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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » “The Door Is Always Open”
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Let’s see… What tried and true plot devices can we recycle this week? Well, we’re sure that the fine writers in Joel Surnow’s stable will come up with something…

At CTU, Token Arab Chick is in the holding cell, briefing Jack on the situation so far, just in case any viewers missed out on last week’s episode. As we know, St Audrey of the Nose’s dad, Secretary Heller, ordered Jack not to get near his daughter ever again and, we learn, even filed a restraining order on Jack to that effect. Since he didn’t set up a CTU perimeter, it might actually work.

She also tells Jack that Little Lord Fauntleroy is going in to capture Ming the Merciless at the copper plant, and Jack wants to go so bad he can taste it.

Token Arab Chick won’t let him, though, since Jack’s been a bad boy, disobeying the Vice President, letting Ming get a hold of the component and not attending the mandatory departmental anger management classes. The first two she could let fly, but she’s not about to send an agent with sensitivity issues into the field, even if he is the only one with a snowball’s chance in Hell of catching the perp. Ming could get hurt, after all, and we surely don’t want that to happen.

Seeing that rational argument and common sense isn’t about to penetrate Token Arab Chick’s skull any time this century, Jack glares at her and the guards instead, causing puddles to mysteriously form on the floor.

“Don’t even think about it, Jack”, Token Arab Chick hisses through clenched teeth, the only way she can keep them from chattering, “I’ll have you put in restraints if you try anything.”

“Hard to do if your duodenum is tied around your strangled neck in a bow”, Jack mumbles under his breath, then sits down and goes to his Happy Place while Token Arab Chick and her two guards hurry off to change their pants.

Pants changed, Token Arab Chick goes off to brief the tac team.

“Listen up! Your objective is to enter the facility with much fanfare and ominous-sounding music, find nobody and nothing and stand around looking like fools while Ming escapes again”, she says before she notices that she’s reading from Joel Surnow’s plot outline instead of the script, “er, sorry about that. Your objective is to enter the facility, secu…”

“Why bother, lady? There is not a single viewer alive who’ll believe for a second that we’re going to achieve anything”, one of the team members interrupts, “let’s just get this non-show on the road.”

“Hey! That was my line!”, Token Arab Chick protests. “Oh, and if you don’t get the component, the Russians will be very mad at us for failing to secure a component that they let into our country and they’ll promptly attack us to punish the Chinese, start WWIV, end of civilization as we know it, end times, survivors envying the dead, yadda, yadda, yadda… Any questions?”

“Yes, ma’am. Won’t the Chinese be awfully mad at us if we succeed, attack us for grabbing their component, start WWIV, end of civilization as we know it, end times, survivors envying etc. etc.?”

“Shut up! That’s not in the script! Besides, the answer is no. Only certain things will start WWIV, such as the Russians losing one of their own gadgets by giving it to terrorists or us offending the muslims by holding them responsible for their actions.”

At Emperor Ming’s hideout, a fresh team hired from Terrorists’R'Us has been assembled in preparation for an impending attack on a conspicuously unnamed target, presumably unnamed because Joel Surnow’s writers, under the spell of their delusions of adequacy, still think they can surprise us. Or maybe it’s because “CTU” is damnably hard for a Chinese to pronounce without it sounding like “flied lice.”

What? You hadn’t figured that one out yet? Of course you had. It’s just about the ONLY previous plot device that they haven’t recycled this season yet, so it’s long overdue.

At CTU, Jack Jr and his mom are in their room watching the news. Jack Jr, proving that he’s not your average teenager, is choked up over the 12,000 dead, but maybe he’s just emotionally overwhelmed by the wicked kewlness of it all.

“I wish I hadn’t been born!”, he shouts, “I wish I wasn’t part of this sick family!”

“Listen, that’s not true…”

“Oh, it isn’t? My dad’s a dead terrorist, my granddad is a terrorist and my uncle is a one-man army who has killed more people than Pol Pot. With his bare hands!”

