cultural capital

The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: Beware the Kiwi

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’s episode featured the surprise returns of batty Martha Logan and her new heartthrob, laconic Agent Pierce. Also, the kid from Silver Spoons acted tough, Milo showed off a new sling, Powers Boothe got angry, and a certain loopy somebody went a bit stab-happy. Which is to say, plenty of absurdity to go around.

3. Kiwis: The silent killer. Jean Smart made a welcome return to the show as nutty ex–first lady Martha Logan, and she brought with her a love of kiwis and raspberries. And so it is no surprise that the kiwi is used to pelt Charles Logan in the face and that the fruit knife is shoved near his neck — where it hits an artery. Medic! Medic! Absurdity factor: 3 (out of 10)

2. “Wow, he could be a goner!” It’s dramatic and all when a just-stabbed Charles Logan starts flatlining in his ambulance, but the shot of the ambulance’s driver turned around in his seat and staring in rapt attention at the rescue attempts transpiring behind him doesn’t seem like the most conscientious ex-presidential medical care. Eyes on the road, buddy! Absurdity factor: 4

1. Real time, shmeal time. Maybe it’s just that we’re paying closer attention these days, but 24 is flouting its real-time rules like mad. Martha Logan calls Anya Suvarov, the wife of the Russian president, and as she begins explaining their current predicament, the action cuts away to a CTU strike force preparing to siege the Russian consul. (Side point: What’s up with all these foreign countries having evil-harboring consulates in L.A., anyway?) Less than 25 seconds later, President Suvarov himself, who has somehow found the time to have his wife tell him everything she just learned, is on the phone with his consulate, mid-conversation. And his wife hands him her phone, with Bill Buchanan waiting on hold. He could’ve been on hold for ten seconds or ten millennia, given that he appeared to have placed the call during a severe rupture in the space-time continuum. Absurdity factor: 7 —Ben Wasserstein

The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: Beware the Kiwi