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ThoughtsOnline

Monday, February 19, 2007


Here is the link for the current hour's worth of 24isms....


Here are 3PM's 24isms...

* I know Jack can do just about anything, but I didn't know his talents extended to dusting himself off from the bomb blast, figuring out what was going on, seeing the van take off (it's questionable as to whether he knew who was driving it) and got to where the van crashed in just about no time at all.

* And I know Jack never makes mistakes, but since when does Jack abandon going after Gredenko, the one lead they have for finding the nukes, to go after his dad? So his dad has Josh, since when does Jack abandon the mission because a family member is in some sort of trouble?

* CTU decides to not use their fancy equipment and trace Jack's dad's location from the cell phone they grabbed from the dad's flunky, instead making Jack come up with the convuluted plan that he did.

* And it's interesting that there is at least one bad guy who hasn't been briefed that, when captured, the first thing to do is demand immunity... on paper and signed by the President.

* The plot to kill the President is rather well developed. The presumed assassin is already on his way to the bunker? Just how long have the conspirators been figuring they'd need to kill Wayne Palmer?

* Reed needing the President's itinerary. Why? He's locked up in the bunker underneath the White House, do the conspirators think Palmer is going somewhere? And Palmer is trying to stay on top of this crisis, do the conspirators think Palmer has some meetings scheduled with a visiting 4H club?

* Reed hearing Lennox call for the Secret Service. Weren't Reed and Lennox in that room (whatever it is) because they didn't want anybody to hear them talking? I presume that is why Lennox would have called the Secret Service from that room; he figured that no one, especially not the guy who had just left, would be able to hear him talking. And if the room was soundproof, are we to presume that Reed got a signal from somebody that Lennox was calling the Secret Service.

* Lennox being in such a hurry to call the Secret Service. He knows he has time to get back to his office; the presumed assassin can't even get to where he needs to get without the clearance Lennox has yet to give him.

* The head of the Secret Service detail not being able to leave his post? Since when does the head of the detail have a post? Aren't they roaming everywhere, making sure everything is ok? Or, if they're not doing that, aren't they with the President?

* Reed not only not killing Lennox, but also having the tape to cover his mouth and whatever we presume he used to tie Lennox up. Is tape and wrist restraints part of every double-crossing White House staffer's little kit?

* Maybe it's in the genes, but just how does the dad make it out of the room, down the elevator or the stairs, across to the other building and up to the roof so quickly? And, of course, he knew exactly where to go to be able to see into his 'old' room.

* I know Jack is perfect and never makes mistakes, but how does his dad leave without Jack hearing him take off?

* The Treo that his dad left with the memo wasn't the cell phone he had been using. So does his dad carry extra cell phones, just in case he needs to leave a memo for the son he (apparently) just decided not to kill? And, unless leaving that message is something he planned to do all along and thus had the memo already typed out (I doubt it, as there are easier ways of getting that message to Jack than going through that whole 'on your knees Jack' routine), I'm trying to imagine him backing away from Jack, getting ready to run... all the while typing the memo into the Treo... which, by the way, pretty much takes two hands to use... which means he would have had to holster the gun, a risky thing to do if he thought there was a chance Jack could be flying after him.

* And Jack decides to call the number on the memo instead of going after his dad?

* And, while this may (I hope) get explained later, why isn't Logan in jail?

* Reason #1 why Josh isn't Jack's kid: if he was Jack's, then why wouldn't Marilyn have left Graem? She claimed she couldn't leave him because she was afraid he would take josh... but if Graem wasn't Josh's dad, then he wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.

* Reason #2 why Josh isn't Jack's kid: if he was Jack's, wouldn't we have expected Jack and/or Marilyn, at least once, to say something along the lines of "OUR SON"? Jack always refers to Josh as 'Josh' or 'your son'. She always says 'Josh' or 'my son'.


Here are 2PM's 24isms...

* The dad is left alone with Graem's body... and his wallet and stuff? Given that Graem was involved, what's the chance the CTU wouldn't have already examined everything?

* CTU gets the toxicology report and the report from the technician... but doesn't note that the amount of the drug is Graem's body doesn't match the amount the technician administered?

* Even worse than the Secret Service standing to the side and letting Assad get nice and cozy with the President, they now don't even bother being in the same room with the two of them.

