24

Season 7 Episode 22

Day 7: 5:00 A.M. - 6:00 A.M.

4
Aired Monday 8:00 PM May 11, 2009 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (26)

8.9
out of 10
Average
336 votes
  • How many facial expressions for "Look at me, I'm eeeevil" does Tony Almeida have, anyway?

    8.0
    Tony sends Jibraan and the canister into the subway, and Jack races to stop the prion's release. See, that's how you move butts closer to seat edges.

    With Hodges dead, Olivia goes into freakout mode, and the ever-observant Pierce gets suspicious and calls Kanin back into the fray. Good to see neither of these two being wasted in these final hours, especially since this'll be the former's last hurrah (really, what's with that?).

    Also, Kim just couldn't get out of this season without landing back in familiar damsel territory. I could almost hear your collective groans at this all-too-predictable turn of events, yet it seems nobody could predict where the writers would end up taking that.

    Chloe and Janis bicker. I myself still groan at the pointlessness of it all.

    A fine mini-conclusion after the preceding lack of luster (guhwuh?). Plus, I still welcome Tony's continued villainy. But the story isn't flowing nearly as smoothly as it was earlier this season; instead of steadily but confidently building up to the finale, it feels like the writers are struggling to meet their 24-episode quota. Oh, well. Even though the Final Six as a whole don't reach their potential, the two remaining hours are enough time to make Jack's final (*scoff*) morning a tad more hellish, and my life that much more entertained.



    Hourly Highlight:

    Jack punching Tony over. And over. And over. And over. And over...
  • This episode shows that the writers are clearly running out of ideas.

    1.0
    This show is getting old really fast.

    1) Kim's phone runs out of batteries at the airport, leaving unable to contact anyone else or anyone else to contact her to warn her of the impending danger. How convenient.

    2) Olivia's storyline. Just a time waster. Does anyone really care what will happen to Olivia? I don't care if she goes to jail or gets caught or if she gets away with murder. The whole storyline is just a waste of time cause the writers ran out of ideas.

    3) Janis vs Chloe? Seriously? There's a freaking bomb on the loose and they're fighting over who's the better hacker?
  • 5amto 6 am.

    9.0
    Jack and Renee must secure a biological attack at the subway.

    9/10- loved the first 23 minutes. it was action, action, action.WOW. the end of the cannister was disappointing but i loved the jack and the cannister face off when it explodes. good technique.

    Olivia makes a deadly transaction to the killer of Jonas Hodges.

    2/10- ahem... yeah this was necessary but it was lame ! Olivia makes a transaction to Jonas hodges s killer, not really any excitement.

    Kim thinks she is being followed at the airport.

    7/10- short but memorable. Kim thinks an operative is stalking her. the best scene was the FBI agent getting pawned by BOB.
  • Finally the main plot moves forward and a conclusion is reached regarding the last canister. Now the last setup was made and the ending was very interesting.

    8.6
    Let’s start with Janis and Chloe scenes, Janis reaction to Chloe was filler, just to buy time, it wasn´t necessary, but at the same time this was explored, since the first time Chloe appeared to help the FBI, Janis thought she was losing her position and been replaced. So not exploring this issue could be a bit unrealistic.

    Jibraan was a hero this time, the fact he tried to talk to the police was necessary to be realistic, but as expected. His reaction was well done and the situation itself was interesting for an innocent guy. This connects to Jack scenes, were he made another of his torture to extract some information and locate Tony. It seems that Tony is really focused in some objective and it doesn´t matter if he have to kill innocent people, which seems to confirm that this is all about Michelle and the fact that he didn´t got over her death. Jack beat him, I didn’t expect that tony would be caught so soon, but again he will be free. Jack now is forced to free Tony and kill anyone who tries to stop him.

    White House scenes continue to focus on Olivia and her guilt over Hodges death, this episode explored this with every character she knows like Aaron, who can´t trust her and called Ethan to find out if Olivia is the one who murderer or give the order to kill Hodges, this can be interesting, not because Olivia, but because President Taylor will have her ultimate drama, the most difficult choice that a person can make.

    Kim scenes was a nice setup, with a twist, and that was a nice par of twists, but one more time, Kim is used to force Jack to do what the terrorists want, if this is a bad thing, the next episode will tell.

    Presentation Phase - » (8/10). I liked Kim setup.

    Complication Phase - » (8/10). This time Jack couldn´t make it in time so he needed Jibraan help, this was realistic. They caught Tony and Climax Phase - » (9/10). The last scenes with the canister were cool, not something from other world.

    Ending - » (10/10). I liked the ending, a situation that seems impossible to overcome.

    Time and Scene Management - » (9/10)*2. This time we had less filler and more relevant material, even Olivia scenes is starting with the pay offs,

    Plot Details/Holes- » (10/10). Nothing that I could notice.

    Surprises/Shocks/Twists - » (8/10). I liked the twist in the terminal.

    Suspense/Tension - » (8/10). The tension when Jibraan found the last canister was good, I didn´t count the time, but the suspense was well done.

    Drama - » (7/10). Olivia usual drama like the previous episode, at least the payoff is starting to appear. Jibraan reuniting with his brother was nice.

