‘24’ recap: A set-up to remember
Show of hands: After watching last week’s wham-bam blowout, how many of you considered calling your cousin who’s in law enforcement and asking if you could borrow his taser so you could try tasering a phone? Yeah, me too. But we need to put that night behind us and focus on episode 13 of 24, which was charged with its own kind of electricity. We lost one big bad guy and one big good guy. Juma’s takeover was foiled, Jack was framed, Renee was suspended, and Agent Pierce was shirtless. What do you say we pull the trigger and get started?
Juma means business (and business means killing people) Last week’s final scene packed a jarring jolt of Juma: President Taylor instructed the General to let the hostages go, and he slapped her hard. This week reinforced his I-ain’t-screwing-around-here M.O.: When the President said she’d read his crimes-against-Sangala statement only if he lets the hostages go, Juma responded, ”As a sign of good faith, I will release one of the hostages.” He selected a lucky soul, led him in front of the Prez, and shot him in the head! ”Do you want me to release any more hostages, President Taylor?” he cracked. Her response? ”You sonuvabitch!” (Everyone drink! BTW, does anyone know how to set up a keyboard shortcut so I don’t have to keep typing, ”Everyone drink!”?) When Juma threatened to insert more bullets into more heads if she didn’t read the statement, she took his notes. ”The world is waiting,” he teased. Um, unlikeliest Phil Keoghan impersonation ever?
Bill is the bomb! Literally. Of course Jack had a plan when he surrendered. Before he opened the lockdown room doors, he opened the valves to some CH4 canisters, which were filling the room with gas; a spark would trigger an explosion that could take out most of Juma’s men. (There’s CH4 in the lockdown but not a weapons cache? How awesome would it have been if Jack and the Prez came out guns blazing, like Rambo and Rambette?) Anyway, Jack planned to run toward the room and draw their fire while Bill whisked the Prez away to safety. Bill called it a suicide play; Jack played the ”we don’t have a choice” card.
Last week, Bill totally let Jack down, refusing to forcefully interrogate Burnett. How better to redeem himself than by sacrificing himself in a fatal fireball? Bill told Jack that he overheard Juma coordinating the attack with someone on the outside, and that he was worried the Prez would still be in danger even if Juma is stopped. ”You’re the only one I know who can do this, Jack,” said Bill. ”Find out who Juma’s working with.” He broke for the lockdown, evading Jack’s desperate grab to stop him! He grabbed a gun from a soldier and fired! KABOOM! Bill is a hero/goner!
His death — so early in the episode — caught me by surprise, which is what 24 should be doing. That said, Bill was dispatched rather quickly; I would’ve preferred a bit more emotional build-up for a fan favorite. But the Kief delivered the grief convincingly, slumping to the floor as Bill lay there, bloody and burnt. R.I.P., Bill. Tomorrow I shall make all my clocks silent and wear a black mock turtleneck in your honor.
NEXT: Killer with a heart of gold?