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24 Recap: Wile E. Women

The fallout from the EMP bomb has CTU trapped in its own version of the three wise monkeys (see no terrorists, hear no terrorists, unable to make or receive phone calls regarding terrorists). Division heads are filing their damage reports with pen and paper. Radiological detectors are nonfunctional. And the drone that once had the IRK operatives locked in its sight could soon be falling from the sky. But don’t plan your escape routes just yet, Manhattan denizens! Jack manages to stumble onto the only dock on the East River with an inflatable boat packed with uranium fuel rods. Chloe takes up arms to get CTU back on the grid. And President Hassan’s pompadour looks fortified for battle. With a MacGyver-ed shield of armor and a few well-placed bullets, it only takes the good guys an hour to regain their lead. Just watch out for that double agent! You thought you were getting off easy, didn’t you, Absurd-o-Meter?

Operation Wile E. Coyote. The IRK operatives are angling for another preparedness badge this week. When Jack & Co. arrive, Samir already has a jammer set up to cut off their cell-phone calls for backup and three snipers in place to make sure they don’t get out alive. (It doesn’t bode well for Agent Owen or Unnamed Asian Agent’s lifespan that we didn’t remember them sitting in the back seat last week.) Under fire, Jack spots a telephone with a possible hard line outside a nearby building. His plan to get there in one piece? Extract the armored plates from inside their SUV and use them to make a shield to get to the telephone without getting hit.

Operation Wile E. Coyote. The IRK operatives are angling for another preparedness badge this week. When Jack & Co. arrive, Samir already has a jammer set up to cut off their cell-phone calls for backup and three snipers in place to make sure they don’t get out alive. (It doesn’t bode well for Agent Owen or Unnamed Asian Agent’s lifespan that we didn’t remember them sitting in the back seat last week.) Under fire, Jack spots a telephone with a possible hard line outside a nearby building. His plan to get there in one piece? Extract the armored plates from inside their SUV and use them to make a shield to get to the telephone without getting hit.

It sounds remotely plausible with right equipment until you see the two plates. At maybe six feet by four feet, a few inches thick, and without windowpanes, where exactly in the car would these bad boys have been stashed? On the floor of the vehicle protecting the muffler? Jack warns his men that they’ll have to move slowly to make sure there’s no opening for a stray bullet to enter. This leads to a laughable vision of four grown men tip-toeing across a parking lot under cover of armored wedge. You can practically hear the Looney Tunes piano keys tickling.
Absurdity Factor: 6

Wonder Women. At first it seemed like the hysteria was spreading from uterus to uterus. Chloe is freaking out that the mean old NSA engineer won’t let her try her risky plan to tap into the trunk line to restore power, so she calls suicidal Renee. Renee immediately starts rifling through her duffel bag for a gun and tells Chloe to do what she has to to get CTU back online. But like the urban legend about the mother who finds the strength to lift a car if her kid’s in danger, the ladies pull through with some amazing feats to save their special guy.

Chloe “doesn’t even like guns,” but she sneaks one into the server room and points it at the engineer in order to get access to that trunk line. Then, when Hastings breaks the door down, she parlays the fact that she’s “been right more than once” into an extra ten minutes to try out her scheme. Chloe’s solo mish this episode was scored with the type of music usually reserved for heroes of the Joseph Campbell variety, so it’s no surprise when she gets CTU up and running, stopping only to tell Hastings to please spare her the compliments. Renee not only tracks Jack down like she stuffed a homing device in his pants, but she shows up at the dock just as the IRK sniper has him in the crosshairs (literally, of course). Then in five shots she manages to kill two operatives and not once look tempted to point the gun at herself.
Absurdity Factor: 7

Dastardly Dana. It’s season eight, and a mess of a season at that. At this point, it’s hardly absurd to have a CTU agent reveal herself to be working in the service of another master halfway into the game. It’s just that we thought for sure it would be Arlo. (The dark hair and chin scruff, the lack of intra-office friendships, the willingness to sell out a colleague — he was practically begging for sordid backstory about his anti-American quest for revenge.)

Instead, we see Dana find a stray electrical cord with which to strangle parole officer Prady while he waits to report her to Hastings. No sooner have we breathed a sigh of relief for an end to that tedious plotline than Dana makes a quick phone call to Samir to tell him her cover might soon be blown. There were almost too many inconsistencies to count in terms of matching up her past actions with this new bit of trivia. For one: Why would she bother trying to get Kevin Wade off her back when she could just execute him at the first sign of trouble?

But the highlight of the episode came when she dreamed up yet another creative way to hide a corpse by stuffing Prady into a human-size vent on the floor of the holding room — in the middle of CTU headquarters. Can we expect a slapstick scene of the corpse rolling out in the middle of an interview? How exactly do the writers plan to explain how a juvenile delinquent from the backwoods of Arkansas got tied with the IRK?
Absurdity Factor: 8


More Recap:
TV Fanatic calls this "the worst hour in the history of 24," especially following last week's epic twist.
PopWatch strongly disagreed and loved the “overdue heaping of Chloe,” “bitchin’ shoot-out,” and Dana’s coming-out party.
CNN’s Marquee blog thought the show followed up on last week’s success with “yet another adrenaline-soaked, action packed sixty minutes,” and spent much of the episode yelling “Hell yeah, Chloe.”

Photo: Courtesy of Fox