Season 4 Episode 20

Day 4: 2:00 A.M. - 3:00 A.M.

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 02, 2005 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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362 votes
  • Newclear, not newkewlar

    It's too late now, but somebody should have told Kiefer Sutherland the word is "nuclear," not "newkewlar."

    It's not that hard. New as in not old. Clear as in not overcast. New Clear. Nuclear.

    Sutherland is a talented actor who can play heroes or villains with equal conviction. But he really missed the boat on that one.
  • Disappointed

    I was disappointed to see that Jack literally killed yet another man in his attempt to save people

    This time perhaps he could have avoided doing this. My question, would he have done the same thing had Kim been there instead of Paul. I do not think so. Besides that, the episode is good to watch. Chinese consulate plot is very key and it is going to take new turns from here. Palmer is as good as he ever is
  • The Final Scene make this episode Superb.

    Since 24 it is about terrorism, morality always come with the package.

    One of the things i like to see is that being a hero, is not easy, and 24 show you that. Be a hero sometimes, make you the bad guy in the eyes of another person.

    Jack is a character that do whathever it takes to save millions. This time, he cross the line 2 times. One will only have repercussions later. Other happens in this episode and is for sure, one of the best Scenes created in 24.

    Now I understand why Paul saved Jack and why he didn´t died when he was shot.

    This episode offer you some action too and a new storyline that will be important more later.

    Seeing David Palmer on screen is always a pleasure, the man have what it takes to do the difficult decisions. However, the decision he made, will have consequences.

    Overral, in 40 minutes, what makes this episode be special, is the final minutes. Other minutes was more about details, with nothing really special our different.
  • Very well written

    Oh, this episode. This is what I love about the serie - the totally hard and impossible choices they have to make - Jack has to go to the consul territory to get the man who is their only lead and it goes bad when he is discovered and consuler killed. And to make it even worse, just as Audery is having talk with her husband, he starts to crash and they rush him into surgery and when Jack comes with his witness and points gun on the surgent to save his patient.. oh.. the choice he had to made and Audrey reaction. I really wonder how he is able to.. and the face.. Audrey rage.. it was so emotional, so powerful.
  • Big Trouble in Little China

    Though the season never quite recaptures the essence of greatness that it had in the beginning, this episode is quite an improvement over recent debacles.
    Jack finds a lead that he can use to get to Marwan, but this plot thread originated in the previous episode, so at least there's that. And almost as if to focus on a race other than Middle Eastern, the lead is a Chinese guy taking refuge at the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles. And there begins Jack Bauer's nasty situation with the Chinese.
    David Palmer's back in the White House, and on his word, Jack breaks into the Consulate and kidnaps their latest suspect. Okay, so Logan welcomes Palmer into the place, gives him the authority to do anything to stop the terror crisis (i.e. do Logan's job for him), and Palmer ends up sanctioning an act that gets a foreign government representative killed. …Side-splitting.
    Yes, things get complicated when the idiot Chinese Consul accidentally gets shot by an idiot Consulate guard. And when one of Jack's idiot CTU partners is briefly unmasked and caught by an idiot security camera. Idiots!
    But enough about that; what everybody's talking about is that Paul goes back into surgery thanks to a new complication, just in time for Jack to return and force the doctors to work on his wounded suspect, inadvertently letting Paul die. Nice work. That is a good scene, and both the acting and the music make this episode stand out from a flat season.

    Hourly Highlight:
    Again, nice work.
  • Review

    I thought the episode was good from beginning to end, with no down parts to any of the episode. I all ready like David Palmer back on the set and I hope he returns for more of Season 5 and not just as a guest star. His leadership and presence when he is talking to someone is arguably done better then anyone on the show. Jack usually is holding someone up when he is talking to them and needs information, but David Palmers calm agression is exactly the kind of thing this show needs. Jack going into the chinese consulute was a great twist in the show, meaning that he is now wanted by Chinese law (well him and I guess everyone else that was involved). either way, I think this might turn into an interesting sub-story for the rest of the season. The last five minutes at the end with Jack, Curtis, and Audrey in the operation room was brillance. I thought the writing was perfect and the acting done by Kefier and Kim were exceptional. Jack continuing to work on Paul long after he had been dead was something I think he would have done and Audrey reacted perfectly, telling Jack that she hated him. Marwan was pretty much a non factor in this episode, something I expect to change a lot in the next episode. Overall, one of the best episodes of the season
  • A very compelling episode

    Wow, this episode was extremely riveting. I think this installment brings us back to the (sometimes flawed) characters that we've invested in since Season 1. First, we see the return of President Palmer, a nice contrast to the weak leadership of Logan. Then, we get to observe Jack doing what he does best: crossing lines in ways he shouldn't for the sake of the nation. Finally, Jack chooses security over his personal life and lets Paul Raines die, the man who saved his life only a few episodes ago and the estranged husband of Audrey (Jack's love interest). Paul's death was surprisingly heart-wrenching, and I was impressed with how the last moments of this episode really captured Audrey's disappointment and Jack's regret.
  • Heart-pounding installment.

