Cable for One – 24 Day 6 – 5:00 PM

24 has long shown a penchant for creating unlikeable characters and then, later on, making them at least somewhat sympathetic (examples include Bill Buchanan, Karen Hayes, Chloe O’Brian and Tony Almedia). They did a bit of that tonight as well, with Tom Lennox. Predictable though it was, I found myself giving a little cheer when Tom quickly turned in Carson and Reed. Tom hasn’t been redeemed completely though given that, despite his claims to the contrary, from what we’ve seen it definitely seems like he was on board with the Kill Palmer plan at one point.

Tom is kind of in a bit of a jam now though. The only way he’s ever going to get himself released from custody anytime soon is by letting Vice President Daniels go ahead with pinning everything on Assad. And, unlike what happened with Carson and Reed, Tom can’t very well just pretend that he’s going along with the VP and then reveal the plot to the nearest secret service agent.

Daniels certainly does seem quite willing to ignore the actual facts surrounding the attempted assassination on Palmer, especially with Assad all dead and unable to defend himself. The only real question is whether Daniels was involved in orchestrating the plot, or if he’s just taking advantage of the situation to crack down on civil liberties. Presumably there’s someone behind Carson and Reed’s actions, but I kind of hope it’s not Daniels. Not because I like the VP or anything, it’s just more interesting if the VP is simply exploiting an opportunity.

Presumably, if Daniels is involved, he’s not nearly as stupid as Carson and Reed either. Those two had several conversations in front of Tom where they decided if Tom agrees to go along with what they did then they won’t have to kill him. So, of course, he’s going to say he’ll go along with it, whether or not he actually is going to do so. Carson at least was smart enough to want to get rid of Tom, just in case, but Reed, whether out of need to delude himself in to thinking he’s just doing what is best for the country or out of affection for Tom, was quite insistent on letting Tom choose to die or not. In Tom’s situation all but the most self-righteous individuals would at least pretend to go along with Carson and Reed’s plan so they could expose it once they were free.

As for the Jack portion of the episode, he certainly doesn’t learn his lesson when it comes to consulates. I found it hilarious that Logan, of all people, was the one who was all concerned about what might happen to Jack if he ends up being implicated for taking action against another consulate. Sadly it looks like Logan may actually be sincere in his whole ‘born again’ Christian bit. Maybe next season he can be a crazy televangelist villain or some such.

And did Jack drop the ball on his attempt to get information or what? He managed all of ten seconds alone with the consul before an alarm was activated. And Jack seems to have had no idea that the Russians would be able to monitor the room and failed to notice what was probably an openly visible security camera. Sloppy work, Jack.

You had to feel for the poor random Russian security guy that Jack convinced to help. Given that we had seen him for all of the minute it took for Jack to convince the guy to call CTU, there was no way he was going to survive long enough to actually give CTU any useful information. I guess even he knew that he was about to die; when he was looking for a private location to make the phone call, he just chose to duck into an unoccupied room, without even closing the door behind him. Even if someone hadn’t been following him, anyone at all could have just happened to come in to the room while he was on the phone. He would have been far wiser to duck in to a bathroom; nobody would suspect anything based on his simply going to the bathroom and he wouldn’t have to worry about someone walking in on him. Admittedly, it seems like he was marked for death the second he agreed to help Jack so he probably still would have ended up dead if he had gone for a bathroom; still, very sloppy work on the part of random agent man.

I’m guessing next week we will be heading for a new international incident. Bill seems to be drawing up plans to invade the consul ‘just in case’ in much the same way that Tom was setting up security facilities this morning. And now that they’ve got an urgent but cut off phone call from the consulate, Bill has even more reason to send men in without authorization. The Russians may be somewhat pacified when they find out that Markov was involved in the plot supply nerve gas to terrorist and to kill Suvarov last season, but I still can’t see them being very happy about CTU storming their consulate.

Sir Linksalot: 24

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