Season 8 Episode 9

Day 8: 12:00 A.M. - 1:00 A.M.

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Feb 22, 2010 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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  • Loving the 24 action like always but definitely interested to see where this relationship between Jack and Renee is going...

    I'm loving all the 24 action like always. Mostly I'm definitely interested to see where this relationship between Jack and Renee is going. He says she has him, which last time i checked wasn't a platonic phrase. Jack must like being stabbed. What happened to Audrey??! I miss her, oh well I guess she's gone since the actress is now on Grey's Anatomy. She was great on the show, i think the show should have tried to keep her on. Renee is definitely an interesting character but I don't find her very likeable. Hopefully as the season progresses I'll learn to like her character more.
  • Another dull episode of 24, Jack tries in vain to save Renee from criminal charges and gets away with criminal charges as usual. The Terroist still have the Rod Stewarts and not sure how to use them ?

    The series has really given up now the Cole and Dana relationship is the most interesting subplot because you can't wait to see how more stupid it gets. The Rod Stewart subpolt is going nowhere where is the threat and the action none, the terroists need to put a ad on the terroist website bomber needed ASAP and you just know that jack will try foil the attack if not him then the new kid on block has to do it.
    Last season was brillant yes it was a bit far fetched but plausiable but this season makes the season with jack family seem like a classic , I watch one more hour to see if it gets better but if not I can't take any more !
  • Season 8 at its worst!

    I have to say that if the show got so good last hour, this present episode has just dissappointed me too much.

    The plot that involves Dana and Cole is so predictable and without any tension or interest.
    The same with Farhad, very poor the scene and the tension when his people change his plans...

    The same thing ocurres in the general plot of the episode wich is so boring and without quality.
    I was thinking to put this episode down, because this one is really dissappointing and so quietly and predictable.
    It´s pure transitional, but in the worst way.

    But the episode manages to survive just in the edge thanking the plot of Renee´s interrogation.
    It´s the only interesting thing that makes that this episode get a 5 and it´s the best of the this hour.
  • As this episode proved, all that was necessary for season eight was a little more character development.

    And there goes another one. Short-lived performances are no stranger to a show such as 24, somewhat adding to its well-known value of unpredictability. Often, a character is only given but a few episodes to establish himself before he is pinned down. Josef Bazhaev was obviously next on the list.

    We left him last episode as he was on his way to deliver the rods to Farhad, attempting to seek some degree of redemption against his father for the murder Oleg. It was obvious from the start that Josef was apprehensive about things, unsure if his actions would truly set things right, and second thoughts were even further conveyed in his conversation with Jack and Sergei. The fleeting eye movements and nervous expressions were totally believable, and much credit should go to David Anders for his brief yet wholly enjoyable role. In an effort to strike a deal with the Josef, they offer him as well full immunity; a chance to undo his poorly considered work. And, just as he agrees to the offer, he is shot from across the street by Farhad and another man named Samir. Naturally, Chloe had been tapping the line the whole time in an effort to track the location of the rods. No dice, as it is hastily ground into the asphalt by Samir.

    Now, I think it's time to take a brief intermission in the review before we get into the rest of the episode, because I have something important to comment on. No, I'm not the first to notice the idiosyncrasy but I'm seven reviews in and I haven't commented on this annoyance once. Brian Hastings… your posture is awful! How are you supposed to support anyone at CTU when you can't even support yourself? Ah, that's right; you're unable to do neither! Yes, Brian's lack of loyalty is explored even further in hour nine. Rob Weiss at the White House gives Hastings a call, and, in a surprisingly intimidating tone, manipulates Hastings into permitting a female interrogator from the Department of Justice to drill Renee, hopefully finding a way to make her take full responsibility of the death of Vladimir. Apparently he was the White House's only lead. In reality, if the interrogation is successful, Renee would be taking the blame for CTU's failed mission. And Hastings agrees to let it happen.