    Surely one of the best 24 episodes yet. Riveting final minutes where the lines between right and wrong are blurrier than ever. The decision to invade the Chinese Embassy, the choice of which life to save- paul or the chinese thug, it's heartpounding stuff and makes you thankful that there are people like Jack and Palmer who have to make these choices-- and live with them. Better than us, right?

    And is it just me or does someone sense a little romance developing with Chloe and Edgar. These two should just get a room already. Come on! :-) And as for Michelle and Tony, kiss and make up already, guys.
  • great episode

    President Logan asks David Palmer to be in charge of the operation to infiltrate a Chinese Embassy in order to capture a suspect who helped Marwan build a bomb. Jack and his team goes to the embassy so they can capture a scientist who helped Marwan. When they take him back to CTU, Jack is forced to sacrifice the life of Paul so the doctor can save a life of the Chinese scientist. This episode shows raw emotions running high, it's a well written episode. It's well directed, the actors did a really good job making the dramatic parts believable.
  • Riveting and Moving.

    The finaly minutes of this Episode were powerful and riveting. Jack forces Doctors to work on a man with the only connection to a nuclear warhead while sacrifacing Paul's life who was in critical condition. Paul dies, while Jack tries to save his life at Audrey's plea. Audrey attacks Jack and blames him for Paul's death. Jack is obviously guily and pained by what happens as the hour ends.
  • i know 24 is a hard show to watch;but this was just too much!! i enjoyed every second!


    24 has always been one of the hardest,most brutal shows. The writers are never afraid to walk on the edges of our morality limits,show the dark sides of the characters and make us think.once again it was jack who showed the dark side of himself,but this time was much darker and twisted than anything we've seen before,except maybe his killing his superior in season 3.

    And that is why i love this show.they dont do silly things to make us shocked or surprised. They make us think about ourselves,blur the lines of black and white.how far can u go to complete your mission?save thausands?...without a doubt,jack was right.And his moves made him an hero. the show made us see that being a hero is sometimes the same thing with being the bad person..

    Woaa...i was so stressed.The acting in those scenes were the best i've ever seen.This show is always great,always gives the danger to fall from the edge of the seat,but this one was special.

  • Though the story was predictable, it was still good to watch.

    It was a good episode, but I just knew what was going to happen. I don't know if it because I have never missed an episode, but I knew as soon as Paul Raines didn't look too good, that he and Jack's prisoner would be fighting for their right to be treated at CTUs limited surgery.
    As well as that, of course Lee was going to be shot in the Chinese Consulate. the episode just seemed a little flat to me. However, it was classic 24 and thats why i didnt judge it too harshly.

    Justin Grima

    This is my 2nd review
  • Overall really good, with a few downs.

    Another great installment. Follows up last episode beautifully, with one downside with the Chinese plotline.

    Nice to see that Chloe is still Chloe even after going Terminatrix on the terrorist. She and Edgar are bonding more and more it seemed. I loved the schoolyard dialogue between them when she admits to worrying about not having remorse for what she did and he tries to comfort her by saying that "maybe you'll be a wreck in a few days". Really kind of cute!

    I loved seeing Aaron again. He is one of the few characters around Palmer I've always trusted and it's great to see him get som cred for it with a few minutes of screen time. Palmer was as good as ever in this episode, making decisions and giving orders. The confrontation between Palmer and Mike in the beginning was good, it was classic David Palmer and great to see some follow-up on a previous storyline. Palmer really shows what a professional he is.

    The China thing was kind of dorky, if you can use such a word about a show like this. I don't know, it just seemed off somehow. Seriously, if you're supposed to protect someone (Lee Jong in this case) you do not have a smaller army firing their guns at the man carrying him. Since Jack is on the move there is no guarantee that they will hit him and not Lee. Idiots. Then they kill one of their own men. Brilliant. Topping it all off Lee Jong does not even speak English. How the heck did he then communicate with the terrorist from last episode? Not to mention he would surely have learned English while living in America, how else would he get along in his everyday life? Kind of hard to communicate with people when you speak different languages.

