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JANUARY?!?

We have to wait until stinkin’ January?!?

Ugh.

You have to understand how my household runs to comprehend my level of consternation at this. The only time the TV is on in the MonT-SteR home (other than to play Baby Einstein DVD’s for bAbY MonT-SteR — who, by the way, just became a one-year-old) is 9 p.m. on Monday nights. “24” is our show. And now we have to wait until stinkin’ January to find out what happens next. Grrr…

Well, let the speculation begin.

My earlier predictions were pretty off-base, but not entirely. Palmer did step out on a limb to save Jack Bauer’s life, but for different reasons than I anticipated. I should have known that it was too risky for Palmer to give himself up; he was working right under Supreme Weasel President Logan’s nose when he ordered the attack on the Chinese embassy. I doubt the Chinese would have bought the notion that Logan knew nothing about it. Moreover, it would have been far more damaging to Sino-U.S. relations for Palmer to do that, and I’m sure he knew it — no matter how much he wanted to save Jack. In a way, the Security Chief’s decision to have Jack whacked gave Palmer the out he needed.

Was this a cheap plot device to enable all us folks out here in television land to have our cake and eat it too? The nuke has been shot out of the sky, Marwan is dead (the creep!), the Chinese are mollified by Jack’s “death” in an escape attempt, Palmer saves Jack’s life, and Tony and Michelle happily ride off together into the sunset — never to darken CTU’s doorstep again.

Right.

A few ideas about next season:

  • Do you really think the whole Chinese angle is going to go away? They’ll feign satisfaction over the details surrounding Jack’s supposed demise, but behind the scenes they’re going to suspect a U.S. government cover-up and continue their own investigation. A picture of Jack on a surveillance camera or something will turn up, confirming their suspicion. And there will be holes in Chloe’s effort to fake Jack’s death and autopsy records. Maybe Edgar will slip up again by discovering that Chloe dissembled and then report it to Buchanan in boy scout fashion. Logan’s Security Chief will somehow learn of it and start doing his own digging. The secret service agent saw Bauer lying dead and took his pulse, but he may come to suspect something as well — which would put Tony in the crosshairs, as he was the only other witness to Jack’s death. Plus, Bill Buchanan has already stated to both Tony and Audrey Raines that Jack’s escape attempt didn’t make any sense. One minute, Jack is fully prepared to give himself up, which is consistent with his character. The next he’s waylaying his buddy Tony so he can get away? I don’t think so. This is going to rankle both Audrey and Buchanan, and perhaps Secretary Heller. When things start looking fishy, they’ll become involved. Look for the unraveling of Jack’s staged death and disappearance to be a major subplot come stinkin’ JANUARY.
  • This may even be the device that draws Jack out of hiding. Palmer, the bald guy with glasses (can’t remember his name), Tony, Michelle, and Chloe are all complicit in deceiving both the U.S. government and the Chinese. Suppose somebody fingers Chloe, or Tony? Suppose this happens before Michelle and Tony can get away from CTU? Jack wouldn’t hesitate to come out of hiding and surrender to the Chinese to save his friends, to say nothing of doing his patriotic duty.
  • Then there’s the matter of the next big threat. Do the U.S. and the Chinese come to the brink of full-scale war over Bauer’s disappearance? Or are the details of Jack’s disappearance merely a tense undercurrent while CTU works to undo a larger, more urgent problem? The whole issue with Jack seems too infinitessimal to be the cause of a major Sino-U.S. conflagration that will occupy the entire season. Then again, the writers over at Fox do seem to be pretty creative.
  • What about the President who’s in a coma? Does he recover? If so, what happens to Logan? I can’t see Logan willingly relinquishing all the newfound power and trappings of successfully averting a national disaster (like he had anything to do with it, the weasel).
  • And then there’s the question of Jack himself. What is his new life like? Is he happy (probably not)? Does he return to the show at all (it appears so)? Keep in mind that his staged escape and death soiled his record. He attacked a CTU agent and shot at a Secret Service agent in the process. The authorities won’t be eager to bring him back into the inner workings of the U.S. government — unless, of course, the truth becomes known. That would have implications for Logan’s administration, to say nothing of the Sino-U.S. relations story line. I think I’ve read rumblings about next season being the last. If that’s the case, it might be time for Jack to go out with honor by coming full circle and surrendering to the Chinese anyway. Who knows?

Phew! Plenty of speculation to go around, and I’ve done all the speculating I can presently handle. Now all I have to do is wait — until stinkin’ JANUARY!

Blessings,

Rob
aka The MonT-SteR