We pick up where we left off last week: the big Starkwood vs. FBI standoff. Jonas shows up and gives Moss a mouthful on trespassing and warrants and gives him an ultimatum: leave in 5 minutes or my goons’ll kill ya. Back at the office, they need to act fast and find the bioweapon, because Tony officially took the Jack road and snuck off deep inside the evil Starkwood military base in the middle of D.C. So Jack finds a convenient new lead: Douglas Knowles, Starkwood’s Chairman of the Board who ratted out corporate stuff to Senator Mayer during his investigation. Jack contacts him and Knowles agrees to help find the bioweapons, because Hodges apparently went crazy. So Doug meets with Tony and they encounter an obstacle: the door to the building with the bioweapons has a keycard lock and it won’t open. And back at the FBI, Jack is going green – but not the environmental kind of going green.
In case anyone forgot, about a million people tell Jack how sorry they are that he’s been exposed to the bioweapon, including President Taylor during his call to brief her on their plan. Taylor also reminds us that Jack always has to be the only one. This time, he’s the only once who can identify and verify the bioweapon canisters before she orders a “surgical air strike.” I assume surgical means they won’t hit a school half a mile away.
Still at the White House, it’s Olivia! Her reporter friend is calling her with some bad news. It’s the same reporter who was supposed to run a story on Kanin at eleven (last episode) but suddenly it’s going to be in the morning news. He found out about the action in the container yard and about a meeting of the Joint Chiefs. He wants to know more and threatens to expose her power play against Kanin if she doesn’t agree to meet him.
Th FBI is using satellites now, and they’re doing infra-red scans of the Starkwood compound. There’s one building that’s showing no signal because they are using some sort of shield. Why do that when it obviously draws attention anyway? Beats me. Janis starts decoding the door lock with some R6 module or whatever and naturally, it’s taking too long and there’s a guard Humvee coming round the corner! Tony and Knowles might get spotted, so they hide behind some conveniently placed barrels and then Knowles decides to step forward and buy time. It’s so exciting that Jack gets a seizure. The guards call Jonas for instructions despite the fact that Knowles is their boss and practically owns a controlling share of their asses. Jonas tells them to bring the guy in and Tony enters the building in the nick of time. “Copy that” is said about a dozen times.
Pierce and Olivia walk down a hall to meet with Ken the nosy reporter. Pierce insists on going inside with Olivia, but she tells him she has him on speed dial and she can scream really loud. (I guess it’s a good thing Ken didn’t gag her and take her phone away the minute she entered the room.) Ken suspects there’s some sort of WMD out there based on his intel from a mysterious source (the future dad security guard?). Olivia refuses to confirm this because it’s a matter of national security. He tells her he understands why it has to remain secret. So she tells him what’s up with Starkwood. Then he tells her he’s gonna report it unless she sleeps with him. Apparently they used to do that a lot in the past. Off-camera sex ensues.
Jack gets a shot of pen dopamine from the pretty season three doctor, Sunny Macer. But it’s only going to stop the shaking, it ain’t gonna cure him. And yeah, he’ll need more of it because the sickness is progressing faster than progressive rock in the 1970s. Then Macer tells Jack that some university is doing research on weird diseases and there might be a cure for his incurable sickness. Now, watch out, because this show is on FOX… the cure uses stem cells! They need ‘em from a family member and Jack’s file (and my worst nightmares) say he’s got a daughter. But Jack will hear none of it. He doesn’t want Kim involved because they haven’t talked to each other since like 2009. (To us that is nothing, but these people are in the future.) It is implied that Walker will call Kim anyway.
Tony’s op is back on. He’s inside the building. There are guards coming his way so he needs to open other doors a bit quicker. Fortunately, he magically knows all the codes inside the building and he punches them in pretty fast. On the way, he kicks some henchmen booty and takes one of their uniforms. I hope the shoes fit…McClane wasn’t so lucky. Tony gets on an elevator and a Fayed look-alike scientist hitches a ride. He’s looking over some photos of microbes and does some small talk with a slightly nervous Tony. There’s no Muzak. Tony is now in the main building, four floors down. Janis has no information that the building has subterranean floors, but believe him, he’s there.
As are a bunch of scientists loading the bioweapon from one canister to another. Jack IDs the canisters from the truck by looking at the picture three times in different sizes and on different screens. All thanks to Sprint. The air strike is go, but the bioweapon is on the move. Tony has 10 minutes to leave.
Jonas meets with Knowles, who’s pissed off because his employees arrested him. He asks Jonas if Starkwood has bioweapons. Hodges confirms it by denying it in his signature weird way. Knowles doesn’t like his speech on serving the country no matter what, so he gets a huge crystal bottle of scotch in the face. Again, again, and again. Then Hodges throws him down a balcony onto a map of the world painted on the floor. You don’t see any blood although Knowles’ face must look worse than Marika’s lasagna. Then Jonas notices that he has like three drops of blood on his shirt and he tries to wash it off with some water from a very cool crystal box. He gets a call that jet fighters are on their way.
Sex is over, and it was probably better than the notorious Logan Quickie. Ken says Olivia must think he’s a total asshole, but she’s just glad he won’t run the story. But won’t he? He won’t, right? Oh, sorry Olivia. You just got used. He wants to run it anyway. So that’s how many double-crosses from this guy? Well, she’s got some tricks up her sleeves as well. Like making a sex tape with her cell phone and threatening to show it to Ken’s wife. The double-crosser gets double-crossed. Jeez, just buy a bottle of super expensive Double Cross vodka and let that be the end of it.
