24
Day 3: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Guardian Angel

The SUVs of Evil come to a stop in a configuration that's going to make it hard for them to leave in a hurry. I'm just saying. In one of them, Ving Rhames With Hair answers his cell phone. It's Saunders, telling him to give the phone to Bitchelle in the backseat behind him. I think it would be funny if Saunders were driving this particular SUV, but that doesn't appear to be the case. He tells her, "My preference is to turn you over to your husband unharmed, but I will kill you if anything goes wrong." He doesn't explain why he has that preference, but I gather it's so he can have a chance to prove that he'll fulfill his obligations if the other side fills theirs. You're more likely to be a successful terrorist if people see they can reason with you, you know. Ving Rhames With Hair gets out of the SUV of Evil and unlocks the handcuffs securing Bitchelle's wrist inside the truck. Soul Patch watches as VRWH guides Bitchelle into his line of sight, a gun to her neck. VRWH should threaten to shoot the other side of her neck so she and Soul Patch can have matching wounds.

Soul Patch's cell phone rings. It's Saunders again, telling him he'll free Bitchelle when Saunders sees Spawnders. I think we're familiar with the terms by now. Soul Patch opens the shotgun door on the Patchmobile and guides Spawnders out into the open. She looks like she's about to take a test she hasn't studied for. Soul Patch coaxes her to walk towards the SUVs of Evil. It would serve Kiefer right if this trade went ahead without a hitch and Saunders drove blithely off with his daughter. But now, at 10:55:47, we see the real reason Kiefer wanted to play it this way: CTU has already performed two building raids this morning, but a hostage exchange, with all its inherent drama, is something we haven't seen yet. Spawnders and Bitchelle walk slowly towards each other. They pass, exchanging a long, wordless look. Soul Patch's wedding ring catches the sunlight as he holds out his hand to his approaching wife and tells Kiefer to move now. I thought he was the one who wanted to wait. Kiefer reminds everyone that they haven't spotted Saunders yet, and they need to hold off. Bitchelle allows herself a small smile in her husband's direction, an almost certain signal that this whole thing's about to go pear-shaped. Spawnders shows signs of losing her nerve as she approaches Ving Rhames With Hair. He is kind of intimidating-looking. She finally turns around and bolts back towards the man she accused of kidnapping her less than an hour ago. Luckily for Kiefer, Saunders pops up out of one of the SUVs, calling for his daughter and looking, for the moment, approximately her age. Kiefer spots him on his handheld monitor and gives the tactical team the order to move. Here we go!

VRWH fires at the Patchmobile. Soul Patch returns fire as Bitchelle and Spawnders huddle behind him. Now the rest of Saunders's guys are shooting, and they've got themselves a firefight as CTU agents pour out of the woodwork. Saunders makes a highly satisfying "WTF?" face. I guess the batteries in his Cop GameBoy were dead. VRWH goes down, the front of his turtleneck ruined. Now agents are dropping on rappelling lines from the bridge span above, and Saunders's guys are just dropping. He realizes he's screwed and bolts from the SUV, vaulting over a railing and sprinting away. Kiefer is, of course, the only one behind him, and he looses a few shots in Saunders's direction before giving pursuit. A group of CTU agents advance on Saunders's men as another group moves Spawnders into cover. Saunders continues to flee from Kiefer, and we see he's made a grave tactical error: he's come out into the dry concrete riverbed where they had the hot rod race in Grease! Saunders, don't you know that evil is always defeated here? Kiefer and Saunders trade a couple more shots as the pursuit continues, and then a helicopter hovers into view. Hey, that's not the CTU helicopter. I can tell because it's white instead of blue. And also because there's a guy inside it firing a machine gun at Kiefer. Kiefer dives for cover and calls for air support. Hey, that came up after all! Special Agent Charlie Brown, still running his firefight, gets the required information from Adam back at CTU: a flight of Marine F-18s are thirty seconds away and their call sign is Guardian Angel. It's a good thing Adam says that, because those are the only words I can understand out of Charlie Brown's mouth as he bellows into his communicator. But apparently the Marine pilots understood him just fine, so we get to see a pair of fighter jets streaking low over Los Angeles. Very cool. CTU continues to hand Saunders's men their bullet-riddled asses, and Saunders's helicopter sets down on the concrete. Saunders runs to it, seconds from making good his escape and, presumably, giving the pilot a good tongue-lashing for not warning him about the agents he should have seen from the air. Then one of the jets fires a rocket -- let's call that rocket Romano, shall we? -- and the helicopter goes up in a huge fireball, flinging Saunders onto his back. Whee! We see the burning helicopter, a jet's shadow on the ground, both jets flying overhead, and Kiefer, all in the same shot, so we know this wasn't some cheap-ass stock footage they were using. Kiefer reports that the chopper's been taken out, and the F-18s streak off, their pilots secure in the knowledge that they'll probably never have to release ordnance over Los Angeles again. At least until next season.

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