Tuesday, March 14, 2006

24 - 5x13 "7 P.M. - 8 P.M."


It's March, and CTU brought in a team filled with old veterans and minor leaguers. Of course, the team was hit with season-ending injuries. The fall-out from CTU's ruined World Baseball Classic hopes was so stunning that it led to an outright change in ownership. (Take note, Mr. Steinbrenner.) Advance word says that the new owners plan to bring in their own staff, and that current key CTU players are likely to face the axe in the near future. (If not the axe (cf. Chase), then Sentox, and if not Sentox, Mr. Jack Bauer.)

That preamble is just to say that this week's installment will be more of a wait-and-see approach than usual, which is just as well because I've run out of ways to make fun of "intangibles."

And one last note before I get to the actual analysis: it seems that I said in my last column that I'll be handing out first half awards this week. Well, we'll see about that.

Start 'em
Jack Bauer - No one doubts his pure talent, but sometimes Jack tries to be Superman to the detriment of his squad by taking ill-advised chances, which drives his field goal percentage towards into the high 30s. While some efforts worked (he choked Landes as a way to fire up Chloe -- unorthodox team-building, to say the least), most didn't (e.g. his shot at the air-conditioning computer was blocked by the rarely-seen Steel Grate Security Upgrade --- take note, Darko -- and he had to be picked up by Fat Hobbitses). Perhaps most unforgivable was how he cuddled with Soul Patch's corpse (at least it was still warm) while letting Robocop escape.

Jack's critics were also quick to pile on him after witnessing his short fuse with Landes. They smugly sat back and crossed their arms as they let whispered chants of "Roid rage! Roid rage!" run through the rumor mill. After all, they tacitly said, Jack has a past history of juicing up. (Never mind the debate if heroin actually enhanced Jack's performance or not.)

But all told, you can't afford to leave him on the bench, especially if you look at the pure numbers he accumulates over the course of an episode: 2 Physical Intimidations, 1 near-Kill, 2 Emotional Expressions, 1 Escaped From Certain Death, 2 Others Sent To Death. Big numbers! Even if the new management tries to reduce Jack's minutes, we all know he's going to go rogue.

Chloe O'Brian - Initially, Chloe looked like she would extend her five-game slump. She spent the first two periods in shock, but when her team was falling apart at the seams (Jack choking Landes), and from there, it was Snap after Snap she furiously broke off on Landes and Kim. But whatever new management can't fault her for that because of the technical expertise she brings.

Vice President Hal Gardner - The veep apparently has hit the ground running with his obviously malicious plan to cause mayhem and suffering. If you're playing for the other team, who needs Bierko when you've got BOB?

Martha Logan - If her hot/cold pattern holds, owners shouldn't be too worried that she didn't factor much in the latest episode -- she's just building up to something monumental. My guess: Madame President, Vice President Novick.

Chris Henderson - Seriously. Robocop.

Bench 'em
Bill Buchanan - When new management comes in, Buchanan always has a rough initial transition. But that's assuming he'll still be around to transition to the new regime.

Drop 'em
Tony Almeida - He tried hard to grind it out, and his toughness was on display: when he answered the phone, he put the receiver of the chopped-up part of his face. But that key turnover was simply huge, costing him not just the rest of his already injury-shortened season, but now his career.

Kim Bauer - The only person who could stand up to Jack is now quitting the game. And she didn't even bring the hott this time around.

Barry Landes - He couldn't contain Jack because apparently Jack doesn't need to breathe.

Waiver Wire
Karen Hayes - The Homeland Security official (we'll have to wait and see if she puts the "ho" into "Homeland") is going to shake things up at CTU even more as the new General Manager. A good short-term add.

Miles Papazian - New blood, especially at the higher ranks, often make an impact in their debuts. See Karen Hayes.

Henry the CTU Guard AKA "I'm OK!" - PWNED! (Why in the world would any organization give its security detail red shirts?)

Next column: 9 p.m.
Previous column: 5-7 p.m.

Indie rating: Swans - "Blood Section"

1 comment:

He Hate Me said...

How could you not recommend Bierko for a start next week? With the CTU first unit on the bench, Bierko is bound to rack up some easy buckets.