“Previously on 24”
Chloe O’Brian (Jack’s best friend), CHENG Zhi (Jack’s worst enemy), Chief of Staff Mark Boudreau (Jack’s unpaid intern), Audrey Boudreau (Jack’s boo for life).
Before we begin, never forget.
Jack’s finger. Jack’s gun. Boudreau’s face.
Episode 12: 10 p.m-11 a.m.
A 13-HOUR EPISODE?
This is unheard of. Did not see this coming at all. I barely know what to do with myself, but it does solve the question of how they would do a full season in 12 episodes. And for that, I’m excited.
This half-day-long episode begins back with Audrey, whose private rendezvous has sorely backfired, leaving her alone, in the dark, surrounded by a recently sniped security detail, terrified after a recent phone call. WITH CHENG. After hearing a whimper from her friend, a sign that she’s not dead, Audrey begins to walk over to her.
And then her phone rings again.
Audrey tells CHENG that she wants to go check on her, as if CHENG has a soul. And then she leans over toward her friend. And then CHENG’s sniper shoots the friend. Again.
So Audrey sits back down on the bench. As she was told.
After this extreme case of cell bullying, we go to the house of Mustache, who is still dead. The Bauers, Jack and Lil Kate, along with treason’s own Mark Boudreau, are snooping around Mustache’s house, looking for anything. And then, through some sort of crime-fighting echolocation, Jack elbow-drops a drawer and finds a secret cell phone. And then takes the secret cell phone to Mustache’s dead finger.
And they’re in.
Jack finds some emails, figures out where they’re heading, and then a phone rings.
He tells Jack to stop tracking him, sends them the image of a sniper focused in on Audrey, and says that he’ll let her go if they fall back. Which is not true. Because this is CHENG.
The phone call ends, and figuring out how to proceed becomes complicated. Boudreau assumes that they (“they,” lol) must do anything they can to save Audrey, but Jack — aloud — seems to think otherwise. Following this, Boudreau — in a panic — says what everyone already knows.
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That “Shut up” by Jack is code for, “Well duh, you loser, but not now, I have to save the world. Go sit in the corner and betray America.”
The Bauers huddle and Jack says that CHENG will see them coming if they involve the CIA (since there are anywhere between 12 and 15 CHENGS awake and carrying out evil at any given time). So Jack, being Jack, says he should go after Audrey. Lil’ Bauer the Kate, however, knows that Jack should go after CHENG. So she says she can go after Audrey.
“You really think you can handle this?” Jack asks. He doesn’t say it in a sarcastic manner, but more in that late-game, Coach Taylor–to–Matt Saracen manner.
Jack agrees to it. If there were ever a passing-of-the-torch moment in this series, it was this, with Jack actually trusting someone to do work that historically only he’s been capable of. While that’s all good, a horrible thought just creeped into my mind: Jack might die. You always have to assume that Jack is close to dying, but something about this feels different. And I don’t like it.
Before parting, Jack tells Lil Kate that she has to keep him updated, with every single move. And like the courageous quarterback that she is, she tells Coach that she will. Clear eyes, etc.
Following this, we run over to CIA London, where Heller & Co. have just entered the premises. In case you forgot (which I did), Heller got “omg you’ll be so cool, everyone will love you” peer-pressured into nuclear action. Leading the “let’s bomb the world” soul train line: these two fine fellows.
They seem to mean well, but unfortunately they reek of that weasel from Independence Day that knew about Area 51 and always wants to nuke the aliens but then Bill Pullman finally fires him and he’s all “you can’t do that” and then Goldblum’s girl in the plaid shirt says “well, he just … did.” Yeah, him.
Completely over it, though. Because look who just emerged from the woods, seemingly getting ready for The Purge.
Some travelers see Battlefield Chloe wandering, stop their car, and ask if she’s OK. She asks to use their phone. To make a phone call. To someone whose number she knows. Someone who also has a cell phone.
They talk, Chloe asks to get picked up, Jack is skeptical because he’s not sure he still trusts her, Chloe says that Adrian tricked her and she wants to make it right,
Jack’s like “What do I look like, Uber,” Chloe’s like “Well, I heard it was 25 percent off all summer with UberX,” and then Jack’s like, “Give me your cross streets, I’ll pick you up.”
12 hours, 47 minutes, and 28 seconds left. Forever?
We go to the bottom lefthand corner of the quadbox to see Heller pleading (again) with the Chinese president to turn down for world peace. The Chinese president is still in full “CHENG is dead” mode (proof he doesn’t get CHENG), and so Heller tells him that once the soon-to-be-attacking Chinese forces cross a certain line, the United States will use force.
Following this, we see CHENG and his men boarding a ship. CHENG and the GENG are ready to bounce. He asks this Gorton’s Fisherman–like sea human if there’s any way for them to leave sooner. But Gorton’s like “nah.”
As this is happening, Jack picks up Chloe. Before they get too far, Jack tells Battlefield Chloe that he needs to know why she was with Adrian once he had the device.
Chloe tells him, again, that Adrian tricked her. And then Jack tells Chloe about Audrey. And then Chloe tells Jack she’s the only friend he has. And then Jack tells Chloe not to feel bad about partially being involved in building the override device.