    Finally the main plot moves forward and a conclusion is reached regarding the last canister. Now the last setup was made and the ending was very interesting.
  • Wow

    9.5
    The last couple of seconds was like WTF???? Why Kim. Just Kill Tony. Jack would love to do that. Kill him to shut him up. Overall I got the rest of the show to finish. I dont know what to expect. I hope Jack and CTU-Lite kicks everyones a$$. The last couple of seconds was like WTF???? Why Kim. Just Kill Tony. Jack would love to do that. Kill him to shut him up. Overall I got the rest of the show to finish. I dont know what to expect. I hope Jack and CTU-Lite kicks everyones a$$...........Go Jack!!! Well gotta finish got three more episodes left...
  • Another Great Episode. What will Jack do?

    10
    The terrorists are setting up the canister to be deployed on the subway system. Jack uses the phone of the man watching over Hamid to have Chloe track down the general area that Tony is in. Jack and Agent Walker use a tracking device to find and capture Tony. Tony breaks the mobile device he is using to track Jibraan but Janice and Chloe are able to make it work and determine that Jibraan is on the Subway. Janice and Chloe tap into the frequency of the earpiece that Jibraan is wearing and Jack is able to help him find the canister and neutralize it.

    The man that Olivia was to pay to kill Jonas Hodges goes through with it without payment and Olivia is forced to make the payment. Aaron Pierce is suspicious of what happened contacts Ethan Kanin to find out if the voice activated recorders were still in operation. Ethan says he will come to the White House to help him.

    Jack is being forced to help free Tony by the organization behind the terrorist attacks by threatening to kill his daughter Kim.

    A lot happened in this episode and the are many questions to be answered in the last 2 hours.
  • Bravo to the writers of 24 as they build up suspense to the finale.

    9.0
    This is one of the best 24 episodes yet. Tony says that Jibran must go to Washington centre, and Cara dons a wig and glasses and plants the bio-weapon. Jack and Renee get to Tony in a very exciting, 24 way and they contact Jibran. There is huge suspense as Jibran races through Washington Centre to the FBI, holding a canister that will go off in just over 90 seconds. Jack throws the canister in and he thinks it's all over. He then gets a phone call saying his daughter will die unless he frees Tony. Jack boards the van where Tony is held and then... 5:59:58, 5:59:59, 6:00:00am. This episode really build up suspense for the double bill finale next week. Can wait for what the writers have in store!
  • Haven't we've been in this movie before?

    6.0
    Jack being extorted. They have his little kid. Gee, what's new?
    And the intrigue between Chloe and Janis? This is so cliche. Ye, we've got the best analyst of FBI and the best analyst of CTU working side by side but can't get along. Stop wasting our time...
    And the thing with Jack & Tony. Just kill the SOB, will ya? No... you have to get all moral and stuff. You know you won't get anything from him, he's as trained as you are.
    Anyhow, the stunt Jibran held when he ran out of the train was very impressive. The security guys are trying to stop him, and then he just like all "I'm a scary terrorist, whaaaa! Get out of my way!", I guess this was the only light in this episode. Everything else was so much expected.
  • Great! Felt like deja vu.

    10
    In this episode, we revisit many of the 24 cliches. The fact that the bio-weapon was sealed in an airtight box, we have seen this beofre. The fact that Kim's life is in danger, we have certainly seen this before.But the fact is, if its 24, its good. I mean 24 is one of the best tv shows out there and no matter how cliched and over-the-top it gets, I will always watch it before anything else on television. The writers are doing a great job on keeping 24 going and the season finale looks great! "What is the target!"
  • Somewhat of a letdown.

    6.5
    This big crescendo leading up to what I thought would be a big finale seems to have ended on a whimper. It had been an exciting season with the usual suspense, action, and twists. The premise of the season was to stop these big biological attacks brought on by the company, "Starkwood" and then by traitor, Tony Almeida. Yet when the supposed resolution to this whole terrorist attack came, I was like, "that was it?". It seemed like the writers ran out of gas at the last minute. Many hours and episodes were spent leading up to this point, yet it ends so simply and predictably - just a toss of that canister into the mobilization unit and poof everyone is saved. Nothing dramatic. But wait it isn't over yet. There is another one of these tiresome Kim Bauer kidnapping and holding her hostage stories. But strangely, this one was tacked on at the end. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • good setup for the final but too bad we are again in a familiar territory

    9.0
    i liked this episode alot i cared for the olivia story (mainly because of aaron) i cared about the man tony was going to set up as a terrorist and i didn`t hate kim. i also love that ethan is back and the jack punching tony scene was awesome .
    now to what i dont like well the reused plot of kim in trouble so that jack has to help the terrorist however the way they did it felt diferent and less far fetched that it could have and i`m actually excited about the final . to be honest my biggest complaint is that renee let jack drive even when he could have an episode a loose control of the car but the rest was great and i have faith in the final
  • Jack and Renee hunt down the bio-weapon

    8.5
    Tony tells Jibrann to get on the train and go to Washington Centre while Cara dons a wig and glasses and places the bio-weapon on his journey there. Jack discovers the whereabouts of Tony and hunts him down with the help of Janis and Chloe who continue their slagging match in which of them is the better hacker (I go for Chloe)

    Jack and Renee get to Tony he isn't exactly being helpful to Jack, so the only home is to resurrect the computer tracking Jibraan. Once they figure out Jibraan is on the Metro, Jack hacks into the private frequency and encourages him to find the device He hesitates, but once the train is empty, is able to locate the canister and makes a dash only to be stopped by another officer. By pulling out the device, he's granted access to the outside world where he meets up with Jack, who takes the device into the vehicle and closes the door with a matter of seconds to spare.

