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24: 5:00PM - 6:00PM - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 24th 2009 8:40AM

Kiefer Sutherland
(S07E10) "...but this ain't over yet." - Tony

Just like in the middle of season three, the game has changed. One threat down, and one(?) to go. Last night's episode of 24 did a great job of wrapping up the first half of the season without leaving too many unresolved issues. For the most part, it's a clean break and things seem ready to reboot with next week's back-to-back episodes.

While I realize that there are those two episodes until we're technically at the "true" half-way point for Day 7, it seems pretty clear that this hour was meant to be the turning point. Let's break down the big issues:

  • The tension between Jack and Renee finally boiled over - This entire season has been a game of back and forth between these two. Ethics be damned, Jack gets the job done and Renee didn't always agree. Marika's unfortunate death (or necessary death if you're Jack) proved to be the final straw for Renee as she broke down in front of Jack demanding to know if he felt anything - fear, sadness, remorse? We've known Jack for 154 hours now - he feels. And just like he said, Renee will reach a point of acceptance too. What's going to be interesting to see is if she reaches that point in time to help Jack with the new threat.
  • Sean and Erika were caught - Not much to say here. Fairly standard "hey, that's the mole" reveal. While Sean's plan to frame Erika was a bit clichéd, it still worked for me. However, I did start to laugh when he made a run for it. You knew he wasn't getting away.
  • Dubaku's list of US government agents has been recovered - How long had he been cultivating some of these relationships? Long enough to compile full surveillance on all of them, copy it to a memory card, and implant it beneath his rib-cage apparently. I can accept that. What bugged me? I didn't feel like the government acted fast enough once they had the list. Bill and the President were just casually strolling through the halls of the White House, saying arrests will be made within the hour. They could have been walking right past some of Dubaku's operatives! Didn't feel right.
  • Tony is back - You knew he would be and I like how they actually followed up on the lead he chased down. The final scene between him and Jack sitting on the steps of the Capitol building was amazing. I like how Tony's insistence that the government won't be able to act in time essentially guarantees that the two of them will be working rogue.
  • General Juma is picking up where Dubaku left off - Tony found out that Juma is the new threat and that the next target is high value and high impact. The one thing that's bugged me about this entire Sangala thing? At times, I've found it hard to buy into Dubaku and Juma's cause. They're carrying on a revolution over there. Do they really have time to come all the way to the United States to grind their ax? And even if they do, the "why" is tough for me. It still seems like a bit of stretch.
  • Mr. Burnett was revealed to be Senator Blaine Mayer's chief-of-staff - This was by far the best part of the hour. With Jack set to resume his testimony to Mayer the next morning, this sets up the incredibly amazing scenario of having Mayer witness Jack do exactly what he's trying to prosecute him for. The best part? Blaine will presumably be OK with Jack's methods because it's his COS. It relates directly back to the testimony at the beginning of the season and all that business about Jack being needed when it's convenient.

Overall, a great hour and if the previews for next week's double installment are any indication, then it looks like Olivia, Mayer, and Burnett are all arriving at The White House at the worst possible moment ever. Here's the preview:

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Europa

Yeah, I get that we are to assume it takes place off-camera. My point is that it would be nice to have it on camera once in a while. I'm not saying we need to see every little "normal" thing they do like them using the rest room, brushing their teeth, or picking out a chin hair, just doing ordinary stuff people "on the go" do - like grabbing a bite to eat from a vending machine. I think, IMHO, that it would even more realism to the show. It would, perhaps, cause many people to pause and think, "Oh yeah. I bet he is really is hungry at this point during the day." Geeeze.

March 02 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

The one thing that bugs me? We never see Jack and company eating! I know it's fast paced and tension filled but can't we see somebody - at some point during the day - grabbing a sandwitch or some chips out the vending machine?

February 25 2009 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Europa's comment
GerryofNorVA

Some of that type of human maintenance stuff may occur off camera since we're not shown every minute of every character. We're supposedly shown every minute of the story progression though.

For instance, Jack's final scene was on the steps of the capitol bldg or some nearby monument. Betcha dollars to donuts that the next hour episode doesn't open with him walking from that spot, it'll instead open either with the FBI bldg characters or the White House characters, then when it gets around to Jack he'll be far from those steps, presumably having eaten and gone to the bathroom in the interim.

Having said that, that would take about 1/2 hr and I doubt we'll be 1/2 hr into the next episode till Jack shows up. I wonder if anyone is actually tracking these episodes to ensure the writers aren't cheating the time sequencing...

February 27 2009 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

Some of that type of human maintenance stuff may occur off camera since we're not shown every minute of every character. We're supposedly shown every minute of the story progression though.

For instance, Jack's final scene was on the steps of the capitol bldg or some nearby monument. Betcha dollars to donuts that the next hour episode doesn't open with him walking from that spot, it'll instead open either with the FBI bldg characters or the White House characters, then when it gets around to Jack he'll be far from those
steps, presumably having eaten and gone to the bathroom in the interim.