“OK, so maybe we’re a bit unusual, but think of the opportunities for appearances on Jerry Springer.”

Chloe arrives with a transcript for Marilyn to review and adds, casually and for no good reason whatsoever other than to advance the “plot”, for lack of a better and more descriptive word, that St. Audrey is still among the living. So much for Marilyn’s plans to hook up with Jack.

Elsewhere, VP Neocon’s assistant Blondie is on the phone with Lover Boy (and half of the White House staff, but Lover Boy is not supposed to know that), pretending that nothing is wrong and trying to set up a meeting with him. For somebody who’s been lying to her VP boyfriend for years and who didn’t bat an eye at lying to the Supreme Court, she does an amazingly awful job of lying convincingly, so unless Lover Boy is terminally retarded…

Which, apparently, he is, because they agree to meet back at the hotel and Blondie hangs up.

Spineless Toad tells her to go there and then, at her earliest opportunity, leave the room for long enough for Lover Boy to download the contents of her PDA, on which Spineless Toad has left a memo stating that Ming had been captured and the component secured, exactly the sort of top secret, eyes only thing you’d expect to find on a secretary’s PDA, right next to her MySpace friends messages.

“I just don’t know if I can go through with this”, Blondie protests again.

“Can you go through with being the guest of honor at a blindfold-less execution for treason?”, VP Neocon asks.

Blondie decides that maybe she can go through with lying to a spy and traitor, just this once.

At CTU, Marilyn makes her way to Jack’s cell, still visibly shaken by the fact that she has a rival. Her mood improves vastly when she finds out that St. Audrey has become nuttier than a squirrel on an eating binge and that her dad has put a restraining order on Jack. Managing to resist and urge to say “that’s EXCELLENT news”, she just smiles at Jack and tells him that she’ll be there for him. Always. In more ways than one. *Wink!* Chloe drags her out of the room before she can rip her clothes off.

The show goes into back-and-forth mode, switching between Little Lord Fauntleroy’s tac team and Ming’s scheming goons, in a desperate attempt to fool the viewers into thinking that the terrorists are still in the warehouse which, of course, is as empty as Michael Moore’s head.

After a lot of running around and even more ominous music, the writers finally have enough of being silly about it and let the tac team announce that the empty warehouse is, indeed, empty. Well, except for a pile of weapons crates big enough to have equipped… About ten peaceful muslims being “entrapped” into attacking an army base or something.

Little Lord Fauntleroy calls Token Arab Chick, letting her know that the Chinese flew the coop.

“Quick! Backtrack the satellite coverage that we’ve studiously ignored since we located Ming’s Humvee at the warehouse!”, Token Arab Chick shouts at Al Bundy.

“Oh, and by the looks of it, the Chinese are about to make a major assault on something”, Little Lord Fauntleroy adds.

“Assault on what???”, Token Arab Chick says, ignoring the big, flashing neon arrow hovering over her head.

Chloe is trying to get back in Al Bundy’s good graces, dealing with rejection being yet another one of those things that aren’t in Chloe’s battery of interpersonal skills (but we don’t care, she still rocks!), telling him that she’s ever so sorry about calling him a terrorist-abetting coward.

“Listen, darling, that’s not it. It’s that it’s the truth and, no matter how much you say that you didn’t mean it and that you’re sorry, one day, be it next week, next year or 12 years from now, I’ll be mad at you for backing the car into a fire hydrant while parallel parking and you’ll shout ‘oh, and what about the time that you helped terrorists arm a nuke because you were scared?’”

Obviously Al is wise to the Ways of the Female Mind™.

At Lover Boy’s residence, Spineless Toad is giving Blondie her last briefing, re-iterating that nasty things happen to people if they face treason charges, which is exactly what will happen if she doesn’t succeed in convincing Lover Boy that they’ve gotten the chip back from the Chinese.

Lover Boy senses that something’s up with her immediately. Maybe it’s her eyes fluttering back and forth, maybe it’s her being as rigid as a board when she’s usually as randy as a rabbit on an overdose of Viagra, who knows?

