Here is where we stand:
Last week was without question one of the finest 24 episodes in the history of the world, and the reason can be stated in just eight words: The White House was taken over by frogmen.
This was possible because of the following little-known facts:
1. The White House is much closer to the Potomac River than it appears to the naked eye. If the president had a decent casting rod, he or she could fish in the Potomac out the Oval Office window.
2. The White House is connected to the Potomac by an abandoned but well-maintained underwater express tunnel that nobody ever noticed before.
3. During a full-scale terrorist alert, it is possible for a boat full of enemy solders to motor up the Potomac to the White House without being noticed, as long as they are wearing camouflage.
4. Trained frogmen wearing soldier outfits under their wetsuits can swim underwater at a speed of approximately 50 miles per hour while carrying a large concrete-penetrating drill, explosives, combat boots, a laptop computer and automatic weapons with enough ammunition to fight a war.
Also as luck would have it, when the frogmen swam underneath and drilled into the basement, there was hardly anybody guarding the White House, because everybody was busy trying to figure out what would be the target of the impending terrorist attack on Washington. Everybody was like, "Where the HECK are those darned terrorists going to attack? It's got to be something important, something connected with the federal government, something right here in Washington... but what could it be? Maybe we should send troops to guard the Air and Space Museum!"
And thus last week the evil General Juma and his men, in a totally believable maneuver, were able to take over the White House with little more effort than it would take to rob a 7-11. Jack Bauer was in the White House, and while ordinarily he could kill several dozen armed soldiers using only a short section of shoelace, in this case we was stuck with the job of saving President Woman President. The two of them went into a special Lockdown Room, where they had no contact with the outside world because Juma's underwater laptop computer has a program that blocks all White House communications (to access this program in Windows Vista, click START>ALL PROGRAMS>ACCESSORIES>TERRORISM>BLOCK ALL WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS).
Juma couldn't break into the Lockdown Room, so he called up Evil Puppetmaster John Voigt, who (needless to say) had access to the White House computer system. He told Juma that President Woman President's annoying subplot daughter Olivia was in the White House, so Juma found her and threatened to gouge her eyeballs out, so President Woman President ordered Jack to open the Lockdown Room door, so Jack gouged her eyeballs out.
No, he didn't. (Although he would if he had to.) He opened the door, and Juma slapped President Woman President in the face so hard that fake blood came out of her mouth. So now everybody is a hostage, including Bill and Senator That Seventies Show, who we all hope Jack has the legitimate need to administer a fatal chokehold to soon. Meanwhile Renee the highly competent FBI agent is outside the White House feeling helpless, because when she asked Vice President Weasel to order an attack he refused, most likely because like 83 percent of all federal employees on 24 he is a mole.
Edgar is still dead.
So that is the situation. We regret to inform you that The Amazing Steve™ has informed us that he has a prior commitment and will not be able to tell us afterward what the hell happened. You will just have to work it out on your own. Meanwhile, to pass the time, here's a poll:
SPOILER UPDATE: In tonight's episode, there will be an explosion at the White House, and somebody will say, "There's been an explosion at the White House!"
UPDATE: Don't forget to vote for Space Node Buddy.
UPDATE: I note in the recap of last week's episode that Juma threatens to cut out Olivia;s eyes "one by one." Not to be picky, but: how else would he do it?
UPDATE: Oh, now Olivia is sorry.
UPDATE: "Just keep your eyes open." Did she really say that?
UPDATE: Wait... where is the natural gas coming from? I am SO confused, and it just started.
UPDATE: I hate to dwell on this, but seriously: If they swam to the White House, where did they get the combat boots?
UPDATE: Never in the history of 24 has any high-ranking federal official done the obviously logical thing.
UPDATE: Jack is feeling angst.
UPDATE: "How many people did we lose?" "Mostly extras, madam president."
UPDATE: I have a bad feeling about how early the shooting ended tonight.
UPDATE: Bill might not really be dead. I mean, sure, his heart stopped beating 15 minutes ago. But this is 24.
UPDATE: They're going to handcuff Jack AGAIN???
UPDATE: What a shock! They're letting Jack go AGAIN.
UPDATE: Blah blah blah. We need to get to the taser.
UPDATE: Right! Less than a half hour ago, there was a firefight in the White House, and naturally now the president is talking about adding her daughter to the staff.
UPDATE: Renee looks good in a Band-Aid.
UPDATE: Is it hot in here, or is it that agent Larry keeps talking about Renee going behind his back?
UPDATE: President Woman President just declared that 24 is, quote, "a work of fiction."
UPDATE: The old "kill-the-extra" diversion.
UPDATE: Quinn is using the OQO UMPC. Preferred by assassins everywhere.
UPDATE: "Martha and I were... close." Heheheheh.
UPDATE: There has been a LOT of talking since the shooting.
UPDATE: Jack is going to rip out the little twerp's eyeballs using only his mind.
UPDATE: Quinn is taking advantage of the convenient man-sized well-lit ductwork to frame Jack using... paralysis gas.
UPDATE: WUH-oh. Looks like Jack is going to be wrongly accused by his own government AGAIN.
UPDATE: Next week: Renee showing cleavage; Jack ordering Senator That Seventies Show to TAKE A SEAT. No Amazing Steve tonight. Find somebody you love and hug that person hard enough to draw blood. Or, have a beer. Good night.