On ''24,'' the bad guys acquire a lethal weapon: Marwan releases Jack in a hostage swap while the fake military pilot commandeers a stealth fighter, destination unknown

24, Kiefer Sutherland
Credit: Kiefer Sutherland: Anthony Mandler/FOX

”24”: The bad guys acquire a lethal weapon

Okay, I am so not thinking this bad guy disguised as a U.S. Air Force pilot is on his way to kill President Keeler. No one commandeers something as powerful as a stealth fighter — a freakin’ stealth! — to blow up an airplane. This dude’s gonna take out Los Angeles with that contraption, maybe even a state or two! But that doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind about an assassination attempt on Keeler. That, my friends, seems like a fait accompli, what with all this discussion about the president and his whereabouts — not to mention that very telling promo at the end about a twist that will change everything! Surely, they can’t be talking about the possible return of Kim!

Is 24 really going to show the assassination of a U.S. president when in real life our country is still at war in Iraq? I’d say yes to the killing, but no to the possibility that it’ll happen at the hands of Muslim terrorists. Come on — Fox can’t be that suicidal. It’s been bad enough for the network, fighting with the Council on American-Islamic Relations over the show’s stereotypes. Think of all the negative press that’ll come if Fox depicts a Muslim-backed attempt on the president’s life. Habib Marwan has bigger fish to fry with that stealth plane — like the Eastern Seaboard! My theory is that there is an entirely separate (read American) plot in the works to oust Keeler, and it’s being directed by someone we have yet to meet — maybe someone in Keeler’s own administration! Speaking of his administration, where the hell is Heller? The last we heard, Heller was on his way from CTU to hook up with the president. Heller, I believe, will find a way to get on Air Force One, but I can’t imagine he’ll be the guy to orchestrate the assassination. He was, after all, kidnapped by the terrorists. But he’ll be involved somehow in all this. The question, of course, is how.

Back to the episode. So far, no sign of Dina and whether she survived those two gunshots we saw at the end of last week’s episode. CTU thinks she’s dead, but I’m holding out hope that Shohreh Aghdashloo will survive this latest bloodshed and end up saving the day with Behrooz. Damn, Dina is so good — especially when all the other women on 24 are so bad. (Chloe excluded, of course.) Man, I’m so over Audrey. I had such high hopes for this character, but she’s been reduced to a hand-wringing nag who wants updates from Tony every two seconds. And what, now she likes and worries about Jack again? She’s no longer mad that he didn’t save her husband from getting shot? The only thing redeeming about Audrey’s current situation is that it provided an opportunity for Chloe to have one of her stream-of-consciousness neurotic moments when she drilled Audrey about her situation, ending with ”I was inappropriately blunt, wasn’t I? I do that a lot.” Give this character her own spin-off show, already!

One of you 24 freaks pontificated that Marwan wanted to trade Jack for Behrooz in this episode because Marwan is secretly related to the boy. This didn’t seem likely — until the division boss came into CTU and told everyone to do background checks on Behrooz. The question wasn’t answered, so that possibility of a secret bloodline remains. What else would Marwan want with a sniveling teenager? Yes, he needed the diversion of the Jack-Behrooz trade so CTU wouldn’t notice a police report about the deaths of an Air Force pilot’s family — but there’s obviously more to this story. And it better be good, because I can’t imagine a guy like Marwan letting somebody like Jack go free. Jack is clearly the one CTU agent who doesn’t have crap for brains. He’s managed to stay just one step behind the terrorists and did help to thwart the nuclear meltdown. Why not kill him instead?

So now poor Behrooz is with the terrorists, with no way for CTU to find him because the bad guys dug that tracker out of his neck (ouch!). My hope is that he reunites with Dina next week and they both turn on the bad guys. It’s also my hope that we get a better explanation for Edgar’s behavior and why he has that serious ‘tude around Chloe. I thought they got along before Chloe was banished by Driscoll. At least we know that Edgar will probably get his due next week because he failed to follow up with the information about the pilot’s family. Still love the lisp, though. Can’t get enough of the lisp.

One final note to keep in mind: The producers have more than hinted that Dennis Haysbert, a.k.a. President David Palmer, will come back soon. Obviously, this leads to further speculation that something’s going to happen to Keeler (because, after all, we can expect a twist that will change everything next week), but an emergency election to reinstate Palmer seems highly unlikely. Or does it?

And best of all, don’t forget that the producers have also actually been hinting we could see the triumphant return of Jack’s daughter, Kim! (Cue crickets.)

So what do you think? Do you believe Keeler is in for a big surprise? Do you think 24 will bring back Palmer — or Kim? What will become of Behrooz? And do you still think there’s another mole at CTU?

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Kiefer Sutherland


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