Season Five starts with a series of bangs. The shocks come fast and furious: Ex-President Palmer gets shot dead, Tony and Michelle get blowed up good, President Logan is about to accomplish something, and Chloe has a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Kiefer is hiding out somewhere outside L.A. under an assumed name, just close enough to come in to the rescue when Chloe calls him for help. She's figured out that the people who knew Kiefer is alive are the ones who are being targeted. Kiefer hijacks a helicopter, and his landlady's teenaged son Derek, to fly to the rescue. We meet President Logan's wife, who would seem to have a rather tenuous relationship with reality. Since Logan is about to sign a treaty with the Russian president, he so doesn't have time for her shit right now. He also doesn't have time for the warnings he's getting from CTU (where Buchanan, Curtis, Edgar, and Audrey are all back in play, along with Chloe's boyfriend, a weaselly little dude named Spencer) asking him to postpone the summit for security reasons. Kiefer and Chloe meet up just in time to get caught up with by the assassination team. Kiefer of course turns the tables on the bad guys, and gets the team's leader to reveal that Palmer was the real target, and that the ex-prez needed to be kept quiet -- although the assassin doesn't know about what. And then Kiefer kills the guy. Being freelance has advantages, I guess.
Welcome back, dear friends, to the fifth season of 24 recaps on Television Without Pity. Before we get started, I'd just like to say this: screw the greetings, I've got four of these bitches to write by Saturday. If you gotta pee, do it now.
Actually, I'm going to start with the DVD-only prequel that's included on the Season Four discs. A little warm-up exercise, if you will, because it's been almost a month and a half since I last wrote a recap and I want to be sure I still know how to do it. Pee during that, if you want.
The first couple of minutes of the prequel are the last two minutes of Season Four, conveniently beginning right where this page starts. The clock counts down the last few seconds to 7:00 AM and everything. And then it's replaced by the title, "12 Months Later."
In a suburban/industrial area of Chicago at 1:47:06 PM (which I can tell by the subtitles), a shiny silver rental car drives along a mostly empty street. At the wheel, of course, is Kiefer, looking pretty grungy in a dark-blue sweatshirt with the hood up. There's just no way to rock that look in shirtsleeve weather without coming off all dark-Jedi. Kiefer parks his car and gets out, adjusting his man-purse and his hood. He walks slowly but purposefully, hesitating briefly when a couple of guys hop out of a parked truck. Kiefer proceeds as if their presence there is innocent, which it quickly turns out to be as he walks past them. They don't say a word, but the fact that he's got his hood up on a sunny, warm day clearly makes them curious. Way to be inconspicuous, there, Kiefer. The only way he could stick out more would be to stop, turn, and look ba-- ah, there it is. Already I'm wondering how he lasted twelve minutes on the lam, let alone twelve months.
Nearby, a bright blue Prius pulls up and stops. Out of this car steps Chloe, formerly known as Potato Face. And I say "formerly" because her hair looks fabulous. Don't know what happened there. Maybe it's the cut, or the color, or the fact that this is the first time we've ever seen her in direct sunlight. ["It's got some body, finally. Maybe she busted out a weave? Regardless, I agree; it looks rad." -- Sars] She double-checks the crumpled note in her hand and wanders into the nearby truckyard. Where she's quickly grabbed and pulled against the side of a truck by Kiefer, who's been lurking there. "Are you sure you weren't followed?" he hisses, dashing any twisted hopes that this is some kind of romantic tryst. Which would have been dashed anyway, as we see when Kiefer pulls down his hood to reveal a greasy brown mullet. Ugh. Chloe, who actually looks better than Kiefer for the first time in history, tells him that he needs to get out of Chicago, stat. This advice is backed up by some technobabble, the upshot of which is that some clever soul infiltrated her computer and found out that she'd been mucking around in Kiefer's autopsy report. She paranoids that that's enough for the mystery hacker to realize that Kiefer's not really dead, and admits that she wasn't able to trace the source of the interception. She adds that whoever it is is good, and has figured out that Chloe has been in touch with an undercover operative in Chicago. Which makes the Windy City pretty much radioactive for Kiefer right now. Kiefer agrees that he's got to skip town, and says he'll contact Chloe once he's clear. She offers to help set up a new cover for him, but he declines, saying she's better off not knowing. "I can't believe you have to live like this now," Chloe says disgustedly, as if she'd been getting regular hot oil treatments for the last two seasons. Kiefer says he's fine, and sends her on her way. But then he stops her to ask about Spawn. "She's heartbroken," Chloe duhs, although she allows that it's better now that Kiefer's been gone for over a year. So he didn't tell his daughter he was alive? Smart man. He should have faked his death years ago. Kiefer thanks Chloe, and she heads back to her car. Kiefer pulls out what looks like a couple of cell phones and drops them both into a nearby dumpster.
While Kiefer's walking back to his parked car, a motorcyclist whose helmet has a tinted face shield roars around the corner and passes Kiefer on the street from behind. Kiefer looks up suspiciously as the biker gets to the next corner and then turns to face Kiefer. Kiefer plays it cool, appearing in no hurry to get into his car while the biker just sits there, revving his engine. Kiefer starts his own engine and puts it in reverse, then waits to see what the biker is going to do next. Well, actually, that would be nothing, because a black BMW with tinted windows comes screaming around the corner and aims straight at Kiefer's car. Kiefer hits the gas, and it's a nose-to-nose car chase, at least until Kiefer gets room to pull a J-turn and flee properly. Much chase-fu ensues. The Evil Beamer isn't shaken, and stays close behind as Kiefer drives onto busier streets, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. His pursuer is no slouch either, though, and stays in tight despite inferior traction on turns, much to Kiefer's frustration. I've got to say I'm impressed with this. The Season Four prequel wasn't anywhere near this fancy. We got to hear Kiefer drop an F-bomb and that was about it. But this is really giving the DVD-buying public its fifty-odd dollars' worth.