Originally Aired: 11.28.02

2.1 - Jack's A Mess

There is no spiel about what the problems are this time, just "events occur in real time" like the beginning of last season.
12:00 in Seoul, South Korea
We start again in another country. There is some real torture going on here with a large and nasty-looking device. One of the people around tells the prisoner to "talk and the pain will stop". He says nothing and they hit him again with another round of electricity. One of the people thinks that they are using too much and the guy in charge says the dosage is correct. Finally the prisoner says something of importance and one of the torturers leaves. He enters a room where a man asks in English "when" and the answer is "Today." The man says to get Eric Raybren on the phone
Lake Oswego, Oregon
David Palmer and his son are out fishing. David says it was too bad Nicole couldn't come too. He asks Keith what he wants to do tonight and Keith suggests they get a movie. Palmer, with a smile, says that they came all that way to watch a movie? He asks Keith how his mom is and he says she tries to look happy, but they know she is hurting. The phone belonging to the agent in the boat rings and when he hangs up he tells the Palmers that there is a problem.
A little girl runs into a room and gets under the covers on the bed. Kim asks the girl what she is doing in her bed from the on-suite bathroom not far away. Not long after a man walks in and asks Kim if she has seen Megan, obviously knowing that she is in Kim’s bed. Megan comes out when he describes her with a wart on her nose and she takes off again yelling for him to find her again. Kim is not dressed and doesn't seem all that comfortable with him in the room. She stays behind the sink in the bathroom while he asks her how she keeps up with Megan all day. He goes to find her and leaves Kim in her room.
Palmer is being evacuated from the lake and he apologises to Keith because of it. Keith is really understanding about it and says that its not a problem. One of Palmers aides says they are sorry, they know how much he wants to spend time with Keith.
8:05 - CTU
Tony is at work and Paula, the new programmer is there. She is trying really hard to please him and when our old friend George Mason shows up, she is trying to make him happy too. She says that she ordered new software etc and George is not ecstatic about it and tells her that he’s heard enough. She goes and him and Tony talk about security at LAX. George says he should be in Washington my now, not here. He actually tells Tony that if he is still at CTU by this time next year, for Tony to take him out to the woodshed and shoot him. A young lady shows up and tells Mason she just got off the phone with Eric Raybern and he wants to bring Jack back in. Mason says that can't be and leaves. She proceeds to tell Tony that Jack has been recalled and Tony confirms her suspicions that he has been inactive for over a year.
We find Jack walking towards his car. He looks rough, to put it bluntly. He is unshaven and is not wearing his well-kept CTU clothes that he wore last year.
Palmer is being taken away to a safe place. He has a caravan as Presidents do and he heads into the underground. As he does he starts to talk about his schedule for the day. He says some things can be cancelled but he really wants to give his speech about his clean energy proposal. Eric says that this is domestic terrorist threat and it is very serious. Mike is on the way and there are representatives from everywhere waiting. Palmer greets them and he is told that this information is triple sourced but there are little details. What they do know is there is a terrorist device in LA under terrorist control. They know it is going to go off today. Palmer asks how they know and they launch into a mini-tutorial about these people. There was a man named Faheen that was supposedly killed in an explosion. Upon surveillanceing another person they found Faheen in a picture. They didn't realize it was him until it was too late so they couldn't pick him up. They knew he was part of a group called 'Second Wave', he is under their control. Palmer wants to know if the group is recognized by any Eastern states. Officially they are not but when Palmer questions about unofficially he is handed a file. He has a look and then tells them to get their Prime Minister on the phone. Palmer looks like he is formulating something.
Breakfast is cooking at the home that Kim is living in. The mother is meticulously putting the bacon on the plate for her husband and Kim and Megan are sitting at the table. Megan tells her mom that she is going skateboarding today and the mother tells her to stay close to Kim. Gary shows up and hugs his wife. While he is hugging her he looks right at Kim and then grabs his wife’s ass. Kim looks very uncomfortable and looks away. When they let go he tells her she looks good today and she heads away. Once she is out off the room he tells Kim that she has a great body and asks her is she works out. Kim says not really, she swims.
