Monday, January 30, 2006

Bauer Hour: The Following Took Place Between 12:00PM and 1:00PM the Day of Audrey Raines's Acting School Midterms

Noon to one is a good solid time. It's a time for brisk walks, corporate lunches, or in my case, waking up. It's a time when you might receive the mail, espn replays old world's strongest man competitions, and when The Silo runs out of salami. For Jack Bauer, it's the time when lunch gets put on hold indefinitely, bathroom breaks are out of the question (see "Jack Bauer's Urinary Tract Infection" in a future post), and TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

This week's episode ran the gamut from classic "24" glorifery to brand-new levels of "24" woe. Despite this easily organized pro/con format I just established, I will inexplicably discuss the show in chronological order, because what is "24" really, if not a series of real time events presented in chronological order? I would venture to say...nothing? Perhaps?

Jack lights actions fuse right off the bat when he tells Bill Buchanan that THERE IS NO TIME (to build a case against Walt Cummings) and that he has to go in and sort things out himself. In another awkward "There's a good shot that the 24 audience remembers more about 24 than the writers do" moment, Jack says that he'll talk to Mike Novick because he can be trusted....does anyone else besides me remember the season when Mike was part of a con-skeaze-piracy to undermine President Palmer and take control of the govt? That seemed like something I might characterize as "untrustworthy."

Regardless, Jack gets the go ahead, which leads to the MOST EMBARASSING AND RIDICULOUS MOMENT IN 24 HISTORY! So embarrassing, that it got the sarcastic clap n' laugh, a "wow", and an empathetic post clap n' laugh giggle out of me. I am of course referring to the moment when Jack sends an instant message to Mike Novick's BLACKBERRY! "It's Jack Bauer. Call me on a secure line," Jack writes followed at least 20 seconds later by, "Tell no one." Now, I understand the whole suspension of disbelief aspect of fiction, but this is too much. Product placement aside, the idea of Jack IMing anyone is hilarious, and in my memory the exchange went like this:

BauerPower123: Call me on a secure line
M-N-M4eva: ...
BauerPower123: ;)
M-N-M4eva: ...
BauerPower123: Tell no one
M-N-M4eva: That's what you always say
BauerPower123: You know you want to
M-N-M4eva: It'll wake up my parents
BauerPower123: Just do it
M-N-M4eva: lol, I can't
BauerPower123: gg, call me l8er!

Second of all, this means that CTU has Mike's number/screenname/whatever those things have. This means at some point, Mike had to utter the sentence, "This is the number to my Blackberry," which just amuses me. More importantly, it seems to me like maybe Jack could have typed those two sentences together given their importance and the secrecy needed. My biggest problem with this incident, however, has to do with shear middle-school logic: HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S JACK? Most of my friends have either posed as lesbians, parents, or teachers at one point in their lives in a chat room or instant message. I spent half of middle school and high school worried that I wasn't talking to the girl who I was told I was talking to, and ya know what? HALF THE TIME I WASN'T! All i'm saying is that if this were the real world, Mike Novick would be instant messaging back and forth with Jack Bauer's mom, sister, best friend, or jealous boyfriend. Regardless, the blackberry incident will forever live on as 24's most embarrassing moment. Very uncool.

NOW, after Mike returned Jack's call, a call we are later shown to have been monitored and eavesdropped on by Walt Cummings and possibly the dude in the white house closet named Nathanson(?), Jack heads over to meet Mike-- almost. First, he must waste at least 8 of my real-time minutes talking to Faked Death Fodder and Audrey about who kissed who on the playground. I'll tell ya what; I don't like either of em and neither does Jack. Huxley was dead on arrival and any love Jack had for Audrey went out the window the moment she donned those Vince Lombardi glasses for his episode. I know it's noon, but what kind of half-time decision is that? She looked like the offspring of Lisa Loeb and John Kerry (which I could totally see happening). Speaking of which, while binging on The West Wing DVD's this week, I realized that Sean Astin looks exactly like a young Martin Sheen, WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING FIT-- Sean Astin Martin. Just like I said! It's like the Da Vinci code for people with, well, you know, a brain. Side note: Bill Buchanan is the pilot of Air Force One in The West Wing season four. Back to business.

