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
•  Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer

The Episode:2:00 AM – 3:00 AM”

After the shocking reveal of Tony’s duplicity by murdering Agent Moss last week, he has to continue his charade to mislead the FBI in order to help his accomplice, Galvez, escape with the last remaining bio-weapon canister.  Meanwhile, Renee learns of Moss’ death and is devastated, but has to take charge of the FBI dragnet as the ranking agent.  And Jack is finally back in the field to assist her, although he’s still suffering effects of the bio-weapon exposure.  As that is going on, Jonas Hodges is still in federal custody and receives an offer he can’t refuse.  And we learn that Teri has returned…in a manner of speaking.

The Lowdown:

Solid episode all around that’s buoyed immediately by Jack’s return to action.  In case their were ever doubts about Jack’s keen tactical and analysis abilities, they’re put to rest as he immediately deduces the fact that Galvez had to have had a partner when ambushing Moss.  This presents problems for Tony, who knows that he can evade FBI scrutiny, but not Jack’s.  So he has to continue to sell the lie and also help Galvez elude the FBI, who have sealed him within a perimeter.  From his expression throughout the episode, you can tell that he knows things are going to come to a head with Jack.  We also learn that Tony is associated with some of the same people to which Hodges was connected and that there’s still some big-time skullduggery afoot.  Jack’s look on his face as he was staring daggers at Tony was ominous.

Tony’s turn is the biggest shock of the season, even more so than his still being alive.  I’m wondering if his working for this secret cabal will carry over into Season 8, which is set to take place in New York.  I think it could lend even more heft to the fact that Tony could become Jack’s biggest enemy since Nina Meyers and I’m actually hoping that it isn’t simply wrapped up in a neat little bow within this season.  Tying this current season into an even bigger overarching story spanning this and next season has intriguing possibilities.  It could echo in a way tying Casino Royale directly into Quantum of Solace as Bond learns about Quantum and that he had only scratched the surface with Le Chiffre, Mr. White and Dominic Greene.  I could even see that leading to the theatrical movie, which would tie up the series nicely and send the franchise into the future.  I like that possibility very much. 

As far as the other particulars of this episode, I’m definitely interested in learning more about Hodges’ involvement in this cabal.  Obviously it’s bigger than anything that has come before, and I’m betting that some really high muckety mucks are involved.  Two people, Will Patton and some hot chick (she had the sexy librarian look working for her) orchestrate a meeting with Jonas and present him with the samurai option of saving face, and his family, by taking himself out of the equation with a suicide pill.  A red suicide pill of course (those things are always red).  Voight has been a great addition to the cast this season and is the smarmiest villain in the show’s history, I think.  From the previews it looks like he survives taking the pill, and I hope he returns also in some fashion next season.

Considering Kim, we learn that she dumped the creepy analyst dude and hooked up with some younger guy – who unfortunately isn’t Chase – and they have a daughter, Teri.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m also hoping that Kim returns next season.  She’s the last bit of normal life that Jack is holding onto and the one piece of hope that keeps him going.  Having a fatalistic Jack Bauer isn’t as interested to me as when he has something for which he’s fighting.  If they can find some smart – emphasis on the smart – way to work her back in next year, I’m for it.  Not sure it’s possible, but then again having Tony back from the dead seemed a bigger leap. 

Glad also that Annie Wersching will be back next season as well.  She’s carried a lot on her shoulders this season and done so amiably.  Also wouldn’t suck if she and Jack get down.  I say get the band back together at the new CTU, with Renee moving over from the FBI, and make sure Chloe and Morris are running the technical shit as they investigate the secret cabal.  I’ve gone up and down on this season a few times, but I like how it’s coming together at the end.  Five episodes left and I’m interested to see how it goes. 

 8.0 out of 10