    Five minutes later (At 20 past midnight! They couldn't have sent her in the morning!?! And, in addition, the crisis is still ongoing! Wouldn't it have made more sense to see if things can wrap up cleanly by the end of the day, denying the need for ANY process? Such logic boggles the mind), she shows up, makes her way to medical and begins the attack. She's been prepped, and she's determined to get the job done. Surprisingly, this scene was one of my favorites of the entire episode. The questions, while basic, were delivered well and gave things a sinister undertone. As time pressed on, I felt the tension between the two rise, and, as the look on Renee's face changed as Kristin kept talking, I too stared on, truly engaged. At one point, I even considered the possibility of Renee killing or injuring the woman who sat across the table from her. It may have very well been an interesting turn of events. But, the scene still concluded in a satisfying way, with Jack bursting through the door, throwing the interrogator against the wall and placing her into a chokehold. And it was at this point where Jack's true feelings for Renee began to show.

    Later on in the episode, the point is brought up once more as Jack, turned away from CTU by Hastings because of his behavior, is given the opportunity to return. But he does so under only one condition: that Renee is freed from any further prosecutions. Hastings soon agrees, though only after Jack promises to remain at CTU for the duration of the day's events, demonstrating Hasting's competence for once. Perhaps Brian character will earn some greater backbone in future episodes? Hmmm… maybe that stoop has a deeper meaning? But that's not what is significant here. No, it's Jack's consistent emphasis on Renee. In essence, much of hour nine served to further show a developing connection between the two, and develop something of an inner-conflict for Jack and the audience. Is Jack struggling for his country, or instead Renee? Where, truly, is his heart in all of this? Only time will tell.

    I've been looking forward to this paragraph all-season, and it is with great pleasure that I write it. Dana's side-story looks to be coming to an end. Yes, my friends, Dumb and Dumber are dead, and really, no one is upset at that. Dana, finally showing some degree of resourcefulness, tracks the two down, silenced pistol in hand. She walks closer and closer to the van where her ex and his friend are inside, certainly enjoying themselves with the two women they picked up at a grimy strip-club last episode. And what do you know? Cole shows up in the nick of time, 'following up on a lead' (completely leaving the rest of his team when his country is in danger) and gives his fiancée a talkin'-to. It is within a conveniently-placed commercial break where Dana, at last, reveals who true identity. So, after hearing her story, what does Cole do? Makes his way for the van himself, tells the two to leave the state with the $120,000 and never return. In which event he will have to kill them both. The group reluctantly agrees, and, as far as Cole and Dana are concerned, the problem is solved. Not so. The slower of two idiots stabs Kevin, grabs a revolver from the trunk and makes a move on Cole, who, after being alerted by the injured Kevin, spins around and takes a shot at the oncoming assailant, killing him instantly. Dana rushes over to Kevin, almost helpless as he dies sprawled out on the ground. The scene, while predictably bland, wrapped up a hugely disappointing side-plot, and, save for a possible clean up scene next episode, I'm hoping that we can quickly forget this atrocious misstep in the season.

    And that's that. A pretty fulfilling episode, all things considered, that opens things up quite nicely for a cleaner continuation. Admittedly, the season found itself faltering quite frequently in the past few episodes, but, as this entry proved, a little more character development was all that was necessary. So, now that things are almost into play, maybe we can finally get things really into motion next time. Fingers crossed.
  • Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of 24 where high-ranking government operatives are able to bunk off work in order to smite their illicit ex-lovers, with whom they committed criminal acts that were conveniently glossed over in their job applications.

    Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of 24 where high-ranking government officials in highly important and risk-heavy jobs are able to bunk off work in order to smite their illicit ex-lovers, with whom they committed criminal acts that were conveniently glossed over in their job applications. Where the current lovers of said individuals, who work within the same department and arguably have even more important jobs, can abandon their posts under the flimsy excuse of 'following a lead' in order to track down their partner and engage them in an emotional showdown, forgetting all about the pesky little matter of a nation-wide terrorist threat. Where supposedly competent staff writers and experienced executive producers actually seem to believe that this sort of pointless, unbelievable and excrutatingly abysmal storyline is the stuff of good drama; so much so, in fact, that they devote an entire final act, arguably the most important segment of the episode (if you want to maintain your viewing audience, at any rate), to its resolution. It's really hard to believe after eight years and 177 hours, but what do you know, Alex Gansa, Chip Johnnassen and Patrick Harbinson all seem to believe that this is what we need; that we're all just dying to see how Kevin, Dana and Cole are going to get out of this week's crazy scrape. Well frankly, they're stark raving bonkers. There isn't a single shred of enjoyment to be derived from even a milisecond of this hopeless narrative; its continued presence merely amplifies an already substantial level of irritation, distracting the viewer from the central plot and sending the momentum screeching to an almighty, indignant halt. The only saving grace at close of play here is that both Kevin and his ridiculously incompetent and patently unrealistic cohort (oh yes, I know what to do now that we've been rumbled... stab my mate in cold blood and attempt to shoot the highly skilled, bad a*s CTU agent(s) while drunk and most probably high! Makes perfect sense, no?) are dead as doornails, but sadly, it doesn't seem likely that this signals the end of the story. We have the small matter of Cole's repugnance to pay-off; he certainly isn't happy with Jenny's behaviour (and nor should he be) and given the prominence that this intrapersonal aspect has already been granted, it seems almost a given that this will be explored further in the coming weeks. We'll probably see some tired, woeful arc in which he calls off the wedding, decides never to speak to her again (except when forced to work with her, natch), this will come back to bite them both in the a*s when it begins affecting their job performance and Hunchback Hastings notices, someone will discover the bodies, despite Cole and Dana burying/dumping them somewhere, and through the Miracle Technology(TM) available in 24 world, will connect them to the CTU agents, and then they'll be forced to face the possibility of one or both winding up behind bars. Which will probably bring them back together again. Or something. Whatever happens, there is no trajectory that would be even remotely rewarding, other than to completely brush the story aside and enable them to concentrate on the terrorist threat... which, you know, isn't exactly outside the realms of possibility given that all of this occurs within a single day. The likelihood of this occurring, unfortunately, is about as great as Queen Elizabeth showing up at my door tomorrow morning with a selection of sex aids; no, this is going to drag on and on, filling in more time while the actual suspenseful elements of the plot take a back seat. Hell, now that the evil Iranians (sorry, Kamistanis) have decided to change tactics and denotate Rod Stewart on American soil, they need a few hours to acquire all the necessary materials... so we'll need to fill the episodes out with more extraneous incident! Hooray! As a result of this, you can bet your bottom dollar that we're going to see more of the depressingly familiar bueracracy storyline as Hastings will be forced to answer for the fact that he's made a duplicituous deal to get Renee off the hook. Yes, one-dimensional cardboard politician Rob Weiss will bear down on the one-dimensional cardboard head of CTU in the least exciting clash of wills in television history. Honestly, a single plank of wood could probably out-act both of these two; how awful is their telephone conversation? Weiss is just far too obvious, outlining the fact that his plan is duplicitous without so much as the tiniest of reservations, and uttering woefully cringeworthy lines like "you're my guy!" in the least organic manner possible. Honestly, who talks like that?! The less seen of these two the better really but it doesn't look like the story is going to go away any time soon. And while Annie Wersching continues to put in a stellar performance as the emotionally broken and battered Renee (how good is she while being interrogated and also in her gentle moment with Jack?), the idea of 'sending someone over from Justice' - in five minutes, natch! - to get in the way of necessary plot progression naturally does nothing other than infuriate the viewer. We don't want to see the individuals who are so obviously the key protagonists, the story's heroes, thrown obstacle after obstacle and forced to jump through a series of well-worn, tiresome hoops. Why does anyone have to 'take the blame' for the failure to retrieve the rods after all of two