'24': How was I to know she was with the Russians too?
Whatever else one wants to say about Jack Bauer, his loyalty to President Allison Taylor has never been questioned. Even if he knows an order is ill-conceived, he follows it.
Distraught over the stunning death of Renee and somewhat embarrassed that he does not know anything about her when the hospital where she died asks about next-of-kin, Bauer decides to do what he does best: bring her killers to justice. He heads downtown to the courthouse where Sergei, the Russian arms dealer who looks a little like Robert Redford, is being arraigned. Sergei tells Bauer it was the Russian government who must have put a hit out on Renee because they have been behind everything else including propping up the terrorists who killed Kamistan President Omar Hassan in the hopes of derailing a peace treaty. Dana Walsh, Sergei tells Bauer, will know all the details. Turns out Dana wasn't a spy for the Kamistan terrorists, but a spy for the Russians.
While Bauer heads back to CTU to smack Dana around a little more, former president and general sleaze ball Charles Logan is meeting with the Russian diplomat Mikhail Novakovich to try to persuade the Russians to come back to the peace talks and throw their weight behind Dalia Hassan, the widow of Omar who has agreed to step in for him in her country's time of need. Logan knows the Russians were behind Hassan's murder and leverages that information to get them to agree to support Dalia. Logan, who is hoping to restore his damaged reputation, triumphantly tells President Taylor he has saved the day.
But before he can start writing his new memoir, Logan learns from an aide that Bauer is on his way to interrogate Walsh. Logan knows if Walsh spills the beans then President Taylor will be furious with him for not telling her the Russians had Hassan killed. He can also forget about ending up on a stamp or coin anytime soon. Oh, and the peace treaty might go up in smoke too.
Logan tells Taylor that Bauer can't be allowed to question Walsh. Taylor and her aide Ethan Kanin, who is already back at work after suffering a heart attack/stroke/bad gas just a few hours earlier, demand to know why and Logan drops his bomb on them. He then goes into a great sell job and persuades Taylor that nothing is to be gained by going after the Russians now when the world is so close to peace. Over Kanin's staunch objections, she agrees with Logan and heads off to CTU to send Bauer packing. Why Taylor feels she can trust the Russians or Logan for that matter is anyone's guess but she apparently is willing to betray both Bauer and the memory of Renee to insure for a chance at that Nobel Peace Prize.
Taylor races to CTU, where Bauer is waiting to get the green light to beat on Dana. She tells him that Dana is deranged and will say anything to get out of her predicament. But Bauer knows when he is being played. He tells the president, "You don't want to know the truth." Taylor orders Bauer out of CTU and he is escorted to a helicopter.
But Bauer is not going down without a fight. He grabs a gun and takes off in the helicopter. He could have been shot down, but Chloe, who is now running CTU, won't give the order to fire. Instead, she calls for his copter to be forced down by airplanes and pleads with Bauer to come back before it is too late.
Where exactly Bauer is headed is a mystery. Is he going to the UN to stop the peace talks? Is he going to fly that thing to Russia? Is he looking to start a new line of work offering tours of Manhattan?
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Bauer being shown the door. Credit: Fox Broadcasting.