'24' recap: Closing the net
We begin tonight’s recap of 24 with a belated Valentine’s Day tribute to a special person: Colonel Ike Dubaku, who always took time out from his terrorist ways to pretend his name was Samuel so he could track down the most precious thing known to man — love. Dubaku, even though your girlfriend betrayed you after she found out you were the Butcher of Sangala, you didn’t kill her. No, you opened your heart even wider. Of course, your hopeless romantic side has left you bloodied and on the edge of death, but we urge you: Never turn your back on love, even when love stabs you in it.
We begin at the FBI, where Erika confronts Sean about the warrant issued from his station. He hushes her (”You want us to get caught?”), explaining that the warrant derailed Jack and Rene — Wait, this isn’t about their affair! Erika=Mole 2! (I approve of this twist, and not just because it half-vindicates me. Last week’s reveal of Sean proved a reverse red-herring of sorts: We were led to him early on, then directed away, then wondered if they’d really go there when Mr. Curious felt suspicious again. In any case, turning it into a double-mole situation puts us back on our toes, where we belong.) Asked why he didn’t loop her in, Sean tells Erika, ”The last thing I need right now is one of your meltdowns. Now listen, I got you into this, and I’m going to get you out of it, but not if you start panicking. You’ve got to keep it together.”
Marika is having trouble doing that in an alley. Dubaku manhandles her, accuses of her of being a turncoat, and destroys her cell (R.I.P., trace). She tries to bolt, but he grabs her: ”I trusted you! How could you do this to me?” ”The FBI told me who you really are!” she sputters. He insists they’re lying and goes on a political rant before delivering this shocker: ”I’m a forgiving man, Marika. I still want you to come with me. I want to give you the life that I promised.” (He’s BS-ing, right? Is he really this lovesick?) ”I can’t go with you,” she cries. ”I don’t know who you are!” But he keeps on sweet-talking her and locks in the Dubaku love stare until she finally whispers, ”All right.” ”You won’t be disappointed,” he vows. (You also probably won’t be alive, which means you can’t feel disappointment, so technically I’m not lying.)
After Metro PD releases Jack and Renee — sorry for the hilarious misunderstanding — Larry informs them that Marika’s cell isn’t trackable anymore. Tail lost? Using those handy traffic cams, Chloe spots Dubaku and Marika entering a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Tail found! En route to the airfield, Dubaku tells an unhappy Burnett, a.k.a. The Suit, that Marika’s had a ”change of heart.” When Dubaku hangs up, he tells her, ”I look forward to no longer dealing with people like him…I want to spend time with people I really care about.” Marika smiles. But when she turns away, the smile vanishes. She’s still Team FBI.
Jack pulls a hard left through a park and Dubaku’s driver spots him. The screechy chase ends when Jack’s vehicle meets a Zippy Taxi. Tail lost? Marika panics, and claws the driver’s face; their Jeep Cherokee strangely flips over a Taurus. Renee and Jack run over. Jack shoots the driver and subdues a dazed-and-contused Dubaku while Renee tries to extract Marika from the burning car. After Renee ignores Jack’s orders to save herself, he tries to grab her, but she pulls her gun on him. ”I gave her my word!” shouts Renee. ”So back off or help me!” Staredown. Then Jack unpins Marika and they drag her lifeless body across the pavement (ow! Roadburn!) before the Cherokee explodes. A distraught Renee attempts to revive Marika. Lost cause. Who wants to tell Rosa? Ummm…not it!
NEXT: Jack and Renee have a couple fight
In the hospital waiting room, Ethan briefs the President about the Sangala invasion, but she’s preoccupied with Operation Self-Hate: Why didn’t she listen to FG about Roger? Bill reports that Dubaku’s been critically injured. They fret that their only conspiracy lead may die. But Jack’s determined to force the intel out of him. He commands the paramedics to revive Dubaku with a wakeuppy drug. ”I swear to you I will track [your son] down and I will make him suffer,” Jack threatens a disoriented Dubaku. ”All you gotta do to make me stop is give me the names.” Dubaku murmurs something about a list before going into cardiac arrest. The EMTs try to paddle him back, but there’s electronic interference coming from a metal object by his rib cage. Jack, gun in hand, orders a paramedic to open Dubaku, then digs in and pulls out a bloody storage device! (Cool! And gross! And hasn’t 24 cut a gizmo out of someone before? I remember that terrorists extracted a tracer from Behrooz, but didn’t it happen another time, too?) After that the EMTs whisked Dubaku away. With Sean eavesdropping, Jack notifies Larry that a helicopter will deliver the drive — Dubaku’s insurance policy — to him ASAP. (Hope you can trust that officer with this drive, Jack.) Sean runs into the ladies room and tells Erika that the FBI has Dubaku’s database. Freaked that their names are on it, Erika wants to flee, but Sean persuades her with some face stroking to use her tech skillz to crash all the servers when Chloe tries to download the file. They seal it with a kiss and an ”I love you.”