    Meanwhile at the airport Kim is on her way back to LA but notices a stalker (He's actually an agent that Jack told to keep an eye on her until she boards the plane) she sits next to some friendly people. The so called stalker goes for a leak only to have his neck snapped; Cara later calls Jack and tells him that we have Kim. She wants Tony out; Olivia is playing a very dangerous game. Aaron, Olivia's secret service agent gets very suspicious and calls Ethan inquiring as to the status of a recording system within the walls of Olivia's office. She earlier met up with Martin and went through with transferring funds of Hodges killing.
  • Who else thought it was fun watching Chloe and Janis battle it out over who was smarter?

    6.5
    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    It was even more painful watching Jack use Tony's face as a punching bag.

    Jack - "Why did you betray me"

    It was sad though, I keep hoping for them to say something like 'Tony's been undercover this entire time, he's really not the bad guy, killing Larry was for his cover, or even this League of his is really good', but that would be naive don't you think?

    Speaking of the League, they mentioned something about their 'Operatives watching Kim'. How big is this organization that they could recruit operatives to train? What does this League stand for?

    Obviously they wouldn't be showing us Kim Bauer going home safely to her husband and child, that would be crazy! ...and boring. Her life must be threatened.

    Another 24 cliche, to use the ones you love against you. It happened to Jack, with Kim and Terri already, to Tony with Michelle wait and to Michelle with Tony!
    Don't you think Kim has had enough you guys, the cliche feels too overdone now, come on!

    It was a big hint that something would have happened to Kim when she saw the mysterious guy looking at her. Of course she wouldn't know her dad sent him, but that guy was so obvious, I mean come on you're the professional Jack hired! No wonder the real perpetrators fingered you out, if Kim could have done it. You're supposed to be like a ghost, and you're not allowed to take bathroom breaks either! You are only going to find a guy with long hair waiting to kill you!

    Another thing, did Kim trust this woman enough to ask her to watch her bag for her, maybe she shouldn't judge on first impressions, being Jack Bauer's daughter and all, you can't be trusting of anyone!

    That husband and wife was a bit in the forefront as well. From the time Jack revealed the guy to be just the protector of Kim; the husband and wife's true motives became obvious. It's not that creepy guy then it had to be the strangely happy couple! They were just to happy and friendly.

    Renee(To Tony) - "You're going to pay for what you did to Larry!"

    I actually expected that from Renee, Larry's death was completely unresolved and Renee needed to seek vengeance. Still I was saddened to know that her vengeance would be cut short, since the 'operatives' had Kim, Jack might do anything to keep her safe. Do you think Jack would find a way to warn Renee, I hope he does, anyone that came between Renee and her seeking revenge was sure going to end up in deep water. I'm sure Jack couldn't kill Renee either, not after the moment they shared before.

    Did you guys see that smirk on Tony's face when Jack entered the van, it was like he knew he was going to wash his hands of the blood he had stained. Like he was telling Renee, maybe you could find some other guy to hate for Larry's death, did he even care.

    I found it strange that they would use Jack at all in his condition. What if he began to seize during the time he's helping Tony escape? Even Renee let him take control of things.

    For now 24 feels like they've been trying to pull out wild cards at every stop. i think things should have just ended with Hodges, only because the have to stretch it out 24 episodes, but still, sometimes it's hard to maintain the idea that all these events transpire within a day.

    I really couldn't care for the scenes with Olivia and Hodges. What a nice way to bring back Ethan Kanin. I actually liked him though, he and the President shared some nice scenes together as well as he and Olivia.

    I disliked Olivia better then, she's lost touch with her bad bone now.

    Non-the-less, right now, I just want 24 to wrap everything up, I get the point. The only thing I'm hoping for is a question of hope for Jack and probably for Renee to get the vengeance she needs. Other than that the other things should come to an end. Two more hours left; a lot could happen in two hours.

    Lexa

    Read More Reviews

    http://lexabuti.blogspot.com/

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    Three and a half out of Five Stars

    Grade C+
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  • Jack and Renee track down the bio-weapon as Kim is being watched by the other side.

    9.0
    This was the 22nd ep of this season and it is just as good as the 1st one. The ability to keep a show exciting for this long is really quite a feet and I can only imagine what the end of this season will bring. This week Jack and Renee are able to locate Tony and the bio-weapon. They discover that the organization plan to disperse the bio-weapon at Washington Central Station, infecting tens of thousands of morning commuters. Jack is able to communicate with the man that Tony is blackmailing for him to get onto the surface so that hazmat teams can safely detonate the bomb. Once this is done they are able to get Tony away in an armoured vehicle but not before there is another twist in the tale.