* CTU, which monitors just about everything, doesn't pick up on the dad's phone calls. They, together with NSA, have the ability to pick single words out of the billions and billions of phone calls... yet they don't pick up on the dad mentioning the name that all of their resources are focused on catching.

* Given how serious everything is, the length of time it is taking the President and Assad to work out their speech. Are they planning on waiting for prime time later tonight? Wouldn't you think that they'd be in, how do I put it, a bit of a hurry to go on the air and make their appeal?

* In next to no time, the dad's helpers have found a house in just the right area and wired it to blow up. Do they have these houses all ready and pre-wired, just in case they need to take out a CTU tactical team? Or maybe they went and found an empty house, again in just the right area and wired it to blow.. presumably they drive around with explosives in their trunks, just in case they need to break into an empty house?

* That the house they found was not only in the right area, it was on a street that Jack's sister in law would be easily able to find... just a block or two past the house where Gridinko was hiding.

* A lot of effort to throw Jack off the trail. Wouldn't it have been easier - and more plausible - for the dad to call Gridenko and just tell him to get out of the house?

* That Milo, computer nerd extraordinaire, is so tactically adept. He reacts immediately to the explosion, doesn't run around like a chicken without a head, doesn't go looking for someone to help, doesn't call it in (although it is possible that as CTU was monitoring things, they know what is going on. He just knows the thing to do is grab Jack's sister in law and take off.

* And, while it's not an official 24ism, it doesn't (yet) make any sense that they would take out Jack's team? Why not just let them drive around East LA and not find anything? Let them discover an empty house.

Here are 1PM's batch of 24isms...

* I got close to nothing. That's right, there was really nothing this hour that fully qualifies as a 24ism (which, remember, are defined as either a plot hole or a 'that can not happen'). Sure, there were the usual batch of hard-to-believe plot lines and 'yeah, rights', such as Morris cracking in such a short period of time, Fayed having just the right device for Morris to use to reprogram the bomb (I presume the device the engineer was using went up in the mushroom cloud; just how many devices does Fayed have?), Morris being able to reprogram the bomb so quickly (without comparing episodes, seemingly faster than the specially trained nuclear engineer), McCarthy's lady friend deciding to go free-lancing, and being cold enough to shoot McCarthy in the head at close range, CTU letting Fayed slip through their perimeter (just how many terrorists have to escape before CTU decides to review and improve its procedures?), Fayed instinctively knowing that CTU was behind the fire alarm going off and having a helicopter standing by just in case he needed to avail himself of such a escape, Fayed having an inexhaustible supply of backup terrorists waiting in the wings just in case CTU takes out the current batch (we'll see these guys in the next hour), Buchanan deciding in the middle of looking for Fayed that what he needed to do more than anything else was tell Jack's sister-in-law her husband was dead, Jack being able to upload McCarthy's cell phone information to CTU (is there a secret program on cell phones that only CTU knows about?), Fayed being able, in the first hours of this year's episodes, to monitor CTU but fails to figure out they're tracing his phone calls to McCarthy, and CTU being able to trace backwards phone activity from the apartment Fayed was using... but these are just your run of the mill plot stretches, not full-blown 24isms.

* The best I can come up with now is the Secret Service allowing Assad to be within arm's reach of the President. I'm not privy to Secret Service procedures, but I have to imagine that they would frown on a terrorist being allowed that close to the President... and that they would stand with their guns holstered while that happened. As for the President ordering the Secret Service to let that happen, I believe the Secret Service technically doesn't report to the President and thus wouldn't be inclined to let him order them into letting him put himself at risk.

* Jack having so little time with which to disarm the nuke is close to being a 24ism. Just how far was Fayed planning on getting before that bomb went off? Start with the three minutes on the timer that were remaining once Jack started working on it, add a few more minutes for the assault, and we're supposed to believe that Fayed would have timed the bomb to go off in less than 10 minutes after Morris programmed it? Even with the mystery helicopter standing by, 10 minutes wouldn't have given him much time to clear the blast zone.