So they’re back. Jack and Chloe. One last time?
And then we return to the most scared woman alive, Audrey. There’s still a sniper pointed at her. Things are worse than ever. But then her phone vibrates. Slyly, she puts it on speakerphone.
It’s Lil Kate the Bauer. She can see Audrey from her hiding spot, but can’t figure out where the sniper is. So she devises a plan, one that makes you kind of wish Jack were here. The plan: Audrey will make a sudden movement as if she’s about to run, just so Lil Kate can figure out where the gunfire is coming from.
Really, Lil Kate? That’s all you got? Jack would have looked at the bodies on the ground, observed the way the bodies seemed to have fallen, consulted his horoscope, taken into account vectors as well as the astral calendar, and then identified the exact room the sniper was stationed.
But that’s why there’s Jack … and then there’s everyone else.
Back to the plan: Audrey does what she’s told, prompting gunfire that nearly takes her out. But now Lil Kate has more of an idea where the sniper is. Unfortunately, after this little stunt, the sniper calls CHENG. His response:
You better hurry, Lil Kate. Because if something happens to Audrey, Jack will most certainly excommunicate you from Bauerdom.
We return to O.G. Bauer and Chloe. They’re at the shipping yard where CHENG and the GENG are. Jack and one of his boys are armed and ready, while Chloe — with laptop in tow — posts up to hack everything and give Jack whatever intel he needs. Before they split up, Jack looks at Chloe.
Jack: “Thank you. For everything. Good luck.”
Oh, no. Someone’s going to die. It feels like everyone’s going to die. Right now, I’m convinced that Jack, Chloe, and Audrey are going to die. This is horrible.
Interestingly enough, the halfway point of the episode is rapidly approaching, but there are still 12 hours, 36 minutes, and 5 seconds left. I am still completely confused by how this will play out. Is everyone going to just take a long nap, wake up, and then continue with crime-fighting and/or evil, depending on their relationship with peace?
Lil Kate calls Audrey back and tells her to run once she engages the sniper and then quickly we blast over to Jack and friend, taking out members of the GENG as they make their way to CHENG. IS THIS JACK’S FINAL Raid-like, march-to-final-boss rampage? Why am I tearing up?
But then, per usual, a member of the GENG realizes something’s up. They know someone’s in the system. CHENG freaks out and tells his men. Chloe can see that they’ve been spotted, tells Jack, and then tells Lil Kate that they need to get Audrey, immediately.
This is bad. Because CHENG definitely assumes this is Jack-related, which means he’s probably going to order the sniper to shoot Audrey.
CHENG, I SWEAR IF AUDREY DIES I’M GONNA —
OOOH MARK BOUDREAU YOU BETTER JUMP OUT FROM BEHIND A TREE AND TAKE A BULLET —
Good job, Lil Kate. They killed the sniper, just in time. Sorry I ever doubted you. You’re a Bauer. Of course you got there in time and saved Audrey. Because that’s the first rule of Bauerdom: save Audrey.
For about three seconds, things were pretty positive. And then they instantly got bad.
Not only is the GENG on to Chloe, but they cut the connection, which means she can’t talk to Jack, which means Jack and his dude are operating without a second set of eyes. Which couldn’t be worse.
Just kidding. Of course it could be worse. Like the GENG figuring out where Jack and his guy are, meaning they’re able to track them. At this point, CHENG points his gun at Sir Gorton Fisherman, apparently the only one who knows how to drive a ship that has stick, and tells him they need to leave.
Audrey and Lil Kate leave the scene with the sniper and Audrey asks about Jack. Lil Kate tells her what’s happening, Audrey asks if Jack is OK, and then some small crazy dude jumps out of a bush and starts shooting at them. Because of course CHENG had a second shooter.
And then it happens.
Why. WHY. WHYYYYYYYYYYY.
Audrey’s been shot.
Oh no, that tear, I am done.
I’m going to go find CHENG myself and — wait NO NO NO AUDREY DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES. LIL KATE, SAVE HER NOW.
STOP SAYING “STAY WITH ME,” LIL KATE.
IT’S “DON’T YOU DIE ON ME.”
DO YOU WANT HER TO DIE OR SOMETHING, LIL KATE? SAY IT RIGHT.
But she didn’t say it right.
And now it’s over.
Audrey Raines is dead.
And then, just like that, there’s the silent clock.
So Audrey Raines is actually dead.
In my heart and my soul, it’s not quite at Edgar levels of despair, but it’s pretty close. I don’t want to watch the rest of this episode. I never should have watched this season. I don’t want to see what happens when Jack finds out. This is miserable.
Who cares how much time is left? Audrey’s dead. I can’t even do that math anymore.
After a quick scene with Heller, Jack — only moments away from battle — gets a call from Agent Kate Morgan. (Lil Bauer has been retired, because YOU HAD ONE JOB, KATE.)
She’s about to tell Jack about Audrey. Heavens.
Agent Kate Morgan: “Jack, I’m so sorry. We lost Audrey.”