She immediately decides that she needs to go to the bathroom in order to give him time to download her painfully obvious ruse of a “memo” from her PDA, but Lover Boy decides that she doesn’t really need a bath, seeing as how she already had one last episode and, surely, she doesn’t sweat that badly.

After a lot of her trying to get out of the room, using one horribly transparent excuse after another, Lover Boy finally decides that enough is enough and thwows her forcefuwwy on the bed, preparing to have his wicked way with her.

In the sewer beneath CTU, Ming’s Mercenaries are getting ready to enter through the magically unsecured sewer grate obligatory in every important government installation on 24, complete with a sign saying “UNSECURED ENTRY POINT. UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY.” Ming’s tech guru sends off a sooper sekrit signal that will disable all of CTU’s computer systems, one of those codes that lay around everywhere for random terrorists to pick up in case they need to mess with “secure” government systems. Well, on Joel Surnow’s show anyway.

Milo the Easter Island Head is briefing Token Arab Chick on the situation, telling her that there were over 20 escape routes from the warehouse.

“Hopefully we didn’t secure any of those prior to the raid?”, Token Arab Chick says, “that would endanger the impossibly stupid plot the writers worked for minutes on.”

“Of course not. Joel Surnow would have our ass if we started showing signs of intelligence. They were all left wide open, making sure that Ming and his men could escape at their leisure.”

“So where are they now?”

“They could be anywhere, but it shouldn’t be that hard to find them. Everything on the show happens within spitting distance of CTU, after all. Have you heard anything from Little Lord Fauntleroy?”

“Why?”

“Oh, nothing”, Easter Island Head says while looking like a whipped puppy. A whipped puppy trying to control an urge to hump Token Arab Chick’s leg. After a few annoying moments of high school jealousy drama, Chloe mercifully interrupts by informing them that they located Ming’s Hummers.

At this moment, Ming’s sooper sekrit haX0r code kicks in, knocking down all comms while the sewer mercs bust through the Conveniently Unsecured Sewer Grate with the help of high explosives. Thankfully, TV show rules strictly forbid anybody being near enough Unsecured Terrorist Entry Points to hear a couple of pounds of C4 going off, which means they must all be in the next county, eating donuts. They might as well be.

Chloe then finds out, via the satellite pictures that are somehow not locked down, that the Hummers went to a place six blocks from CTU. When all of the security cameras go out at once, Token Arab Chick finally stumbles across a Clue™ and orders a Code Red Lockdown, which means that everybody scream, stand around uselessly or place themselves where they can be shot easily. All of that with alarms blaring all over the place. For the ambience.

The guards in the building promptly don their red shirts and make sure that Ming’s Mercenaries can shoot them.

Jack manages to convince the guard outside his door to open it.

“I’m going to need a weapon”, Jack says, after which the guard is shot down by a passing mercenary. “Why, thanks!”, Jack adds, picking up the guard’s gun and shooting the goon.

Meanwhile, the Chief Goon has arrived at the command center, ordering everybody on the floor.

“Who’s in command?”, he demands.

“Er, I am”, Easter Island Head says, standing up.

Chief Goon lifts his pistol and drills a third eye in Easter Island Head’s forehead.

“What’d you do that for?”, somebody, probably a viewer feeling the corpse of his long-dead disbelief being brutally raped, asks.

“It’s in the manual. ‘When all else fails, try to get the show audience’s attention by killing off a main character.’ Page 47, second paragraph.”

“But, don’t you usually have to include an actual, I don’t know, reason?

“On this show?”

Elsewhere, two of Ming’s goons force their way into Marilyn and Jack Jr’s room and order them on the floor, then radio Ming and tell him that ‘they found Bauer, with his mom.’ Ahhhh… So that’s who they’re looking for. But why? Now, unless they’re looking for the cheat codes to “Call of Duty”, we don’t see how he could help them much, tech-wise, and his dad’s very much dead, leaving only… That’s a tough one. Not. But we’re sure that the show’s writers will be patting themselves on the back for the huge “surprise” they’ll spring on us, say, about three seconds before the end of this week’s episode.

