Yes, once again it is that time of the week when Jack Bauer returns, hopefully to create a massive upsurge in the kill count.
Will he do it this time? Let’s see:
There has been some debate as to whether Tony really died or not. Let’s say that we hope so, because otherwise he’s bound to get somewhat uncomfortable inside that sheet he’s wrapped in at the beginning of tonight’s episode, right before St Audrey of the Sizeable Schnozzola informs Jack that their only lead, Henderson, has escaped with about 3 gallons of industrial grade torture juice in his veins. That is to say, what used to be their only lead, since Chloe just managed to find another one left behind on Henderson’s harddrive by the screenwriters with the filename “open_right_after_henderson_inevitably_escapes.tip”
It’s funny how that always seems to happen. If I were Jack, the first thing I’d do with a new lead would be to lose it ASAP so’s to make sure that the next one is fed to me immediately.
Anyway, the new lead involves the hooker from “Terrorists R’Us” who was busy yakking it up with Crazy Ivan on the phone last episode. In between screwing like a bunny rabit on X, that is. Apparently she’s an old acquaintance of Ivan’s going at least 8 months back, which goes a long way toward explaining how he managed to come up with her on such short notice. It goes no way whatsoever toward explaining why she’s been spending months getting the schematics for a local building for him when the nerve gas was allegedly destined for Russia, however.
Her hotel room is among the information and Curtis is busy assembling an away team to go pick her up when Jack calls him:
“I’m coming with you, and we’re leaving right now!”
“Let me guess: THERE’S NO TIME!?”
“There isn’t, but that’s irrelevant. Did you see the picture on her profile? Her HUGE… tracts of land?”
“Damn, Jack, you have GOT to tell me how to access the NSA’s ’special feed’”
At the Fuhrerbunker, VP Bimmler is busy trying on uniforms, asking Pres. Limpwrist over and over “does this one make me look fat?” Noting that Limpwrist isn’t paying attention, he wonders if he’s having second thoughts about the whole Martial Law business, stringing up dissenters from lampposts with placards around their neck and having the national anthem replaced with “Uns’re Fahne flattert uns voran.” He is. Of course, he immediately changes his mind again when VP Bimmler assures him that it’s the only solution. When the First Lady arrives and tries once more to prevent him from committing political suicide by telling him that the CTU has another lead, he brushes her off by telling her that they’ve lost 40% of their manpower and, in case that won’t render them inoperable, he’s also made sure to send the most blitheringly incompetent bureaucrat in the nation, Frau Ilse of Homeland Security, over there to ensure that Samwise the Clueless’ demise doesn’t speed up things in the least.
He then goes on TV, announcing
Martial Law a “curfew” for the L.A. area in order to prevent further terrorist attacks.
“I want the terrorists to know that they’re grounded, and that if they show their faces, they’ll be spanked and sent to their room without dinner. And that goes double for all of you filthy hippies out there as well.”
At CTU, Ilse of the SS (whose real name is Karen Hayes, get it? Damn, the MoveOn.org writers are just so subtle this season, aren’t they?) arrives with her trusty sidekick who is busy telling her that they should quit pretending and just line them all up against a wall and shoot them. Twice. Then shoot them again. And again, and again, und again…
“Snap out of it, Reinhard, and for the love of G-d try not to lapse into German every five seconds! Soon, my preciousss, soooooon…”
Bill Buchanan arrives and tells her that he appreciates the help, but that he really only needs about 50 warm bodies, preferably in red shirts.
Ilse hands him a stack of papers labeled “painfully obvious stack of red tape meant to look as if we haven’t already decided to fire your ass and take over your outfit. For the Children™”, and he and Ilse wander off to his office. Reinhard locates Chloe and tells her that he needs a workstation, so is any available? Like, say, that one over there right next to the humungous carcass that just got hauled off? Chloe tries to do a Force Choke on him, but is stopped by the sudden realization that she never even watched Star Wars in the first place. He then demands her keycard and, after she protests, proceeds to tell her about his torture room in Berlin until she gives it to him and he wanders off, places the keycard in a box on his desk and puts a big sign on it saying “YOUR KEYCARD IS IN HERE” with an arrow added, just in case.