Jack: “What are you talking about? You said she was safe.”
Agent Kate Morgan: “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. There was another shooter. And he got her, Jack. I’m so sorry.”
Agent Kate Morgan: “Jack … ”
Agent Kate Morgan: “Jack, can you hear me?”
Agent Kate Morgan: “Jack, talk to me.”
I can’t watch this — oh no, Jack just pulled out a gun. No, Jack. But also, maybe? Wait, NO NO NO Jack. You can’t go out like that. Audrey wouldn’t want you to go out like that. She’d want you to cut off CHENG’s head. And then, who knows? Yes, just like that. Put the gun away. There we go, Jack.
Gun: back in holster. Because he can’t kill himself. Because he has to kill everyone else.
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Never kill Jack’s boo. NEVER. He’s going from room to room, killing anyone who’s ever even seen CHENG. Seriously, he kills everyone. By himself. And then gets to CHENG.
CHENG got a few punches in, but that’s it. Because CHENG killed Jack’s girl. So CHENG has to die.
But not yet. Because they have to prove to the Chinese that CHENG’s alive, so the war can be prevented. I’m just hoping Jack remembers that. And then he can kill CHENG.
Back at Heller Camp, the Armed Service Bash Brothers are ready to play the nuclear war knockout game, but then they get a call. From Jack. And it’s the best Google Hangout ever.
Jack orders CHENG to announce who he is, while facial recognition is running. CHENG doesn’t respond. Which was probably a mistake. Becaues they’re in a room with swords.
In a matter of seconds, CHENG says his name. And the facial recognition checks out. So they can send it to the Chinese.
At this point, Jack cuts the feed, looks at CHENG, and says, “This is for Audrey, you son of a bitch.”
He cut off CHENG’s head. Which means one of the CHENGS is dead. Unless this is one of those situations where if you take out the mothership, all the bad baby ships die, like in ID4. In that case, if this was the beheading of the HEAD CHENG, then ALL OF THE CLONE CHENGS ARE ALSO DEAD.
Long live Jack Bauer.
Heller and the Chinese president have a talk and after seeing the tape of CHENG, the Chinese president agrees to pull back his troops. The impending war has been halted. Heller looks relieved, but this will only last for a moment, because it looks as if his assistant is about to tell him the terrible news about Audrey.
He tells Heller. Heller can’t believe it. And then he faints.
Back to Jack, and just when things are at their saddest, Jack discovers that Chloe is gone. And there’s blood on the floor. While looking around, Jack gets a call. It’s a mysterious call, because Jack says “Who is this?”
WHO IS LEFT TO BE EVIL? With 10 minutes left in the season, there can’t possibly be another villain that pops up, can there? Is it Papa Bauer? Sherry Palmer? President Logan? General Juma? NINA?
HOLY ALMEIDAS, IS IT TONY?
Someone’s saying something to Jack on the other line, but it’s unclear what. Then Jack says, “When?”
AND THEN, “WHERE?”
AND THEN, “UNDERSTOOD.”
AND THEN, “I’LL BE THERE, JUST SET IT UP.”
This is too much. I really can’t handle anything else.
And just like that, based on the left side of this quadbox and my knowledge of how things look in the night and day, we have jumped from the 10 o’clock p.m. hour to the 10:50:58 a.m. A 12-hour jump, where apparently nothing happened.
We see Agent Kate Morgan leaving the CIA facilities, we see Boudreau ready to be transported to the States to be tried for treason (hopefully this is still happening), and then we see Heller.
He has a conversation with the prime minister, one in which Piers Morgan is offering any help he can. And then Heller says his final words before boarding Air Force One with the coffin containing his daughter. And they are devastating.
“I won’t remember anything that happens today. I won’t remember anything that happens, period. I won’t remember that I had a daughter that died in such a horrible fashion.”
Just brutal. Nothing’s sadder.
And then, with four minutes left, we go to an area outside London. Because that’s where Jack is.
And yes, there are snipers waiting on Jack when he and his guy arrive. His guy says, “Are you sure you want to do this?” and Jack says, “Yeah.”
Moments later, we see him.
Who this bag of evil is, I have no idea.
Jack: “She walks first.”
Jack Bauer, willing to trade himself for the people he loves, until the end. The two begin walking, and then they meet in the middle. And then Jack launches a biological weapon on my tear ducts.
“You’re right about what you said earlier. About being my best friend. Thank you.”
I can’t breathe.
“Look in on my family when you can.”
And then he tells her to go.
Jack finally gets to the bad man. And then tells him the Bauer terms of the exchange.
“I’ve taken you at your word. But if you’re lying to me — if anything happens to her or my family, your entire world will come apart and you will never see it coming.”
The Bad Man: “We just want you, Mr. Bauer. That’s all we ever wanted. I would say you’re going to enjoy Moscow, but you’d know I was lying.”
Jack looks at him, then looks off at Chloe. And gives her a look suggesting that things will be OK. Even though he knows they won’t be. As if, this is probably it. And then he gets in the helicopter and they’re off.
Bye, Jack. Forever.
You deserve better. And you’ll never get it. I’m sorry. We’re all sorry.