The goons march off with the most dysfunctional family in America when Jack shows up, helpfully sending them off to the hereafter with a couple of well-aimed shots from the assault rifle that he’s finally thought to pick up after having killed half of the goons with his trusty Glock.

Jack decides that maybe getting out of there would be a good idea. Generally speaking, getting into CTU is about the dumbest thing you can do, since it seems to be more open to traffic than Madonna’s thighs, so we have to agree with him on that one. They make their way to a ventilation shaft blocked by the Obligatory Rotating Fan of Doom™ that any show worth its salt (and, in this case, one decidedly not worth it) has to include as a block to the heroes’ progress.

What to do if you’re blocked by a fan, being pursued by heavily armed goons with automatic weapons while you yourself is armed only with a Glock with four rounds left in it and a fully functional automatic rifle?

Why, you stick the rifle in the fan, of course. After all, picking up some of the useless clutter littering the room and using that instead would be unfair.

Speaking of which: If you had, by now, gunned down about a dozen armed goons, wouldn’t you have picked up a spare and a few extra magazines of ammo? If your answer is “yes”, forget about getting a job with Joel Surnow.

After Jack sends Jack Jr. off into the ventilation shafts, the goons break through the door and quickly overpower the now unarmed Jack. They grab Jack and Marilyn and march them off to the command center, where the Chief Goon is waiting.

Gee, what would a Chief Goon do now? Hmmm… Page 83, third paragraph: “tell the escaped boy to come back or you’ll kill his mother.”

But first, Chief Goon finds out that Token Arab Chick is the commanding officer and orders her to come to him.

“Why, you’re going to shoot me too?”

“Heck no. We already filled the ‘kill main characters’ quota for this week and, besides, if I were to shoot you, CAIR would have a shit fit and sue FOX in a heartbeat. No, I just want you to answer this phone call from your field agents and tell them that everything’s OK, that it was just a temporary problem with comms.”

Token Arab Chick picks up the phone and tells Little Lord Fauntleroy that it was just PacBell fucking up again and that, oh, she’s in a FLANK TWO POSITION!

Chief Goon then turns on the P.A. and starts talking to Jack Jr.:

“Listen, I know you’re scared, but there’s nothing to be scared of. All of that killing, shooting and general mayhem was just a joke, really. We just want to hug you and coddle you and take you to a safe place where nobody can ever hurt you again. Oh, and if you’re not here at the count of 10, I’ll blow your skanky mama’s brains all over the floor. See? Nothing to be scared of.”

Jack Jr., realizing that Uncle Jack will always be there for him, immediately decides to surrender.

Finally, in a “shocking, surprise development”, we learn that the reason they want Jack Jr. is that his granddad, Dr Zefram Cochrane, is working for Emperor Ming on the flawed component and wants his grandson back in exchange for the chip.

We’re shocked, SHOCKED, we tell you!

Tick…tock…tick…tock…

16 Responses to ““The Door Is Always Open””
  1. Sir Christopher Comment by Sir Christopher

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I haven’t been first in a long time

  2. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Hey, how disappointed would I have been without the “Obligatory Rotating Fan of Doom™”?

    Ah,…the classics never die.

    - MuscleDaddy

  3. Sir Christopher Comment by Sir Christopher

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    wait a minute.. didn’t Jack get sent to China (by us) for two years, because he attacked sovereign Chinese soil, the embassy?

    well, what are WE going to do in response to Chinese agents assaulting CTU? send them Milo for two years?

  4. Balderdash Comment by Balderdash

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I thought Spineless Toad was going to lean back and light a cigarette after listening in on Blondie & Lover Boy.

  5. Sir Christopher Comment by Sir Christopher

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    “UNSECURED ENTRY POINT. UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY

    .”

    i bet that’s embroidered on Blondie’s panties too

  6. HoundOfDoom Comment by HoundOfDoom

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I bet that’s embroidered on Blondie’s panties too.