    Back at the White House, Aaron has some suspicions about Olivia's part in today's troubles, specifically the death of Jonas Hodges, and call Ethan for help. Aaron alludes to a recording device in the Chief of Staff's phone line and that he needs Ethan to unlock them for him. Olivia then follows through with her end of the deal and passes the funds over to the hitman. She does this after her friend she got the hitman's name from informed her that he told the hitman to continue with the kiling regardless of the funds. At the airport, Kim's flight has been delayed for an hour so she is stuck at the terminal. Once at the terminal she gets the feeling that she is being followed. You soon discover that the person following her is an agent sent there b Jack to keep an eye on her. But she is in more danger than Jack can imagine. The agent is killed by a man that is disguised as the husband of the woman that Kim is staying close to. She is being used so that Jack will agree to help Tony break out of FBI custody and if he doesn't she will be killed.

    The season is winding down and I can't wait to see what happens next. There is an 8th season on the way so Jack should be fine but all the same, we are building to a great finale.
  • Jack and Tony: Round 3

    8.0
    First things first: having the terrorist threat more or less ended in this episode, rather than the finale, was unexpected. It certainly threatens to steal a bit of thunder from the conclusion of the season. On the other hand, if the season finale actually focuses on Jack and the personal fallout of this day on his status (professionally, medically, and personally), then it would follow through on many of the unspoken promises made over the course of the season.

    The attention given to Jack's slow but steady restoration as the master counter-terrorism agent, and the underlying argument that CTU is a necessary cog in the intelligence community machine, has been surprisingly substantial this season. For all the popular shock tactics of previous seasons (which is the only way to explain the ongoing love affair with the fifth season), there has not been a truly sustained thematic season arc in a very long time. One might even argue that it hasn't been done until now.

    That attention to detail is the only reason that this latest twist makes a bit of sense. Kim was going to have to help her father somehow, and unless she was convinced to go against her father's wishes, it was going to have to be his change of heart. That meant bringing them back together against his will. The end of this episode sets that stage.

    So it seems fairly clear that Jack's current activities, as well as Chloe's little tech-guru dance with Janice, will lead to the reinstallation of CTU, that Jack will be convinced that he should accept Kim's help to stay alive, and that he will learn about his grandchild. (Kim's survival, of course, is not a given in this scenario.) One might even speculate that Jack and Renee will end up rather close, given how snuggly she's been with him so far.

    At the same time, Olivia's indiscretions with assassins look to come back to haunt her and her mother's administration. It appears that the predictable blackmail attempt scenario is in full effect, and it would probably work if Agent Pierce wasn't such an awesome operative. Considering the fact that Olivia never should have been Acting Chief of Staff in the first place, since Ethan's ouster was based on false pretenses, at least this rather annoying subplot should put things right before the end.

    The only real complaint at this point, other than some bizarre dialogue here and there, has to be the characterization for Tony. Granted, Tony made it clear at the beginning of the season that his issues with the government and his desire to strike back over Michelle's death had never gone away. It would still be nice for Tony to explain himself more to Jack, even if just on a personal level.

    After all, there's too much history between Jack and Tony to pretend that Tony's comments earlier in the day would cut it. Jack is going to want to hear a lot more on the subject. The finale looks to be giving them plenty of time in close quarters, so hopefully this will get some resolution. It just seems a bit unnecessary to have brought Tony back from a questionably handled death, only to drag the character through the mud by turning him into a domestic terrorist.
  • 'Where's the target?!' Well, it's one we've seen before. Luckily it's still a quite energetic episode.

    8.9
    First off I have to say that I love 24 and I have been sitting on the edge of my seat this entire season. Although this episode was still pretty good, in my point of view it was the worst one this season. Although there was quite some action to enjoy, the things that stood out were kind of a let down. I was for example worried when Kim was being followed at the airport but luckily surprised when we figured out that the guy was in touch with Jack. It really felt as an inside joke and I must admit I laughed... too bad it wasn't one; this could've been great.

    Before this one the season has been incredibly good. I know we haven't seen how things are going to play out in the last episodes, I just hope they turn this Kim-thing around and create another great season finale like we've already seen numerous times.

    And by the way, Janice is definately one of the most annoying characters I've seen on 24.
  • So the writers relied on a few conveniences this episode, such as phone batteries running out, and recycled plots. But seven seasons of a show which is based around terrorism, there are only so many things a terrorist can do...

    10
    I try not to write reviews in reaction to other reviews but seeing how some people have given this episode 1/10 is just riduculous. Was there a believable flowing script? Yes, 2/10. Was the acting good? Yes, 3/10. Did the plot move forward, even if not in the direction people hoped? Yes, 4/10. Was the editing and directing good? Yes, 5/10. Surely that is the absolute minimum someone could give for this episode? It was tense, it was griping, Jack and Tony dialogue was PERFECT, because instead of being all FBI interogation-like, he lost it at little, Tony's face colliding with Jack's knuckles a few times, and any human being would have reacted that way. OF COURSE the bad guys would have a back plan, and perhaps Kim has been kidnapped more than once is because the terrorists know this is the best option. Jack is the only capable of breaking someone out, and who is his only leverage? His daughter. It was the most logical extension of the plot I have simply no idea how or why people are bashing it. Please give it 9.5-10, lets try and get an entire season of 9.0 or more, because when it comes down to it, the season has deserved it.
  • So dissappointing.....so very very dissappointing. Good bye 24! Should have stopped at the end of season five!!!

