Jonas Hodges. On The Balcony. With The Whiskey Bottle.

Throughout tonight’s episode of 24, I kept on waiting for some action.  More specifically, some action involving Jack Bauer.

Sure, we had Special Agent Larry Fine’s staredown with the Starkwood security team.  And we had Tony sneaking into the bunker with the help of Doug something-or-other (played by the guy who was Hank Jennings).  But the first 40 minutes of tonight’s episode was pretty light while Jack Bauer stood around in FBI headquarters suffering from the early effects of Mad Cow disease.

But then [My Name Is] Jonas Hodges went to go have a little talk with Doug and things picked up considerably.

Over the past few episodes, I’ve become a big fan of Jon Voight and his portrayal of Jonas Hodges, going so far as to say he’s one of the best villians this show has had (right up there with Charles Logan).  Well, Jonas’ scene with Doug did not let me down.

few weeks ago, I expressed my view that Hodges should have killed Doug for dissenting.  Well, after delivering a great monologue on why he’s willing to use weapons of mass destruction on his own country, Jonas had himself a drink of Doug’s own whiskey.  Then he crowned Doug with the bottle a few times.

Not content with breaking Doug’s skull, Jonas hulked up and gave him a toss over the railing.  Those second-story offices will get you every time.

And yes, after all this, Doug is dead.  Funny, no matter how much I look, I can’t seem to find Sangala on that tasteful map of the world on Doug’s floor.

After staring at his handiwork for a few minutes, Jonas goes right over to the bar and cleans himself up. Despite the paucity of scenes tonight involving Jack or any action whatsoever, these scenes made this episode.

Jonas Hodges isn’t the seemingly weak president pulling everyone’s strings behind the scenes.  The show could never again come up with another reveal as great as Charles Logan being the real mastermind back in season five.  But by giving 24 a villain who has near-unlimited military resources at his disposal, an axe to grind with the way he’s been treated by the federal government and the weapons of mass destruction to cause some mayhem, the creators of this show have redeemed themselves for the mental torture they put us through last season.

Sure, Jack will probably (as commenter Ed pointed out last week) storm Starkwood in hour 23, shoot Hodges right between the eyes and “find the world’s largest syringe with ‘MAD COW VACCINE’ written on the side in big bold letters.”  But until he does, he has an adversary who is Blofeldian in his approach and execution, which is something that not even Bond can say for himself these days.

One more item in the seemingly endless gush of Hodges admiration this week’s post has become- that one-on-one conversation with the president was the best communication of any bad guy ever.  Not only did he hack into the White House communications system (or more likely, use a back door he put there to begin with), but he also used his own cell phone to transmit not only the visual of the missiles he has, but of himself while he was talking to the president.  I don’t know why, but that scene was just awesome.

Of course, to paraphrase the Bunco Squad Detective, “If the president didn’t negotiate with terrorists, this would never have happened.”

For more Bauer talk, check out blogs.4bauer.com.

What did you think?