Blood is Thicker Than Water on 24

Farmer Hoggett is evil!

And when I say evil, I mean eeeeevil, in that way Mike Myers used to say it.

Seriously, Phillip Bauer (played, of course, by James Cromwell) is a stone-cold evil killer who murders his son Graem (hate the spelling of that, BTW) without any thought in order to save his own hide (and the interests of his company). And in last night's two-hour episode of 24, we saw that his willingness to exterminate members of his family extends not only to troublemaker Graem but also to prodigal son Jack ... and teenage grandson Josh (who is so obviously Jack's kid).

But strangely this Machiavellian villain doesn't want to murder daughter-in-law Marilyn. Could this baddie have a soft spot for women? Or is he thinking that she has more usefulness as a live hostage? Or as bait for Jack?

On another note, I thought that last night's episode would also be the end for feuding analysts Morris and Milo. Poor Morris was tortured by Fayed into creating a trigger to arm the remaining suitcase nukes and, as for the torture itself, it was gruesome: drowning in a scum-coated bathtub, repeated beatings, and, oh did I mention the old drill through the shoulder routine? Ouch.

Meanwhile, Milo was nearly killed trying to rescue Marilyn from that ill-fated mission that screamed tactical error, as Jack was nearly blown up by a bomb planted by his father and Marilyn and Milo faced a firing squad as Phillip's men descended on the command truck. Nice to see Milo in the field, though, and with a gun. And he was smart enough to blow up the truck and keep running with Marilyn.

I'm glad that Marilyn revealed that she hated the shady Graem and wanted to leave her shifty hubby but couldn't bear to lose Josh in the process. (Aha, it finally makes sense.) What exactly happened between Jack and Marilyn to cause him to leave her and join the military? (And was it really 20 years ago? Or more like, say, 15?) Still, I was hoping that Marilyn would level with Jack (before he blindly went into the house) about Phillip's threat to kill Josh. But at least she now knows that her father-in-law means business.

So too does Reed Pollack, who finally tells Thomas Lennox that he's involved with a potential assassination attempt on the life of President Palmer (god, another presidential assassination?) and wants Lennox to see the light: namely, that this president is not strong enough to put measures in place to put an end to terrorism in the US. VP Noah Daniels is definitely involved, but I'm still not sure who's pulling the strings ... and who is the mysterious guy that Reed was seen talking to?

All in all, not the strongest episode of 24 to date this season, but I'm not usually a fan of two-hour episodes to begin with. Still, the pieces seem like they are finally moving into place (including why Gredenko would be helping Fayed acquire bombs), and I'm hoping the endgame more than pays off.

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.