    1.0
    I agree totally with screenagekicks and nightwing!!!!
    The only thing I'll add is that it really seems like the producers and writers have gone all the way to the left! Liberal! They beat the "not" to torture an "right of privacy" issues to the point of making anyone with a brain want to vomit.
    All that will happen in the finally is the bad guys will give Jack the "cure" while Tony watches. Kim will be save by Renee. and who the heck cares about any of this. It's been a LONG boring 24 hours! Seems like 24 years! Love it when Jack Bauer was Jack Bauer.....he's been lost for a long time now.
    Good bye 24. SIGH!!!
  • Disappointed.. but still hopeful.

    8.5
    This episode certainly doesn't deserve anything over an 8.5. I actually think I'm being generous with this. The season as a whole has been so incredibly strong that one episode that's disappointing won't ruin it for me. It's just too bad this final storyline had to come in in the last three episodes. Honestly, they could've brought Kim back to be harassed and kidnapped earlier and got it out of the way to leave room for better storylines.

    I never had a problem with the writers bringing back Kim, but I'm a little skeptical about how it's going to play out now. Obviously they've overdone the whole Kim being kidnapped thing, but I think every single show on TV has certain moments that are played out over and over. Can you honestly watch House and not think "Oh, it's just another tough medical case that House will solve and he'll be really sarcastic and say funny things to everyone around"?.. or in any procedural television show (CSI, Law and Order, The Mentalist, and I could go on and on).. There's a formula that's followed and it's all in the execution that determines how bad it'll be or how lame it'll come across as.

    Right now, there's two episodes left and a lot of story to be told. I really hope they continue this plot into next season, because there's too many loose ends and too many questions I have.. who are these "Red Dot" people that are the next step up from Jonas Hodges? What is the ultimate end game? Where the hell is Charles Logan?! Man, this season just leaves me wanting more.

    I will say that there were some thrilling moments in the episode. The subway sequence was well done, and the little mini face-off between Tony and Jack was intense as well. But enough of Chloe vs. Janice. It's lame and always will be lame. If you don't have anything for Chloe or Janice to do, get rid of one of them. No hacker wars please.
  • Not again.. but there was some thrilling moments too

    9.0
    My first reaction when I saw that Kim is in the focus of things again, was, oh.. they are going to kidnap her again and what they did - just that. Also the thing with Jack had to break someone out as his family is hold hostage.. I think we have had something similar before but.. those part were little lame as I was expecting some explosions and really exciting action sequence but that was far from it.

    But I liked some storylines.. like the whole thing with Tony.. Jack got him and the way Renee says that he has to pay what he has done.. I adore that moment. Also the whole action with the canister and the reunion of brothers. So there were great moments and I have no idea what Olivia Taylor thinks she is doing but one thing is sure - Pierce is after her and it will go down bad..
  • I have no problem with some of the old plot issues recurring here. This episode had action, suspense and great characterization. Great stuff!

    9.5
    I love watching Jack take control of FBI. Kicking butt and saving the day. I love the bantering back and forth between Cloe and Janice. I really liked it when the Muslim Cleric gave Jack props for doing the right thing, and Jack's reaction of satisfaction that the two Muslim brothers were fine. It was especially cool to see the look on Renee's face when Jack had secured the bioweapon. She had the look of "awe" and "respect" that Jack could handle this impossible situation like he did, and the look of "sadness" knowing that Jack's time is getting nearer. I also like to hate the President's daughter who needs to take a fall....and like even more that Aaron is now on to her game. Aaron who stands for "duty", "honor" and "loyalty". I have no problem with the plot twist where Kim is once again in danger and Jack must find a way to save her. The critics of this episode should quit looking for innovative breakthrough writing, and just enjoy a storyline and character that has taken years to cultivate. No way does this episode deserve some of the low ratings I've seen here. Jack is forced to live the life he has built for himself, and the situations that surround that life. He (and the writers) have to be true to the character and the life that they've developed over the past years. They can't just do an "about face" to change things up. This episode was great cinema. This IS Jack Bauer! Enjoy.
  • It's as if the writers have all gathered around their story, mob-like, and are taking inexplicable glee in kicking and stoning it to death.

    3.5
    Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. 24, you were doing so well. Season seven has been a roller-coaster ride of monumental proportions, fuelled by a ricochetting pace, oodles of dramatic tension and a cast and crew to die for. There have been momentary lapses, sure, but on the whole, this has been an engaging and entertaining year, kept afloat by a number of interesting dramatic decisions (Tony's turn, for example) and a narrative that twists and turns every few episodes, rather than stretching out thinly over twenty four of 'em. It's been a vast improvement on the lamentable waste of space that was season six, and with the various intriguingly mysterious plot strands that have been introduced in the past couple of episodes, it looked set to continue right into next week's action-packed, suspense-laden two hour finale. And then Evan Katz came along and ruined it all.

