Season 4 Episode 21

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

Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 09, 2005 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
327 votes
  • good

    This episode dragged but it is understandable. Since they are trying to show a real time event you can not hope to have things changing drastically every hour. This episode clearly shows the after affects of previous episodes. It is not easy to get away with the covert operation inside the Chinese consulate.
  • Missile hustle

    The story continues in a somewhat clunky manner as everyone recovers from Paul's death and gets to work on tracking down Marwan. But at the same time, Head of Security Cheng Zhi comes over from the Consulate to question CTU about Howard Bern being spotted without his mask. And those are the two major things going on here. We also find out that Marwan's mounting his stolen warhead onto a missile headed…somewhere.
    With a terrorist threat like that in play (not that it feels tense or anything), the Chinese plot doesn't seem like it should be here; it just encroaches on the A-story. And randomly bringing China into the mix when we've been dealing with Middle Easterners the whole season makes this writing look like the work of manatees. Sure, it'll pay off later, but couldn't they have done something that felt less abrupt?
    There's not much else to say. Audrey gives Jack the cold shoulder, Lee gives Marwan's location, Cheng becomes suspicious of Jack, and Marwan successfully launches the missile from Iowa. Nothing special except for the final act. And of course…

    Hourly Highlight:
    Jack's half-angered, half-horrified glare at Chloe. I'd do the same if she wanted to be my friend. Or not, if it'd increase my chances of finally getting laid. What are you looking at?
  • Not Bad!!!

    After the Last Espisode, I was expecting less form this episode, some filler scenes , since there are only 3 epsiodes left to end this season.

    The writers did the smart move, that was to use the Chinese representative to produce evidence of a American involvement in the raid on their embassy.

    They fill the entire epsiode with this.

    However, what made this episode good was Audrey and Jack interections. The same goes for Michelle and Tony. Only this could be enough to make this episode worth watching?

    There is a unexpected action near the end. I didn´t expected that in this episode, they could get Marwan.
  • Chinese and rocket...

    The episode has little slow motion as most of it is the political mess they have to cover up the tracks of embassy assault and they are doing not well and when the chinese security chief gets a minute with Edgard he talks them all into and who knows what comes out of that mess.

    Anyway, Jack is trying to talk with Audrey but she is not very eager and I totally understand her. And the way Tony looks over it and finally says it out what has been on the air for long hours.

    Anyway, the finally have Marwan position but they get there too late - rocket is off!
  • Review

    This episode dragged a lot with too many filler parts. Everyone hung around CTU for most of the hour and then took off to go and try and find Marwan again. The chinese consolute situation cannot possibly be resolved this season as there are only three hours left. Perhaps Day 5 will explain the ramifications more, but I wonder how a show like 24 will tie that in. The scenes between Audrey and Jack were okay, nothing like they were in the last episode. The only good part of the episode for me was Tony telling Michelle that he cant live without her. The two have a great on screen connection and other then that small part in the episode, nothing in this episode really stands out as amazing. The ending was good, but not enough to save the primarily filler based episode.
  • great episode

    After Jack's disastrous skirmish with the guards at the Chinese Embassy, CTU finds itself on the defensive when a Chinese diplomat demands an explanation from the American government. Audrey and Jack's relationship hits a new low after a tragedy inside CTU. This episode shows lots of action, the cat and mouse games between CTU and the terrorists are just amazing. The action scenes are a spectacle, there are lots of good stuff that are shown. The writers did a really good job weaving an andrenaline pumped episode. Things move really fast, it's a fun episode to watch. It's really awesome.
  • A good episode, but this whole China thing makes no sense...

    24 still keeps above the average level they've been sailing on for far too long this season.

    The China thing still bugs me. If you want to blame someone wouldn't the obvious choice be the terrorists? Lee Jong said they were after him, it would have made a lot of sense for the terrorists to kidnap him and pin it on the US goverment. And if the terrorists were to deny it, who would really believe them anyways? Oh, and how are CTU going to keep it a secret that they do in fact have Lee Jong in their medical quarters?

