As season 4 ended, everyone except former president David Palmer, Chloe, Tony and Michelle thought Jack had been killed by a Secret Service Agent. Of course, it was all a setup. Jack wasn't dead, well, technically he was dead, but not from a gunshot wound as they thought. They revived Jack from the drug they had given him to stop his heart and he escaped! He was on his own now, never to return....at least until season 5!
So, Season Five starts out a year and a half later with Jack working sporadically with oil crews under an assumed name with a single mom and her suspicious teenage son. Early on, the unthinkable happens as former President (and Jack Bauer fan) David Palmer is assassinated, former co-worker Michelle Dessler is killed in a car-bombing, and yet-another-former colleague Tony is seriously injured while attending to Michelle as another explosion occurs. This is all in the first 10 minutes!
The only one left who knew about Jack really being alive was Chloe and she is now on the run from suffering the same fate as the rest! To make it worse, a video is concocted showing Jack entering the building where the shot came from that killed President Palmer. Now CTU and the Oval Office believe Jack is responsible for the assassination and all guns are aimed his way. Of course, it will take more than the combined might of the United States to stop Jack.
Chloe, on the run, calls Jack and he commandeers a helicopter and gets back to Los Angeles as quickly as possible to help his friend and confidant. Naturally, while "commandeering" the helicopter, things don't go exactly according to plan and Jack ends up having to kidnap the son of the woman he has been seeing (all the while under the assumed name, never revealing his true identity). Best line of the first 4 hours? He tells the 15 year-old-boy, "The only reason you're not unconscious right now is because I don't want to carry you."
Well, to make a long story short, Jack rescues Chloe, kills the sniper who killed President Palmer (along with 4 or 5 of his henchmen) and then enlists Chloe to help him break back into the Penthouse where President Palmer's body is still lying in the middle of the crime scene (remember, they think Jack is responsible).
Somehow, Jack is able to evade all 125 Secret Service agents wearing only a stolen FBI jacket and some sunglasses (I guess Superman is right - glasses really do make a great disguise). He finds a lead with the help of Palmer's brother and takes off to the airport to follow up.
While in the airport, the terrorists plan begins in earnest. Hostages are taken as SOMEHOW 15 men are able to take control of an entire airport (though it is not LAX-size - more like Statesville sized). The teenage boy runs back inside to warn Jack and of course, he is the one chosen for exection. Jack saves his bacon and helps stop the terrorists thanks to his being in the "FLANK2" position (ask someone who watched the show what that means).
As usual, all the theatrics were just a cover for the next step in the plot - stealing canisters of nerve gas hidden (where else?) under the floor in an airport hangar. Thankfully, CTU has control of every single camera in the country and quickly found the man responsible for stealing the nerve gas.
The 5th hour (11:00 AM - 12:00 PM) begins with First Lady Logan (who must have had several mental episodes in her recent past) unconscious from the chloroform used on her by Walt Cummings, President Logan's Chief of Staff. Mrs. Logan found proof that President Palmer had contacted her about the terrorist plot. Of course, because of events in Mrs. Logan's past, no one believes her story about being attacked and the call log she had hidden in her blouse gone missing (no one else knew about the slip of paper she had hidden). Unfortunately this was the only proof that she had been telling the truth about the phone recording from President Palmer being tampered with. That callsheet would have launched an investigation and probably stopped the whole chain of events from happening.
The decision was made to have Mrs. Logan sent back to a Rehab center in Vermont. Apparently Mrs. Logan had mentioned before that she would rather die than go back to the Rehab facility. Upon discovering she was being shipped off to Vermont again, she slipped out of the bathroom window and escaped to hide in the stables.
As with any good 24 season, there must be a mole. MOles are EVERYWHERE - you can only trust Jack (and probably Curtis, Chloe and Edgar - everyone else is suspect). However, this season has a mole with a twist. Spencer (Chloe's boyfriend) had been placed inside CTU by Cummings under the guise of serving the President via Internal Affairs (or so it seems for now.) It was quickly discovered that Spencer was accessing classified information by hacking in with Level 5 access (when he was only supposed to have Level 3).
