24

Season 8 Episode 12

Day 8: 3:00 A.M. - 4:00 A.M.

3
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 15, 2010 on FOX
AIRED:
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
385 votes
19

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Jack Bauer and Cole Ortiz track down Tarin Faroush, who has kidnapped Kayla Hassan. Parole Officer Bill Prady arrives at CTU to question Dana Walsh about Kevin Wade's whereabouts. Samir Mehran prepares to demonstrate his power over President Omar Hassan via live footage.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Dana Storyline RUINS the show

    3.0
    I know I am WAYYY late to the game here, but decided to watch from season 4 to refresh my memory of where everything was at. Amazed at how much I forgot so it was good to re-watch them all, except season 8. That Dana storyline is PUTRID. Stupid in and of itself, it's painful to sit through, but what makes it even worse is how ridiculous the whole premise is. NONE of the crazy stuff Jack has to pull off forces us to suspend reality more than this ridiculous premise. Really? In the midst of a national emergency she is taking calls from numbers she doesn't recognize and then get's all involved with this two bit moron felon and then after being able to leave TWICE in the midst of a code red crisis the two morons get killed but WAIT, some parole officer from TX decides to call her at 2 am and even though he isn't expecting to actually talk to her cuz it's you know 2 AM, since she does call by GOD national security be damned now he has to talk to her NOW!!! LMAO. She shoulda just told him to go pound sand for 12 hours follow up on other leads and she will call him when she's is GD good and ready!

    REDICULOUS



    They should release Jack and all his practices on whoever the moron was that wrote that trash!moreless
  • Exciting

    9.5
    Wonderful ! Bauer and Cole Ortiz track down Tarin Faroush, who has kidnapped Kayla Hassan.





    Parole Officer Bill Prady arrives in CTU to question Dana Walsh about Kevin Wade's whereabouts.





    Samir Mehran prepares to demonstrate his power over President Omar Hassan over live footage.

    Bauer and Cole Ortiz track down Tarin Faroush, who has kidnapped Kayla Hassan.



    Parole Officer Bill Prady arrives in CTU to question Dana Walsh about Kevin Wade's whereabouts.



    Samir Mehran prepares to demonstrate his power over President Omar Hassan over live footage.

    Bauer and Cole Ortiz track down Tarin Faroush, who has kidnapped Kayla Hassan.





    Parole Officer Bill Prady arrives in CTU to question Dana Walsh about Kevin Wade's whereabouts.





    Samir Mehran prepares to demonstrate his power over President Omar Hassan over live footage.moreless
  • The twist actually works

    8.0
    Coming into this episode, the season arc needed a good kick in the pants; the writers simply haven't been giving the audience much to enjoy to this point. This episode is a nice improvement overall, even if some of the elements feel borrowed from past seasons.



    The latest step in the terrorist plot (which seems rather well organized for what was presented as a last-minute backup plan earlier in the season) is relatively elegant in its simplicity. Taking Kayla hostage allows the terrorists to use her as a bargaining chip for "File 33". This effectively forces President Hassan to reveal to CTU and the Taylor administration that they have a great deal of vital US National Security documentation. (This is something Tarin would have likely known all about, given his prior position.)



    The terrorists know that the US would never allow Hassan to hand over such information. Instead, it is a ruse to buy time to prepare the real means of knocking down the security capabilities in the NYC Metro area. Kayla is allowed to "escape" in a car rigged with an EMP device, set to detonate within or close to CTU. The net effect is the annihilation of counter-terrorism resources in the city.



    This was a good twist because almost everyone involved should have known better. How many times has CTU been attacked or otherwise compromised? Yet the writers have already made it very clear that the new CTU has a number of weaknesses, not the least of which a lack of experience. Director Hastings is also a man of little patience. Nothing in the episode pointed to a sneak attack, but there is a feeling that complacency and inexperience played a role.



    But even Jack missed this particular gambit, which was surprising. Usually Jack is the first one to put the pieces together and realize the true implications. He gets a pass because he was in the field, focused on the mission, but it's still a bit uncharacteristic. Having CTU miss the signs and portents aligns with the theme of facing and learning from the mistakes of the past (or not, in this case). Jack is supposed to be the one person that has learned the lesson.



