Tuesday, January 30, 2007

24: Mamas, Don't Misspell Your Babies' Names

Before we get to it, I have to clarify something. Graham, as I learned from the previouslies, isn't Graham so much as… Graem? Seriously? Oh, IMDb, you screw me over again. Also, McCrane's about forty years too old for one of those twee purposely-misspelled names like Johnnithyn or Bryin. I bet that's why he turned evil, because when he's in charge, no one will dare misspell his name! Ha ha ha!

So after months of anticipation, we finally get to see Philip Bauer, as played by James Cromwell, fresh off his role as another, slightly more ineffectual patriarch named Philip. Well, okay, I just met Philip Bauer, I probably shouldn't be calling him ineffectual, but with one son a superhero and one a supervillain, it's hard to see how he could make them listen to him unless he's either of those things. And, indeed, just as Philip's making the decision that their company should cooperate with CTU, Graem reveals the Bluetooth-enabled evil of which we know he is capable. This involves bringing out his hired goons and having them shackle his father and brother and load them into a van – probably not so they can take the Bauers out for frosty chocolate milkshakes. I have to assume that this is leading up to a father-son breakout next week, and I'm very excited for that.

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff Tom is all pumped to start herding up and detaining all Arab-Americans, but Karen's giving him a lot of jibber-jabber about "civil rights" and the "Constitution" and crap like that. So Tom blackmails her. It's the American way. Thanks to his minion, Chad Lowe, one of the very few actors dorkier than Peter MacNicol and therefore believable as his minion, Tom discovers that Buchanan allowed Abu Fayed to be released from detention months ago and Karen covered it up. She resigns, and asks to be transferred to L.A., which means she's either going to spend the second half of the season at CTU or her plane is going to get shot down. I'd have to go with the latter, because whenever 24 shows you a plane that Jack Bauer isn't on, that plane is going to explode.

And, somehow, Walid continues to be the most inexplicably talented amateur spy ever, actually managing to pick a guy's pocket to steal his cell phone. How does he have all of these abilities that are so conducive to espionage? I mean, except for the one he could really use: fluency in Arabic. Ah, I suppose it's the magic of writing. It's the same magic that makes Walid unable to then return the phone, so that the detainees (who aren't terrorists after all) find it on him and then start beating him. I want to like Walid, I really do, but it seems like his personality is dictated by the script. If he needs to be a fantastic spy, he is, but if he has to get found out, suddenly he loses all his cunning. I have yet to get a handle on what he's really like, except for "a paragon of virtue."


Liz said...

Hmm...well Graeme Base is a really awesome illustrator/author. Graem, on the other hand, just isn't a name.

Jessica said...

I'm just mad that Papa Bauer wasn't played by Donald Sutherland. That would have really increased my interest in this Bauer family storyline.

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