24 – Day 5 4:00 – 5:00 a.m.

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Three hours to go. The impending summer hiatus couldn’t come a moment sooner as my digits are feeling the crunch from all this feverish keyboard jockeying. What am I gonna’ write about this summer? Don’t worry – I’m sure some sinister cabal of snakehead fish, mutant monkey pox gophers and frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads will come surfing in under cover of the next homicidal hurricane. But enough with real world concerns. Let’s return to fantasy land.

On to Hour 22.

1. Jack grabs a fist full of Miles’ ‘adam’s apple’ in the first 3 minutes of the episode. That right there is Exhibit A why this season is the best yet. In years past, Miles would have milked his deception for weeks before Jack finally caught up with him. Not this year. THERE’S NO TIME!!! Last week, the final seconds ticked off the clock as Miles distracted Chloe and used some pocket-sized magnetizer to erase the digital recording implicating Logan in Palmer’s death. Miles move was less the actions of a misguided patriot and more the machinations of a loathsome opportunist. It didn’t take Jack more than a minute to finger Miles as the culprit and in typical Bauer fashion, he went for the jugular before asking questions. I just wish he could have fished deep down into his trusty Jack Sack for some pliers, a sledgehammer, and a blow torch and gotten the whole awful truth out of Miles, but alas, he was stopped before he could complete his hands-on tracheotomy. 

2. We then got word that Bierko was liberated from his prison transport motorcade. Within a matter of minutes, Bierko was back with his henchman – who are so thoughtful, they not only busted him from the clink but also brought along a fresh Euro-trash Villain Suit – uniform to the Bierkos and Grubers of the world.

3. The Bierko scenes made me very happy as he spoke cryptically about finishing one last job. This led to the dramatic reveal of one more Sen-Tox canister. At first I thought Bierko was gonna’ punk out and just drop the thing off at a daycare or In n’ Out Burger – but by episode’s end, he uses the canister to fumigate a Soviet sub in order to gain access to its missile system. Look, early in the season, Logan coughed up the coordinates to the Russian President’s motorcade. Perhaps, Subarov could repay the favor and send a volley Logan’s way.

4. Secret Service Agent Pierce (Glenn Moreshower) reappeared – battered and bruised. This was the highlight of the night as Logan met with Pierce seeking to get the agent to forgive and forget any indiscretions he may have learned of that day. Pierce, ever the stalwart patriot, defied Logan at every turn and finished with this kickass line “Is there anything else you would like, CHARLES!!!” Not Mr. President. Not Tricky Dick. But Charles. That right there is the Pierce version of Bauer’s rabbit-punch.

5. My predictions for next week’s two-hour finale. Bierko is stopped but not before he can deploy his missiles. Most are intercepted but one hits something – maybe the Chinese embassy – neatly tying in the events of last season and bridging the gap to next season. Henderson is taken away in shackles as the producers have struck gold in Peter Weller and can use him in a similar manner to how they employed Nina Meyers over the first three seasons. Mrs. Logan and Mike Novick conspire with Pierce to bring down Logan and get him to make a new recording admitting his involvement in the conspiracy. In the final scenes, we see Evil Opie and the shadow government receive a call from an operative in the field – Mandy (who figures in each season’s denouement) – who says that the job is done. Jack then finds that Christopher Henderson’s dire warning that they can get him where it hurts most has come true – as he returns to CTU to find Audrey dead – a painful reminder of Teri Bauer’s dark end.

Or we find out that this whole season was a vivid fever dream concocted by Kim as she works to free herself from the cougar trap.

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