OK, so I’m lonely. Kat couldn’t watch it with me tonight as she had a conflict, so I am roiling all on my own right now. I guess I’ll try to sketch out what we know, so I can kind of help myself to process everything, mixed with whatever esoteric ramblings strike me. My whole body was tingling during the first half of Episode 3, anticipating what would happen when Jack walked into that interrogation room and finally met Tony face to face.
I loved how Jack basically told Moss that he would use his history with Tony against him, but it ended up being the other way around. Tony manipulated Jack into doing exactly what he wanted him to do by saying the one thing he knew would drive Jack over the edge – accusing him of spitting on Teri’s grave by working with the FBI. When he said that, I drew in my breath loudly. This definitely tops when Tony played the dead wife card in Season 3 for sheer “I cannot believe he just said that” shock. In that moment, I am certain Tony had Jack convinced that his brother, for all intents and purposes, really WAS dead. Oh Jack, ye of little faith! At the same time, though, Jack knows Tony better than absolutely any other living person in the world, and Tony’s performance was so convincing that even Bauer was fooled into believing Tony no longer had a soul. Just goes to show that Almeida has MAD SKILLZ. But as Jack slammed Tony up against the wall and threatened to kill him, as he choked him in anger and despair, Tony croaked out the word DEEPSKY. And in that moment, we knew as well as Jack knew … there’s an angle. And the relief on Jack’s face when Tony gave him the code word was palpable. “My brother is not a traitor!”
So in a way I guess Bill and Chloe coming back was anticlimatic, because I pretty much already figured out what was going on, but that doesn’t make it any less AMAZING. I am reminded of that Christina Aguilera song … “what a girl wants”. And I want to thank the writers for giving it to me. The escape sequence where Jack breaks Tony out … unbelievable. And when Tony and Jack apologize to each other for playing the dead wife card and almost breaking the other’s neck respectively, I laughed out loud. THE BROTHERHOOD LIVES. I exclaimed “HOLY FUCK” at the top of my voice when Jack crashed the car out of the parkade and it smashed head first into another car. INSANE!!!!!
However, I was expecting Bill and Chloe to have had something to do with helping get Tony off the grid, and that wasn’t the case. Which brings us to what we know so far about what happened to Tony in the 4 years between when he “died” in Jack’s arms and now. Speaking of which, when Jack walks into the room and says “I watched you die in my arms…” Oh man. Anyway, this brings us to what we know. The man Tony was working for (this David Emerson character, who Tony claims is British but has possibly the worst British accent I have ever heard) was tracking Tony before Palmer was assassinated, believing he could fit the profile of a disgruntled ex-government employee with an axe to grind … a “good recruit”. My guess is that he had probably been tracking Tony ever since he got out of prison, as that was likely the reason Tony came up on his radar in the first place. Emerson may or may not have known about Tony helping CTU with stopping Marwan, but he only really worked for CTU again for one day before he and Michelle left government service for good. Emerson probably knew that as long as Tony was with Michelle, he could never use him. But after Michelle was killed, Emerson saw his chance, knowing Tony would be grieving, angry and vulnerable.
It is still unclear as to whether Emerson had any hand in Henderson’s actions, but you never know. They seem to be implying no, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Henderson and Emerson had dealings before Day 5. After all, Emerson was all about recruiting former agents who didn’t agree with the way the government was being run or who felt they had been betrayed by their agencies. Henderson fits that bill, no question. They could have worked together at some point. What we do know is that Emerson paid someone inside CTU to give him Almeida’s body (evidently, within the 10 minutes between when they wheeled Tony out of the clinic in a body bag and when Emerson supposedly revived him). He administered some kind of “hypothermic compound” to revive Tony, who was clinically dead for 10 minutes.