Palmer is on the phone with the Prime Minister. Palmer asks him about Second Wave and he says their government rejects it, in fact they arrested some of them the other day. Palmer says that there are 3 camps in his country and there is a plan by them to set off a bomb in one of Palmers cities. He threatens him and says that if a bomb goes off in one of his cities it will hurt them, "but it will destroy you." The prime Minister says that Palmer will have created and enemy of over one third of the worlds population and he needs to proceed carefully. Palmer just retorts you as well.
Jack is in his car watching Kim and Megan. He looks pained watching Kim help Megan with her skateboarding. Jacks phone starts to ring but he ignores it and keeps watching them. After about 5 rings Jack pucks it up and answers "yeah", the voice on the other end asks if this is Jack Bauer.
Jack: "Who is this?"
"I have George Mason from CTU on the line"
"I don't work for CTU anymore" and he hangs up.
While Jack was looking away, Megan took a fall and Kim is making sure she's ok. Megan decides that she wants to go again and Kim calls her a tough guy. Jack gets out of the car and heads up the driveway. Kim is not happy to see him to say the least. She sends Megan to the backyard and he starts the conversation calling Kim sweetheart. She just asks him what he is doing there. Jack says he just wanted to say hi and wondering why she hasn't been returning his calls. He says that he misses her. She says she knows and she misses him too. At this he starts to ask why she won't see him and she cuts him off starting to talk. She says "because every time I look at you, I think of mom." He says no and she says that he wanted to know and she is telling him that it is too hard for her. He says that all he ever wanted was for the three of them to be together. She says that it wasn't his fault and he replies "of course it was my fault". She just says dad and hugs him. They hold each other and he apologises to her. She says she is still not ready and he presses her, when will she be ready and she doesn't know. Megan comes back around the side of the house and encourages Kim to come. She leaves after Megan and Jack is still standing in the driveway. With nothing left to do staring after his daughter he turns to leave. He pauses occasionally and looks back at the house like he hopes she'll come back.
Palmer answers the door with a "come in Eric". Palmer wants a casualty assessment for the different types of bombs and they all appear on the screen as they talk about it. Palmer is bring encouraged to inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff about a response and Palmer says he is just trying to protect the people.
A guy is driving in a nice car, talking on a cell phone in another language. We learn that this is Reza later on. He sneaks up behind his fiancé and kisses her. Kate comes out of the house and yells at them. He asks if he can't kiss his wife on their wedding day? Kate says that she is not his wife for another 10 hours. Apparently Reza was supposed to be picking up his cousin at the airport but he sent a company car. Kate’s father comes out of the house to take the garbage out and Kate catches him and asks why he let Reza use the company car again. She says that if it was every now and then it would be fine but she thinks this is too often. The father wants to know if she doesn't trust Reza and why. He throws a comment out about him being from the Middle East and she says no, that’s not it, it might just be that she's losing her little sister. Kate's dad says that her mother would be proud of them today and he misses her a lot today.
George calls Eric Raybern and he is told for find Jack and bring him in the office and they will be briefed later. Mason says they will try but in Jacks "present condition" he won't be much help anyway. Eric says they need Jack and they need him now. Mason says that he has an idea to get a hold of Jack.