    Tony and Michelle got some further development in this episode. I really like how they are handling this, they give us a little bit at a time and that is just right.

    Oh that Audrey... She is getting more and more like Kate Warner with each episode and that is NOT a compliment. Although it was good to see Audrey side for Jack, even though for some idiotic reason she still can't realise that the entire day is not about herself, Jack and Paul but about terrorists.

    The Mummy gets busted this episode, which was an interesting touch. But it turns out it was all too late...

    Only three more episodes to go! Luckily for me Swedish TV airs one episode on Monday and two on Tuesday, so I won't have to wait long!
  • It's not the best episode of 24, but not the worst...

    Would be really interesting to see how US will try to avoid a War against China, because Chinese goverment wont allow what happened with the Consul.

    This episode is good, but there are many other better but the best part is see the countdown for the missile launch moving ahead and imagine what is american people feelling on that moment if they knew that.

    One more prove that the US Goverment has problems and that a president that dont make good decisions can destroy a entire country, even the most powerfull nation can fall without a good leader in charge. . .
  • Some things work well in this episode, preparing us for the finale, but some things didn't get enough focus, which affected the episode. Beware, entire episode synopsis encapsulated in review.

    The show is starting to wrap up its fourth season. The first of the final four is an interesting mix of complications and consequences, which need to be addressed in the end. Luckily, after that lengthy mid-section they found their voice again, where a lot is at risk. However, if they focused more on the hunt for Marwan, especially since they finally found him this episode, this episode could've been more suspenseful.

    Audrey seems much calmer only a few minutes after screaming hysterically at Jack for putting Lee's life over Paul's. She's still very upset, but seems to be slowly grasping the fact that Jack did it to get the information necessary to find the warhead. It's still too much for her to be around him, so Jack excuses himself. Buchanan reinforces that he made the right choice, but it will haunt Jack along with countless other decisions.

    Novick informs Jack of what happened to the Consul because of the raid. He instructs Jack to assemble his team and tell them to form alibis for their locations during the seige. Although I don't like it when the government lies and distorts the truth, this instance it's much better than honesty. The truth could result in war with China, which neither country wants. They've had to resort to the unpleasant, but unavoidable because the alternate would be much worse.

    One of Marwan's henchmen tries to jam CTU satellites but can't because new software had been recently installed. He informs Marwan, who says the schedule will be moved up by an hour. This could've been used better to amplify the search for Marwan in this episode, which would've made the payoff more rewarding. They could trace that signal. If that was how they handled it, it could've provided an interesting dynamic. Paul would've died because they needed information that they got from a different source entirely.

    A common complaint among viewers was Palmer's idea for an alibi. A group of anti-Chinese terrorists was behind the attack. It makes sense, but an easier route would've been to pin the blame on Marwan. Marwan's clear on eliminating any lose ends in his plan. They don't care about international law. They care about what it takes to achieve their goal. If you list the things he has done in the last 24 hours it is clear that invading a consulate wouldn't be out of his range.
    Palmer's confident that they can save face since the tactical team was masked. Nevertheless, this back story crumbles before they can even tell it. A man named Cheng discovers Bern's unmasking while reviewing the security footage at the Consulate. He doesn't know who it is immediately, so he calls for the photo to go through the databases to identify him. This one action ended up complicating things beyond an easy remedy.

    Because Audrey didn't want Jack near her, they had to make a reason for them to interact again to achieve maximum tension. For this episode, he needs her to authorize something to pass data over to him. Chloe has to spell this out, which isn't that different from prior episodes. Although this time, she offers to be someone to confide in. This catches Jack off guard. How weird do you have to be where Chloe could be the sense of balance?

    Jack asks for the clearance. It gets more awkward as Audrey asks about Lee's condition. The pressure is on Jack. Paul died because Jack believed Lee would provide useful information to prevent the warhead deployment. If Lee dies or the warhead detonates, then she will never forgive him. While she screamed at him at the end of the last episode, that was the initial shock. She may be able to forgive him if he can save the day. For now, she still would like Jack to leave her alone.

