cultural capital

The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: We’ve Found Our Answers

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 offered the spiritual side of Ricky “Luke Skywalker” Schroder, the end of the Fayed-Gredenko buddy comedy we’ve been heartily laughing at, and a presidential bunker that’s gone even loonier than before. Welcome to the Two-Four, bitch.

3. The Santa Monica pier? No one goes there. It was lovely for Fayed to pick the beautiful, historic Santa Monica pier for his meeting spot with Gredenko. It was also extremely fortunate that the pier, normally bustling between 8 and 9 p.m. (the arcade’s open until at least midnight), was completely abandoned. Until they got to a random bar packed full o’ would-be terrorist stompers, allowing for an abundance of ad-libbed realizations that, yes, this did appear to be that terrorist guy from TV in their midst. (“Yeah, it is him!” “It is him!” “Let’s get ‘im!”) Absurdity factor: 3 (of a possible 10)

2. Do or do not. There is no try. Last week’s Absurd-o-Meter accused Ricky Schroder’s Agent Doyle of sporting a Return of the Jedi–era Luke Skywalker haircut. Now, this week, Doyle is searching for a Yoda. First, he impresses Nadia by quoting the Koran. (Though mumbling so much we couldn’t begin to make it out. Still, totally deep, dude.) “You’ve read the Koran?” she asks. And this is where 24 springs one of the unlikeliest lines ever to be said on a torture-happy action show. “And the Bible. And the Upanishads,” he answers. (They’re the Hindu scriptures, by the way). “You’re lucky, you found your answers. I’m looking for mine.” Here’s a hint: Try the Dagobah system. Absurdity factor: 6

1. Bombs away! An adrenaline-pumped Wayne Palmer is back in action, and after some handy vice-presidential office-bugging from our homeboy Tom Lennox, he’s safely ensconced in the president’s chair again. So, of course, he completely switches his stance for no reason at all and orders the nuclear bombing of That Middle-East Country Whose Name Cannot Be Said (Nukedistan?). What is up?! Is that adrenaline really testosterone? Is the guy a flip-flopper? Or is he just one of those TV characters who experiences trademark changes of heart? Whatever the case, it’s real dumb. Absurdity factor: 8 —Ben Wasserstein

The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: We’ve Found Our Answers