At the presidential nuthouse, Aaron of the Secret Service gets a call from the Allstate spokesman’s baby brother:
“I’ve got some news for you”
“There’s a sinister plot regarding the nerve gas that involves highranking members of the Administration?”
“That too, but did you know that 15 minutes could save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance?”
“You work for GEICO? What would your brother say if he were alive now?”
“Open the damn coffin, I can’t breathe! Anyway, Aaron, I need you to meet me in about an hour, I’m on my way to you right now.”
“But there’s a curfew…”
“Indeed? I must’ve forgotten to turn on the radio. Clever, no? Just make sure that this stays between you and me.”
“You know, Wayne, this is all somewhat unusual, if you don’t mind me saying so, so…”
“Have you taken a good look at the people you’re working for recently?”
“Good point. I’ll see you when you get here.”
Terror Hooker is kissing her boyfriend, Theo Baltar, goodbye and heads out to meet up with Crazy Ivan who is positively shivering with anticipation, and we suspect that the schematics and access codes have something to do with it as well. “200,000 people are going to die, Mikhail”, he moans, letting us know that he can’t be planning to hit an A.N.S.W.E.R. rally.
Bill Buchanan finally reads the fine print and realizes that Ilse of the SS is planning to shut CTU down. Of course, the 500-question employee satisfaction survey included in the paperwork might have tipped him off that strange things were afoot, but what really made him realize that he was dealing with nothing but formalities was the fact that Homeland Security had remembered to leave out the questionnaires for the dead CTU staffers. No self-respecting bureaucrat would ever let a chance to fuck up like that slip through her hands. Ilse admits it and chuckles evilly, thinking about all the fun she’s going to have wasting time on filing the proper paperwork for refilling the vending machines, making sure that the toilet paper is hung according to regulations in all the CTU restrooms and dismissing vital intel reports because of missing initials. She picks up the phone and makes a phone call…
“Hi, Ray, this is Ilse.”
“Good, thanks. Listen, I was thinking. Since things have quietened down in New Orleans, perhaps you could find time to come to L.A. for a spell? I have a situation that is in dire need of a SNAFU of Louisianian dimensions.”
“Hahaha. As if anybody’d notice that the mayor was gone. How long is it that you’ve been hiding out in Dallas again?”
“No need to get snippy, Ray, I wasn’t picking on you. I know pure genius when I see it. Still haven’t stopped laughing at that thing about leaving the school buses to drown in the parking lot, leaving your constituents to freeze to death on their rooftops. Brilliant, I tell you, brilliant.”
“Alright then. See you when you get here. Oh, and one more thing: Ix-nay on the ocolate-chay, m’kay? Good. See you.”
At the hotel, Jack and the gang are busy rushing the hotel room that Terror Hooker has just left. When they reach it and notice that it’s empty, Jack goes to the balcony and concludes that she must’ve gone for the roof. After all, everybody knows that if whomever it is you’re looking for isn’t home whenever you decide to show up and look for them, they must be on the roof hiding. Curtis and two others cover the stairs while Jack transforms into a bat and flies to the roof. Curtis still makes it there first and is promptly ambushed by Theo Baltar who’s been lying in wait. He grabs Curtis’ gun which is Jack’s cue to arrive.
“Drop the gun or he dies”, Theo screams.
“And what do you think will happen to you then?”, Jack asks, while caressing the trigger and grinning cruelly.
“Er… I miraculously get away while you cradle your dead friend in your arms?”
“That was LAST episode, jackass! Our people will shoot you dead the moment you as much as think about pulling that trigger”, Jack says while putting his gun away.
“Yep. They’ve got you surrounded.”
“So why haven’t they shot me already?”
“Er… They will. Any moment now.”
“Yup. Shoot you dead.”
Theo, realizing that Jack and Curtis are behaving too strangely to be criminals, demands to see some ID and then, after checking Curtis’ badge, puts his gun away too and introduces himself as Theo of the German Abwehr, then tells Jack to piss off before he blows his cover. Jack politely informs him that that ain’t gonna happen while trying to decide how to kill the arrogant little prick. Curtis reminds Jack to, whatever else he does, NOT MENTION THE WAR and Jack informs Theo of the current situation, letting him know that the needs to know where Terror Hooker is hiding.
