Can you believe it? We’re already four episodes into season 7 of 24! It feels like just yesterday that we began. Oh…right. Sorry, my brain is on overdrive — there’s a lot of intel to sift through. But remember the deal we made to ourselves way back in 2001: We are now hardcore, superass federal agents, and sleep is for the weak. So let’s get cracking on tonight’s recap; once again, our show-by-blow may or may not occur in real-time.
Open at the White House, where President Taylor listens to a playback of a threat by the Colonel (Dubaku, not Sanders): The near-collision at JFK was just the beginning. The CIP device will be used to kill tens of thousands of Americans if the U.S. doesn’t order its standby strike force to retreat. Taylor asks if the government’s top nerds can fix the firewall and render the device useless. Staffer disappoints by saying it’ll take six days to reengineer the code. I say the Prez takes this issue to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Imagine: ”So, Allison T., you want to rebuild a massive firewall on the double? We’ll see what we can do! While you’re waiting, can I interest you in some fluorescent earbuds for your Nano?”
Back on the docks, Larry — fresh from his stalker copter ride — demands answers from Renee. She unveils the mole theory, and Jack persuades Larry to tighten the circle around Tony. As Larry leaves, he tells Renee not to do anything without his approval. Jack asks Renee if she trusts Larry. ”No question,” she responds. ”There’s no one I trust more.” That settles it: I don’t trust Larry.
Over in a FBI interrogation room, is it…sexy time? ”I’m going to have to lift up your shirt,” quivers Janis, placing sticky pads and wires on Tony’s chest. Alas, that’s far as this star-crossed romance can go; Janis is dispatched to help find the mole, which will make her even more nervous and gulpy.
Outside this room, Jack learns about Tony’s ties to the Juma regime; he tells Larry that he can get the device back if they’ll just let him chat up Tony. When Larry balks, Jack says, ”You’re running out of time — you don’t have a better option.” (Anyone out there have a hard number on how many times Jack has used the ”running out of time” line? Better yet: What percentage of those begin with ”Dammit, Chloe”?) Reluctantly — which seems to be how Larry does things — Larry lets Bauer match wits with his old pal. ”I watched you die in my arms,” Jack snarls. ”You want to explain to me how you’re still alive?” Tony does not. But he will say that the U.S. government sucks and it better cooperate with the Colonel. Then he reminds Jack of the damage that Uncle Sam has caused in his own life. ”You need to start living in the real world! Because every second you help the government, you’re spitting on Teri’s grave!”
Whoa, boy. That was the Marty McFly ”What? Nobody calls me chicken!” call to action. Jack grabs Tony, chokes him against the wall and hisses, ”Tell me where the device is! Or so help me God, I will kill you and you will stay dead this time!” (Love it when Jack goes for angry funny.) With their faces so close together, Tony whispers a sweet nothing: Deep Sky. (And above my head: giant question mark.) Larry rushes in to separate the two, and Jack is given a timeout in another room. And then those 24 scribes throw us a nasty curveball: Turns out, ”Deep Sky” is an old CTU emergency code, which prompts Jack to dial a number. Muffled voice answers…holy muck, it’s former CTU legend Bill Buchanan! And he’s wearing a nifty black outfit, like he’s off to a modern art exhibit or a jewel heist! And his assistant is…Chloe! And he tells Jack that Tony is working undercover! I feel off-kilter, (Whoa, wasn’t expecting that. Must pause episode to digest.)
NEXT PAGE: Bill and Chloe ‘splain themselves