    Of course, this does set up Jack as the only viable agent with enough experience to keep the investigation going while CTU picks up the pieces. Agent Ortiz and his team are on hand to help Jack as much as possible, but he's just as likely to call on familiar faces to help. There aren't many left, but this could be how Renee comes back into the picture.



    As usual, the main weakness of the episode is Dana's subplot, even if it was more involving than in the past. Granted, it's all relative; the story is still dumb as rocks. Prady seems to have quick access to documentation and personnel that wouldn't logically be available in the middle of the night, let alone in the middle of a major national security crisis. And the moment he stepped out of the conference room, Security should have been tossing him in a cell (or beating him into a pulp).



    Which suggests, of course, that Prady isn't concerned with the law at all. He may be a parole officer, but he's also more than likely aligned with Kevin and his psychopathic friend. At least, that's the hope; otherwise, his actions and timing are out of proportion, given the circumstances. (And again, why wouldn't Dana just go to Hastings, tell him that Prady is interfering with her work and barking up the wrong tree, and be done with it?)



    Once again, the problem here is that Dana is a ridiculously bad liar, which undermines the notion that she could have faked her identity so well that the CTU vetting process wouldn't have uncovered the truth. It doesn't seem likely that she could have hidden her PIN number, let alone her criminal past!



    Overall, this was a much stronger mid-point episode than the rest of the season would have suggested, but there are still plenty of lingering issues. Dana's story in particular has been the albatross around the season's neck, and it's apparently not going away. With the fate of the series in flux, one would hope the writers were trying to go out on a high note.moreless
  • After a slow start, it seems 24 knows what its doing. And yes, it was worth every minute...

    10
    A lot of people have been bashing this season, stating that its "slow and boring" and "doesn't really have a plot thats interesting". Well half way through the season, and were picking up pace, and we actually care about the story now. A lot of people are going to complain about the EMP going off inside CTU, saying its clichéd and been done before. While attacks on CTU have been done before, an EMP has never been set off inside CTU, and I found it pretty surprising how the bomb was in the car and Tarrin was still alive. So overall, this episode brought something fresh to the table.



    The action was suspenseful, the twists seemed smart and realistic, and the terrorists asking for "file 33" left me curious of what was about to come.



    Overall, this episode was amazing, the best so far this season. It seems all the stories are getting interesting and coming together. I hope the writers can keep it up for the rest of this season and leave us wanting more each week.



    Also, this is the first time this season that I am dying to see next week's episode!!!moreless
  • After last week's truly abominable '2am - 3am', an episode virtually bereft of any redeeming features whatsoever, it's difficult to believe that this is even the same show, let alone the same season.moreless

    7.5
    Well. Can you say schizophrenic, much? After last week's truly abominable '2am - 3am', an episode virtually bereft of any redeeming features whatsoever, it's difficult to believe that this is even the same show, let alone the same season. To say that Chip Johannessen and Patrick Harbinson's script is an improvement is the equivalent of suggesting that it's 'a bit hot' at the equator. This is so much better, in every possible way, that you have to question how it is that dross like the previous instalment is able to make it past the storyboard stage without someone noticing that, you know, it's a right load of old cack. Of course, this being contemporary 24, '3am - 4am' certainly isn't without its problems. In fact, there are a considerable number of dubious narrative decisions and hokey extraneous incidents that impact upon the all-important dramatic drive of the episode, but at least they don't encompass the entire hour. Where last week, barely a beat went by without the viewer wanting to lobotomise themselves with an icepick, here, the bulk of the script is concerned with the furtherance of the central narrative, and thankfully, for the most part, it does a fairly good job of it. It's just a bit troublesome that the programme can oscillate so dramatically across both ends of the spectrum because, ultimately, it's this sort of inconsistency that begets frustration... and we all know where that leads, don't we boys and girls?



