"24" spoilers coming up just as soon as I crawl under this garbage truck...
"Homer and Apu," one of the all-time classic "Simpsons" episodes (which not only features "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?" but also the definitive takedown of black guy vs. white guy stand-up hackery, the barking consumer watchdog, plus "That's a great price for 12 pounds of nutmeg," a quote that's always useful when you go to Costco) was on in the syndication rotation last night, and Homer's line at the act two break proved prophetic for tonight's "24" episode:
"Everything really wrapped up nicely. Ooh... much quicker than usual."
This season of "24" has had a lot of problems, not least of which is the lack of a unifying device like last year's Jack Vs. POTUS angle, but as always, I admire the producers' willingness to give up the ghost if a storyline isn't working. Clearly, the suitcase nuke storyline had long since run its course -- or, at least, the writers had failed to develop it enough to make it worth continuing -- so they pulled the plug on it and will spend the season's final seven hours on a completely new plot, with Jack trying to save the predictably non-dead Audrey. (And wasn't it nice of ABC to cancel "The Nine" so Kim Raver could come back to try to salvage her old show's season?)
I'll admit to having been suckered in by President Wayne's bluff, but his acknowledgement that Powers Boothe had a point with his threat to nuke The Unnamed Middle Eastern Nation makes me uncomfortable, in the same way that the reveal of Kal Penn (remember him from way back when?) as an actual terrorist instead of a victim of racial profiling and so many other storylines on this series illustrate the ends justifying the heinous means.
I was also briefly taken in by the ruse with Fayed, but mainly because I was so busy laughing at yet another "24" prisoner transfer going horribly awry, and yet another shootout where guys with machine guns can't hit the broad side of a barn, while Jack (and now Doyle) were doing damage with their pistols. So good on the writers for turning self-parody into a minor twist. Also good to see Jack singlehandedly kill all of Fayed's men, though his kiss-off line to Fayed shouldn't have been "Say hello to your brother," but "How does it feel to know you're dying for nothing?"
What did everybody else think? Does the return of Audrey (conveniently in LA so we won't have to spend the rest of the season with Jack on a trans-Pacific flight) and the abrupt storyline break give you renewed hope for the rest of the season, or do you expect this to be as big a dud as Jack's dad?