“Previously on 24”
Chief of Staff Mark Boudreau (the executive branch embodiment of Scar from The Lion King), Margot Al-Harazi (WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR MANS), Jack Bauer (Captain American and London and wherever else).
That’s it (mainly because Margot’s killing everyone).
Episode 6: 4-5 p.m.
When we last saw Margot, her terror terror-son proved to be nice with the drone strike gear, bombing the house that CIA London was raiding. Good news (for some): Benny Bratts is alive. But others are dead. Who: very unclear. During the recovery process, Bratts and the president begin talking, which spawns a conversation between the president and the prime minister, who understandably isn’t too pleased that his home turf is being bombed.
They coordinate efforts. And then the president says something. And then he says that same something again, hinting at his Alzheimer’s, which gets this miserable louse’s attention:
When the prime minister leaves, his aide tells him that they’ve got intel that the president has Alzheimer’s, which sends the PM into a distrusting tizzy. Following that, the president calls for Bauer. Jack reminds him of the arms dealer who could lead them to Margot, and then the president finally does something smart by giving Jack everything that he needs. And by everything, I mean every single thing. Including Kate.
Bauer wants Lil’ Bauer. This is perfect.
Returning to the Little Terror Shop of Horrors, we see Margot slapping her son. So in case you’re keeping score, Margot has gotten her daughter’s finger cut off, slapped her son, and shot her daughter’s husband in the head. A sibling uprising almost seems imminent at this point. They’re either going to kill her, snitch on her, or sneak out at night and hide at the mall in the next town over. Can’t tell.
AND THEN DEAD NAVEED’S PHONE RINGS.
There’s a voice mail. It’s Dead Naveed’s sister. She says she’s worried about him and speaks of getting out of London. Margot freaks out and tells Simone to go find her, figure out what she knows, and ultimately deal with it. And when Margot speaks like that, you know what she’s talking about.
This conversation noticeably shakes up Simone, transforming her face yet again into the Good Guy Chucky doll, five seconds before becoming fully evil.
It’s really difficult to unsee.
But this plotline is instantly forgettable. Because Scar Boudreau just walked into Jack’s room, presumably with plans to distract and intimidate. If the power imbalance in that scenario instantly reminds you of this, we’re on the same correct page.
A few sentences in and Mark’s off to a phenomenal start.
Boudreau: “I’m Mark Boudreau.”
Bauer: “I know who you are.”
Just a comedy of errors. I could watch this sitcom all day.
Jack mentions that he didn’t expect the chief of staff to have such a mundane delivery, which further makes it clear that (1) Jack knows what’s up, (2) Boudreau’s as slick as sandpaper, and (3) Jack is going to steal his girl by day’s end.
AND THEN IT GETS BETTER.
Boudreau: “I understand my wife came to visit you. I’m just curious, what happened?”
At this point, I’m standing on my chair. Had to pause the show because I can’t even deal with the direction Bauer may take this response. Will Jack be humble? Will Jack brush it off as nothing? Or will he recite the first verse of “Hit ’Em Up“?
Bauer: MAYBE. YOU. SHOULD. ASK. HER.
This joy I’m experiencing must be what it feels like when your team wins the Super Bowl. Because I’m uncontrollably giddy right now. Bauer’s the ’72 Dolphins, Boudreau’s the Washington Generals. And yes, the sport in question is football.
But Boudreau has too much pride. Look at this stupid face, coupled with this stupid response:
Boudreau: “But I’m asking you.”
Jack, just tell him to look up last week’s recap and scroll down to the section where your face was tangled with Audrey’s like one of those metal ring puzzles. You don’t have time for this. You have a world to save, remember?
Bauer: We talked.
Boudreau, running out of angles, tells Bauer that Audrey was in bad shape when they met and that it was largely Jack’s fault. And then he tells Jack to stay away from her. Jack, ever-so-close to losing all patience with this Urkel, reminds Mr. Get Your Girl Stolen that he’s probably going to die today and if he doesn’t, he’s going to prison. So he should fall back. And then, in a strange turn of events that could pay off down the road, he lies to Boudreau. Lies straight through his heroic teeth.
