Charles [Logan] In Charge

Last week, I was unable to write the weekly 24 recap and after finally getting caught up, I can say that I missed a lot.

Now that President Hassan is dead, the focus of the season seems to be bringing the Russians and the IRKians together to complete the peace treaty.  The Russians clearly don’t want to sign on, so they’re playing tough to get.  To get the Russians on board, President Taylor has enlisted the help of one of the series’ best villains, former President Charles Logan, last seen stabbed through the neck by his crazy ex-wife.

Meanwhile, Agent Renee may have spotted a Russian mobster as part of a paramedic team, but Jack told her to forget it.  They went back to Jack’s place for a romantic interlude where, after the aforementioned interlude, the previously mentioned mobster picked Renee off from across the street.

And at the beginning of this week’s episode, Jack is pissed.

This week, we found out something big: that the Russian government (or a group within the government) has been behind everything this season- from the involvement of the Papa’s mob to the IRKians getting their hands on the nuclear materials to President Omar’s death.  It was all so that Russia would have a way to get the peace treaty to fall apart before it even had a chance to be signed.

And somehow, Charles Logan knew about all of this.  As we found out tonight, he has contacts everywhere who filled him in on everything.  And he used that information to blackmail the Russians into reversing their stance.  He succeeds, but there’s another wrench thrown into his plan to regain respectability: Jack Bauer is on a quest to bring Renee’s killers to justice.

Jack, out for revenge (which he’s calling “justice”), had an interesting chat with the former Agent Dana where she promised to reveal information about the perpetrators of the plot in exchange for the immunity she narrowly missed a few weeks ago.  Jack almost gets this information.

Yet Logan, who is either still playing up a hidden agenda or simply holding a grudge against Jack, urges President Taylor to put the peace agreement above getting the truth out there.  Taylor agrees and orders Jack detained and Dana held in solitary until the events of the day blow over.

Jack doesn’t like that idea.  Neither does Chlöe, who’s now in charge at CTU (the President’s staff having decided that Hunchback Hastings was responsible for a lot of the things that went wrong earlier in the day).  Chlöe doesn’t agree with the President’s decision, but plays along and watches in surprise as Jack commandeers the helicopter that was supposed to ferry him off to the Air Force Base and far away from the peace conference. As tonight’s episode closed, Chlöe ordered the Air Force to take out Jack’s chopper.  Once again, Jack is rogue, and hopefully for more than the ten minutes he spent on the other side of the law earlier this season.

Even if Jack only had a few key scenes tonight, this was a solid episode that set up the final hours of this day (not to mention the final hours of the season).  We have Charles Logan trying to play the part of the good guy (while it looks like he has a more insidious agenda).  The President is determined to see the peace agreement signed, even if it means sacrificing her principles.  Jack is rogue.  Chlöe, who has consistently been the smartest person at CTU is now in charge.  However, her first assignment is anything but enviable: she’s going to have to try and stop Jack.

Logan is a compelling character and it’s great to see him back.  I have a feeling we’ll be guessing until the final hour whether he’s truly trying to redeem himself or whether he’s got more sinister motives.  If he’s going to be a villain, they couldn’t have picked a better choice.  However, the more interesting storyline over the next few hours (hopefully) will be the Chlöe vs. Jack struggle.

For the past five seasons, she’s been the one person who has had Jack’s back (and vice versa).  Now, she has to stop him.  And it’s not like previous authority figures who were either incompetent or hated by the 24 fanbase.  Chlöe is the first likable person (well, I suppose first likable person since Bill Buchanan) who has had to stop Jack.  The audience is as close to her as a character as it is to Jack.  I think this is a great setup for the series’ final stretch.

And as I mentioned before, Logan is back.  Here’s a guy that went from clueless putz to evil mastermind and has made all of the series’ other villains pale in comparison (except for brief stretches of the Blofeldian Jonas Hodges).  Sure- his character has a clear motivation- he wants his legacy back.  It appears that by doing one good act to get this treaty signed, he will have put himself back in a position of good.  However, the 24 audience knows better.   His dealings with the foreign minister, where after ordering an espresso for breakfast, did not quite fit with his new ethical public persona.  He has contacts and information and was threatening the minister with these facts.  Even after hearing his plan was successful, he pressed the President to proceed with the signing, regardless of how he brought the Russians back to the table.  But more telling was his response to hearing Jack Bauer was involved: “Bauer torpedoed my presidency…he tried to ruin me….he almost did.

Here is Logan at his most delusional.  Jack was just doing his job.  Logan’s actions in Season five being brought to light (where he ordered the assassination of several Americans, including a former President, allowed terrorists to attempt to kill the Russian President on American soil and planned a terrorist attack against Americans) brought him down. Jack got that information out there, but Logan was the one who signed off on those actions.  To blame Jack for his personal downfall possibly shows us his true motivations. And it will be interesting to see how they play out.

Some other thoughts:

-Now that Logan’s back and dealing with the Russians, I hope they bring back former Foghat bassist Nick Jameson to play the part of Russian President Suvarov.

-Six hours left and no sign of Aaron. Maybe the Secret Service Agent that Logan wanted dismissed will be replaced by an old friend.

-Only one re-used plot device was obvious tonight: the audio file of doom (from Season 2).

What did you think?

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