    Tony and Michelle got a bit further development in this episode, which was great. The scene was well acted, you could see that Michelle was hurt to find out Tony lived with somebody else even though she couldn't show it. Come on, get these two love birds back together now!

    Paul's death was a good storyline, but Audrey being there was CHEESY. Family are not allowed in the OR, and is Audrey really out of her mind? I understand that she loves Paul, but she also knows better than most people how important it is to find Marwan before he can kill thousands or millions of Americans. Calling Jack a murderer was quite strong, it's not his fault they didn't transfer Paul to a real hospital or that some guy shot him in the first place. Jack saved Paul's life earlier in the day too. Audrey's really got an ego the size of Asia, it's not about her, it's about millions of others. She didn't do much to save Edgar's mother, but Jack should sacrifice all those lives to POSSIBLY save Paul? Ugh... Jack should be happy to be rid of her. Why are all possible love interests for Jack this twitted?

    Looking forward to next episode!
  • A whole episode wasted to bring back a well known face... boring plot developments, and slow pacing...

    24 – 4x20 – 2am to 3am

    Chloe: “I hope I’m not some kind of psychopath.”

    Well, 24 up until now has fluctuated in quality and some episodes post the over-ride have definitely lived up to a “filler” title – but ironically, 5 episodes off the end of the season and this looks like the biggest filler of all.

    Despite the climactic ending of last episode with gun toting Chloe – after the credits we are given scenes of David Palmer returning to the Whitehouse (bunker). I have to make clear I’m still confused as to why they call him “Mr President” when he’s no longer the President, maybe it’s an American thing. So we have several minutes of “catch-up” material, just in case you haven’t been watching the previously section and then we eventually get to Chloe where we find some random link to a Chinese dude connected to Marwan. And is anyone else frustrated by how many times Marwan has been able to escape now – four I believe it is (one from the offices, two with the Dina business, three at the factory and now four at the club). Are all the officers at CTU incompetent??

    So Marwan wasn’t featured at all in this episode – except for the additional “filler” material of the tape which was so conveniently dropped and provided no real solid leads. Yes, it was quite effective and haunting but would have been much better placed in a faster episode. In this episode which was already quite slow it only served to slow the story down even more.

    The Michelle/Tony dynamic was also handled relatively poorly. Why is Jen only calling now? So what? And who cares? Apart from that, the Michelle/Tony scenes were also slow and only served to fill in the inevitable. We know they’ll get back together. And probably once they have Michelle or Tony will bite the bullet. Literally. And what about Bill? Well, know he’s all cranky with Tony and emotional about Michelle – like he clearly was in previous episodes – correction, he wasn’t. He was calm, collected and professional. Way to destroy character development and undermine the small shred of characterisation that 24 has.

    Chloe remains the most consistent character on 24 and despite being brash and sometimes annoying she’s certainly has dramatic potential. Her scenes were beautifully underdone and her line about “I hope I’m not some kind of psychopath” had me in stiches. Plus it was nice to see Edgar not fighting with Chloe for once. Edgar seemed likable in this episode – more than recently anyway – but his character has certainly been inconsistent this season.

    Palmer and the political stuff was pretty boring all up and the Chinese embassy scenes weren’t the best action scenes done on 24 by a long shot. I’m wondering about the ramifications of one of the agents being identified will be – but I’m not really thinking they’ll be serious.

    Paul and Audrey. Well, we all knew that Audrey and Jack weren’t going to last. The last few episodes have painfully, and incredibly slowly, indicated that. And who thought Paul would live? Making plans for 8am Audrey – how silly of you – you never make plans on 24. Happy endings. Ahah, ahahahahahaah. Or something like that. By the way – how come everyone forgets that Jack saved Paul’s life in the building. Oh yeah we can’t have that come to light.

    So where are we at the end of the episode. Paul is dead. And we’re no closer to finding Marwan. Even if we did – we know he won’t be captured for another 3 or 4 episodes. Yes, this episode really highlights 24’s primary weakness. Things have to happen at specified times. The whole Paul/Audrey thing has been dragged out way too long – and what is Audrey still doing there?? Why wasn’t she kicked out of the operating room? Why wasn’t Paul taken to a normal hospital? Stupid stuff all up.

    In essence, boring, contrived and slow. We had little character development that actually mattered and most likely everything will be different character wise next episode. Still, CTU might actually catch Marwan this time. Wait, isn’t there still 4 episodes left… oh that’s right…
  • Palmer is back doing what he knows best, taking dangerous decisions without hesitate. And Jack once again is put between the rock and a hard place.