Bauer: “She said you were good. A good man. And that she’s happy.”
It’s like an adult letting a child win at a game of trivia because you’re worried they’re not ready to experience losing. Or like putting your kid’s finger painting on the fridge and labeling it a masterpiece, fully aware that little Thurgood’s horse art looks just like a congealed pile of tapioca pudding. And the best part about this: Boudreau’s buying it.
OR IS HE?
This face either says, “Wow, I really shouldn’t have signed that thing to send him to the Russians, Jack’s kind of a nice dude” or “Jack probably slept with Audrey like an hour ago and they sent me Snapchats, each one with the caption ‘ur not nViTeD, mark.'” Again, I can’t tell which. It’s too hard to interpret.
Once this exercise in machismo ends, we get some dialogue about Bauer between the president and the prime minister. In this scene, one thing becomes clear. To me. The prime minister’s aide is a mole.
There is no evidence directly pointing to her, but I know it to be true. This is Episode 6 and we haven’t had a mole yet. So she’s 100 percent without a doubt a mole. Maybe even the mole. Also, she’s convincing the prime minister to be exceptionally worried about the president’s condition. Which makes him more worried about Bauer. And now he wants to secretly track the Bauer mission.
This is exactly what a mole would do. Because she’s a mole.
But we’ll have to deal with this later, because Bauer and Lil’ Bauer are finally together, as a crime fighting super-duo. He beings asking her questions, including ones about her past, and she goes with, “Is that relevant?” which is a funny joke to say to Jack Bauer. Right, Jack?
“Hahahahahahahahaha” — Jack Bauer
Once they get on the same page, Jack drops a tidbit of extremely important information. This arms dealer — Jack’s been working for him for the past two years. But something happened, apparently, and Jack now says that as soon as the arms dealer sees him, he’s probably going to try to kill Bauer. So this mission should be fun and easy and not complicated or violent.
After this, we stumble back over to Boudreau, who apparently is just going into people’s rooms, one by one, annoying them. This room’s victim: Audrey. He tells her that Jack said they talked, and then mentions that Jack said he’s probably not coming back. He’s just torturing Audrey at this point, because he knows this hurts her. And he knows Audrey loves Jack but is stuck with him. But then he gets a call. Oh, I wonder who that could be? I wonder if it’s the Russi—
IT’S THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY. STARRING THIS GUY:
Mustache wants Jack, but then Bourdeau tells him that the president has rescinded the order to hand Jack over. (Don’t forget, Bourdeau signed it as the president and is now rescinding it as the president because he hasn’t a single redeeming quality.) How long until Mustache asks to speak to the president, making this super awkward for Mark?
Mustache wants President Heller to explain himself. TO MOSCOW.
The Chief of Gaffe is shook. It’s almost as if nothing he does in life works out. After being pressured, he gives Mustache the hey brah, the president is busy, can you like call back never talk, but Mustache is sharp. He knows something’s up.
Mustache: “I’m curious, Mister Boudreau. Is there some reason you’re uncomfortable involving President Heller?”
And then the absolute snakiest thing happens. Boudreau pulls the aye brah, OK — look here, let’s talk this out. And then asks to meet in private. Now it’s just a question of which secret the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America is going to sell to the Russians. Area 51, the original Coca-Cola formula, or Bauer’s location. Again, it’s too early to tell.
Speaking of Bauer, we’re back with him and Lil’ Bauer and something’s about to go down. But first, Jack explains the plan to Kate, which hilariously involves using Kate as bait. Jack needs to hand her over to the bad guys so they don’t think Jack was a leak. I would say “poor Kate,” but she’s symbolically a Bauer now, so she’s got to learn to deal with this stuff.
Jack then proceeds to tell her that interrogations might happen, that he needs to drug her unconscious, that the mission is a long shot, and that there’s a pretty decent chance they’ll both end up dead. CLASSIC JACK. Continuing to be very much on-brand, Jack says he can’t force her to go through with this, because it’s a lot to ask. Kate’s response:
“Just make it count.”