* And while it doesn't rate being designated a full 24ism, just how stupid do the producers think we are that we would believe that Lennox is so focused on rounding up all the Muslims in this country? While there are those who think the country ought to round up all Muslims, we're supposed to believe that Lennox thinks such a plan is going to help us find the remaining nuclear suitcases? It didn't help us find Fayed in the first place, why would Lennox be so sure it would help us find him in the next several hours? Does he really think that Fayed is going to report to the nearest detention center?

* And acknowledging that I have no advance knowledge of the upcoming plot line, it seems somewhat obvious that they're setting Wayne Palmer to be bumped off. Of course, to do so would require the cooperation of the Secret Service, but seeing as last year's storyline showed Secret Service agents willing to carry out a President's dirty work, maybe this isn't such a stretch.


Here are 12PM's batch of 24isms...

* Why does CTU seem to forget they have the ability to track cell phones? McCarthy is using a regular cellphone. NSA intercepted the call, and with it, the information identifying the cell phone. So why isn't CTU putting a track on it (other than if they did, they would have captured McCarthy by now)? Remember, you don't have to be on the phone for it to be tracked, it merely has to be on and communicating with the cell system. And CTU, hot on the trail of the ONE LEAD to Fayed and the nukes, doesn't bother trying to track McCarthy's phone?

* CTU getting a call about Morris's brother, reportedly from the hospital, and not bothering to check the caller ID?

* CTU (actually, Morris) not being able to break into the hospital phone lines? CTU can break into any phone call any time... except this one.

* Wonder why neither Morris nor anyone else at CTU, who are aware that McCarthy is trying to scrounge up his next engineer, doesn't mention that Morris has the skill set that McCarthy is looking for?

* Notice that CTU still hasn't figured out the car McCarthy is driving? It's a Maserati... which all but certainly makes it McCarthy's car and not some cheesy rental that could be harder to trace.

* CTU leaving Poppa Bauer with Jack's brother. Graem is being taken into custody and they leave him alone? No witnesses, nobody watching on closed circuit?

* Poppa Bauer having a syringe. Does Poppa Bauer carry a syringe with him all the time just in case he needs it, perhaps to poison his son? Did the CTU druggie leave it out? Wouldn't he have missed it, when he was putting his 'tools' back in their respective little compartments in the briefcase?

* And tonight's biggie: that Poppa and Graem were in this together and were somehow conning Jack. If Jack alone was to be killed, why bother having the father go along? Why not just have them take Jack off to be killed? What's the point of the facade, if Jack was to be dead? What was with the dad doing the whole "do it to my face" bit? Did they tell the two flunkies that the dad was only there to watch? If so, why would they have taken their eyes off of Jack? Actually, that's a good question no matter what the circumstances were: why take your eyes off of Jack? And, if the plan was for Jack to get away, then how did they get the two flunkies to play along (to their death)? I know Jack is good, but if these guys were good enough to get the drop on Jack not once but twice earlier, they were good enough to maintain their distance and not let Jack get close enough to take them out.

* The alliance between Lennox (?) and the Vice President. Why would a Presidential aide cozy up to the Vice President, who is someone with famously little power?

* And, since according to the definition, a 24ism is something that just wouldn't happen, I nominate the little speech little Palmer gave to the cabinet. Since when do Presidents feel the need to explain themselves to the staff?


Here are 11 AM's 24isms...

First, I've got to say I can't remember a previous year in which SO LITTLE ACTION TOOK PLACE. With a few notable exceptions (such as the nuke going off), much of the 6 hours so far have been little more than talking... with a whole lot of the talking taking place solely for the purpose of making a certain philosophical approach to fighting terrorism look bad.

Now, having gotten that off my chest, let's move on to this episode's 24isms...

* This week's 24ism biggie: supposedly, the multi-week terror attacks was all set up to free the nuclear engineer from the detention center so he could go and re-rig the nuclear devices... yet, when the engineer dies in the nuclear explosion, Fayed merely calls McCarthy to get himself another engineer. If engineers capable of re-rigging nuclear triggers are walking around the streets of LA, why would Fayed go through the trouble he did?

* Jack calling into CTU the license plate numbers of the cars in the parking lot so CTU could check to see if any of them were registered to McCarthy. Doesn't CTU have (yes, they have!) the ability to call up the motor vehicle databases and get a list of all cars registered to a given individual?

