And so, at last, we come to the night we have all been waiting so long for -- the night when, after many weeks of mounting tension, the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons meet in the NBA playoffs.
But during timeouts and commercials I will also be tuning in to the final episode of 24, which is having its big two-hour finale tonight. The extra hour is necessary because the terrorists have chosen to attack the United States using the world's slowest nuclear missile, a HeckFire 2000 model, powered by pig flatulence (which is why they launched it from Iowa). It has been moseying toward its Secret East Coast Target City for two weeks now at the velocity of a Winnebago motor home. At times it comes to a complete stop and just hovers for a while in mid-air, like a big farting nuclear bee.
As a result, the men in charge of the federal government have had plenty of time to prepare for a nuclear attack on a major U.S. city, and they have used this time to do: nothing. Basically, they are hunkering in their bunker. They have held a couple of high-level strategy meetings, but these mainly consisted of arguments about who, exactly, should be in attendance at the high-level strategy meetings. Acting President Manilow changes his mind and his underwear about every five minutes. Acting Acting President AllState Insurance has been doing what he can, but is hampered by the fact that he keeps having to change into semi-casual attire to appear in commercials.
Meanwhile in California, Jack Bauer, having so far this season invaded 127 buildings, lost 239 fellow agents and shot 358 people in the thigh in his desperate, all-consuming, comically futile effort to capture the evil terrorist genius mastermind Home Depot shopper Marwan, finally last week managed to actually capture Marwan, and then, within a matter of minutes, using all his skill and training as an anti-terrorism agent, somehow managed to LOSE MARWAN. Yes. It was an amazing display of incompetence, even by Jack Bauer standards. So now Jack is really, really angry. It is only a matter of time before he shoots his own self in the thigh.
In other bad news, last week Tony – who had just declared to his special subplot, Michelle, that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her – immediately went out and got taken hostage by Mandy The Hot Terrorist Babe. The way this happened was, Mandy The Hot Terrorist Babe told Tony to put his gun down, and Tony – a trained agent, knowing that he was confronting a ruthless terrorist who cannot be trusted and places no value on human life -- put his gun down. And if you are wondering what Tony could possibly have been thinking that would make him do something so stupid, you are a woman. Tony was thinking: "Yes, she's a terrorist. But she's also hot! If I do what she tells me, maybe later, after the nuclear missile explodes and she's free, we can go out for drinks!"
So anyway, as this week's episode begins, Marwan is once again At Large, and the Bee-Fart missile is still chugging along, and Tony is a hostage, and Jack is really mad but also still having feelings for his whiny sniveling prune subplot girlfriend Audrey, whose whiny sniveling subplot brother slept with Mandy The Hot Terrorist Chick's boyfriend (not that there's anything wrong with that) and nearly got their father, Secretary of Defense William Devane, killed.
Speaking of which: I have received an email from Jim in St. Louis, who says that he and his wife believe they may have figured out the Surprise Twist Ending:
Our bet is that Devane and Audrey are behind it all. Two main reasons: 1) all 24 conspiracies involved a Big Bad Villain and 2) Devane always sends Jack into bad situations where Marwan of Home Depot awaits. Maybe the really slow missile is headed for the bunker?!
Could this be true? Where IS the missile going? Could the missile be a diversion for some OTHER fiendish terrorist genius mastermind stroke of evilness? Will Jack be able to stop it in time? Will Audrey be eaten by ants? Wouldn't that be great? Is the Ford Big Truck Throwdown still going on? Will Chloe and Edgar finally give in to their passion, tear off each other's clothes, then log on to an internet database to find out what they're supposed to do next? ("Hang on, Edgar! I'm downloading your schematics!")
We will find out all the answers starting at 8 p.m. It will not be easy for me to keep up with the action, because, as I said, I will also be closely monitoring the Heat-Pistons game. And since my wife, a sportswriter, will be at the game, I will also be responsible for putting our daughter to bed, which means I have to pay some attention to her and tell her a bedtime story. ("Once upon a time there was a very bad man named Marwan, who...")
So I may miss large chunks of the final episode. I will do what I can to post updates here, but I am counting on you folks out there in BlogLand to do your part by posting your analyses in the comments section. Working together, we can get through this thing. And then we can get back to our lives. Although, to judge from the fact that you are reading this, neither of us has a life.
Update: Audrey is completely over the death of her subplot husband. That was, like, an hour ago.
Update: Whoa. Mandy the HTC has a gun strapped to her thigh.
Update: Mandy called Michelle!
Update: Shaq is starting. Yay!
Update: Jack is pulling the units.
Update: Mandy the HTC is very mean. But hot!
Update: Piston fans: Accept it. Dwayne Wade is GOD.
Update: Oh man. Not the China subplot again.
Update: You know that, even lying on the floor about to be executed, Tony is still thinking, "Dang, she is hot."
Update: Of course you know Mandy the HTC was not in that car, right?
Update: They just figured out that if a nuclear missile goes off in a major U.S. city, there will be, quote, "widespread panic." They just figured this out.
Update: Jack wants MORE DAMN VOLUME.
Update: Jack is ON to Mandy the HTC.
Update: Tony is using the old Trail of Blood Trick.
Update: Why is Duke Coach Mike Krzzksryzgstanxxkzzxxkrvski on so many commercials? He is a gnome.
Update: THEY GOT MANDY! If Marwan rescues her, I am going to stop watching this show.
Update: The refs are NOT calling FLAGRANT fouls against Dwayne Wade.
Update: Jack is thinking: "She's hot!"
Update: I have been informed that I have been spelling Dwyane Wade's first name wrong. I apologize.
Update: I do NOT get the Chinese subplot.
Update: Ah. The purpose of the Chinese subplot is to put Jack in Jeopardy.
Update: I probably should go find my daughter.
Update: Wow. Mandy has been a Hot Terrorist Chick for some time now.
Update: Jack is after Marwan. Again. Ho-hum.
Update: We can all relax. My daughter is in her room playing with Barbies.
Update: I can't believe Jack is going into a building without downloading the schematics.
Update: Marwan got away again. Sort of.
Update: Well that sure worked out well, granting immunity to Mandy the HTC, huh?
Update: Back to the Chinese subplot.
Update: Now OUR goverment is going to turn against Jack! Which means he is safe.
Update: Chloe expanded Edgar's parameters! The missile is heading for Los Angeles! So it's really not a problem.
Update: Somehow I don't think this is really over yet.
Update: Shaq has 13 at the half.
Update: Jack loves Audrey. Booooooooring.
Update: Thanks, Jack! Now you're going to China!
Update: Lawyer Boy wants Jack terminated.
Update: But Mike overheard Lawyer Boy. We used to think Mike was bad, but now we think he's good.
Update: I miss Marwan.
Update: CTU has a locker room! Just like a football team.
Uodate: Jack escaped!
Update: Detroit is pretty good, I have to admit.
Update: They sent ONE GUY to get Jack? Hahahahahahaha.
Update: Do we think Jack is really dead? Nah.
Update: Not Audrey! Anything but Audrey!
Update: Jack is going to Disney World!
Update: Wow, that was lame. I am proud to have been part of it.
Update: Please nobody tell my wife how late I put our daughter to bed. Thank you. See you all right here next season.