Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Rickey Presents: Your Weekly"24" Fix

Well it's Tuesday, and you know perfectly well what that means. Time for Rickey to dispense with the third person shenanigans and crank out a write up on this week's thrilling episode of "24." So sit back, relax (well, as much as humanly possible while watching this how) and enjoy counting the damnits.

*What you may have missed during last week's episode:
a professional hair stylist has been hired by CTU to keep Milo's goatee and Morris' chest hair in line. Despite being named Ragnarok "Die, Infidels, Die" Bin Laden, possessing a ticking hair dryer, and overheard to be muttering something about "non-believers perishing by fire," the hair stylist passes the stringent CTU background check with flying colors.

As the episode begins, we see news teams (Fox News, I presume) covering the nuke story from behind police road blocks cordoning off a radiation zone in Valencia. Yes, indeed, because wooden saw horses ought to stop all that nasty radiation from getting through. Kind of like how the "perimeters" that CTU likes to set up around suspects' houses are absolutely air tight.

Fresh back from overseeing the construction of the new Ronald Reagan Pyramid, Tom Lennox strolls into Wayne Palmer's office and pushes his "lock up all the brown people" agenda. The perpetually decisive Wayne looks like he's about to cave in to Tom's recommendation. I give Wayne about 3 more episodes before he's talking to portraits in the White House. Meanwhile, somewhere, after watching Wayne's latest speech on tv and realizing that despite being an evil megalomaniac hellbent on trampling the Constitution, he'd still do a better job than Wayne Palmer, Charles Logan slowly rises from the couch to freshen his drink.

Graem's henchmen arrive with Jack and Papa Bauer at their destination, which looks suspiciously like the same refinery/construction site we've seen in every previous season of "24." How hard is it to shoot on new locations people? Filming the same structure from different angles and shuffling around the shrubbery isn't fooling anyone. Did the producers of "24" need to blow the entire season's budget on that crashed helicopter scene that took Kiefer all of 30 seconds to resolve?

Anyhow, Jack quickly gets the drop on the henchmen and Papa Bauer decides its a good idea to shoot the one surviving henchman who might have some information. So knowing what we know now, James Cromwell actually is the bad guy calling all the shots, not Graem. So why even bother with the deception at this point? Why don't Cromwell and the henchmen just kill off Jack instead of staging this elaborate ruse designed to make Jack think that Graem is actually in charge? Thinking about this is making my head hurt, so we're moving on.

Meanwhile, back at his humble abode, Graem suddenly decides it's a great idea to tell his disproportionally attractive wife that if she's going to be around him, she might as well make him coffee. If Graem had lived to see the end of the day, that exchange definitely would have come up during the child custody hearing. In bursts Jack with the CTU army (hey, didn't all those guys die in that nuclear blast thingy?) and Graem is put right back into the same office/makeshift interrogation room he was in an hour ago. Poor guy.

Back at CTU, Milo and Chloe debate over the issue of telling Morris about his brother having radiation exposure. Chloe convinces Milo that they should tell Morris and that being a responsible CTU employee, he won't flee. So they tell Morris, who reacts as any rational person would in that situation: he announces he's punching out, reaches for his coat and heads directly for the door. Strong work there Chloe. Fortunately, she lays a morbid guilt trip down on Morris about a million people dying to talk him out of leaving. What a charmer.

And here's the interrogation scene we've all been waiting for. Kiefer, suspecting that Graem might actually enjoy auto erotic asphyxiation, dispenses with the plastic bag routine and orders the token CTU torture guy to get the token CTU torture suitcase. Naturally, there needs to be a 5 second shot of the torture suitcase being fetched from the car to ramp up the gravitas. And out comes sodium something or other (I forget the last part, but I'm relatively sure we're not dealing with table salt here). The IV starts flowing, there's a lot of screaming and suddenly Jack is cradling Graem's head and getting all weepy while demanding info. Kudos "24" for managing to simultaneously shock me and creep me out. That's a first. Some excerpts from the riveting shouting match:

"We’re the same!!"
"We are not the same!!"
"You will experience a pain I cannot even describe!!"

Coincidentally, that's also a verbatim transcript from my last dental visit, but that's a story for another time. Did anyone else hear Kiefer make the Bush flub of pronouncing nuclear as "nuke-u-lar" during the interrogation scene, or was that just me?

Meanwhile, 200 feet beneath the White House, Wayne suddenly grows a backbone after getting a pep talk from his sister. This thwarts the ambitions of Vice President Powers Boothe, an actor whose likeness needs to be carved into Mt. Rushmore next to Roosevelt (Lincoln can move the fuck over). Say, does this mean Al Swearengen will be appearing as Secretary of Education? Is it a potentially bad thing for a Secretary of Education to say things like "heathen cocksucker"?

Finally, to wrap things up, Papa Bauer kills off Bluetooth Bauer, and once again, a character played by Paul McCraine dies a ridiculously creative death--this time at the hands of his character's own father. On the "Paul McCraine Death Scale," I'd place it somewhere in between being killed by a falling helicopter ("ER") and being run over by a van after being submerged in toxic waste ("Robocop"). Goodnight sweet Bluetooth, goodnight.

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Ed in Westchester said...

Ramano only lost his arm to the copter. Very sick scene though.

Dep said...

ha. great post nick.

I totally forgot that the actor who played Jack's brother was in robocop. great little spot where you talked about all the creative deaths/maimings that actor has had on screen

The Jack Sack said...

I just read your comment on my blog, that is funny! Lebowski rules us all.

Adam said...

By the way, I got my car back last night. It needed a new control module, basically a circuit-board that regulates engine functions. $90 total. Not a terrible hit at all. The Beast lives on!