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'24:' There are no good guys here

May 10, 2010 | 11:11 pm

BAUERRICKER

It's taken eight seasons, but Jack Bauer is finally looking for help from a power bigger than himself: The media.

With his back to the wall and nowhere else to turn in his efforts to blow the lid of the Russian's role in the assassination of Kamistan President Omar Hassan, Bauer reaches to Meredith Reed, the reporter who was set up as a patsy by the IRK terrorists, to expose the truth.

Of course, the fact that Reed was personally involved with Hassan should mean she's off the story, but apparently her New York paper did about as much fact checking on her as CTU did on Dana Walsh.

But, as usual, I've veered off course. Bauer sets up a meeting with Reed to show her the evidence he got off of Dana Walsh before pumping two slugs into her at close range. Meanwhile, former President Logan and Jason Pillar, his crony that he's installed at CTU, get in touch with the Russian hitter Pavel who took out Renee.

The plan is to kill Bauer while he meets with Reed. Seems a little crazy to try to kill Bauer in front of a reporter in a crowded midtown Manhattan store. Bauer knows that odds are his phone call to Reed was detected and comes prepared. He gets his old pal Ricker (Michael Madsen) to come out of his Alphabet City cave to neutralize Pavel while Bauer takes out another four Russian hit men. Then Ricker, Bauer, Reed and Pavel flee the store to a basement somewhere. Reed gets a look at the evidence while Bauer goes Mr. Blond on Pavel ("Reservoir Dog" fans will get that reference). Bauer wants to know who gave Pavel the order to take out Renee. Pavel's not talking, and when he does he finally says no one, Bauer doesn't believe him.

Actually, Pavel is telling the truth. One of the things that bothered me about this season is that Pavel acted without orders when he took out Renee and tried to shoot Bauer. He had not been given clearance by Mikhail and he seems like the type who would not disobey a direct order. The fact that he did led to the Russians ultimately being exposed. Why not just have Pavel be given an order to shoot Renee? His fate would not have changed nor would the role of the Russians. I should have asked that when Fox held a teleconference with "24" showrunner Howard Gordon. Instead I blew my question on whether anyone would find Stephen Root's body in that closet (not yet).

Back to our recap. While Bauer is torturing Pavel, Pillar races to the department store to clean up the bodies of the Russian hit men (and woman) that Bauer disposed of. He also advises Logan to distance himself from this whole mess, but it's too late as he has already persuaded President Taylor to publicly thank him in his role in keeping the Russians on board with the peace treaty with Kamistan.

Logan's going to wish he stayed in retirement. Bauer gets Pavel's phone working and hits redial and ends up getting Logan's voice mail. Looks like Jack's headed back to the United Nations to do a little cleaning up.

As much as I poke holes in "24," Monday night's episode was nonstop action and a blast. I'll be curious to see how Meredith Reed reports this one, but I'm glad that for once the mainstream media was seen as a vehicle for truth rather than a bunch of agenda pushers. That's what we have bloggers for.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Jack Bauer and Jim Ricker do some plotting. Credit: Fox Broadcasting.


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