24
Day 2: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

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Kiefer Underkover

Back at NSA, Lynne is concerned that the press is starting to ask kwestions about why Palmer kut short his fishing trip with Theo. Uh, because it was "with Theo"? I mean, I'm thrilled that Palmer is trying to be there for Theo, seeing as how African-American fathers are perceived statistically as being absent from their kids' lives, but you know, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that prevent one from being a hands-on father…like if your kids are douchebags, for instance. Lynne prepares Palmer for the inevitable questions while KreepyEric eavesdrops -- or whatever it is you do when you're a mere two feet away and hardly have to strain to listen in on a private conversation. "I better take care of it myself," reassures Palmer. KreepyEric wants to put his two cents in. He feels that Palmer should roll up his sleeves and deal with the problems at hand. Palmer wants to deal with the press, explaining that should a rumor leak out about the bomb, mass hysteria would ensue. A mass hysteria, by the way, that would be as dangerous as, if not more dangerous than, an actual nuclear blast.

The KieferKopter touches down in some parking lot. Kiefer steps off the Kopter and calls Mason on his cell. He asks after Spawn and her transportation to safety. Mason admits that they can't find Spawn at No!DaddyNo! Manor -- because you know she just ran away from there to prevent JonBenet from more abuse. "Dammit, George," says Kiefer, the velvety voice roughed up like a buzz saw. "I told you to tell me the second you know anything." Mason dryly claims that he was "just picking up the phone." Mason reassures the Kief that Spawn will be found and subsequently hustled out of L.A. to safety. Kiefer thanks George, climbs into his new Ford Kiefmobile, and takes off for pastures unknown. While in the Kiefmobile, Kiefer kalls Spawn to give one more velvety pitch that Spawn leave L.A. A shot of Kim's dresser at No!DaddyNo! Manor establishes that Spawn left her cell phone behind.

Meanwhile, back at CTU, Darlene is sitting behind the perforated metal wall divider, tracking something important-looking on her monitor. It blips and everything. Okay, who knows, maybe it's a video game. Soul Patch enters and asks her how her work is going. Nervous Darlene asks him if they should be working on this project somewhere outside of L.A. You know, because of that whole "bomb planted in L.A. thing"? Soul Patch tells her to stop thinking about it. "You never know how good the intel is," he says. And no, I don't know if "intel" is short for "intelligence" or if Soul Patch is referring to the PC that only 24 moles use. And yes, Darlene is using a PC. Dun dun dun! Mason enters and tells Soul Patch and Nina 2.0 that moments ago border patrol uncovered two forged Middle Eastern plot devices…I mean, "passports" in a van they were searching. Uh, why would someone forge a "Middle Eastern" passport to cross the Mexican border? Wouldn't you want to, say, forge a U.S. passport to get into the U.S.? Nevertheless, Nina 2.0 opens up a computer program that gives her iMac the power of omniscience, because with just a few clicks of a button she is able to pull up digital images of that very passport to show Mason and Soul Patch. From there they are able to determine that the paper stock used to make the forged passports is the same paper stock used to make other TerrorPassports…or something. Like, why don't they just type "where's that bomb and who planted it?" into this computer and thwart this terrorist plot that way if it's that simple? Apparently this van was headed toward an address in Culver City, and Mason wants an agent to investigate said address. Oh yeah, like terrorists give accurate information to immigration officials about exactly where they're headed in the interests of fair play. What this all boils down to is that the CTU agent assigned to go find Kim and get her out of L.A. is now needed in Culver City, and basically Mason is breaking yet another promise to Kiefer. Soul Patch protests, so Mason tells him to send a lesser agent to No!DaddyNo! Manor to wait for Kim. And no, we don't ever actually see either of these agents at No!DaddyNo! Manor, because apparently there's no more money in the budget to cast a couple of handsome black men in these roles.

Did they fire their composer from last year or something? I say this because they've recycled that musical theme from "10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM" last season, and come to think of it, they haven't had any other original music playing so far this season. Everything else on the soundtrack seems to be the sort of stock compositions that are sold cheaply to Lifetime movies or nighttime soap operas. Anyway, I like this theme. As I said in my recap last year, it reminds me of the music that the Kronos Quartet did for Requiem for a Dream. Anyway, Kiefer has arrived at some sleazy L.A. auto repair garage, and you just know there are bad people hanging out here. Kiefer's underkover outfit consists of a pair of tight faded jeans, a black Gap pocket tee, and one of those sage green bomber jackets that you can get at Army/Navy stores for $19.99. I know this because I owned one in navy blue. When I first moved to New York and I was young, foolish, and flush with credit, I stupidly purchased a Calvin Klein duffel coat at Bergdorf Goodman and paid full retail price. Three months later, a cokehead that my friend was dating stole it from me at a party and disappeared, so not only had I overpaid for the thing, I didn't even have it anymore. The next day, I had to go to work and it was cold, so I ran coatless into this Army Navy store in my neighborhood and bought my navy blue bomber jacket. It had an orange lining and a zippered pocket in the sleeve for pens. It was only to hold me over until my next great coat. That very day, I was told at least eleven times that it looked like I'd lost weight, so I started wearing this thing everywhere. I think I even wore it to the beach that summer. I had that thing for three years. Every time I considered replacing it, I remembered the missing Calvin Klein coat. The idea of spending another cent on outerwear enraged me to such an extent that I clung to my bomber jacket like Linus to his blanket. Finally my friends staged an intervention and told me about sample sales.

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