Jack, Jack, Jack. Don’t you know revenge will eat you up inside? Jack’s clearly not himself, nor thinking straight, nor properly motivated. He really didn’t have enough of a history or a relationship with Renee to be so hurt and so bent on revenge. I can only deduce that this is a cumulative revenge quest he’s on; that Renee was the last straw after Teri and all the crap he’s been through, all the torture and the pain and people screwing him over, denying or dismissing him. And it’s not just the revenge thing that makes Jack seem a little off - let’s talk about his choice in partners. Ortiz is only on Jack’s side about half the time, and Jack seems to trust Ortiz even less than that. The two of them have started acting a little goofy lately, and instead of thinking of them as competent partners, they remind me more of Ricky and his neighbor Fred trying to pull a fast one on Lucy to teach her a lesson.
Mrs. Hassan continues her speech, speaking of her husband and her gratitude and trust in President Taylor. (Yet another naive leader takes the wheel.) She asks for the world to come together to prove President Hassan’s belief that peace can be achieved was right. Logan, who is watching television again, says, “What a magnificent woman,” and the way he says it (and the look on his face) is lewd, as if he thinks she’s hot. (Hey, go for it Logan, I think she could use a little shaking up.) Logan asks who Jason had been speaking to on the phone earlier. Jason relays his discussion with Bledsoe, and in double-speak, he confirms that Starbuck will have a certain outcome (think: not breathing) after she’s been questioned. Logan makes it clear he’d deny knowing anything about that.
Bledsoe gives Starbuck a break and some tips on how to best deal with the waterboarding. When he repeats his questions about evidence against Russians, she sputters that there is no evidence. Bledsoe tells Starbuck she has ten seconds, she tells him to “Bring it!” and “Go to hell!” and Bledsoe orders her tilting table back down so Starbuck can have another facial treatment. Starbuck is alternately tough and a whiny baby, so I can’t take her exclamations seriously.
Jack and Ortiz are outside the real location where Starbuck is being held now, Jack spies a lookout guard and a possible access point to the back of the building. He makes a plan with Ortiz, who wants to know what will happen to Starbuck and Jack intimates that she’ll be let go in favor of bigger fish. Chloe calls Ortiz and timidly asks about Jack, Ortiz lies and says he has custody of Jack. Chloe says Jack threatened her and he’s never done that before, so Ortiz gives Jack a shifty look. Ricky, you’ve gotta trust Fred! Ortiz reassures Chloe that she’s done the right thing by trapping Jack. Jack decides to give Ortiz a full clip of bullets now that Ortiz has proven he’s not going to double-cross Jack.
Arlo gives someone status updates via earpiece and Chloe interrupts. She directs Arlo to ensure that Jack sees the on-duty shrink for a full psychological evaluation as soon as Jack arrives.
Jack and Ortiz climb a ladder and pounce onto a rooftop, weapons drawn. They make their way up some stairs trying to find an open door but they cannot. Jack tells Ortiz to draw out the sentry he’d seen so Jack can get rid of him, and the throw-something-to get-the-guy-to-investigate plan works. Jack beats the stuffing out of the guy and they make their way over to the building entrance. They gain access through a stairwell door and make their way down several floors, checking rooms along the way. When they reach the basement, they see shadows belonging to a couple of guards. Jack uses the radio he stole from the rooftop guard, pretending to be the guard and reporting he is taking sniper fire. The information is relayed by a communications guy to the basement guards, who immediately dash to the roof. This leaves the communications dude alone and Jack grabs the guy by the neck and demands to know where Starbuck is. The communication dude is a wimp who quickly gives up the information and Jack and Ortiz burst into a nearby room where Bledsoe has a gun to Starbuck’s head. Jack and Bledsoe argue about who will do what to whom; Bledsoe says Jack won’t take a shot at him because it’s too risky. So of course Jack takes the challenge and shoots Bledsoe in the head. (The scene reminded me of this.) Jack commands Ortiz to untie Starbuck and get her out; Ortiz looks shell-shocked as usual, and he fumbles to release Starbuck from her binds. Meanwhile, Jack singlehandedly fights off all the guards who figured out there was trouble and ran back down from the roof (and other places? Seems like there were more than we saw go roof-side). He kills them all - so much for Starbuck being in more secure hands with the private security firm- and heads up to the street.
Arlo notifies Chloe know that he got a report from one of Ortiz’s agents that the team was locked down and that Jack took Ortiz hostage. Chloe tells Arlo that she just spoke to Ortiz and that he had custody of Jack, and she notifies everyone at CTU that they need to find the two boys. When satellite video of the front of the torture building is put up, Chloe sees a black SUV departing. She says they’re too late and orders someone to get her the White House on the line.