    What a difference a week makes, eh? With every passing minute of the hopelessly horrible '5am - 6am', the narrative foundations that have been carefully built since the culmination of the Starkwood storyline are eroded further and further, as if the writers have all gathered around their story, mob-like, and are taking inexplicable glee in kicking and stoning it to death. By hour's end, there's barely anything left to salvage; the plot lies sprawled across the floor, bloodied, bruised and broken, and the viewers' heads are permanently glued to their hands, shocked and amazed that this most talented and prolific of production crews could waste so much potential with such reckless aplomb. We were on course for an explosive finale, in which Jack must prevent another attack with the Preon variant while also having the mother of all showdowns with the dastardly Tony Almedia. While it's possible we're still going to get the latter, Katz actually wastes the whole bio-terrorist threat here with a highly lamentable sequence of scenes that are full of holes and regrettably predictable. Okay, first: a subway attack. Well that's original guys. It's not like you didn't do this already, a few seasons ago. Second: while Washington Central is undoubtedly busy, no station is anywhere near its most jam-packed at 5.30 in the morning! If the idea is to create the maximum number of casualties with the minimum amount of fuss, surely Almeida and his cohorts would be better served contaminating say, a 7 or 8 o'clock train? You know, during rush hour. When everyone's travelling. Oh and guess what, guys? That would be the final hour of your season too, so it would've fit rather nicely. Nothing like an opportunity well missed, eh?

    Then there's Al-Zarian's attempt to inform the police that something is wrong. While I did wonder how Tony was going to keep an eye on the guy with only a few subway cameras and an ear-piece, and therefore the presence of the dirty 'transit cop' makes sense, even if it is a bit of an eye-roller, the whole thing is entirely contingent on the station staff not thinking that there is anything suspicious about this very sincere man, who claims he is under the control of terrorists, still being allowed access to the subway after having talked to an officer of the law. He tells the woman at the ticket booth that he has to be quiet because "they're listening" and removes his ear-piece; then, after a little dressing down from the authority figure, he clearly puts the thing back into his ear in full view of the staff members and begins talking into it! Now I don't know about you, but that would certainly raise red flags with me and I'd be getting on the phone to the local PD ASAP. This would have been a far, far better and more organic way of allowing the FBI to gain the upper hand and thwart the situation than the method that is actually used. Magically, Chloe and Janis (more on them later) manage to locate Tony's cell within about fifteen minutes of the evil henchman's phone call, despite this highly-skilled, well-versed and technologically-sound ex-government agent having placed some sort of uber-clever scrambling encryption type thing on it. No, despite his years of training and almost unrivalled skill, Almeida is still unable to mask his trail from the all-knowing, all-powerful CTU/FBI whizzkids.

    Oh and just to make matters worse, he can't even do a good job of obliterating his hand-held device! Oh no wait, he can. Chloe says it can't be salvaged, it's been bashed to smithereens! But wait! Janis can save the day with some completely nonsensical technobabble that has no grounding whatsoever in reality! Huzzah! The device is back up and running within five minutes AND, just to make things even more convenient, the FBI have access to absolutely everything that was on there, right down to the appearance of all the applications that were running on their screens! Yahoo! This means they can tap directly into Jibran's ear piece and Jack can talk hurriedly, but compassionately, with him and get him to run like a madman through Washington station, with the bag completely open so that the whole world can see the cylindrical object that looks like a bomb! Great idea! And of course, this means that the good guys can intercept the canister just in the nick of time, despite there being one minute and twenty seconds on the timer when Jibran is still on the train, and it taking him longer than that to get outside, where Jack, Renee and the world's most convenient HAZMAT room are waiting! This is so depressingly easy, it's laughable. When Jack throws the canister into the safe room and jams the door shut just before it explodes, I was reminded of the utterly risible 'fridge freezer' scene from the season three finale... and that's something I never wanted to see echoed again. Far, far too convenient and utterly unbelievable. Colour me unimpressed.

    Okay, so the writers dropped the ball on the bio-terrorism storyline, but surely they've got an ace up their sleeves, right? Something even better and more epic to keep us engaged for the mother of all finales? Think again, buster. We've got Kim. Yes, that's right: Kim 'well rodger me with a cougar, I'm just so damn useless' Bauer, Elisha Cuthbert... the annoying one. Sigh. Haven't the writers learned anything from seasons past? The character is so denigrated by this point, so loathed after years of being endlessly chased around for no good reason, kidnapped, shot at, locked in mysterious bunkers with creepy individuals and so on and on and on, that we just don't care anymore. Her life, as far as a large proportion of the viewing audience is concerned, really doesn't matter. And now we're going to be treated to two episodes where she's the central focus of the terrorists' dastardly deeds? It's a huge, huge let-down, almost akin to the focus of last season's final episodes being on Josh fracking Bauer or whatever the hell his bloody surname was. And just to hammer home the point that every scene she's in spells doom for the show, her entire storyline in this episode is both astonishingly ridiculous and unbelievably annoying. First, we have a pointless telephone conversation with her boyfriend, which achieves nothing other than filling in a bit of time (presumably, the script underran), but also contains one of the most absurd lines of dialogue this writer has ever heard: when Kim tells her fella that her flight is delayed by a couple of hours, he replies, "well, maybe you should see this as a sign to stay with your dad." Oh please. Who says this sort of thing? Honestly, I thought this was going to be a lead-in to some asinine adultery plot, in which he's trying to keep Kim away because he's banging one of his fellow nurses on the side, but no, apparently it was just a crap line.