Jack comes in to his place, the phone is ringing. As Jack walks across the apartment we see that he has made little or no effort to unpack since he has moved in. There are boxes everywhere that look like they have been rifled through in search of something. Jack walks over to the sink and gets a glass of water. Tony leaves a message on the answering machine and Jack goes over to his couch. He puts his water down and simply looks depressed. He stares across at his desk drawer and then gets up and goes over to it. He opens the top one that contains some papers, his gun and a face down picture in a frame. Jack leaves the gun and picks up the picture. He sits down on the couch and stares at it. This is a familiar picture from the first season, it was the one in Kim’s planner and also on the shelves at the Bauer house. Jack touches Kim’s face in the picture and forces himself to look away. He clutches the picture to his chest and lays down, closing his eyes. The phone begins to ring again and this time when the answering machine picks up it is someone on behalf of the president. She starts to leave a message but Jack picks up and is connected with Palmer. He asks Jack how thinks have been and Jack answers, honestly, that is has been "difficult, sir." Palmer says that he heard Jack as avoiding CTU's calls this morning and Jack says this is a bad tine and he’s been inactive for over a year. He says that at this point he doesn't think he can help anyone. Palmer says he knows it has been tough for Jack but he saved his life and he needs him again. Palmer encourages to go to CTU and listen to what is happening. Palmer says that he trusts Jack as much as he trusts anyone and he needs him.
Gary's wife Carla is back at the house wrapping a gift for his assistant. Kim offers to help and Carla and she very anxiously says no, that Gary likes things done a certain way. She tells Kim to take Megan upstairs to play.
Langley has issued a flow advisory which tips the workers off that something is going on and it is going to be inter-agency. Paula asks if there is anything going on and she gets told off by Michelle, she tells her to just do her job. Paula responds that she waited 2 years to get assigned here but she is cut off by Mason. Mason starts briefing the group about the fact that there is a nuclear device. He says that the NSA and division are coming to fill them in. Until then nobody calls home, there is to be no communication "outside the secured envelope." They do not want to create panic. Tony tells Mason that he hasn't been able to get a hold of Jack yet. They surmise that he may have been called in because it is to do with one of his previous assignments.
Palmer is being briefed on the estimated death tolls for different kinds of bombs. The best case scenario is 14,000, the worst 2,500,000. Palmer takes these figures reasonably well and dismisses the leaders, he stays staring at the last, biggest figure.
There is a meeting at a warehouse and there is a bomb being constructed. One of the guys takes the other to it and they watch as he adds a green powder to it. He asks when it will be ready and the other one says "soon."
Tony asks Paula to do some things for him and she just sits there. He says her name again and she says that she doesn’t think that she can do this. She says she is just a programmer and maybe they should get someone else in. Tony talks her out of it and says he just needs her to open up some sockets and then go to the conference room. Just after this, Jack is let in, wearing an ID and all. When he enters, he stops in his tracks and looks around. People are looking at him and Tony spots him. He says hi to him and they shake hands. Tony asks how he has been and Jack replies he has been alright. He is told that Mason is waiting in the conference room and Tony leads Jack there. As they walk underneath Jacks old office Jack stops and looks up. They enter the conference room and Mason greets Jack like he doesn’t believe his is there. He almost looks disappointed to see him. Mason starts introductions and Jack cuts him off, asking Mason what he is doing here. Mason tells him everything and Jack asks how close they are to IDing a suspect, Mason says not at all. Jack turns and walks out of the conference room. Mason calls after him and Tony says that he'll go. Jack goes straight to a phone and calls Kim. He asks her to do this one thing for him, to leave LA with him now. When she resists, he says that it doesn't have to be with him, she just needs to go. She says that if he is going back to work, fine but don’t drag her into it. She hangs up on him and he calls back and leaves a pleading message for her to go to Aunt Carol's and that he is going to call and tell her she is coming. Jack hangs up the phone and heads for the door. Tony jumps in his way and Jack says that he doesn't have time for this. Tony tries to talk Jack into staying, saying that they can get to Kim before him and get her to a safe place, the best thing for Jack to do to help her is to help them. Jack tells Tony that he trusted the people at CTU with his wife and he lost her, he says that he can't lose his daughter, too. Tony reminds Jack that he knows, he was there. Jack tells Tony "I know you did everything you could, I know, but I just can't lose my daughter, I'm sorry" and he leaves. Jack goes out to his car and on the way calls Carol, telling her that Kim is coming. When Jack goes to get into the car, he pauses, then continues. Then he sits there and watches a mother and young child walking by.