AND THEN SHE DRUGS HERSELF. AND NOT WITH A PILL.
Hey Bauer, meet Lil’ Bauer. Scary to meet yourself, huh?
As previously noted, the prime minister and his crew have found a way to monitor Bauer. And now they have footage of Bauer picking up a seemingly unconscious CIA agent and putting her in the trunk. Upon seeing this, someone in the room says, “It looks to me like he’s betraying the Americans.” Guess who?
Be less obvious, Mole Lady.
And just like that, the prime minister is sending in a team to undoubtedly ruin this mission. Everyone is the worst.
Before they ruin it, however, Jack and unconscious-in-the-trunk Kate roll into the bad guys’ lair. Jack’s plan of using Bait Kate while coming off as loyal starts off well, until the arms dealer says they have something they can use to wake up Bait Kate. Which is bad, because that means they’ll interrogate her. Or kill her. Or something. This isn’t good.
Also not good, Mama Margot L’Turrrible wants Simone to not only kill Dead Naveed’s sister, but also Dead Naveed’s sister’s young daughter. Even though Simone agrees to carry it through, this seems to be the one thing she can’t carry out. Almost as if her soul finally outweighed her allegiance to family terror.
THIS IS ALSO VERY VERY NOT GOOD:
Kate’s being tortured like a Bauer. In addition to her arms twisted the wrong way, she gets electrocuted, slashed on her leg, and then they pull out a power drill. The instructions are for Bauer’s sniper guy on the roof to not shoot until the transaction between Bauer and the arms dealer takes place, but it’s taking a while. Because he’s testing Bauer. But right when Bauer passes the test, our sniper is conveniently knocked out by the prime minister–ordered soldiers. So, as predicted, they’re ruining this mission.
But then they kind of accidentally didn’t? MI5 busts in and starts a firefight, but in the melee Jack gets the data sent, allowing Chloe to have intel on Margot. Then Kate frees herself in an extremely Baueresque way.
Oh there’s just nothing like a good leg choke-out into a no-look, literal backstabbing to free yourself from almost certain death.
Both Jack and Kate end up alive, and the data Chloe extracts leads them to Simone’s phone. Where’s Simone? At dinner with Dead Naveed’s sister and niece.
Oh look, it’s either “happy, clap along blah blah room roof” Simone (barely exists) or “I’m going to kill you while smiling” Simone (default).
And there’s the blade.
She’s just the most confusing character on this show. With the subtle weapon under the table, she prepares for murder, but then has a last-minute change of heart and urges them — pleads with them — to leave the city. And she finally says why: her mother. Dead Naveed’s sister, panicking, reaches for the phone to call the police. And the next thing you know:
Simone stabs Dead Naveed’s sister. Unfortunately, Dead Naveed’s Dead Sister was killed right in front of Dead Naveed’s Dead Sister’s Not-Dead Daughter. So the traumatized little girl runs out of the house. And Simone chases after her. Luckily, the girl is like Gail Devers, whereas Simone is Regina George.
Tell ’em, Christopher.
Thank you, Christopher.
That would have been a fitting ending, a double-decker terrorist bus death, but there’s one more scene. With our guy Benny Bratts.
Why the weird look, Bratts? Why’d you just go through that sketchy door, Bratts? Why did you just switch out part of your phone, Bratts? WHO ARE YOU CALLING, BRATTS? WHY IS THERE AN EVIL VOICE ON THE OTHER LINE, BRATTS? WHAT DO YOU MEAN “WE HAVE A PROBLEM,” BRATTS?
I didn’t see this coming, but Benny Bratts is a mole of some sort. Maybe not a Margot Mole, but he still isn’t completely who he says he is. TRUST NO BRATT is officially in full effect, especially since it looks as if he framed Kate. And if you mess with Kate, you’re messing with Lil’ Bauer. And if you’re messing with Lil’ Bauer, you’re messing with Jack Bauer. And if you mess with Jack Bauer, you’re either going to get beaten down, taken to jail, or strategically shot.