    I think this episode was one of the best of this season so far. What I liked the most and was set up on the previous episodes... Palmer is back!!! This character is one of my favourites of the series and I really missed him along this season, Dennis Haysbert does a wonderful job in this episode.

    So finally we have a "president" in wich we can trust, and his timing couldn't be better (do you imagine president Logan giving the order to break in a chinese consulate? He would have collapsed under pressure). Palmer puts Jack in a life-or-death situation once again without hesitating and proves that he trusts him no matter what (I really like the chemistry between this two main characters).

    Jack breaks in the consulate and narrowly escapes with the only man who can lead them to Marwan being wounded and sets up the scenary to a possible war against China. I'm not sure why all the guards were shooting at Jack if he was carrying Lee... they've could easily have killed him (and maybe the did). I think that this delicate issue with China is going to be one of the main storylines for the next hours and the season finale.

    Meanwhile, Chloe returns to CTU and deals with his problems (or his lack of problems) about killing a man. Edgar is really nice to her, and also was Jack a little earlier over the phone (in a Jack Bauer-way, of course).

    Audrey is decided to join Paul in his trip to the hospital an apparently she wants to leave Jack and patch things up with his husband (as many fans were anticipating)... but Paul isn't out of danger yet so he must be rushed in the operations table once again.

    This episode was pretty good but it wasn't one of the best ones until the last five minutes (not a very rare thing in this series). In what I think was one of the greatest moments in the whole season so far Jack arrives with the wounded Lee at the same time that Paul is into surgery. He must oblige the doctor (at gun point) to leave Paul alone and help Lee, since he's the only lead to Marwan'w whereabouts. Jack tries to save Paul's life but there's nothing to do...

    Jack is left devastated about the fact that he let die the man who save his life (and also the ex-husband of his girlfriend) and apparently his relationship with Audrey is completely destroyed.

    A really great episode, specially the last 5 minutes.
  • Despite a garbled narrative jump, this episode is still contains vital developments. They go to a place where they can't go back. Beware, entire episode summary encapsulated in review.

    As the season wraps up, the producers can finally use the ideas they were plotting while the post-override episodes were made. As the transition went on, many became impatient with the slow pace, but didn't give up on the show. It seems like the last few weeks are our reward. The show has taken some high stakes risks and the end looks promising.

    I think this episode was made better by simply including Palmer in it. He has always had a great presence on the show, even when his storyline was less than stellar, as it was last season. Of course, hard core fans got a kick seeing Agent Pierce (the 4th member of the "All 4 seasons Club") reappear, even if it was a cameo. It helped continuity to include the bit about Pierce's son signing on for more military service. 24 is one TV's most scrutinized shows, so references to little things the fans remember is a nice touch.

    Now some critics may question 24's choice to write Palmer back into the show. If this season was to introduce a new world of characters, putting Palmer back in the role of the president is back pedaling. However, he works so well with the other characters, especially Jack. In addition, Keeler wasn't much of a character and Logan wasn't more than a launching pad for Palmer's comeback. Regardless, his return is easier to accept than some of last season's ham handed returns.

    Palmer could've been petty with his relationship with Novick. Considering their history, he has reason to be. However, they're in a crisis and Mike's an asset. Mike betrayed Palmer because he thought Palmer wasn't acting in the country's best interest as opposed to supporting the terrorists. I wish more of these characters could put aside their problems like this. Palmer, we've missed you!

    Back to the Suburban House of DOOM, Chloe is working on Nabilla's hard drive while CTU workers are making sure she's OK. During this, Jack asks to see how she's coping after having killed someone. Jack has gotten used to killing people for the purpose of his job. If anyone could help a socially awkward person like Chloe cope with her actions, it would be him.

    On the drive, she finds e-mails Sabir received that were sent from someone within the United States. In record time Edgar finds that it belongs to a man fired from China's nuclear weapons program, Lee Jong. I wish they did more with Nabilla's storyline, but usually sources like this only yield one lead. If there was one fault, it was that Marwan and the terrorists with the warhead had little coverage this week. The story abruptly shifted to China, which made the narration a little clunky. This is a minor complaint as Marwan's absence could be justified when he reemerges.

    Most people have instinctively known that Audrey is going to leave Jack by the end of the season. It has to wait until then. Audrey wants to go with Paul to a special hospital. This tender moment is interrupted by Jack's awkward arrival. She hasn't informed him of this decision yet. Through his medicated daze, Paul is still modest about the sacrifice that saved Jack's life. Pushing Jack out of the way turned to be instinctual, which adds to the effect of his actions.

