Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jack Bauer Tally: Hour 13

Well, last week was pretty uneventful from a Jack Bauer standpoint, he just broke into the Russian Consulate and cut off the left pinky finger of the Consul-General with a cigar cutter. Then he got blown up by a breaching charge (an explosive designed to rapidly open a door) and subdued by the Russian Consulate guards. He convinced a Russian security guy to call CTU and rat out the Consul-General, but evidently this fellow was Aaron Pierce's overly-trusting opposite number, because another guard shot this guard in the back of the head and hung up on CTU. Jack gets no points for a pinky, leaving Hour 12 with a fat zero net points.

In Hour 13, Jack disarmed the Bad Russian with the Dead Good Russian's belt, after being thrown down the stairs. Scuffling ensued, basically Jack got the Bad Russian's Makarov pistol and shot him with it, though he found himself trapped in the basement. Five points for the kill, plus two for the escape. Later in the episode the Russians found out where he was hiding and charged the room with AKs blazing, Jack got three more kills and was rescued by Mike Doyle (Ricky Schroeder) and his tactical team, who appear to have killed everyone else in the building in about 15 seconds, except the pretty Russian chick. It seems that really pretty people can't die in 24, they seem to have "charisma armor" or something. The blonde woman that was the arms dealer's girlfriend was unceremoniously executed, so it's not a hard-and-fast rule, but it's the way to bet.

The Makarov is a decent little Russian-designed double-action pistol that at least conceptually resembles the Walther PPK. It fires a 9x18mm (first number is diameter, second is case length) round that is between the .380 ACP (9x17mm) and 9mm Parabellum (9x19mm) in size as well as performance. It is useful for its intended purpose (shooting dissidents in the back of the head), but it's no tack-driver in terms of accuracy and production quality ranged from superb to abysmal.

The Europeans didn't seem to consider the pistol a fighting tool after World War I and always liked smaller calibers than we typically used. Police officers would actually be sent out on the streets with a self-loading .32 ACP as a defensive weapon, making the pistol the equivalent of a badge of office rather than a useful item. That is perhaps too severe a criticism, a .32 ACP is more effective than harsh language, at least at close quarters. This European fad burned out in the late 20th Century and now European firearms makers crank out a wide variety of "real" pistols in less-than-anemic calibers, and arm their police officers fairly well. Modern European police pistols include the Heckler & Koch P7, the SIG Arms P225 and P220, and other, more capable firearms.

Russian, East German and Bulgarian Makarovs were imported into the US in fairly large numbers in the 1990s, and were pretty cheap as pistols go, as little as $150, with the Russian and especially East German models fetching higher prices. As a backup gun they're not a bad option, but I'm pretty sure Jack would have preferred something else.

The Score so far:

Biting A Carotid9.0 -1 for lack of Universal Protocol
Shooting Curtis-8-10 own goal, +2 neck shot over a hostage
Shooting guard while handcuffed7.0+2 for while handcuffed
Handgun6.0+1 for saving hostages (Milo & Graeme's wife)
Handgun7.0+2 for disarm

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