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
•  Amy Price-Francis as Cara Bowden

The Episode:5:00 AM – 6:00 AM”

Tony and his merry little cabal are proceeding with their plan to stage a terror attack using an innocent Muslim, Jibran Al-Zarian (Omid Abtahi), to disperse the last canister of bio-weapon somewhere in Washington.  Jack and Renee are on the case and had tracked down Jibran’s brother, who was being held prisoner by one of Tony’s flunkies.  Meanwhile, Olivia Taylor is trying to sweep under the rug the fact that via her efforts, Jonas Hodges was killed in a car bombing.  And Kim is put in harm’s way.

The Lowdown:

This episode is pretty much a return to pure classic 24, for all the good and bad that that entails.  Jack has been betrayed, he’s hot on the trail of the terrorists, he gets to interrogate a couple of schmucks, one of them being his former friend, Tony, there’s a last minute save, there’s some White House intrigue, and Kim Bauer is in danger.  It’s just like coming home again.  Jack is back where he should be, right in the thick of things.  The last few episodes where he’s been on the sidelines have dragged down the season a bit, so it’s nice to see things right with the 24 universe again.

Plenty of action this episode, with Tony forcing Jibran to carry out his cabal’s terrorist plan.  This time it’s a dispersal of the bio-weapon in the Washington subway system.  He’s got all the contingencies covered, as Jibran tries to warn someone, only to find the transit cop is part of the plot.  And evil bitch Cara Bowden is on the scene to prime the bomb on a subway car and then take off, leaving thousands to die and Jibran to take the blame.  Meanwhile, Jack gets to do what he does best when he interrogates Tony’s henchman, who was stabbed by Jibran’s brother when the cavalry rescued him.  This leads Jack to Tony and after ramming his van, Jack takes him down with some commando wrestling shit.

Jack’s scene with Tony where he interrogates him is key.  He just plainly tells him he’s not going to stop turning his face into hamburger until Tony gives up the plot.  You know when Jack asks someone to walk away it’s going to be good.  Never seen Jack just wail on a guy like he did Tony and with good reason.  You could see the hurt and the betrayal in Jack’s eyes.  Pretty powerful stuff.  No less powerful is Tony’s resignation to his fate.  “You think I have anything left to lose?  Go ahead, do it [pull the trigger].”  In the end, Jack and company are successful, and I like how Jibran saw he had no choice but to play what he was portrayed to be, a crazy homicide bomber, in order to save lives.

In other developments, Chloe and Janis get into a pissing match while providing Jack tech support.  Good interplay between them when at first Chloe knows something Janis doesn’t, but then Janis gets right back with something she knows that Chloe doesn’t.  Lovely when, after fishing for congratulations, Janis is plainly told by Chloe that she’s the last place Janis should look to for validation. 

On the Olivia front, she confronts Martin Collier (Leland Orser) about the Hodges assassination clusterfudge she finds herself in.  He tells her that he authorized the hit even though she didn’t send payment to the assassin.  He informs her that the time to wrestle with her conscience was before she decided to order the hit.  Later when Olivia gets back, she has to lie to Aaron about her whereabouts, but being the badass he is, he doesn’t buy it.  I’m actually a little disappointed that Olivia wasn’t the cold-blooded bitch I was hoping for.  She calmly orchestrated the framing of Ethan Kanin and turned back the blackmail attempt of the reporter.  I thought she’d be a little more together in this instance.  Granted she stepped up into the big leagues with Hodges’ murder, but her reaction seemed a little out of character considering what she’d already been through and accomplished.

Finally, Kim Bauer is the target of ne’er-do-wells…again.  It was pretty easy to see the red herring the producers tried to throw in there with the guy who was stalking her.  Normally I’d wail on the decision to bring her back into harm’s way, but if you’re going to have Kim Bauer back on the show, this scenario is almost a must.  And it’s certainly more plausible than anything that happened in Season 2.  Good episode.  Looking forward to the finale next week.

 8.3 out of 10