PREVIOUSLY ON 24:
Chinese psychopath torturer Cheng Zhi gets his hands on a magical override that can control the world, then kills a bunch of lame hackers including Adrian whatever; Mark is mad jealous of Jack Bauer and betrays him to a Russian guy with the facial hair of a circus clown; Jack and Kate are interrupted by Russian shooters while trying to go get Cheng and the override.
It takes about seven minutes for Jack Bauer and Lady Jack Bauer to eliminate the Russian threat, and by the time they've somehow run out of ammo, backup appears. No biggie. Just another seven minutes in the world of the Bauer twins.
As Russian generics are dying, the Chinese are escaping with the god override, and Cheng Zhi is subtly revealing his motives for wanting to start a world war. ("CHINA TURNED ITS BACK ON ME.) When the Bauers finally catch up to where Cheng Zhi was hiding out, nobody's there except a bunch of corpses, and for a few minutes it seems like Jack and Kate are going to just stop everything and make out, because to the Bauers, there is nothing more romantic than a room full of dead hackers.
But no. There is work to be done, and so Kate finds a cell phone that they techno-trace back to Mark Boudreau, Audrey's sniveling new husband. Then Jack makes a face kind of like this:
If you ever witness Jack Bauer making that face, it will be the last thing you ever see.
So Jack goes off to torture Boudreau, and in the mean time, we find out that Cheng and the Russians really are working together, which is no surprise, since as you'll remember, both China and Russia hate Jack. (Probably because Jack slaughtered a metric fuckload of their men.)
While driving to U.S. headquarters, Jack calls Audrey to apologize for what he's about to do—pull a gun on her husband—and she promises that she'll <3 him forever. "Jack, stop—I could never hate you, and never have." This probably means she will die within the next hour.
But when Jack does finally reach Boudreau, there is a disappointing lack of torture. Instead, Mark immediately confesses to forging Heller's signature and betraying Jack to Russian Walrus Man. Heller is about to have Mark arrested for treason, BUT WAIT. Jack growls that he can still use the sniveling traitor, and so that is what must be done. They concoct a plan to invade the Russian dude's house and just play with his facial hair for a while, because it is truly ridiculous.
It's one of those traditional "Jack sends someone undercover while he bites his nails and waits to go invade" events, and as always, something goes wrong: this time Russian dude eats it from Mark before Jack can interrogate him for Cheng Zhi's location.
R.I.P. Russian vagina mustache. You will be missed.
Meanwhile, Chloe gets away from Cheng by evolving from Goth Chloe into Badass Chloe and whacking a bunch of Chinese dudes with a metal pipe. China, reacting to the fact that a U.S. sub just blew up one of their carriers, sends out missiles to take out U.S. surveillance satellites. President Heller's crazy war general wants the U.S. to threaten nucular warfare.
So, yes... shit is going DOWN. Really, like many of 24's penultimate episodes over the years, this hour is 90% setup. In addition to establishing some basic plot points—Cheng's ship leaves at 10:30pm, and you'd better believe that Jack Bauer will be on it—we get to see the rumblings of WORLD WAR III.
And then of course there is the Last Minute Twist, and you're not gonna believe this, but Audrey is in SERIOUS DANGER. What's Jack gonna do: save her or save the world???
This is all setting up for one phenomenal season finale, full of deaths and explosions and time skips and world wars and pardons and TWISTS.
Will Jack die? Let's ask Japan.
- Fox just scheduled a 24 panel for Comic Con on July 24—can't wait to see what they announce. I am totally ready for a new season. Preferably with 24 episodes this time. (The lack of filler is nice, but I need my weekly 24 fix.)
- Can anyone explain why China's president is alert and wearing a suit when it's 4-5am in Beijing right now?
- "My country has not forgotten. They will not give up until you pay for what you have done." Come on, Russia. It's been like four years. Get over it.
- Holy shit, that preview for next week. I won't spoil it, but... holy shit.
- I'll be watching next week's episode from the West Coast, so I'll have to somehow avoid spoilers for three hours while I wait for it to air. LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH.
- Time for some DEATH ODDS. Here's what I've got:
Mark Boudreau: 2:1 — This sniveling fuck has got to go. His story is OVER.
James Heller: 3:1 — I feel like death is trying to catch up to him with every step he takes, like in Final Destination.
Audrey Boudreau: 10:1 — It's been a long time coming. Sets us up for
Chloe O'Brien: 20:1 — Would be heartbreaking. And what does she have to live for now that her husband, kid, AND crazy hacker boyfriend are all gone?
Jack Bauer: 2000:1 — At the beginning of this season I was convinced that this would be his last, but now I don't think so. I think Jack's got a long way to go.
Kate Morgan: 10,000:1 — They've spent way too much time setting her up as a badass Lady Bauer to kill her now. They'll wait another few seasons first.
Mole Count: 0, unless Mark counts? Nah.
Jack Bauer Kill Count: 4 Russian guards who probably deserved it.
Jack Bauer "Dammit" Count: 0, though there were a few "son of a bitch"s.
Ridiculous Jack Bauer Quote of the Week: "He's a covert intelligence operator, you idiot."