Jack Bauer Vs. The Boy In The Iron Lung

The main arc in tonight’s episode of 24 took place in a hospital, where Jack Bauer tried to lure a teenage suicide bomber out of an iron lung.

For most of the episode, Jack tried sweet-talking the kid (who looks like a dullard but somehow, in a manner of minutes, managed to sketch out the bomb wiring on the inside wall of his chamber) out of the iron lung, before bringing in the big guns: the kid’s mother.

At last, I thought, something to break the monotony of this episode.  I thought Jack would pull a gun on the mother, aim it at her head and tell the kid he was going to watch his mother die.  But no.  Jack let the kid and his mother have a few moments to discuss things.  Sure, Jack even busted out the “I give you my word” card for (what felt like) the first time this season, but nothing happened.  I was convinced this episode was another waste of what could have been perfectly good TV, but then Jack ordered the mother pulled out of the room.  And then Jack really went to work…

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Jack Bauer Vs. The Olympics

Usually, I’m not concerned about the other shows on TV at the same time as 24.  However, right now, it’s up against the Winter Olympics, and when there’s an event like snowboard racing, biathalon or curling, I’m torn between Jack Bauer and the games. Fortunately, tonight scheduled against Jack was the most useless of the competitions, figure skating, so my choice was easy.

I have a feeling though, that the producers of 24 thought more people would be into watching the Olympics, so they had Jack Bauer try his hand (or legs, as it were) at an Olympic mainstay, the paralell bars:

For some reason, I don’t think he got high scores from the Russian judges.

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Jack Bauer Vs. Scoliosis

I have an issue with this season of 24.  Much like previous days, I can’t take the CTU director/token authority figure seriously.

Sure, Brian Hastings is borderline incompetent, way too egotistical and follows the CTU rulebook a little too much.  But that we’ve seen before.  Rather, scenes with him are near unwatchable for one simple reason: the man cannot stand up straight.  Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

I know CTU is underground, but it seems like it has plenty of high ceilings.  And if he’s hunching over to hear those who are shorter than him, it may serve him better to take that dumbass earpiece out of his ear.  But if this guy has an early case of scoliosis, I don’t know if I can watch him slouching his way through another 20 hours.

I did have a few other things to say about these two hours of the eighth longest day of Jack Bauer’s life.

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Of Patsies, Overachieving Hitmen and a Wasted Supervillain

Let me say off the bat that Season 7 of 24 has been great. The show has redeemed itself from the waste that was Day 6.

That being said, I’m glad there are only a handful more episodes left, because I’m getting tired of these episodes, like tonight’s (4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.), that are all plot setup with a minute or two of action tacked on at the end.

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A: A Bulldozer, A Screwdriver and A Two-By-Four

Q: What are three things not to leave laying around when Jack Bauer’s coming after you?

So Jack Bauer escaped from the hospital and is fighting for his life at a construction site, Secret Agent Larry Fine is having a helicopter escort him all around DC, the folks in the White House are going through damage control with the media and what is Tony Almeida doing?

Enjoying himself a nice mocha latte.

Heck of a season it’s shaking up to be for 24.

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Help–Jack Bauer's Brain Is Missing!

Throughout his career as a government agent, Jack Bauer has a history of being one step ahead of everyone else.  Bad guys, good guys, idiot family members, Jack is portrayed as the sharpest knife in the drawer that is the 24-verse.  As a viewer, it’s fun- cheering for the guy who is always right and always gets things done.

But tonight, I have to admit my faith in Jack was broken.  True, Jack’s pursuit of Ike and the information to take down the conspiracy achieved their goals, but he made two missteps along the way that resulted in me shouting at the TV, questioning whether Jack was out of his mind.

First, after pulling Ike’s seemingly lifeless body out of a flaming car, Jack left Ike there to lay on the sidewalk while he helped Special Agent Renee attempt to save Martika.  

Not that I have anything against saving the life of someone who helped you nail the bad guy, but I’ve watched way too much TV to expect Ike to still be laying there when Jack is done trying to save Martika.

Secondly, shortly after procuring a chip from Ike’s body, Jack proceeds to hand said MacGuffin over to a random police officer who just so happened to be standing by a helicopter.  Now, that chip contained the names and information on all of the government agents involved in the conspiracy, right?  Then why would Jack hand that over to some random police officer?

Luckily, neither of these missteps came back to bite Jack in the ass.  Hopefully, Jack’s brain was catching up on its sleep this episode and his body was on autopilot.  Jack will be back to normal next week (I hope).

Despite Jack’s questionable decisions, the whole pursuit of Ike and retrieval of the microchip is over.  But the name of the game is 24, not 9, and there’s more to talk about.

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