24 Day 5 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.

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This was a big week for 24. Nobody died. Well – give or take a few helpless gas company workers. Hey, you make an omelet… But among the thinning cast, the producers held up on their pruning. I guess that salvo launched by the dearly departed Edgar – or his real-life counterpart Louis Lombardi – gave Howard Gordon pause.

For those who didn’t see that bit of breaking news, Lombardi unleashed a venomous torrent towards the 24 creators, stating that his character was one of the most beloved characters to ever grace that show and that the producers made a big mistake by offing him at the height of popularity. Yeah, I’m really gonna miss…. Ahm, Hmmmm??? Lumpy! Yeah, Lumpy McGillicuty. Man, that guy was the heart and soul of this show.

1. For 4 weeks now, Bierko has been pointing at his schematics and alerting his henchman that if “we place the Sen-Tox here, we’ll kill 20,000 people” and for four weeks now, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what installation is large enough to house that many people. Finally, we get answers. Bierko is planning on unleashing the Sen-Tox via natural gas pipelines – pumping it to utility customers throughout the greater Los Angeles area. And you know how brutal those Southern Cal winters can be.

2. Fortunately Chloe identifies the target for Jack through a helpful assist from Edgar’s replacement, Sarah – who in the grand tradition of CTU female employees – goes from girl next door to stark raving schizo within 30 minutes flat.

3. You gotta’ admire the writers’ cajones. In a show that tosses torture around like it was a batch of fresh baked cookies, they follow-up Jack’s threatening interrogation of Audrey with the revelation that Sarah (who is part of that Homeland Security stable) had previously leveled sexual harassment charges against the slimy Miles. Through the course of the episode we go from empathy for her character to a complete reversal as she completely misinterprets Bill Buchanon’s fleeting pat on the shoulder – stating “Did you see how he ran his hand across my shoulder. That was wrong!” My eyeballs rolled skyward, a reaction typically reserved for Kim and the cougar. The look that Chloe gave her was priceless and I pray that the writers set that whole scene up just to play us – to leave the audience thinking this will result in more inner CTU turmoil – while blissfully denying us any further follow-up. Perchance to dream.

4. My bold prediction for this week, Audrey is not long for this Earth. I’ve heard rumors that someone else will die. I read trade reports that Kim Raver has signed on for a sitcom pilot along with a supporting role in the Ben Stiller vehicle, A Night in the Museum. Jack and Audrey kissed and made up and Jack professed his renewed love for Audrey. We should be expecting that “Audrey was the most beloved character” press release any week now. I give her two weeks and I say Collette Stenger offs her as retaliation for Jack’s manipulation of Desmond.

5. Next week’s ads show the First Lady’s assistant being grilled by Wayne Palmer. Mook was right!!!

6. Oh, I almost forgot, Jack was killed.

Next week, Kiefer Sutherland releases a statement saying “I was the most beloved character on that show and they killed me off, DAMMIT!!!

[tv 4.0]