Back inside Mason is having it out with Tony for letting Jack go. Mason wants to know what they are going to do now. Tony says he did the best he could and Michelle suggests that there must be another way. Mason gets mad at her, saying that yes, indeed there is another way, they just wanted Jack brought in for the fun of it. Tony tells Mason to settle down and Mason says that they are going to call NSA and tell them what happened when we hear a door open and close and Jack says this is how it's going to happen, 2 agents are going to pick Kim up and take her a safe distance outside the city. He is to be kept up to date on her status by Tony, he tells George he's sorry, but he just doesn't trust him. George says that he is going to have to start and sends Tony to get Kim. Jack tells Mason to tell him about what is going on and Mason says it involves Joseph Wald. Jack repeats the name and Mason says he was undercover with him. Jack says he put him in jail. Mason says he is out on parole waiting for trial under new charges. They say they can't find Wald but there is a key witness in the trial by the name of Marshall Goran, without him there is no case. Jack says to bring him in and Mason doesn't want to. Jack says that if he wants him to re-establish his cover in about 2 hours instead of the usual 6 weeks they need drastic action.
Marie's Ex-boyfriend from over 6 years ago is coming to the wedding. Reza is unhappy with this and Kate asks if he is jealous. Reza becomes very defensive and says that he was expected to marry a woman that had never been with another man. Kate asks if Marie is damaged goods and Marie jumps in and says that he is just trying to bait her, but Marie has him wrapped around her little finger. The phone rings and it is for Kate. The guy on the other end says that the financial background on Reza was fine, but he found his name in another file from his company with ties to terrorist organizations. He assures Kate that this may not mean that he is in on anything, it may have been legitimate dealings, but it might not have been as well. Kate asks what he needs her to do to know for sure.
Palmer is finishing a meeting and as he leaves he is asked if he set up a "com with the Joint Chiefs regarding a response" and Palmer says no. She says they are expecting to speak with him in 5 minutes. Palmer spots Eric and knows it was him. He questions him on it and Eric said he did it in case he changed his mind. Palmer says that he doesn't need people working against him because "today is going to be a very long day." Eric assures him that he would never work against him.
Mason says that Goran will be there any minute, but he needs to be back within the hour. Jack ignores Mason and is working with Michelle on his profile. He tells her to get in touch with a parole officer to set that up too. Mason feels out of the loop and wants Jack to fill him in. He tells Jack he looks like a bum off the street and he’s not talking to him. Mason says he doesn't have the time or resources to clean up after Jack today. Goran shows up and is put in the chair. He asks all of them to leave, including Michelle. She begins to ask if he wants her to do something but he cuts her off with a no and she leaves. Jack reiterates Gorans charges, that include kidnapping and murder, when he says these you can see that he is thinking about his wife. Goran says he already made his deal, all he has to do is testify at Wald’s trial and he walks. Jack pulls out his gun and shoots Goran. Mason freaks out and Jack starts barking orders to get a chopper. Mason asks Jack if he is out of his mind and Jack says that this is the problem with people like Mason, he wants results but he doesn't want to get his hands dirty. As Jack bends down and takes Goran’s pulse he says he is going to need a hacksaw.
Kim and Megan are playing and Kim watches Gary drive up in his nice car. He gets out and the shines the spot that he touched on the door. They hear both of the parents yelling downstairs and some crashing. Megan says she hates it when it gets like this and Kim asks what happens. Kim closes the door and locks it, not too long after that, Gary is at the door wanting in. Kim says that they are in the bathroom and Megan comes out with a towel on her head after Kim lets Gary in. Gary asks if they heard anything and Kim says no, why? Gary says that Carla fell and asks Kim to go and help. Seeing the fear in Megan’s eyes she decides to stay as Gary approaches Megan. Kim tries to intervene and Gary pushes her to the floor. Megan starts to get upset and Kim is going to get up but Gary says that she needs to stay down, that he will hurt her. Megan tries to get to Kim but Gary grabs her arm and she falls, hitting her head on the bed frame. His cell rings and he leaves the room with Megan crying.

