Last night’s episode of 24 included the most mind-boggling change in a political leader’s mindset in the entire six-season run of the show. The decision, made by President Wayne Palmer, is the kind of thing that makes you hope there is something weird and diabolical going on, some sort of bizarre and unfathomable twist that will put the show on its heels. But, it certainly didn’t seem that way at the end of the hour. The episode last night didn’t exactly pull 24 out of the rut it’s been in, but I’d venture to say that it was a mild improvement over the last two episodes. What follows is a non-linear recap of last night’s 24 action.
The CTU drama last night revolved around Agent Doyle (little Ricky Schroeder) redeeming himself, probably for the purpose of getting the audience on his side for the remainder of the season. Doyle calls Nadia up to his office, secretively, and tells her that they still need to find where the leak at CTU is coming from. He tells Nadia that his best guess is that Milo’s workstation is where the leak originated and, given Nadia’s “relationship” with Milo, that she is the best candidate to distract him and check his computer.
Nadia reluctantly agrees, and what she finds on Milo’s computer was an honest mistake by Milo, something about forgetting to update the security protocols (or some similar CTU jargon). Rather than have Milo detained, Doyle buries the evidence, telling Nadia that, contrary to what she may think, the only thing he cares about is finding the nukes.
Refuting Nadia’s claim of racist behavior by Doyle, he recites a passage from the Koran, then tells her that he’s read the Koran, the Bible, the Upanishads, everything he can get his hands on. Nadia is a little impressed.
Jack works with Bill Buchanan over the phone to get the immunity agreement for Gredenko finished, so he’ll make the call to Fayed. Eventually (deep into the episode) Gredenko’s attorney verifies the agreement and Gredenko calls Fayed. Fayed tells Gredenko to meet him at the Santa Monica pier in ten minutes. Bauer assembles his team and they escort Gredenko to the pier. Before letting him go meet Fayed, they bug him and inject his arm with an isotope that allows CTU to track him remotely.
Gredenko is led (via text message) to a shack on the pier where Fayed is waiting. He immediately tells Fayed that he has been bugged and sent by CTU. However, he tells Fayed, there is a way to escape.
Once Fayed disappears from sight, Jack decides to move in. He uses the isotope reading and it leads him to that same shack where Fayed and Gredenko met. Jack is told that the isotope says that Jack is in the right place, but no one is there. Then, Jack sees a bloody ax and Gredenko’s severed arm in the corner of the room.
Gredenko, armless, leads Fayed into a local dive bar, saying that this is the best way out. Once inside the half-full bar, Gredenko tells the locals that this man, Fayed, is the man from the TV, the terrorist who is responsible for the nuclear bomb. The locals start beating the crap out of Fayed, intent on killing him, when Jack arrives and breaks everything up. He now has Fayed in custody, but Gredenko is nowhere to be found.
But Gredenko doesn’t make it far, collapsing under the docks on the beach, likely bleeding to death.
Weird happenings at the Presidential Bunker. Although Palmer has regained consciousness, VP Daniels wants to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows a takeover of the Presidency if the current President is physically unfit to perform his duties. The Attorney General sets up a a vote with all members of the cabinet. Both Daniels and Palmer make an impassioned speech to the cabinet, then they vote. The tally is 7-7, and this favors Palmer because the VP needs a majority to take over.
However, Daniels claims that one of the votes was ineligible (Karen Hayes) because she had earlier in the day tendered her resignation. This is quasi-true, but the Attorney General deems this a matter for the Supreme Court to decide. The wheels are set in motion for a Supreme Court appeal within the next couple of hours.
Wayne Palmer is still struggling with his health, and it may be straining his mental faculties. With the help of his sister, Wayne puts together his case for the Supreme Court on why Karen Hayes’ vote should be legitimate.
Daniels puts together his case, but realizes it is flimsy. However, his blonde assistant tells him that she will perjure herself and say that Daniels gave her the order to accept Hayes resignation, and that she simply did not get around to it. Daniels lets her do it.
A little later, Thomas Lennox approaches Daniels in his office. After the nonsense that occurred before the assassination attempt, Lennox decided to bug the VP’s room. He has the whole perjury conversation between Daniels and his assistant on tape, and tells him that if he doesn’t want the tape released, he will have to call the Supreme Court and drop his appeal. And he does just that.
But, then in a huge twist at the end of the episode, Palmer goes ahead with the nuclear strike on the Middle East. Not only does he order it, the missile is actually launched, much to the chagrin of Lennox and Hayes.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer