'24' episode 4: Jack Bauer finds great deals on clothing

In last night's "24", Jack Bauer found some crappy pants, a lady got her finger chiseled off, and we learned that in England, water boils at 45 degrees. Let's re-live the magic through GIFs and Vines.


1. Jack Bauer shops for clothes at the U.S. Embassy.


Hmm ... what's that, a 30x32? Wonder if I could fit into a 30 waist.

... No. Jack, no. You've been over this. Thinking this way is unhealthy. It's not your job to fit into your clothes, it's your clothes' job to fit you.

Oh, here we go! These look nice.


Season One of 24 ended with Jack finding his wife dead. In the DVD set, though, there's an alternate scene in which he finds her alive at the very end, and they cry and embrace.

Perhaps in that alternate timeline, Jack leaves government work. He never tortures another person or kills another terrorist, because the demons aren't there to haunt or guilt him. The show has established that in his younger years, he earned a literature degree at UCLA. Maybe he goes back to his alma mater to lecture, or maybe he's writing a book. Maybe, in this alternate ninth season, he's shopping for jeans at the Target. He pulls a pair off the shelf, holds it in front of his waist, and turns to his wife. "Honey, what do you think?"

In this Season 9, his wife is dead, and he has no one to help him shop for clothes. And that is how a middle-aged man finds himself wearing ill-fitting pants.


Oof, Jack. Those cuffs. It looks like you stole a couple of those dancing windsocks from the front of a car dealership and just pulled them over your legs. Next time, you really oughta choke out a 30-inseam. You're not a tall guy. You're short and your wife is dead and I'm sorry.

2. let's hear it for network television


When Richard Dean Anderson was a kid, he and a friend were fooling around with a gun. They saw a bird, and they decided to shoot it dead, and he was immediately struck with despair: you pull a trigger, and a life ends. For that person, you are destroying the universe and existence itself.

And that is why Anderson's character, MacGyver, never, ever used a gun. As far as I recall, nobody ever died in MacGyver, and yet, the closest thing the show has to a descendent, on account of the fast pace and problem-solvin' and runnin' around, is 24. Shows of MacGyver's ilk never would have shown someone using the restroom. A couple episodes ago, 24 did that, and then a woman walked into the men's bathroom! And then she plunged a knife into his temple, and it turned out his head was full of lots and lots of blood.

Last Week on '24'

This is the most desensitizing show I've ever seen. I can watch a lady -- albeit a terrorist murderer -- get a finger chiseled off, and I just don't care, because this show's been at this hand-choppin' game for a good minute. (A full decade ago, Jack chopped off his daughter's boyfriend's hand with a firefighter's axe.)

24 has explored every parameter of violence it can possibly execute on network television: knives to the head, chisels to the fingers, nuclear explosions that leave thousands dead, folks biting each other's jugulars out, horrifying nerve gas attacks, Air Force One shot down by a missile, a Presidential assassination via a bullet to the neck, a President dying in an explosion, a President stabbed in the chest, a President who shoots himself in the head.

That scene, then, is interesting in one way, and not the way they're trying for: it's fascinating to see a show that hardly knows any other dramatic currency than violence look under the couch cushions for loose change.

3. Water boils at like 50 degrees if you're a terrorist.

DIRECTOR: I want this scene to boil over with tension.

WRITER: Okay, great! To do that, we'll want some time to build up the intensity. Maybe a good five or six minutes.

DIRECTOR: Nah, I want to do it in a minute and a half. Also, I want it to be literally boiling with tension. Like, I want a teapot to start whistling in the background.

WRITER: I ... don't think 90 seconds is enough time to boil water.

DIRECTOR: Well, we have to. They have to make tea, because they're British.

WRITER: You can't boil a teapot full of water that quickly.

DIRECTOR: All right, then we'll make the stove hot as shit, then.


I guess the knobs on terrorist gas ranges go up to like 38. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THIS TERRORIST COTTAGE? Remember what we talked about last week? Remember how there's this big fire in the middle of the living room, with no apparent ventilation, for absolutely no reason?


This show is in Great Britain. Its writers were tasked with the assignment of establishing the terrorist hideout. They came up with:

1. Quaint English cottage that is in the countryside, but is also like an eight-minute drive from the middle of downtown London
2. Cup o' tea
3. Rustic fires everywhere

I think the third one happened because they watched Game of Thrones, saw a bunch of fires and stuff, heard the accents, and figured it was a show about England.

(By the way, if you're watching Game of Thrones, my friend and associate Matt Ufford is writing on that on this very website! It's a good thing we've couched the "Sports" in "SB Nation" into an acronym, because I think we're eventually gonna do what ESPN did and stop talking about what it stands for.)



This show is set roughly in the year 2022. Jack Bauer breaks into a state-of-the-art comms room in the U.S. embassy to transfer some files, but it takes a long time, because the computer's specs are from like 2005. Y'ALL. My little MacBook Air, in your universe, is 10 years old, and it has a dual-core processor. My dang can opener's probably got a dual-core processor.

Also, check out that IP address, which looks unlike any IP address I've ever seen. I like that the 24 people have to do the "555-" fake number thing for IP addresses, because it knows that everyone who watches their show is a complete lunatic.

5. A brief word on interior decorating.


That skeevy-lookin' dude is Adrian Cross, who is basically a fictionalized Julian Assange. He has access to an unprecedented wealth of digital information, apparently none of which are issues of Southern Living.

His space is all black and gun-metal. Apparently, he felt the need to spruce up the place. This was his solution:

1. Buy a plastic Greek statue with a night-light in its dick

2. Place it on some arbitrary spot on the floor, and definitely don't buy an end table or something for it

3. Throw some headphones on it

Hell if that ain't the most Julian Assange thing I've ever seen.

6. Anyway, let's discuss the plot developments of this episode.

Well, it

eh nevermind i don't care

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