Back at CTU briefly, we see Jack in the bathroom with no shirt on running water and washing his face. As we look in the mirror from behind him, we see that he has given himself a haircut and shaved. Like the Jack of old.

Miscellaneous Thoughts
I was so ecstatic that the show was coming back, I had been waiting for this since I became totally infatuated with this show after watching the series end to end, via the DVD set. This was a great episode and I think a really solid foundation for the rest of the season to be built on. Some new characters, some old characters. Overall, I think it is too bad that the producers chose to get rid of all of those characters from the previous season, but they probably wouldn't have fit into the plot anyway. I found myself more often than not having to ask myself Who the heck is that? and then not too long after How are they going to fit in the plot?.
-following in the footsteps of last season, the first episode, at least in the beginning, is an average, peaceful (or not so peaceful in Jacks case) look into the lives of the characters. It's like, "hey, this is how we live almost every day, the next 23 & 1/2 hours are an exception.
-Again we start the show outside the USA. This is a bit puzzling to me why they would, for both seasons, chose for the first shot to be out of the country. I know that this is a good set-up for the rest of the show, but we haven't followed up on that beginning, except the information that is given...that is the basis for the show. I think I may have answered my own query, at least its something to think about.
-The fishing scene was really enjoyable for me. It was good to see Palmer and Keith together, just hanging out. I wonder just how much of Sherry Palmer we are going to get to see this year. I hope we at least get some more of Keith and get to see Nicole. I really like those characters. I hate Sherry, though.
-My first impression of Gary was Wow is this guy creepy, he is the mole. By then end of the episode, I had changed my tune to Wow is this guy creepy, I hope Jack gets to beat the crap out of him or if Jack fails I hope he stays in LA and gets blown to a million pieces.
-What is up with groping your wife and looking at your nanny? Can we say sleaze ball? I think we can.
-I thought that they wrote this as an interesting career move for Kim, to be a nanny. I would think that being near a (seemingly) functional family would just make the pain of losing her mother worse, maybe I'm just crazy. Although she did just start this job, maybe she was doing something else before.
-I really enjoyed all the scenes in CTU, everything about them was really interesting. I am still constantly looking for another traitor and this episode gave me lots of fodder for thoughts.
-I hate Paula already. I don't think I'm going to be able to stand a whole season with her and her constant brown-nosing and her chicken shit attitude. First, she files Tony’s stuff 2 different ways and updates all the systems, while trying to get Mason to notice, although he doesn't care. Then she offers to help Michelle, but gets told off and says that she waited for 2 years to get assigned here. THEN, when there is a situation, she wants to back out and go home. WHAT!! Could I have some continuity here people, please?? As Doctor Evil would say "Throw me a FRICKIN bone here, people." Do I have to shave my head and get a hairless cat?
-I just love when Michelle tells Mason that they are supposed to bring in Jack. Masons reaction is typical and then she goes over to Tony and tells him with relish. She sounds totally excited by the fact of bring Jack in, like he’s legendary or something. Then she blows it by asking if he’s inactive. I would rather have had her know who he was, she sure seemed to.
-Jack totally looked like a stalker when he was watching Kim and Megan at the house. I would think Kim would have noticed Jacks car there, though.
-Speaking of Jacks car, I am a little confused. Last year he was driving a GMC Yukon this year he is driving a Ford Explorer. The 2 SUV's are the closest models together, they are the same colour and are pretty much interchangeable in the way of looks, except one is Ford and the other is Chevy (of course there are subtle differences) so my question is, were we supposed to think Jack still has the same car from last year or are we just supposed to think that Jack really likes that sandy colour for his SUV's. In my opinion I think that they are being very sneaky and having Jack drive a Ford expecting that we wouldn't notice. This is probably because Ford sponsored the commercial-free airing of the season opener, it just makes sense. Why would someone sell one car and buy the same thing in another brand. At least you'd want to get a different colour.