    The front or the back?

  7. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Ya know, I really don’t think I’m gonna purchase the DVD set this season . . .

    Tick . . tock . . tick . . tock . . .

  8. BauerPower Comment by BauerPower

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Purchase the last 5 seasons, this one take it or leave it. I’d say keep it as a primer on HOW NOT to write an effective storyline.

  9. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, Master of Parody Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, Master of Parody

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    The front or the back?

    Yes.

  10. Brian the sailor Comment by Brian the sailor

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Someone has way too much time on their hands to post this useless nonsense.

    And I’ll bet I still won’t be banned.

    If at first you don’t succeed…

  11. Brian the sailor Comment by Brian the sailor

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    And every damn time I try to get an avatar, I get a fatal error or some such nonsense!
    Before I even try to upload a pic.
    Sorry to take it out on you, but after a while it gets really frustrating!

  12. Unregistered Comment by LC Wes, Imperial Mohel

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As we know, St Audrey of the Nose’s dad, Secretary Heller, ordered Jack not to get near his daughter ever again and, we learn, even filed a restraining order on Jack to that effect. Since he didn’t set up a CTU perimeter, it might actually work.

    …And now we know how this season will end:

    - with Jack either being sent to jail for possessing a firearm while under a restraining order (”Thanks for killing all the bad guys, Jack, and by the way, you have the right to remain silent…”)

    - or with Jack once again a fugitive ’til next season, for the same reason.

    Personally, I’m betting on the second option. The only two plot points the show’s writers haven’t yet recycled, as far as I can tell, is (1) Jack taking it on the lam and (2) some member of the Bauer family being threatened by a hungry cougar…and if Jack ever found himself face to face with the cougar, he’d have a new rug for the den in short order.

  13. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    And every damn time I try to get an avatar, I get a fatal error or some such nonsense!
    Before I even try to upload a pic.

    Try going directly to “Your Profile” or, failing that, refresh the profile page if it still contains gobble-di-gook at the top. Also, be aware of the max file size (both Kb AND pixels).

    (If nothing else works, send me an email, screenshots most welcome if you can, and full descriptions of what you do and what happens when you do it).

  14. Unregistered Comment by tradewind

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I don’t care that there’ve only been three decent hours in day six, I don’t care if Notayeah pales in comparison to the sainted Michelle, don’t even care that the NotAnnCoulter Powers that Be is bonking is a skank…after five great seasons, I’ll cut Surnov et al some slack,……..just please, don’t stop the heavenly rehash, Emp.
    Thanks sooooo much.

  15. Unregistered Comment by tbone1

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Wouldn’t it just be fantastic if they could put in a path of metal stampers as in Galaxy Quest? That would just about make a complete set of cliches for the season. Or someone who died before is really alive (where are you Robocop?)and tries to save the day.

  16. Unregistered Comment by physicsgeek

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Here’s a snippet of the conversation between my wife and me during last week’s espisode:

    Her, coming about 5 minutes late into the show: “What the heck are the Chinese doing with all of those weapons?”

    Me: “They’re going to attack CTU.”

    Her: “Again? Let me know when something interesting happens. I’m gonna read some more of my book.”

    Me: “Looks like they’re after someone named Bauer… must be the kid.”

    Her: “How did you know that? Oh, sorry, stupid question. Must be Jack’s dad behind it then.”

    Me, a few minutes later: “Good guess, honey. Then again, it wasn’t really a guess. Crap, our 4-year old could write a better script using random letters from the Scrabble game.”

    Her: “Tell me again why we’re watching?”

    Me: “It’s like our own version of Mystery Science Fiction Theater, only the movie we’re watching is a lot stupider. The only entertainment comes from the mocking. Oh, and Jack sometimes kills people with his bare hands. And Chloe can hack into the Rosetta stone with her stare, which is kind of cool.”

    Thanks the weekly update. YOu could probably write this week’s critique before the show actually airs.