Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Like Jack, I'm back!

I've been in sunny Mexico for the past two weeks, leaving the 24 watch in your capable hands. But now I'm back, and have watched the two episodes I missed as well as last night's episode. So much material, I don't think I can give it the depth of coverage you've come to expect. But here are the highlights.

First: The best quote ever from President Logan (or Palmer or Keeler, for that matter): "You did all this just to kill a bunch of terrorists?" He said this after Walt Cummings explained to him that the plan was to have the nerve gas go off in a terrorist camp in Central Asia. You can imagine Logan's incredulity--government agents willing to use deadly weapons and kill tens of thousands of people in order to stop a few hijackers and carbombers. They'd have to be totally insane.

Second: Central Asia is a huge place. It is frequently defined as the five former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrzgystan, and sometimes as a larger area. In any case, Central Asia doesn't have any ocean ports. You'd think Chloe, or at least the terrorists, would know this.

Third: If the plan was to move nerve gas from a hanger at Ontario Airport to Central Asia, wouldn't it have been simpler to do it quietly, late at night, maybe, rather than in the middle of a terror/hostage situation when the place was crawling with cops?

Fourth: I'm pretty sure that chemical weapons aren't like nukes--they don't rely on elaborate triggering mechanisms. Simply setting off a conventional bomb in the vicinity of the canisters, dropping something heavy on them, or otherwise finding a remote way of breaching the canisters would be sufficient to release the gas. Some chemical weapons, I think, are two relatively harmless chemicals kept separated until deployment, but if that were the case here they wouldn't have killed all those rats in the hanger. You really don't need the help of Neil Bush in his penthouse (or his latest sex slave) to activate chemical weapons.

Fifth: Is having an unstable or drug-addicted relative a requirement for working at CTU? Is there like a line on the application form? McGill's sister shows up to mug him. Driscoll's daughter. Didn't Michelle have a ne'er-do-well brother? Audrey too, of course. And speaking of unstable relatives...

Sixth: The return of Kim appears imminent. I guess once they round up the nerve gas they'll need something to keep the plot going for the next sixteen hours. In the end, I guess Jack, Diane, Keith, Audrey, Kim, Chase, Angela and little Megan will all be living happily together, at least until season six.

Seventh: Tony's doctor was killed. Did anyone think to get him another one? And didn't Jack go to the CTU clinic/morgue to ask Tony some questions? What happened to that? Will Tony get back together with the waitress now that Michelle is dead?

Eighth: As much as I like Chloe and Edgar, the tension between them and Spencer quickly became tedious. Also, it seems pretty clear that Spencer was telling the truth and had every reason to believe that he was working for the White House. I could understand Chloe's not trusting him after that, but why Buchanan? Did Spencer sleep with him too?

Ninth: So now, eighteen months later, Logan is no longer worried about war with "a billion Chinese?" Haven't enough people seen Jack already today, including probably a half-dozen moles, to make keeping the fiction of his death impossible? Logan has more faith in Jack than in the entire remainder of his national security apparatus? He must have watched the DVD's from the previous seasons on those long flights on Air Force One.


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