    Cheng calls CTU to tell them that he believes that CTU was involved in the attack on his consulate. This doesn't make things any better as Michelle can't deny their connection. The call provokes Cheng to call the Secretary of State, who approves Cheng to visit CTU to question them about their involvement.

    The Secretary of State informs President I'll Just Watch Some TV (Logan), who storms into Palmer and Novick, furious that such an action would be taken. He must be thinking "OK, I was president for an hour and I let a terror suspect get away. So I call in a guy who could do the job better and he freaking invades China!" Covert operations are typical for nations all over the world and Palmer needs to be allowed to clean up his mess.

    We get another taste of the Michelle/Tony reconciliation, when Tony says that he hates life without her. She says she didn't want life to turn out the way it did. This is to make sure we knew the storyline wasn't dropped and to keep it going until the final hours. I hope that they can concoct a resolution if they do reunite that is true 24, not gooey.

    Cheng arrives and questions Buchanan and Jack. He knows a lot about covert operations and Cheng rightfully assumes that he could head a mission like this quickly. Finally, we get some information on Heller's location, as he disappeared to a meeting around 8 PM. Although I do reaffirm my belief that Heller's best left off camera until he's useful dramatically, this update is appreciated. Now how about a Behrooz follow up?

    Back to CTU, where Jack sees Bern, who they said wasn't in that night, talking to Chloe. Jack's very clever, and fakes a phone call so he can leave the room and get Bern away from anywhere that would make him noticeable for Cheng. While he's successful in getting him out, Bern could still be questioned later. This is a good instance of putting a loose end aside to be resolved after this season's events so the writers won't worry about including it in future episodes.

    Lee wakes up, and Jack gets the location of three places Marwan has chosen as hideouts. Before he heads out, Audrey confronts him about having to lie to the Consulate about Jack's whereabouts during the invasion. CTU's cover story involved the two analyzing data. She's sick of all the lying and breaking of protocol that Jack has done since the beginning of the season. Jack argues that they have gotten results, but Audrey's side may have more weight. While stopping all but one plant from melting down and saving Heller and Audrey is admirable in this timeline, nearly every other part of their plan has come to fruition.

    Ultimately, Audrey lies and says that Edgar was with them. Since Edgar was a big part of this alibi, why wasn't he informed about CTU's scheme to shift blame to a radical group? When Cheng finds Edgar, he unwittingly gives them further reason to believe that CTU was involved. China begins to search for Jack's personal file. This raises the stakes even higher and puts the writers in a place where they can't write themselves out of easily.

    Logan agrees to sign off on an order to expel Cheng from CTU. While it may be suspicious, they're sure they can explain that because of the crisis they can't be tied up in an investigation (or as they know it and Cheng believe, a cover up). The President is mad, but Palmer tells him that they have to worry about American lives first before the Chinese. Which is true, since the threat of Marwan's attack is definitive and imminent compared to the Chinese. It'll be interesting to see a Cold War dynamic in these final hours.

    Thankfully, Jack finds Marwan and incapacitates him. Marwan has escaped CTU's clutches so many times already that another time would've been too absurd. Besides, it's the final four episodes and his luck was bound to run out before the end of them. This has been the earliest the mastermind of a whole season has been caught. I hope that they can figure out something useful for him in the final episodes to explore his character, which has gotten lost in his constant run from CTU.

    Here's a great way 24 messes with our expectations. When Jack and Curtis find the launch countdown for the warhead, there is a minute left on the timer. It's typical for them to stop it within seconds of initiation, but they don't. Another part of Marwan's plan succeeds. Once it has started it can't be stopped, they've told us. So the best case scenario would be to detonate it in an isolated area like in season two, but how can they make that fresh?

    Only three hours are left. How can they tie everything up? Everything has accumulated immensely in the last few hours. I don't know how Jack will get out trouble with the Chinese government, but it may prove to be an interesting dynamic for next season. If only they had focused more on hunting down Marwan while showing Cheng's visit to CTU, they could've created more suspense. Nevertheless, the warhead's in the air now, what will they do? I can't wait to see.