This plot shift was natural since the writers already used every conceivable terrorist threat in season four. They had no more threats to write about except for an extra-terrestrial alien invasion (which Jack would stop by climbing a rope to the hovering mother ship and shooting an alien in his weird gray knee until he gave Jack his access code, thus enabling Chloe to (a) upload a three minute .wav file of her complaints about her co-workers to the alien computer network and (b) set the .wav file as their network-wide default 'new mail' sound, thus effectively crippling their primary means of communications and leading to their mass self-immolation).
The supposed mastermind of the day's events has changed from week to week. First we were made to believe that Chief of Staff Walt Cummings was in charge. Then we learned he was good. (Well, maybe not good, but his heart was in the right place.)
Then we are made to believe that Audrey Raines is bad. Cameras zoomed in or her face. Sinister screech-like sound effects were cued. But it was all a misunderstanding. Audrey was good.
Then we are made to believe that Vice President Hal Gardner is bad. He is using his influence to put his own people at CTU. He is getting the President to do controversial stuff. Maybe he's planning a coup! He's going to invoke the 25th amendment! Maybe that is what the former president was going to reveal before he was killed! Holy crap! Not only did Vice President Gardner kill Laura Palmer... he killed David Palmer too!
But wait! He's not the one on the phone with the lead terrorist field operative. Someone else is. So, the Vice President is good!
So who is on the phone with the bad guys? Who is the mastermind (for now)? President Logan himself! This is more shocking than when I learned that police chief Burt Ramsey (pictured above) was the secret head of the Port Charles mob ring.
Of course, there are still eight episodes left. The blame could be pinned (temporarily, of course) of any number of people, such as:
- The First Lady
- Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce
- That survivalist guy who saved Kim Bauer from the bear trap in season 2 but then turned out to be a real creep once he got her alone in his all-you-can-eat bunker
- The ghost of Edgar's mom