    Still, to the appraisal. '3am - 4am' succeeds largely as a result of the predominance of the terrorist threat. For the first time in one hell of a while, the script feels like it has focus and isn't scrambling around trying to fill time between dramatic developments. Johannessen and Harbinson channel the majority of the loose narrative strands into the kidnapping of Hassan's daughter, which has the dual effect of concentrating the viewer's attentions and amplifying the impact and importance of the IRK's actions. While the revelation that Tarin is actually a mole is distinctly disappointing, since it's probably the most predictable plot development this side of an episode of Days of our Lives, the script doesn't spend too much time dwelling on the issue and is able to disguise its regrettable nature to a certain extent through the injection of a substantial amount of tension. As soon as Tarin drops the act and begins marshaling his lover towards her fate, things become a whole heck of a lot more interesting. The car chase sequence is fairly well handled, with the use of multiple perspectives via the ever-reliable 'visual boxes' serving to intensify levels of suspense, and it's good to see everyone's emotional investment contribute to the scene. Naturally, Sutherland and Prinze are excellent as the driven, determined agents, but credit must certainly go to Kapoor and Zadagen, whose successful portrayal of a mother and father whose world is effectively falling down around them leads to a number of very strong sequences, the most notable of which are their confrontation with Bauer and Cole when they reveal that they failed in their mission, and everything that follows once Kaila is ransomed by the IRK. It is a bit disappointing that the outcome of the car chase is a foregone conclusion before it even begins (as soon as that underpass rolls around, everyone with a functioning frontal lobe knows that the good guys will lose them in it... gah, what a cliche!), and that CTU's efforts to rescue Kaila from the hotel are hampered by a ludicrously one-dimensional rogue police officer who seems to think that he knows better than the bloody uber-trained terrorism experts (talk about your one-dimensional ciphers, jeez... and did anyone else think his name was Sergeant Anus? No? Oh well), but on the whole, this is pretty entertaining stuff. Hell, I'll take it over The Dana Walsh Hour any day.



    Things only get better once the aforementioned ransoming begins. The visual orchestration of this sequence is expertly handled, first-time director Nelson McCormick doing a top notch job of marrying stark, harrowing verisimilitude with powerful emotional gravitas. It's encouraging that 24 refuses to shy away from the horror of the situation, presenting us with a rather bleak representation of Kaila's ordeal. The actress is very good here, conveying the character's desperation and turmoil with a degree of temperance so that things don't descend into the hyperbolic, while the simple decision to pop a balaclava over the head of the 'head goon' works wonders for the impact of the scene, magnifying its eeriness and making the threat seem all the more palpable. Hell, he even gets a plastic bag out and starts suffocating the poor gal which, while hardly likely to signify the end of her character, makes for a powerful moment nonetheless. Harbinson and Johannessen are particularly adept at manufacturing intrigue here, largely thanks to the addition of a number of either unexplained or unpredictable diversions. First, we have the incorporation of the rather ominous 'File 33' which, having never previously been a factor in the story, certainly piques the viewer's interest. Its ultimate purpose is also somewhat refreshing; I, for one, believed it would be some sort of proposal for a nuclear weapons programme (thereby tying this into the core motifs of the season) but surprisingly, the script actually avoids the predictable. Who would've thunk, eh?



    The same could be said for the trajectory of the kidnapping itself; the decision to allow Kaila and Tarin to escape initially comes across as a rather unusual one, especially given that other developments seem to point towards the intervention of CTU (more on that later) and that the 'File 33' strand could have led to a decidedly intriguing tangent of its own. It's different but plausible and is executed particularly well; it's just unfortunate that the writers choose to perform another U-turn and manufacture an ancillary twist that isn't as successful. The revelation that Tarin is still alive and that Kaila was set up is frankly groan-inducing, feeling far too artificial to be of any real value. It's another example of the kind of overboard oneupmanship that's plagued 24 since day one, wherein the impact of a twist is considered to be of more importance than the actual logic behind its implementation. Granted, yes, we can hardly have the good guys save the day with half of the season left to go, but at least have the decency to make these things feel like less of a cheat. And I'm reserving judgment on what they've used Kaila for: for all McCormick's orchestration of the CTU 'blackout' is highly effective and somewhat original (well, for this show at least), the viewer is certainly forgiven for feeling rather tired of the beat itself. Honestly, how many seasons has the Counter Terrorist Unit been subject to attack now? Do we really need to see it again? "Ah, but it's an EMP!", I hear you cry, "They've never done that before!" And sure, I'll give you that. Hell, I'll even acknowledge that such a development may have potential; if we can get rid of the magic technology that enables Chloe And The Gang to resolve every problem within minutes, we could have a rather refreshing show on our hands. But do you really hold out hope? Really? Is it not far likelier that Jack and his buds will just use all the even-more-hyper-advanced-super-tech housed at the NSA, thereby rendering this whole plotline utterly worthless? What do you think, gentle viewer?



