24's Dana Walsh is one busy lady. We’ve known all season that the loving fiancée and Manhattan career-girl computer whiz has been living under an alias and trying to escape a criminal past while fending off an ex-boyfriend’s blackmail attempts. And last night we discovered that, through all of it, she's been working as this season’s resident CTU mole and is intent on destroying her nation.
She must have one helluva Facebook page: “Dana Walsh became a fan of University of Arkansas Football and the Al Jazeera Network.”
The question is whether last night’s big reveal at long last redeemed this distracting plotline. Dana’s story has been almost universally scorned thanks to gaps big enough for a drone to fly through and its waste of Katee Sackhoff in a thankless role. It's finally gets the spotlight off the Kevin story and moves things in a different direction. But I can't say it's all been worth it.
Last night’s episode continued the momentum last week. We settled in for plenty of crackling good gunplay as Jack, Cole, and what appeared to be a pair of CTU Explorer Scouts fought gamely to reach a land line—a nice twist considering 24’s almost fetishistic focus on gadgetry. All you Chloe fans finally got to see your girl do her Chloe thing and even pull a gun on a smug NSA engineer along the way. And 28 minutes after Chloe let her know that Jack was in trouble, Renee came to his rescue with a couple perfect shots to a terrorist’s head.
Then we returned to Dana and Prady, the Arkansas probation officer. A willful suspension of disbelief is part of the pact we all have to make with 24, which . This is a far bigger issue and one that should be addressed more fully later. There will be holes, compressed timeframes, and implausible scenarios. Last night for example, the terrorists managed to keep firing directly into Jack’s body armor and never take out his legs or get a clean head shot. So be it, because we’ve all signed up for this ride.
But the notion of Prady hanging out at CTU after the facility has been taken out by an EMP device just didn’t pass the most basic of smell tests. We live in a society where seemingly half the working population must wear lanyards and badges and swipe its way onto elevators and into offices. In the midst of a burgeoning national crisis, Prady showed up in the dead of night, freely wandered around, and took Dana away from the job that she had managed to ignore for most of the evening. He did all that without so much as a visitor sticker affixed to his jacket that proclaimed, “Hello, My name is Bill Prady.”
Then, while Chloe struggled to bring CTU back online after Hastings gave her ten minutes to get the job done, word came along that a probation officer from Arkansas wanted to talk. Overall, Hastings had a good night. But unless that probation officer had some questions about a red-faced guy by the name of Clinton, it’s impossible to believe that Hastings would have replied with anything other than, “You have got to be out of your mind to think that I’m going to speak with him right now.”
So with the help of an exceptionally large air-filtration system, Dana has taken care of Prady and perhaps also entombed the worst aspects of her subplot. Maybe 24 has finally freed itself from the implausibilities of her story. It's a decent twist, and now we know that Dana wasn’t just worried about holding onto Cole and her cute little Manhattan apartment. She’s still a career girl, but apparently it's not Hastings who is going to write her review.
What do you think? Anyone else not buying this week's ridiculous episode?