hours anyway? How about we just chalk it up to a poor set of circumstances? Being out of everyone's control? There's still plenty time to acquire them yet... nothing's bleeding well happened! But no, we need to inject some forced, grafted-on drama into proceedings in order to beef up the narrative. Oh, and to fulfil the perceived need for emotional gravitas since it allows Jack to swoop in and save his damsel in distress, demonstrating just how attached and devoted he is to the woman despite having only ever spent time with her for less than two days. Still, he attempts to choke the buerecrat, which we'd all like to do to be honest, and goes bats**t crazy on the poor, unsuspecting security guard for the first time in nine episodes. Look, he's so honourably bad a*s! He'll do anything for his woman! It's something of a groan-enducer this, although arguably worth it for the brilliant "son, you're gonna get hurt" and the subsequent tasering that Bauer's subjected to, knocking him down a peg. Nice. When '12am - 1am' gets round to the business of dealing with the actual plot, things improve somewhat. There are a number of pleasingly unexpected twists peppered throughout the hour that lift the quality of the storyline: poor David Anders's summary execution comes out of left field, especially given that he seemed to be ready to step up to the plate at the end of the last hour and that he's one of the finest actors currently working on the show. Still, what he does get here is rather enjoyable: having Bauer and Sergei be upfront with Josef is a nice angle and leads to some enjoyably realistic exchanges between father and son. It's also completely logical for the kid to decide to let CTU bring him in, rather than espouse some worthless cause... just as Farhad unexpectedly does later in the episode. I gotta say, I didn't see this one coming at all. Kudos to the production crew for framing the plot in such a way as to cause the viewer to infer that the Evil Generic Kamistanis are going to do away with Farhad (the look between the leader and the guy that walks him off is conventionally telling), and then taking completely the opposite route. Again, the guy's reluctance to be involved in a patently terrorist act is completely in line with his character and adds a greater level of complexity, and tension, to events. It's refreshing to see bad guys who aren't simply indicative of the traditional 'we hate America!' paradigm, although this does seem to be where the story's headed in future episodes. It's worth noting too that the music and cinematography are excellent throughout these sequences, particularly as the Rod Stewarts are being unloaded. Unfortunately, a number of frustrating niggles remain, although they aren't anywhere near as objectionable as certain other aspects of the narrative. The ease with which Farhad is able to contact CTU seems a bit ludicrous, given that they're supposed to be a fortified, top secret (well, ish) organisation; what, does he just have Chloe's direct line on speed dial? Then there's the ease with which CTU are able to acquire a 'voice match' for Farhad... it takes ten seconds, for God's sake! Why must all technology be ludicrously advanced on this show? Why must the solutions be this easy? And why must villains be so stupid as to answer their private mobile telephones, on which they are doing duplicitous business, with the name of their benefactors when they don't even know who it is that's calling? Josef assumes Farhad is the guy ringing him at the opening of the episode and answers, 'Farhad, you're late', only to find his dad on the other end! Surely, if there was no name, a simple 'hello' would suffice? Ack! Still, at least these are gripes rather than grievances, small problems rather than huge gaffes. For the most part, the progression of the central plot point, the presence of nuclear rods on US soil, is solid and engaging, containing a number of surprising twists that keep us all hooked and on the edge of our seats. It's a pity, then, that everything else pretty much makes us get out of them and stick the kettle on. There's simply far too much extraneous incident in '12am - 1am' for the episode to prove rewarding; the script spends a great deal of its time p*****g around with utterly redundant storylines that do nothing of any consequence and go absolutely nowhere of any interest. The involvement of a buerecrat from the White House is the sort of worn out trope that should've been consigned to the scrapheap six seasons ago, serving to do nothing other than irritate. Worse still is the Kevin/Dana/Cole garbage which, frankly, nobody gives a flying frack about because a) we haven't spent enough time with the characters for it to have any impact and b) it slows the momentum down to a snail's pace, failing to generate any suspense whatsoever by virtue of its appalling execution and scripting. As Kevin goes all Forrest Gump and cries "JENNNYYYYYYY!!" in his final moments, it's hard not to laugh at how patently ludicrous this whole sorry scenario is. And don't fool yourself into thinking it's over now that the bad guys are dead; this is going to linger and linger, like that rash you never got treated years ago, sucking the life and soul out of the show until someone catches a clue and shoots all parties involved. But hell, at least no cougars showed up out of those woods, eh?
  • Was it just me, or did you gather that we missed an entire chapter on Renee and Jack.

