24
You see, this is why I hate the mall: pushy kiosk vendors, pandemonium in the food court, military-grade nerve gas in the ventilation system… and it's not even the preholiday rush. As the hunt for those oh-so-slippery canisters continues, Jack morphs into yet another spur-of-the-moment undercover persona — Bauer, you sneak. Have you been taking improv classes in your spare time? But despite Jack's complete understanding of his own motivation and more or less saving of the day (give personal gas mask to ailing child, check), Yellow Tie still proves to be a worthy midlevel adversary, giving our CTU boys the slip (again) and ordering Henchman No. 2 to do the honorable thing and snuff himself out. Echoes of Walt, perhaps? And how about some big shout-out love to this week's Brand New Character Who Won't Survive the Next 44 Minutes, Timothy Omundson — perhaps better known as Maxine's boss, Sean, from Judging Amy. Or as I've always preferred to call him, Not Chandler Bing. Other thoughts: Man, Samwise Gamgee gets cranky right after a good back-alley mugging, doesn't he? "Bill's not in charge here. I am." Chill out, dude, they just made off with your cash and your access card — I'm sure Frodo's ring is still nestled safe and sound between your Sub Club card and last week's Mega Millions picks. Meanwhile, Mike Novick has to take the reigns (again) when Logan refuses to, like, be the president and stuff: "You have to make the call, d-bag." Well, maybe his lips didn't actually say "d-bag," but his eyes certainly did. — Chana Shwadlenak