So she leaves the room and Pierce totally knows what was happening in there. Mommy Dearest calls Olivia to tell her she’s missing the fireworks – air strike in five minutes and counting! The generals in the situation room are all thrilled and they’re gonna use phosphorus charges that burn at 5000 degrees, which is more than enough to eradicate the pathogen (and ten times more than what they need to burn all the paper in Starkwood). The CDC confirmed it.
Jonas enters his situation room and orders a call to the president. Greg Seaton notices the blood stains on Jonas’ shirt and the boss says Knowles will be missing the show. Jonas gets Taylor on the line and makes her take the call in a small room with a TV. He tells her he put the bioweapon into rockets pointed at the East Coast (L.A. FINALLY off the hook!) and he even shows her with his vid phone. He orders her to stop the air strike or else and so she runs back to the room full of generals and stops the blast. She has nothing more to say (which is definitely a first) and leaves the room without so much as a decent cliffhanger.
Hmm, so Tony’s back and he swapped seats with Jack. He’s the one busting his ass off in the field and Jack’s the one staring at the computer screen and saying stuff. I assume this is the big Tony plot line Carlos raved about. I like the irony that Jack is now the office guy and Tony’s Supes, but still, how is this better than what Tony could’ve been doing in season five after he found out Michelle died? Going after Henderson no matter what. Going against Jack in the process. Doing questionable stuff. Oh, the possibilities were practically infinite. But no. This is the big Tony Season. He’s been absent for what seemed like eternity and now he’s Jack’s new stunt double. Could we at least get action in well lit rooms? I’m tired of all the shoot-outs and fights happening in near or complete darkness.
I wasn’t buying the “suspense” they were creating with the electric lock on the door. It was pretty obvious that Tony wasn’t going to get caught again and it was even more obvious that Mr. Convenient One Episode Lead would in fact die within the one episode (yes I know he appeared before). And isn’t it weird that Jonas didn’t find out about Knowles being a mole? He talked to Kurtwood, and Kurtwood’s assistant was Jonas’ mole. I guess two moles cancel each other out…
How come Tony was able to open all the other doors and knew the codes to them?
Olivia… perhaps the most controversial part of the episode. When I watched it, I couldn’t believe my own eyes and ears. (Eyes mostly because she looks so familiar.) When she met with Ken, I couldn’t believe she actually told him about the threat and even about Starkwood and the surprise air strike. What on Earth was she thinking? And what happened to the story Ken was supposed to do about Kanin? Did she really think sleeping with Ken would make him shut up? When did she plant the cell phone and how did he not notice it when it was on the night stand right next to his head?
And don’t you just hate it that these reporters have sources everywhere and they find out about absolutely everything? How did Ken know about the container yard action and about the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Oh, that’s right. I should suspend my disbelief, stop nitpicking, sit back and enjoy the ride, realize it’s just a show… are there any more I forgot?
What I loved about Olivia’s story was Pierce. When she convinced him to stay outside and guard the door, I bet he was thinking something like “Oh jeez, this is Sherry Palmer all over again” and when she left the room, he probably went all disappointed father figure and did not approve of the sexy party that just happened. More of him, please. I love misreading his facial expressions!
Jack gonna die… Unless the recurring character from season three can bring back that other recurring character from season three and mix up a magical potion that will save Jack from dementia and seizures. BTW, lucky for Jack, he didn’t wet or soil himself, which often happens when a person (in real life and not on TV) suffers from seizures. Back to my point, I can’t believe how escapist this is. Jack’s death is at least a season overdue and this was an interesting way of going about it. But no. I should’ve known better. If 100% legit recordings from Cyprus can turn out to be fake, why can’t an unknown and incurable bioweapon sickness be cured by a long awaited return of a legacy character? (Yeah, yeah, I haven’t seen the end of the show yet and I shouldn’t simply assume things will go down this way… but hey, wanna bet I’m right?)
Jonas, while still cool, has lost some of his appeal, I think. Back when he was this weirdo throwing darts and talking about carrots, it was funny and fresh. Now he’s becoming more like the traditional villains with back up plans we’ve seen before. Same thing happened to Pierce. Before season 4, he was so awesome because he appeared only rarely and often he had a total minimum of lines. In season 5, he got a bigger role and while he still kicked ass, the Mystery That Is Agent Pierce was gone. After one brief and overshadowed appearance in season 6, he regained his cool. When he shows up, it’s a treat we must cherish. Like when Jonas only used to be in episodes for two minutes and we hung on his every word. I mean, remember Star Wars Episode IV? Darth Vader is barely in it but remember how much everyone loved (to hate) him? Less is more no matter how much more more is.
Everyone liked how he knocked down those two guards. That’s way too obvious. I loved how he made a complete idiot out of Janis (not really, but boy did I interpret it that way):
Jack: “I got you at 125 feet MSL, approximately 40 feet underground. Is that correct?”
Tony: “That’s right, I’m four floors down.”
Janis: “I got no information on any kind of subterranean floors for that building.”
Tony: “Believe me, they’re here.”
There was too much to complain about and too much I saw coming for this episode to really entertain me.