her again. Logan tells President Taylor that Jack has been located, that he has the evidence and will be taken care of. As she’s walking away, Logan stops her to ask when it will be made public that he has been assisting her and instrumental in the peace process. President Taylor begrudgingly says she’ll have her press secretary make the announcement by 1:00 PM.

Pavel lies in wait near where Jack is supposed to meet Meredeth. A team member notifies Pavel that Meredeth has been sighted; there are undercover agents mixed in with the crowd who confirm Meredeth’s identity. Jason, who is watching everything on video, also confirms. Eden finally spies Jack on the feed, but the agents on site don’t yet see him and this irritates Jason. Pavel is waiting to take his shot when Mr. Blonde comes from behind, puts a gun to Pavel’s head and orders him to drop his weapon. Meanwhile Jack makes contact with Meredeth, orders her to hide behind some clothing racks and starts a shootout with the Russian agents (all of whom are easily spotted by their weapons). Jack easily kills all the agents himself, one by one. When they have a chance to escape, Jack grabs Meredeth and quickly meets up with Mr. Blonde and Pavel, and they head out of the store.

Logan is looking at several ties when he receives a call from Jason, who gives him the bad news that the entire team was killed and that Jack has Pavel. Jason admits that Jack was ahead of them the whole time, that Jack planned the whole scenario. Jason tells Logan the situation is grave with Pavel in Jack’s custody, but that Logan still has deniability since President Taylor has made all the decisions. Logan tells Jason that in twenty minutes there will be a press conference to announce that Logan has been instrumental in the peace process. While Jason wants Logan to distance himself from the President, Logan makes it clear that Jason need to find and neutralize Jack. Logan is so close he can taste the good publicity; he tries to stroke Jason’s ego, but his own ego is what comes through as he tries to correct a little “I” to a “we”. Logan asserts to Jason that Pavel is a good soldier who won’t give up information to Jack. After a little pep talk, Jason agrees to get involved in the search himself. A clearly worried Jason hangs up and tells Eden that Logan wants to press ahead, and that Jason needs her to help him while he goes out to hunt Jack.

Arlo checks on Chloe’s progress, but Jack has too many contacts to quickly go through them all. Arlo says he can help and shows her the video of the department store incident. Once again, they’ll use facial recognition on the recorded feeds to try to identify Jack’s contact.

Jack, Meredeth, Mr. Blonde and Pavel make their way to an empty building (conveniently located just across the street). They confiscate Pavel’s weapon and Mr. Blonde has Pavel empty his pockets. Pavel drops his phone and it seems like he’s up to something when he picks it up in pieces and puts them back together. Meredeth gets upset with Jack for lying to her and using her to draw out the agents who tried to kill them. She asks about the evidence and if it’s a lie as well. Jack says it isn’t, and he gives her the video card, saying that Mr. Blonde will take her somewhere to view the video. Jack starts tying up Pavel and Meredeth yells at Jack that he can’t do what he’s about to do. Jack empties the rifle, describing it as he goes (Springfield M1A Rifle with 308 round). He starts talking about losing his friend Renee, and Pavel tells him to go to hell. Jack gets in Pavel’s face and says, “You first.”

Mr. Blonde plays lookout while Meredeth watches the video. On the phone screen, Pavel tells Starbuck not to contact him again until President Hassan is dead. In the other room, Jack approaches Pavel with a pair of pliers. He informs Pavel that Renee was more than just a friend, and says that Pavel knew that because he saw them in bed. Jack maintains that it should have been an easy shot, but that Pavel wanted her suffer. He accuses Pavel of purposely shooting her a couple of inches below the heart, knowing it would take Renee a long time to die. Jack rips a piece of Pavel’s skin from his body with the pliers and Pavel screams in agony. Pavel starts telling Jack, “You want to know why I killed your girlfriend, I’ll tell you. I killed your bitch…” and Jack headbutts Pavel and then starts beating him to a pulp. Meredeth hears the screaming and begs Mr. Blonde to intervene, but Mr. Blonde just says that Jack needs answers. Meredeth says she doesn’t need anything else, she can use the video and pleads. Jack stops for a moment, perhaps momentarily spying his own craziness.

Jason arrives at the department store crime scene and orders people back from the area. He tells the cops on site that he needs all weapons and documents found on the bodies, but the cops say none of the dead had identification. Jason shows a photo of Jack and tells the cops to start looking.

Jack revives Pavel and starts questioning him again, sliding a knife down the front of Pavel’s body. Pavel says nothing, and Jack walks over to a table and get something. He squirts something (acid?) at Pavel which makes Pavel scream in pain again. Next, Jack gets a blow torch from the table and after again demanding names Jack burns Pavel with the torch. Pavel still won’t crack and Jack torches him again, then walks away. Jack mutters to himself, “This isn’t working.” He demands to know where the SIM card for Pavel’s phone is, and Pavel says nothing. Jack looks at the phone and notices something wrong. Suddenly Jack bellows, “You swallowed it!” and he savagely cuts into Pavel’s gut. Don’t ask me how, but he finds the card, and sticks it into the phone and dials the back the last call received. Jack listens to the dial tone and gets the message, “You’ve reached the mobile number of President Charles Logan…”

I think Pavel might be dead.

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 Jack kill a former President? Will Logan cry like a baby if Jack gets him alone? Would Jack kill a sitting President? Will Jack kill anyone and everyone? Will Jack kill himself? Will Chloe be able to find Jack and stop him from killing anyone? Would Jack kill Chloe? Will Jason kill Jack? Will Ortiz kill Jack? Will Chloe try to get Kim and/or little Kimlet to get Jack to stop? Will Chloe get Tony to try to stop Jack? Will Tony kill Jack? 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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