    I hardly doubt Jack would have been so callous to the security officer and the woman interrogating Renee. Jack was willing to choke her..., risking a possible confinement, it's a wonder she didn't press charges. I am concerned about Renee and her past and her condition that led her to that point of ruthless murder. It still manages to fall on Hastings.

    Hastings establishes his weak character as each hour grows. He's fearful, lacks the decent spontaneity and common sense that a leader should have. We learn that he was placed in his position by Rob Weiss; he himself proves to be poor in judgment when it came to selection of 'heads'. Their solution to everything is put the blame on everyone else except themselves, which is a hint of weakness. What makes Hastings capable of running CTU? What makes CTU the best or even more efficient than they used to be?

    At least in the early days they didn't have employees missing and unaccounted for, because of irresponsible actions. Of course I was referring to Walsh and apparently her fiancee Ortiz fell for lack of judgment when he saw the true colors of who he was going to marry. The moment Walsh confessed the truth I shook my head. I kept thinking "you couldn't have done that before, come on!". Now look at what's happened; Kevin's psycho friend Nick became even crazier and gutted him (talk about a jaw dropper) then Ortiz managed to pull the trigger on Nick to save his own life.

    What was the purpose of those characters anyway, I really couldn't get the concept? Was it to gear them away from CTU long enough to have Jack take control of things (who by the way recovered nicely from his torture and stab wound; years of training perhaps). Or was it to give Dana Walsh the character development needed for the future unknown, who knows? Kevin's friend became spooky the moment he smelt money and turned his armored foot on a patrol officer, who does that! I only hope Ortiz and Walsh wouldn't concoct some plan to hide the bodies in an attempt to save their jobs. Now that Ortiz knows about Walsh's past, would the wedding still be on? It's not like there was such an intense passion of onscreen chemistry between them.

    Somehow each character seemed underused and there was a slow development within this hour. I suspected that Hassan would pull a two timing job on his crew, but why not wait until he left the compound before he called CTU. That was reckless on his part, trying to play some kind of hero after he caused so much harm in the process. I wonder if he would be given immunity as well? Hassan did a reckless job of knocking out his newly formed enemy and running without any kind of plan. Maybe his nervousness got the better of him and he couldn't wait to be transported to his supposed friend privately.

    I was actually glad not to have President Hassan this hour, he got too cranky the moment his wife left him. As for President Taylor, there was reference made about her daughter Olivia, between Jack and Hastings, I wonder if the mention of her had any meaning? I have no idea, but that scene between Jack and Hasting felt mediocre. Simply because Jack is more intimidating than Hastings ever could be, and he respects Jack too much to sanction him. It also makes Hastings the possible coward Jack imagined him to be; unaware of his true potential.

    The next few hours better not be as repetitive as the previous seasons, the plot twists and villains aren't even lasting long enough in their character roles. Villains like last season Jonas Hodges and Colonel Ike Dubaku are starting to look better. It's still missing that flavor which gives you the adrenaline rush, that keeps you going until the day is over. I don't know how many hat tricks are left, but right now I would like more insight into why Jack is so passionate about Renee, as though they had some 'thing' together and to learn more about Dana Walsh's past, if it really matters anymore - or does it?

    Lexa Reviews



    Three and a half Stars

    Grade C-
  • A crisis is looming

    Finally, there was a good part to the Dana plot line. I use the word loosely because everything else was just utter nonsense. I don't want to be too harsh on that though, because not all subplots tie into the main story, and there were definitely parts to the Kim subplot in S2 and the Araz family subplot in S4 that I enjoyed. Freddie was great in his handling of the crisis. I hope the next episode ends that plot line on a positive note for good.

