’24’ recap: Geek meet
Excuse me if my stomach looks a little puffy. It’s not from the hummus. Or the pizza. Or the leftover pizza I dipped in the leftover hummus. It’s from the plot platter I was just given to digest. Sean: Exposed! Dubaku’s double-life: Exposed! Chloe: Kinda exposed! Jack and Renee: Derailed! And FG: Alive! Barely! Also has a daughter! Let’s turn back the clock and feast our eyes on this….
Faster than you can say 911, the paramedics are at the greengrocer scene to aid the First Gentleman. I’m surprised he’s still breathing; I wondered if his heroic battle with the neuromuscular paralytic had already zapped his energy reserves. Jack calls the Oval Office to report FG’s status and theorize that Dubaku, lacking leverage, will flee the country. Our shaken president shakes off Ethan’s safety concerns and demands to go to FG’s bedside: ”Either find someone to take me to the hospital or I’ll drive there myself!” (How awesome would that scene be — our Commander-in-Chief giving the bird to a slow-moving Buick LeSabre?) Bill courteously offers to chauffeur her, reasserting his trustworthiness: ”I brought this conspiracy to your attention, Madame President. I would hope that I’ve earned it.” This point is so powerful — as is her desire to capture Dubaku — that she reinstates Bill’s government clearance, gives him control of White House staff, and allows Chloe to kick out the computer jams at the FBI. ”Whatever it takes,” she says, ”I want that sonuvabitch found.” (Another sonuvabitch! Drink!)
So, where is that sonuvabitch? Making a confession outside the restaurant where Marika works. ”I haven’t been entirely honest with you,” Dubaku tells her. ”My passport visa expired a couple of months ago and I’ve been in the country illegally.” (Also, I occasionally jaywalk. And when I was 14, I TP’d some kid’s house. And…I know there was something else…oh, right: I LIKE TO MURDER PEOPLE.) He demands that Marika leave the country with him tonight. She looks scared. (Trust that gut, Marika!) He apologizes. She explains that she has to take care of sister Rosa. After assuring her that Rosa can join them shortly in Belize, he goes in for the kill — metaphorically — cooing, ”Do you love me?” Soon enough, she’s saying, ”I’ll get my things.” (Ignore that gut!) Next, Dubaku dials some dude in a suit — a government insider — who’s apparently sneaking him out of the country. ”Can’t imagine General Juma will be pleased to learn that you’re abandoning your mission,” notes the Suit. Dubaku insists he did all he could: ”If that is not enough for Juma, then to hell with him.” Looks like Public Enemy No. 1 is looking out for No. 1…
…while Jack and Renee look out for him, combing for clues in the grocery basement. Renee’s sleuthing is sidetracked by a call from Larry, who’s upset about a police report filed by Vossler’s wife. Renee defends the hostage gambit. ”Yeah, right — ‘Whatever’s necessary.’ Jack Bauer’s rationalization for every unethical action he takes,” scoffs Larry. First Renee backs Jack, but after looking in the mirror and trying to wipe off the blood/guilt, she concedes: ”I can see that woman’s face…she looked at me like I was the monster.” (The writers must remain vigilant about portraying Renee — caught between by-the-books Larry and by-all-means-necessary Jack — as conflicted, not flipfloppy.) Jack interrupts, reporting that he’s discovered banking records on the dead guys’ PDAs that lead to an address. Dubaku’s hideout, perhaps?
NEXT: Marika learns who her man really is
Over at the FBI, Janis is already whining about handling Larry’s ”administrative crap” when he orders her to set up a secure VPN socket (more humiliation!) for Chloe, whom he claims is a Homeland Security consultant doublechecking the firewall. Hey, doesn’t Chloe — dropped off by Morris! — look all cute and vulnerable with her satchel, like it’s the first day of school? Standout Moment: Larry tells Chloe that her glass-walled office is the only space with full server access and the network doesn’t support remote modules. ”That’s inefficient,” scoffs Chloe. ”Whoever set your network up that way didn’t know what they were doing.” Boss Moss: ”I set our network up that way.” Chloe: (awkward pause) ”Oh…okay.” Take that, The Office! When Larry starts talking smack about Jack, Chloe defends her friend, adding: ”Maybe you should worry less about him and more about the mole in your office working for Dubaku.” Chloe 2, Boss Moss 0.
While Erika raises Janis’ suspicions about Chloe, Dubaku receives his passports from the Suit in a hotel lobby. He asks for a driver to take Marika to the airfield, but the Suit claims he can’t find one he trusts on short notice. What about those dudes? asks Dubaku, pointing out the undercover men in the room. D-Man warns the Suit that if he’s harmed, the names and bank transactions of all conspirators will be sent to the Justice Department. He also tries to distance Marika from this drama. (Maybe he really likes this girl. Which only means she’ll wind up being his Achilles heel, right?) After Dubaku exits, the Suit calls someone to say that they need to get Dubaku safely out of the country or they’re all busted.
In other busted news, Rosa rolls in to Marika’s bedroom and catches her packing for a getaway. The two engage in a soap opera spat about Samuel/Dubaku. ”Every chance I’ve ever had at happiness, you’ve found some way of ruining it,” sniffs Marika. ”But not this time.” As Marika heads toward the door, Jack and Renee bust in, guns drawn: Where’s Dubaku??? Marika and Rosa are confused. Jack shows Marika a cell photo of Dubaku. Marika plays dumb, but goody-goody Rosa IDs him as Samuel and reveals Marika’s romantic-escape plan. When Jack growls, ”Do you have any idea what this man is?”, Marika whimpers, ”He’s everything to me.” A lightbulb switches on inside the Bauer brain.
