Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Flank Two Position

Season Five, 9:00-11:00 AM

Not Buchanan, the long-time CTU vet. Not Edgar or Chloe, who know EVERYTHING. Not Curtis (who takes twenty minutes to plan his trips to the bathroom, apparently). Not Audrey, who knows Jack. Not the terrorists, who should know that Jack would try something. Only the creepiest guy from Division yet, along with every one of the millions of people watching on television, picked up that "I'm in a flank two position; repeat, a flank two position" was a duress code. Well, I think Derek figured it out, but that didn't help.

And boy, were the terrorists prepared for the assault. Standing about three feet from the wall Curtis was about to blow, out in the open! Human shields, anyone? They would have gone down even easier if the duress code had been missed.

And what an innovative plot twist! Just as the terrorist situation seems effectively diffused, some caucasian disappears with a small device to suggest that the day has just begun. Nothing at all like the guy Audrey recognized when she and her father were kidnapped, and who ran off with the override device when Jack stormed the compound. Or when Amador ran off with the virus. No, this time it was a keycard, and Jack spotted the guy. So it's completely different!

The most interesting part so far is trying to figure out who the terrorists are. While the guys at the airport were clearly Chechyn or similar former Soviet republicans, it also seems pretty clear that they were just being used by the Americans running the show--the guy at Bond-villain central and Walt, Logan's security advisor (and maybe the new Division creep). My guess (and hope) is that they are far right-wing militia types who feel that any deal with the Russkies is treason, and that counter-terrorism is just a liberal plot to take away their guns. That would definitely lessen the angst we liberals feel watching 24--Jack, Chloe, Edgar and Curtis taking down a bunch of skinheads! And Walt's position as head of security for a Republican would fit in well with that scenario, although he doesn't really look the part.

So what was David Palmer thinking trying to pass crucial secrets to Logan through his maybe-not-so-crazy wife? I guess I can see him not trusting Mike Novik, but surely he would know somebody in Washington or the press he would trust to pass on his secret in the event of his untimely demise--somebody who seems a bit less crazy than Martha Logan. How about Aaron, the supernice Secret Service guy?

Is Martha Logan supposed to be a Teresa Heinz Kerry type, married to the Republican Logan but flirting in the Senate cloakroom with the handsome black Democratic senator from Maryland?

From the previews, it looks like the third threat level is nerve gas (first level was assassinations of Palmer and Michelle, second level was the attack on the airport). I guess they did nukes in seasons two and four, and bioweapons in three, so chemical weapons are the only WMD category left. It also looks like Audrey and Diane will meet up at CTU to fight over Jack, a twist on last season's triangle with Audrey, Paul and Jack.

My guess is that Derek, like Kim in seasons one and two, won't stay safe for long. Hanging around CTU, he'll overhear the Division creep saying something incriminating. Trying to pass it on to Jack, he'll tell the wrong person, and get chased out of CTU and into Kim's LA of crack houses, male prostitutes, mountain lions, girl jails, survivalists and creepy hospitals.

I'll be in Mexico for the next two weeks, and probably won't see hours five and six until I return on February 4. Until then, "Kachoong! Kachoong! Kachoong!" is going dark. Over and out.

PS: "Kachoong! Kachoong! Kachoong!" is not to be referred to by its initials.


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