    Now to the good stuff. The two doublecrosses at the beginning, Josef's of his father and the IRK's of Josef, set the story going forward in its current direction. There had to be some plausible reason as to why the terrorists would not try to ship the nuclear rods out of the country, and the capture of Bazhaev plus the Josef phone call ensured that.

    I really liked Farhad's character in this episode. His pretending to be on the terrorists' side convinced me, and his betrayal of the them was very well planned out. This episode showed that Farhad, while misguided and corrupt, is not insane like the rest of his operatives. Even though Samir is crazy to think he should attack America, I'm really enjoying the charisma that he seems to display. While 24 has used nuclear devices in three previous seasons, the context of the weapon was different in each season. This season is no exception as we have never seen a purely radiological attack attempted. I look forward to seeing how Jack prevents the catastrophe or at least significantly limits the damage.

    I don't really like Rob Weiss's character, (however I've got a funny feeling he knows more about the day's events than he's let on) but I think Renee Walker would have been investigated no matter who is the Chief of Staff. I'm starting to like Hastings a little more each week, similar to how I felt about Larry Moss last season. Let's hope Hastings becomes a great leader for the show's sake.

    As far as Jack and Renee, the core of their relationship is what keeps me interested week in and week out. I feel that no matter what the main plot is, I am going to like what the writers deliver with Jack and Renee. Some of the best episodes of 24 have been when Jack is falling in love (with Teri again after separation and with Audrey).

    For critics of the episode, you have to remember that this episode was meant to fill in gaps and to set up new story arcs. There can't always be suspenseful action like in episodes 4 and 8. In retrospect, I believe I will rate this episode even higher after I have seen the next two to three episodes that this episode helped set up.
  • Newest hour of 24 turns the tables

    I don't know why all you haters are crucifying this episode, where we left off last week Jack had subdued Bazhaev, Josef has double-crossed his father, and Cole wanted to know what was up with Dana. What made this episode is that it made many of the storylines turn in a direction that you wouldn't expect. First off, it's typical of 24 to have every even numbered season feature feature Middle Eastern fanatic terrorists as is the typical stereotype for it, and of course Josef was going to be killed off as does every minor character who has ever brought the terrorists weapons for money. But the twist is that Josef was convinced by his father to bring the weapons back to CTU and get immunity, this is handled in a believable way that is unlike 24 and he is gunned down as he goes to the vehicle. Another unexpected that was expected was the unnamed guy who shot Josef wanting the use of the rods because they couldn't get them out of the country. Farad agrees but he apparently wants to only use them for his own uses which goes against the typical 24 style of him either getting killed or thinking of it himself this added much more depth to Farad's character when he calls CTU after having been injured fleeing the traitors making him stand more as his cowardly self especially that he wouldn't call his brother because he betrayed him, also this week led to Brian Hastings agreeing to crucify Renee and Jack was going to takecare of her, but other than the other some flaws of them this episode shows that the 24 writers are still somewhat interested in fleshing out their minor characters rather than just relying on Jack to kick ass and take names (which is nothing wrong, just has to be handled the right way.)

    Okay, so now we have those really bad Bollywood-Arabs trying to blow things up. So far so good, I like the idea of blowing things up... but unfortunately they have no detonator yet, which is really BAAAAAD, cos without it they are not able to make DA BOOOOOMBBBB go BOOOOOOM and BLOoooOOW things up. It's a real pity actually... because, if they only invested a little bit time in learning electronics 101, rather than learning to talk in that language of that country they hate so much among themselves, they would have been able to build a damn friggin detonator, damn it!!!
  • Farhad Hassan and Josef Bazhaev complete the sale of the Uranium rods...only to find that they have both been double crossed. Hoping to avoid putting the blame for the loss of the rods on CTU, Rob Weiss tells Hastings to have Renee Walker take the fall.

