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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

‘24:’ Episode 17, midnight-1 a.m.

click to enlarge BLOODY MERRY: I don't want to hit you in the face with my Tiffany decanter, but I will.
  • BLOODY MERRY: I don't want to hit you in the face with my Tiffany decanter, but I will.

What do Angelina Jolie and Larry Moss have in common? They both effing hate Jon Voight.

Voight, as you know by now, plays Hodges, the jilted, militaristic, crazy-eyed SOB who runs Starkwood. Hodges took a turn toward extra crazy last night, which left him with blood on his hands and Darth Vader in his larynx: "... A country I've served faithfully for 30 years!!!" (His octave freefall also reminded me of Jafar in Disney's Aladdin, when he transforms into giant Jafar ... anyone?) We'll get to Hodges' trail of dead a little later.

Starkwood's band of mercenaries has Larry and co. stonewalled in front of an empty warehouse. (The President of the United States sent you? Never heard of her.) Hodges rolls up in his Hummer and tells Larry to beat it. Back at FBI headquarters, a shaky but coherent Jack contacts Doug Knowles, a Starkwood boardmember who'd been cooperating with the late Sen. Mayer's investigation. He agrees to help Tony locate the bioweapons. This means Larry must create a diversion. So Larry does what he does best — act like a prick — which gets him punched in the face and allows Tony to disappear into the shadows.

Jack and Renee phone the President to bring her up to speed. In the middle of their briefing on the bioterror threat, Olivia's phone starts ringing. And she takes it. Seriously, what Chief of Staff dips out on that meeting? Apparently the slutty kind. Newshound Ken Dellao (don't you love how the Fox network portrays reporters?) is threatening to "break the story" and will need some serious convincing not to run with it.

Back at Starkwood Tony's trying to override the keycode to the building where Knowles believes the weapons are being held. Knowles gets antsy when security guards start patrolling the area. He scurries out of their hiding place and tells the guards he's just, you know, taking a walk. The guards don't buy his story and take him back to his office under a sort of house arrest. This does, however, buy Tony enough time to slip into the building.

Jack, who's on comm with Tony, becomes breathier than usual and collapses, seizuring. After she's gotten his symptoms under control, the CDC doctor reveals that there's an experimental treatment for the virus/disease whatever it is he's contracted as a result of his exposure, but that stem cells from a family member are needed. The doc, of course, saw his file, and knows he has a daughter. Jack refuses and Renee tries to convince him otherwise, saying it should be her [Kim's/the daughter's] choice. Jack nicely points out that he's the one who's dying so it's his choice.

Back at Starkwood, Tony sneak-attacks a pair of guards with the ol' swing around the neck kick 'em in the face. He steals one of the men's getups and hops in the elevator just as one of the scientists does. ("How come I've never seen you here before?" "Yeah, I'm new, more troops....mumble, mumble, uncomfortable silence.") Tony gets a "visual" on the WMDs and pic-texts Jack an image from his shiny Sprint phone.

A few floors up, Hodges is paying a visit to Knowles. When Knowles tells him he thinks the whole thing's gone to far, Hodges recalls, snarling, "I remember coming here five years ago when there was nothing and building this place outta the mud!" The clearer this memory becomes, the more upset Hodges gets until he screams "I treated you like a son!" at Knowles before beating the bejesus out of him with a crystal decanter (Ouch) and tossing him over the balcony (Double ouch). Call me sick, but I think that's the season's best death scene so far (with the exception, of course, of Bill's valiant self sacrifice.)

The episode wraps up as Olivia, unbeknownst to Ken, makes a cell phone sex "tape" for the upper hand in their game of blackmail. Aaron Pierce gives the first daughter/interim COS a knowing look of disapproval in the elevator, and Hodges convinces the President to pull back a military advance on Starkwood.

So much for not negotiating with terrorists.

Next week: "The hour that will stop the clock" includes 13 missiles loaded with bioweapons and

Jack back to shooting up.

(Photo courtesy Fox)

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