“Nuh-uh”, Theo says.
“Uh-huh”, Jack says.
“Listen, pal, if you don’t start talking then hundreds of thousands of innocent people are going to d..”
“AND THERE’S NO TIME?”
“Have we met somewhere before? Don’t answer, doesn’t matter. Just talk, dammit!”
“Nein. Spent 6 months undercover to get this far and I’m not letting her go now.”
“Listen, whatever information you’re hoping to get from her isn’t near as important as getting to Crazy Ivan is.”
“Who’s talking about information? She’s they best lay in the northern hemisphere.”
“Alright, you Kraut bastard, you’re coming with me.”
“You can’t! I work for the German Abwehr!”
“Ever watched Lethal Weapon 2?”
“Does it have David Hasselhoff in it?”
“Never mind. It’s time for me to take you somewhere and ask you nicely, Jack Bauer style. Somewhere with good sound insulation.”
“YOU CAN’T TOUCH ME!”
“I’ll wear gloves.”
Back in the hotel room, Jack finds out from CTU that the Germans won’t order Theo to talk and that the German Chancellor is unreachable. Something about planning an invasion of Poland. Jack decides to see if he can work something out with Theo and asks Curtis to leave the room.
“OK, Jack, but please don’t make a mess this time. You would not believe the cleaning bill from the last job.”
“So are you going to torture me now?”, Theo asks once he’s alone with Jack.
“I would, but the bleeding heart pro-terrorist organizations made such a stink over last season that I can’t. So let’s try it this way: Is there anything I can give to you that would be a fair trade?”
“Got any David Hasselhoff CDs?”
“What the fuck IS it with you Teutons and that guy anyways?”
“I don’t know. I just wish that I knew how to quit him.”
“OK, how about this: A copy of NSA’s ‘WET-list’”
“Nah. Not interested.”
“Do you have any idea what it is that I’m offering you? It’s a list of every current terrorist suspect that we know of, along with a list of their contacts and a summary of every ongoing operation to take them down. It’s the most well-guarded secret we have and could bring the GWOT to a screeching halt if the wrong people got a hold of it.”
“I know what it IS, but I already have a subscription to The New York Times, so I don’t really need it.”
“It has also got David Hasselhoff’s secret phone number as well as the URL to a bit torrent of a dozen bootlegged, unplugged recordings of his…”
Jack calls Chloe and tells her to get the WET-list for him. “I can’t”, she says, “I’m busy filling out this employee survey from Homeland Security and I’m only at question #235. Oh, and some twit from there took my keycard which I need to get into the NSA mainframe.”
“Just do what you have to do, Chloe”, Jack answers, “can’t you just scowl furiously at the monitor or something? It always worked in the past.”
“I’ll get back to you”, Chloe says and hangs up.
She walks over to Parteigenosse Reinhard’s desk and dumps his hot coffee in his lap.
“What the fuck is the matter with you?”, he screams, “couldn’t you just have told me that there was an important phone call for me in order to get me to leave my station for long enough that you can hack into the NSA mainframe? This shit hurts! Oh, and your keycard is in that box, right under the sign.” He then scampers off for the restroom while Chloe picks up her keycard, gets the WET-list and uploads it to Jack’s PDA.
Jack hands the memory card to Theo, lets him verify that the list is legit, then takes it back and tells him that he can keep it once he has Terror Hooker in custody, and Theo tells him that they need to go to Van Nuys airport to catch her.
She, in the meantime, is busy doing business with Crazy Ivan. No, not that kind of business, you pervs. She hands them the thumb drive which, obviously, is encrypted. “You can have the decryption code as soon as my bank verifies the transfer”, she says. The transfer is made, the decryption code is passed on and Terror Hooker leaves while Crazy Ivan orders the hideout torched. The Eco-Nazis are going to have a fit.
At Camp Limpwrist, VP Bimmler is on the phone strong-arming governor Terminator into following his orders. One of his henchmen enters and informs him that Baby Palmer has been held back at a roadblock outside the compound. Obviously it never occurred to the baby brother of a former president that there might be a roadblock outside the presidential retreat but hey, let’s not get hung up on details. Needless to say, Palmer Jr. is now busy diverting attention and suspicion away from him by refusing to tell anybody what he’s there for. VP Bimmler tells his henchman to let him through. Once he’s done setting up the predictable ambush, of course.