    With Dana's "friends" now out of the picture, I am hoping the season will improve. The climactic scene with Dana and Cole just did not seem to pay off for me. Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s performance in the scene at the van did not seem genuine to me. Also, I would think when the agent who had the gun on Jack backed off so easily, shouldn't Jack have been suspicious that there was another guard waiting to ambush him? I just thought that a person with Jack's experience would realize that. I hope the focus changes to recovering the uranium rods.
  • A sign of hope, or this season's last gasp?

    It should be said, off the top, that this episode brought several rays of hope to the eighth season. This was obviously a moment of transition, shifting from the introductory elements of the season arc to the complication phase, and that could make all the difference. It all depends on how the writers choose to handle the situation.

    It's good to see Jack fully commit to his usual role as the agent extraordinaire, even if it is largely a matter of blackmail. In a nice bit of payoff from the seventh season, when it was clear that Renee was attracted to Jack on several levels, Jack finally indicates a bit of interest of his own. At least, that's the way it seemed to come across, and that's how Renee seems to have interpreted Jack's words. If Jack wasn't expressing something beyond platonic feelings for Renee, that could get very messy.

    For now, it almost doesn't matter. Jack is ready to defend Renee's best interests, and that means standing up to a CTU director with his head firmly lodged in the posterior of the Chief of Staff. This episode finally addresses the resurrection of CTU, and why someone like Hastings was placed in charge. Realistically, the administration might have understood the value of extreme methods in counter-terrorism, but politically, it's a tool to be manipulated. That kind of thinking has got to come back to haunt everyone involved.

    Except, of course, Jack, who knows what it means to be a director of CTU. In fact, he's probably the only person that understands Hastings' position, because just about every other CTU director in the past 20 years of "24" time has ended up dead. Usually by Jack's hand. That may be something that Hastings might want to consider.

    Hopefully, despite the fact that she's no longer in the field, Renee's story won't be ignored. As the current prime motivation for Jack's involvement in the operation, her status now becomes important. Unlike Kim or Audrey, Renee's psychological state could overcome her better judgment, and that could certainly complicate things. If the writers are going to use Renee's struggles as a proxy for Jack's previous self-doubt, as well as something for Jack to attempt to repair, then Renee cannot be kept off-screen without blunting the impact.

    For all that, Jack and Renee's plot thread was never the problem; it was the only thing keeping the introductory phase of the season from falling apart completely. Thankfully, there was some much-needed movement on the weaker fronts. The resolution of Dana's current crisis was satisfying, if only in the sense that the writers now can move on and focus on something more interesting. In keeping with the season's theme, Dana's sins are unlikely to disappear instantly, but if the fallout is handled well, it could generate some actual interest in Dana and Cole. So far, the writers have failed to make a compelling case for the existence of either character, so this is a hopeful sign.

    In a surprising twist, the writers have created a scenario that promises to be a lot more interesting than expected. Josef's death seemed to be an early attempt to shock the audience, but he was never particularly interesting in the first place. He was a means to an end. That end was delivering the nuclear fuel rods to terrorists in the United States, willing to strike at a local target rather than stockpile the materials for Fahrad's potential new administration in the Islamic Republic of Whateverstan. Fahrad's change of fortunes has also changed the tone of other subplots.

    Take, for example, President Hassan's crackdown of dissidents in his country. Up to this point, it has seemed to be extreme, especially as it pertains to his own family and trusted guards. But now it serves two purposes. First, it feeds into the terrorists' impression that they should use the nuclear rods in America, since Fahrad's new regime is becoming less and less likely.

    But there is also the potential for Hassan's methods to be proven at least partially correct. Hassan will have to feel justified in his actions when the truth of the situation comes out; the terrorists will likely be linked to forces opposing his rule. It could become even more interesting (and complicated for President Taylor) if someone surprising gives vital information regarding the terrorists in New York.