    Then, lo and behold, Kim notices that a dodgy man appears to be spying on her! Well, we couldn't have her not be involved in the central plot, could we? No, that would be too easy. Of course, this turns out just to be a guy that Jack has assigned to keep an eye on his daughter, so we all breathe a huge sigh of relief. At this point, it seems like the writers are just toying with us, having a bit of fun with our expectations and laughing at their own clichés. Unfortunately, that gives them far, far too much credit. Ten minutes later, they completely undo all of this with the introduction of the single worst plot element of the season: the evil coffee-drinking, newspaper-reading couple who Kim just so happens to decide to sit beside when she's creeped out by Jack's aide. These two have been planted by the mysterious evil lawyer, apparently as yet another contingency plan just in case Tony is apprehended (how many back-ups do these people have, honestly?!) and now, they're going to 'keep an eye on her' so that Bauer will do whatever the crazy bespectacled and wigged woman wants. She guarantees his co-operation, hilariously, by sending his phone a live webcam feed of Kim, which is also on display in the most extraordinarily subtle fashion on the full screen of evil coffee-drinker's laptop, where any casual passer-by, or person in direct line of vision, could see it. And now, with his daughter's life threatened, Jack has to free Tony from FBI custody, thereby implicating himself and setting the scene for everyone in the show to start chasing after him for the umpteenth time in the day. Frankly, I can't think of anything I'd like to see less. Evidently, the writers are trying to recreate the formula that made season one such a success, right down to having the bad guy in constant communication with Jack via an ear-piece (Ira Gaines, anyone?) However, back then, the narrative was both fresh and completely organic: the drive of the season, from the get go, was the counterpointing of two threats, one against Senator Palmer and the other against Jack's family. We bought into these stories because they were with us from the start. Here, the escalation of the situation to a personal level just feels forced, coming completely out of nowhere and therefore jarring with what has gone before. While this inevitably has some emotional and dramatic promise, and will probably lead to a number of excellent scenes for Sutherland, the viewer is far less invested, seeing it for the artificial U-turn that it is.

    Sadly, the remaining plot strands aren't much better. While certain elements of Olivia's story remain strong, most notably her continued unravelling and the fact that it is simply her contact who got Hodges all blowed up, not some ridiculous third party conspirator, its trajectory becomes questionable once Aaron starts calling up Ethan and asking about 'the voice activated recording system that allows staff meetings to be logged and archived'. Riiiight. So there's this magical device that records everything that happens in the Chief of Staff's office at the drop of a single word and Olivia wouldn't be briefed on this when she's promoted to the position? You've got to be kidding me, yeah? I suppose I should give the writers the benefit of the doubt here since the story hasn't actually played out, but I'll bet good money that everything she's said 'in private' has been conveniently captured on the audio recorder. And in any case, why wouldn't Ethan turn the damn thing off? He had plenty time to pack up and tidy away when he resigned. And just when was the last time they had a staff meeting in his office, for crying out loud? 12+ hours ago? More? This is yet another example of monumentally lazy writing, a quick and ill-thought out way of getting from A to B, that could easily have been rectified with a little more thought.

    Elsewhere, the bickering between Chloe and Janis is probably the biggest waste of space since Chase's baby turned up and started crapping all over CTU's freshly-opened sockets back in year three. This is completely pointless stuff, tired, clichéd filler that does nothing other than annoy the viewer. We certainly don't care enough about either character to invest in their argument and there is absolutely no reward whatsoever in the utterly transparent resolution of the storyline, in which Janeane Garofolo actually proves her worth to the almighty Ms O'Brien. Just look at some of the dialogue between the pair of 'em: "Do you have something you'd like to say to me?" "What?" "How about good job Janis?" "Oh you don't know me but if you did, you would know that this is not the place you should look for validation." Euck. Pass the sick bucket, this crap is making me nauseous. Oh and while we're on the subject, the unbelievably cheesy nods between Jack and Gohar and the subsequent over-the-top three-way hug involving the brothers and their priest made me want to blow chunks too.

    In the space of a single episode, the 24 writing staff have managed to undo just about everything that has made the show such a delight to watch this year. While there are moments of brilliance - the semi-torture of the henchman, the incredibly violent and emotional scene between Jack and Tony - they are so few and far between that they barely have any impact. The rest of '5am - 6am' is a narratalogical car crash, unravelling in painfully slow motion: with every step, the story delves deeper and deeper into the asinine and the ridiculous, stopping off several times at clichéd and predictable along the way. From the lacklustre culmination of the bio-terrorist storyline to the irritating reintroduction of Kim, by way of Janis and Chloe's argument from hell, things just get worse and worse until, by episode's end, it's difficult to care any more. From the looks of the cliffhanger, it appears that the two hour season finale will be a retread of season one, featuring Bauer working to free his 'kidnapped' daughter by obeying the terrorists' every evil whim while the government chases after him because they think he's dirty. Great. Let's hope the writers have a few tricks up their sleeves, eh? Otherwise, to quote a certain Mr. Bauer, we may need to "lock down this piece of crap" before it's too late.
  • They kinda did that one before, right?

