After a couple of weeks of high-octane offense with piled-up bodycounts, last night's episode was a low-scoring game of chess complete with strategic maneuvering and counter-maneuvering, some of which was high class, some of which was brain-befuddling.
Jack "You Have My Word" Bauer - With the league tending towards a decrease in offense, Jack's stock has just skyrocketed even if he continues to make questionable decision on the field, especially his player personnel skills. No sooner did he land the much-hyped prospect Tape of Logan and Henderson than he traded it away for Audrey Raines. And come on, much as she's improved lately, she's damaged goods: she was recently injured, she made it clear she didn't want to be traded, and her future in 24 is in doubt. However, Jack's season-high 6 Ks (kills) is hard to come by no matter the general offensive environment -- so count Jack as an asterisked start.
Chloe O'Brian - Go Chlo'! Even after getting punk'd by Miles Papazian into giving away Audrey's location, she managed to swipe his keycard with ease. An overlooked contribution of hers was when she made a face when she said that evidence would be needed to convince Karen Hayes that POTUS was the Big Evil Cheese. Evidence needed to prove guilt! What a wild idea!
Chris Henderson - At one point during the episode, Robocop was overhead saying that there had been "too much killing" lately, which doesn't bode well for his long-term prospects. However, he deserves props for engineering the Audrey/Tape trade, picking one Assist, and for having a seemingly endless supply of Minions for Jack to pad his Kill stats with.
James Heller "Highwater" - Those of you in keeper leagues hopefully remembered to start him this week -- heaven knows I forgot to even mention him in the last column -- but his throat strike on Jack was easily worth the starting nod. Unfortunately, things for Heller look like they'll get worse before they get better now that POTUS is making a power move to get the Sec Def off of team White House.
Charles "Milhouse" Logan - Although he outmaneuvered Heller, he was still his typically wishy-washy self. Even during the scene where he trapped Heller, Logan changed tones twice. When Heller first accused Logan, the President presented a blustery, aggressive face, but he folded weakly when Heller called his bluff. And of course, once his
Audrey Raines - Basically I've spelled out her doom in Jack's entry, but one additional note. When a character to whom fans have previously been ambivalent suddenly grows a spine (in Audrey's case, she tried sacrifice her own well-being to block the imbalanced trade, but unfortunately, she's still a couple years away from scoring 5-10 veteran status, so she lacks the no-trade clause), the end is near for that character.
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Indie rating: Solex - "You've Got Me"