24 Official Site

The Time:
Mondays, 8:00 PM, Fox

The Show:

Bauer is a former government agent, most recently assigned to the
now-defunct Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), which was tasked with
investigating and preventing threats to American national
security.  Doing whatever it takes to get the job done, Jack
is a dedicated and deadly instrument of justice who has saved the
country on numerous occasions, though frequently paying a high price
for his service.  Following Jack’s exploits over a full 24
hours of one day in real time, 24 is an award-winning political and action thriller that created a new format – and standard – in TV drama.

The Stars:

•  Kiefer Sutherland – Jack Bauer
•  Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian
•  Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor
•  James Morrison as Bill Buchanan
•  Annie Wersching as FBI Special Agent Renee Walker
•  Colm Feore as First Gentleman Henry Taylor
•  Bob Gunton as White House Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin
•  Jeffrey Nordling as FBI Special Agent in Charge Larry Moss
•  Rhys Coiro as FBI Special Agent Sean Hillinger
•  Janeane Garofalo as FBI Special Agent Janis Gold
•  Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida
•  Peter Wingfield as Emerson
•  Ever Carradine as Erika
•  Tony Todd as General Juma
•  Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Colonel Ike Dubaku
•  Kurtwood Smith as Senator Blaine Mayer
•  Glenn Morshower as Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce
•  Sprague Grayden as Olivia Taylor
•  Cameron Daddo as Vice President Mitchell Hayworth
•  Jon Voight as Jonas Hodges
•  Carlo Rota as Morris O’Brian

The Episode:11:00 PM – 12:00 AM”

The authorities finally catch up with Jack, who’s been exposed to the bio-weapon that was re-snatched by Starkwood.  CDC is quickly on the scene and Jack gets thes prison washdown as they test him to see if he tests positive for exposure to the bio-weapon.  Meanwhile, at Starkwood, Hodges and his crew are preparing the weapon to be used and Tony is interrogated for info on what the FBI knows.  At the FBI, Moss apologizes to Renee ad reinstates her once he realizes that Jack was framed.  The FBI prepares its assault on Starkwood when Tony escapes and manages to contact them.  At the White House, Olivia Taylor is solidifying her new position in her mother’s administration.

The Lowdown:

Fairly uninteresting episode all things told.  There’s always an episode every season where Jack is on the sidelines, either decompressing from a big mission, en route somewhere or being otherwise engaged, and that’s what we have here.  He’s tested by the CDC and discovers that he’s positive for exposure to the bio-weapon.  The weapon is a variant on a neural pathogen, but has been engineered to be non-contagious.  Only initial exposure results in sickness.  So my guess last week that his exposure would be negative due to the weapon being some sort of binary agent was off.  Jack is sick, there’s supposedly no cure, and I’m sure he’ll start showing signs very soon.

At the White House, Olivia Taylor recommends a new chief of staff to
her mother, the President.  In the interim though, President Taylor
makes her acting COS, which Olivia likes very much.  She asks Aaron
Pierce to stay on as her personal Secret Service protection.  The President also gets word on Jack’s innocence and status from Moss.  She also realizes the mistakes that were made that allowed Starkwood to become so dangerous an enemy and how they experimented on Sangalans with Juma to develop the bio-weapon via test footage.

The real action of the episode takes place on the Starkwood compound, where Tony is interrogated by Hodges’ men.  Hodges surprisingly offers Tony a way out, if he’ll only give up any info he has on the FBI’s state of readiness concerning their impending assault.  Tony doesn’t give up anything and is pretty much prepared to not be around much longer.  Surprisingly, he gets help from one of Hodges’ men, Greg Seaton (Rory Cochrane), who disagrees with Hodges’ course of action.  In exchange for immunity, he’ll give up the exact location of the weapon on the huge compound so the FBI can mount an assault.

The FBI do raid the compound, on an order straight from the President.  However, things go south when everyone realizes, including Tony, that Seaton played them all, and the weapon isn’t in the building he claimed it was.  The episode ends in a standoff between Moss, Tony and the FBI, against the Starkwood men, who are pretty much now the most powerful anti-government militia since the Revolutionary War. 

As far as this season is now going, Jack’s impending sickness throws a new twist into the mix, but the hope that I had that this season could be improved is starting to fade again.  The Starkwood militia angle is interesting, but when all is said and done, this season is pretty much more of the same.  Seeing Jack’s scars from his time in the trenches on the show was pretty harsh, especially for Renee, whom I do like.  Only eight episodes to go, and we already know that Season 8 is a go for next year.  I just hope that the major overhaul that this season was supposed to bring is realized for next.   

 6.0 out of 10