This week’s episode of 24 somehow managed to have a hell of a lot happen while somehow making it feel like not a lot had happened. It did open up lots of interesting possibilities for the future though with Nadia’s arrest, Daniels going crazy(ier) and Jack finding out about Audrey’s supposed death.
On the subject of Nadia’s arrest, obviously she isn’t really the person that is leaking information to the terrorists. From a dramatic perspective, the way the leak was discovered was far too anti-climatic (Someone’s leaking information! I bet it’s Nadia! Oh, it is. Well, that was easy). If Nadia really was working with the terrorists, it would have been revealed in a more ‘shocking’ fashion. Also Nadia’s character exists to balance out all the Muslim terrorist stereotypes. When people get upset at the stereotyping, the producers can point to Nadia as an example of a Muslim that is not only not a terrorist, but is playing a vital role in stopping terrorism. Presumably the real mole took advantage of suspicion surrounding Nadia because of where she was born and had the leak go through her system in case it was discovered.
The question is, “Who’s the real mole?” For dramatic and logistic purposes it’s got to be a semi-important character who is in the CTU building. We can cross Jack, Bill and Chloe off the list for various reasons (not to mention the stupidity of having any of those three revealed as the mole). I think Marilyn can also be removed from consideration. We haven’t been given any indication that she has any notable computer-related skills, she hasn’t been in the building for all that long and she probably doesn’t have any private access to an open computer terminal. That leaves Doyle, Milo and Morris.
Of the three, Doyle seems the least likely. He insisted on checking Nadia’s system first, thus uncovering the leak rather quickly. I suppose it is possible that he was making sure attention was focused on Nadia’s system so that CTU doesn’t notice something else on the network, but that doesn’t seem too likely. Doyle’s also only been in the building for a brief amount of time, it seems unlikely he would have had the time to set up a leak to go through Nadia’s computer. On top of this, Doyle’s been thoroughly unlikeable so far, so having him do a heel turn wouldn’t have much of an impact.
Milo seems like a much more viable suspect. When new security directives were rolled out, severely limiting the access of agents of middle eastern descent, Milo logged Nadia in to the system under his credentials (a detail they made a point of reminding us about this week). He also protested checking Nadia’s system first and his concern for Nadia while she was being interrogated could have been because he felt guilty about what he had done to her.
The problem with Milo being the mole comes from his logging Nadia on to the system. If the attempted frame-up against Nadia succeeds, Milo is probably looking at some serious jail time for helping her out (a situation that would have been even worse for Milo if the nuclear bomb attack had succeeded). Though it is possible that he was willing to take that chance to ensure the attack succeeded as he would be in a far worse legal situation if the leak was traced back to him directly.
The only other real option is Morris. He did program a device to allow the terrorists to arm the bombs, and even when he knew CTU was mere minutes from rescuing him, Morris apparently didn’t even try to stall his reprogramming efforts. Admittedly Morris was tortured into co-operating with Fayed, but Morris could be A) working with the Russians without Fayed knowing or B) working with either Gredenko and/or Fayed as a CTU mole with a concealed identity. Morris was, however, the one to find out where the pilot of the drone was, which he’d be less likely to do if he had been working with the terrorists.
The possibility of none of the terrorists knowing the true identity of the CTU mole also makes it harder to rule out suspects. If the mole was helping the terrorists for financial gain as opposed to ideological reasons then they may well help to expose the terrorists as long as they felt confident that A) they would still get paid and B) their involvement wouldn’t be exposed.
For my money, Milo is the most likely culprit. I would prefer it to be Morris though as his character has been pretty consistently uninteresting this season (and as an added bonus, it would mean the return of the always entertaining ‘Bitter Chloe’).
Daniels sure is obsessed with blowing the hell out of the things isn’t he? Though if he wants to convince other people he’s not crazy, he may want to avoid looking disappointed when he learns that CTU stopped a nuclear attack on an American city. It was hilarious (in a wow, he sure is crazy sort of way) to watch Daniels face when he learned that there was a radiation leak. You could just see the joy creeping into his face as he realized he could use this as an excuse to follow through on his attack threat.
It looks like next week will Karen will try to wake up President Palmer in hopes of getting the nuclear strike called off. I’m not quite sure how well that will work though, as even if Wayne does wake up he’s still going to be in critical condition and pumped full of all kinds of drugs. I don’t know the official policy on a situation where the Vice President has been temporarily handed authority, but one assumes that Wayne would have to be confirmed to be of sound mind before he could actually resume control of the country. If it doesn’t work out maybe Karen can recruit Tom in a plot to assassinate Daniels.
The other major development this week is something that probably won’t be touched on too much for a while. I was kind of wondering how long it would take Audrey to show up and now it seems like she won’t be doing so this season. If Jack is right and Audrey’s ‘accident’ was caused because she was trying too hard to free Jack it’s quite possible that she isn’t actually dead either. From the sounds of things the Chinese authorities had to identify her body from a DNA sample; if the people who kidnapped Jack wanted her out of the way they could have easily faked her death and just kidnapped her instead. I just hope next season isn’t devoted to Jack’s going to China to try to avenge Audrey’s death (only to find out, shockingly, that Audrey isn’t actually dead). It’s not a story that would fit well with the show’s format.
Next week’s show should be interesting. The nuclear launch storyline will presumably get a lot of focus, seeing as it is supposed to take place ‘within the hour’ (a rather common timeframe on 24). I could see them going a few different ways with that one. We’ll probably get some further developments in the ‘Who is framing Nadia?’ game as well. Should be good watching.