    To be honest, however brief a stop-gap this technological impedance proves to be, it couldn't have come at a better time. The amount of patently unbelievable uses for the CTU systems in this episode is enough to give your average engineer a few brain hemorrhages. Once again, every security feed in the land proves to be subject to the whim of Chloe O'Brien, whose magical ability to 'tap into' just about anything (hospital cameras, traffic cams, your Fujifilm 200) is trotted out for the umpteenth infuriating time; the 'quick fix' drones are provided with their most prominent showcase to date, popping all over the place in an attempt to amplify the tension of the car chase sequence, but actually just serving to mildly distract the viewer with their eerie 'Jesus-eye' perspectives (credit, for the second week running, to the excellent 2guystalking podcast for that one); but perhaps the most offensive of the lot is the patently ridiculous load of garbage that flows freely from Arlo's mouth when he comes up with a way to locate Kaila and her kidnappers. He 'isolated a subway noise and is cross referencing with train positions'? Oh come on! 1. Is it even likely that there would be any cars running at 3.30 in the morning? 2. If there are are passenger services, couldn't it also be possible that a freight train/cleaning vehicle is being used while the place is shut? And if so, cross-referencing with timetables would be insufficient... a whole process of acquiring information would need to begin, and third and most important, how is he able to 'isolate a subway noise' anyway? How ludicrously vague is that? Why can't we have something more realistic and less half-baked? Is it too much to ask?



    Well, at least it isn't My Name is Dana, eh? To be fair to 24, we don't get a great deal of it this week but sadly, what we do get continues to significantly sub par. First, there's the continuation of the irritatingly irrelevant inter-office paradigm shift, wherein Arlo, quite logically actually, asks Chloe whom he is required to report to following Dana's demotion. Instead of simply giving him a straightforward answer, she puts her petulant head on, pouts and starts moaning about how 'we're in the middle of a crisis' and that Arlo effectively shouldn't be bothering her. The problem here, as with Cole's rebuke of Jenny in the lift last week, is that by referencing the fact that something is extraneous, the writers draw the viewer's attention to it and therefore amplify its impact. Yeah great, you should get on with it! And now! Stop harping on about it! Worse still, obviously, is the furtherance of the Kevin Wade plot. Yup, the parole officer arrives at CTU at 3.15 in the morning, desperate to find out what happened to the man he's been charged with, despite the fact that he has free will and can pretty much do what he wants. And okay, okay, so perhaps the Nick thing is a fairly logical way of explaining his presence but to be honest, no one actually gives a s**t. Stephen Root may be a solid actor, and his portrayal may actually be moderately enjoyable, but the whole strand is so categorically objectionable that it doesn't matter. Every time Dana's blonde locks cascade over the screen, the dramatic momentum grinds to an unforgivable halt, removing the viewer from his or her engagement with the narrative and negating our enjoyment of the episode. Kill. This. Story. Dead. Now. There's plenty decent story to go round.



    It's something of a relief that '3am - 4am' is a substantial improvement on Evan Katz and David Fury's preceding effort. Last week's hour was so unequivocally bad that it's unsurprising that 24 is losing viewers in droves, and any further slide down this slippery slope could have resulted in a truly sorry state of affairs for the show. Thankfully, Johannessen and Harbinson's script rectifies some of the problems that dogged '2am - 3am', concentrating squarely on the central terrorist threat and doing so with impressive gusto, providing a dramatic development that concentrates the focus of the story and provides a palpable and enjoyable level of tension and suspense. It isn't without its problems, of course; once again, we simply cannot get rid of The Dana Walsh Show, and every scene in which she appears seems to obliterate the episode's momentum, and some of the other dramatic decisions are distinctly questionable. Still, at least things appear to be on the up. Let's just hope that, as currently appears to be the trend, 24 doesn't pull a fast one on us and unleash its worst ever hour next week. Fingers crossed guys, fingers crossed.moreless
Stephen Root

Stephen Root

Bill Prady

Guest Star

Rizwan Manji

Rizwan Manji

Ahman

Guest Star

Matthew Yang King

Matthew Yang King

Agent King

Guest Star

Nazneen Contractor

Nazneen Contractor

Kayla Hassan

Recurring Role

Mido Hamada

Mido Hamada

Samir Mehran

Recurring Role

Julian Morris

Julian Morris

Agent Owen

Recurring Role

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