-The confrontation with Jack and Kim was so well done, I feel so bad for Jack. The best part of that whole scene was how he greets Kim, with a very quiet 'hi' and an emotional 'sweetheart'. Her stone cold reply of "what are you doing here dad?" Told me all I needed to know as to where the characters are at. She should have called him Jack, not dad. The distance is enough that they would have been able to get away with it
-Yeah, Kim, lets tell your dad, who is still totally crushed, that every time she looks at him she thinks of Teri. You want to kill him?
-At least Kim took the appropriate action when Jack said "of course it's my fault" If Jack has been blaming himself all this time, no wonder he feels so bad still. Also when he said that he was sorry while he was hugging Kim, I had a total flashback to exactly where we left Jack last season - Holding Teri's limp body and crying that he was so sorry.
-If Jack hasn't been working for the last 18 months then what has be been doing? It sure wasn't unpacking his apartment because all the boxes are still there. I get the feeling that he has been there for a while because some of them have been opened and rooted through, but not unpacked.
-I almost had my own meltdown when Jack walked over to the desk drawer, opened it and hovered his hand over the gun. We all know what he was thinking there and that added so much more force to the rest of the scene. He chooses the photo over the gun and sits in his pain down on the couch. Having him clutch the picture and lay down was a great indication of how much he misses his family. He just wants to hold them both again.
-I can not believe that CTU would give the excuse of not being able to find Jack. These people last season always seemed to know where everyone was. How could they not find Jack?
-What ever happened to Palmers promise to Mason that if he helped Jack last season that Mason would move up when Palmer was elected? - oh right, he's one of the only cast members that weren't killed last year, they can't move him up, but if we were supposed to forget it probably wasn't the best idea for Mason to say "if I'm still here at this time next year, take me out to the woodshed and shoot me" to Tony.
-The way Tony watches Michelle I think that there has been or will be something going on between them in the romance department.
-I hope not because I am going to go out on a limb and say that one of them is going to be working against CTU at some point. I still think Tony was in on what happened last year.
-Eric and Palmer remind me of Sherry and Palmer. Palmers thinking When I got rid of the wife, I thought all this kind of crap was over with. I can't believe Palmer didn't can Eric as soon as he found out he defied him and set up the meeting
-the look on George's face when Jack shows up at CTU was priceless. He looked totally miffed that they actually found him, but at the same time in disbelief because of his looks and he actually came.
-Jack can still talk the talk and walk the walk after that big absence. Impressive.
-Mason takes crap from everyone huh? Jack tells him flat out in a nasty tone that he just doesn't trust him and then later Tony talks to him like he is a piece of dirt when Mason gives him hell for not keeping Jack. The way Tony says 'George' is just great. Then he tells him to settle down. That’s great, I love it.
-Protective father Jack is coming for a visit when he beelines to a phone to call Kim and tell her about the bomb.
-I feel a bit bad for Tony about everything that happened. When Jack goes to leave and says that he can't lose his daughter, too and Tony replies "I know, I was there" you can see that he feels bad about everything that happened, not only to Jack, but to himself too. He lost a boss (granted he didn't like Jack that much), Walsh, Jamey, and his girlfriend? Yeah she was a traitor conspiring to kill the future President and their superior at CTU that was also an ex of hers. I'm sure Tony would have been around for Jack after he found Teri that night and I'm sure Jack, on no sleep for 25-30 hours and just been through an emotional roller coaster, would have been inconsolable after finding his pregnant wife killed by Nina.
-I'm 100% positive I know what Jack is going to do with the hacksaw that he asked Mason for and it is going to involve the witnesses head. Anyone remember the thumb from last season?
-Nice touch having the witness be a kidnapper and a killer. I'm sure that was more for Jacks benefit so he could get up the nerve to kill him than for anything else.
-I liked the camera work in the bathroom seeing Jack ready for work again. It got me all exited for next episode