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''24'': Someone tries to shoot the president

After Jack survives his death-defying landing of the plane, the president plans to take his own life

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Gregory Itzin: Jaimie Trueblood


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

”24”: Someone tries to shoot the president

And you thought I was kidding last week when I advised you to keep your seat belts fastened in case a CTU agent might ”cause some turbulence in your life,” didn’t you? Well, the way Jack bullied the pilot to land that plane on a stretch of Los Angeles freeway — safely, with a lot of sparks, and doubtless having induced a lot of nightmares among 24-watchers in L.A., who have enough reasons to fear their clogged, dangerous highway system — certainly proved my point, didn’t it?

Let’s see: Oh, yes — Audrey’s dad didn’t die after all. Just took a refreshing dip in that lake while driving his car, it turned out, so I’m hoping to see William Devane’s gleaming choppers smiling again here soon. And we saw the return of Bierko, even if it was only for a few moments, still captured, and giving a meaningful glance at one of his government captors, who’s probably a mole.

Agent Curtis came back to rescue Jack from a presidential order to have him killed after he landed the plane; so glad to have Curtis around again, if only briefly. Once they made it back safely to CTU, Jack had a smoochy moment with Audrey, shortly before he planned to play that now-famous Incriminating Tape, the one that’ll get President Logan put up on charges of treason and murder, for the attorney general.

But the night’s most fascinating moments were reserved, once again, for Logan himself. Having failed to get Jack’s plane shot down, he’d decided — with just a little prodding from the still-mysterious Graham/Dr. Romano — that the best thing he could do would be to kill himself. He tiptoed over to his wife’s room to say bye-bye, giving Jean Smart the opportunity to deliver the primo line, uttered without any knowledge of her hubby’s suicidal plans and with immense world-weariness, ”If I wasn’t so horrified that I’m married to you, I might actually be impressed” (with the way he was handling himself). And who among us has not felt this way at one time or another about his or her spouse? It’s these touches of universality that give 24 its extra oomph.

In a fine, wrenching twist, the Homeland Security weasel Miles got his boss, Karen, to tell him what was going on with the Incriminating Tape, and he placed a call to the president in an effort to boost his own career — or as he put it, he felt ”compelled to intervene.”

Miles didn’t know the half of it. We had just watched the prez haul out a bottle of hootch, take a good snort, and whip out a big silver-plated pistol, ready to blast his overtaxed brains out. He’d assured Graham/Dr. Romano that he had no lingering doubt that he’d been ”acting in the best interests of the country.” Then — ring, ring! — Miles calling, introducing himself to the president and offering to take care of that nasty Incriminating Tape. Vastly relieved, Logan put his pistol back in its box. Miles strolled over to Chloe and aimed a red laser thingy at the tape sitting on her desk; I guess it’s a small version of one of those items that rowdies can use to burn out your retinas if they aim it at you for a while. (I know, I lead a terribly decadent life to possess knowledge of such things.)

Anyway, from the looks of the coming attractions, that tape is all hiss by now. Which raises the questions so many of you have been so sensibly asking for weeks: Did/why didn’t Jack make a copy of the tape?

All in all, a wonderful episode. So here are my questions: How do Bierko and Graham/Dr. Romano tie together? What will Henderson be doing next week? (We saw Peter Weller’s skull head loom up during the previews.) What fresh hell awaits Jack once he rises from Audrey’s bed? And why was Agent Aaron Pierce looking so beat up in the coming attractions — is he going to do something bold and dangerous for the love of his country and, more specifically, for the First Lady? Your theories, please.