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.
Again, nice work.