After reviving him, Emerson gained Tony’s trust and loyalty, using his grief over Michelle and his anger at Logan’s role in her death as leverage. Tony, a broken and shattered man with nothing to live for except vengeance and nothing left to lose, worked as Emerson’s right hand and closest associate for three years, dealing weapons, technology and intelligence on the black market, working to destroy a government that he believed was corrupt and poisoned from within and that destroyed everything he ever cared about. But then Emerson went too far … he began dealing with Juma. Tony knew this would mean the deaths of innocents, and that was not cool with our man Almeida. So he revealed himself to Bill, who then recruited Chloe.
Speaking of which, I almost shed a tear when Bill brought Tony and Jack back to their operations center and Jack asked “what do you call this place?” and Bill replied “we like to think of it as CTU”. I mean, how pathetic, in the classic literary sense of the word, meaning evoking a sense of pathos. When we think back to everything CTU accomplished, all the lives they’ve saved and the steep price its agent paid for that, how mighty and strong and infallible it once seemed … to see it reduced to a musty loft space with some lifted equipment and wires hanging everywhere, Bill and Chloe’s voices echoing in the emptiness … fuck. It strikes me that the agency Jack and Tony sacrificed everything for … it crumbled from within. How tragic!
Anyway, so Chloe and Bill worked with Tony off the books to get close to Juma’s right hand, who is eager to take revenge on the US for what he perceives as their culpability in his brother’s death during Redemption. Tony went along with the “demonstration” of the CIP device to get in the same room with Dubaku.
What is still unclear is whether or not Tony, Bill and Chloe planned all along to bring Jack in. What if Tony allowed himself to be photographed in that parking garage, knowing that the “demonstration” was planned for the same day as Jack’s Senate hearing in Washington, and that when the FBI discovered he was involved, they would inevitably bring Jack in for questioning? He could then get caught on purpose, which would get him close to Bauer and allow him to tell Jack about DEEPSKY.
Anyway, I am super pumped that the brotherhood is back on track. But I also like the fact that they didn’t make Tony just “good all along”. When he looked Jack straight in the face and told him that he had been loyal to Emerson and had done terrible things, his voice breaking with pain and shame … and when Jack looked back, at first apalled, but then almost immediately empathetic and sad for Tony, and then told Bill he would help them because they are the only people he trusts … I got shivers up and down my spine. There has not been a brotherhood scene this good since Jack told Tony he “watched him come back to life” in Season 4. Now, those words seem so ironic, as Jack has literally “watched his friend come back to life” this season! It also must have been so painful for Jack when Tony said that he got close to Emerson because Emerson “treated me like a brother when I thought I had no one else.” JACK is Tony’s true brother and it must have hurt to hear him say this about Emerson, and hurt to know that part of the reason Tony succumbed to his grief and rage is because Jack wasn’t there for him. Of course, Jack was in a Chinese prison and then on the run from a Federal Indictment, so it would have been impossible for him to be there for Tony, especially believing Tony was dead. Tony couldn’t have contacted Jack even if he wanted to at first, and when Jack finally came back, it was too late. He was too deep in. But I liked how Tony said “I thought I had no one else”, not “I had no one else”. He made the statement about his state of mind, and not the facts, because the facts are that he knows Jack is there for him. He proved it by breaking him out of FBI custody even when he had no concrete knowledge of what was really going on.
So what else do we know … the Presidential storyline and the DEEPSKY storyline are going to collide sooner than we think. The First Gent knows that someone in his wife’s inner circle has financial ties to Juma’s regime, and I’m inferring that the evidence Roger Taylor uncovered is linked to the evidence that Bill, Chloe and Tony are working off as well. Bill stated emphatically that the conspiracy was deep and wide. Which makes me wonder for a moment where Karen is in all of this. I was never a huge fan of the Karen/Bill relationship, not because I don’t like their dynamic, but because I didn’t like the way the writers shoved it down my throat as a forced replacement for the Tony/Michelle and Jack/Audrey vibe. But I do like Karen as a character, love the actress who plays her, and wouldn’t mind seeing her return.
OK, I am really tired and wired. I have to stop now. All I have to say is that I am so on board with this Season so far. Jack and Tony working a secret covert operation undercover together is like my brotherhood dream come to life.