    Why wasn't Paul moved to a real hospital? CTU is in the middle of LA. Paul seems to be doped up enough not to notice or mind a car ride. Paul has had trouble maintaining stability and CTU's medical staff isn't equipped for much as we saw. In some ways, they seem to have wanted the end of this episode to happen. They're in the middle of a crisis and few people are working in the infirmary. As we saw at the end, if they had another patient rushed in, one would die.

    Marwan's speech is far more chilling when the final cut is shown for Edgar, Buchanan and Michelle. It's damaged, so the image appears raw and distorted at times. The audio's echoes provide a haunting effect. As I correctly predicted, the video provided a clue of Marwan's plans. They deduct that the warhead will be deployed before dawn. The sun will rise on the east coast in two hours. This could be ironic as they used time zones in the beginning of the season to determine that the terrorists would attack within that first hour. While they have reason to worry about the East coast, it may prove to have similar results.

    This week's 24 introduced an interesting dynamic to the typical seizure of a terrorist suspect. Knowing that CTU is onto his trail, Lee found sanctuary at the Chinese Consulate, which is considered Chinese territory and not subject to US jurisdiction. Palmer still tries to appeal to Chinese Consul directly, but his hands are tied and will have to go through red tape to release Lee into US custody. Even when Palmer negotiates benefits for China, it doesn't move thing along quicker. Desperate, he phones Jack, implying that he needs to do what needs to be done to prevent this warhead's deployment.

    During work, Michelle gets a call from Jen, Tony's girlfriend. Why wouldn't she have called CTU earlier? The last time she saw Tony, he left with Jack. Maybe she isn't that bright. Tony apologizes for not informing Michelle about Jen. Michelle says it isn't her business, which mirrors her comments when Tony inquired about her love life. Considering the rest of this episode, this segment doesn't quite fit, but serves the overall story between Tony and Michelle.

    Chloe returns to work, and Edgar asks how she is. It doesn't seem like we'll see much bickering between them now. She's worried that she doesn't feel anything after killing a man, regardless of the circumstances. Knowing her, it isn't unusual she'd shut down emotionally in such stress. This could hint at where her story could go for the rest of the season.

    Jack prepares to go in the Consulate alone. If he's caught, he can claim that he wasn't working as a part of the government. However, he stands to face the Chinese judicial system if he's caught. With Tony's help, the mission goes unimpeded, but once the other guards catch on, Jack's again in a place where he can't return. Carrying Lee on his shoulders, the guards fire at them. Why did the guards start shooting at someone they were protecting? Maybe they were shooting to wound, but like many guards shooting at the hero of a piece, they can't hit anything, but when Koo steps in to see what's going on, he is caught in friendly fire.

    What really screws them is the Chinese guard unmasking Bern, the third man with Jack and Curtis. While Su Ming, the Deputy Consul, has hunches regarding US involvement in this siege, he doesn't have proof yet. The guard is an eyewitness and can identify one of the men involved, a US government agent. Extracting Lee could be seen as an act of war, with consequences that would rival those Marwan has planned.

    Lee is shot during the extraction. He's bleeding internally. Simultaneously, Paul has another relapse as fluid fills the sack around his lungs. This coincidence does feel contrived, but it serves an exploration on how unforgiving the fight against terror can be. Jack forced the infirmary surgeon to stop operating on Paul so they could work on the Lee. Audrey is shocked and appalled at first, which gives way to hysteria when Paul dies, despite Jack's attempt to revive him. Looking at Jack and Audrey's arc, it feels unnecessary, but its brutality is a part of the show's gritty style.

    Audrey should not be anywhere near Paul during surgery. She isn't capable of deciding to take the surgeons off Paul so they can save the man with vital information. Jack hates this decision, but unfortunately, they had no choice. Lee is the only link they have to Marwan. As we know well, capturing Marwan is the only chance they have at preventing this nuclear warhead from being used.

    Although the narrative jump from Marwan to Lee was garbled, they rebounded and saved the episode. Some of the twists, while over the top like sacrificing Paul, are good simply for their potential. Now Palmer has to face an international crisis that may escalate to war on top of finding Marwan. This episode helped show what is at stake and escalated it to the point where no one involved will come out unscathed.
  • One of the best ever

    That really was one of the best plot twists ever; Jack having to force the surgeon to leave Paul behind and die while operating on the Chinese guy. The season started off slow and was partly even quite bad. But these last few episodes really make up for it. If you haven't seen this one yet, you really should !!
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