Starbuck is in the requisite black SUV with Jack and Ortiz. She asks “What now?” and Jack says, “You tell me.” Jack wants Starbuck to take him to the evidence, but she wants to know what happened to her immunity deal. Jack tells her if she gives up the evidence he will let her go, but Starbuck doesn’t believe it. So Jack says they can do it another way and he quickly detours to a deserted area, pulls her out of the vehicle and grabs her by the neck again. Jack must have that hand grip down because he uses it on everyone. Jack threatens to shoot her on the count of three if Starbuck doesn’t give him the information. Even though Jack doesn’t shoot when he hits three, Starbuck tells him she has a safety deposit box that only she can open. Jack directs Ortiz to put Starbuck back in the SUV and Starbuck pleads with Ortiz not to believe Jack that he’s going to let her free. She says that Jack is going to get the list of people and execute them one by one, starting with her. Since Ortiz never really knows what’s going on, he gets frustrated and shoves Starbuck back into the SUV. Ortiz and Jack argue. Ortiz says he can’t “do this” and shoves Jack to the ground. Jack aims his weapon at Ortiz and tells him Starbuck is just trying to get into Ortiz’s head. Ortiz asks if Jack really would have shot Starbuck and Jack replies that he needed her to think he would; the boys both stomp back to the vehicle and get in, one at a time. For a crafty mole, Starbuck can be so stupid. While Ricky and Fred were arguing, Lucy could easily have slipped out the door on the opposite side of the SUV instead of sitting and patiently waiting for their return.
Back at the press conference, Dalia Hassan takes questions from reporters. President Taylor’s advisers bring her a note and the President walks out. She asks Tim Woods if the note is true, and he says that yes, Starbuck has been Jack-napped. Woods tells President Taylor that Logan wants to talk to her immediately, so she phones him and asks how this could have happened when Logan told her the private security firm would keep Starbuck secure. Silly President, Logan’s tricks are short lived! President Taylor suspects she is on speaker phone (she is) and demands Logan pick up the phone. Logan recommends that his assistant Jason be allowed to get involved at CTU to oversee the hunt for Jack and Starbuck. When President Taylor balks, Logan touts Jason’s bureau training and missions in Afghanistan, going after high value targets behind enemy lines. The President agrees only to let Tim Woods at Homeland Security know that she approves an operational change and she slams down the phone. Logan, who is speaking in front of Jason, amusingly pretends the conversation is still going and then ends naturally. Logan asks Jason how soon he can leave for CTU and Jason replies, “Immediately”.
Russian Minister Novakovich visits Logan and congratulates him on recasting himself as the great peacemaker. Novakovich tells Logan to speak freely in front of his attach’e, Pavel (who is also the sniper that shot Renee). Logan tells Novakovich that Starbuck is claiming to have evidence against higher-ups in the Russian government, but Pavel says it’s not possible and that Starbuck had complete deniability. Logan asks if Novakovich really wants to chance that she’s bluffing, knowing that Jack has gotten to Starbuck. Logan slyly suggests that Novakovich take out Jack and Starbuck. Novakovich doesn’t know if he has the resources to track them, but Logan tells him CTU does and that the man in charge of the search now reports to Logan. Logan offers Novakovich a secure phone so he can receive real-time information on Jack’s location and put an end to their problems; Pavel takes the phone.
Jack and Ortiz escort Starbuck toward the front of a bank where the safety deposit box is kept. Ortiz has a buddy inside who was helping Ortiz and Starbuck line up a mortgage when they were still a couple. Jack actually reminds Ortiz to be wary of Starbuck - shit dude, if he doesn’t know by now, why the hell are you partnered up with Ortiz? As they’re walking, Starbuck desperately tries to appeal to Ortiz; she thinks Jack is going to kill her, regardless. Jack stays behind as Starbuck and Ortiz approach a man inside the bank.
Chloe gives orders to CTU staff and discusses the search with Arlo who tells her it’s needle in a haystack time. Chloe receives an alert that Jason is on his way to see her. Jason has brought an associate, Eden Linley (Julie Claire) and he informs Chloe that per President Taylor, he’s taking over the search for Jack and Starbuck. Chloe argues with Jason over how the hunt for Jack has been handled, and Jason informs Chloe that regardless, the White House has put him in charge. Jason informs Chloe that what Jack is doing will stop the peace agreement and that the President can’t let that happen. He says it’s time to stop handling Jack with kid gloves and directs Eden to have the orders for handling Jack changed. Jack is now classified as armed and dangerous, and unrestricted use of force is authorized. Chloe scowls and frowns a lot.
