24’s seasons are usually broken up into sections, and so it is with this one. The first story line wraps here, defying expectations: It actually closes all the loops without red herrings or repetitiveness. It even drops some fake-outs in there just to make us think we’re in for lazy plotting, before jettisoning them and handing us a package with a neat bow. But worry not: Scenes from next week’s two-hour episode feature automatic gunfire within the White House. We will not be retiring the Absurd-o-Meter.
3. Colonel Dubaku, one sweet-talking terrorist. Even though the FBI has informed Dubaku’s waitress girlfriend that he’s responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, once she confronts him, she just can’t help but melt before those dreamy terrorist eyes. She forgives all and even agrees to head with him back to Sengala … until Jack Bauer and Agent Walker track them down again. She then causes a car crash that severely wounds Dubaku and, ultimately, kills her. Until she died, though, love totally set her free. Absurdity Factor: 5
2. Billy Walsh, badder than you thought. Last episode we learned that the Entourage auteur turned Janeane Garofalo FBI foil was part of the massive government conspiracy aiding Dubaku. This time, to save his hide, he tries to crash the FBI’s computers and shoot his erstwhile girlfriend. He succeeds in the shooting part, but, per usual, he’s stopped by Chloe O’Brien, who salvages the disc with the names of all government plotters conveniently listed in an Excel spreadsheet. (Inconveniently, Jack had to dig it out of Dubaku’s stomach.) Despite taking a bullet in the arm and trying to sprint out of the FBI building, Billy Walsh is caught and likely to be executed for treason. He will also be executed for Medellin. Absurdity Factor: 6
1. All together now: There will be another attack. Just as Jack is looking wistfully off toward the Washington Monument, Tony Almeida shows up for some exposition theater. Apparently, he has uncovered another Sengalese plot to blow up a “high-profile target” in D.C. within the next few hours. It’s being spearheaded, as luck would have it, by the chief of staff for Senator Meyer, the very same senator nailing Jack to the cross for his history of torture at the season’s beginning. (He’s played by Kurtwood Smith, the guy from RoboCop or That ‘70’s Show, depending on how old you are.) President Taylor has scheduled a meeting with Senator Meyer to ask him to take it easy on Jack — who did just save hundreds of thousands of lives — and Meyer’s bringing his chief of staff with him, which would explain why there’s all the White House shooting next episode. Yes: another attack! Here we go again. Absurdity Factor: 9