At the hospital, the President meets her husband’s surgeon, who says FG’ll be in the OR for at least five episodes. ”Can you offer any kind of prognosis?” asks the Prez. ”I’m a blunt woman, Dr. Schulman. I appreciate bluntness.” ”His chances aren’t good, ma’am,” he responds. (Okay, let’s pretend I loathe bluntness, Doc. How are his chances now?) FG and the Prez share a quick moment; then she asks if Bill can send someone trustworthy to find her estranged daughter. Bill knows just the person. Camera-shy wife Karen?
NEXT: The First Daughter appears
Back at Marika’s, Renee uses her cell to display Dubaku’s greatest horrors, which earned him the scary nickname The Butcher of Sangala. As they’re pressuring Marika to help them trap Dubaku, he calls. Dubaku detects something wrong in Marika’s voice, but she pretends she had a spat with Rosa. He buys it and tells her to wait downstairs for a driver. Sidebar: Renee wants to nab this guy, but Jack opts to track Marika via cell to Dubaku. ”You want to send that girl to Dubaku?” asks Renee incredulously. ”We don’t have another choice,” snaps Jack. (That’s the kissing-cousin of ”We’re running out of time!”) Jack walks back and thoughtfully puts his hand on Marika’s and asks nicely for her assistance. Gentle Jack wins: She’s in!
Jack calls Larry to set up the cell tracker; Larry connects him with Chloe, who again rips on Larry’s network. Meanwhile, Janis tries to snoop on Chloe’s activities by entering an override code. Override: Denied. Curiosity: Raised. And in another hotel lobby, First Daughter Olivia is schmoozing a pharmaceutical client — played by…24 exec producer David Fury — when suddenly they’re interrupted by…24 familiar face Aaron Pierce! (Best. Secret Service Agent. Ever.) Flashing credentials, Aaron says he’s been dispatched by the Prez. Olivia — or rather, FD — notes that his credentials indicate that he’s retired, and ”perhaps no one informed you I refused Secret Service protection months ago.” (Her tone immediately hints at some promising First Family friction.) Aaron won’t tell her why she must come with him, so FD plays hard to get: ”I’m not going anywhere with you until you tell me what this is about.” Finally, he reveals FG’s grave situation. FD’s rear, now in gear.
Over at the FBI, Janis tells Sean that she needs the server’s digital beta key. It’s, um, for Larry. He calls her bluff, and she confesses she’s spying on Chloe, whom she believes is here to replace her. Sean says they could lose their jobs; Janis suggests that she could stop covering up his affair. He twists his old-school combination lock and hands over the gizmo. ”You’re a little bitch, you know that?” he says. ”You’re a little bitch,” she quips, walking away. Take that, Entourage!
Back at the apartment, before Plan Marika begins, Rosa tells Renee: ”You keep her safe, you hear me?” (File under: Famous last words?) Then Renee clashes again with Jack: She wanted to give Marika an emergency distress signal, but Jack overruled her; he’s worried about raising the driver’s suspicions while they tail them. ”Listen, life gets ugly, innocent people get hurt,” he snaps. ”We have one job here: That’s to get Dubaku. Outside of that, don’t get involved.” Gentle Jack has left the building. (BTW, I side with him in the first argument, with her in the second.)
NEXT: Chloe’s got Janis looking over her shoulder
In another building, Janis is using the gadget when an employee startles her. Janis panics and pulls out the key, temporarily crashing Chloe’s tracking grid. A diagnostic alerts Chloe: Illegal breech. ”Whoever it was knows exactly what we were doing,” Chloe warns Larry, who relays this to Jack, who’s got another problem: Metro PD is building a roadblock around his car. No escape. As the cops arrest Jack and Renee, Chloe notices that a warrant for the vehicle’s occupants has been issued by this FBI office. (The warrants are coming from within the office!) Larry orders all warrants revoked, but will this delay doom poor Marika? And who the heck is this FBI mole?
While we speculate, Janis returns the key to Sean with news that Chloe is helping Larry and Jack track a car to Dubaku. Sean wonders again why they’re being kept out of the loop, then after Janis walks away he makes a call. Who picks up? The Suit! SEAN=THE MOLE! (He’s cheating on his wife and Uncle Sam? That double bastard! Guess that Mr. Curious Act should’ve tipped me off, though my money was on Erika.) Sean says he pinned down Jack and Renee, and now has tapped Larry’s phone. And he thinks they’re tracking Marika via cell. ”You told me that once Dubaku served his purpose, you’d take him out,” continues Sean. ”Why are we still helping him?” The Suit mentions Dubaku’s insurance policy. Gulp, goes Sean. The Suit then calls Dubaku: Marika’s been turned by the FBI. Dubaku doesn’t believe it. The Suit maintains that the FBI is tracking her through her cell, and urges him to hit the airfield ASAP. The two then wrestle over who will dispose of Marika. ”I said, I’ll take care of her,” declares Dubaku. A few weeks ago, he closed out an episode with one creepy word: Begin. This time, he goes with the classic steely stare.
A fine follow-up to last week’s barnburner, no? Is Marika about to meet her maker? Did you peg Sean as the mole? Happy to see Chloe at the FBI? Start typing below.