    What would truly complicate the simplicity of the season to date is a scenario in which President Taylor, based on information from CTU and Hassan, is forced to concede that reality has trumped some of the underlying basis for her peace initiative. It's unlikely to undermine it completely, but it would be a follow-up to the seventh season's arc, because it's equally unlikely that such a scenario would play out in an ideal fashion. The politics at play within CTU would make that impossible.

    For now, this is all just potential; the writers could easily take this in a less complicated direction. In fact, the first third of the season is a good indication that the writers will find less compelling ways to complicate matters.

    Overall, this was a pivotal episode that brought to an end a few of the mind-numbing plot threads that have been dragging the season down since the premiere. While Jack's story remains the highlight, it's not yet clear if the writers will tap the potential that now exists. There's still plenty of time to salvage the season, so it's just a matter of charting a better course.
  • Not bad at all

    Weird.. This time I really found myself loving this episode. First of all, I think it was the first time Dana Walsh storyline got some glitter and shine but I really loved the way it ended.. The way Cole just walked down that road.. Dana after her.. and the way the scene went. Brilliant. I am almost ready to forget all the "torture" of watching this storyline from episode to episode and nothing happening.

    I also loved the development on Jack and Renee storyline.. There, ofcourse, was a point why that was brought it.. and that was to keep him around in storylogic place.. and it felt so fake but.. it's ok by me. Jack sticks around and that is what we want.

    On the Farrad storyline.. Like.. Probably most unbelievable developments.. There was no logic. There is nuclear weapon in play and he turns against "his man" and calls CTU. What?
  • Meh. That's pretty much the only word I have at this point.

    It pains me to have to rate an episode of 24 this low (I've never done it before, I'm usually pretty lenient with the show), and I may be guaranteed a bunch of "thumbs down" ratings, but I feel there's a certain point where a show needs to be analyzed outside of personal bias.

    24 has always been one of my favorite shows, there's no doubt about that, but there's just so much going on and a paper-thin plot that I haven't really felt strongly about since it was introduced. I'm talking specifically about the nuclear-rods. The season started off on an intriguing note, mostly because the tension revolved around the attempted assassination on the President, which was carried out very well. It reminded me a bit of Season 1, where David Palmer was being targeted. Unfortunately, from there, the show descended back into Season 6-esque type plots, filled with complicated twists, storylines that weren't interesting (the Dana Walsh one so far this season).. Well, perhaps I'm being too harsh. Tonight's episode ended up not being that bad.. but it wasn't that good either. It was very slow-paced, contained no President Taylor or President Hassan and had a whole lot of talking scenes with unnecessary expository dialogue.

    Also, Jack has always been one of television's best characters, but today, his aggression towards Hastings and the lawyer woman seemed a little intense (and seeing as I know how crazy Jack Bauer can get, the fact I'm bringing it up says something). Jack just sort of flew off the handle as soon as he got to CTU, with no warning, and it just didn't feel right, the way he was freaking out and knocking out guards just to tell the lawyer she's doing a bad thing. It didn't help that most of the episode was spent with him driving with Bazhaev.

    As for the good parts of the episode, Renee once again proves that this is her season, her chance to shine. She truly is doing an incredible job in this role and I hope she gets more great scenes. And while I've been pretty harsh on the Dana Walsh plot, it had a pretty satisfying and exciting ending, although I think they should've found a different way to end the episode. It was sort of lackluster in comparison to other endings this season.

    I was sort of hoping that this season would follow in Season 8's footsteps, as Kiefer Sutherland did say that this season and last season would be very closely related. But so far, it's almost like the previous season never happened.. there's nothing at all that makes me believe Jack had suffered through a chemical illness.. nothing that makes these season's feel even remotely next to each other. It's more like a follow-up to Season 6 unfortunately, and unless they can pick up the pace with the storytelling and the pacing itself, I have a feeling it'll be a lackluster season. It really sucks to have to say this about the show, but the last two episodes, while full of action and suspense, just haven't been up to par with other episode this season and in previous seasons.
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