In the meantime he was, under the direction of Cummings, allowing in a "Server Technician" to CTU, presumably to help with surveillance on Jack, but, as it turns out he was an assassin sent to kill Jack. While Jack was talking to a recently-awakened Tony, he noticed the man approaching him from behind in a reflection of a heart monitor. A great hand-to-hand fight ensued with Jack receiving cracked ribs, and the assassin getting a new "neck ornament" installed courtesy of Jack. This episode ends with CTU hot on the trail of missing Military-grade nerve gas, apparently intended for the Kremlin and Jack preparing to go after Cummings.
It also looks as though Jack and Audrey might still have an interest in one another. However, Audrey continues her irritating habit of calling Jack right in the middle of a stressful event and "wanting to talk." To make things worse, she just stands there and emotes and doesn't talk. How does Jack stand that???
Walt Cummings finds out that Jack is coming after him and like any sane person - completely spills the beans. Cummings confessed to the President that he leaked information to the terrorists about the location of the nerve gas. However, he said that the nerve gas will never reach Russian soil because detonators will be triggered once the terrorists landed at their home base. This would prove the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Central Asia. It will allow America to increase its military presence in the area and guarantee the flow of oil.
He tells President Logan that he initiated the assassination of President Palmer in order to blow up some terrorist camps in Central Asia. Logan is going to turn him in until he figures out that "his administration" will look bad. As usual in this show, our government leaders opt for saving face and legacy and refuse to do what is right.
That only lasts until Jack shows up. Finally, this past Monday (Jan 30), we got to see more of Jack being Jack - without the beuaracracy of CTU slowing him down. If I ever have a secret to keep from the government, I hope they send ANYONE but Jack Bauer to "talk" to me. I would have spilled my guts the moment he drove his palm into my sternum - much less when he held a very sharp knife to my eye and demanded that Walt Cummings "TALK NOW!"
Jack finds out that Walt was also played for a fool. He thinks the nerve gas is going to be used on terrorists but the terrorists used him to get the nerve gas so they could use it on America. Oh, those sneaky terrorists.
Chloe finds information on the only ship leaving for Central Asia. Edgar narrows down which container the nerve gas could be in. Buchanan (head of CTU) sends Jack an image of the yellow tie man (the guy who stole the canisters and who was "working with" CUmmings). His real name is Ivan Erwich, a chemical engineer who joined his country’s separatist movement.
CTU finds the boxes containg the canisters but all the canisters are missing and Cummings' "inside man" is found dead. Jack has Cummings brought back in to see the video. Cummings swears that he doesn’t know what happened to the canisters but figures out “They must know!” (speaking of his plan to detonate the nerve gas canisters in their midsts once they return to their terrorist camp).
Then, Cummings’ cell phone rings, and he sees that it’s Schaeffer’s number. Jack has CTU monitor the call and he makes Cummings answer. It’s Erwich, the yellow tie man, who says that Schaeffer confessed everything. Cummings tells Erwich that this was an unsanctioned act and that no one else, including the President, was involved. “Your country is about to pay a very steep price,” Erwich warns.
Now, we wait for Hour Six (1:00 PM til 2:00 PM) as Jack goes looking for the nerve gas.
A few questions for you to answer:
- Are Walt and Spencer really just "duped patriots?" The "coming next week" previews show Spencer working side-by-side with Chloe once again.
- Is this a change in plans for the terrorists? Were they really going to use the nerve gas on Russia and are now going to use it on America because America was going to double-cross them?
- Who is the person behind the bed that Jack has his gun trained on? The preview showed what appears to be the hands of a woman. Who is it? Nina Myers - back from the dead? That crazy bi-sexual assassin from SEVERAL past seasons? Daughter Kim turned rogue? Or maybe they're just dainty man-hands? Chase?