Having said that, that would take about 1/2 hr and I doubt we'll be 1/2 hr into the next episode till Jack shows up. I wonder if anyone is actually tracking these episodes to ensure the writers aren't cheating the time sequencing...

February 27 2009 at 12:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Manuel Reis

"Just like in the middle of season three, the game has changed."

Season One also had that moment, when Ira Gaines was killed. After that, politics, politics and Mr Hopper in action.

It was indeed a great episode. Let's hope the show stays this way.

February 25 2009 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

You guys have to demand more plausibility from this series otherwise the dialogue could just be "blah blah blah" and you'd be alright with it! This has always been the problem with 24, they do alot of character drama well but they simply fail on the technicals and personal relationship stuff. I had to turn my head and puke so many times with this ep that I'm anorexic now.

Seriously, how many times do the traitor agents simply go into the server room, instantly bypass security protocols, and initiate whatever operation they want ?! C'mon! First, such rooms are restricted to only a few IT support staff, not agents themselves. And what's the point of security protocols if they can be bypassed with no retribution ?! Again, only a couple people like the special agent in charge would have such access. It's just ridiculous.

Also, where the h*ll was Janis Gold (J Garofalo) during all the sneakiness of Sean and Erika ? She had been hounding him and not only is she not keeping an eye on him but she's hardly even on camera! WTH was that about ?! See, these are writer shortcuts that cannot be forgiven, they're basically flipping us viewers off and I'm getting pissed. In fact, I think I just convinced myself not to waste my time with this show any further, just happened a little further into the season this time. Fine, I got my tv-hands full with LOST, FRINGE, and Leverage.

February 25 2009 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment
Xaul

Oh, Like Lost and Fringe are so realistic... Remember in Fringe, when Peter needed to go to an "expert" technician because a hard drive was completely fried? He arrived, and the guy only plugged the drive into a CPU with just a regular power cable. Not even an IDE data cable.

But I'm Ok with that. I love Fringe too. But it's only TV at the end.

I really loved this episode of '24'. The car chase was so exciting and the crash was so amazing!

Jack and Renee's scene at the hospital was so memorable! Her performance was really strong and real.. the slapping thing very was cool too.

What I couldn't so much handle was when Jack finds the downloadable-only-once list and just handed it over to a random officer with a chopper... There's a major government conspiracy and corruption.. you have the ONLY information available... and you know..

"Random Officer.. please give this little piece of info to an agent named Moss.. ok? Got his name? Moss. Kind of tall and grumpy."

Come freakin' On! I mean.. We all know Jack's smarter than that...

But it's only TV.. and that guy Braga. lol

February 25 2009 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jffm

24 continues to deliver hour after hour of top notch entertainment.

I just knew Chloe wouldn't get burned a second time losing critical data after The Electro Magnet Incident. And poor Larry Moss is such a schmo. Sean is involved in an incident that stinks like a piece of bad limburger, but Larry buys into it completely and starts spilling the beans just because Sean cops a little enititlement-tude.

The hospital scene with Jack and Renee was a classic. Great bit of drama and character development. Renee's "I was." was a great beat they could have easily missed. Jack's "What do you want from me!??!" is t-shirtworthy for sure.

I do have to say that Jack would *never* have tried to pull Renee away from the wreck at the expense of at least trying to save Marika, but they're obviously working hard to highlight the 'Has Jack lost his humanity?' angle.

It's always good to see Tony back, but I do have a concern where the story might be headed. Are we headed for a conclusion where Jack gets railroaded by the Powers That Be despite his service to the country and ends up completely embittered and heads over the horizon with (or without) Tony to start working for the highest bidder? That ending could work, but I'd warn the writers to remember that Jack Bauer is Jack Bauer and Vick Macky is Vick Mack and the twain should never, ever, meet. Somewhere deep down Jack absolutely has to maintain his soul.

Next week: TWO hours. YES!

February 24 2009 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

I have watched every episode since 2001. This has been the most laughable of seasons. The funniest moment came for me when Chloe announced that the P1 etc etc disk or whatever it was called could only be downloaded once. And then somehow she managed to "mirror" it. Wouldn't they be better off not making up these really dumb details? I have suspended so much belief with this show that all the laxatives in the world aren't going to help. . . Watch MI-5. Much better.

February 24 2009 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Slideguy

The good general has to make his way from Sengala to Washington, DC. I wonder how many hours of plane travel that is? According to a couple of websites I visited, it's between 11 and 15 hours.

So.. either Juma left before hour 1, or he couldn't possibly make it to Washington in time for his big hour.

Or it's a big hole in the plot.

February 24 2009 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johngaltx

ZIPPY TAXI!!!

February 24 2009 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chickync

If the chip was Dubaku's insurance in case anyone tried to assassinate him or blow up his plane, why did he have it on him? Wouldn't it have been destroyed when he perished?

February 24 2009 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Georgia

You wonder when people see Kiefer in Washington, if they, for just a second, think "OMG - what's wrong?? Jack's in DC!!"

February 24 2009 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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