24
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

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Guess Who's Coming To Breakfast?

Previouslys. Palmer is advised to come out with the truth about his son before reporter Maureen Kingsley breaks the story. His son and wife aren't too happy about this. Spawn asks Rick to help her break out of the TerrorKompound. "People break out of prison all the time," says Spawn. Um, so how come you didn't when you had the chance last week? Stupid girl! Bride is restrained, hooded, and brought to the TerrorKompound by fake CTU agents. Lastly, Kiefer switches keycards, takes Nina hostage, and pretends to shoot her. "The following takes place between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM…"

The credits roll as the screen splits to reveal a tousle-haired farm boy walking through some fields by the golden light of the morn while mournful trumpets blare in the background. It's a painting by Andrew Wyeth. It's a life insurance commercial. It's a Soviet propaganda film. No wait, it's Nina, looking waifish and unkempt in her oversized flak jacket, doing the walk of shame back to civilization from the industrial yard where Kiefer shot her. All of sudden, though, the creepy industrial yard from last week has turned into an immaculate but lonely Iowa cornfield that contrasts poetically with the adjacent split-screen images showing the hustle and bustle of the power plant where the Palmer breakfast with some Kalifornia labor leaders is taking place. An expository newscast informs us that the Kalifornia primary is "officially underway." Thank God! Finally the Palmers will have stuff to do now besides boring me to tears. FauxMartin, the Faux-tographer (tm Emporer), enters the building looking shifty and sheepish, alerting Ira Gaines via cell phone to his arrival.

The expository newscast keeps going on in the background, giving us more nuggets of redundant information like the fact that Palmer is set to win California and be the first African-American presidential candidate "from a major political party." No, they don't say which party. On the balcony of Palmer's headquarters, Palmer studies some index cards and puts them into his shirt pocket. Lady MacPalmer -- who incidentally is the only character in this plotline who doesn't put me to sleep -- slithers over, still looking fine, and asks him what he "decided." Palmer informs her that he rewrote his speech to break the silence surrounding the family scandal. He assures her that standing behind his decision is the "only way to protect Keith." "I will never forgive you if something bad happens to my son," says Lady MacPalmer. "He's my son, too," Palmer reminds her. "No he's not," says Lady MacPalmer. "The condom broke when we went to that key party at Wilt Chamberlain's house in Malibu. He is Theo's real father!" Actually, scratch that last thing that Mrs. Huxtable just said. I just thought the plotline needed a little help. Instead, Mrs. H gives Palmer some serious attitude and starts chugging a glass of some liquid that could be either Tang or a mimosa.

Enter Theo. Mrs. Huxtable greets him and asks him where L'il Lisa Bonet is. Theo informs Mrs. H and Palmer that L'il Lisa is picking up some friends at the airport. How convenient this errand is for the producers, who now don't have to pay L'il Lisa for an appearance in this week, since it will take her at least an episode…I mean, "an hour"…to pick up her friends at LAX. So the remaining Palmers start going over the game plan for the day. Palmer stresses the need to put Theo's "accident" behind him, and that everyone will be okay if they all come clean. Theo gets in Palmer's face, accuses him of living in a "fairy tale," and gives him some line about how juries love to convict black men who kill white people. I can see why Theo is worried. I mean, remember a few years ago when those Colombian drug lords broke into that black Heisman Trophy winner's home and killed his wife, and an all-white jury sent him to jail despite no evidence of his presence at the crime scene? Hi, Theo? Um, while it's true that black men are often given the short end of the stick when it comes to our justice system (to say the least), you are the son of a senator and not some poor black man depending on a public defender to keep you from getting the chair. I think your father knows a few lawyers and can afford to pay them. Furthermore, I can't imagine a jury coming down too hard on anyone, white or black, who killed his sister's rapist, as opposed to, say, killing someone over a botched crack deal. Palmer reminds him that the Maureen Kingsley story is going to come out anyway, whether or not he stands behind his father. "I'm not running from anything," says Theo. "I just don't want to spend my last episode with you." What a little shit! "Let's get this over with," says Palmer. Lady MacPalmer assumes a rigid expression on her face, and they exit.

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