Season 7 Episode 5

Day 7: 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 19, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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  • A slightly slower episode than the opening two-day, four-hour salvo but an eminently enjoyable one nevertheless.

    A slightly slower episode than the opening two-day, four-hour salvo but an eminently enjoyable one nevertheless. The decision to concentrate the first twenty five minutes squarely on the 'flushing out' (if you'll pardon the expression) of Matobo is a stroke of genius, as it gives the narrative a headlong focus that strengthens the dramatic gravitas of the situation. It's a curious beast from a viewing perspective too, as one's allegiances are thrown completely out of alignment. Technically, we should be rooting for our protagonist(s) - the erstwhile dysfunctional dynamic duo of Tony and Jack - and willing them on to achieve their goal, but when their goal is to kidnap the peace-loving Prime Minister of a foreign country, regardless of whether or not their intentions are ultimately honourable, one inevitably finds oneself pulled in opposite directions; feeling ambivalence, if you will. You just can't help but secretly hope that Matobo and his wife find the secret trap door that lets them out of the panic room... it's only natural! And as if that wasn't enough, our sympathies are abused still further with the abduction of poor, sweet Renee who's currently on a 'Bauer = bad' kick... a problem only exacerbated by his assignment to, you know, kill her. These sequences play considerably well, in large part thanks to the considerable acting talents of all involved. Granted, the plot is all a bit season one (remember Nina beside all those wind turbine things? Ah, those were the days), and you just know Bauer'll find a way to save her, but it's all good, sincere fun and at least the production staff do a damn good job of representing the situation: the closing moments, juxtaposing shots from above and below of the dirt covering her face, and the clock counting down with the 'tick tocks' replaced by Renee's breathing, are just plain wonderful. This particular plot strand is certainly the best thing about the episode and thankfully, it makes up about three quarters of the whole.

    Elsewhere, things are a little less appetising as things heat up at FBI HQ when we find out that Moss has the hots for Renee and Sean is having his way with Erika (a.k.a. 'some random') and no one actually cares (sorry, but romance is the last thing on any of our minds in the midst of a roller coaster ride of an international crisis... it's just distracting), then some idiotic bureaucrat from the Attorney General's office comes along and actively tries to hinder the resolution of a serious terrorist threat to the stability of the nation by asking to interview blatant mole sweet and innocent Janice about Renee's unsavoury 'interrogation' of Tanner. Which happened about fifteen minutes ago. Sorry guys, but come on... you're telling me that's enough time for the guy to file a complaint, for it to be registered and for it to be pursued IN PERSON? Gimme a break. These narrative strands are just frustrating for the viewer anyway and never prove to be enjoyable: they act as deviations, putting obstacles in the way of progressing the plot. And let's face it, 24 is about plot. No question about it. That's all we want. Really. Plot like Henry being poisoned by gorgeous, gorgeous Brian Gedge. Oh yeah, that wasn't telegraphed at all, was it? Shame really; every fibre of my being was screaming, "No! Not Gedge! Not that pretty face! Don't do this to us!", until I realised just how pathetic I was. I actually didn't mind this development, mostly as it allowed Colm Feore to do one of the most spectacular collapses in recent memory, but it was a bit bloody predictable, wasn't it?

    Wow. That was a bit long. A good episode on the whole, mostly due to the A storyline being strong enough to propel the narrative forward in a satisfying manner. Cut down on the soap opera elements (which, to be fair, have been few and far between so far), get rid of bureaucratic interference and give us more Dubaku, then I'd be a happy man. See, I don't even need Chloe and Bill... (but it would've been nice).