* It's not a 24ism that the FBI monitoring the DC-area detention center would miss a cell phone smuggled in by a detainee. But it is a 24ism (of sorts) that Walid (?) would turn out to be such a pickpocket.

* Nor is it a 24ism that CTU's crack teams keep getting themselves killed... they're incompetent and expendable.

* I'm torn about Karen Hayes resigning, whether this rises to a 24ism. It's hard to imagine her (or anyone in that circumstance) walking off the job... without taking an obligatory goodbye swipe at her nemesis. Think of it this way: she figures she's gone, either by resigning or by the release of the supposedly incriminating information... so why wouldn't she inform the President of the little blackmail going on. That way, even if he doesn't want her sticking around, she will certainly have taken a bit of flesh from her counterpoint. What makes this a potential 24ism is the idea that a true believer, such as she is, would walk out at such a time under such circumstances.

* And finally, what is this about Buchanan having something to do with detainees in Seattle getting off? Are we supposed to believe that in the space of just over a year, Buchanan went from LA to Seattle and back to LA?


Here are 10AM's 24isms...


Usually after about 4 hours or so of a given day, plot holes start to emerge, the inevitable result of writers who, forced to come up with another 20 hours of plot, start to get a bit careless about making sure that what happens in, for example, hour 6, jives with what happened in the previous hours of script.

But tonight, there weren't that many plot holes... probably because this has to be one of the MOST NOTHING HAPPENING FOLKS, JUST MOVE ALONG episodes in the entire 6 year life of the series.

This isn't to say that there weren't some...

* A nuclear bomb goes off in the LA area, the streets are full of people trying to get away... and the car Buchanan sends for Jack gets to him inside of 14 minutes.

* How would CTU know the terrorist/engineer who escaped from the airport was killed in the blast, especially in light of their reporting they didn't know whether Fayed was killed or not?

* In fact, how did CTU even know the engineer was there in the first place? CTU didn't know the engineer was going to be there; CTU was there because SkyHighKid remembered the address Kumar had given his dad to deliver the package. As far as CTU knows, they went in to check things out, they were shot at and returned fire and then, POOF, everything and everyone goes dead.

* Why would Fayed have the four remaining 'visitors' in the van? Given that the engineer hadn't rewired them, for whatever reason Fayed took off, why wouldn't he have left those four to be rewired. We can presume Fayed didn't leave because he knew of the impending CTU raid... for if he had, he would have taken the fifth bomb in order to trigger it in a more populated area. He would also have never left the engineer he spent so much effort getting out of the detention center. Nor would he have let the all-important rewiring device. And if Fayed was merely running out on a Starbucks run, why take the four other nukes with him?

* Given the 'surprise' of Mr. Big (Dr ER) turning out to be Jack's brother, isn't it odd that that never came up last year? It's not a bad plot twist, to have Jack's brother be the mastermind, but the relationship is not likely to have been unmentioned all of last year. Certainly, during one of the conversations between Jack's brother and Logan, one of them would have mentioned it.

* The non-barking 24ism: in (I believe) episode 2, there was a nuclear explosion, out in the middle of the desert and in the middle of the night, and yet it was followed by almost instantaneous incidents of people going after Muslims. Here, the bomb went off in an LA suburb in the middle of the morning, with TV coverage, and nobody's going after Arabs? Is it that we as a country have become so much more averse to going after (probably) innocent Muslims than we were when the 'first' nuke went off... or is it that the producers realized that if they portrayed Americans as we really are, a out of control mob bent on revenge, then Fayed and his driver would have been dragged out of the van, beaten to death by an angry mob which just coincidentally would have saved the country from four more nuclear detonations?

* The other detainees at the detention center having information about the '5 visitors'. Where would they have gotten this information, from the jihadist web site? Or is Fayed in the habit of just letting anyone in on his secret?

* CTU in LA is handling the monitoring of the Anacostia (which is in Washington DC) detention center? Aren't there CTU units all over the country? Wouldn't DC think that LA had a lot already on their plate?

* And it's not a 24ism that Jack went after his brother despite having what appeared to be very little to base that on. Repeat after me: Jack knows everything, Jack is always right. But isn't it a little odd that Jack wouldn't have gone after his brother last year?

Here's the link to earlier hours of this year's 24isms....