At the airport, everybody’s waiting for Terror Hooker. Jack is in the car with Theo who is busy pretending to feel bad about betraying the best lay he’s ever had. Jack is busy pretending that he gives a shit. At CTU, Chloe’s been found out, which may have to do with her rather painfully obvious coffee-spilling maneuver. She tries to deny it, but realizes that the gig is up and explains the situation.
Ilse of the SS has a fit, jumping on top of the table while furiously cracking her whip, demanding to be put through to Jack. Jack answers and puts the call on speakerphone after Theo tells him to.
“Get the WET-list back!”, she screams.
“Can’t do it. If I don’t give it to him, we won’t get Terror Hooker.”
“That’s EXACTLY why you need to get it back! Do you realize how hard I’ve worked to make sure this operation gets fucked up beyond repair? If you go through with this, you might succeed and then Homeland Insecurity’s spotless record of inevitable failure will be ruined, RUINED!”
“No it won’t. I’ll make sure that everybody knows how we lost the WET-list and that way you can rest assured that nobody will ever get the idea that Homeland Security is good for anything whatsoever. Your horrible reputation will be safe.”
“Alright, but you better make doubly sure that you fuck this one up but GOOD!”
“Are you kidding me? With the MoveOn.org writers doing this season? Heck, I haven’t killed anybody for two whole episodes and the only torture there’s been was a gigantic clusterfuck to prove Amnesty’s claim that ‘torture never works’. This will be a failure of cosmic proportions, I can promise you that.”
They hang up and Terror Hooker arrives.
“Move the rearview mirror so I can see her”, Jack orders.
“So you can verify that it’s her?”
“That’d be nice too, but I was really hoping to catch a glimpse of her legendary cans. Now get out of the car.”
Theo Baltar gets out, meets with her and Jack and the guys move in and arrest her. Then Theo scampers off and starts uploading the WET-list only to realize that Jack gave him his Special Mission Impossible Self-Destructing Memory Card. “Ha! This is payback for Malmedy, you Kraut bastard!”, it says on the screen.
Jack is trying to get Terror Hooker to talk, but all she’ll do is whine about how she really loved Theo and how betrayed she feels. Jack finally manages to stop her before she starts talking about her miserable childhood in a concrete suburb of Magdeburg and she asks to be alone with Jack which, if the MoveOn.org writers hadn’t been hired by FOX, would be a monumentally bad idea.
She tries to bribe Jack, but Jack isn’t having any, so she moves on to the next phase and Jack hands over the now standard “24″ full immunity, safe passage, free booze on the flight application form while cursing under his breath and swearing that he’ll strangle the next FOX executive he comes across. Only, she doesn’t know where Crazy Ivan is, but she promises to finger her source. Sorry, bad choice of words, name her source.
Jack passes on the info and CTU fill in one of the 60,000 standard full immunity forms that they hand out to every mass murderer they come across so’s to make sure that justice is never done. He also mentions to Ilse of the SS that the memory card self-destroyed, which pisses her off no end. Without a disastrous failure to her name so far, somebody higher up might get the idea that she’s useful and order her to do real work rather than sitting around handing out surveys and firing people for doing their jobs.
Outside the Presidential hideout, Baby Palmer finally runs into the inevitable ambush. A van follows him and eventually drives up alongside of him, at which point Palmer does the one thing sure to maximize his chances of getting killed in a situation like that, which is to carefully avoid slamming the brakes. Instead he patiently waits while the van’s door slides open and his car is shot full of holes, sending it into a ditch. The van comes to a screeching halt and a bunch of heavily armed goons run back to pick up Palmer’s dead body which, unfortunately for them, isn’t quite dead. Will he escape? We’ll know next week.
Meanwhile, Terror Hooker’s lawyers abroad have received the immunity forms and she reveals that her source was in the DoD, more specifically…
St. Audrey of the Preposterous Proboscis.
Tune in next week for more. Hopefully it’ll involve some actual killing…