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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

So here we are at the first hour of another two-hour season finale. I know the fans and critics have really been down on this season, but I just haven't been able to work up as much disdain for it as I had for the creaking, squalling, wobbling Rube Goldberg contraption that was Season 4. Besides, when was the last time there was a good sixth season of anything?

Tonight's previouslies include freeze-frames of Karen Hayes and Josh Bauer, the latter of whom the closed-captioning quotes as saying, "Dad!" to Kiefer. That's going to be the only reference in the next two hours to what I still maintain is Josh's biological paternity, but I'm taking it.

The CTU helicopter carrying Josh and Doyle flies about ten feet above the Pacific Ocean, right along the waterline. Josh taps Doyle on the shoulder and asks where they're going, since this doesn't seem to be the way to CTU. Doyle hesitates to answer Josh's questions, but says that Josh's grandfather has something that will help to stop a war. Doyle promises that they'll "recover" Josh as soon as they have what they need. Josh is already shaking his head in despair as Doyle is going on about two TAC teams and LAPD who stand ready to do rescue him. See? Even the teenagers on this show know how useless any non-Kiefer law enforcement personnel are, and the teenagers on this show are idiots. Doyle pulls out a case from somewhere under his seat; it contains an injectable tracking device. Handy to have that on a helicopter. "This may sting a little," Doyle warns as he embeds the chip into the sixteen-year-old's ulna. Josh, do you have a moment? I'd like to tell you a story about the last guy who let CTU shoot a tracking device into his arm. A man named Gredenko.

Back at the crime scene, Kiefer is unsuccessfully trying to plead with Agents Ryan and Turner (remember them?) that this is wrong, even as they're leading him to a CTUmobile. He's getting nowhere, of course, because he just met these guys today. Kiefer asks if he's being arrested, all bluff-callingly, like he wasn't just under arrest less than an hour ago. Turner says that they're just putting him under temporary custody to keep him from screwing things up for them. And for just having met him today, they've certainly got his number. Kiefer gets in the car, but they forgot to take away his cell phone.

The CTU big screen is tuned to Fox News, which is just now getting around to covering the "radiation spill" in San Francisco. The crawl reads, "British PM: City safe for Olympic Games," which makes me think of the LONDON 2012 sweatshirt Clive Owen wears in the second half of Children Of Men, which in turn makes me wish I were watching that instead. Can you imagine how much better this show would be if there were no characters under twenty? Chloe slumps past the screen and sits at her desk, rubbing her face in exhaustion like the day is finally catching up to her. Even this moment is cut short as Kiefer calls, pissed about the fact that CTU is handing Josh off to Dad. And if you thought CTU put the Josh plan in place quickly at the end of the last hour, the speed with which the specifics of the deal have been communicated to the rank and file is equally impressive. It means Chloe is totally in the loop on this, and thus is in a position to explain that the Veep ordered the swap Dad offered: Josh for the Russians' FB sub-circuit board. Kiefer says that Dad has no intention of keeping his end of the deal. Chloe half-heartedly assures Kiefer that Doyle plans to get Josh back. "My father will have a better plan," Kiefer growls, and tells Chloe to transfer him to Karen. Going right over Nadia's head, I see. Good move.

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