In the wake of Tony’s cryptic, disturbing, and altogether shocking suffocation of Boss Moss, fans spent the week gasping and speculating in all sorts of outlandish directions: Maybe he’s a triple agent! Maybe he just made Boss Moss pass out to appear like he was switching sides! Maybe he discovered that Boss Moss was actually the bad guy! Maybe Jack is hallucinating these events from a remote location! But if Monday’s installment of 24 proved anything, it was this: Tony is a bonafide baddie, and it’s a blast — literally. In a cold and heartless move, he ordered a massive C4 trap set for the FBI and matched wits with a debilitated Jack (surely their mini-face-off was just the tease of a titanic tussle to come). Will Tony prove even more sinister than the vicious, delusional Jonas Hodges, who experienced his own heart-stopping moment (also literally)? The season’s final five hours will reveal all. In the meantime, let’s blow up episode 19.
View to a pill The hour began with an enticing, enigmatic scene: A woman named Tricia — Jonas’ ”favorite attorney” — opened her front door and received a face full of sleepytime aerosol. Just before she passed out — and had her ID, ring, glasses, and fingerprints swiped — she eyed her doppelganger, who it turns out, wanted access to Jonas in the White House lockup. (He wouldn’t be there for long; President Taylor ordered Jonas moved to the FBI for interrogation, and she wasn’t ruling out a deal to make him chatty.) ”I’m not gonna ask how you got in,” Jonas told Fake Tricia when she arrived at his cell, ”but I’m definitely interested in how you’re going to get me out.” Alas, that plan involved a kill pill, because her superiors were unhappy (”That bioweapon that you developed for us was not intended for personal use. The consensus is that you’ve had some sort of…psychotic break”). But she said that by sacrificing himself, his family wouldn’t be killed. And the heart-attack-inducing tablet would give him ”a natural, dignified death.” (An unnatural, undignified death: Beaten with a brandy decanter and tossed over a railing.) And his demise would make it nearly impossible to prosecute a case against him or Starkwood. (Do we buy that re: Starkwood?) and he’d be ”preserving at least some small part of Starkwood’s legacy of patriotic service…” Sold!
Fake Tricia reported back to a dude who brought up Almeida’s name. ”He’s your guy,” the dude told her. ”He better not screw this up.” ”Tony’s been one bright spot in an otherwise dreary day,” she assured. ”I have faith he’ll come through.” (And that was this week’s scrap of info about Tony’s bosses.) Later, after gleaning satisfactory info about the professionalism of his Starkwood forces from one of his military escorts, Jonas came through and popped the Patriot Pill. The transporting soldiers quickly noticed him in distress, though, and rerouted the vehicle to the hospital. C’mon, get him medical attention STAT! We need our fix of wicked one-liners!
NEXT: Reeling Renee
Kim back another time? Last week we watched Jack play protective parent at his own expense: He wouldn’t allow Kim to donate stem cells for his experimental treatment. This week Kim didn’t return to save his life; instead, she told Renee she was headed back to L.A. When Renee protested, Kim said, ”I would think you’d know by now that no one can change my father’s mind when it’s made up.” She also noted: ”My father and I got to say a lot of things to each other. I wish I could’ve said more but I don’t want to cause him any more pain.” (Like father, like daughter.) In an airport-bound car, Kim dialed her significant other/husband? — no, not C. Thomas Howell, but the age-appropriate Stephen — with a grim update. After Kim semi-fibbed that nothing could be done for Jack, he asked if she’d mentioned his granddaughter. ”I couldn’t bring myself to tell him I wasn’t the only person he was leaving behind,” she sniffed. ”Telling him about Teri would have only made it worse.” (A granddaughter? Named after dead Teri? That would’ve melted him!) Stephen told Kim she could take a later flight if she changed her mind, but she said, ”I won’t.” Like father, like daughter? Or might a call from Renee about Jack’s seizure turn around her car next week?
The adventures of Turncoat Tony When Tony told co-conspirator Galvez that he’d wait for the FBI at the Boss Moss murder site, we knew he needed a damn good story. Apparently that included a bullet in his side. (See how it’s done, Sean? None of this ow-my-arm! child’s play.) Tony then instructed a reluctant Galvez to sit tight while he figured out how to sneak him out of the search zone. ”I promise you,” said Tony, ”that canister you stole for me is worth a lot of money to the people I’m working for.”
Arriving at the scene, Agent Park bought Tony’s ambush story, and called Renee with the news that bloody-mouthed Larry was dead and she was in charge. In shock, Renee insisted on running the Galvez search in person (This time it’s personal), though first she had to hand off a task to Janis: ”Someone’s going to need to notify Larry’s ex-wife…probably shouldn’t be me.” (Sorry, that time it was too personal.) Upon learning the FBI search strategy, Tony called Galvez with a command to rig a building with C4, draw in the FBI, and…KABLAMMO! ”You want me to blow up a couple of dozen FBI agents?” asked Galvez. ”You got a problem with that?” growled Tony. Okay, everyone clear on how Tony feels about the government?
