Day Five: 1 - 2 p.m.
If I can see it coming a mile away the Inessa, the sexual slave of Patrick Bucheau's character (whose name eludes me at the oment), is going to whip out a gun and shoot him after being left alone in the bedroom to change, then surely Jack Bauer could see it. I mean, the man is able to plan for every other event in his life, so why not foresee this one coming? I suppose we could chalk it up to Jack projecting a bit onto her. Here is a damsal in distress and one that Jack yearns to help. She's been taken from her family and kept against her will, becoming the plaything of this guy and Jack desparately wants to help her. Is it to somehow make ammends for perceived failures in his relationship with Kim (who we find out is being called to come on down to CTU)? Even if he does feel immense guilt about what's going to happen to her and making her a pawn in the game to uncover the nerve gas, Jack still should have seen this one coming.
I mean, I know I did.
But that may be because I'm aware of the "formula" that goes into an episode of 24. Just like episodes of classic Doctor Who, the action has to build to a cliffhanger. So, it just made sense that Inessa would somehow shoot and kill the guy that is the only link to the nerve gas. Once again, Jack is at a dead end, though he won't be that way for long.
Now, I read last week that executive producer Howard Gordon knows that the issue of China being a wee bit pissed at Jack is out there, but they haven't found a way to work that into the first half of season five. Now, I can see that and I understand it (well, not really), but they keep missing the boat on even referring to it. Here we see Jack talking to President Logan and both of them dancing around the issue. How hard would it be to insert a line or two of dialogue saying--"Gee, Mr. President, I want to help CTU and this country but damn if the Chinese aren't gonna be hella-pissed that I'm still around and kicking. I can't do that to you and this country, sir." Then you have Logan say, "Well, I'll deal with that after you save this country from the horrors of the nerve gas."
See, it isn't that hard! If I can do it, surely the writers of 24 can.
By the way--this is the second episode in a row penned by former Enterprise runner Manny Coto. Coto was, in my opinion, the man who saved Enterprise from itself in its final season and I appreciate the hard work he put in there. It was a thankless job and I'm glad to see he's getting work on a quality show this year. One good thing about Coto is that he seems to have a good mind and understanding for continuity--paying homage to it, working with it but not being ruled by it to the extent that his storytelling suffers. And that is evident here with some nice call backs to this season, some good character moments and just an over feeling that this is part of a bigger tapesty and not just one really intense hour.
I also have a feeling some things are being set-up for the next few hours. How long will Logan's peace treaty with Mrs. Logan run? I loved the scenes of Logan including her on decisions and the two of them overruling Mike Novak on going public about Cummings role in the conspiracy and manipulation of the White House. I love the fact that Logan is going to try and do what he thinks is the right thing, but I can only imagine this will backfire on him big time. And since we all know Logan only takes credit when things go well (typical politician), I can only imagine he'll blame Mrs. Logan for this.
Meanwhile, the soap opera world that is CTU continues to turn. It's good to know McGill isn't that different this his collegues and has a family that has issues. For McGill, it's a sister who's got money issues and we're lead to assume, drug issues. She calls him for help and he decides to try and be a good brother and help her out--only to have the crap beat out of him and his wallet taken. Also, it seemed to me that I saw his CTU access card taken--how much you want to bet that becomes a big deal later in the day? Also, his running out of the middle of the operation and disappearing in the midst of a crisis may raise a few eyebrows around the CTU offices.
Meanwhile, hell hath no fury like Chloe scorned. Even though Spencer thought he was doing the right thing, he's done in Chloe's eyes. She uses him to help when needed and then tosses him aside when she's done. You almost have to feel sorry for Spencer--you can tell he felt something for Chloe, but no matter what he does it's tainted now. Which is a shame really. Those two kids might have had something special. I guess we'll never know.
And the real winner here: Edgar, who gets to keep his dream of a little Chloe lovin' alive for another hour or so...