The ‘24’ Absurd-O-Meter: Honor Thy Father

In Daily Intel's 24 Absurd-o-Meter, we each week count down the most incredibly ridiculous (ridiculously incredible?) plot points in the last hour of Jack Bauer's crappy day. Last night: Fraternal torture! Filial murder! That'll do, Papa Bauer, that'll do.

4. President Palmer gives up on Karen Hayes. When evil adviser Tom Lennox offers an extremely lame excuse to the president about the national security adviser's sudden resignation, Palmer responds, "That makes absolutely no sense to me, Tom." It's the first bit of good sense he's spoken all season. His follow-up, however, in which he apparently buys Lennox's extremely lame excuse, ain't so hot. When the president's sister tells the guy she's dating, "You're the bravest, most principled man I know," the audience should be thinking, "Doesn't this lady have two brothers who were president? Does Dorothy Bush talk that way to her boyfriend?" But instead you think, "Eh, maybe she's right." Absurdity factor: 3 (of a possible 10)

3. Jack and Dad Bauer, who haven't seen each other in years, are a tightly trained fighting duo. Facing execution, Jack and his father are able to execute a complicated, highly coordinated killing move after exchanging nothing more than a meaningful glance. What, did they do drills on execution-dodging instead of playing catch? (Actually, given how the other brother turned out, that seems rather possible.) Absurdity factor: 4
2. Dad Bauer turns on Graem. For the last two seasons, Dad and Graem have been conspiring to kill the first President Palmer, to kill several CTU agents, to frame Jack for Palmer's murder, and, on multiple unsuccessful occasions, to kill Jack. They also successfully puppet-mastered evil President Logan last year and, if we remember correctly, tried to murder his wife, his favorite Secret Service agent, and the Russian president and First Lady. Graem then successfully stands up to an unprecedented 8ccs — 8ccs! — of horrible pain-inducing drugs without giving up the family secrets. And then Dad decides Graem's not trustworthy and kills him? They should have done more of those escape drills when he was a kid. Absurdity factor: 5
1. Jack Bauer said "nuke-u-ler." Jack! Have we misoverestimated you? Absurdity factor: 6 —Ben Wasserstein