(Quick sidebar to discuss Renee and Jack: After forcing his way onto her helicopter bound for the search zone, he unbuckled his seatbelt, slid closer to her, and confided that he had lost two partners early in his career, which explained his lone-wolf act for the last decade. ”It’s all right for you to be feeling what you feel,” he said. ”And if you can’t do this tonight that’s all right too. Just don’t try to pretend like you’re not feeling anything. That’s how you make a mistake.” Instead of giving in to the tears, Renee snapped: ”Please, Jack, don’t tell me what to feel — and don’t tell me how to feel it.” Dr. Macer said that Jack might experience a personality shift, but pay attention to Renee’s rapid hardening: Wasn’t she slapping Jack silly just nine hours ago, imploring him to feel the same kind of pain that she does?)
Once Jack and Renee landed in the search zone, the real fun began, as Tony’s Larry-saved-my-life story slowly turned into swiss cheese. Jack wondered aloud why Larry was nailed with armor-piercing shotgun rounds, Tony was hit with 9mm bullets, but there were also spent .45 casings in evidence. Tony nervously speculated that Galvez switched guns, which he found in the FBI vehicle he stole. ”That many weapons?” asked Jack skeptically. ”In the time frame that you described the ambush? It doesn’t add up.” While Jack deduced that Galvez had help, Tony squirmed: It all happened pretty fast. I mean, I didn’t think so — I guess it makes sense. You okay there, Tony? ”Yeah, I’m fine,” Tony told Jack unconvincingly, taking us to commercial break with one of his patented shifty looks.
NEXT: Jack’s on Tony’s heels
Jack’s presence seemed to perplex Tony on two levels: He needed to prevent Jack from discovering his plan, but he also wasn’t looking to hurt his CTU boy. (Right?) After seeing Jack inject himself with anti-seizure medication, Tony asked, ”Jack, what are you doing out here? Why don’t you go back to FBI medical and let them treat you?” Jack bluntly responded that there was no treatment/cure and tried to exit, but Tony grabbed him. ”I’m sorry,” Tony said gently. ”I didn’t know.” (I guess I really wanted to believe that Tony still had love for Jack, because I missed his subtle pickpocket trick.)
Nearby, Galvez, who had offed Agent Stoller, was using Stoller’s walkie (and some creative knife-turning) to lure about 30 agents into an abandoned apartment. Luckily, Jack noticed that Stoller’s transponder wasn’t near the building: Renee, it’s a trap! Get your men out now! Renee yelled ”Code blue!” and Galvez detonated the C4, creating fireballs galore and a horrific mess. Crispy from the blast, Agent Park radioed the perimeter-guarding personnel for assistance, but Jack wisely nixed that order: ”You leave a hole in that perimeter, we are going to lose the canister!” But there was another plan to breach the cordon: Galvez pretended to be an FBI agent injured in the blast, and Tony helped him to an ambulance. Inside the building, Jack found Renee alive, and she theorized that the FBI’s sweep patterns must have been leaked. With a lightbulb over his head, Jack called back Agent Mizelli, who’d debriefed him earlier and had found an inconsistency: Tony claimed that he got his intel on the White House attack from a Vincent Cardiff (whose name we hadn’t heard before tonight), and that Cardiff didn’t survive the interrogation. However, Mizelli said Cardiff was just detained at the border, with no signs of physical trauma. Tony’s pants: On fire.
Jack tracked down Tony by the ambulance — which was about to whisk away Galvez (and his bomb bag). He took Tony aside, and whipped out his gun. ”I told you earlier today, if you were lying to me, I’d kill you myself,” declared Jack. Tony played dumbfounded. Jack mentioned the Cardiff discrepancy. Tony claimed he’d struck a deal with Cardiff; in exchange for the intel, Cardiff could disappear, but Tony would tell the FBI that he was dead. Jack wasn’t buying it: How are you involved in this? How were you shot? Does Galvez even have a second man, or was it just you? Tony tried to settle Jack down: The intel was good. The toxin is affecting your judgment, dude. Just chill out. Let’s go grab a beer and exchange crazy Chloe stories…
By now, Jack’s blinking had given way to shaking. He dropped to his knees, then collapsed on the ground. Tony walked over calmly, took the gun from Jack’s trembling hand, reached into his own pocket and… pulled out Jack’s shot kit! ”Is this what you’re looking for?” he asked. (That was COLD.) ”I never wanted to hurt you, Jack. I told you to stay out of it. But you wouldn’t listen, would you?” As two medics walked by, Tony tucked the weapon into his pants. ”Can we get some help here?” he asked innocently. ”The man’s having a seizure.” Jack gasped for life and stared helplessly at Tony, who strolled off. And in the getaway ambulance, Galvez sprang to life, brutally stabbed one EMT, and ordered the other at gunpoint to keep driving, as the bioweapon moved out of the FBI’s reach…
No! I’m not ready for Beep-BEEP-Beep-BEEP! I still need answers about Tony! Who are these people that he’s working for? Isn’t he worried about what Jack knows? Do his actions earlier today jibe with his newly revealed intentions?
An even bigger question: What did you think about the explosive episode 19? Are you counting the minutes until another Jack-Tony showdown? Do you want more Jonas? Let’s hear your opinions — the wilder, the better.