With only three characters returning from previous seasons, someone at the show must have decided that one of those three had better become a lot more sympathetic. The amazing thing is that it's Potato Face, and it actually kind of works. She and Kiefer secretly team up to disobey Driscoll's orders. They're tracking a TerrorMinion that Kiefer hopes will lead them to DaD. But everyone else, from POTUS on down, wants the minion brought in immediately. And they're none too happy with Kiefer, either. DaD signs a war crimes confession for the kidnappers rather than watch them kill his daughter. TerrorTeen turns to TerrorMom for help with his idiot girlfriend and TerrorDad, but TerrorMom sells him out and invites Debbie into the TerrorHome. Poor Curtis is not only doomed, and stuck with the unenviable assignment of torturing DiCK, he's got a psycho ex-girlfriend who has blackmailed her way into a temp gig at CTU and has decided to get right to work stirring shit up. Potato Face has to watch Witless take a crunchy beating on a highway traffic-cam, until Kiefer finally intervenes. He still needs her help getting satellite surveillance of the TerrorMinion he's trailing, and she tries to come through, but she can't pull it off in time. When the TerrorMinion stops at a gas station, Kiefer figures the only way to stall him long enough is to stage a holdup. It probably seems like a good idea to Kiefer.
This just in: my parents are, as of Sunday night's premiere, brand-new fans of 24. Which means it's more likely than ever that they're going to be reading these recaps. Hi, Mom and Dad! Hope you like them! They'd be better, but spending any more time on them would really cut into my Bible study.
Due to some graphic violence viewer discretion is advised. Somebody should have warned Potato Face.
Previously: Kiefer wanted to bring Witless in to save him from terrorists and also help find DaD. A terrorist overheard the conversation and got to Witless first. TerrorTeen delivered a briefcase and got followed by his idiot girlfriend, which TerrorDad said could bollix up the whole evil plan. Kiefer 2.0 reluctantly brought Kiefer along to pick up Witless, then got his ass killed, so Kiefer had to chase after Witless on his own. Curtis questioned DiCK about DaD and DoDder's kidnapping, which had been perpetrated by terrorists who now want to try DaD for war crimes and execute him on the internet. The following takes place between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM.
We open on Air Force One, looking very impressive indeed as it flies over the ocean. Is someone lost? That might have been a good metaphor for the last year of the Palmer administration. Oh, well. Keeler sits down to a meeting of what looks like whichever Cabinet members and Joint Chiefs happened to be on the plane. Others, including Driscoll, are patched in via video teleconferencing. Keeler brings the new viewers up to speed, with a little analysis thrown in: "Make no mistake: this country is under attack." What's more, "Intelligence indicates that the kidnapping may be a trigger -- the first step in a series of larger attacks." So that explains what the second half of the season will be about. Keeler asks his people what's being done. His campaign manager from last season, Poor Man's Tim Russert, who now appears to be Keeler's Chief of Staff, says that all of DaD's codes and protocols have been changed and the rest of the Cabinet has been sequestered. His maybe-Press-Secretary explains that the major media outlets won't be broadcasting DaD's trial and execution (even Al-Jazeera?), but they can't control the terrorists' use of the internet and they can't shut the 'net down without crippling the government and the economy. Okay, first of all, I barely know enough about the internet to get these recaps to Sars, but even I understand that the internet doesn't have some master switch somewhere that shuts it down. And I would also like to think that the command and control systems we're using aren't quite as 'net-dependent as this scene would lead us to believe. But then the last four years have changed a lot of things that I used to like to think about the government. Poor Man's Tim Russert cuts to the chase: the only way to stop this is to find and rescue DaD. Which puts all the pressure on Driscoll. Keeler asks her how the search is going. Driscoll answers the question as nonchalantly as if Keeler had asked her about remaining storage space on CTU servers, which is so distracting that I don't even hear what she actually told him. Keeler breaks up the meeting, telling everyone that finding DaD is their top priority.
Driscoll meets up with Curtis on the CTU floor and asks how the questioning of DiCK is going. Not well enough for Driscoll, apparently, and Curtis heads off for his fateful date with an exposed power conduit. Driscoll hears Potato Face wrapping up her conversation with the Early Episode Exposition Call Center, and asks what's going on. Potato Face says she can't reach either of the Kiefers, that Witless has been intercepted, and a shooting has been reported at the train station. Driscoll's "What?" is the strongest reaction we've seen from her so far. Potato Face trots off to look for an update. Driscoll orders Lispy Skip to get pictures of Witless to their agents and set up a security grid around the station. Special Agent Breck says she can do it faster. Driscoll agrees, and drafts Lispy Skip to come and help with tactical. I bet that wasn't what Special Agent Breck planned. But before Lispy Skip can do more than activate his screensaver, Kiefer calls in. Driscoll demands to know what's going on. Kiefer breaks the news that Kiefer 2.0 is dead, and that he's secretly tracking the Velveteen-Voiced Hostile (formerly the Velveteen-Voiced One, formerly the Clean-Cut Minion -- I'm tired, all right?) who nabbed Witless. Driscoll wants to send backup to bring in VVH, but Kiefer doesn't think so; he wants to keep following VVH in the hope that he'll lead them to DaD. Driscoll explains about the webcast, which only makes Kiefer more convinced that leaving VVH free and following him is the only way to find DaD in time. "Kiefer, we had a deal!" Driscoll whines. "You're breaking up," Kiefer lies, and tells Driscoll to get SWAT and rescue teams ready and that he'll be in touch. He hangs up without saying where he is. Driscoll slams down the phone. She demands to know where Kiefer was calling from, but Lispy Skip reports that Kiefer had it blocked. Everyone stares at Driscoll, thinking, worst boss ever. Driscoll now has to announce that Kiefer 2.0 is dead, and that Kiefer is "no longer cooperating." Everyone is to concentrate on finding Kiefer and the VVH.