After a hospital security guard hands Renee a bag of Marika’s personal effects, Jack tells her that Chloe should have Dubaku’s intel shortly, which prompts her to pick a fight: ”That’s all that matters, right, Jack?” At the FBI, Chloe matches wits with the drive while Erika works on sabotaging Chloe and Sean informs Burnett of Dubaku’s accident (the plan: Burnett takes care of Dubaku; Sean takes care of the database). On cue, Chloe’s computer goes bonkers. ”Someone’s trying to crash the system,” she warns Larry. ”Where’s your mainframe room?” Sean watches their approach on surveillance cameras as Erika finishes up. ”Are we going to be okay?” she asks. A kiss. He says, ”We’re going to be fine.” BANG! He shoots her! (Well, that was kind of startling…and totally heartless.) Sean creepily studies her as she spits blood. He checks her pulse, shoots himself in the arm, then slides the gun over to her. Larry barges in and Sean starts spinning: Erika sent out a warrant on a vehicle, it was fishy, I hacked into her hard drive and found schematics for the server, I followed her here, she shot me, I went for the gun, it went off. Chloe, who tried to salvage the system, regrets to report: Everything is gone.
In the infirmary, Sean pressures Larry into telling him what’s going on. Larry dishes about the Dubaku conspiracy. ”You should’ve trusted me,” guilts Sean. Larry says, ”Sean, I didn’t know who to trust.” (And as evidenced by my telling you this, still don’t.) Chloe then rings Larry with a surprise: she’s recovered Dubaku’s database. CRAZY story, but she was running a mirror file on an outside server. (Ah, the random techno-explanation to suddenly solve a problem!) She’s almost decrypted the data, which contain everything: phone logs, financial records, Netflix queues. Larry relays this to Sean. ”That’s great,” he says, sweating. ”I should get to that statement.” Get to that statement=Get the eff outta here. Sean evades a gabby Janis, grabs his coat, and scrambles down the hallway. Too late. He’s cornered by security guards! Larry slams him against the wall: ”You better start talking to me. RIGHT NOW!” Sean clams up: ”I’d like to speak with my attorney.” (I’ll confess: Once he fooled Larry, I thought the writers would let slippery Sean get away with this at least for an episode. Got me again.)
NEXT: Jack takes a breather — just for a moment
At the hospital, Renee would not like to speak with Rosa, who just rolled up, wondering where her sister is. (The bad news: She’s dead. The good news: Here are her earrings that you always coveted?) ”What is this? This is supposed to make everything okay???” says Rosa. ”Marika was all I had! I trusted you with her life and you let her die???” Renee tries to comfort her, but Rosa lashes out: ”Don’t touch me! You killed my sister! You didn’t care how you did it or who got hurt!” (If the Marika-Rosa plot felt a little soapy, this scene at least showed the human consequences for Jack’s justice-at-all-costs M.O. And it’s not over yet…) Jack rescues Renee and tells her that Dubaku’s drive contained a list of all government conspirators. ”It’s over,” he says. Renee counters: ”It’s not over for Rosa.” The two clash again. ”What we did wasn’t wrong,” he declares, ”it was necessary.” As he walks away, Renee provokes: ”When your wife was killed, did you feel that or did you just tell yourself that that was necessary?” (Uh, Renee? I wouldn’t do that…) ”WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??” he yells. She shouts, ”I want to know that you feel the same kind of pain that I do!” and slaps him. ”Do you feel that?” Another slap. When she tries a third, he grabs her arm and she falls into him, crying. ”You’re gonna be all right,” he comforts, shaken himself. ”It’s going to take awhile, but you will learn to live with it.” Suddenly, she pushes away. ”But what if I don’t want to learn to live with it?” Jack says: ”Then quit,” he says, walking away, and then snarls: ”You ever pull your weapon on me again — you better intend to use it.” Her response? ”I did.” Wham! Jack walks out, a little stung. Folks, please watch your step as you exit the emotional rollercoaster. Hope you enjoyed those twists and turns.
After the President tells daughter Olivia about the FG conspiracy and essentially grounds her for her own safety, Bill brings the great news about Dubaku’s database. The Prez says she’s indebted Bill, and he spends that capital immediately, urging her to persuade Senator Mayer to end the Bauer persecution/prosecution. The Prez hedges, saying she’ll think about it. (Seriously? Didn’t you watch the six seasons of DVDs I sent you last week? Help a hero out!)
That hero is chilling on steps by the Capitol. Wait. Did he just smile? Suddenly, a dude sits behind him and removes his shades. It’s Tony. Buzzkill. Jack’s upset that Tony hasn’t turned himself in, but Tony says, ”I will, but this ain’t over yet.” According to someone on Emerson’s crew, Dubaku’s boss, General Juma, plans to rally his country by striking back at America. Jack tells Tony to bring this info to the FBI; Tony counters that the attack window opens in an hour, and the FBI is too wrapped in red tape to act quickly enough. While Tony doesn’t know the exact target in D.C., it’s ”of high value, and high impact.” He also fingers Burnett, Senator Mayer’s chief of staff, but not Mayer himself. ”You better not be lying to me, Tony,” warns Jack. Responds Tony with hammy gravitas: ”This is real, Jack.” He tells Jack to meet him at the corner of First and Constitution. Shades: Back on. As Tony exits, he puts his hand on Jack’s shoulder and says: ”I need your help.” Jack stares ahead. You know he’s in.
At Mayer’s office, the Senator informs Burnett that the President wants to meet with him about Jack. Given the Senate hearing drama this morning, ”I don’t like the timing of this,” Mayer says, telling Burnett to grab his laptop and join him. Burnett receives an ominous text: Units in Place. Operation on schedule.
Thus wraps another power hour. While I won’t miss Marika and Rosa, the FBI provided some Full Blown Intrigue, and we’re already being braced for a nasty new threat. So, how did you feel about episode 10? Were you surprised by the double-mole reveal? Did the Dubaku-Marika plot ultimately work for you? Deposit your intel below.