    8.5
    Final stop before the finale. Good season overall, still think it peaked already with the White House attacks.
    Anyway, great episode for most of it. Attack attempt of the train was good and had some good suspense. Tony`s capture was good too...specially when Jack beat the hell out of him...intense.
    Bigger story here is Kim. Nice turn here when it was revealed that the guy stalking on her was actually working for Jack...tho when it was revealed, it was pretty obvious who really wanted to harm her.
    Anyway, attack is prevented but the terrorist has one more card to play: Kim Bauer. So they have Kim and want Jack to free Tony. This sounds like some good story but the thing is that "we have your daughter" arc has been done (and re-done for that matter) before...so this is quite a letdown in that sense.
    However, doesn`t mean it will be bad. It is still an exciting situation; Bauer having to save Tony while Renee in the van too and the terrorist can hear everything in that van. That`s some good drama...besides Kim is hot. :D
    So kind of a recycled idea (which is really one of the main problem with 24) for the finale but still has its potential and am eagerly waiting.
  • Jack and Renee race to prevent a biological attack on a Subway, while trouble follows Kim as always.

    9.0
    The thing I think you need to say about this good show is that it kind of reminds me of a South Park episode. I think it was called, The Simpson's Did it Already." And I'm not saying this show ripped off the Simpson's. I'm saying this show rips off itself. Not, intentionally. It's just they've done everything there is to do already. I mean how do you top nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks? How, do you top evil President's?

    And the answer is you don't. Which is not a knock on this show. I like this show. I watch this show. I mean once again their going the biological route both figuratively and literally when it comes to Kim being in danger again. But it's still a good show. It's just we've already seen the best this show can be. We just have to accept the fact, that this is a good show. But it might not be a great show anymore. It is still a fun show, though.

    As always regardless what you think of Kim, I think you do have to respect the fact that she is Jack's touchstone and she grounds him down to reality. When Jack gives it his all throwing caution to the wind I think it's kind of cool that he actually still has something left on the Earth that he cares about and is fighting for.

    Now, as much as I've knocked this show for copying itself it was original in the fact that it gave Jack the virus this season. I do think it is interesting the exploration of Tony's character as he basically is very similar to Jack. They both lost their wives in the line of duty and you see two very different responses in how they lived their life since. Now, I felt this was a solid episode. Almost nothing wrong with it. But there was one thing, that kind of sucked. The Tony vs Jack battle resembled Hatton vs Pacquiao in it's brevity. Come on? Couldn't it have at least gone three rounds. No, just a sleeperhold and goodnight. I felt that kind of was a letdown. I mean if Tony couldn't even give a weakened Jack a good fight, who will? I mean I know there will be some interesting tension with Jack putting it all on the line to do the right thing, while keeping his daughter alive to annoy us another day, but still. I don't see Jack fighting Mayweather in the next hour, so what are they actually building to?

    Like I said. This is still a good show. And I expect a descent finale, but I think I'll be a little bit shocked if they do anything that will blow me away like past seasons.
  • Really LAME!

    2.2
    It's really funny how the mighty have fallen. This Season was really good for its first 17 hours and 55 minutes, but has steadily gone down since Tony's betrayal. No wonder Jon Cassar is leaving the show, it's going downhill FAST. Just like Season 6 the writers are starting to reuse really old storylines. "Jack, we have your daughter" again! "If you don't do something for us that is going to compromise the country we're going to kill her" AGAIN!!! Not only that, but the writers decide to put Jack and Tony face-to-face NOW which was really stupid because who cares about a big confrontation in the finale now.

    I don't think I've ever been as turned off to seeing a Season Finale of 24. The storylines are so obvious. Jack is going to help free Tony then Tony is going to take Jack to some base of operations where they are going to take Jack's blood to try and copy the virus. All meanwhile Rene tracks down Kim and saves her. Then in the not-so-ultimate showdown Jack gets free, the virus is probably incinerated, Jack defeats Tony AGAIN, (which isn't even interesting anymore) and Rene shows up to be the one to kill Tony instead of Jack.

    This is the last season of 24 I'm watching. The man with the vision is leaving, the writers are losing it and they've totally screwed over and killed my favourite character.
  • Finale Set Up

    9.0
    Kim is back and is in trouble, who saw that coming? I liked the episode as a whole. I was wondering for a while what the final two hours were going to consist of, but it seems like we have out answer. Jack is put into an impossible situation and now has to break Tony out of the position that Jack so badly wants him to be in in order to save his daughter from being hurt. I'm actually looking for another Tony swap in the next episode. Not a double agent flop but I feel like he will help Jack and then kill himself / turn himself in when he realizes what he has become. Could be a longshot, but that's my best guess for the moment. Olivia Taylor is trying to cover up the mess that she made by trying to kill Hodges in the previous episode. Seems like there was some miscommunication and now Aaron is fresh on her trial. I look for this to be the only real other storyline other then the Jack Bauer one in the next two hours worth of action.
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