Back at the bank, the person assisting Ortiz and Starbuck escorts them to a room and says he’ll be back in a moment with the safety deposit box. Ortiz has Starbuck take a seat and Starbuck again tries playing on his emotions. She tells Ortiz that this isn’t the way things were supposed to be. She relates that she was a kid who had five years of jail behind her and no future, when a Russian man came and told her he could help her start over. Starbuck says she got video evidence to protect the two of them against the Russians. Ortiz insists there was no “them” since everything was a lie from the beginning. Starbuck says she loves Ortiz. The bank employee knocks and brings in the safety deposit box and Ortiz quickly grabs it away from Starbuck. He opens the box and sees a gun inside and as he’s mulling over how smart he is, a small explosion goes off and the flash and smoke momentarily distract Ortiz. Starbuck shoves him into the wall (inexplicably, this causes him to lose consciousness) and the bank employee runs in to ask if everything is okay. Starbuck grabs the gun from where Ortiz dropped it on the floor and shoots the bank dude. She then removes a memory card, passport and money from the deposit box, and walks over to Ortiz to lovingly caress his cheek (Who does that, psycho?). Then she grabs a phone and calls 911, reporting Jack as a scary man she thinks she saw on TV, whimpering that he has a gun and he’s looking in her direction - and she hangs up. Starbuck makes sure the coast is clear and then leaves the room. Lucy! You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!
Arlo reports the 911 call to Jason and Jason demands to see the live bank video. Chloe tries to intervene, saying they have no proof it is Jack at the bank, but Jason blows her off. Jason orders another CTU employee to help Eden and they get access to the bank’s video. They quickly spot Jack and Jason tells Eden to get a team in gear. Jason calls the special phone and reaches Pavel; he gives Pavel Jack’s location. When Pavel says the police will already be on the way, Jason tells him that after Jack is in custody, Jason will call with information on where he’s being held. Back at the bank, a couple of cops order Jack to the floor and as Jack falls to his knees, he sees Starbuck quickly walk by. Jack takes control of the situation, when one of the cops is distracted calling in on his radio, Jack grabs the other cop and holds a gun to his neck. Jack asks if the first cop knows who Jack is, says he doesn’t want to kill the partner and orders the first cop to drop his weapon. After the cop slides his gun across the floor to Jack, Jack shoots him in the foot and says he’s sorry as the cop falls down. I guess he was choking out the officer he had by the neck, because Jack lets go and that cop also falls to the floor. Jack heads out of the bank, telling people along the way to call 911 about the injured policemen. Once outside, he almost immediately spots Starbuck casually trying to make her escape. Jack gives chase as Starbuck sees him; of course everyone is watching the live video back at CTU and Pavel is watching from outside the bank too.
Starbuck keeps running with Jack close behind. She grabs a woman along the way and shoots at Jack, but she misses. She lets go of the woman and makes her way into a deserted building, removes her heels and starts shooting at Jack from behind cover. Jack continues to work his way closer to her, then stops out of sight, removes his jacket and throws it out for Starbuck to shoot. She falls for the ploy and shoots, running out of ammunition. Jack catches up to Starbuck and asks what happened to Ortiz - did Starbuck kill him? She replies that she could never do that. Jack asks where the evidence is, Starbuck reluctantly tells him it’s in her pocket and that they can make a deal. He orders her to remove the evidence and put it on the floor, and she complies. As Jack inches closer, Starbuck pleadingly asks what she can do. Jack gets a funny look on his face and says, “Nothing.” Starbuck’s eyes dart wildly and panic overtakes her face as Jack again says, “Nothing,” and he shoots her twice, then walks away. Oh Lucy, see where all your crazy schemes have gotten you?
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Will Logan hit on Dalia Hassan? Will she be tempted to try a bad boy? Will President Taylor just keep digging her hole deeper and deeper until there is no way out but impeachment? Will she do nasty things in the Oval Office with Logan? Will Fred ever trust Ricky? Will Ricky ever trust Fred? Are we relieved that Lucy is dead? Will anyone figure out that Prady is in the wall? Will Ortiz ever stop standing around with his mouth open, dumbfounded? Is he catching flies? Why does Chloe change to her little girl voice whenever she talks about Jack? WHO is behind all this? Is it Logan himself? Wouldn’t that be cool? 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