Once Jack gets to the meeting spot, Audrey feels the need to call him on his cell phone, because, you know, he's probably not busy. She asks him if he loves her and he tells her in great length, that yes, she should shut the hell up and never call him again. Now based on previous events, I have to assume (and points to The Kapps Report for mentioning this) that Walt and Nathanson overheard this conversation too, meaning that Jack Bauer just lost ALL of his street cred. I predict that conversation will be used as leverage later on in the season when the terrorists force Jack to shoot everybody's favorite forensic anthropologist Bones(she woke up at 8am five days a week for the Criminology Short Term).

Somewhere in here we find out that the nerve gas is going to take EIGHT DAYS to reach Russia where it will then be a problem for a foreign nation. It's about this time that we know that's not going to happen. I mean, 8 days? That's a long ass time. Are they using an uninsured redneck from uShip or something ( And Russia? No, a vague threat to a foreign nation eight days down the road is not going to set the dramatic tone that 24 depends on. So the rest of the episode of pretty much implied once we have that knowledge.

So Walt tells President "I'm Melting!" Jowlsberg that he's done a berry berry bad fing and Jack and Mike get captured. While this is poetic justice for Mike who locked others in closets during his trustworthy Palmer upheaval, I was momentarily annoyed at the slowdown. But then something awesome happened. FIRST, Bill Buchanan sounded like a giddy schoolgirl groupie when he suggested that they disobey the President's order to turn over power. "We can disregard the order." Buchanan tells Astin Martin who says blah blah blah no way. "That's because you don't have experience with this sort of thing," Buchanan goes on, oblivious to his role last season. "Yeah, see, I've seen Jack do this, it's pretty neat. You see, what you do is, you actually DON'T do what someone tells you to do, and you know, it's pretty cool and whatnot, and there's some dual handguns involved and sometimes some sniping and triple super secret double-agent work!" He concludes by saying, "You also need to make decisions faster," with such Jack Bauer protege fan-club earnesty that it made me want to hug him and put a band-aid on his knee. First rule of Jack Bauer: We're running out of time.

XxTheCannonXx: Hey, you there?
BauerPower123: What.
XxTheCannonXx: I just...I love you. I just wanted to say that.
BauerPower123: roflmao
XxTheCannonXx: Whatever. XxTheCannonXx has signed off

This is promptly followed up by Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce stepping up and fulfilling his potential per my previous post and proving that at the very least, Aaron Pierce reads this blog. Aaron listens to what Jack has to say, determines that if Jack Bauer's story is corroborated by a possibly insane woman, then it stands as truth (If Jack Bauer's story is corroborated by the Ashlee Simpson box set it stands as truth). He sets Jack free and follows him into the President's office where Jack kicks the crap out of Walt and, YES, TORTURES HIM A LITTLE! Aaron stands by confidently as Jack threatens to cut a man's eye out and then hands the President his badge when the treasonous conduct is concluded. At that moment it is revealed that Jack Bauer is Aaron Pierce's "Made" Coach and that Aaron was just officially "Made".

Predictably, the episode ended with the cannisters of nerve gas going missing, and a threat against the US which made no sense. If the terrorists wanted so badly to steal the nerve gas for their cause, why would they then waste it on the US when they finally had sole possession of it? This I don't know, but it will certainly make for better action packed non-stop action week. I could have used an extraneous bomb being rigged to kill all the soldiers looking for the gas. Or how about a snipe? It's been at least 3 hours, couldn't someone go hunting, if only for food like in The Oregon Trail? It'll be a week before we know for sure what else we have to look forward to. Until then, keep checking back for more posts, keep spreading the word, and as always,

Keep It Jack (Peace),


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