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ThoughtsOnline

Monday, March 27, 2006


It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday, Jack shuffles in, there's Audrey sitting in holding, awaiting her interrogation. She says, "Jack, do you believe me"...

And, with apologies all around for butchering the lyrics, it's time for another hour's worth of 24isms...

* Let's start with the biggest, not just of this particular hour, not just of this particular 'day', but of the entire 5 year series of the show, the idea that Beirko was going to mix the nerve gas into the natural gas that is piped into people's homes and businesses. In my last hour's worth of 24isms, I wondered how the terrorists would be able to target 200,000 people in the LA area. For a moment, and only a moment, I thought it might involve a residential gas pipeline of some kind or another. But, even I, knowing relatively little about gas pipelines, quickly dismissed the idea... for the simple reason that NOBODY BREATHES NATURAL GAS (nor, for that matter, do people breathe in propane, another gas that is used for heating). Natural gas is sent via closed pipe to houses and businesses where it is burned to generate the heat that in turn heats the air that is then circulated throughout the house. By code, the natural gas pipe must not have any leaks (leaks cause explosions!). The air that is circulated in the house must not be mixed with the natural gas that is being burned. Whatever natural gas is not burned in the furnace is vented to the outside air, and not inside the house (as venting it in the house would cause carbon monoxide poisoning!). So any nerve gas that was mixed in with the natural gas would pass along the pipeline, get burned up in the furnance, with what little remained after burning (7%, for those houses with a 93% efficient heating system) being released into the atmosphere. As I said, this is a biggie...

(LATE THOUGHT: while some natural gas is used for cooking, it is mostly used to heat homes. And remember, this day is taking place in LA during a time of year when people are going jacketless. So how many of the people in the distribution zone had their heaters going, especially at 9PM when the residual heat of the day had yet to wear itself off?)

* Chloe was still on the job, despite her having given Jack access to the secret 'wetlist' of intelligence sources/spies in other countries.

* Chloe taking less than 10 minutes (by my count) to dredge up the records from a hotel in Pikesville, Md. (a Baltimore suburb that is home to a whole bunch of my fraternity brothers). This would be amazing in of itself, but considering it was 2 in the morning on the East Coast, Chloe getting those records and somehow getting confirmation that Audrey and Cummings shared a room is simply mind-boggling.

* Beirko has the schematics to the gas distribution center but doesn't know where the control room is?

* Where did Wayne Palmer get the rifle (with night scope, as best as I can tell)? As far as I remember from previous episodes, Wayne Palmer's background was in business of some kind, not in the military... so we're supposed to believe he snuck up on one of these trained killers and took his weapon away? Even if we are supposed to believe this, there were four guys after him, there still seemed to be four guys when they went after Aaron.

* Aaron didn't call for help or backup when he discovered Wayne's car? He couldn't have easily discovered that Wayne's left front tire had been shot out, why wouldn't he have thought that Wayne had merely crashed his car? Nor did Aaron call for backup when he found Wayne. Why would he not have done so, why would his first thought be that there was a security problem at the White House compound?

* Sherry, the new girl... what a coincidence she was a meter reader in her previous life. But do meter readers really know the physics involved in mixing nerve gas with natural gas? Me hopes not.

* The terrorists sure improved the release system for the nerve gas, and in a very short time frame. First, they were jury-rigging the release with jumper cables. Then they had rigged a timer to the cannisters. Now we see they have rigged radio-controlled releases to the cannisters. It's a good thing that Bierko - who, remember, supposedly wanted the gas to be used against the Russians - had just the right materials to build these remote detonators.

* Beirko just knew, just like Sherry the meter reader, that the pressure had to be cut to 50% in order to not render the nerve gas inert. Why would he know this, unless he had always planned to release the nerve gas in this manner?

* Colette proved that Beirko and Robocop are working together. We know that Cummings and Robocop were working together. The last time we saw Cummings, he was swinging from his tie, upset that the nerve gas he wanted to use against the terrorists in Chechnya was going to be used instead against Americans. So why would Robocop be helping Beirko? Did Robocop go off the reservation?

* Funny, up to one minute before the end of this hour, Jack and CTU were chasing after Robocop in hopes that he would lead them to the nerve gas. The last we saw Jack, he was running after Beirko in hopes that Beirko would lead them to Robocop. Yet, once they had destroyed the nerve gas, why was it so important to get Robocop, especially to the point where Jack would endanger himself? Sure, he killed Tony, but why not let the local police handle the situation?

* Audrey recovered very fast from the effects of whatever chemical cocktail she was given. Got herself cleaned up pretty quick as well.

* The blast that blew Beirko into the car but left Jack untouched. Jack was on teh opposite side of the car from the blast (he was aiming at Beirko across the roof of the car and the blast blew Beirko into the car)... but, after the blast, wouldn't Beirko's side of the car been a rather dangerous place for Jack to go?

* Just wondering: the VP was behind the idea of declaring martial law. Where are people told to go during martial law? They're told to go and stay home.... just where they would be exposed to the nerve gas being piped into their houses (setting aside of course that the nerve gas couldn't hurt them being mixed in with the natural gas). So... was that the VP's plan, to restrict people to their homes, to maximize the body count, to discredit President Jellybean? Just wondering.

* By the way, it's not a 24ism, but when is this show going to have somebody stand up to the terrorists and refuse to help them do their dirty work? Haven't people in LA hurt the story of Flight 93?

Here's the link to the last hour's worth of 24isms....

And the next hours....